MTV VMAs Photos: The Wildest Moments from 1984 to Now

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Getty Images

For 35 years, the MTV Video Music Awards has decisively delivered some of the most memorable moments in entertainment history. 

When you hear the acronym “VMAs,” you might immediately recall a few of the 35 epic Video of the Year winners, but you definitely remember way more of the onstage antics and performances that got the world talking. 

Your brain likely flashes back to Britney Spears holding an albino Burmese python, or Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech or Madonna kissing both Spears and Christina Aguilera. The moments are seemingly endless, so we compiled the wildest ones below to get your ready for the 2019 VMAs on Aug. 26.

1984: Madonna writhes onstage for “Like a Virgin” during the first-ever VMAs, setting the bar high

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Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive/Getty Images

1995: Michael Jackson gets upset at Slash for long guitar solo during MJ’s medley before security steps in

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Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

1997: Diddy, Sting, 112 and Faith Evans sing in tribute to Notorious B.I.G., 2Pac and Princess Diana

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Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

2001: Britney Spears steals the show, performing “I’m a Slave 4 U” while holding an albino Burmese python

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Kevin Mazur/Wire Image/Getty Images

2002: Eminem argues with Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog

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Scott Gries/Image Direct/Getty Images

2003: In “the kiss seen around the world,” Madonna, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera kiss mid-song

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Kevin Kane/Wire Image/GettyImages
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Kevin Kane/Wire Image/GettyImages

2009: Lady Gaga hangs herself during “Paparazzi”

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Christopher Polk/Getty Images
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Christopher Polk/Getty Images

2009: Kanye West rudely interrupts Taylor Swift’s Best Female Video speech to shout out Beyoncé’s video

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Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

2011: Beyoncé reveals pregnancy by rubbing belly at end of ”Love on Top” performance

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Jeff Kravitz/Film Magic/Getty Images

1999 vs. 2013: NSYNC reunites for Justin Timberlake’s Video Vanguard Award medley

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1999 / Frank Micelotta/Image Direct/Getty Images
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2013 / Jeff Kravitz/Film Magic for MTV/Getty Images

2013: Miley Cyrus twerks on Robin Thicke

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Michael Loccisano/Film Magic/Getty Images

2015: Kanye and Swift make amends (temporarily)

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Kevin Winter/MTV/Getty Images

2016: Rihanna wins Video Vanguard Award and Drake confesses his love to her during his intro speech

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Ewel Samade/AFP/Getty Images

2017: Kendrick Lamar sets the stage and a person ablaze for fiery performance of “DNA/HUMBLE”

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Frederick M/Brown/Getty Images

2017: Thirty Seconds to Mars and Travis Scott perform using glowing thermal technology

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Larry Busacca/MTV/Getty Images

2018: Logic performs “One Day” with kids decked out in “We Are All Human” shirts to support immigration

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Theo Wargo/Getty Images

2019: What moment will stand out this year?

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