Super Bowl Memes That You’ll Never Forget

Super Bowl Memes That You’ll Never Forget

The Super Bowl is the most important football game of the entire year, but it’s often the Super Bowl memes that steal the show and have everyone laughing their buttocks off. They not only highlight the Super Bowl’s biggest moments, but they bring joy and laughter to millions of people.

The first Super Bowl, which used to be called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game, was played against the National Football League champion (Green Bay Packers) and the American Football League champion. The Packers won, but Super Bowl memes were non-existent then.

Fast forward 56 years to 2022 and you have the NFC champion Los Angeles Rams playing the AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI. The Rams ultimately won in what was a thriller of a performance, but it was perhaps the Super Bowl memes that got the last laugh. 

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Ranking the Greatest Super Bowl Memes of All-Time

Super Bowl Memes That You’ll Never Forget
Tada Images / Shutterstock

Memes started taking over the internet in the 1990s, but they’ve become an integral part of our society in recent years and are generally used as a form of communication, expression, and comedy. In the world of sports, they help bring together – and tear apart – fans all over the world.

Over the past 10 years or so, we’ve seen Super Bowl memes shake the internet on numerous occasions – including some legendary memes from this past Super Bowl. They’re the type of memes that you’ll see a few years from now and immediately start laughing uncontrollably.

We’re going to highlight some of those memes below. Now, bear with us because there are so many funny Super Bowl memes that we won’t be able to fit them all in one post. With that said, we’ll try our best to choose the most memorable, prominent, and unforgettable memes. 

20. Katy Perry’s Fashion Statement?

Katy Perry performed at the Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show, along with Missy Elliott and Lenny Kravitz. It was an interesting halftime, to say the least, and was subject to a wide range of Super Bowl memes – largely due to her outfit choices. This is the perfect example of one.

She wore this while dancing with the sharks – more on that later. It was made to resemble a beach ball, but let’s be honest, we all immediately thought of Hot Dog On a Stick and it just hasn’t been the same since. And now that I’m bringing it up, I’m hungry for it all over again.

19. Katy Perry’s Fashion Statement? Pt. II

Hang in there, we have another edition of fashion statement or fashion bust featuring Katy Perry. She wore this outfit as she rode out on a glamorous lion and everyone was quick to make the resemblance to an outfit worn by Chazz Michael Michaels (Will Ferrell) in Blades of Glory.

Super Bowl XLIX was played between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks in 2015. The Seahawks had an opportunity to win it late in the game, but bad play calling resulted in Tom Brady and the Patriots winning. Don’t worry, we’ll get more into that later with another meme. 

18. It’s The Weeknd, Let Me Snack In Peace

Super Bowl LV was a legendary game played between two legendary quarterbacks – Patrick Mahomes in his prime and Tom Brady in his, well, 43-year-old prime. With that said, The Weeknd stole the show during halftime with his incredible, yet unique halftime performance. 

There was a moment when he left the ‘center’ stage and took a camera with him backstage, which led to this moment. Social media quickly caught on and couldn’t help but point out the resemblance between The Weeknd and that face everyone makes looking in the microwave.

17. Tom Brady Makes History… Again

Speaking of Super Bowl LV, it was legendary for several reasons. Not only was it Tom Brady’s first year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – after 20 long seasons with the New England Patriots – but it was also the first Super Bowl played with strict COVID-19 pandemic protocols. 

It was a year that had people wishing for things to go back to normal. While we’re still getting through the pandemic, some things have returned to normal. Unfortunately, one of those things was Tom Brady winning yet another Super Bowl and he has the Super Bowl memes to prove it. 

16. Adam Levine’s Fashion Statement?

We’re back with another edition of fashion statement or fashion bust, this time featuring Adam Levine. He was the main event at the Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show, which also featured Travis Scott and Big Boi. The show itself didn’t receive a lot of praise, but neither did his outfit choice. 

This outfit, in particular, drove social media insane as everyone sent in pictures of their drapes, throw pillows, and other designs that mimicked Levine’s shirt selection. The flavorless halftime show resembled the game that ensued, which was the lowest-scoring Super Bowl ever. 

