Readers' Poll: The 10 Best MTV VMAs Performances

Neil Young jamming with Pearl Jam, Britney wearing a snake and your other favorite moments from MTV's wild show

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1. Nirvana - "Lithium" (1992)

MTV expected that Nirvana would play "Smells Like Teen Spirit" at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards. The network had been playing the video for months on end and it was up for a slew of awards. Executives freaked out when they learned they had no intention of playing the song, and before they went on one of them said, "Just don't play 'Rape Me.'" Big mistake. Cobain began the group's performance with a few bars of "Rape Me" (no doubt causing the MTV suits to nearly have a collective stroke) before kicking into a killer rendition of "Lithium." Near the end, Krist Novoselic threw his bass into the air, only to have it land directly on his head and nearly knock him unconscious. It's maybe the most unintentionally funny moment in the history of the show. 

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