Adorkable: A major part of their charm was their goofiness and relative approachability, at least compared to the sleek and broody image the Backstreet Boys were working. Many, if not all, of their television interviews showcased the group's excitable and humorous demeanor while their radio interviews regularly went off the rails. Their approachability was in fact one of the main reasons MTV collaborated with the group on several television specials, with many of them being informal or behind the scenes deals.
Fun Personified: These guys loved their line of work and boy did it show. Just going by their interviews and public appearances, it would not be an exaggeration to say that silliness and humor was this group's bread and butter and they were not above making fools of themselves for the sheer hell of it.
Joey and Chris were a double act of ham and snark. They once guest-hosted TRL wearing nothing but pajamas◊ and Backstreet Boys t-shirts. They filled in as guest hosts for a morning radio show in Orlando and spent the entire time cracking jokes and snarking at everything.
Justin and Chris were a comedy act upon themselves.
JC: I just want [the listeners] to have fun. Lately, everyone's been taking music so seriously. We take it seriously, but we do it in a way where you're supposed to have fun with it.
The Gadfly: Their collective sense of humor falls under "Let's say or do something to mess with people...or each other".
They especially get a kick out of screwing with their interviewers. Carson Daly has flat out stated that getting a straight answer out of Chris is next to impossible. One interview with Teen People involved deliberately saying vulgar things to the poor reporter because they knew magazines have publishing standards and can't print it.
Genki Guys: Bordering on being a band of Keets, although they do tone it down when necessary. Chris is the most obvious one as he's the loudest and most hyperactive of the group, but the other four are quite capable of keeping up with him and matching his energy.
Teen Idol: Except for Chris, who was 23 when they first formed, they were all actual teenagers under the age of 20. (Justin was 14, Lance was 16, and they required parental supervision during their years in Europe.)
Those Two Guys: More like Those Three Guys with Lance, Chris, and Joey.
Chris and Joey usually came in last in popularity polls.
Chris: [talking about the "Bye Bye Bye" video] Trains was just thrown in 'cause me and Joey didn't have anything to do.
Justin: [when asked to give a non-cliche answer about their shows] If you want something not cliche, I think we hope they walk away saying "Man, that was pretty cool". Chris: I actually hope most of the girls would home and say "Chris is hot"! [The boys laugh] That's not cliche. That's not going to happen either, shut up.
Joey and Lance were often relegated to the back in their music videos and were the least featured on their songs.
Early into the hiatus this applied to Chris and JC, who, unlike the others, had no immediate plans for their break.
Three Plus Two: What the group tended to default to, dividing into Chris/Justin/JC and Joey/Lance. Chris/Justin/JC were arguably the core trio of the group, the most senior members and the most frequently heard, making up the main harmonies while Lance's bass grounded their voices and Joey filled in the gaps. This was also how they usually divided up for public appearances when not all members were in attendance and how their tour buses were arranged.
True Companions: They were inseparable back in the day, and they all still remain good friends.
Aside from JC, who has a fear of needles, they all have tattoos commemorating their time in the band.
JC and Justin — who were friends since their Mickey Mouse Club days — are still good friends and the former has even contributed to the latter's work behind the scenes, and vice-versa, post-*NSYNC.
Joey made Lance the godfather to his kids. (Joey and Lance are more akin to Platonic Life Partners as Lance is gay and Joey is straight. They were always seen hanging out even after the band split and Lance even joked he'd marry Joey.)
They all attended Joey's wedding and were ushers for Chris's. Sadly, while they were not invited to Justin's wedding, Lance and JC were at the engagement party and Chris was supposedly at the reception.
One of the most telling indicators of their closeness back in the day was their tour bus arrangement. Starting with the No Strings Attached Tour, they could have easily afforded 5 separate tour buses to travel in, but instead only divided into 2 buses, with Justin, Chris, and JC on one bus and Joey and Lance (and their menagerie of pets) on the other.