15. Bruno Mars’ Fashion Statement?

We have yet another edition of fashion statement or fashion bust, this one featuring Bruno Mars in what turned out to be one of the best halftime performances of all-time. Of course, we can’t overlook one of his outfit choices, which most of us could make at our house with a trash bag. 

Bruno performed at the Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show, along with his band The Hooligans and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. At the time, it was the most-watched halftime show ever, but that milestone has since been toppled by Super Bowl in 2015, 2016, and 2017 halftime shows. 

14. Jason Mamoa Does His Best 49ers’ Impression

This meme has a lot of Super Bowl implications. First, you have to peep the Jason Mamoa reference, which is from a Super Bowl commercial that ran during Super Bowl LIV between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers. The Chiefs won in miraculous comeback fashion.

During the commercial, Mamoa starts out his normal, huge self. As he walks into his home, he exposes his muscles and hair are fake and that he’s actually skinny. That explains the 49ers’ performance perfectly – they were up 20-10 in the fourth quarter, but lost the game 31-20. 

13. P!nk Spits Something Out Pre-National Anthem

Let’s take a look back at Super Bowl LII, which took place in 2018. While this was the year that Justin Timberlake made his return to the halftime stage, it was P!nk that stole the show before the game even started. She sang the National Anthem and it was great, but there was this. 

Before it started, as the announcer was introducing her, the camera turned to her and she was seen spitting something out. Many people thought it was gum at first, but she later claimed that it was a throat lozenge, also known as a cough drop. Either way, it was a moment to remember.

12. You Almost Had It, Cleveland

If you were a Cleveland Browns’ fan that went into a coma after Week 8 of last season and woke up just ahead of the Super Bowl, you might be a little excited if someone told you a team from Ohio is in the Super Bowl and Odell Beckham Jr. is playing for a shot at a coveted ring. 

While that might sound like the Cleveland Browns are headed to the Super Bowl, OBJ was traded just before Week 9 and the team from Ohio was the Cincinnati Bengals. In fact, the Browns finished the season with an 8-9 losing record and missed the playoffs entirely. 

11. Eminem’s Knees Are Weak

The Super Bowl LVI halftime show was one that’ll go down in history as one of the best. It was the first time the halftime show was centered around hip hop artists and it brought together some of the greatest of all-time – Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Eminem, and Mary J. Blige

During the show, Eminem stole the show when he took a knee for an extended amount of time after performing ‘Lose Yourself.’ Logic says he was signaling solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and the black community, but we all know his knees were weak and palms were sweaty. 

10. Tom Brady Can and Will Win Anywhere He Wants

When Tom Brady decided to leave the New England Patriots for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, many analysts were ready to find out the truth – was the Patriots’ success over the past two decades more a result of Brady’s greatness behind center or Bill Belichick’s on the sidelines.

By winning a Super Bowl in his first year with the Buccaneers, Brady answered that age-old question once and for all. Meanwhile, the Patriots finished the 2020 season with a 7-9 record and missed the playoffs entirely. Who knows, maybe Tom Brady will win another one!

9. Macaulay Culkin vs. Elon Musk

Ahead of Super Bowl LVI in 2022, a lot of fans couldn’t help but notice the strong resemblances between Elon Musk and Matthew Stafford, and Macaulay Culkin and Joe Burrow. It’s not a perfect match, but you can see how some people might end up mistaking them for one another. 

Stafford, I mean Musk, would end up getting the best of Burrow, I mean Culkin. The Rams defeated the Bengals 23-20 thanks to a last-minute touchdown scored by Stafford and Cooper Kupp. It was the Rams’ second Super Bowl victory, but their first Super Bowl win since 2000.

8. San Francisco’s Major Downfall

Alright, we’ve already talked about San Francisco’s major downfall and how it resembles Jason Mamoa’s first-ever commercial appearance, but we’re not done with it just yet. This meme captures the moment perfectly and it does so with real images taken from the game itself. 

The first image shows the 49ers celebrating after Tarvarius Moore intercepts Mahomes during the Chiefs’ first possession of the fourth quarter. The 49ers were up 20-10. The second image shows them 10 minutes later, soaking in their own sorrow after allowing 21 unanswered points. 

