The Most Memorable Super Bowl Halftime Moments of All Time

Feb 2, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. ET
Image: Bill Baptist/WireImage

Sure, the Super Bowl is great, but the halftime show is what makes the night — makes or breaks it I guess you could say. (Unless you're a Patriots or an Eagles fan right now... then you have your own priorities.)

From the scandals to the career-making moments and everything in between, no matter the reason, these nine halftime show moments are unforgettable.

More: The First Celebrity Super Bowl Commercial Is Here, & It Stars Keanu Reeves

Oh, and Justin Timberlake already makes the list twice. Will Super Bowl LII be his third memorable performance? Let's hope this time it's for a good reason instead of a boob-filled one.

Here are the Super Bowl performances that have gone down in history.

1. Michael Jackson basks in the love

At the Super Bowl halftime show in 1993, Michael Jackson spent a solid minute and a half frozen in a pose onstage while reveling in the explosion of cheers and chants from the crowd around him. Just when we thought we couldn't take the silence any longer, Jackson slowly came to life, dancing as only Jackson could.


2. Beyoncé steals the show

Sure, Coldplay was the main act in 2016, but Beyoncé gave the most memorable performance as she debuted "Formation," with her dancers dressed as Black Panthers.


3. Left Shark

Oh, Left Shark, what would 2015 have become without you? Let me tell you, it would have been a lot emptier without those epic GIFs. In case you somehow slept through 2015, during Katy Perry's halftime performance that year, Left Shark, one of two backup dancers dressed as a shark (the one on the left, obv.), seemingly went rogue, showing off his own dance moves. And the internet loved every minute of it.


4. The Indiana Jones staging

For some reason, in 1995, Disney thought it was a brilliant idea to stage an Indiana Jones show during the halftime show. Harrison Ford was smart enough to stay away. It was weird and oh-so memorable for its awkwardness. It ended with a rendition of "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" and a lot of raised eyebrows.


5. Diana Ross' big exit

As if Diana Ross' halftime show wasn't already memorable for her performance, she ended the show by announcing, "Oh, my — here comes my ride!" right in the middle of her song. And then promptly flying away in a helicopter. Yas, Queen!


6. "Walk This Way"

Some called it a mess; other called it brilliant. Whatever it was, Aerosmith, Britney Spears, NSYNC, Mary J. Blige and Nelly put on a memorable show in 2001. All of them came onstage to help Aerosmith sing "Walk This Way." Spears wore an arm sock. JC Chasez had a baby goatee. Justin Timberlake made fire explode from his hands (the things that man's hands do at Super Bowl halftime shows...). And Nelly added in a verse from "E.I." Oh, and the men of the movie DodgeBall, specifically Ben Stiller, helped them open the act. Mic drop...?


7. A tribute to the 9/11 victims

In 2002, U2 recognized the state of the world following 9/11 and tailored their Super Bowl halftime show accordingly. They honored the victims and brought the nation even closer together. It's regarded as the best Super Bowl halftime show in history.


8. Prince, obviously

In 2007, it was pouring rain at the Super Bowl. No better setting for "Purple Rain" could have been possible, and Prince didn't even flinch at performing in the rain. The show must go on, and Prince delivered.


9. Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction"

Obviously, this list wouldn't be complete without the most infamous Super Bowl halftime show in history. In 2004, Janet Jackson's boob was exposed when Timberlake seemingly pulled off the cup of her outfit, causing a scandal so large it still lives on today.


You can bet Justin Timberlake won't be repeating previous mistakes in 2018. Right now, he's too busy thanking his lucky stars he gets a second chance.

What was your favorite Super Bowl halftime moment?