The VMAs' Most Memorable Outfits, Performances And Scandals

From "I'ma let you finish... " to "Miley what's good?" and everything in between.

The 2018 MTV VMA Awards air tomorrow on Foxtel. Historically, it's been the venue for some of the wildest outfits, most controversial performances and biggest celeb beefs, so we thought we'd take a walk down memory lane and reminisce about the biggest, best and most ballsy VMA moments in the show's history.


Rose McGowan's Dress

Hands down, the most iconic VMAs outfit in history. Rose had to kneel in the limo on the way to the event to avoid having a "waffle print" on her butt when she walked the red carpet and told Roseanne Barr that she thought the dress was "funny". She also said that while she wanted something that was going to make a scene, she didn't realise at the time that it was quite so bare in the front until she saw the photos after.

Lil Kim's Lavender Titty

Lil Kim made headlines in 1999 when she rocked a lavender jumpsuit that left one of her breasts exposed but for a bedazzled, shell-shaped pasty.

The "top" prompted the one and only Diana Ross to literally jiggle Lil Kim's boob on stage, and went on to become Miley Cyrus' 2013 Halloween costume.

Christina's Scarf Top

The skirt! The belt! The hat! The hair! The brows! There's A LOT going on here, but let's be real, it's all about that top, which is literally just a scarf tied strategically around her neck. Legends only!

Gaga's Meat Dress

It's been eight years since Gaga wore her infamous meat dress, and honestly, we still don't even know what to say about it, but clearly, the list would be incomplete without it, so here it is. A dress made out of meat.


Britney Strips On Stage

Britney first took the VMAs stage in 1999 alongside N*SYNC, but it was her 2000 performance that first made headlines for being too scandalous. A then-18-year-old Britney stripped down to a nude bodysuit during her medley of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and "Oops! ... I Did It Again", cementing her place as the princess of pop as she writhed onstage to the pounding remix. "Ooh, I did it again," she purrs at the end of the performance, and she really did.

Britney Dances With Banana The Snake

I mean... obviously this was going to make the list. She lit-er-al-ly danced with a python around her neck. One of the most memorable performances, both in VMAs history and in Britney's career.

Britney Kisses Madonna (Christina Is There Too)

Aside from the fact that Madonna reunited former Mouseketeers and pop rivals Britney and Christina, all the headlines the next day were about the kiss between Britney and Madonna. Christina kissed Madge as well, but the cameras cut to an audience shot of Britney's ex Justin Timberlake, who was quietly seething. Other great audience shots include, but are not limited to:

  • Avril Lavigne and Kelly Osbourne hating life
  • The original Queer Eye For The Straight Guy guys GETTING THEIR LIFE
  • Eminem clapping
  • Paris Hilton being a stan
  • Snoop Dogg, blazed and cracking up
Madonna Performs "Like A Virgin"

Of course, we wouldn't have the kiss had Madonna not made headlines all the way back in '84 to begin with. She's not called the queen of pop for nothing, fam.

Britney's 2007 Performance

Was it her best performance? No. Was it memorable? Yes, and that's that on that.

Miley Twerks On Robin Thicke

Miley's 2013 VMA performance is the epitome of her commitment to doing the absolute most throughout the Bangerz era. She begins by bashing her way out of a giant teddy bear, and from there we get the tongue, the stripping down to nude latex, the twerking on Robin Thicke's groin, the giant foam finger humping... it's just... it's so much.

Eminem Performs With 100 Slim Shadys

Taking the lyrics "there's a million of us just like me / who dress like me, walk, talk and act like me" to its most literal conclusion, Eminem performed with 100 Eminem look-alikes before transitioning into "The Way I Am".

Lady Gaga DIES

Serving peak theatre kid realness, Lady Gaga serves DRAMA with vocals, choreo, and an intense piano interlude that ends with fake blood pouring down her torso as she's murdered by, I guess, the Fame Monster.

Marilyn Manson Drags America To Hell

Entering to a rousing rendition of "Hail To The Chief", the official Presidential anthem of the United States, Manson opens this performance with the following speech:

"My fellow Americans, we will no longer be oppressed by the fascism of Christianity, and we will no longer be oppressed by the fascism of beauty, 'coz I see you all sittin' out there trying your hardest not to be ugly, trying your hardest not to fit in, trying your hardest to earn your way into heaven. But let me ask you, do you wanna be in a place that's filled with a bunch of ASSSSSSSHOOOOOLEEEEEEESSSSS?!?!"

