While Miley Cyrus lit up a joint on stage and twerked with a dwarf, Katy Perry made veiled references to drugs and five-time nominee Justin Timberlake left empty-handed.
But what would the MTV Europe Music Awards be without a bit of controversy?
Cyrus kicked off the night with a performance of "We Can't Stop", complete with dwarves, a skin-tight silver catsuit and an entrance made from a spaceship.
She may have toned down the “creepy sexy baby” look (her words to Rolling Stone magazine) she sported at the VMAs , but instead a latex-clad female dwarf called ‘Little Britney’ spanked the Bangerz singer and let her squeeze her breasts.
Determined to steal the limelight from co-performers Katy Perry and Iggy Azalea, the 20-year-old wore a backless mini-dress on the red carpet, printed with the faces of dead rappers Notorious BIG and Tupac with the words “Please Stop Violence”.
Later, while accepting her Best Video award for “Wrecking Ball”, she dug out what looked like a joint from her handbag and said: “I couldn’t fit this award in my purse but I did find this”, before flicking a lighter and smoking it.
The Amsterdam location for this year’s ceremony seemed to inspire a few drug references from the nominees, with Katy Perry assuring fans on Twitter that they would not “need to be high” to enjoy her performance.
Cyrus, who had allegedly spent three hours in one of the city’s infamous ‘coffee shops’ chimed back, “but you may want to be”.
Both Perry and Cyrus picked up awards, but it was US hip-hop star Eminem who was the biggest winner of the night, picking up two awards for Global Icon and Best Hip-Hop Act on the same day he achieved his seventh UK number one album.
The 41-year old rapper accepted his Global Icon prize from Will Ferrell’s Anchorman alter-ego Ron Burgundy, jokingly referring to the 2004 hit comedy with the line “I love award”.
Jared Leto from 30 Seconds to Mars gushed “thank you to all the dreamers, you made ours come true” before taking home the Best Alternative trophy, while One Direction emerged on top for Best UK & Ireland act.
Justin Timberlake and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis headed up the nominations with five nods each, but Timberlake failed to win a single award.
Macklemore won Best New Act, beating competition from Bastille and Swedish duo Icona Pop, who closed the night with “I Love It”.
Other performances came from Bruno Mars, Snoop Dogg/Lion, Kings Of Leon and The Killers.
Robin Thicke duetted with Iggy Azalea in a performance of “Blurred Lines”, but the Australian rapper gave Cyrus' foam finger a miss.