Britney Spears's marriage to Kevin Federline lasted just two years, but — now one decade later — it was definitely an action-packed period for the pair, whose common interests ranged from junk food and table sliding to fart jokes and baby making.
In honor of what would have been their 10th wedding anniversary — they said "I do" during a surprise ceremony in Studio City, California, on Sept. 18, 2004 — we painstakingly researched their brief but widely publicized time together, including rewatching all five episodes of their reality show (painful, people!), to bring you their nine most Chaotic moments as a couple.
So grab a bag of Cheetos and a Coke Slurpee, dust off your Von Dutch hat, kick off your flip-flops, and come along for the ride…
1. Their hookup dramz: The Louisiana-raised "Toxic" singer first briefly met Fresno, California-born Kevin when he was a backup dancer for the boy group LFO, which was touring with the pop princess in 2000. However, they were reintroduced while clubbin' in L.A. in April 2004 and Britney, then 22, and Kevin, 26, were instantly smitten. The glitch? K-Fed, as he was quickly dubbed, was expecting a second child with his on-again, off-again girlfriend, Moesha actress Shar Jackson. The "other woman" headlines began immediately (Jackson told People magazine, "It wasn't like just breaking up a relationship. It was like breaking up a family"), but Britney didn't seem fazed. She openly flaunted her new relationship — memorably posing for paparazzi pics with her new beau at a Santa Monica, California, beach, after a stop at Subway for lunch — and even publicly played mom to Kevin's daughter, Kori.
2. The quickie engagement: In January 2004, Britney briefly married her childhood chum Jason Alexander, but the union was annulled 55 hours later. By June of that year, the marriage-minded young star, who invited the father of two on tour with her through Europe, popped the question to Kevin while on the road. The actual proposal took place at 10,000 feet as they traveled from New York to Ireland. Brit asking Kevin to marry her made sense considering he couldn't afford a ring; he didn't have an income and had a few mouths to feed back home. So the same summer the star was famously photographed walking barefoot out of a gas station bathroom, she also started sporting a 5-carat rock on two platinum, diamond-encrusted bands, which likely set her back a pretty penny.
3. A surprise wedding: Thirty or so of their closest family and friends were invited to what they thought was an engagement party at the Studio City home of her wedding planner on Sept. 18. However — surprise! — it was actually a wedding! Brit-Brit donned a $26,000 strapless silk gown and some Madonna-like lace gloves to walk down the aisle; K-Fed changed out of his signature white tank top that he wore to greet guests into a suit for the "I dos." After the reception, during which Kevin removed Britney's garter belt with his teeth while his mom cheered him on, guests changed into sweat suits embroidered with "pimps" ands "maids" (Britney's said "Mrs. Federline," while Kevin's said "The Pimp") and went out clubbin' in L.A. The couple's marriage wasn't legalized until Oct. 6, after their prenup was finalized.
4. Their crazy town reality show: Perhaps the greatest gift Britney and Kevin shared with the world was their reality show, Britney & Kevin: Chaotic, which aired from May 17 to June 14, 2005, on the defunct channel UPN. Through their own shaky home videos, viewers were treated to an intimate look at their courtship and wedding. And by intimate we mean we listened to them talk about their sex life — a lot. Beyond that, they drank, smoked, swapped spit, and… talked about farts. Another memorable moment was when they recorded themselves racing through her fancy European hotel suite and sliding on their bellies across a banquet table over and over. It proved that there truly is a lid for every pot.
5. The back-to-back babies: Kevin's second child with Shar, a son Kaleb, was born in July 2004, but by 2005 he had already started his second family with Brit, who embraced belly-baring maternity wear. Under a year after marrying Spears, they welcomed their first son, Sean Preston, on Sept. 14. Less than a year after that, they welcomed another son, Jayden James, on Sept. 12. But by that point, their marriage was already in big trouble.