He also strips down to a corset that exposes his butt, and the band throws all their equipment at the end of the song.

Would this happen at the VMAs now? Unlikely.

Justin Bieber Cries On Stage

Back in 2015, Biebs was in full redemption mode after a rough few years, and on the back of the massive success of hits "Where Are Ü Now" and "What Do You Mean", JB got emotional at the crowd's warm welcome.

Beyoncé Reveals Blue Ivy Pregnancy

The mic drop that shook the world, Bey ran through the song serving key change on key change on key change, to finally unbutton her jacket to reveal her baby bump.


Kanye West Vs. Taylor Swift

The "I'ma let you finish" heard 'round the world. Can you believe it's been nine years since this moment and Taylor and Kanye are still feuding?

Eminem Vs. Moby and Christina Aguilera

There's a whole BUNCH of wild moments in the clip above. Aside from the fact that the segment is hosted by Triumph the Insult Dog, who cracks a joke about how R. Kelly might "want" the Olsen twins, who were 16 at the time, and in the audience like "mmm". The joke is met with uproarious laughter from the crowd.

He then chats to Moby about his beef with Eminem.

Here's the background: Moby had spoken out about Eminem's misogynistic, homophobic lyrics, which prompted Eminem to respond on "Without Me", rapping: "Moby, you can get stomped by Obie / you 36-year-old baldheaded f*g / blow me / you don't know me, you're too old, let go, it's over / nobody listens to techno!"

Triumph tries to talk to Eminem about their beef, and Em's not having a bar of it. Thirty seconds later, he wins Best Male Video for "Without Me", an award being presented by Christina Aguilera, who literally f**king hates Eminem.

Here's the background on that: On "The Real Slim Shady", Em raps about attending the Grammys, saying "Christina Aguilera better switch me chairs / so I can sit next to Carson Daly and Fred Durst / hear 'em argue over who she gave head to first / Little bitch, put me on blast on MTV / "but I think he's married to Kim, hee hee!" / I should download her audio on mp3 / show the whole world how you gave Eminem VD".

In this video, he explains he took aim at her because he didn't like that she brought up his track "Kim", where he graphically envisions murdering his then-wife and leaving her body in the woods.

Christina was mad about it, so she recorded her own version of "The Real Slim Shady", where she drags him for "whining in a microphone", says his career would be nothing without Dr Dre, and alleges she turned him down for a date.

Christina is noticeably seething at MTV's obvious ploy for drama, and says "Ha ha ha ha ha... interesting" before announcing Eminem as the winner.

After a strange moment where Christina holds onto the Moonman for like 15 seconds longer than she needs to, Eminem calls Moby a girl and threatens to fight him during his acceptance speech. Moby (and some audience members) boo him, and Eminem replies: "keep booing, little girl! I will hit a man with glasses."

What a time to be alive.

Fiona Apple Declares "This World Is Bullshit"

The same year Manson declared war on Christianity and beauty, Fiona Apple used her time to make the following speech:

"This world is bullshit, and you shouldn't model your life... about what we think is cool and what we're wearing and what we're saying, go with yourself."

She went on to thank a few people, before adding: "It's just stupid that I'm in this world but you're all very cool to me so thank you very much."

Nicki Minaj Comes For Miley Cyrus

After Miley weighed in on a VMAs-related feud between Nicki and Taylor Swift, Nicki decided to take a hot second during an acceptance speech to confront Miley, who was hosting the show, uttering the instantly famous "Miley, what's good?"

Kanye West Announces He's Running For President

Remember the three minutes that Kanye and Taylor made up and she presented him with his MTV Vanguard award? Well, it was during his acceptance speech that he announced he was going to run for president.

Drake Declares His Love For Rihanna

And finally, we'll leave you with the supremely awkward chain of events which include Drake declaring his love for Rihanna, Rihanna looking supremely uncomfortable and dabbing to laugh it off, Drake going in for a kiss on the lips, and Rihanna swerving him in front of the world.

Feature image: Getty Images