7. 50 Cent Hanging Out During the Halftime Show

One of the most popular memes of Super Bowl LVI was 50 Cent, who started his halftime performance hanging from the ceiling – much like he did in his music video. It immediately caught wind on social media as the Super Bowl memes started rolling in at a record rate. 

Many people were comparing 50 Cent to Spiderman, who once hung down from a web to kiss Mary Jane Watson. Other people were alluding to how bulked up 50 Cent looked compared to what he looked like in the music video for ‘In da Club’, which was originally released in 2003. 

6. Katy Perry’s Left Shark Goes Viral

I know, this is the third Katy Perry meme on this list, but it’s the best one and definitely worth having just out of our top-five. Her outfits weren’t the only thing that stole the show in 2015. In fact, it was one of her backup shark dancers that ended up winning the hearts of everyone.

The shark that was dancing on the left of the screen was doing well, but eventually got to a point where they forgot the routine. For several seconds, they were clearly doing the wrong moves and it was hilarious to see because they kept going unphased. We all related to that moment.

5. Eli Always Gets the Last Laugh

Eli Manning did a lot of great things during his career – and some questionable ones – but he will most be remembered for his two Super Bowl wins against none other than Tom Brady. He was the Kryptonite to one of the NFL’s greatest superpowers and we all rallied behind him. 

Manning first beat Brady in Super Bowl XLII in 2008, which is now regarded as one of the greatest Super Bowls of all-time. He beat him again in Super Bowl XLVI in 2012, despite a 9-7 record in the regular season. Now, as pictured in the meme, he hosts Monday Night Football. 

4. Tom Brady Has Friends In All the Right Places

We all know Tom Brady has more Super Bowl wins than any franchise in the NFL – he has seven rings, while the Patriots and Steelers each have six. It’s one of the most mind-blowing stats in all of sports and is a true testament to just how legendary his career has been. 

With that said, we can’t help but point out the amount of help he has received along the way. More specifically, the help he has received from the referees time and again. You can argue the fact, but it’s a fact nonetheless. That’s not to say he isn’t great, but he’s definitely not perfect!

3. Tom Brady Can Snap His Fingers At Any Moment

At the time of this tweet, Tom Brady had just won his sixth Super Bowl with the New England Patriots, more than any other player and the same amount as the Patriots and Steelers. It was clear that the NFL belonged to Tom Brady and he can shake the league by snapping his fingers.

What’s funny about this tweet is that it ended up happening one year later when he left the Patriots and signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Not only did he leave, but he won his seventh title in his first season with the Bucs, adding one more stone to his valuable collection. 

2. OBJ Finally Has Tears of Joy

Odell Beckham Jr. has been subject to a number of memes throughout his career, but he had never been to a Super Bowl. In his first such appearance in 2022, he became the face of one of the most popular Super Bowl memes this year while celebrating his team’s thrilling victory. 

OBJ had a strong start to the game, catching two of his three targets for 52 yards and the game’s first touchdown. Unfortunately, he left towards the end of the first half with an injury. He was seen on the field after the game celebrating the victory with tears of joy down his face. 

1. The Seattle Seahawks Had One Job

The Seattle Seahawks won their first ever Super Bowl in 2014 by blowing out the Denver Broncos 43-8. They had an opportunity to run it back the following season when they met the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX and even had a 24-14 lead after the third quarter.

The Patriots scored a touchdown early in the fourth quarter and took a 28-24 lead with two minutes left in the game. The Seahawks had the ball on the goal line with 26 seconds left and all they had to do was run the ball in for a TD. They chose to pass, it got intercepted, and they lost. 

Looking Back at Last Year’s Super Bowl Memes

One thing you might notice from the Super Bowl memes above is that most of them involve Tom Brady in one way or another. That’s because ever since Super Bowl memes became popular, Brady has been featured in most of the Super Bowls due to his complete dominance in the NFL.

That’s what made last year’s Super Bowl so special – there was no Tom Brady. There was an underdog team in the Cincinnati Bengals and a team full of veterans ready for a title in the Los Angeles Rams. And once again, the Super Bowl memes came out in full effect all game long. 

