Jason Kempin/Getty
January 24, 2014 01:00 PM

Hollywood is already a lot like high school, and never more so than during awards season. Competition fills the air, everyone obsesses over dresses they will wear exactly once and, as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler demonstrated at the Golden Globes, who sits with who is a matter of extreme importance.

But on a greater level, each awards show is also its own friend group, with all the little in-jokes, rituals and histories that implies. Which ceremony is which clique? On the eve of the Director’s Guild of America Awards, see it all explained below.

The Oscars Are the ‘Good’ Popular Kids

Jennifer Lawrence arrives at the Oscars on Feb. 24, 2013
Jason Merritt/Getty

Everyone knows them, everyone wants to be them, and yet, everyone doesn’t hate them. Mostly it’s the glow of superiority cowing everyone into submission, but it also doesn’t hurt to be on good terms with someone you know is going to be successful.

The SAGs Are the ‘Pretty’ Popular Kids

Jared Leto poses in the press room at the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on Jan. 18, 2014
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

These are the good-looking people congratulating each other for being good-looking people, with slightly less self-awareness than everybody else.

The Grammys Are the Music Geeks


Do you know enough to pick a favorite improvised jazz solo, or best New Age album? These guys do.

The DGAs Are the A.V. Club

Martin Scorsese attends the 2011 Directors Guild of America Honors at the Directors Guild of America Theater on Oct. 13, 2011
Jason Kempin/Getty

Shyer and more awkward than the rest, but everyone suspects they’ll be working for the audiovisual kids in a few years.

The Golden Globes Are the Class Clowns

Reese Witherspoon (left) and Julia Louis-Dreyfus at the 2014 Golden Globes

Supposedly a big deal, but they don’t take themselves too seriously. What they lack in polish they make up for in good times – and lots of laughs.

The Independent Spirits Are the Artsy-Hipster Kids

Julie Delpy attends the 19th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards on Jan. 16, 2014
David Livingston/Getty

They’ve thrown off the traditional high-school hierarchy and replaced it with a different hierarchy. They celebrate the groundbreaking artists and innovators of their corner so intently that it’s easy to forget most people have no idea who they’re talking about.

The Tonys Are the Theater Kids

Neil Patrick Harris hosts the 66th Annual Tony Awards on June 10, 2012
CBS/Heather Wines/Landov

Is it ever a bad time to break out into a Rent singalong? According to these guys: No, it is not.

The Emmys Are the ‘Normal’ Kids

Writer/producer Steven Levitan accepts the award for best comedy series for Modern Family at the 2013 Emmys
Michael Tran/FilmMagic

They don’t take as many risks, but generally feel confident in their choices. They aren’t backstabbers: When they meet someone they like, they want to hang out with them until graduation (or cancelation).

The VMAs Are the Party Peeps

Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke perform "Blurred Lines" during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 25, 2013
Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Why do they do the things they do? Well, they make no secret of their fondness for wild revelry and bacchanalia. It’s all for attention mostly, but don’t worry – they’re generally harmless.

The BAFTAs Are the Foreign Exchange Students

Emma Thompson poses with a straw during the 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards

Don’t get us wrong – you’ve certainly heard of where they’re from, and if pressed, you could name vague details. But most of the time you’re flying blind. “Your national dish is sauerkraut? The Harry Potter series won best film 12 years in a row? Sure.”

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