In the past decade, there has been no shortage of music videos that have truly changed us. But it seems like nowadays, music videos are not nearly as important as they used to be. There was nothing like racing home after school to watch MTV’s TRL or the VH1 Top 20 Countdown on weekend mornings.

Let’s take some time to appreciate the simpler times, where a crazy enough music video could get pretty much any song to be insanely popular. Through the good, the bad, and the straight-up bizarre — here are some early 2000s music videos that totally changed our lives.

“Here It Goes Again” by OK Go

One of the most formative experiences of your life in the 2000s was probably crowding around a desktop computer with your friends to watch this video. In terms of iconic 2000s music videos, it’s almost impossible to name one as impressive as “Here It Goes Again” by OK Go. Seriously, if you somehow haven’t watched this video yet, you’re about to have your mind blown. A bunch of dudes walking, dancing and running on treadmills is one of the most mind-blowing athletic feats in recent years.

Watch it here.

“Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera

Ok, first of all: aside from being one of the best song of the decade, we have to address the fact that “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera is most likely one of the best 2000s music videos. Especially if you were in middle school when this came out, the whole premise of this vid was super groundbreaking and inspiring. If you don’t remember, the video is (obviously) about how everyone is beautiful in their own ~special~ way, but we’ve got to give credit where credit is due — XTina’s video features a whole lot of LGBT representation, something that was pretty much unheard of and scandalous for mainstream pop videos at the time.

Watch it here.

“Toxic” by Britney Spears

We can all agree that this video was formative in taking Britney Spears from teen pop sensation to full-fledge pop icon. Not only is this song a 100% certified banger, the video is among the ranks of iconic 2000s music videos. First of all, we have Britney in the dopest stewardess outfit ever, then you have the whole black leather jumpsuit, then the sheer diamond thing? Plus, she’s making out with literally everyone in a tiny airplane bathroom. Somehow, it all comes together into one of the most important cinematic masterpieces of our generation. Not being dramatic.

Watch it here.

“American Idiot” by Green Day

This early 2000s music video was extremely formative for everyone who had a punk/emo phase in middle school. Or high school. Or, for everyone who never quite grew out of it. “American Idiot” was so awesome because it was one of the first punk/rock songs to become insanely popular in the mainstream music scene in the early 2000s — and one that made our tween selves feel ~so~ hardcore. Also, the m.v. had a bunch of middle schoolers screaming anti-establishment propaganda which was hilarious and cool in its own right. It seems like after that, rock and alternative really became a mainstream genre. All it took was a couple dudes and a whole lot of eyeliner.

Watch it here.

“Trapped in the Closet” by R. Kelly

Ok BEFORE we get into the “Trapped In the Closet” series, we gotta address that R. Kelly is the worst. He’s undoubtedly an (alleged) disgusting predator, but unfortunately for us — we didn’t know that when we were in middle school and “Trapped in the Closet” parts 1-12 completely changed our lives. Obviously, the music isn’t good. It starts off with some semblance of a melody and quickly digresses into R. Kelly’s rhythmless rambling while he kind of carries a tune. It’s basically the most absurd soap opera in the world set to cheesy R&B; background music. There’s cheating, murder, secrets, corruption and hidden connections that make it clear that R. Kelly made up the whole thing as he was going along.

We’re not going to even link to it out of fear he might still be making money off these ridiculous videos and if you didn’t watch it in middle school, there’s no need to watch it now.

“Welcome to the Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance

SPEAKING of iconic emo 2000s music videos, we challenge you to name one as dramatic and life-changing as “Welcome to the Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance. The song on its own was enough to create a legitimate army of MCR fans, but paired with the video? For millions of ~misunderstood~ kids, this song may as well have been the national anthem. Hearing those first few piano notes are enough to spend plenty of twenty-somethings spiraling back to their emo phases.

Watch it here.

“I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry

Looking back on it, this song is absolutely ridiculous. It was basically Katy Perry‘s way of doing something ~edgy~ to try and break away from her good girl image and cause a whole lot of ruckus from the media (and parents everywhere, of course). Basically, she kisses a girl which is CRAZY because she’s straight!!! Aside from the kind of dumb premise, this song still absolutely slaps. Plus, the video was super popular, and was definitely what launched Katy Perry into becoming the international pop star she is today.

Watch it here.

“Single Ladies” by Beyoncé

UM obviously no list of great 2000s music videos would be complete without featuring Queen Beyoncé. This song changed parties forever. We challenge you to find any single song that makes people as happy as “Single Ladies.” As if the song wasn’t revolutionary enough, Beyoncé had to go and add a video with a choreographed dance. Pretty much everyone in the world has poorly attempted to recreate this dance at parties. It was so iconic that it even inspired an SNL sketch, which features Andy Samberg, Justin Timberlake, and Bobby Moynihan.

