1. Best Rihanna: DJ Khaled feat. Rihanna and Bryson Tiller, “Wild Thoughts”
It’s a scientific fact that adding Rihanna to your song and/or music video makes it 1,000 times better than it would have been without Rihanna, and “Wild Thoughts” is arguably the best example yet of this phenomenon. Visible nipple rings? Check. Shoes that Rihanna designed herself with Manolo Blahnik? You bet. Dance moves that look like you could probably try them at home but when you do you look like a moron? Oh yes. God bless Robyn Rihanna Fenty forever and ever, amen.
2. Best Reinvention: Taylor Swift, “Look What You Made Me Do”
Even if you miss the sound of Old Taylor, it’s hard not to be into the look of New Taylor. The first video of the Reputation era was packed with outfit changes, CGI snakes, and tons of Easter eggs for the super-Swifties, all of which served to underscore Taylor’s status as a pop mastermind.
3. Best Dress That Took 870 Hours to Make: Björk, “The Gate”
You have to feel sorry for anyone unfortunate enough to put a video out in the same year as Björk, because you know that anything that came before it will now look lazy and anything after may as well not exist. For her first Utopia video, Björk enlisted Gucci’s Alessandro Michele to make her a dress that took 870 hours to complete (including 320 for embroidery alone), but also played the flute in a CGI field and wore a very vaginal face mask. Keep doing you, Björk.
4. Biggest Bounty of Beautiful Men: Charli XCX, “Boys”
This masterpiece, co-directed by Charli, features cameos by Riz Ahmed, Joe Jonas, Jack Antonoff, Diplo, Khalid, Cameron Dallas, Jay Park, Wiz Khalifa, and many more swoon-worthy specimens doing things like holding puppies and having food fights. It’s the kind of thing that’ll make you feel like you’re back in ninth-grade study hall, getting caught passing notes about the cute guy in the row ahead of you.
5. Best Friends: Grimes feat. Janelle Monáe, “Venus Fly”
Grimes’s excellent Art Angels came out all the way back in 2015, but she didn’t release a video for that album’s collaboration with Janelle Monáe until early this year. “Venus Fly” — directed and edited by Grimes herself — was worth the wait, though, especially if you like slow-motion shots of dystopian haute couture.
6. Best Power of Flight: Harry Styles, “Sign of the Times”
Did I see the behind-the-scenes photos of Harry being dragged through the sky by a helicopter? Yes. Do I choose instead to believe that he’s capable of spontaneous flight? Also yes.
7. Best Menagerie: Cardi B, “Bodak Yellow”
The breakout star of 2017 featured camels and a cheetah in her video for “Bodak Yellow,” which became the first single by a solo female rapper to reach number one on the BillboardHot 100 in 19 years. It should be noted that Cardi B wore Louboutins while riding the camel, but since she also pets the cheetah it’s basically impossible to decide which moment is more iconic.
8. Best Party You Weren’t Invited To: DJ Khaled feat. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, and Lil Wayne, “I’m the One”
I want to be offended by this video because no woman in it is fully dressed, but I just can’t muster up the outrage because I know that I would also agree to ride a horse in a bikini and play croquet in stilettos if it meant I got to hang out with DJ Khaled, Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper, Quavo, and Lil Wayne at a seaside mansion with a hedge maze.
9. Best Multiple Personalities: Selena Gomez, “Bad Liar”
Selena plays four different roles in this ’70s-themed video and gets to wear both a mustache and a very Farrah Fawcett wig. The takeaway seems to be that student Selena has a crush on a teacher (also Selena) who’s maybe having an affair with her dad who works at the school (still Selena), but interpret at will.
10. Best Dancing: Lorde, “Green Light”
Between becoming a global superstar and breaking up with her boyfriend, Lorde’s obviously been going through it since she released her 2013 debut album Pure Heroine. While most of us aren’t able to relate to holding Taylor Swift’s foot or singing a David Bowie tribute, it’s hard to watch Lorde dancing with abandon in the “Green Light” video and not think, “Been there.”