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Odell Beckham Jr. had one of the most memorable ones, but many people were comparing the Matthew StaffordJoe Burrow matchup to an Elon Musk-Macaulay Culkin matchup. The halftime show also drew a lot of Super Bowl memes, including 50 Cent’s upside down gig.

Rihanna to Headline This Year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show and 20 of the Best and Most Controversial Shows From the Past

On Sunday, the NFL announced Rihanna will headline the 2023 Super Bowl Halftime Show – which will be sponsored by Apple Music for the first time (sorry, Pepsi). The move comes after days of speculation that Taylor Swift would be the headlining act, but we’re glad it’s Rihanna. 

For those that don’t remember, Rihanna turned down the 2019 Super Bowl Halftime Show to show support for Colin Kaepernick. The gig eventually went to Maroon 5 and, let’s be honest, we would’ve rather had Ri-Ri on that stage four years ago. Now, she finally gets her chance!

Rihanna is an international icon. She has sold over 250 million records, released eight studio albums, and won nine Grammy Awards and 13 American Music Awards. She’s worth nearly $1.4 billion, is the wealthiest female artist, and has over 136 million followers on Instagram.

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What Was the Best Super Bowl Halftime Show? 

Rihanna to Headline This Year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show and 20 of the Best and Most Controversials Shows From the Past
Jai Agnish / Shutterstock

The Super Bowl Halftime Show has grown and evolved in a variety of ways over the past five decades. The early halftime shows – dating back to the late-1960s – consisted of marching bands from nearby schools. By the 1970s, celebrities started headlining alongside the bands.

It wasn’t until 1993 that the Super Bowl Halftime Show became what it is today – in some cases, more-watched than the actual Super Bowl itself. This was the year that Michael Jackson took center stage, setting the tone for everyone that came after him – which was now 30 years ago.

In honor of that performance, as well as in anticipation of what Rihanna has in store for us this year, we’re going to break down some of the greatest Super Bowl Halftime Show performances of all-time – and if you stick around, we’ll break down some of the most controversial, as well. 

10. Bruno Mars (2014)

Viewers: 115.3 million

Super Bowl XLVIII: Seahawks defeat Broncos, 43-8

Bruno Mars headlined the 2014 Super Bowl Halftime Show at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ – along with The Hooligans (Bruno’s band) and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. The show was sponsored by Pepsi, directed by Hamish Hamilton and produced by Ricky Kirshner.

In addition to his drum solo, Bruno performed “Billionaire,” “Locked Out of Heaven,” “Treasure,” “Runaway Baby,” “Give It Away,” and “Just the Way You Are.” There was a little controversy since the band’s music was pre-recorded, but it was necessary to improve sound quality. 

9. Lady Gaga (2017)

Viewers: 117.5 million

Super Bowl LI: Patriots defeat Falcons, 34-28

Lady Gaga headlined the 2017 Super Bowl Halftime Show at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. Unlike in previous years, Gaga performed without a special guest and did the show herself – and she absolutely killed it, displaying the perfect balance of artistic and musical qualities. 

Like Bruno’s show, Gaga’s was directed by Hamish Hamilton and produced by Ricky Kirshner. She performed “Poker Face,” “Born This Way,” “Telephone,” “Just Dance,” “Million Reasons,” and “Bad Romance.” It’s the most nominated Super Bowl halftime show in Emmy’s history. 

8. Bruce Springsteen (2009)

Viewers: about 100 million

Super Bowl XLIII: Steelers defeat Cardinals, 27-23

Bruce Springsteen headlined the 2009 Super Bowl Halftime Show at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida – along with the E Street Band and The Miami Horns. It was sponsored by Bridgestone, and produced by Don Mischer Productions and White Cherry Entertainment.

Springsteen performed “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out,” “Born to Run,” “Working On a Dream,” and “Glory Days.” He was reportedly asked to perform at several Super Bowls before this one, but turned them down. It wasn’t until 2009 that he saw the value of performing on such a big stage.

