*NSYNC may be forever gone (reference!) but they’ll always be the music of our hearts (sorry, had to!)… and thanks to YouTube, their equally classic music videos are forever immortalized. Here is the ranking of each music video from worst to best (or, should I say, least great since they’re all masterpieces).
18. “U Drive Me Crazy”
First of all, this song is not good. Also, it technically preceded Britney’s iconic song of (similar) name, but I can’t shake the comparisons. This video’s production value is honestly horrible, but we do get to see the group dressed up as the Spice Girls (I’m serious!) so I guess there’s that. This song was only released in Germany, so I’d like to personally apologize to Germany for this.
16. “Together Again”
We’ve got another example of a video that was never released as a single, and this one is kinda nonsensical. It has a Christmas theme but it’s not a Christmas song. The fashion is on point, but the song itself is actually kind of creepy, like trance music or something.
15. “Music of My Heart” feat. Gloria Estefan
I distinctly remember thinking this one was pretty lame upon its release in 1999, and not much has changed, tbh. Gloria Estefan saves this video, as does Joey’s fire engine red hair. The song is a snoozer, and it always bothered me that the movie it was written for was called Music of the Heart but the song was “Music of My Heart.” Yeah, I was that kind of child.
14. “For the Girl Who Has Everything”
This one features the guys washed ashore on a beach, trying to send gifts and messages to the girl who has everything. Their outfits are some ’90s Tommy Bahama chic, and I’m living for Justin Timberlake’s hoop earring. Also, the girl who has everything is a dead ringer for what I imagine ’90s Ronda Rousey looked like.
13. “Here We Go”
This was kind of High School Musical before it even existed, and I love it. There’s some seriously sick dance moves, and they look really happy, so this is a fun one. Plus: “yes yes yes, here we go… *NSYNC has got the flow!” for the win.
12. “(God Must Have Spent) A Little More Time on You”
In fifth grade, I swore this was going to be my wedding song someday, so this one obviously holds some sentimental value. They’re guardian angels in exquisite white suits, there’s a sappy background wartime love story, and I’m pretty sure Justin is wearing lip gloss. This song is like a river, peaceful and deep…
11. “Thinking Of You (I Drive Myself Crazy)”
Not to be confused with the song where the guys are driven crazy by the girl, now they’re crazy just thinking of the girl… this one takes crazy on a literal level, as they’re locked up in stunning satin pajamas with matching slippers, doing their best impression of acting psych ward crazy. So metaphorical, those *NSYNCers. This also gains bonus points for the cameo by Amber from Clueless at the end. Simply perfection.
10. “I Want You Back” (U.S. version)
So yeah, there are two versions of this video, and this is the clearly inferior one… but it’s honestly still amazing. There’s jet skiing, drop top cruising, and a lively b-ball game. Plus, it’s *NSYNC, so some great dancing is obviously featured.
9. “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays”
I mean, is there a better Christmas video in the world? It’s iconic. The late Gary Coleman plays an elf, the guys pair ski goggles with Santa hats for a haute couture fashion moment of the ages, the special effects are before their time… if you don’t like this video, you obviously don’t have a soul.
8. “This I Promise You”
Mythical forest land with magical bubbles. Turtlenecks. JC’s printed pants. What this video promises is a truly iconic, legendary experience, and that’s what you get. If I didn’t have this in my life, I just wouldn’t be living at all. Also a great contender for wedding song of the century.
7. “Tearin’ Up My Heart”
Stellar choreography paired with Chris Kirkpatrick’s choice of headgear, plus matching outfits and Justin serenading us on a bed, and the dramatic staredown at the end. There’s nothing more to say here.
6. “Girlfriend” feat. Nelly
So there are technically two versions of this: one with Nelly, and one without. But I refuse to acknowledge the latter, because everything’s better with Nelly in it. This kind of reminds me of a mix of Grease and Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” with a touch of Fast & Furious, so basically it has it all. There’s a girl being wheeled around inside a tire. Joey wears a newsboy cap. They dance on top of hot rods. Nelly rhymes “fiance” with Beyonce. Watching Justin boogie down with Nelly is everything.
The early aughts were such a great time for music videos because the best ones were more like mini-movies, with just as much theatrics and spectacle, and this one delivered. It loses points for featuring Wade Robson (aka the choreographer that allegedly was the reason Britney and Justin broke up) filling in for Joey during the dance sequences after an injury (thanks Joey.) but it’s otherwise colorful, flashy, and so fun.
I know a lot of people shun this song because it signals the end of the band, but I think it’s a truly underrated classic. The song itself is absolutely stunning, and the video is so beautiful. A lot of *NSYNC videos are unintentionally hilarious because of the fashion/weird plot points and story lines/cheesy lyrics, but this one is actually just so good. Though, let’s be real… it’s not without its funny moments, such as: why the hell couldn’t Lance fit on the bed? I’m gonna chalk it up to some artistic styling or something.
3. “Bye Bye Bye”
Quintessential *NSYNC, this is probably the video that most people remember or think of when any of our five favorite crooners comes to mind. Choreography on fleek, paired with crazy suspense and drama… if you watch this and don’t do the hand motion, are you even human? Not to sound like my grandma, but they just don’t make ’em like this anymore.
2. “It’s Gonna Be Me”
Justin didn’t know then that this song was going to someday launch an “it’s gonna be May” meme (nor did he know what a meme even was), but it’s brought us a piece of viral internet history, and for that alone it deserves a top spot. But seriously, this video is great: I live for the colorful dancing room, and the ~so important~ symbolism of the guys as a product of American consumerism or something, and Lance’s acid wash denim vest that, frankly, doesn’t match the rest of his outfit, but who the hell cares? This is *NSYNC at their best, ladies and gentlemen.
1. “I Want You Back” (Germany version)
I really can’t tell you why an American boy band released so many videos strictly to an overseas audience, but thanks to YouTube, we can now all revel in the greatness of what we might’ve missed back when MTV actually played music videos. This is apparently their first-ever music video, and it’s arguably the best: Justin’s hair looks like a literal sponge, I’m pretty sure they’re dancing on a spaceship, there are some pelvic thrusts that are making me feel things, and there are zip-up t-shirt turtlenecks being worn. Added bonus: lots of hair gel, an elegant middle part mushroom cut from Joey, weird arm movements, and extremely high production value. The videos from No Strings Attached may get all the nostalgia love, but this is an underrated gem. At the risk of sounding lame, it’s all I ever wanted…