Tonight, MTV will broadcast its 21st annual Movie Awards. Truth: Twenty years ago, the golden popcorn for Best Movie went to A Few Good Men (following that: Menace II Society, Pulp Fiction, and Se7en). Safe to say, the show’s tone has changed pretty dramatically from those edgy early days when Dennis Miller hosted and Denzel Washington won Best Male Performance for Malcolm X. (I personally trace the trajectory shift back to the short-lived decision to create a Best Sandwich in a Movie category in 1996.) Yet even as the show’s gotten more mainstream (read: Twilight- and Hunger Games-saturated), it’s never failed to churn out cultural flashpoints that have ranged from steamy to awkward, subversive to surreal, and everything in between. Below, we run down the 10 most memorable moments.
10. Kristen Stewart’s corn pops out of her hands (2009)
We were just getting coming to know KStew’s trademark awkwardness in 2009 when she bobbled, then dropped her Best Female Performance statuette. In hindsight, it was a wonderfully ironic note to begin The Twilight Saga‘s Movie Awards domination. Producers would ultimately create a Global Superstar category in 2010, ostensibly for the sole purpose of giving the Twilighters even more hardware. This year, it’s not a stretch to believe they added this year’s Best Shirtless Performance category just to get in one last potential win for the Twihards. With all the cheating scandals and creepy CGI babies that have assaulted our eyes in the past few years, it’s almost a comfort to know that, though times have changed, KStew really hasn’t.
9. Jim Carrey, you glorious weirdo (1999)
During his “I’m an ac-tor” phase, Carrey took home Best Male Performance for The Truman Show. He chose to use his speech time for this:
8. Lindsay Lohan will dance battle you, and herself, into oblivion (2004)
Still basking in the glow of her Mean Girls success, Lohan was trying to make
“fetch” her triple-threat status happen. We weren’t so bored that we changed the channel, but we weren’t all that convinced either. Long story short, LiLo’s impending tabloid spiral (“Rumors” would be released that September) and those white booty shorts certainly weren’t strong steps in the direction of serious-actor-hood.
7. Pecking order (2000)
A full three years before Britney and Madonna “shocked” the world with their VMA smooch, Cruel Intentions stars Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair got girl-on-girl during a winking Best Kiss speech. Considering Cruel Intentions, by that point, was pretty much exactly the type of movie this show existed to praise, it was a perfect moment of subversively trashy wish fulfillment. Also? Buffy can do no wrong.
6. Eminem faces the
music Brüno (2009)
Sacha Baron Cohen’s minihosen-wearing alter ego dropped in, literally, to present Best Male Performance — much to the chagrin of Eminem and BMP winner Zac Efron, whose High School Musical 3 thunder was totally stolen.
NEXT: The top five — more Twilight, The Brady Bunch, and the best Best Kiss ever