40 Pop Culture Moments That Happened In 2003, That Feel Both Like 20 Years Ago And 39 Years Ago

    Looking back, 2003 might have been the most oh-so-2000s year of the entire decade.

    1. Finding Nemo, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, and The Matrix Reloaded were the three biggest films of the year.

    posters for Finding Nemo, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Matrix Reloaded

    2. The final installment in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Return of the King, was released into theaters and would go on to be a huge critical and box-office hit.

    The Lord of the Rings movie poster

    3. No Doubt, Sting, and Shania Twain headlined the Super Bowl halftime show.

    4. Adrien Brody kissed Halle Berry while she presented him with Best Actor Oscar at that year's Academy Awards.

    Adrien Brody kissing Halle Berry

    5. Nicole Kidman won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in The Hours, while Catherine Zeta-Jones won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in Chicago.

    Nicole Kidman and Catherine Zeta-Jones with their Oscars

    6. And Chicago was the big winner that night, taking home the Best Picture Oscar.

    Chicago movie poster

    7. Teen Vogue published its first issue — FTR, it had Gwen Stefani on the cover but I couldn't find it, so I used this photo of '00s icon Nicole Richie holding an issue from 2003.

    Nicole Richie holding a copy of Teen Vogue

    8. Vanity Fair published one of the most iconic covers of the '00s (possibly ever)! Of course, I am talking about the one that featured Amanda Bynes, Alexis Bledel, Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen, Mandy Moore, Evan Rachel Wood, Raven-Symoné, Hilary Duff, and Lindsay Lohan on the cover!!!

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    Vanity Fair/ youtube.com

    9. Rumors that Friends would be coming to an end the following year with Season 10 were confirmed by then–NBC President Jeff Zucker.

    the cast of Friends

    10. Louis Vuitton released its first multicolor monogram bag collection (which was in collaboration with Japanese artist Takashi Murakami). And if you were old enough during the '00s, then you know what an impact it had.

    Louis Vuitton bag

    11. These slippers were EVERYWHERE:

    mesh slippers with sequined flowers in different colors

    12. As were Ugg boots, which officially started as a trend.

    a person wearing Uggs

    13. Wicked made its debut on Broadway...

    the cast of Wicked onstage

    14. ...as did Avenue Q.

    the cast of Avenue Q onstage

    15. We got the sequel to two '00s cinematic masterpieces: Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle and Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde.

    16. Gigli was a box office bomb.

    Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez in Gigli

    17. A month after the film's release, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck announced days before their wedding that they would be postponing their wedding "due to excessive media attention."

    Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck on the red carpet

    18. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin got married in secret at a courthouse in Santa Barbara, California.

    Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin walking outside

    19. Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton officially divorced after being separated for a year.

    Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton

    20. Legendary TV actor John Ritter died at age 54 of aortic dissection after falling ill while filming his sitcom 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.

    a memorial for John Ritter

    21. The Da Vinci Code was first published, it would go on not only to be one of the bestselling books of the year, but also the next couple of years.

    copies of The Da Vinci Code displayed

    22. Carson Daly announced that he would be leaving TRL after having hosted the show since its inception in 1998.

    Carson Daly talking on TRL

    23. Natalie Maines of the Chicks caused a huge right-wing uproar when during a promotional interview in London. She said, "We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States [Bush] is from Texas." The comment also got their music boycotted from country radio stations.

    Natalie Maines talking into a mic

    24. Apple launched its game-changing iTunes Music Store.

    iTunes Music store

    25. And its third-generation iPod — getting rid of the mechanical scroll wheel.

    a third-generation iPod

    26. Isaac Mizrahi launched a line with Target — paving the way for many affordable brand and luxe brand/designer collabs to come.

    View this video on YouTube

    Marketing The Rainbow/ Target/ youtube.com

    27. Missy Elliott and Madonna appeared in an ad campaign together for the Gap.

    Missy Elliott and Madonna pointing

    28. And, of course, they appeared in the classic "Into the Hollywood Groove" commercial for it:

    View this video on YouTube

    MadonnaTelevision/ The Gap/ youtube.com

    29. Queer Eye for the Straight Guy made its debut on Bravo.

    the original Queer Eye cast

    30. Meanwhile, America's Next Top Model made its debut on UPN...and you're probably hearing "Wanna Be on Top?" in your head right now.

    31. Both Arrested Development and The O.C. made their debuts on Fox.

    32. Both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dawson's Creek ended their runs.

    33. Ruben Studdard won Season 2 of American Idol.

    Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard on American Idol

    34. Cartoon Network began airing reruns of the at-the-time-cancelled Family Guy during Adult Swim. The immediate success of the show airing on Adult Swim (along with high DVD sales) would lead to Fox un-cancelling and reviving the series.

    the Griffin family watching TV

    35. Get Rich or Die Tryin' by 50 Cent was the biggest-selling album of the year.

    album art for 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin'

    36. He also had the biggest song of the year with "In Da Club."

    50 Cent working out

    37. While Beyoncé's debut solo single, "Crazy in Love" feat. Jay-Z, was the song of the summer.

    Beyonce in the Crazy in Love video

    38. The Simple Life premiered — giving us some classic reality TV moments.

    Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie in The Simple Life

    39. Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica also premiered, and it gave us one of the most iconic pop culture moments ever in its first episode.

    40. And lastly, Madonna and Britney Spears shared "the kiss" during the opening of the 2003 VMAs.

    Britney and Madonna kissing

    Honestly, the whole opening is legendary and remains that way 20 years later:

    View this video on YouTube

    MTV/ Victor Costa Productions/ youtube.com