Justin Timberlake picked up the lifetime achievement award and reunited with N Sync, Taylor Swift reportedly said "Shut the f**k up" when ex Harry Styles was on, and Lady Gaga managed four costume changes, including a giant square box on her face and a shell string bikini.
But nothing could apparently compare to Miley Cyrus's raunchy performance with Robin Thicke to Blurred Lines at the VMA Awards.
Removing a Mickey Mouse leotard to reveal a a nude-coloured latex bikini, she twerked up against Thicke provoking some strong reactions in the crowd.
The Parents Television Council slammed MTV for the coverage:
"How is this image of former child star Miley Cyrus appropriate for 14-year-olds? The Miley Cyrus/Robin Thicke performance simply substituted talent with sex."
Responding to the criticism of racism, Clinton Yates in the Washington Post said:
"By implying that Cyrus is somehow creating a minstrel act of sorts by including black dancers in her act, you are implying that there is something lesser than about such an act...It is inherently racist to imply that there is anything wrong with anyone other than black women twerking."
A piece in The Onion even joked why CNN put Miley as their top story:
"I could have argued that Miley Cyrus’ performance merited the top spot on our website because it was significant in terms of what’s happening in the world of pop culture...But who the f**k are we kidding?"
Many on Twitter took the humorous approach:
I've seriously been trying to come up with a Miley Cyrus joke all day, but it's just not twerking....Rude Comedian (@RudeComedian) August 27, 2013
Wearily thought "I suppose I'd better watch the Miley Cyrus thing." Watched it. Far more offended by Robin Thicke singing in the wrong key.Rhodri Marsden (@rhodri) August 27, 2013
Daft Punk definitely had the best reaction to Miley Cyrus last night pic.twitter.com/ohkrNE0k6fTommy Ross (@rossrecords) August 27, 2013
Others have been more creative, placing a twerking Miley on famous artworks:
Many were saying the Smith family reaction was by far the best, but apparently this was their reaction to Lady Gaga, not Miley:
A series of misogynist tweets are still flooding through:
And some are fortunately defending the former child star:
I wish ppl would back off @MileyCyrus her red carpet outfit was amazing yes she pushed peoples buttons but she is young & expressing herself
Kelly Osbourne (@KellyOsbourne) August 26, 2013