Early January 2000 was a weird, different time: We had just survived the big scare of Y2K, but we had no idea what other crazy stuff was on the horizon.
Namely, *NSYNC‘s iconic “Bye Bye Bye,” which officially dropped as a radio single 15 years ago this week.
That’s right: Awkwardly doing the “Bye Bye Bye” arm moves to show that you can, in fact, dance is a tradition that’s been going on for fifteen years.
What have we forgotten about Timberlake & Co. as puppets in the years since? Well…
1. In “Bye Bye Bye’s” episode of Making the Video, JC Chasez explained why, exactly, Chris and Joey had to run atop a moving train. “The song is a love song, but it’s about kissing somebody off after they burned you,” JC explained. “Now they want you back? Sorry! So that’s what the video is about, but this is more of a freaky control situation.”
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2. “Bye Bye Bye” was nominated for Video of the Year at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards, but — injustice! — it didn’t win, losing to Eminem‘s “The Real Slim Shady.” “Bye Bye Bye” did win Best Pop Video, so the string-less dancing was honored in some way.
3. Someone on Team *NSYNC loved Kim Smith (Friday Night Lights). In addition to playing the puppeteer in the “Bye Bye Bye” video, she also appeared in their vid for “It’s Gonna Be Me.” In Making the Video, Chris Kirkpatrick made this valid point about Smith to Joey Fatone: “Did you see how fine that girl is that’s chasing us? Why were we running?”
4. The iconic moves were choreographed by Darrin Henson, whom early ’00s music fans will recognize from the Darrin’s Dance Groove infomercials. (Show of hands if you subsequently ordered the DVD and came to the harsh realization that you were not as good of a dancer as Justin Timberlake.)
5. The song, off No Strings Attached, peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. On Total Request Live, it remained the No. 1 video for 25 days. What a time!
Throwback Thursday demands you re-watch the guys lose their strings below.