This article was originally published as part of the joke issue on 12.4.2014

"You are Cordially Invited to Lauren and Jacqueline's Coming Out" (Aired 01.18.2005)

The first–ever episode of this MTV classic didn’t feature a Sweet 16 at all. Instead, its stars, Lauren and Jacqueline of La Jolla, celebrated their “coming out,” announcing to all suitors that they were available for marriage and potential impregnation. The two girls only wear designer clothes with logos, obvi (all Coach everything). These girls are such BFFs that they end up picking the same dress for their big day at the Hard Rock Café. There’s no theme, but the entry fee goes to breast cancer (awareness? research? care? survivors? early detection? who knows? Let’s just pretend to be charitable). Beyoncé wanted half a million dollars (ridiculous!) and The Rolling Stones were unavailable, so the girls get Unwritten Law as special guests. No, you aren’t too young for this band. No one had heard of them in 2005 either.

What we really learn in this episode is that you should never, ever have a party with someone nicer than you. Lauren learns this the hard way. She tries to be strict, while Jacqui allows everyone who calls her flip phone to come with multiple plus–ones. In the end, Jacqui’s friendliness gets her lost in the mosh pit and a punch in the face. But at least she won’t eternally be referred to as “the mean one.”

Watch this episode on Amazon Instant Video

"You are Cordially Invited to Bjorn's Sweet 16" (Aired 09.19.2005)

“My name is Bjorn, I’m from Avon, Connecticut, and I’m a divo (Ed. Note: a divo is a male version of a hustla).” In Bjorn’s world, fashion is everything, money is no object, and the J is not silent. He wants to hold a fashion show for his sweet sixteen, so he rents out the local mall and chooses “20 of his hottest friends” to model. Of course, “America’s Next Top Model” taught us that fashion shows ain’t easy and that’s true of fashion show–parties too. When Bjorn chooses three friends to model corsets, someone feels left out and starts a tussle in the food court right next to the indoor mall plants.

This seems like enough drama for one episode, but Bjorn’s arrival is delayed when his crystal–monogrammed blazer doesn’t arrive until after his party begins. Once he appears, he’s more than a little nervous to make his fashion show debut down the runway…and pukes three times in the mall bathroom, right next to the soda machine. But the House of Bjorn stays intact, and the birthday boy returns to his fashion show in time to jump into his new BMW 5–Series—without driving away, because he has no idea how to drive at all.

Watch this episode on MTV

"You are Cordially Invited to Aaron's Sweet 16" (Aired 04.12.2006)

Kardashians, step aside. Kim wasn’t the first to coax Kanye West onto reality television. Back in ’06, when Kanye was with someone else and Yeezus meant nothing, the rapper made an appearance at Jay–Z’s club in New York for a Sweet 16 party themed “Young and Hot.” Its host was Aaron Reid, the son of music mogul and former X–factor judge L.A. Reid. Aaron was one of the few “Sweet Sixteen” stars who may have actually been as important as he thought he was. In his words, “I’m not trying to sound cocky, but I could be the heir to a music dynasty.” Not with that humility, Aaron.

Aaron threw his “Young and Hot” party because he was just that, and he needed to prove himself after moving to New York from Atlanta. P. Diddy happens to be Aaron’s godfather, so he makes a party appearance, along with Jermaine DuPri, who DJs. Aaron walks in escorted by models who he hand–picked with his friends. The party goes off without a hitch—because if it didn’t, his father would know.

Watch this episode on Amazon Instant Video

"You are Cordially Invited to Mary's Sweet 16" (Aired 06.25.2007)

Two years into the series and it’s still going strong. This episode takes us to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, which is “basically as country as you can get.” It’s so country that birthday girl Mary has to go to New Orleans to shop for her dress. She also needs to shop for her “surprise”  (gasp) birthday present in Tennessee. Since Mississippi residents can drive at the age of fifteen, Mary already has a Cadillac, which she wrecked within the first two weeks—but don’t worry, they’re getting it fixed. For the big one–six, Mary's parents thought it wold be smart to get her a live animal. She totally needs Tiny Dancer, a $125,000 horse, who comes into her party with a whole pink outfit.

The theme of the party is Las Vegas, so obviously Mary needs to be Barbie and constantly refer to everything with Barbie terminology. The jury is still out on whether Mary has ever been to Sin City (or west of the Mississippi River) and how Barbie is related. She and her three VIPs have auditions to find their very own Kens, even though the guys who show up at the party look nothing like the ones they chose with special cheek kisses. The gang enters on a pink convertible with pyro going off on all sides.

In this episode, we learn that Ryan Cabrera is still as awesome as he was when we were all in middle school. He sings “On the Way Down” for Mary’s party. (It’s his only song anyone knows the words too.) The birthday girl gets to be his backup singer, but he turns off her mic. His hair looks like it hasn’t been washed in weeks, but man, we’re swooning anyway.

Watch this episode on MTV


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