They celebrated Chris's 40th birthday by secretly arranging with his now-wife to hire a personal chef to prepare a surprise private birthday dinner at Chris's home just for the five of them. It's especially heartwarming since Justin admitted that they hadn't been in the same room since 2005 and they had stayed up all night just to talk. Joey and Lance then surprised Chris the next day with a birthday party in Miami.
Justin went through puberty while in the group so this is to be expected. His voice was somewhat high and nasal when they started and as his voice started becoming noticably deeper, he worked hard to keep his voice a light tenor to match his pre-puberty vocals. His voice had a watery quality to it and a tendency to crack during live performances, and it wasn't until around 1999 when his voice finally settled and he got all of his singing issues sorted.
Chris' falsetto wasn't terribly strong in the beginning, though he fixed that fairly quickly. However, as he got older his voice took on a bit of a rasp and the ease of his high notes began to waver.
Non-singing related, Lance used to have a pretty strong Southern accent; it faded away eventually, but it slips out on occasion. His speaking voice is slightly higher now than when he was with the group, but he can still speak in the lower register if he feels like it.
"Dirty Pop. See, it's already gotten around. Say it once and BOOM, it's a trend."
Justin Randall Timberlake Born January 31, 1981 in Memphis, Tennessee 2nd tenor and one half of the Vocal Tag Team. Things pertaining to his solo career should go on his solo page.
Beauty Contest: Justin was apparently a regular on the Tennessee pageant circuit, prior to his joining the cast of The Mickey Mouse Club. He once entered a pageant in which all of his competitors were girls. He won.
Momma's Boy: A self-professed one. She traveled with the group fairly often, mainly when Justin was still underage, and he would sometimes bring her as his date to awards shows. He even has her initials tattooed on his back.
Motor Mouth: When he gets going, especially if Chris or Joey are enabling him, he really gets going.
Nice Hat: Around their No Strings Attached era, he was rather fond of a tan and red striped knit beanie. He wore it so often someone went and made a blog dedicated to it. He also wore a lot of bedazzled bandanas when his curls reached Funny Afro levels. Nowadays he's hardly ever seen without a fedora.
Odd Friendship: With Chris, largely due to an age difference of nearly 10 years and wildly different upbringings, Justin's childhood having consisted of being a Former Child Star while Chris had a Dark and Troubled Past. Despite that, the two of them were very close; they regularly teamed up during public appearances, spent a lot of their downtime hanging out, were likely to mention each other during solo interviews, and at one point they lived about a 5 minute walk away from each other. Even now they still keep in touch, Chris admitting he catches up with Justin about once a month and Justin stating that of the group, Chris (as well as Joey) is the one he talks to the most nowadays.
Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Initially. He's since downplayed this when he struck out on his own, but still has shades of this in interviews.
Afraid of Needles: He's apparently so afraid of needles that right after getting a flu shot, he practically bolted out of the doctor's office.
Beware the Nice Ones: JC had a bit of a reputation as the nicest and most inoffensive member of the group, but when they discovered how much money Pearlman was taking from them he was pissed, and according to Lance's memoir, was the one who spearheaded their lawsuit and move to Jive.
Break the Cutie: His incredibly rocky solo career. Despite belonging to he same label (or possibly because of it), Jive did not put nearly as much effort into backing JC as a solo artist as they did for Justin. He left Jive after multiple delays in the release of his second solo effort and after the label had allegedly sent out song leaks behind his back. Unable to find another label to support him, the album was shelved indefinitely and has yet to see the light of day. Since then he's come off somewhat jaded and has essentially retired from singing professionally.
Cloudcuckoolander: Tended to give off this impression during group interviews. He's gotten more level-headed since the hiatus/split.
During an interview with Teen People, he inexplicably started telling a story about Slinkies and Silly Putty. The other four just ignored him and started talking about fries instead, which somehow led to this observation from the reporter:
JC: They were making fun of me this one time— Justin: One time? We make fun of you all the time. JC: So I looked at my food and said 'I have such a colorful plate...' Teen People: Maybe JC deserves it.