7. Dr. Dre (2022)

Viewers: 103.4 million

Super Bowl LVI: Rams defeat Bengals, 23-20

Rihanna has some big shoes to fill after what Dr. Dre gave us in last year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show. He headlined the event at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, along with friends – Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, Anderson .Paak, and Kendrick Lamar. 

Some of the hits in their set included “California Love,” “In da Club,” “Family Affair,” “M.A.A.D. City,” “Alright,” “Forgot About Dre,” “Lose Yourself,” “Still D.R.E.,” and I Ain’t Mad at Cha.” The show received five Emmy nominations and won three, including Outstanding Music Direction.

6. Jennifer Lopez & Shakira (2020)

Viewers: 103 million

Super Bowl LIV: Chiefs defeat the 49ers, 31-20

Jennifer Lopez and Shakira headlined the 2020 Super Bowl Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida – along with Bad Bunny, J Balvin, and Emme Muñiz. The show was sponsored by Pepsi, directed by Hamish Hamilton, and produced by Ricky Kirshner.

All in all, it received five Emmy nominations and won one Emmy award. J-Lo performed “Jenny From the Block,” “Get Right,” “Waiting for Tonight,” “On the Floor,” and more, while Shakira performed “She Wolf,” “Empire,” “Whenever, Wherever,” “I Like It,” “Hips Don’t Lie,” and more. 

5. Paul McCartney (2005)

Viewers: about 86 million

Super Bowl XXXIX: Patriots defeat Eagles, 24-21

Paul McCartney headlined the 2005 Super Bowl Halftime Show and, like Lady Gaga, did the show all by himself without a special guest. The show was sponsored by Ameriquest Mortgage and produced by Don Mischer Productions – the same producer as Bruce Springsteen.

McCartney performed several hits, including “Drive My Car,” “Get Back,” “Live and Let Die,” and “Hey Jude.” Considering the controversial incident that happened the year prior – more on that down below – McCartney was viewed as a ‘safe’ choice in hopes of avoiding another incident.

4. U2 (2002)

Viewers: 82.9 million

Super Bowl XXXVI: Patriots defeat Rams, 20-17

Much like McCartney and Gaga, U2 headlined the 2002 Super Bowl Halftime Show by himself  at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. The show was sponsored by E-Trade, produced by Clear Channel Entertainment, and was a tribute to all the lives lost on 9/11.

U2 performed three songs – “Beautiful Day,” “MLK,” and “Where the Streets Have No Name.” The NFL originally booked Janet Jackson for the halftime show, but decided to go with U2 after several NFL executives attended a U2 concert in New York City and were inspired by his tribute.

3. Beyonce (2013)

Viewers: 110.8 million

Super Bowl XLVII: Ravens defeat 49ers, 34-31

Beyonce headlined the 2013 Super Bowl Halftime Show at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana – along with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, from Destiny’s Child. The show was sponsored by Pepsi, directed by Hamish Hamilton, and produced by Ricky Kirshner.

Beyonce performed several hits, including “Run the World (Girls)”, “Love on Top,” “Crazy in Love,” “End of TIme,” “Baby Boy,” “Bootylicious,” “Independent Women Part I,” “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)”, and “Halo.” The show generated nearly 300,000 tweets every single minute. 

2. Michael Jackson (1993)

Viewers: about 90 million

Super Bowl XXVII: Cowboys defeat Bills, 52-17

Michael Jackson headlined the 1993 Super Bowl Halftime Show at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California – along with 3,000 local Los Angeles area children, who sang ‘We Are the World’ with MJ. It was produced by Radio City Productions, Scott Sanders, and Don Mischer Productions

In addition to “We Are the World,” Jackson performed “Jam,” pieces of “Why You Wanna Trip On Me,” “Billie Jean,” “Black or White,” and “Heal the World.” Before his performance, the Super Bowl wasn’t seen as a huge event. After his performance, it became one of the biggest stages. 

1. Prince (2007)

Viewers: about 93 million

Super Bowl XLI: Colts defeat Bears, 29-17

Prince headlined the 2007 Super Bowl Halftime Show at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida – along with the Florida A&M University Marching 100 Band. It was sponsored by Pepsi for the first time and produced by Don Mischer Productions and White Cherry Entertainment.

Prince’s impact on the Super Bowl halftime show was similar to that of MJ – it was epic. He performed “We Will Rock You,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Baby I’m a Star,” “Proud Mary,” “1999,” “Best of You,” “All Along the Watchtower,” and, of course, “Purple Rain” – which stole the show. 

What Was the Most Controversial Super Bowl Halftime Show?

Rihanna to Headline This Year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show and 20 of the Best and Most Controversials Shows From the Past
littlenySTOCK / Shutterstock

The Super Bowl Halftime Show is supposed to be a moment that we remember forever. It only comes once a year and there’s usually four months of hype and anticipation that comes before it. Artists are expected to perform their best and, for the most part, that’s exactly what fans get. 

Unfortunately, it’s not always a slam dunk and some artists fall flat on their face. Sometimes it’s one little moment that happens during the performance and sometimes it’s the performance in its entirety. Either way, some Super Bowl Halftime Shows aren’t what we expect them to be. 

As promised above, we’re going to detail 10 of the most controversial Super Bowl Halftime Show performances of all-time. Keep in mind that some of the performances were good for the most part, but one little moment can ruin it for everyone – especially on the biggest of stages.

10. Salute to New Orleans (1990)

Viewers: about 70 million

Super Bowl XXIV: 49ers defeat Broncos, 55-10

If the 1990 Super Bowl Halftime Show took place today, many fans would be very disappointed and, quite frankly, confused. There were two themes of this halftime show – Salute to New Orleans and 40th Anniversary of Peanuts. It didn’t deliver what football fans were looking for.

Performers included clarinetist Pete Fountain, fiddle player Doug Kershaw, and singer Irma Thomas – the Nicholls State University Marching Band, Southern University Marching Band, and USL Marching Band. And yes, there was a giant float and costumed Peanuts characters.

9. Tapestry of Nations (2000)

Viewers: about 88 million

Super Bowl XXXIV: Rams defeat Titans, 23-16

The underlying theme for the 2000 Super Bowl Halftime Show was Tapestry of Nations and was inspired by the Walt Disney World Millennium Celebration. It featured performances by Toni Braxton, Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, and Edward James Olmos. 

Sponsored by E-Trade and produced by The Walt Disney Company, this halftime show was just weird. Again, it’s important that the NFL appeals to what fans want and the last thing football fans want to watch at halftime is a Disney musical. This was definitely a swing and a miss. 

8. Winter Magic (1992)

Viewers: about 80 million

Super Bowl XXVI: Redskins defeat Bills, 37-24

Speaking of swinging and missing, the NFL did a salute to the 1992 Winter Olympics. The performers were Gloria Estefan, Brian Boitano and Dorothy Hamill (figure skaters), several members of the 1980 Olympic hockey team, and the University of Minnesota marching band.

The theme was Winter Magic, but the fans weren’t feeling the magic. Considering this was the year before Michael Jackson’s dazzling performance, you would expect it to be a little more flashy than what they put together. Boy, how much the Super Bowl halftime show has evolved.

7. Elvis Presto (1989)

Viewers: about 80 million

Super Bowl XXIII: 49ers defeat Bengals, 20-16

Before the NFL flopped with the Winter Magic ice show, they flopped with Elvis Presto – that’s right, they actually hired an Elvis Presley impersonator to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show. The show followed a 1950s ‘Bebop’ theme that was just a few decades past its time.

The show was sponsored by Diet Coke, directed by Dan Witkowski, and produced by MagiCom Entertainment. Some of the songs performed include “Rock This Town,” “Tutti Frutti,” “Do You Love Me,” “Devil With a Blue Dress On,” “Great Balls of Fire,” and “Greased Lightnin’.” 

6. Indiana Jones (1995)

Viewers: about 83 million

Super Bowl XXIX: 49ers defeat Chargers, 49-26

Among the many themes that left fans befuddled – even to this day – was the Indiana Jones theme for the 1995 Super Bowl Halftime Show. This was two years after MJ took center stage, so you would expect something a little more lucrative and illustrious than what they went with.

