For the fourth time and the first time since 2006, all 6 major awards (Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress) went to 6 different films.

Host Seth MacFarlane's repertoire was criticized by some viewers for being racist, antisemitic, homophobic and sexist (e.g. the song-and-dance tribute to female toplessness in cinema "We Saw Your Boobs"). Among the guests that evening, Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis were both extremely offended by MacFarlane's John Wilkes Booth joke, but had agreed beforehand not to make a big deal out of it. Jane Fonda, who co-presented Best Director, later expressed similar sentiments on her blog that much of MacFarlane's humor was inappropriate for general audiences. MacFarlane tweeted two days later saying he enjoyed the experience, but that he would not want to host again.

With Argo (2012) being nominated for Best Picture, George Clooney joins Warren Beatty as being the only two people to receive Oscar nominations for acting, writing, producing and directing.

All of the nominees for Best Supporting Actress portrayed mothers in their respective roles.

The ceremony was held on the 86th birthday of Best Actress nominee Emmanuelle Riva. Although Riva lost to Jennifer Lawrence, Lawrence wished Riva a "Happy Birthday" in her acceptance speech.

Out of the 17 actresses Seth MacFarlane mentioned in the song "We Saw Your Boobs', Scarlett Johansson and Kristen Stewart were the only ones without an Academy Award nomination, as of 2013.

Quvenzhané Wallis (at age 9) and Emmanuelle Riva (at age 85) became the youngest and oldest nominees, respectively, for Best Actress. This is also the only time either record-holder has competed against each other for the same award. Both lost to Jennifer Lawrence (age 22), who became the second-youngest winner since Marlee Matlin in 1987. Matlin was 21 years old, at the time.

Amour (2012) is the first film since Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) to be nominated for both Best Picture and Best Foreign Language Film, and the first foreign-language nominee for Best Picture since Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

Prior to the ceremony, an estimated 400 visual effects artists staged a protest on Hollywood Boulevard, alleging mistreatment of their industry by the studio system. The protest began when the winner for Best Visual Effects; Life of Pi (2012)'s visual effects studio, Rhythm & Hues filed for bankruptcy in the weeks before the ceremony. Protesters were further vexed when the artists were drowned out by the Jaws (1975) theme music during their acceptance speech, right as they began speaking about the controversy.

First Lady Michelle Obama's presentation of the award for Best Picture via satellite from the White House was viewed by some as inappropriate and politically-charged. The producers later revealed that the idea was conceived even prior to the 2012 Presidential Election, and would have invited Ann Romney if her husband had defeated President Barack Obama. Mrs. Obama is the first person without any prior association with Hollywood to present the award for Best Picture, as well as the first spouse of an American politician since Elizabeth Taylor.

Les Misérables (2012) was the first musical to be nominated for Best Picture since Chicago (2002) was nominated ten years earlier. In keeping with the ceremony's theme honoring music in film, the stars from both films, and Dreamgirls (2006) performed a medley highlighting songs from each film.

Daniel Day-Lewis is the first performer to win three Best Actor Oscars. Day-Lewis won his first Oscar in 1990 for My Left Foot (1989), the same year Best Actress winner Jennifer Lawrence was born.

For the first time, the nominees for Best Supporting Actor are all previous winners of Oscars for acting. Robert De Niro is the most honored, with 7 acting nominations, and the only winner for both Best Actor and Supporting Actor. Alan Arkin, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Tommy Lee Jones each follow, tied with 4 nominations. Hoffman and Jones have also had 3 nominations for Best Supporting Actor and 1 for Best Actor. Christoph Waltz finished out the group with 2 nominations for Best Supporting Actor, and subsequently won the Oscar.

Best Actor nominees Hugh Jackman, Bradley Cooper and Denzel Washington have all been named "Sexiest Man Alive" by People Magazine in the past.

All of the nominees for Best Original Song were first-timers.

Six performances were nominated for Academy Awards that portrayed married couples in their respective films: Pat Sr. and Dolores Solitano (Silver Linings Playbook (2012)), Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln (Lincoln (2012)), and Lancaster and Peggy Dodd (The Master (2012))

Due to so many deaths of movie industry people in 2012, the Academy, for the first time, made an online version of the In Memoriam tribute. It featured people who died in 2012 and early 2013 who were in the televised version and others who were omitted. It will also be on more upcoming Academy Award events' website.

Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) was the only Best Picture nominee that did not receive a single Oscar. All of the other 8 nominated films received at least one Oscar; a first since AMPAS increased the number of eligible Best Picture nominees in 2008. On average, at least 4 to 3 nominees are completely "shut out" from receiving a single award.

This was the first Oscar ceremony to use the title "The Oscars", rather than the traditional title "The {ordinal number} Annual Academy Awards", which had been used for all previous telecasts.

Best Animated Feature Winner Brave (2012) was later widely criticized for winning over Wreck-It Ralph (2012).

All of the 9 films nominated for Best Picture are stories involving courage; more specifically about a main character who takes great responsibility for a person or group of people: Argo (2012): Tony Mendez must help extract US diplomats from Post-Revolutionary Iran at the risk of their lives. Amour (2012): Georges must make critical decisions involving the care of his ill wife, Anne. Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012): Wink must teach Hushpuppy to survive for the sake of her life as their environment changes dramatically. Django Unchained (2012): Dr. Shultz frees Django, mentors him, and helps him rescue his wife. Les Misérables (2012): Fantine must become a prostitute to support her daughter, Cosette. Valjean eventually becomes a father-figure to Cosette by promise to Fantine. Life of Pi (2012): Both Pi and Richard Parker must support each other in order to survive. Lincoln (2012): President Lincoln must convince Congress to pass the 13th Amendment in order to end slavery and the Civil War. Silver Linings Playbook (2012): Pat must enter the dance competition with Tiffany in order to help his father win money he desperately needs and reunite with his estranged wife. Zero Dark Thirty (2012): Maya must convince the CIA about her assured certainty on the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden, and guides Seal Team Six as they hunt him down in Operation Neptune Spear.

Jennifer Lawrence tripped while walking up the stairs to accept her award for best actress in the movie "Silver Linings Playbook".