If the Oscars are Hollywood prom, then MTV’s Video Music Awards are definitely a riotous college kegger. It’s really the one award show where anything—anything!—can happen. Remember how you gasped when you first saw Rose McGowan’s super scandalous red carpet dress (which managed to upstage her then-boyfriend, shock rocker Marilyn Manson)? Or how about the surge of joy you felt when, after a roof-burning performance of “Love on Top,” Beyoncé announced that she was pregnant with a smile and a baby bump rub?
The VMAs have also been host to some of the best live performances of all time. Whitney Houston cemented her diva status in 1986 (above), Bon Jovi inspired MTV Unplugged in 1989, and Nirvana thrashed and smashed in 1992 all on the VMA stage.