6. Major parenting woes: The young couple — specifically Britney because by then they were often apart with Kevin pursuing a rap career (remember "PopoZão"?), golfing, clubbing, or driving his fancy new fleet of cars — was the target of much criticism regarding their parenting skills in 2006. Britney was famously photographed driving with baby Sean on her lap, instead of — ya know — being strapped safely in a car seat. ("We're country," she famously told Matt Lauer.) A sheriff's deputy came to their Malibu, California, home to investigate after Sean fell out of a broken high chair. And while visiting New York City, Spears had Sean in one arm and a glass in the other when she nearly dropped the tot on a cobblestone street. Photographers perfectly captured the moment of baby's head being jerked backwards while Spears kept the glass steady, not spilling a drop. Nobody was seriously hurt, other than Britney's feelings over the mean headlines. However, Britney and Kevin laughed off the criticism in a skit at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards in which they joked about not knowing where Sean was.
7. Their text message breakup: Tears were a theme in 2006. By the fall, Kevin was often off partying with his boys in Vegas and Britney, now juggling two young babies, looked miserable every time they were photographed together. However, on Nov. 6 — just over a month after having Jayden — she looked incredible making a cameo on Late Show With David Letterman. The world was used to seeing her pregnant for the last two years, but she looked red hot in a tiny black dress and a blond wig. Something was up though. She went right from the Ed Sullivan Theater to nearby Sony Studios, where she faxed her signature to the Los Angeles lawyers handling her divorce. The next day, divorce papers were filed — and Kevin was supposedly blindsided by her decision. In Canada promoting his new album, he famously found out he was dumped via a text message to his Blackberry. Even worse, the press dubbed him "Fed–Ex."
8. A wicked custody battle: Their divorce was a vicious one with the pair immediately fighting over their children and Britney became the biggest loser. The pop singer took to partying — sometimes with Paris Hilton, sometimes without her underwear — and slipped into a downward spiral. Her parents forced her into rehab — she stayed one day — and when she was out, she bizarrely wandered into Esther's Hair Salon in Tarzana, California, and asked the owner to shave her head bald. When the woman refused, Brit, who may have been trying to evade a drug test, picked up the clippers and did it herself. She went to a second rehab facility months later, but that doesn't slow down her partying or bizarre behavior. Their divorce was finalized in July 2007, but their custody arrangement wasn't. After she was charged in a hit and run, she was banned from driving with her children, but did it anyway. She also took her children out of state without the court's permission, and was photographed taking the toddlers out to restaurants late at night. So by October, a judge granted Kevin temporarily primary custody of their kids.
9. Her epic meltdown: The drama continued in a big way. In addition to new driving charges, skipping court-ordered drug tests, and refusing to be deposed in her custody battle, one night in January 2008, Britney refused to turn over the children to Kevin after a visitation at her home, locking herself in a room with Jayden. Her court-appointed child monitor called police, who claimed she was under the influence of an unnamed substance, and forcibly removed Spears from her home. She was taken to a hospital and placed on a 72-hour lock down for mental evaluation — with photos of her on a gurney being loaded into an ambulance being plastered everywhere.
A month after Britney's hospitalization, her father, Jamie, petitioned for conservatorship over her affairs. Over time, he helped her turn things around, including reaching an amicable joint custody arrangement with Federline, with whom Jamie and his wife, Lynne, maintained a friendly relationship. Britney and Kevin also went from cutthroat to cordial. While they're not necessarily buddies, they can both stand to attend their sons' sporting events together.
Last year, Federline — who went on to appear on Celebrity Fit Club and a couple episodes of One Tree Hill, but that is pretty much it by way of showbiz — married his longtime girlfriend, special education teacher Victoria Prince, with whom he has two children. Britney's relationships have remained more dramatic. After dating paparazzo Adnan Ghalib (no surprise, it didn't end well), she became engaged to her manager Jason Trawick (ditto), and just ended a relationship with law firm researcher David Lucado after he cheated on her with a porn star (another fiasco).
So Brit's chaos continues… just on a smaller scale and not as much with Kevin.