Tonight’s the night: the VMAs take over Brooklyn’s Barclays Center at 9pm ET. And when they do we’ll get appearances from music stars ranging from Justin Timberlake, to Miley Cyrus, to Kanye West. But just because mega-pop stars are hitting the stage in a big way doesn’t mean we won’t get a supreme geek out moment or two. Here’s a look back at the ten geekiest moments in VMAs history:
There’s a geeky little kid inside us all that always thought it would be awesome to work for NASA. While some of us aspired to be the president of NASA (cough cough), in general most kids wanted to be astronauts. Why? Because astronauts are cool. Space is cool. Bette Midler and Dan Aykroyd’s Moonman spacesuits? Definitely cool. What a way to launch the VMAs.
This one is for all you history buffs out there. Madonna is one of those artists who has racked up a whole slew of iconic VMA moments. While her 1990 performance of “Vogue” may not be one of the most remembered of her moments, there’s no denying that the (somewhat) historical clothing was awesome. Us cosplayers can always appreciate a solid corset.
There is no one quite so loveably dorky as Pee-Wee Herman. Although Paul Reubens was involved in a scandal earlier in the year and even faced jail time, Pee-Wee made his first public reappearance at the opening of the 1991 VMAs, posing the question “Heard any good jokes lately?” The dorky and self-deprecating Reubens received a standing ovation, and to this day his appearance is considered one of the best VMA openers of all time.
We all know the VMAs are the place for utterly ridiculous, often provocative fashion choices. Gwen Stefani’s 1998 look, however, can be described as nothing short of extraterrestrial. She had a Xenon look going on, complete with alien makeup. It was one of many interesting ensembles that year.
Legit geeky celebs may be hard to find at the VMAs, but every now and then a nerd icon shows up and hands out a statue. Way back in 1998, Sarah Michelle Gellar of Buffy fame was one such actress. She appeared on the stage with the young gaggle of blonde brothers, everyone was adorably cute, and life was good.
Back in 2001, Mudvayne decided to show up in white tuxes covered in fake blood… which was oozing down from their faux bullet head wounds. My only wish is that they would have zombied it up a bit more. However, there’s no denying that this was pretty awesome… Even it that year’s VMAs went down sans zombie attack.
While fan reaction was mixed on Lebeouf joining the Indiana Jones franchise back in 2007, Shia made sure to earn himself some fan favor by letting the title of the fourth Indiana Jones film leak. Harrison Ford fans went wild! And then they saw the film…
After Lady Gaga paraded around in a dress made entirely of Kermit the frog dolls, it was nice to find out that she hadn’t actually brutally murdered everyone’s favorite puppet in the name of fashion. This was a cute moment that brought out everyone’s inner child. Aww.
Every now and then, a truly epic trailer premieres at the VMAs, and in 2011, a true fandom legend graced the VMAs: The Hunger Games. The very first teaser trailer premiered and everyone went wild. Will Divergent take the place of Hunger Games at this year’s VMAs? We’ll just have to wait and see…
You know what’s cooler than winning a VMA? Winning a VMA that is then handed to you by the one and only Hermione Granger. Emma Watson appeared with Ezra Miller to help promote ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’, but all us geeks were more excited about seeing our favorite magical bookworm.