When it comes to pop stars, Britney Spears still reigns supreme — at least in my world. That's pretty impressive, considering the fact that Spears' debut album ...Baby One More Time came out 16 years ago. Of course, it wasn't just Spears' songs that took the world by storm: it was also her music videos, which happened to be my own personal introduction to the art form. Spears made everyone watching MTV's jaw drop when she debuted her school girl outfit in "...Baby One More Time," and made every girl long to stalk their crush from afar after watching her "Sometimes" video... and that was only her very first album! Spears has killed it with the music video game ever since, and each video was more diverse than the next. Spears jumped from moody story videos like "Everytime" to dance-heavy ones like "Till The World Ends" and proved that not only was she pop music's reigning princess, but pop music video royalty as well.
But while every Spears video has its merits, not all of them are as epic as others. As a lifelong Brit fan, I've watched each and every video to see which ones still hold up. Some do wonderfully, while others... err, not so much. Here's where each of Spears' video rank:
36. "Born To Make You Happy"
Wow. Just... wow. I watched this video only recently and there clearly was a reason why I never caught it on MTV in the '90s — it's patently ridiculous. The song is a ballad, yet all of the dancers seem completely unaware of that fact. Then there's the fact that the whole video is actually the dream of what seems to be a pregnant Spears, laying in on a square bed in pajamas. Did I miss something or is this just how '90s music videos were?
35. "Ooh La La"
Spears looks great and it's cute that her kids are in it, but at the end of the day, this is just a long commercial for Smurfs 2. Next.
34. "Don't Let Me Be The Last To Know"
This video might as well be an ad for men's cologne. It's basically just footage of Spears and her man candy lounging around in a tropical paradise while Spears gazes at him longingly. She looks great, but my God, give us more substance than that, BritBrit.
33. "From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart"
Sorry, Brit Brit, but this video is bo-ring. It tells the story of Spears' going off to college (or something?) and leaving behind her beloved high school boyfriend, but mostly it's just footage of Spears sitting on water towers wearing a bucket hat.
For a salacious song, the video could not be more dull. There's zero story at all, and if it weren't for the background dancers totally killing it, it might be lower on this list.
31. "I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman"
This music video gets props for the cool scenery and Spears' even cooler crop top and bellbottoms combo, but ultimately it's another snoozer, even if the song was originally performed in Crossroads, the greatest movie of all time.
I was all about this video, especially Pharrell's cameo, until I realized that it's also the video where Mike Myers shows up as Austin Powers and kills the whole mood.
29. "Gimme More"
Spears' comeback song definitely wasn't one of her bests, and while her video is cheeky and fun, it's not particularly memorable — at least, not by Spears' standards.
28. "Kill The Lights"
This music video is slightly disappointing, mainly because the whole thing is animated instead of live-action. Spears' looks cute as a cartoon and it's fun that she tried something different, but overall it's not my favorite video.
27. "Break The Ice"
I have the same argument for this video as I do for the one above, the I will say that the animated story in "Break The Ice" is far more interesting.
26. "Work Bitch"
For a song titled "Work Bitch," Spears doesn't seem to be doing much of it in the video. She looks amazing sitting at a vanity inexplicably situated in the middle of a desert, but there's just not very much going down in this video.
25. "I Love Rock N' Roll"
Props to Spears for committing to this sexy cover of Joan Jett's famous hit, but there's something oddly false about Spears straddling a Harley in a leather getup. She looks and sounds great, but in a "doing karaoke on Halloween" kind of a way.
There are two extremely hot polo players in this video, which makes up for the pretty lackluster love triangle storyline. Sure, Spears can make a better video, but I'm really distracted by the guys' beautiful faces to notice.
23. "If You Seek Amy"
This video is definitely one of Spears' sexiest, but it's also the one that makes the least amount of sense. First, Spears plays a vixen in what I can only assume is a high-class brothel, and then, later, she's a housewife baking apple pie. There's really no reason why we should get from point A to point B and it's never explained, which takes away from the fun of the video.
22. "Hold It Against Me"
The dancing and futuristic setting in this video is really cool, but the product placement for Makeup Forever is pretty distracting.
21. "I Wanna Go"
This video is actually quite funny, and is basically Spears' big FU to the paparazzi who stalk her and the reporters who ask her questions like "Are you pregnant with Brad Pitt's love child?" It's definitely a strange video (at one point, Spears flashes a police officer so he'll frisk her) but it's also meta and pretty cool overall. Solid B.
If I wasn't riding the nostalgia train to the '90s every time I watched this music video, it might receive a considerably lower rank. After all, what we're basically watching is Spears stalking her crush from far away because she doesn't know how to love properly. Still, the insane dance break on the pier and longing glances is classic Spears, and it's hard not to secretly enjoy every minute of it.
