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They’re so bad they’re hysterical. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 most ridiculous music videos of the 1990s.
For this list, we’ve chosen some of the videos we remember most from the 90s, and are calling them out for being lame, poorly produced, ridiculous or just soooo 90s.
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#10 – MC Hammer: “U Can’t Touch This” (1990)
Any ‘90s list is incomplete without some Hammer Time. Hammer pants, Hammer dance+seriously y’don’t get more 90s than this. However, aside from all that awesomeness, there’s not a helluva lot going on—y’can only see the running man so many times. But MTV didn’t care; this video won tons at the Video Music Awards. Yeah, it’s cause of the danc —break it down.
#9 – Vanilla Ice: “I Love You” (1991)
This is Vanilla’s slow-jam. Can we call him Vanilla? Or does he prefer Mr. Ice? Anyway, to get in the mood, Vanilla’s styled his hair extra-tall, borrowed some slick duds from the pimp collection, and rented space on the Toontown set. Concept ends there: sure, there’s dancing, dudes harmonizing, the obligatory sax solo, and a heartfelt phone convo between Ice and his girl, but that’s about it.
#8 – Backstreet Boys: “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)” (1996)
Or rather: insert-crappy-boy-band-video-here. As the biggest 90s boy-band, the Backstreet Boys’ videos were appropriately ridiculous. Some were high-concept, some used CGI, some were highly choreographed. So why “Quit Playing Games”? Well, we figure the meeting went something like this: “Let’s just sing it here on this basketball court. Oh, looks like rain—better throw on our pastel shirts and look vaguely like we’re humping air.” Cliché, much?
#7 – Deee-Lite: “Groove Is In the Heart” (1990)
The video starts with the singer, clad in PETA-friendly fake fur we might add, standing in the middle of a black screen, prattling on in faux-French gibberish. Then the song starts. What comes next is a psychedelic bad-trip that doesn’t know what decade it’s in. Pro tip: sometimes it pays to hire a choreographer. Song’s damn catchy though—any tune with slide-whistles is alright with us.
#6 – Sisqó: “Thong Song” (1999)
Sisqó in all his bleach-blond, open-vested glory cartwheels onto our list thanks to a technicality: this song was released December 31st, 1999. We can see that production values have increased since the early-90s, but storyline quality has not: video starts with Sisqó’s daughter finding a thong. Then there’s a convertible, a beach, bitches and hoes, some excellent choreography and Ricky Martin references. And a euphemistic hotdog. Oh, and blacklight. Obviously.
#5 – Alanis Morissette: “Thank U” (1998)
‘Member when Alanis was all ragey and head-banging in the desert? Cut to her next album, when she was not nearly so ragey and not nearly so clothed. Here, the Canadian songstress walks around the streets of LA nude, save for some conveniently-placed hair and double-sided tape, while random folks come up and touch her. Does she think she’s god? And are we really riding the subway naked now?
#4 – Aqua: “Barbie Girl” (1997)
Presented in Aquascope: what does that mean? This isn’t starting well… Well, let’s meet the band. Lead-singer girl, lead-singer boy, requisite bleach-blond spikey dude and ginger—check. With all its bright colors and shiny things, this video is clearly aimed at kids—which means Aqua’s “noble” message against commercialism is lost. If it is for kids though, we gotta ask: is it really necessary to rip off her arm?
#3 – Rednex: “Cotton Eye Joe” (1994)
Point #1: This band is Swedish. Point #2: More dance songs need fiddle, banjo and horses. Point #3: This video has a ride-the-bull. And a tarred-and-feathered guy tied to a pole: isn’t this song torture enough? Seriously though, we admit: whenever we hear this, we grab a partner and do-si-do —we’re not proud. But, we still think everyone looks like they’ve hit the Swedish moonshine a little too hard.
#2 – Eiffel 65: “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” (1999)
Head-banging blue alien-dudes kidnap one-third of this Italian dance band, set to the soundtrack of an insidiously ear-wormy auto-tuned wonder. This video could only have been released in the 90s, when computer graphics were just gaining steam, but no one knew how to use them properly. Case in point. It’s not better when the band’s onscreen though…
#1 – U2: “Numb” (1993)
This video features A) 10-seconds of leaky faucet, and B) 20-seconds of black screen. Awesome. U2 tries their hand at some high-concept, low-budget oddness, while simultaneously reminding us why Bono’s the frontman. That’s right, The Edge “sings” this tune—we were using air quotes if you couldn’t hear. For four-and-a-half minutes, he tortures us with his monotony, while himself being tortured. As far as we’re concerned, he deserves it.
Do you agree with our list? What do you think is the most ridiculous music video of the 90s? For more top 10s about your favorite music, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.