The 1994 VMAs were gloriously weird and embodied everything you could ever want from the ’90s — from denim tuxedos to delightfully disheveled comedians to the existence of VJ Kennedy, oh, and SO MUCH NORMCORE. Justin Bieber and Harry Styles were just being born in 1994, and judging by whatever Steven Tyler was doing with his butt that year, we really could’ve used pop’s current princes in this bizarre decade because ’90s dudes just did not make sense.
Here are some quintessentially ’90s photos that’ll take you back in time and prove that the 1994 VMAs had a lock on, well, the ’90s. If these photos bum you out, bear in mind that R.E.M. took home four VMAs for “Everybody Hurts” that year, so we were kind of in a dark place as a nation. We guarantee the 2014 VMAs will look a lot better on Sunday, August 24. (Except for when you look at photos of the 2014 VMAs from your spaceship iPhone in 2034.)
1. Miss Jackson with her Best Female Moonman
2. Baby-faced Snoop Dogg
3. All hail Lisa Loeb!
4. Michael Jackson kissing his then-wife, Lisa Marie Presley
5. Brendan Fraser. Just Brendan Fraser. Period.
6. Roseanne Barr hosted, which, to be fair, is awesome
7. Flavor Flav’s peace sign
8. Sheryl Crow double-Moonman bicep curls
9. Madonna being Madonna
10. Steven Tyler being Steven Tyler
11. Steven Tyler wearing Madonna’s lipstick
12. Aerosmith and Madonna on the same stage
13. David Letterman tenderly clasping Madonna’s hand
14. Kennedy reminds us why she’s one of our favorite MTV VJs
15. Sandra Bullock and the face she was making
16. Tom Petty became a Video Vanguard
17 & 18. Ben Stiller and Adam Sandler hung out
19. Toni Braxton gave a little wave
20. Boyz II Men set a precedent for future VMA boy band attendees
21. Just, like, Coolio in general