19 Celebs Everyone Was Obsessed With In The '90s

by Caitlyn Callegari

As a full grown, twenty-something person, I am a bit bewildered by the fangirl and boy meltdowns I see on the Internet everyday. Also, I am with the leagues of “un-hip” people who are not quite sure why anyone would ever call their idols “mom” or “dad.” Whatever, I guess I’m old. It’s just that, in the '90s, we obsessed over celebrities very differently. Like, we didn’t want our faves to be our parents. We usually just wanted to marry them. Was our blind worship of our role models better or worse? I guess the creepiness factor is up for debate.

As I am sure you remember, the '90s celebrity fanaticism was wide reaching and passionate. I mean, if it’s any indication, we’re still talking about it. 1990 was 25 years ago. Guys, we’re super old and obviously can’t let anything go. It’s whatever.

If you’re willing to accept your own mortality and slightly off-kilter priorities, join me as I take us back to the best decade that this world has seen as we reflect upon those special celebrities we were majorly obsessed with. Why? Because it’s fun, that’s why.

Here are 19 celebrities anyone growing up in the '90s was totally obsessed with.

1. Jonathan Taylor Thomas

Don't even pretend like you didn't crush on him. You totally, totally did. Were you watching Home Improvement for Tool Time? I think not.

2. Jennifer Love Hewitt

Girl had it going on.

3. Kenan Thompson

Was there anyone funnier? Is there anyone funnier now?

4. Kel Mitchell

He's become synonymous with Orange Soda. A '90s icon.

5. Julia Stiles

When I grow up I want to be just like Kat Stratford.

6. Hanson

Jo Bros, who?!

7. Ryan Phillippe

I think it's a universally accepted fact that Philippe was the hottest person alive in the decade.

8. Sarah Michelle Gellar

Two words for you: Bad. Ass. SMG/Buffy was the coolest and I can personally attest to that. Her poster hung proudly on my bedroom wall.

9. Heath Ledger

The Aussie was undeniably the best bad boy. Ever.

10. Destiny's Child

All of the iterations, but definitely the Queen Bey, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams iteration one.

11. Freddy Prinze Jr.

The only thing cuter than Prinze was his relationship with Gellar. And, the only thing cuter than that is that they're STILL TOGETHER and have two kids.

12. Brandy

If you didn't cry alone in your room to an angelic yet heartbreaking Brandy song then you weren't alive in the '90s. That is all. Plus, she was Cinderella.

13. James Van der Beek

Dawson, Dawson, Dawson. Damn. Even pretty when he cried.

14. Joshua Jackson

The Mighty Ducks got the whole obsession into motion, but Pacey Witter really made the infatuation stick.

15. Katie Holmes

OK, OK, the whole Dawson's Creek cast. Obsessed with them all.

16. Michael Jordan

Yes, he was, and still is, one of the greatest and most popular athletes of all time, but this isn't about that. This is about Space Jam and the unparalleled joy it brought to the world.

17. Tyra Banks

Um, Life Size, much?

18. Will Smith

This just goes without saying. Will Smith OWNED the '90s. Will Smith WAS the '90s.

19. The Boy Band Holy Trinity

Backstreet Boys

The matching outfits. I can't.


JT the only one wearing red and in the middle? Subtle foreshadowing. Real subtle.

98 Degrees

Why did I lump them altogether? Well, because a multitude of these dudes we're actually still pretty acquainted with, individually. But their presence as a band of musical brothers is really what drew us to them way back when. We really loved us some uniformity and choreography in the '90s didn't we?

As you may have noticed, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears were omitted from this list. That's simply because there wasn't a time the world wasn't obsessed with them. Keep slaying, ladies.

Images: Giphy (18); 98 Degrees VEVO/YouTube