Some of the performers included Patti Labelle, Teddy Pendergrass, Indiana Jones, Marion Ravenwood, Tony Bennett, Arturo Sandoval, and the Miami Sound Machine. It was produced by the Walt Disney Company and there was just so much going on that no one knew what to think.

5. Katy Perry (2015)

Viewers: 118.5 million

Super Bowl XLIX: Patriots defeat Seahawks, 28-24

Katy Perry headlined the 2015 Super Bowl Halftime Show at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona – along with Lenny Kravitz, Missy Elliott, and the Arizona State University Sun Devil Marching Band. It was directed by Hamish Hamilton and produced by Ricky Kirshner.

For the most part, the halftime show went well. There was just one little controversy with one of her backup shark dancers – who became known as “Left Shark.” During the performance, the shark forgets the choreography and starts making it up as the show went on – it was hilarious.

4. The Black Eyed Peas (2011)

Viewers: about 111 million

Super Bowl XLV: Packers defeat Steelers, 31-25

The Black Eyed Peas headlined the 2011 Super Bowl Halftime Show at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas – along with Usher and Slash. The NFL was trying to bring youth back into the halftime show, but it ended up being disastrous and rated as one of the worst shows in history.

There was one point where Fergie tried to sing “Sweet Child O’ Mine” in an Axl Rose-inspired voice. It came out sounding terrible and had many people wondering why they paired Slash and Fergie together. And if Usher is going to be a special guest, give him a better headliner.

3. Maroon 5 (2019)

Viewers: 99 million

Super Bowl LIII: Patriots defeat Rams, 13-3

Maroon 5 headlined the 2019 Super Bowl Halftime Show at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia – along with Travis Scott, Big Boi, and the Georgia State University marching band. It was sponsored by Pepsi, directed by Hamish Hamilton, and produced by Ricky Kirshner. 

This was originally supposed to be Rihanna’s show, but she backed out in support of Colin Kaepernick. Many people wanted Maroon 5 to do the same, but they did the show anyway. Not only that, but many fans thought the show was undoubtedly boring, lifeless, and underwhelming. 

2. Madonna (2012)

Viewers: 114 million

Super Bowl XLVI: Giants defeat Patriots, 21-17

Madonna headlined the 2012 Super Bowl Halftime Show at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana – along with LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., Cee Lo Green, Andy Lewis, Cirque du Soleil, and various drumlines. It can easily be put on the list of best Super Bowl halftime shows. 

There was one moment during the show that made it controversial – when M.I.A. flipped off fans directly into the camera. The NFL was unable to blur the middle finger and later fined the singer over $16 million for the action. It overshadowed what was an otherwise great performance.

1. Janet Jackson (2004)

Viewers: about 90 million

Super Bowl XXXVIII: Patriots defeat Panthers, 32-29

There’s no Super Bowl Halftime Show controversy like the one Janet Jackson experienced in 2004. She headlined the show with Jessica Simpson, Justin Timberlake, P. Diddy, Nelly, and Kid Rock. It was such an incredible performance, but Justin Timberlake ruined it for everyone. 

What got characterized as a wardrobe malfunction, JT accidentally exposed Janet’s breast and nipple to the audience during the performance. Not only that, but Kid Rock was criticized for ‘desecrating’ the American flag by wearing it as a poncho. Other than that, the show was great!

What to Expect From This Year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show

One thing I think we can all agree on is that Rihanna will likely find herself on the list of ‘best’ Super Bowl Halftime Shows of all-time – opposed to the ‘most controversial.’ She’s one of the greatest performers of all-time and has an illustrious – and long – playlist to choose from. 

She hasn’t released any new music since 2016, so while we can definitely expect to hear some oldies from her, it’s possible we finally get some new material – though that’s pure speculation. We’re also still trying to figure out who she will perform with – fans are calling for Tom Holland.

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Either way, this is a big moment and exciting time for Rihanna – someone who just gave birth to her first child with A$AP Rocky in May. With more than 100 million fans expected to tune in to the Super Bowl, we can’t wait to see what she puts together – only four more months to go!

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