Don't panic. Moesha just premiered 20 YEARS AGO. That's all.
At least Brandy pretty much looks the same now as she did when she played the titular teen, which is also why it's such a mind-boggle when you realize how long ago the multifaceted UPN sitcom—one of the network's biggest all-time hits—was on the air.
UPN, Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic
UPN is no more (remember when Buffy and friends made the move to the brand-new CW?) but fond memories of the smart show that wasn't afraid to tackle some serious issues—drugs, teen sex and pregnancy, race relations and more—live on.
And going through the archives, we couldn't help but be tickled when we saw all the familiar faces who were such big deals then—and a few who only turned into way bigger deals as the years went by. And for your "average" teen from South Central Los Angeles, Moesha Mitchell sure crossed paths with a lot of music heavies. Maybe that had something to do with her striking resemblance to the singer Brandy...
WATCH: In 1998, Brandy talks about growing up while still playing a teenager on Moesha
First, let's recall some of Moesha's love interests, when she wasn't with Q (Fredro Starr) or Hakeem (Lamont Bentley).
We've got none other than Usher, whose dimples were as irresistible in 1997 when he played Jeremy Davis, a classmate who cranks up the charm at a home-thrown pajama party, as they are now. But sorry, Jeremy, Moesha prefers it her way—and she is not to be rushed into anything she doesn't want to do!
Major props to Q for always being there for his BFF:
Then you had a pre-10 Things I Hate About You Andrew Keegan and his flowing mid-1990s mane as Moesha's old friend who comes back into her life after her father of all people plans a reunion. Of course dad Frank has immediate second thoughts once he sees the sparks flying! In the end, Moesha concludes that staying pals is the way to go.
Q's friend Khalib—hey, it's Ginuine!—also had a thing for Moesha once she got to college:
Aside from the guys angling for a date with the lady of the hour (or half-hour, minus commercials), check out who else stopped by:
Kobe Bryant, who had just joined the Lakers after graduating from Philadelphia's Lower Merion High School (and taking Brandy to prom!) made his acting debut as Terry Hightower, a star basketball player who at first wants to cheat on his SAT with Moesha's help. She of course declines (she's the moral center of the show, people!) and encourages him to believe in himself. Guess what? He kills it and scores that scholarship.
Meanwhile, Brandy and Kobe always maintained that they went to prom as friends and have been just that all along.
Brandy did, however, date Boyz II Men's Wanya Morris—and here's the whole group, in the kitchen! She and Morris also had a hit together with "Brokenhearted" and she opened on their II World Tour in 1995.
Lil' Kim, in her original guise, had a spot-on cameo as the high-maintenance girlfriend (named Diamond, natch) of producer Lamont, who Ray J's Dorian "D-Money" Long wanted to get in good with.
Andell (Yvette Wilson) had a decision to make about her relationship with Bernie (Bernie Mac) after her old college sweetheart, Earl—Shemar Moore, years before he was Hunky-McHunkerstein FBI profiler Derek Morgan on Criminal Minds—turned up and proposed.
Gabrielle Union (she who also carries the hasn't-aged-a-day gene) played head cheerleader Ashli, who encourages Moesha to try out for the squad—and then doesn't pick her! Oh, bring it on!
Fast forward 19 years and Brandy and Gabrielle had the sweetest mutual-fan-girl moment when they reunited while Brandy was doing Chicago on Broadway and Gabrielle insisted she come on her show, Being Mary Jane.
One of the perks of Moesha's new job at Vibe magazine—getting to see Mary J. Blige up close and personal.
It's LeAnn Rimes to the rescue when Moesha and Kim (Countess Vaughn) have a falling out and she gives them some tips on how to repair their friendship (after an MTV FANatic contest allows them a meet-and-greet with the country superstar, that is). Kim gets a chance to sing for her idol, too.
Share your favorite Moesha moments in the comments—and remember the days when opening credits were a must-watch!