08/21/2014 08:02 EDT | Updated 08/21/2014 08:59 EDT

MTV VMAs' Most Outrageous Video Music Award Moments Ever

Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke onstage during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclay Center on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP)

It's no secret what keeps us watching the MTV VMAs given it's been years since the channel stopped airing music videos. As last year's 30th anniversary Video Music Awards made crystal clear, it's because when it comes to award shows, the VMAs still hold the potential for controversy and outrage.

Miley Cyrus's performance with Robin Thicke not only commandeered the pop cultural conversation for weeks, cemented her post-Disney stardom and killed Thicke's career, it also placed the pair in the pantheon of the MTV VMAs most outrageous moments.

And so before we get ready to be outraged yet again — anyone placing bets on Nicki MInaj wearing that infamous 1991 Prince outfit? — let's take a walk down memory lane, a walk which begins at the very first MTV VMAs in 1984 with Madonna, natch.

Photo gallery MTV VMAs Most Outrageous Moments See Gallery