Will this Super Bowl halftime show live up to (or, we asks nervously, even exceed) expectations? Good question. History tells us that major talent does not always a good performance make, and literally anything can happen. So in preparation for the worst, we took a trip down stadium concert lane to revisit the halftime shows that just, well, shouldn’t have been. But don’t worry — we’ll end on a high note. Because our mascot is Michelle Obama.


WTF is Coldplay doing? We’re here for Bey (2016)

Technically, this performance only sucked for Coldplay. When it was announced that the British indie outfit-inexplicably-turned-pop-radio-friendly-arena rockers would headline the 2016 show, there was a collective “meh.” And they were ... fine. Then Bruno Mars showed up. And Beyoncé. Sharing the stage with these two mega performers Chris Martin just looked amateurish, a little bit sad and ready for a cup of tea.



Janet and Justin: Nipplegate (2004)

Back in our day, when we had to walk 10 miles uphill in order to watch the Super Bowl, a blurry nipple was foreboden. The mere whisper of areola was enough to cause an FCC meltdown, and millions of Americans were scandalized when Janet Jackson suffered a costume malfunction 15 years ago. THINK OF THE CHILDREN! Both she and Justin Timberlake were in some seriously hot water for something that wouldn’t raise an eyebrow today, but thankfully they’ve bounced back. The same can’t be said for Carol Channing, who after flashing an ankle in Super Bowl VI was put on a Hollywood blacklist (JK! And HBD, Carol! Turned 97 on Jan. 31.)  


It’s a Small World” — of terrors (1991)

Let’s all agree to keep kids off the football field so their not-totally-formed brains can form before they’re forced to HUT, HUT, HUT and clobber each other, okay? Let’s also never again cast them as the main entertainment during an epic event. Consider this ill-advised performance — the first all-kids halftime show — which featured a chorus of tiny voices singing inappropriate lines like "You've got to be a football hero to get along with the beautiful girls,” and “You've got to be a touchdown getter, you bet, if you want to get a cutie to pet." We were surprised to learn the #MeToo movement really started with Mickey Mouse in 1991, but not at all shocked at the realization we are still scared of costumed characters. 


The Black Eyed Peas ensure nobody had “a good, good night” (2011)

Here’s a hot take: The Black Eyed Peas should never headline anything bigger than a poorly attended kegger at an unpopular frat house in 2004. Too little, and MUCH too late, Ferg. Also, how did Slash get dragged into this mess?


And the best ever?


Prince slays “Purple Rain” ... in the rain (2007)

Is Prince the G.O.A.T.? Well, he’s certainly up there (on-purpose double entendre, sorry, and R.I.P., Prince). This performance gave us chills then and we’re shivering like hell now. Prince is the Super Bowl performance 2018 wants, but perhaps The Black Eyed Peas is the performance we deserve. No pressure, Timberlake. See you Sunday.

Most Popular From ...