1. The Britney Spears nude-colored outfit. Britney was still two years away from releasing “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman,” but her infamous rendition of “Oops!… I Did It Again” at the VMAs was the moment she announced that playtime was over.
2. Eminem’s parade of Slim Shadys. Another one of the most memorable VMAs performance ever: Em leading dozens of identically dressed Marshall Mathers facsimiles into Radio City Music Hall, seamlessly big-upping Carson Daly while rapping about him and Fred Durst’s love triangle with Christina Aguilera. Eminem went on to win video of the year for “The Real Slim Shady” that night.
3. …And then Christina Aguilera shared the stage with Fred Durst! In a ceremony full of throwbacks, the sight of the Limp Bizkit godhead rapping some Chocolate Starfish tune in cargo shorts as Xtina prances around as his hype-woman is easily the most 15-years-ago moment of all.
4. *N SYNC’s No Strings Attached medley. “This I Promise You” into “Bye, Bye, Bye” into a sped-up “It’s Gonna Be Me.” Best moments: Lance Bass’s unlikely two-second solo (at 0:45 in the video) and the video-head breakdown, which still looks impossibly cool.
5. Blink-182 performed “All the Small Things” with suspended little people. This was back in the days of yore, when Tom DeLonge was still talking to his band mates.
6. Rage Against The Machine performed “Testify”… Miss you, Rage.
7. …And then raged against Limp Bizkit. When Limp won best rock video for “Break Stuff,” Rage Against The Machine bassist Tim Commerford decided to climb the scaffolding onstage in a public protest. Fred Durst told him to jump! Commerford ended up getting arrested and spending a night in jail, all because he really hated Limp Bizkit.
8. P!nk was dressed like this.
9. The Rock was dressed like this.
10. Nelly’s first big awards show gig. His “Country Grammar” performance was supposed to occur during the pre-show, but since DMX was a VMAs no-show, the St. Lunatic took the main stage in his place. “Country Grammar” was only the start of Nelly’s run — at the following year’s ceremony, “Ride Wit Me” won best rap video.
11. Carson Daly introduced the Napster CEO! Shawn Fanning walked onstage in a Metallica t-shirt. Ha, ha! Get it??
12. Aaliyah won Best Female Video. Ricky Martin presented her the award for “Try Again.” Tragically, this would be the R&B star’s final VMAs appearance; she was killed in a plane crash in August 2001, and received an extended tribute during the 2001 VMAs telecast.
13. Chyna and Richard Hatch shared the stage. That’s right, the WWE star and that guy who won the first season of Survivor introduced Christina Aguilera’s performance. Hatch made some joke about being tough, and then Chyna beat him up. No video of this exchange exists on YouTube, but believe us, it was earth-shattering.
14. Co-host Shawn Wayans impersonated Chris Rock and got a Britney Spears death stare. Nothing in this universe — not Antarctica, not the nothingness of space, not anything — is icier than Brit’s reaction to Wayans’ joke at the 0:47 mark here. Will Smith and Jonathan Davis seemed to enjoy it, though! (Also: Shawn and Marlon Wayans hosted the show thanks to the success of the first Scary Movie 15 years ago. This fact makes us feel essentially a billion years old.)
15. Sisqo! Singing “Thong Song”! With silver hair! In red leather! Doing one-handed flips! Perfect in every way, just like the 2000 VMAs. (Fun note: his performance was introduced by Venus and Serena Williams!)