13 Animated Characters Who Were Definitely Your First Crush

I fell in and out of love at least two dozen times before I was 10, and precious few of my childhood crushes were people I actually knew, or who, you know, existed in the real world. The '90s were so full of crushworthy animated characters, I am not surprised by how many of them I fell for. When you are raised on a steady stream of Disney movies and Nickelodeon cartoons it is only natural for some of the characters to give you totally unexpected feels.

For some reason, people can get a little embarrassed about admitting to animated crushes, but friends, this is a safe zone. If your first crush was animated, embrace it. All of those princes, princesses, superheroes, and adorable cartoon characters were a huge part of your childhood. They were dashing, adventurous, and most of them had amazing hair. The animators wanted you to love them.

The characters on this list are a diverse group of animated guys and girls. Some of them saved the world and some of them were just trying to make it through middle school. The one thing they all have in common is their ability to make your grade school heartbeat just a little bit faster.

1. Belle, Beauty And The Beast

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Belle approached the world with imagination and compassion. She was a total hero with gorgeous brown hair, and a vibrant personality. She was definitely my first princess crush.

2. Aladdin

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Open vest, luscious hair, flying carpet — of course Aladdin was smoking hot. His penchant for getting into trouble only added to his appeal, making him the perfect kind of "bad" boy.

3. Gambit, The X-Men

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Where do I even start with Gambit? This guy's accent combined with his undying devotion to Rogue, tortured past, and smartass sensibilities led to me mooning over him throughout the '90s.

4. Anastasia

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The degree to which I coveted Anastasia's gorgeous red hair was astonishing. Not only was she stunning, she was also crafty and resilient in a way that I definitely wanted to imitate.

5. Doug Funnie, Doug

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For the most part, Doug was an average middle school kid (who happened to be animated), but he was so sweet and earnest, he made me swoon every week though.

6. Pocahontas

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Just from a physical standpoint, Pocahontas is the most beautiful animated character I have ever seen. From her flowing hair to the graceful way she moves, she is just on point all around. She was also a strong, passionate character who deserved all the love.

7. Arnold, Hey Arnold!

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Who says football shaped heads can't be cute? Arnold was the sensitive guy I always thought I would marry when I grew up. Alas, the whole him being animated and fictional thing thwarted my plans.

8. Daria Morgendorffer, Daria

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Daria was everything I wanted to be and so much more. Her snark was flawless, her clothes effortlessly cool, and her disaffected attitude put her at the top of my crush list.

9. Tarzan

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To be perfectly honest, Tarzan still leaves me incoherent. Those muscles, guys. I mean, just look at him.

10. Patti Mayonnaise, Doug

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Patti was the classic girl next door, and I totally understood why Doug had such a massive crush on her. She was crazy smart, a gifted athlete, and completely adorable. There was nothing not to love about her.

11. Bruce Wayne, Batman: The Animated Series

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Dark and broody, Bruce was the hero of my prepubescent heart. Not only was his lifestyle appealing — all those gadgets, though — he had a jaw so square you just knew it was made for justice.

12. Mulan

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Ferocity is the quickest way to my heart, and no one was ever as fierce as Mulan.

13. Goliath, Gargoyles

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I was majorly in love with Goliath. A romantic warrior who was centuries old, Goliath was basically a gateway crush for every moody vampire I would ever fall for in my teen years.

Even if you have outgrown these animated characters now, they will forever be crushworthy.

Image: Disney; Giphy (13)