The 15 Most Uncomfortable Moments From Last Night’s VMAs

Are you familiar with the feeling of secondhand embarrassment? Unsure? If you happened to watch the MTV VMAs last night like I did, then you most definitely do. Save for maybe 15 minutes of air time, my face was alternating between one of these three Britney reaction gifs for the remaining 165.

A measly 27 minutes in, I felt an overwhelming urge to turn off all the lights, hide under my covers and pretend none of it ever happened. But that would mean waking up at 3:30 a.m. unable to fall back asleep so I powered through. Is MTV drunk? Am I officially too old for this? It’s likely a combination of both, so let’s relive it all in condensed form, shall we?


1. Katy Perry in general.

It may be time to take a cue from 2016’s VMAs and forgo having a host. RT if you agree.

2. Ed Sheeran’s performance.


It’s hard to get down to “Shape of You” accompanied by an acoustic guitar right after two Kendrick Lamar songs accompanied by a set that was literally on fire.

3. Ed Sheeran’s reaction to Shawn Mendes'(😍) performance.


August 27, 2017 was the day I officially became a Shawn Mendes fan and Ed Sheeran knows it.

4. Taylor Swift’s new music video for “Look What You Made Me Do.”


Same, Taylor. Same.

5. Lorde interpretive dancing to a track of her singing “Homemade Dynamite” instead of actually singing “Homemade Dynamite.”


A for effort but I’m pro taking a sick day. Feel better!

6. Fifth Harmony still only having four people in it.


They threw someone off the stage, though, in case you forgot how to count.

7. Jack Antonoff casually eating this banana.



8. MTV cutting to a commercial in the middle of Julia Michael’s performance.Β 

9. MTV cutting to a commercial in the middle of KYLE’s performance.

10. MTV cutting to a commercial in the middle of the tribute to Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington.

Noticing a pattern here.

11. Jared Leto having to ask everyone to stand a second time for the aforementioned tribute.


Jeb flashbacks, S.O.S.

12. Did I mention Katy Perry?


13. This fun little thing Miley Cyrus put together for us.


14. The camera cutaways to Ellen DeGeneres in the audience.


We were all Ellen last night.

15. The crew literally leaving Katy Perry hanging at the end of her “Swish Swish” performance.

A fitting metaphor for the show as a whole. Shut. It. Down.


Kendrick Lamar in general, Gucci Mane wearing all the Gucci, Demi Lovato’s pool party performance, Pink’s Vanguard Award performance and speech, Alessia Cara’s beautiful performance of “Scars to Your Beautiful” and Logic and Khalid’s performance of “1-800-273-8255.”

So…what did I miss on Insecure and GoT?


Get more Pop Culture ?
  • Cristina

    I love Shawn Mendes and I’m not even ashamed.
    Ellen is all of us, so true.

  • gracesface

    I saw the Katy Perry doc and honestly her new image/haircut/album is like watching a completely different person. I guess that’s pop music? I made it through the ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ video once and NEVER again. Cringing. Can’t stop cringing.

  • Hayley

    I’m kind of proud to admit I didn’t even know the VMAs were happening last night. 15-year-old Hayley would be mortified though.

  • WesternCvlztn

    Yeah I so didn’t realize this was happening until after I finished watching Game of Thrones 3x.

    • Thamsa

      Other than the new episode of Insecure and obviously GOT, did anything else even matter last night ??

  • Jackie

    I missed the VMAs last night but now I wish I’d watched it because of this. Dyyying πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


  • I was going to watch it…but then I just went on living my life. But seriously, I think it’s a combination of us getting too old, and a general lack of quality in the industry. I now assume everyone is a former Disney star.

  • Honestly before I opened the MR email blast I thought Katy Perry was Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus…
    Even didn’t know it was on to busy watching GOT.

    • MakeupMaven22

      I thought she was Justin Bieber too from the email pic- lol!

  • Bria

    The VMAs used to be my favorite award show, I looked forward to it every year. I even skipped college move in day so I could watch in 2011. I’m 23 and last year I realized that I was officially too old for this show when the only names I recognized were Rihanna, Beyonce, and Drake.

    • starryhye

      I’m 37, it only gets worse…

  • Miley Cyrus’ performance was a bit odd but one thing I did love that at the climax of her song instead of shedding clothing like so many female performers do (how many artists have stripped to bodysuits mid-performance?), she added clothing. Subtle, but pretty badass of a move.

