Oscar Bait

What kind of movie is Oscar bait?

A movie that features elements Oscar voters love

Oscar bait is a film that contains so many elements Oscar voters enjoy that it seems solely created to bait them into voting for the film. The term is pejorative and is meant to be critical of the film's pandering for attention during awards season.

For example, if a movie is poorly crafted but features an interracial same-sex couple fighting to reduce climate change in 18th-century England, critics may deride it as Oscar bait. Additionally, most Oscar bait is released in the late fall (November to December) to maximize its exposure before Academy Award (Oscar) nominations are announced in January.

Some elements that Oscar voters typically love:

  • Period-based films with lavish costumes and make-up
  • Historical epics, often featuring a war of some sort
  • Movies about Hollywood or making films
  • Inclusive messaging (anti-racism, LGBTQ-friendly, etc.
  • Exotic scenery


The English Patient is so overrated. Pure Oscar bait the Academy took hook, line, and sinker
Agreed. That movie is so slow and boring, with nonsensical characters
Tweet from a user annoyed by Netflix Oscar bait
Tweet from a user annoyed by Netflix Oscar bait

Related Slang


Updated May 23, 2023

Oscar bait definition by Slang.net

This page explains what the slang term "Oscar bait" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slang.net team.

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