Watch the music video here.

“Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga

Remember when the world finally found out that Lady Gaga is a total weirdo? I think this was the video that finally did it. While she already had a few music videos under her belt, they only hinted at Gaga’s freaky side. She showed us what she was truly made of in one of the most popular and controversial 2000s music videos ever. The “Bad Romance” vid features Gaga with giant CGI eyeballs, disturbing dance moves, Alexander McQueen boots, and lighting people on fire. In 2010, it became the most-viewed music video in YouTube history.

Watch it here.

“Bye Bye Bye” by *NSYNC

Talk about nostalgic 2000s music videos. The video for “Bye Bye Bye” by *NSYNC serves as one of the most prominent reminders that even Justin Timberlake fell victim to the fashion disasters of the decade. Remember his bleached-blonde hair with those teeny little curls? Either way, this video is bizarre. It features all the boys being controlled by one giant puppet master, and they’re just a bunch of dancing little puppets. What’s confusing is that there’s only one girl? Is she dating all of them? Is she in love with all of them? Are they all in love with her? We want answers — still.

Watch it here.

“Feel Good Inc.” by Gorillaz

This Gorillaz video was such a life-changing 2000s music video because it was unlike anything ever done. While this wasn’t the animated group’s first m.v., “Feel Good Inc.” was their first vid to gain a huge amount of mainstream success. One of the reasons it was so memorable is because it was honestly super weird. In a very cool way. It’s in this weird dystopian environment, and all of the characters/”band members” are kind of grotesque looking. Honestly, it’s necessarily impossible to explain.

Watch it here.

“I Write Sins Not Tregedies” by Panic! at the Disco

Okay, to be fair to everyone involved,there are definitely a bunch of other Fueled by Ramen videos that could have made it onto this list of iconic 2000s music videos. I mean, the label defined our angsty aughts-selves. Alas, we had to go with the m.v. that you can’t not think of when you hear the song… and to this day the song is included on pretty much every throwback playlist, so we hear it a lot. Brendon Urie‘s makeup and costuming, the intricate plot, this vid is what naughties dreams were made of.

Watch it here.

“I Believe In a Thing Called Love” by The Darkness

The odds of this song becoming so insanely popular were pretty low, TBH. Because of The Darkness’s unapologetic weirdness and 80s hair metal style, few would have thought that “I Believe In a Thing Called Love” would become one of the most well-loved songs of our time. As far as 2000s music videos go, this one is also pretty inexplicable. It features the band dressed in glittery jumpsuits on a spaceship as they’re attacked by aliens. The video ends in a giant, tentacled alien basically grinding on the ship as they fly into space.

Watch it here.

“Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley

While Gnarls Barkley definitely had a few other hits, none got as insanely popular in such a short amount of time as “Crazy.” Cee-Lo Green’s unique falsetto voice paired with the funky instrumentals of this song made for one of the catchiest singles of all time. Plus, the video was just super cool to watch. The entire thing is played out in those ink blots that psychologists have you look at to figure out what’s going on with your subconscious, and it was totally mesmerizing. Even though the vid was simple, this was definitely one of the most memorable 2000s music videos.

Watch it here.

“Pork and Beans” by Weezer

It doesn’t get much more 2000s than Weezer’s video for their song, “Pork and Beans.” If you’ve blocked this part of your memory, allow us to remind you. The video features the band performing, but it also included infinite memes and viral videos from the late 2000s. We’re talking Tay Zonday, Chris Crocker, the Soulja Boy dance, “Will it Blend,” etc. At the time, it was insanely popular and even won a Grammy. Now, watching all of these decade-old memes and videos unfold before us is honestly a little bit painful.

Watch it here.

“We Belong Together” by Mariah Carey

We Belong Together” is what definitely marked Mariah Carey’s re-entrance back into the top 100/mainstream charts. This song was everywhere, and the video was constantly being played on every single one of the hundreds of video countdowns on TV at the time. It basically features Mariah getting all dolled up for her wedding day, where she’s set to marry Eric Roberts, but ends up running away with Wentworth Miller. Not only was this one of the greatest 2000s music videos, it was just the beginning of Mariah’s super-successful comeback.

Watch it here.

“Sugar We’re Goin Down” by Fall Out Boy

As the first song by Fall Out Boy to gain major mainstream success, it’s appropriate that the video for “Sugar We’re Goin Down” was just as memorable. This song seemed to gain a huge amount of attention overnight. Everyone and their mom was pseudo-singing along with the indecipherable lyrics, but the video was what truly got people’s attention. It starts out normal, with the band hanging out and playing the song in a cabin. But then it follows the romance of a teen girl and her boyfriend — who just so happens to have antlers. If you’re looking for further explanation, there is none. Pretty sure it’s a metaphor though.

Watch it here.

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