The MTV Video Music Awards never fail to provide us with a vast array of WTF?! moments. For example, Miley Cyrus’ foam finger and twerking combo will forever be ingrained in our minds. And between her controversial “Like a Virgin” performance in 1984 and her threesome kiss with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera in 2003, Madonna is a VMA legend. Tragically, these moments often overshadow slightly less insane (but still totally nutty) incidents. What about those other crazy escapades that didn’t get as much headline love? Some folks may have forgotten, but we have not.
Do you remember when Lady Gaga dressed like a dude for the whole show? Or the time Fiona Apple gave it to us straight with her “The world is bullsh-t” speech? We do. Today let’s relive all of the speech interruptions, surprise performances and comebacks that made the VMAs absurd…but were eclipsed by other moments that were just a little bit more absurd. Don’t forget to tune into MTV this Sunday, August 24th, at 9/8c to see what goes down at the VMAs this year!
Forgotten Moment: The Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch storms the stage in costume and interupts R.E.M.’s acceptance speech (1994)
R.E.M. attempted to accept their award for “Everybody Hurts” with a nice “Thank you” like everyone else, but little did they know that they were about to be ambushed. Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys stormed the stage during their speech in a bizarre costume, stating Spike Jonze should have won for directing “Sabotage” and screaming, “This is an outrage! This is a farce!” Before he was taken by security, he claimed he had the original idea for Star Wars. Was this Kanye West in the making?
Overshadowed by: Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley’s make out sesh
Also that night, Michael Jackson kissed then wife Lisa Marie Presley to prove their haters wrong in a moment that made VMA history. Although people couldn’t stop talking about it, this would be considered mild nowadays. Unless one of them was coming out of a cake or having a three way kiss with two girls, we probably wouldn’t remember it. We also may have erased the Adam Yauch moment from our memory by choice, just because it was so uncomfortable to watch.
Forgotten Moment: Fiona Apple reminds us that “The world is bullsh-t” (1997)
Fiona Apple’s out-of-it but endearing speech taught us that “The world is bullsh-t” and she felt “it’s just stupid that I’m in this world.” Nicely put. Dark or delusional? Either way it was kind of awesome. We miss the days when celebrities said whatever the f-ck they wanted.
Overshadowed by: P. Diddy, Faith Evans, 112 and Sting’s performance of “I’ll Be Missing You”
In a dedication to Notorious B.I.G., who had recently passed, P. Diddy, Biggie’s widow Fath Evans and 122 were joined by a surprise appearance by Sting to perform “I’ll Be Missing You.” The moment was definitely beautiful, and we’re still reminded of it when we hear the song. Needless to say, talk of Fiona’s random rant was short lived.
Forgotten Moment: Madonna receives a tribute with men in drag wearing her iconic looks (1999)
Men in drag strutted their stuff on the VMA runway in cone bras and wedding dresses to channel Madonna’s iconic looks. Is there anything better than that?
Overshadowed by: Dianna Ross playing with Lil Kim’s boob
We don’t really think this moment needs an explanation, as Diana Ross’ boob flick to Lil Kim will live on in our memories forever and ever. Lil Kim did have a boob free floating, and since she was at the VMA, she couldn’t really expect anyone not to touch it. After 15 years, we still can’t believe that actually happened.
Forgotten Moment: Tim Commerford climbed a fake tree and wouldn’t come down during Fred Durst’s speech (2000)
Interrupting stars at the podium is so overrated. During Fred Durst’s acceptance speech, Tim Commerford of Rage Against the Machine climbed up the fake tree behind the Durst and refused to get down. The crowd was screaming “Jump!,” Durst was confused and none of us knew what the hell was going on. Like a bad car crash, we just couldn’t. look. away. After Commerford spent the night in jail (guess this wasn’t staged), many believed his stunt to be protest of singer Zach De La Rocha’s exit, causing the end of the band.
Overshadowed by: Eminem’s “The Real Slim Shady” performance and Britney’s “Satisfaction/Oops!.. I Did It Again” performance
But also, this happened…
And this happened.
And you won’t stand a chance being remembered over a zillion Slim Shady lookalikes and Britney ripping her clothes off and shaking her stuff in a nude, sequined costume.
Forgotten Moment: Michael Jackson makes a surprise appearance in NYSNC’s “Pop” performance (2001)
The King of Pop unexpectedly joins the princes of late ’90s/early ’00s pop and of course, the crowd goes wild…
Overshadowed By: Britney’s “Slave 4 U” performance
Until Britney came out on stage with a real snake (you naughty girl) and that was all anyone cared about in life to this day.
Forgotten Moment: Lady Gaga channels her alto ego Jo Calderone (2011)
She dressed, acted and talked like a dude, and before we really knew where she was going with her alter ago Jo, we just sat and wondered, WTF is going on? The best was watching other celebrities (who didn’t know WTF was going on either) awkwardly interact with her.
Overshadowed By: Beyonce announcing her pregnancy
Then, at the end of her “Love On Top” performance, Beyonce shocked us by showing her growing baby bump, making sure Blue Ivy was already famous -even as a fetus.
Forgotten Moments: Lady Gaga performs “Applause” and NSYNC reunites (2013)
After being off the radar for a hot minute, everyone anxiously awaited the return of Lady Gaga, her theatrical antics, multiple wigs and bare butt in nothing but a thong. Shortly after though, she was outshined by a foam hand.
And the glory of a much anticipated NSYNC reunion, causing twenty-something girls all over the nation to scream and cry a little bit.
Overshadowed By: Miley’s twerking and foam hand
Poor Gaga and NSYNC. How could they anticipate the teddy bears, flesh toned under garments, foam finger and awkward twerking between Miley Cyrus and what looked like escaped felon Robin Thicke? This moment did nothing less than take over the universe.
[Photo Credit: MTV]