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The Most Memorable Moments From All 28 MTV Video Music Awards

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By Greg Seals on September 5, 2012

Tomorrow night is the 29th annual MTV Video Music Awards, the show no one remembers for who won what. When you gather a group of artists, stars and celebs of this caliber, you’re guaranteed more than a few memorable moments. Boob jiggling, giant snakes, and Rose McGowan are just the tip of the iceberg.

Here’s a look back at the awards’ greatest hits.

1984: Madonna pops the VMAs’ cherry, inaugurating this first annual awards show with her performance of “Like a Virgin.”

1985: Eddie Murphy takes to the mic as host.

1986: Whitney wins her first Moon Man!

1987: Prince brought a forecast of Purple Rain.


1988: Michael Jackson, master of the moonwalk, makes his first appearance with on the show and receives a VMA.

1989: Andrew Dice Clay’s adult nursery rhymes got so dicey it earned him the show’s first and only lifetime ban.

1990: Madonna vogues her way into the new decade with a decadent performance.

1991: Poison’s Bret Michaels and C.C. DeVille came to blows backstage after a performance together.

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1992: MTV got its first whiff of teen spirit, as Nirvana took the stage. Kurt and Co. played the opening verses of “Rape Me” before launching into “Lithium” — ending in a (failed) bass toss.

1993: RuPaul partied postshow with the whole Nirvana family.

Feel Numb

1994: Michael and Lisa Marie shared their love; the music community mourned the loss of Cobain.

1995: Courtney Love kept trying to get our attention.

1996: David Lee Roth awkwardly reunited with the rest of Van Halen. Things soured backstage, and they broke up again.

1997: Martha Stewart looked uncomfortable; the world met Marilyn Manson.

Suite 101

1998: Rose McGowan made some risky red carpet choices.

1999: Diana Ross gave Lil’ Kim a lil’ jiggle.

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2000: Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?

2001: It’s Britney, bitch!

2002: Christina caused outrage when she appeared onstage wearing this.

2003: The VMAs turned 20, and these three ladies united to help celebrate.

2004: Outkast shook it like a Polaroid picture after winning Video of the Year for “Hey Ya!”

2005: It was a red letter day for the boys of Green Day, who took home seven VMAs following the release of American Idiot.

2006: Justin Timberlake brought sexy back.

2007: It was Britney’s big comeback. Well, kind of.

2008: That’s more like it!

2009: Who could forget Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift?

2010: Lady Gaga broke records for most video nominations — all while wearing a quite rare dress.

2011: Beyonce had an announcement to make.

All images courtesy of MTV.com or Tumblr unless otherwise noted.

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