If you grew up in the '90s and '00s, were into popular music, and watched television, MTV's Total Request Live was, undoubtedly, a huge part of your life. It seems almost like an ancient concept now that there was a time when MTV actually played music videos, and the concept of TRL at that point was so simple, yet so genius. Why not just get some cute VJs (video jockeys) and have kids vote everyday to see their favorite videos battle it out for the top spot of the day. I totally spent a dumb amount of time voting for *NSYNC videos, but that's a story for another day. Since I am reminiscing, and you probably want to join in on the fun, here are 39 throwback TRL pics that will awaken your nostalgia... and secondhand embarrassment.
It is almost comforting looking back at these photos knowing that we really have learned and moved on from the late '90s and early '00s fashion sense. What were we all thinking, really? Why was everything so neon-colored? Why did we wear such terrible hair clips? Why those velour jumpsuits, why?!
Questionable style aside, these throwback TRL photos will remind you of a time when life was easier and Britney Spears ruled the world.
1. When Marilyn Manson Was Still Around
This photo proves the power of TRL during this time. Everyone wanted to be on the show, even Marilyn Manson.
2. When *NSYNC Was The Hottest Band On Earth
Ugh, this one is making me misty-eyed. Goodbye, youth.
3. When Nick Lachey & Jessica Simpson Were Pop Music's OTP
No one could tell me that these two weren't going to stay together forever. How the times have changed.
4. When TRL Paid Respects After 9/11
Then-New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani came on the countdown with a firefighter, when the show continued after the devastating attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
5. When The Lord Of The Rings Cast Was Perfect
Liv Tyler was the perfect half-Elvin queen and Elijah, the perfect Frodo.
6. When That Pepsi Billboard Was Everywhere
Sure, Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, and Dominic Monaghan were part of Lord of the Rings and awesome and all that, but do you remember that Pepsi ad in the background? Britney Spears for Pepsi was EVERYTHING.
7. When Shakira Belly Danced Into Our Lives
Shakira was just beginning her major crossover into the English market with "Whenever Wherever" and she hasn't left since.
8. When Pink Had An Annie Moment
Obvious hair observations aside, remember when everyone wore one of those Hot Topic fingerless gloves? Why?
9. When O-Town Existed
Their boy band run was brief, but, oh, was it good for teen girls everywhere.
10. When Britney Spears Was The Queen of Pop
Britney always had to show some belly. Even when wearing a... shrunken puffer coat?
11. When J. Lo Was A Brunette
...and wore adorable, modest floral tops!
12. When Ozzy Osbourne Was The King of MTV
Puff Daddy and Ozzy Osbourne posing together is sooo 2002.
13. When Lenny Kravitz Wore A Crocheted Hat
Literally all the dudes wore these beanies back in the day. Lenny still looked good though.
14. When They Made J. Lo Work Behind The Scenes
You know Jenny From The Block wouldn't take that kind of treatment anymore.
15. When Eve Posed With Destiny's Child
These were the literal TRL Queens.
16. When Beyoncé Wore A "Bootylicious" Belt
Jessica Simpson's denim outfit! Michelle's magenta top! That Baby Phat tank top!
17. When Destiny's Child Color Coordinated
Beyoncé's mama Tina never skimped on dressing the girls in some of the most intense matching get-ups.
18. Two Words: Carson Daly
Whatever you think of him now, Carson Daly's voice will forever be ingrained in your 14-year-old memories.
19. When This Was The Most '00s Photo Ever
This photo is a little disconcerting, considering they all look like babies in those baby blue tracksuits.
20. When Velour Still Happened
Velour track suits and high heels were J. Lo and Paris Hilton's go-to looks. Actually, every girl had their time in the early '00s.
21. When Tom Green Was Relevant
What ever happened to Tom Green? Remember when he dated Drew Barrymore?
22. When Outkast Was Cool
And they still are. Seriously, was there ever a time when Outkast weren't the coolest and most talented dudes ever? Their style and music transcends any time.
23. When The Cast Of A Walk To Remember Visited The Show
Be still, my 2002 teenage heart.
24. When Britney's Abs Appeared For The Millionth Time
I definitely had a photo of Britney Spears performing "I'm A Slave 4 U" at the 2001 MTV Awards as my fitness inspiration.
25. When Hugh Jackman Had Flowing Locks
Was he auditioning for the live action Beauty and the Beast film?
26. When The Rock Charmed Rosario Dawson
These Rundown co-stars seemed to have a lot of chemistry.
27. When The Rock & Rosario Dawson Made Out
They literally couldn't hold it in any longer.
28. When The Osbournes Ruled Reality TV
Look how young they are!
29. When Brittany Murphy Was One Of The Brightest Stars
She was always happy and laughing and seemed like a blast to be around.
30. When Charlie's Angels Dropped By
One of the first reboot films that kicked off the trend of kick-ass ladies in action films.
31. When Benji & Joel Madden Were Your Bad Boy Crushes
Good Charlotte started my thing for tattooed boys. Sorry, mom.
32. When Blink-182 Were The Most Hardcore Band
Look at those mean mugs.
33. When Will Ferrell Was A Britney Fanatic
You mean to tell me you didn't have a sign like this?
34. When Colin Farrell Was Cheeky
He knew that the ladies loved him.
35. When Puff Daddy Ran On A Treadmill On Live TV
Making pop queen Britney Spears hold your towel for you was something only P.Diddy could get away with.
36. When Justin Timberlake Wore This Outfit
Men in the early '00s loved those beanies with the tiny bill, didn't they?
37. When Colin Farrell Was The Actor Bad Boy
He's got the beanie, and the bracelets and long chain necklaces are giving Johnny Depp a run for his money. How could we forget that sexy Irish accent?
38. When Hayden Christensen Was In Star Wars
I think we have all collectively tried to forget that these Star Wars prequel movies ever happened.
39. When The Fans Couldn't Keep Their Hands Off Nick Carter
I always dreamt of being in the audience and being able to touch my favorite pop star. I mean, uhhh...
All of these photos are making me want to bust out my old scrapbooks and laugh at all of the silly memories this show and these people brought into our lives. C'mon, Netflix, get on those TRL re-runs!