This music video ranks highly for a few reasons. The outfits are absolutely amazing, the choreography is great, and Spears ends up in a tiny shrinking box with photos of her own face inside. It's not the most exciting video ever (there's no story, and I'm a sucker for story), but it is very entertaining.
This video falls midway through this list because that's what it is: perfectly meh. It's a song called "Circus" and features Spears in a circus. It's not particularly original, and the dancing is cool but not enough to save it completely.
17. "Piece Of Me"
I like the social commentary of this video and Spears' vest, but other than that, this video isn't particularly memorable.
16. "My Prerogative"
Spears looks awesome in this video, but all of the lacy lingerie in the world can't make up for that fact that this video is basically just her writhing around on a bed. There is a pretty cool scene where Spears drives her car into a pool though, so I can't put it too far down on this list.
Yes! Finally a Spears music video with a story. In this one, Spears leaves her English high-society beau to run off with a (very hot) criminal. They end up making out in a hail of bullets. Is that the best message to send the world? Not really. But it's super fun, in an updated Bonnie and Clyde kind of way.
I like this video because it's pretty much exactly as the song plays out — no more, no less. Sure, Spears could have stepped up her game and done something super crazy with this ballad, but at the end of the day, sometimes simpler really is better. Plus, the video is pretty heartbreaking.
13. "(You) Drive Me Crazy"
This video has so much going for it, from Spears' iconic green crop top to Melissa Joan Hart and Adrian Grenier to the '50s cafe-themed dancers. It's no wonder it's a Spears classic, even if the context of the video leaves much to be desired. (I'm guessing... pop-up warehouse party?)
12. "Oops! I Did It Again"
Most of the videos from Spears' first album were ballads, but her sophomore album was pure pop. This video was perfectly late '90s, and even referenced Titanic in the beginning. Sure, looking back the production value was way lower than we all remember them being, but it's still a fun time.
11. "Pretty Girls"
Technically this is also Iggy Azalea's music video, and it's a pretty good one. I love BritBrit as a Valley Girl and like the fun alien theme — it's way more unique than setting the whole thing in some Hollywood night club. If this was a solo Spears video, it might rank higher on the list, but part of the creative input definitely falls on Azalea.
This has always been one of my favorite Spears songs, and the video is a big part of that. It's very self-referential: at this time in Spears' career, she was dealing with massive amounts of paparazzi and tabloid scrutiny. Spears spends half the video sitting on a star that looks like it could have been made for a high school play, but overall it's really powerful, you guys.
This video pretty much consists of Spears dancing with a chair, and yet the whole thing is epic. Take that, idiot ex-boyfriend who dared show up at a party with a new girl! I HAVE MY CHAIR NOW!
8. "Me Against The Music"
When two of the biggest pop stars in the world come together you know you're in for a killer video. The "Me Against The Music" video is pretty spectacular, and Madonna and Spears are really working it with intense choreography. Sure, the video gets weird once Spears and Madonna start dance-fighting over a bed frame, but overall it's a pretty good time.
7. "I'm A Slave 4 U"
I'll be honest: I hate the title of this song, and I'm not a fan of the lyrics either, as sultry as Spears sings them. Of course, I'm also not immune to the powers of the video, which was shot in a warehouse and will make you want to dance until you literally cannot sweat anymore.
I'm a fan of any video that has Spears dress up in a variety of costumes and play with a plethora of hair color. Luckily, "Womanizer" does all of this and more.
5. "Do Somethin'"
This is easily the most underrated video out of Spears' entire catalog, and I'm not sure why more people aren't as obsessed with the pink flying Hummer as I am.
4. "Till The World Ends"
There's a lot to love about this music video, which takes the title of the song literally. Spears and her fellow dancers get down in a dirty bunker awaiting the end of the world, and it's pure, sweaty, rave-y fun.
This video is not fun at all — in fact, it's quite depressing. But though it doesn't have the dance-y goodness of "Till The World Ends," this emotional video has a strong story and puts a mirror up to Spears' own experience with love and fame. It's quite beautiful, even if it is a tad melodramatic.
"Toxic" is one of Spears' most famous music videos and it's for a very good reason. The whole video plays out like a mini-movie, complete with about a million costume changes and really epic special effects. This is the video that no doubt encouraged Rihanna to wear that see-through dress on the red carpet.
1. "...Baby One More Time"
Yep, Spears' first video is still undeniably her best. It's not every day that you create a video so iconic that it spawns thousands of women rocking your outfit on Halloween each year. Spears created some pretty incredible videos after "...Baby One More Time," but sometimes the first time really is the charm.