  • starryhye

    So much awkward. I find Katy Perry especially cringeworthy. At the ripe old age of 37, the MTV VMAs are pretty irrelevant to me. Yet I find myself tuning in every year (or at least catching one of the thousands of repeats), if only to get turned on to a new artist or song. This year, that song was “Walk on Water” by 30 Seconds to Mars. Jordan Catalano, er I mean, Jared Leto is still as dreamy as ever πŸ˜‰

  • Bo

    Hahaaaaa love a good Jeb gif

  • Dymond Moore

    I watched in my dorm with a bunch of people, and we all agreed that cinematically the LWYMMD video was great but the song was cringeworthy. Everything Katy did was cringeworthy but we all lost our shit when she snatched her own wig. Remy Ma needed to take several seats. All of the cut offs were very rude but ESPECIALLY Chester’s and then Leto having to ask people to stand up twice was just awful. Other than that, it was a pretty standard show. I’m happy with most of the winners, and I’ll be watching next year. <3

  • Oh my god, I didn’t watch so thank you for this… all I needed. #1 already had me hysterical. Also, Ed Sheeran’s side eye-ing in the Shawn Mendes performance is too good. Don’t even get me started on Taylor. I’m scared and I didn’t even do anything to her.

  • Jeanie

    Wow, that opening was a wreck! I feel bad for Katy’s. It’s badly written and because Katey is clearly actually mad about these issues (respect for that,) she came off fully snarky and not at all funny.

  • Kittybat

    Since half of us were watching GOT, can we do a top gen cringeworthy moments on Game of Thrones last night? And then end with a brilliant list of uncringeworthy (i.e. Littlefinger’s fate?)

    • BuffyAnneSummers97

      The sex scene looked like the cover of a harlequin romance and the pause for narration made me crumple up with embarrassment! Also when the Night King was on the dragon destroying the wall I started to think, this show is really ridiculous now. That’s a fucking zombie riding a dragon. Come on seriously

      • Kittybat

        It wasn’t as much of him riding a dragon vs how he rode it, like he was on top of the 25$ pony machine they have outside of shop rite. I’m not kidding.

        There’s no chemistry between kit and emilia as much as I love them both. Zero. Nada. He had more chemistry with Melissandre! Shame! *bell*

        • BuffyAnneSummers97

          Yes that’s what I was thinking! The ‘bobbing with intense staring’ shot was way too long and silly. And I almost totally agree with you on Jon & Dany. Until the convo off to the side in the Dragon Pit, I thought they had zero chemistry as well and could only see Emilia Clarke and Kit Harrington when they were on screen. But after that convo they have like, ok, 3% of chemistry Jon & Ygritte had at least makes their scenes one iota more watchable.

  • Emily

    INSECURE WAS CRAZY. I need Issa to stop her hoetation before things get (more) out of hand. and don’t even get me started on molly!

  • MCJ

    Of all the performances, I truly felt that Logic used his platform to stimulate a well needed discussion. MR team I’m curious to hear your take on Logic’s performance and the topics he brought up at the end of his performance.

  • Jay

    Really felt with PINK, that was an honest one. Though I thought the idea of her little one (who is totally sweet and lovely) coming to her like that… that kinda scared me?

    (Didn’t watch it live though and not all of it…)

    And on TS I can only say that like some two years ago or sth, there was a test in Glamour magazine and one question was:

    Taylor Swift – do you consider her cute or creepy?

    (Or sth the like)…

    Who would have thought?

    Replied creepy of course, even back then… and even if it’s her success that kinda scares me?!

  • I legit got so excited b/c I thought Ellen was sitting next to Lena Headley aka Cersei Lannister aka a DEGENERES ALWAYS PAYS HER DEBTS <3
    JK. Portia looks increds.

  • Kraisa Solan

    I appreciate your article
    thanks for providing information about it. That’s is very good article it is
    useful for me thanks.

  • yassqueeeen

    I only stuck around long enough to watch Taylor Swift’s new video. Katy was beyond cringeworthy… She was like a kindergarden teacher asking her students what they did over the summer. I think she’s a great musician, but maybe not the greatest host.

  • MTV Awards used to be great. A lot of artists, different types of music, interesting clothes to see. There’s nothing of this anymore.

  • Kendrick. You said fire, but damn. SO GOOD.