La La Land dominated the Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical categories with wins for stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, writer-director Damien Chazelle, composer Justin Hurwitz and lyricists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.
Trophies were more widely distributed on the Drama side of things, with Moonlight winning Best Motion Picture, Casey Affleck taking Best Actor for Manchester by the Sea and Isabelle Huppert winning Best Actress for Elle.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson scored a Best Supporting Actor win for his performance in Nocturnal Animals, while Viola Davis won Best Supporting Actress for her role in the adaptation of August Wilson's play, Fences.
The TV portion of the evening offered several more surprises, with Atlanta, The Crown and The Night Manager all scooping up multiple trophies.
While heavy favorite The People v. O.J. Simpson did take home Best Miniseries, and star Sarah Paulson won Best Actress in that sub-category, it was notably bested by The Night Manager in every other acting category, netting wins for Hugh Laurie, Tom Hiddleston and Olivia Colman.
The Crown, meanwhile, notably beat favorites like Stranger Things and Game of Thrones to win Best TV Series, Drama, while its star, Claire Foy, also took home Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama.
The Tonight Show's Jimmy Fallon hosted the Golden Globes, which kicked off with — what else — a bombastic La La Land spoof. In a tribute to the film's opening number, Fallon danced through red carpet traffic alongside A-listers like Nicole Kidman, Amy Adams and the Stranger Things kids. Even beloved Barb (Shannon Purser) was given a break-out tribute with an extended synchronized swimming sequence. Later, Fallon tapped Justin Timberlake and Tina Fey for a performance of "Room Full of Stars," a spoof of La La Land's "City of Stars," which later won Best Original Song in a Motion Picture.
Following the expertly choreographed opener, Fallon hit the stage where he confronted a malfunctioning teleprompter. The host giggled his way through the technical difficulties and eventually launched into his monologue by cracking, "Welcome to the Golden Globes — one of the few places left where America still honors the popular vote."
Fallon took a few more jabs at president-elect Donald Trump during the night, comparing him to Game of Thrones' King Joffrey and quipping the Golden Globes' vote tallies were counted by the firm of "Ernst and Young and Putin."
Hugh Laurie also landed a few jabs during his acceptance speech, saying, "Thank you first to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for this amazing honor.
I suppose it's made more amazing by the fact that I'll be able to say I won this at the last ever Golden Globes … I don’t mean to be gloomy, it's just that it has the words Hollywood, Foreign and Press in the title."
Meryl Streep, however, delivered the night's most devastating blow while accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award. Streep praised the "outsiders and foreigners" that make-up Hollywood, saying, "if you kick them all out you'll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts."
She also made an impassioned plea to the press to hold Trump accountable, and most notably focused on Trump's infamous mocking of a disabled reporter on the campaign trail.
"It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and it still can't get it out of my head because it wasn't in a movie," Streep said. "It was real life.
This instinct to humiliate, when it's modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody's life. Because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing."
Amidst the periodic airing of Hollywood's collective grievances over the election, the Golden Globes provided a handful of inspiring moments.
Black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross dedicated her trophy for Best Actress in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy to "all the women, women of color, and colorful people whose stories, ideas, thoughts are not always considered worthy and valid and important."
Elsewhere, Viola Davis used her acceptance speech to proclaim, "It's not every day that Hollywood thinks of translating a play to screen. It doesn't scream 'moneymaker.' But it does scream 'art.' It does scream 'heart.'"
Other memorable speeches came from Ryan Gosling, who dedicated his award to his late brother-in-law, Juan Carlos Mendes, and thanked his wife, Eva Mendes, profusely for letting him film La La Land while she cared for her brother and their children.
Atlanta mastermind Donald Glover – who won Best Actor in a TV Comedy, and accepted the Best Comedy award on behalf of the show – delivered two memorable speeches, notably ending the first by saying, "I'd like to thank the Migos ... not for being on the show, but for making 'Bad and Boujee.'"
Still, the evening had its hiccups: Fallon trotted out a rusty Chris Rock impression at the beginning of the night, while later Sofia Vergara slogged through a bit packed with weak jokes based around her accent.
One of the night's most awkward flubs came from Michael Keaton who, while listing the Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture nominees, named Octavia Spencer from "Hidden Fences" – combining the historical film Hidden Figures with the aforementioned Fences (red carpet host and Today show correspondent Jenna Bush Hager made the same mistake earlier while speaking to Pharrell).
Far more charming was Goldie Hawn's starry-eyed and slurred introduction of the Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy category, and Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig's hysterical patter before announcing Best Animated Movie.
The pair reminisced about the first animated films they ever saw, charming stories that quickly turned tragic: Carell learned his parents were getting a divorce after Fantasia, while Wiig saw Bambi the same day her family dogs were put down.
After a long night, the show culminated with the Best Motion Picture, Drama award. For fans of Barry Jenkins' acclaimed Moonlight, the Globes had likely been a disappointing slog, as the film was continually passed over in the other five categories it was nominated for.
But the final award of the night was also the most touted, and Jenkins accepted with glee, thanking his mom, fans on Twitter and Instagram, and closing, "If you have seen this film, all I ever say is, please, tell a friend, tell a friend, tell a friend. Much love."