It really didn't help that during their Celebrity promotion, he grew out his hair and made some really eccentric clothing choices, including showing up at an awards show with a hat literally pulled down over his eyes.
He has a tendency to tweet pictures of his socks at random occasions.
Covert Pervert: If the fact that he wrote "Digital Getdown" and his two solo singles were about sex (one literally titled "All Day Long I Dream About Sex") is any indication, he falls under this because of his clean-cut image and laid back personality.
Expository Hairstyle Change: He had a very clean cut image for the most part, "Digital Get Down" notwithstanding. By the time Celebrity rolled out, however, JC seemed to embrace his sexual side and grew out his hair while making some questionable wardrobe decisions.
Former Child Star: An alumnus of the 1990s revival of The Mickey Mouse Club, alongside Justin.
Happily Adopted: He was adopted by the foster parents of his biological mother, with whom he still keeps in touch.
Disappeared Dad: He's never met his biological father and has stated he has no desire to find him.
Girl Group: He's currently producing one called Girl Radical.
He also produced quite a bit for Fergie's old group Wild Orchid back in the day.
He co-wrote "Watch Me Go", which Girls Aloud recorded for their album Chemistry.
He also did some production work for Sugababes on their album Change. They allegedly recorded an extremely racy song with him, but that never came to fruition.
Iconic Item: He was rarely seen without his Leo pendant.
Large Ham: Not to be outdone by Justin when they sing, he can really belt out those notes.
Late to the Punchline: It's been brought up multiple times that he ruins jokes by completely failing to understand why everyone else is laughing.
Justin: He does ruin a lot of jokes.
Chris: Too bad there isn't a question about who gets the jokes last. [The boys laugh] JC: [A beat passes] Oh yeah! I do!
Memento MacGuffin: His aforementioned Leo pendant. He literally wore that thing all the time. He finally put it to rest sometime in 2007, apparently having wanted to make a change in his life. Notably, this was also around the time his solo career was effectively dead in the water...
Record Producer: Of the Artist as Producer and the DIY variety, as he's produced some of the group's songs and for others like Backstreet and Fergie's old girl group, Wild Orchid. He's also trying to produce his own girl group, Girl Radical, as well.
Sleepyhead: Liked to get sleep whenever and wherever he could.
Team Mom: Frequently said by the other guys to have a tendency to fuss over and baby them.
"My last name is Bass, so I could be a fisherman or you know, a bass singer."
James Lance Bass Born May 4, 1979 in Laurel, Mississippi The bass and Only Sane Man.
Consummate Liar: The group all pointed to him when asked who's the biggest liar. This plays into his sense of humor as you're never sure if anything he says is true or if he's just messing around.
Cannot Tell a Joke: Self-admitted as he tends to forget how to get to the punchline, but that hasn't stopped his sense of humor.
A Day in the Limelight: Attempted this with trying to become a cosmonaut and an actor, but it hasn't gone over as well. He's since gotten more known for his political activities.
Friend to All Living Things: A dedicated animal lover, he rode horses before joining the band, and regularly makes pleas to foster and adopt shelter pets on his radio show and social media accounts, proudly stating that he's adopted 8 shelter dogs over the years.
The bus he shared with Joey apparently had two dogs, a chinchilla, and a ferret. He owned one of the dogs and the ferret...and possibly the chinchilla.
He once posted a bunch of pictures of himself and Joey with the Aflac duck to his Instagram account and the duck seemed to like him cuddling it. In fact, a good portion of his Instagram photos are of his pets or other people's pets, even creating an account just for his dogs. He didn't even flinch when he posed for a picture with a python and he's hugged a sea lion.
