ByTommy DePaoli, writer at
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Tommy DePaoli

Remember that time in the late nineties between "...Baby, One More Time" and the Justin Timberlake years when Britney Spears and Melissa Joan Hart were best buds?

I'd forgive you if you managed to miss it. There was a lot going on in 1999. Y2K was still a pressing threat, Prince was still going by "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince," and Jennifer Lopez was steadily making her seamless transition from actress to actress/singer. But, through all of this, Melissa and Britney managed to find a friendship for the ages.

Sadly, it didn't last, and the pair didn't take a picture together for 16 painfully dull years. That all changed, however, last week when the pair reunited for one of Britney's Vegas shows.

You're lying if you didn't just get immediate flashbacks to this seminal music video that introduced us to Britney's acting abilities.

This is from the "(You Drive Me) Crazy" video that cemented this pair's love for each other. The Stop! remix of the song was featured in Melissa's movie Drive Me Crazy, a fun girl-next-door tale also starring Entourage's Adrian Grenier.

The relationship didn't end there, though. Britney even got a cameo as herself in Melissa's show Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. In an cruel bit of fortune-telling, fictional Britney professes that sometimes being surrounded by people "is the loneliest place to be." A throwaway line of dialogue, or a harbinger of things to come?

Brit and Melissa weren't strictly professional, either. For a while, these two were everywhere together: doing stints on TRL, swapping tips on the appropriate length of a cropped tube top, and hogging the photo booth.

Seriously, look at these two and tell me they didn't share a pair of those friendship necklaces each with a half of a heart.

Like any good friends, they even used their celebrity to bend the rules a little bit. Here's an excerpt from Melissa's autobiography Melissa Explains It All: Tales from My Abnormally Normal Life:

I devised a plan to sneak her out of her hotel and then take her dancing so she could chill with people closer to her age, if just for one night. Britney loved the idea. But once we got inside, Britney got absorbed by the crowd, and I lost her. At the end of the night, I found her in a private booth with dozens of people kissing her ass as she basked in the attention and down time she’d worked so hard for…Since then, Britney’s been snuck in and out of more back doors than I can count, but I shudder to think that I first showed her how it’s done.

Wow, so Melissa, the wholesome family favorite, was the one who introduced Britney to the Los Angeles club scene. Move over, Paris Hilton, Melissa Joan Hart is the real bad influence (I kid, I kid).

Do you think this reunion will lead to Melissa and Britney rekindling their friendship? I mean, the nineties are coming back in a big way, why not come full circle with the same celebrity pals?


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