Carly Rae Jepsen will soon be singing one of her sweet ditties on 90210, while Adam Lambert has already been spotted in fangs for the upcoming Halloween episode of Pretty Little Liars. Popular acts popping up on hit television shows is nothing new, as it allows those behind the songs you love to introduce themselves to an entirely new audience and helps out certain programs on a never-ending quest for that magical youthful demographic. Earlier this year, One Direction paid a visit to iCarly, just like Britney Spears did with Sabrina, The Teenage Witch in her early days, Destiny’s Child on Smart Guy, 98 Degrees on City Guys—the list goes on.
Since appearances like these are stored further back in our memory banks, we’ve explored some of greatest—and most unlikely—musician cameos from the ’90s. Both artists and their makeshift TV home may have proven forgettable, but you’ll be glad you took a trip down memory lane. Whether strictly performance-based or featuring a front man who’s been gifted with pages of scripted dialogue to struggle through, these fish-out-of-water moments (in most cases) will never cease to bring us joy.
1. ‘N SYNC ON TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL
“Voice of an Angel,” 1999
It’s true, God spent a little more time getting this guest appearance together.
2. BRITNEY SPEARS ON SABRINA, THE TEENAGE WITCH
“No Place Like Home,” 1999
Melissa Joan Hart’s “(You Drive Me) Crazy” cameo had to come from somewhere. (Yes, we’re choosing to forget her similarly titled film with Adrien Grenier. You’re welcome!)
3. BRITNEY SPEARS ON THE FAMOUS JETT JACKSON
“Ghost Dance,” 1999
And like a ghost, this show was gone.
4. BRITNEY SPEARS ON KENAN & KEL
“Aww, Here it Goes to Hollywood: Part 2,” 1999
In 1999, the girl got around.
5. LeANN RIMES ON MOESHA
“Ohmigod, Fanatic,” 1999
Before the world started cyberbullying her, Brandy and Kim were Leann’s truest of friends.
6. NOBODY’S ANGEL ON BOY MEETS WORLD
“Road Trip,” 1999
7. SHeDAISY ON SO WEIRD
Remember So Weird? Remember SHeDaisy? Yeah, those both happened.
8. WILD ORCHID ON BEVERLY HILLS, 90210
“Beheading St. Valentine,” 1999
It’s Fergie! Before her Black Eyed Peas and wetting herself on stage days (the latter would never be tolerated in that zip code).
9. BOB DYLAN ON DHARMA AND GREG
“Play Lady Play,” 1999
Collect that paycheck, Mr. Zimmerman.
10. BARRY WHITE ON ALLY McBEAL
“Those Lips, That Hand,” 1999
Those unisex bathrooms needed a proper soundtrack.
11. 98 DEGREES ON CITY GUYS
“Dance Fever, 1998
Pause to appreciate the dramatic stylings of Nick Lachey.
12. BACKSTREET BOYS ON SABRINA, THE TEENAGE WITCH
“The Band Episode,” 1998
Don’t be such a buzzkill, Howie.
13. BRIAN McKNIGHT ON SISTER, SISTER
“The Grass is Always Finer,” 1998
Who hasn’t been seduced by a smooth college professor who just so happens to have sold millions of records on the side? (That’s what sabbaticals are for.)
14. DESTINY’S CHILD ON SMART GUY
“A Date with Destiny,” 1998
Tahj Mowry is the reason DC fired LaTavia and LeToya in the first place.
15. BUSTA RHYMES ON THE WAYANS BROS.
“Busta Saves The Day,” 1998
Busta busts the brothers for scalping tickets at a gig. The line “Not so fast, Busta” was conspicuously absent.
16. U2 ON THE SIMPSONS
“Trash of the Titans,” 1998
Homer pretends to be a potato delivery man in order to to sneak into a U2 concert. “Too soon,” says Ireland RE: the famine.
17. VIOLENT FEMMES ON SABRINA, THE TEENAGE WITCH
“Hilda and Zelda: The Teenage Years,” 1997
Concertgoers beware: “There’s always peer pressure, which can cloud your judgment.”
18. KARA’S FLOWERS ON BEVERLY HILLS, 90210
“Forgive and Forget,” 1997
Guess Kara didn’t sign off on the using her name for your band, Adam Levine?
19. SMASHING PUMPKINS ON THE SIMPSONS
Good luck fitting in at a Smashing Pumpkins concert in something other than a hoodie wrapped around your overalls…
20. CHRIS ISAAK ON FRIENDS
“The One After the Super Bowl, Part 1,” 1996
Phoebe didn’t appreciate the sultry way he looked at that woman in the “Wicked Game” video.
21. BEACH BOYS ON BAYWATCH
“Surf’s Up,” 1995
The Hoff knows everyone.
22. FLAMING LIPS ON BEVERLY HILLS, 90210
“Love Hurts,” 1995
Correction, it’s “the cool, the crazy, the fabulous” Flaming Lips.
23. CHRISSIE HYNDE ON FRIENDS
“The One with the Baby on the Bus,” 1995
But whose career was ultimately more successful: Hynde or Lisa Kudrow?
24. NOTORIOUS B.I.G. ON MARTIN
“Blow, Baby, Blow,” 1995
Biggie, Biggie, Biggie, can’t you see? Sometimes you have to suck it up and sell out for TV.
25. YOKO ONO ON MAD ABOUT YOU
“Yoko Ono,” 1995
Mad About You stayed around for four more years, despite Yoko’s appearance.
26. BOYZ II MEN ON THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR
“‘Twas The Night Before Christening,” 1994
Just because Carlton dresses exactly like the group doesn’t mean they were looking for another member.
27. THE MONKEES ON BOY MEETS WORLD
“Band On The Run,” 1994
Davy Jones proves once again his knack for the cameo.
28. MICHAEL STIPE ON THE ADVENTURES OF PETE & PETE
“What We Did on Our Summer Vacation,” 1993
The beginning of this show as we know it featured Stipe as a disgruntled ice cream man.
29. TUPAC ON A DIFFERENT WORLD
“Homie, Don’t You Know Me,” 1993
Tupac was actually really great as the ex-boyfriend to Jada Pinkett-Smith. Chill, Big Willie! They were only acting.
30. BEACH BOYS ON FULL HOUSE
“Captain Video: Part 1,” 1992
No, children. Uncle Jesse did not write “Forever.”
31. COLOR ME BADD ON BEVERLY HILLS, 90210
“Things to Do on a Rainy Day,” 1992
Of course Kelly Taylor would be friends with an entire boy band. What a floozy.