The Gadfly: He apparently gets a kick out of messing with his social media followers. He shared links that both confirmed and denied the VMA reunion and as an April Fool's Day prank, tweeted a fake news storyabout the group reuniting. He's also fond of popping up at random times and scaring the living daylights out of his (incredibly patient) fiancé.
Goofy Suit: It was often brought up that he'd once worked a summer job dressed as a dalmatian named Poofu. During the filming of "It's Gonna Be Me", they were going to put Poofu in the video as a joke, but that was never filmed. The only evidence that exists of the idea is a poor-quality screencap of him in his doll makeup looking bemused and half-annoyed at the giant dog suit◊.
He Is All Grown Up: Like Justin, he got a similar reaction during their Celebrity era and especially after coming out. (Buzzfeed ranks him as the second hottest member of the group.)
I Can't Dance: Self-admitted. He honestly had no natural talent for their complicated choreography, but damn if he didn't try and keep up. He claims that he's a better dancer now than he was in the group, but thinks that's not really saying much. He supposedly claimed that as a white kid from Mississippi, he really had no business doing some of their more hip-hop inspired choreography.
The Klutz: Allegedly set his own jacket on fire after bumping into a table that had a candle. Chris claims that he's the weakest link in their pre-show ritual of a game of hacky-sack, sometimes causing the show to start late because of it. He actually twisted his ankle rehearsing the silly moves for their No Refund sketch on SNL.
Momma's Boy: A milder case than Justin. He cites her as his biggest influence and she shared the chaperone role with Justin's mother while they in Europe until he was 18. In fact, he almost missed joining the band because she didn't approve of the idea and had to be convinced to let him try.
Motor Mouth: In his current gig as a radio and television personality, he's very talkative. He's also quite chatty on Twitter and Instagram.
Nobody Loves the Bassist: Joked about. Especially since aside from a spoken bridge, a cappella performances, and a single line on a Christmas song, he's never heard on their songs. Played straight with the press as any time his name is brought up, he was met with derision.
Chris: So in other words, Lance has his sexy voice and we have each other. Chris: Lance is our lucky charm...we have to remember him wherever we go, though.
For their charity basketball game event, Challenge For The Children, they each had jerseys labeled with funny nicknames for each band member...except for Lance's, which just had his name.
Only Known by Their Nickname: Well, middle name. His full name is James Lance Bass, but he's exclusively referred to by his middle name, even by his family.
Only Sane Man: By default, really. He's just as quirky and energetic as the others, but since he's in a band with three even more energetic personalities and a Cloudcuckoolander, he just ends up looking like the "normal" one in comparison.
Pretty Boy: Second only to JC. He usually comes in third in popularity polls.
Dude Looks Like a Lady: As a teenager, because on top of going through puberty in the public eye like Justin, his features made him look quite delicate and slightly like Ellen DeGeneres. The resemblance did not slip past him as an adult and both he and Ellen have joked about it. When the boys disguised themselves as a hair metal band in their video for "U Drive Me Crazy", he and Justin honestly did look like girls.
The Quiet One: Zig-zagged. He's just as energetic as the others, but was labeled "quiet" by default because not only was he never heard on their songs, he was also overshadowed by the sheer force of personality that were the other four. Also partly invoked to ward off unwanted attention in order to protect the band's career.
Straight Gay/Camp Gay: Zig-zags between the two depending largely on who he hangs out with. He's generally quite mellow, but does play up the camp or affect certain mannerisms for laughs. In fact he got some backlash for referring himself as a straight acting gay.
Surfer Dude: This was the image that he adopted in order set him apart from Justin, but there is some truth to it as he's often spotted at the beach or poolside with his friends. He even competed in a charity surfing competition held by surfing icon Kelly Slater.
Token Religious Teammate: He is the most open about his spirituality, with his Iconic Item being a cross necklace. He's also spoken extensively about how his religion has come into conflict with his personal life, and still identifies as Christian while his fiancé is Jewish.
