What will it be this year? MTV's Video Music Awards (Sunday at 9/8c) always aim for memorable moments that amount to red meat for the chattering class: Sensibility-smashing performances ... unlikely kisses ... and generally outrageous behavior.
Will anything that happens this year deserve a place among the VMAs' most memorable moments? Here are just a few of them:
Madonna Mocks Virginity (1984)
Let's take a trip down memory lane to 1984 when Madonna pushed award-show limits when she performed "Like a Virgin" at MTV's first-ever VMAs. Madge not only came out on stage atop a giant wedding cake, wearing a not-so-chaste version of a wedding dress (shredded tutu, bustier and fingerless lace gloves), but she actually dry-humped the floor and showed her panties to the audience.
Andrew Dice Clay Gets Banned for Life (1989)
We know the folks at MTV ain't no prudes, but network brass wasn't laughing when chain-smoking Clay dropped some vulgar nursery rhymes (sample: "Rock-a-bye baby/on the tree top/your mother's a whore/I ain't your pop") into an introduction of Cher at the 1989 ceremony. Instead, they banned the comedian for life.
Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley Stiffly Swap Spit (1994)This awkward kiss will forever be burned into our brains. Jackson and new wife Presley appeared hand-in-hand onstage to introduce the 1994 show. But after Jackson welcomed the crowd and joked, "Just think, nobody thought this would last," he went in for a passionate kiss that left Presley nearly had her doing a backbend to avoid.
Check out photos from the 2008 VMA red carpet
Diana Ross Grabs Lil' Kim's Boob (1999)
In the days before Janet Jackson's Nipplegate, you could get to second base on national television. Exhibit A: Diana Ross and Lil' Kim at the 1999 VMAs. The pint-sized rapper's revealing ensemble exposed her left breast, which was shielded only by a pasty. Ross copped a feel and jiggled it onstage. Talk about attention-grabbing!
Madonna Lays One on Britney — and Christina (2003)
Ah, the kiss heard around the world. Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Madonna got tongues a-waggin' when they tongued each other during a medley of "Like a Virgin" and "Hollywood" at the 2003 awards. Spears ex Justin Timberlake's dumbstruck reaction shot was pretty sweet, but isn't it weird how everyone forgets that Aguilera was even there?
Triumph vs. Eminem (2002)
Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, making light of the whole Eminem-Moby feud during the 2002 VMAs, joked with the vegan cueball on camera. Eminem, sitting a few rows ahead, was none too pleased. He and some unhappy-looking members of his crew and literally shut down the sharp-tongued pooch. Who knew all it took was a hand puppet to get the rapper fired up?
Eminem vs. Triumph @ VMA
Britney's Comeback Fail (2007)
Though she rallied in at the 2008 awards by winning three Moonmen, Britney's 2007 "comeback performance" was memorable for its total incompetency. Brit kicked off the show with a performance of her hit single "Gimme More." Even if she had learned the dance moves, her terrible lip-synching</strike> and overstuffed black bra and panties made it hard to turn away.
Kanye Steals Taylor Swift's Moment (2009)
Country starlet Taylor Swift fell prey to the most notorious of Kanye West's notorious outbursts at the 2009 awards. As she tried to accept the first award of the night for Best Female Video, the rapper-producer burst on stage to declare Beyoncé's video one of the best of all time. In the run-up to this year's VMAs, he repeatedly apologized via Twitter. She has yet to tweet her forgiveness.
What are your most memorable VMA moments?
Additional reporting by Joyce Eng