Boy Crushes of the 80’s and 90’s

by Corinne Barber

Leonardo DiCaprio

Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Leonardo DiCaprio started as a successful child star who has been able to continue his sterling career up until this day. We were amazed by him in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, first got a crush in Basketball Diaries, and were complete Leo devotees by Romeo and Juliet. And Leo is reassuringly still super hot today. He’s also the reason why many of us have fish tanks in our apartments. Just on the off chance.


Dylan McKay

Those smoldering eyes, the leather jacket, the way he rode that motorcycle… Whereas Brandon was handsome and wholesome, David a bit nerdy but still cute, and Steve, well, you just wouldn’t go there…Dylan was the one who truly got your heart racing every time Beverly Hills 90210 came onscreen. And the writers gave him a strong character arc and lots of real issues to deal with (abandonment, alcoholism) to match those brooding good looks. Dylan 4 Eva.


River Phoenix

Taken from us far too soon, River Phoenix was undoubtedly the star of many teen girls’ fantasies. Thoughtful and troubled, he was the original bad boy we all wanted to save.


Matt LeBlanc

Who didn’t have a crush on Joey?! Matt LeBlanc had the ideal mix of humor, sexiness, and that slightly shy smile. And he was less of a womanizer in person than the character he played on Friends. He is an Italian-American and they’re all about mia famillia, right? In Joey’s words: “Heyyyy, how you doin’?”



Dean Cain

Hard-working Clark Kent by day, SUPERMAN when danger calls, and drop-dead gorgeous all of the time. Dean Cain was the original superhero and is undoubtedly the best-looking man in lycra! The only other superhero to challenge him in hotness is Hugh Jackman as Wolverine.


Nick Carter

Cheeky grin? Check. Bleached spiky hair? Check. Sweet voice? Check. Cool dance moves? Check. Everyone’s favorite teen heartthrob? CHECK. Nick Carter was my pick out of the Backstreet Boys….and was probably yours too.

Jonathan Taylor


Jonathan Taylor Thomas

Not only was he the star of Home Improvement but he was also the voice of Simba in The Lion King (who, c’mon, we all secretly had a crush on too… no?! Just me then.) Jonathan’s baby blues and clean-cut look made him the perfect man to take home to meet the parents.


Bowie in Labyrinth

We don’t know why, but there’s just something about how Bowie pulls off those leather trousers in Labyrinth. That Goblin King’s smile is wicked and while you’re terrified of what he’s going to do next, that’s also what excites you about him. And obviously Bowie himself is a rock god and a living legend who can pull off the androgynous look like it’s nobody’s business.


Ferris Bueller

The original cheeky popular kid. His confidence alone was enough to make your teenage self weak at the knees, but really it was his heart of gold that won you over (as well as his ability to smooth talk his way out of any situation). Lucky Sloan.




Dawson and Pacey

The two sides to the eternal love triangle that kept us tuning in to Dawson’s Creek week after week. Most girls either switched between barracking for Dawson one week and Pacey the next, or were a diehard fan of either one. Pacey was the more rebellious and, in a way, cooler, one but it was Dawson’s Creek, after all. Joey toyed with both their hearts and we felt their teenage angst. Pretty sure this was also the inspiration for Twilight’s Jacob/Edward love triangle, but who cares? Either of these boys are responsible for our long-running hope that one day a boy will be that romantic towards us…and look that good with curtain-fringe hair.

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