Transparent Closet: Before 2006, although it was more like an open secret by that point. He explicitly stated that he didn't come out in order to protect the band's career, actively choosing to be the group's Quiet One to avoid unwanted attention. He was already out to his bandmates and immediate family, and they supported his decision to stay quiet until he was ready.
Vocal Dissonance: Based on looks alone, you wouldn't really expect him to have a voice like molasses.
Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: He's tried his hand at acting, political activism, hosting television and radio programs, producing documentaries, and even space to varying degrees of success.
"I’m just a guy in a world full of girls, what else am I supposed to do? Ignore them?"
Joseph Anthony Fatone, Jr. Born January 28, 1977 in Brooklyn, New York The baritone and resident Large Ham.
Big Fun: Lovingly dubbed an "Italian Teddy Bear" by some sections of the fandom due to his boisterous personality and, uh, "cuddliness".
Broadway: Has dabbled in musical theater since the band's hiatus/breakup.
Butt Monkey: They teased each other mercilessly, but Joey definitely got the worst of it. The guys loved to pick on him, making fun of his fashion sense, his taste in music, his level of intelligence, what have you. If they're talking about group member annoyances, chances are it'll be about Joey. Here's 5 and a half minutes of the guys basically ragging on him. Even outside the group, he was usually the press' go-to guy for a good mocking.
JC: There's a rule that we follow around here, and it's 'Don't Let Joey Talk.' Chris: If I had [auditioned everyone], I don't think Joey would've made it.
A Day in the Limelight: Has solos on "I Thought She Knew", "Together Again", and several songs on Home for Christmas and leads a cover of "Celebration!" during their Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now Tour. His stints on Broadway can be seen as this as well.
A mock dossier of him from their Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now tour projections lists him as a "Methane Master" as one of his skills.
Lance: I lived on a bus with Joey Fatone. It was literally… every 10 minutes. Even this weekend at [Chris's] wedding, he was doing fart jokes. You know, he’ll do a fart joke and add a real fart into everything. I've never heard of anyone filled with gas as much as Joey Fatone.
yeyeyewhawha asks:Which member of *NSYNC do ya like to hang around? Chris: I don't know.. all of them, different times, depends on what I want to do. Unless Joey eats Taco Bell, then it's not Joey.
Large Ham: This has served him well as a television personality.
Real Men Wear Pink: The most masculine looking of the group and a notorious flirt, but enjoys musical theater, cooking, and is terrible at most sports. (He's since taken an interest in distance running and regularly competes in running events for charity.)
Supreme Chef: He's competed in cooking competitions for charity, has his own food/cooking show, and even hosts a cooking competition for Food Network.
Urban Legend Love Life: Was linked to numerous women but according to Lance, this was largely to throw off the fact that he was still with his high school sweetheart.
Younger than They Look: Looks his age now, but at the height of their fame, he was sometimes mistaken for being several years older than his actual age due to his facial hair and the fact that he was slightly larger than the others. (He's actually a year younger than JC.)
"I'm the poison in the group, the troublemaker. Everyday I'll do something and try to get the other guys to do it."
Christopher Alan Kirkpatrick Born October 17, 1971 in Clarion, Pennsylvania The countertenor and founding member of the group.
Accidental Misnaming: Much less often than JC's example above, Chris' last name is sometimes mistaken as Fitzpatrick.
The Alcoholic: During his stint on VH-1's Mission: Manband, he admitted to falling into alcoholism after NSYNC split. He's doing much better now, though.
Alliterative Name: Chris Kirkpatrick. For bonus points, his wife's name is Karly Kirkpatrick (née Skladany).
Character Tics: He's incredibly fidgety and rarely ever sits still, constantly shifting his weight while standing and bouncing his legs when sitting. He's also a nail biter and has a habit of fiddling with his headset mic/inner-ear monitor when performing.
Dark and Troubled Past: He's never spoken badly about his upbringing, but his childhood was pretty rough. He was born to a teenage mother with no financial support and his biological father left around his first birthday. His mother's subsequent relationships (one of which ended in suicide) left him with 4 younger half-sisters, the youngest being 22 years younger than him. As a result, he practically helped raise his sisters alongside his mother and got his first job at age 12 just to help keep his family afloat. Unfortunately, this did not stop them from sometimes having to live out of their car. Despite all that, he's pretty well adjusted.
Disappeared Dad: Left his mother when he was baby. Allegedly helped Chris get his bearings when he moved down to Orlando for school, but is otherwise never mentioned. Also applies to a number of his step-dads.
A Day in the Limelight: "I Drive Myself Crazy" is his main one, though he does lead their cover of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" and has solos on "Together Again", "I Thought She Knew", and practically half the songs on Home for Christmas. Oddly, his vocals are showcased pretty often outside the group's albums; he gets a verse on their cover of "When You Wish Upon A Star", shares a verse with JC during live performances of "Sailing" as well as their performance of "Dancing Machine" alongside Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5, leads a Jackson 5 medley during their Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now Tour, and is often considered the highlight of their rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and their a cappella tribute to The Bee Gees.
Expository Hairstyle Change: Around October 1999, Chris shocked a lot of people by getting rid of his signature braids. Most fans attributed the change to the then current legal woes the group was facing.
Fan Boy: Diehard fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, as well as most other sports teams from Pittsburgh.
The Gadfly: In addition to saying some truly off-the-wall things in general during interviews, Chris had a tendency to make some, ahem, questionable comments regarding his bandmates.
Chris: I gotta say mine and Joey's relationship has struggled because of all this. He used to be so kind and pay attention to me. He used to notice little things about me when I walked in the room. But now?
... Rick (MuchMusic): Say that again. Chris: What? Justin? [audience screams] Chris: Yeah. I want to scream when I hear his name, too. I can't figure it out.
... JC: I gotta tell you, I would not want to be my girlfriend. Chris: I would.
... Larry King: Lance, you're not seeing anyone? Lance: Not right now. Chris:Lance is dating me.
The Napoleon: Although he's not actually all that short, being somewhere in the range of 5'6"-5'8"note 167cm-173cm, he is the smallest of the group and the one with the most forceful personality.
Odd Friendship: With Justin, largely due to an age difference of nearly 10 years and wildly different upbringings, Justin's childhood having consisted of being a Former Child Star while Chris had a Dark and Troubled Past. Despite that, the two of them were very close; they regularly teamed up during public appearances, spent a lot of their downtime hanging out, were likely to mention each other during solo interviews, and at one point they lived about a 5 minute walk away from each other. Even now they still keep in touch, Chris admitting he catches up with Justin about once a month and Justin stating that of the group, Chris (as well as Joey) is the one he talks to the most nowadays.
One of the Kids: When the second oldest of the group is still 5 years younger than him and two were literally teenagers under 18, it's no surprise Chris didn't often act his age. Or ever, really.
Pointy Ears: Well, pointy enough to make the fandom call him every synonym for "elf" they could think of.
Perma Stubble: He could never quite eliminate that five o'clock shadow.
Rags to Riches: Born into poverty and raised by a single mother, only to end up founding one of the most successful boy bands in history. Even when the group got started he was holding down at least two jobs to make ends meet.
Chris: It's absurd to have gone from totally poor to totally rich. It's beyond absurd. I wake up in my house in the middle of the night and go, "Whose house is this?"
Chris: I just wish I could go back and talk to that kid who was poor and wearing dirty clothes and say, "Dude, I know you don't have a phone right now, you don't have a car, and you've had to work since you were twelve to make rent, but don't worry about it. Some day you're gonna spend as much on rims as you do on rent."
Raised Catholic: He attended Mass as a child, but does not mention his religion now.
Short, Dark, and Snarky: While not particularly tall and perhaps a bit more dorky than cool, he was at least snarky as hell and popular amongst the group's Periphery Demographic (namely college aged girls and slash writers).