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21 Iconic MTV Moments That Defined Your Childhood

These are some serious throwbacks.

1. First and foremost, Britney’s iconic “I'm a Slave 4 U” performance with a literal python at the 2001 VMAs.


Few things are as ingrained in our collective memory as Britney Spears writhing on stage with a python writhing in her arms. So. Much. Writhing. The entertainment industry was never the same.

2. Every time the music video for “Stacy’s Mom” came on and you had to turn the TV off before your parents caught you.

S-Curve / Virgin

Okay, let’s be real. Your mom was probably right when she said this music video was raunchy. But the song never gets old.

3. ANYTIME Hilary Duff graced our TV screens with her straight bops from Metamorphosis.

Buena Vista/ Hollywood

Don’t act like you never belted the lyrics to “So Yesterday,” “Come Clean," or “Why Not” during the TRL countdown. Hilary Duff is so not so yesterday.

4. When Jessica Simpson informed all of us that tuna is not really chicken.


OK, OK. We get where Jessica was coming from, but it’s literally called tuna FISH. Enough said.

5. When these queens slayed their performance of "Lady Marmalade" at the 2001 MTV Movie Awards.

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Is that Christina Aguilera, Pink, Lil' Kim, and Mya wearing corsets? Feathers? Pumps? You bet.

6. When you sang and danced to the "No Scrubs" music video with literally no clue what a "scrub" was.

La Face / Arista

Did you know what a "scrub" was? No. Could you spot 'em on the playground? Yes. Thank you, TLC, for calling out fuckboys since '99!

7. That one time MTV Cribs went to the Destiny’s Child house.


Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland shared a pretty bomb-ass home. Solange lived there the repurposed garage. Awk.

8. When Gwen Stefani took a sweet escape to an extraterrestrial planet, and then came back looking like ~this~.

Brenda Chase / Getty Images

Her 1998 VMAs look was out of this world. 👽✨

9. That episode of Room Raiders featuring pre-High School Musical Zac Efron.


Remember when MTV lowkey discovered Zac Efron before Disney? Basically, he ransacked some girls’ rooms to find a date based on their belongings. A little weird, yeah, but present-day Zac Efron could raid my room any day.

10. That dark time in MTV history when Carson Daly and his black nail polish left TRL.

Scott Gries / Getty Images

Total Request Live counted down the top hits of the '90s and '00s. Carson Daly was the first and probably best VJ of the TRL era. Long live the black nail polish!

11. When the Spice Girls appeared at a US awards show for the first time.

Henny Ray Abrams / AFP / Getty Images

They won the VMA for Best Dance Video for "Wannabe" and took the US by storm, arguably confirming they were the best girl group to come out of the '90s. (Okay, Destiny’s Child fans, calm down.)

12. When Kristin Cavallari coined the term "dunzo."

MTV / Via

Everyone remembers Laguna Beach. Moreso, everyone remembers when Kristin’s car broke down and she was like, "My car is dunzo!" Classic.

13. When Christina Aguilera wore her “dirrty” outfit at the 2002 VMAs.

Mark Mainz / Getty Images

Or lack thereof. How did her boobs stay in there? Is that a skirt or underwear? The early 2000s was a weird time.

14. When Shania Twain wore that incredible leopard-print look in the "That Don’t Impress Me Much" video.

Mercury Nashville

Shania ain’t easily impressed, but I think we can agree this outfit left an impression. The heels? The suitcase?! The hood!?! Leopard print all the way.

15. That time Simple Plan released “I’m Just a Kid” and your pubescent, angsty self felt so understood.


Nothing, absolutely nothing, says emo-tional teen years like Simple Plan.

16. Every Real World season premiere when you asked yourself, “How the hell do I get on the Real World?!”

Frank Micelotta / Getty Images

So 👏 Much 👏 Drama 👏. So many hookups 😏. Just admit 12-year-old you really wanted to be on this show.

17. When Britney's "Hit Me Baby One More Time" video came out and you tried to go to school with your shirt tied in a cute lil' crop top, but your mom shut that down real quick.


Britney might have given you unrealistic assumptions about high school. Did that stop you from rocking pigtails every chance you got? Nah, bish.

18. When solo Justin Timberlake ditched NSYNC (and the frosted tips) with the release of "Like I Love You."

Brenda Chase / Getty Images

The ramen look was notorious, but JT had to move on to bigger and better things. RIP, frosted curls.

19. That time Avril Lavigne may or may not have ~pushed~ Kelly Clarkson while accepting her Moonman.


It’s still unclear whether Avril was just awk AF or if she wanted Kelly to hand over her Best New Artist award. Let’s go with full-on shove. *sips tea*

20. When you really hoped the guy who “pleasured himself using a pizza” would find love on Next.


Next was basically a highly uncomfortable version of The Bachelor. Eligible contestants ranged from the guy who “doesn’t change underwear for weeks” to the girl “who poops five times a day.” It’s a SHOCKER none of these couples worked out.

21. And finally, when Madonna and Britney kissed at the 2003 VMAs.

Scott Gries / Getty Images, MTV

Justin’s reaction? Timeless.


Oops! Kelly Rowland lived in the Destiny's Child house. An earlier version of this post misstated her last name.