From 1994-2005, Nickelodeon audiences were treated to the groundbreaking kids sketch comedy show, All That. The show not only made stars out of its cast members, but introduced its young fans to the hottest music acts of the day by including a live performance at the end of each episode. The artists featured were mostly R&B and hip hop acts during the early seasons but became more mainstream pop focused towards the end of the series. This list comprises the 12 hippest, funkiest, and most memorable music performances of the entire series, listed in chronological order. To show our appreciation, let’s give them a “big round of sound”!
*Clicking a song title or gif will link out to the full performance on YouTube
Fresh out the box
Stop, look & watch
Ready yet? Get set!
It’s ALL THAT!!
Season 1, Episode 3
Thoughts: You can’t have an All That list without including the group responsible for the show’s theme music. The girls of TLC wear black overalls over cut-up colored shirts where basically only the shoulders are left. Fly dance moves. Questionable lyrics for a kid’s show, but the crowd is definitely into it. Pay attention to how large the audiences grow in later seasons.
Season 1, Episode 6
Thoughts: Thanks to one of her background dancers, we find out that there “Ain’t no party like a Brandy party”. She is working it in those leather pants and sounds great throughout. A very fun, captivating performance.
Season 1, Episode 15
Thoughts: This is Kel’s actual rap group from Chicago. What we have here are three color variations of the SAME Chicago Blackhawks jersey. Was hockey more relevant in the 90s because of the success of the NHL ’94 video game or vice versa? Kel might have messed up at the end by trying to go into the chorus again.
Season 2, Episode 12
Thoughts: Diana’s goofy background dancers start humping her “SNL Roxbury-style” during the song and one nearly goes into a striptease at the end. Ms. King absolutely kills the vocals. Considering the age of the audience, the content of the lyrics is questionable again.
Season 3, Episode 12
Thoughts: With this performance, Nas submits some serious evidence that he is one of the most talented rappers that has ever held a mic. One might think that since he is rapping for a bunch of kids, Nas could be phoning it in. Granted, he does give one of the most sedate performances you’ll ever see, but all while still completely commanding attention and showcasing his superior flow.
Season 4, Episode 12
Thoughts: Missy is clearly having a lot of fun with this one, spending nearly as much time in the audience as she does on stage. And the kids are right there with her: rapping along, giving high-fives, and chanting “Go Missy”. It is shocking how much weight “Misdemeanor” lost after this period.
Season 4, Episode 14
Thoughts: The girls break it down in their denim outfits. Even while performing the group’s debut single, it was clear that Beyonce is everything and the rest were just lucky to be there. LaTavia gets too much screen time just for standing on the end.
Season 5, Episode 3
Thoughts: This right here is THE best vocal performance in All That history. Deborah wails and everyone is amazed. The track even fades out early in submission. Usually if a singer was performing a slower R&B song, the kids in the audience would look super bored. However with this one, the kids are really feeling it, swaying and singing along.
Season 5, Episode 10
Thoughts: Get ready for four grown men in matching outfits doing goofy choreography. But that doesn’t kill the vibe since they bring the energy and the vocals, choosing to go with an a cappella harmony at the end. The ladies are screaming throughout and people are dancing along.
Season 5, Episode 11
Thoughts: In classic OutKast fashion, Andre 3000 is wearing some ridiculous costume while Big Boi is dressed like a normal human being. The audience interaction is great during this performance. Bonus points for a live DJ scratching and velour track-suited background dancers.
Season 5, Episode 17
Thoughts: While all other artists before them included some sort of background track playing during their song, New Radicals brought the first 100% live performance to the All That stage. Also rare was that fact that the TLC All That theme did not play over the end credits, as the live band was able to jam over the outro. In a move of adorable proportions, the percussionist brings kids on stage to bang on the Conga drums and shake the tambourine.
Season 6, Episode 10
Thoughts: The guys absolutely kill it here performing one of their most well-known songs. They bring difficult choreography to the table while also singing live, which other super-star acts of the time weren’t able to duplicate on the All That stage (Ahem, Britney Spears the week before and also Backstreet Boys). The girls go nuts over the classic “Bye Bye Bye” choreography. Justin Timberlake’s Jheri curl is in full force plus his energy and stage presence versus Chris Kirkpatrick’s is like comparing day & night.
Bonus!! Most Egregious Lip Synching While Doing Lazy Choreography: