Fist pumping, room raiding and mom dating. MTV, the channel that was well known for music videos and nothing else, introduced us to a whole new world of things we never thought we would see in our lifetime through their reality shows. MTV is infamous for those shows and are now known for really pioneering the reality show “Golden Era” with The Real World. They brought us cheesy dating competition shows, eye-opening celebrity reality shows and a drama series that will forever be drilled into our memories.
Some of the shows had us often asking ourselves, "Who comes up with these ideas?!" Whether you loved them or you hated them, your eyes were still glued to the television and you were slightly entertained although they may have made you cringe at one point. Let’s take a trip down memory lane.
This is the dating show that took speed dating to a whole new level. Next had one single male or female go on blind dates with 5 other people secluded to an RV called the “Next Bus.” If it was not love at first sight when they got off the bus they got INSTANTLY NEXTED and another person came out. What happened to not judging a book by its cover?
Now what was so awkward about Next? WATCHING EVERY SINGLE EPISODE OF NEXT. Do you all remember Dickey who collected Hawaiian shirts and pooped while doing his homework? How about Charity who aspired to be a children’s author, chit-chats while going to the bathroom and who also totally fell off the NEXT bus? This show definitely introduced us to some interesting characters.
11 Room Raiders
Room Raiders brought a whole new meaning to invading one’s privacy. The show had the single girl or guy date the different contestants’ rooms, allowing them to go through their drawers, look under their beds, and use a ultraviolet wands to identify any interesting looking bed stains. GROSS.
Do you all remember when Zac Efron was on Room Raiders back in 2005? Now what can make things super awkward when Zac Efron is raiding your room? Oh I know. When he finds your stash of condoms and handcuffs right next your bed! Not embarrassing one bit.
Side note: What made strange men throwing young girls into a van okay at the time? Totally not okay!
10 I Want A Famous Face
If you wanted to look like your favorite celeb and loved plastic surgery then I Want A Famous Face was the show for you. The participants went through any extreme to look like the celebrity they idolized. Some chose to look like Jennifer Lopez, Brad Pitt, Victoria Beckham, Britney Spears and Ricky Martin.
There was also a participant who worked as a Go-Go Dancer and wanted to look like her idol Carmen Electra and an aspiring playmate who aspired to look like Baywatch beauty Pamela Anderson. Not too much surprise, this show only lasted one season.
9 Date My Mom
Before there was Tinder or Bumble, MTV had a little dating show called Date My Mom. The contestants didn’t go out on dates with the person they were competing to be with, but instead, with that person’s mother. Your mom dating a potential boyfriend or girlfriend before you even meet them is a great idea! Actually, not so much. This show created a monumental amount of awkward moments.
You know what the best part of the show was? When the contestant, the daughter and the mother ran off into the sunset together. Very romantic MTV.
8 Parental Control
Let’s say your mom and dad hated your current boyfriend or girlfriend and had a chance to set you up with someone they approve of. Not the ideal situation for you huh? On Parental Control the parents had a chance to interview prospective partners for their child and each had an option to choose just one. The son or daughter then went on dates and at the end had to decide if they wanted to keep their current relationship, choose who their parents chose, or stay single. Watching the current boyfriend or girlfriend argue with the parents as they watched the date was definitely cringeworthy. MTV had a real winner here.
7 My Super Sweet 16
Spoiled rich kids throwing the biggest bash of their lives all while screaming at their parents. Nothing can get better than that right? Wrong. My Super Sweet 16 featured the lives of teenagers with wealthy parents who threw them the big coming of age birthday bashes. The show also had a few celebrity bashes on the show like Chris Brown, Bow Wow, Aly & AJ, and Sean Kingston.
The show nonetheless had its meltdowns when the brats, I mean teenagers didn’t get what they wanted. Who was the absolute worst birthday girl? Audrey. Audrey yelled, cried and screamed at her mother for giving her a $67,000 Lexus the day before her party and not the day of. She also told her mother she hated her. Geez.
6 Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica
It is true at one point in time Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson were married and had their own reality show. Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica offered a look at the two singers' first year of marriage and it was the debut episode of the show that no one would ever forget. As Jessica was eating a can of tuna fish, she turned to Nick and asked, “Is this chicken, what I have, or is this fish? I know it’s tuna, but it says ‘Chicken … of the Sea.'” What a wonderful moment in reality show history. Ahh, good times MTV. Good times.
5 The Ashlee Simpson Show
Not only did Jessica Simpson have her own show, her sister Ashlee did as well. The Ashlee Simpson Show followed her up and coming music career and recording of her debut album, Autobiography. We can't think of Ashlee Simpson without thinking about Saturday Night Live. The then 19-year-old Ashlee was the musical guest and had a flawless first performance of "Pieces of Me." Things didn't go so well for her second performance. When her band started playing, the first line of her singing "Pieces of Me" could be heard once again. Ashlee was confused, the music stopped, she did a little jig and ran off the stage. Just when you think it couldn't get more embarrassing than that, she had to relive that moment when they aired it on her show. Poor Ash.
4 Real World
When cameras are on you 24/7, some awkward and embarrassing moments are bound to happen for millions to see. The Real World first made its debut on MTV back in 1992 and is actually the longest running reality series in history. The show places strangers in a house to live in for three months in a new city all while being filmed non-stop.
Arrests, fights, three ways, drunken nights and meltdowns come hand in hand with the show. It was one of the most recent seasons of the Real World that created the most awkward situation anyone could ever be in. A month into season 29, the Real World: Ex-plosion, the roommates went on a mini-vacation and returned to the house to find out that all their exes had moved in with them. The cast weren't too happy about it.
3 The Hills
Two words. One name. Justin Bobby. Lauren Conrad (LC) and Audrina Patridge had many ups and downs with their past relationships that were displayed on The Hills. The choices those girls made weren't all that great. Remember when LC turned down Paris for a boy (bad boy Jason Wahler)?! And how can we forget Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt? I mean, let’s reminiscne about the time Spencer “apologized” to LC so she could attend their wedding to make Heidi happy. And yes, they are still married and still bashing LC to this day. There are just too many moments to talk about when it comes to this beloved reality series.
Punk’d might have been the greatest thing ever brought to MTV. Celebrities + Hidden Cameras + Practical Jokes=Ashton Kutcher Genius. Remember when Kutcher created awkward moment GOLD?
Justin Timberlake was one of his first celebrity victims on Punk’d. Ashton hired a team of actors to pretend to be government agents and had them seize all of JT's property due to backed income taxes. Let's just say Ashton had him crying a river.
1 Jersey Shore
The fist-pumping. The tanning. Snooki. Last but not least, it's Jersey Shore. Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, DJ Pauly D, JWoww, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Vinny, Deena, Ronnie and Sam are the guidos and guidettes that have a special place in our hearts. We were introduced to the crazy lifestyle of the young people that party it up during the summertime in Seaside Heights. Remember when Snooki got punched in the face? How about Pauly D and JWoww's (now awkward to look back on) make-out session? Or when everyone in the house hated Mike? The best part about this cast is that they kept it real. There will never be a show like Jersey Shore again.