Gone are the days when you would get home from school eager to watch quality television, right before checking your Myspace and getting on AIM to chat with your crush. And by quality television I mean turning on MTV to whichever reality show they had re-running that day, never to disappoint.
MTV reality shows meant getting a first hand look into the lives of all the hotties we were crushing on in J-14 mag. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who tried to sketch out their own super sweet 16 party plan before getting shot down by mom (still bummed). Here are 17 MTV reality shows from the early 2000s that we are all extremely guilty of missing.
1. Pimp My Ride
The premise was simple. You need your mom’s ’89 minivan pimp’d out so you bring it to MTV. Rapper Xzibit would examine the car and take it to a custom bodyshop where they would start the transformation. The outcome is really what I miss most. You never thought you’d want zebra interiors and purple plush carpeting in your car until Pimp My Ride.
Cribs, not the wannabe reboot on Snapchat discover, took us into the homes of our idols from the 2000s. We’re talking private islands, Ferraris lined up in the driveway, and Aaron Carter‘s love-shack. In true diva fashion Mariah Carey used her hour-long episode wisely, taking a bath in a towel (as you do) and refusing to show off her bedroom while her assistant changed her into a new outfit. All-in-all the show just reminded us how lame it is living with your parents.
3. My Super Sweet 16
My Super Sweet 16 brought us over-the-top 16th birthday parties and quinceañeras (think temper tantrums and an essentially endless budget). From the start the show had an amazing theme song by Hillary Duff, drama drama drama during the planning process, and in the end an amazing party generally followed by an expensive AF car. Without this show we would’ve never been invited to Kendall Jenner‘s bday party where Tyga performed as the musical guest and 14-year-old Kylie Jenner danced the night away.
4. Date My Mom
Date My Mom only ran for two years but it was definitely a dating show we’re still thinking about. A contestant would go on three dates with three different moms who would try to convince them that their son or daughter was *the one*. In a dramatic conclusion, the contestant would choose a winner based on his or her mom and explain the flaws of the others. TBH I’d rather my mom not be my wing-woman but the premise is pretty hilarious.
Next was another iconic MTV dating show. For those who don’t remember, it might sound complicated but bare with me. A male or female would have five contestants waiting in a bus, each contestant would step out with the chance to spend time with the dater who could “next” them at any point. Like, literally they would “next” a contestant while they were mid-exiting the bus. There was an opportunity to earn money for the contestants but the best part IMO was the gossiping on the bus and the fun facts about each contestant displayed while they stepped off. For instance Stacie, 18, who claimed to have set her house on fire when she was six.
6. Room Raiders
This show was a nightmare if you were even the slightest clean freak. Room Raiders let one dater choose their significant other based on what was in their bedrooms and without being able to see the person behind the embarrassing childhood stuffed animals. The contestants had no idea they were being a victim of room raiding until they were kidnapped from their place. Spy kits, gloves, and determination (to dig out dirty secrets) were always involved. Usually a peek underneath the mattress revealed some pretty shocking finds.
7. Making the Band
In case you forgot, the most memorable band to come out of Making the Band was Danity Kane. P. Diddy was the man in charge of creating the next best band and believe me, it wasn’t easy. Every season the show took us through the talent search process, the drama in the studio, and the constant training. But like every truly great band, most of them came to an end with a bitter breakup.
8. Parental Control
Parental Control was a dating show for those who already had a boyfriend or girlfriend but for obvious reasons their parents didn’t approve. So, naturally, the parents would contact a reality show and set up two blind dates for their child. The best part was that the parents and the current unapproved gf/bf would watch the dates unfold on-cam together. The child would then choose if they liked one of their new suitors better.
9. A Shot At Love with Tila Tequila
We all know Tila Tequila has changed a bit since the early 2000s (and not gonna lie, it hasn’t exactly been for the best) but back then, she was just a gal looking for love. A Shot At Love was like the bisexual version of The Bachelor. Tila lived with 20 contestants, hetero males and lesbian females, until there was only one left.
10. Laguna Beach
Honestly who doesn’t miss Laguna Beach? The show first introduced us to Lauren Conrad and her besties at Laguna Beach High School. There were messy friendships, serious relationships, and everything dramatic you would expect in high school.
11. The Hills
The Hills was the Laguna Beach spin-off we were all rooting for. The series focused on LC and her pursuit for a career in the competitive fashion industry. Her housemate, Heidi Montag was essentially the reality show villain with her bad-boy boyfriend Spencer Pratt. But it was Lauren’s besties, Audrina Patridge and Whitney Port, who helped her get through all the drama and then some. Since the show wrapped, basically everyone except Laur has admitted the show was scripted.
Punk’d was the first hidden camera, practical joke show we grew to love and not only because Ashton Kutcher was the hottie behind the pranks. Pranks would be set on unsuspecting celebrities who would later be greeted by Ashton and his crew letting them know their life is still perfect but they just got punk’d.
TRL, Total Request Live, was essentially where you got to see the hottest music videos in the early 2000s. The show had a live audience and even graced us with musical guests and celebrity hosts. TRL gave us a little sliver of hope that MTV still stood for “music television.”
14. 16 and Pregnant
Before Teen Mom came 16 and Pregnant. The show followed a group of teens who unexpectedly became pregnant and faced many hardships with adoption, marriage, finances, and high school.
15. The X Effect
The X Effect was a dating show where couples could choose to rekindle a former flame (never a great idea) or continue building a new relationship. Two exes would spend time at a resort with each other and with new partners and at the end they’d choose who’d they rather leave with. Sounds like a nightmare I’ve had before.
16. Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica
Before Nick Lachey was married to Vanessa Minnillo, and Jessica Simpson was married to Eric Johnson and giving weird AF interviews on Ellen, Nick and Jess were MTV’s cutest young couple and the focus of a hilarious reality show. While the two obvs couldn’t make the relaysh work, the show gave audiences some pretty classic moments including when Ashlee Simpson‘s older sis asked if tuna was chicken or fish.
17. Jersey Shore
What we are guilty of missing the most is our fave group of friends on the Jersey Shore. Yeah we still hear about Snooki and J-Woww every now and then but it isn’t the same as watching the entire dysfunctional friend group living under the same New Jersey roof.