14 Nerdy Crushes You Definitely Had In The '90s
Nerds: Gotta love 'em, right? If we're really being honest, we've all got a little nerd inside of us, which is probably why we find those who embrace their nerdiness so gosh darn adorable. Hence all of those nerdy crushes you had in the '90s because, let's be real, 'twas a decade when nerdiness reigned supreme. I mean, c'mon, how else can you describe our affinity for hammer pants and Hypercolor t-shirts? Chemistry kits and water rockets? We '90s kids have nerd hearts, and those nerd hearts have lots of love to give.
Think about it. Were there plenty of heartthrobs whose posters you pinned to your walls? Of course. You swooned over the swoopy-haired debonair of guys like Devon Sawa and Ryan Gosling back in his Mickey Mouse Club days. But there were myriad other crushes you kept secret out of fear your friends might judge you for them. Little did you know back then, but your BFF was probably harboring the same covert nerd crushes you were. Or, hey, maybe you and your besties celebrated the notework-name-doodling worthiness of '90s nerds together.
Whatever the case may be, nerds of the '90s certainly stole our affections. Here are a few that probably still make your heart flutter.
Harry Potter's Neville Longbottom
The first Harry Potter film may not have come along until 2001, but we had plenty of fuel for our Neville Longbottom fascination long before that — thanks to the 1997 release of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. A dude who loves nature and isn't afraid to stand up for what he believes is right to protect his friends? Sign us up!
Bill Nye the Science Guy
Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill! Don't play like you didn't ever see ol' Bill in that light. He made science fun, and his facial expressions were — how do you kids say it these days? — on fleek.
Boy Meets World's Cory Matthews
Every '90s girl dreamed of someone looking at her the way Cory looked at Topanga. Shawn was dreamy, sure. But Cory was the kind of guy you just knew would always have your best interest at heart.
The Sandlot's Scotty Smalls
Not only did he give us one of the most enduring '90s catchphrases — say it with me now: "You're killin' me, Smalls!" — but Scotty Smalls was also just super cute. And kind of unintentionally funny. Sweet, too! Basically, he was an all-around winner.
That bucket hat, tho.
It's probably hard for younger Millennials to remember a time when Patrick Dempsey wasn't "McDreamy" on Grey's Anatomy, but when '90s kids first started crushing on him he was a bit of a gawky geek. If you haven't watched the 1987 rom-com Can't Buy Me Love (which was a cult favorite in the '90s), you're missing out on Dempsey's defining years as McNerdy.
Doogie Howser, M.D.'s Doogie Howser
He was so little! And his stethoscope was so big! Who knew the scrawny braniac from this TV series would go on to win our hearts once again as womanizer Barney in How I Met Your Mother — not to mention a stellar producer, singer, TV host and, you know, generally kickass human being.
Our love for Anthony Edwards really blossomed during his years as Dr. Mark Greene on TV series E.R. , but it started long before he donned scrubs. In fact, we first fell for this goofy guy when he aced the role of Gilbert Lowe in 1984's Revenge of the Nerds. Soon after came his portrayal of Goose opposite Tom Cruise's Maverick in Top Gun, and we were sold.
My So-Called Life's Brian Krakow
Jared Leto's Jordan Catalano always (understandably) got the credit for being My So-Called Life's resident hottie with the perfect hair, but we all secretly felt like poor Brian Krakow was getting shafted. After all, did you see his hair? Those curls were to die for.
Never Been Kissed's Josie Gellar
Poor Josie Grossie! We all felt for Drew Barrymore's bubbly-yet-beleaguered reporter sent back to school in Never Been Kissed, which isn't surprising considering how frickin' cute she was in this 1999 film.
11 & 12. Michael Bolton (Both Of Them!)
You might be thinking, "Wait, there are two Michael Boltons?" To which I'd reply, "Of course there are, my friend!" There's the '80s soft-rocker with the hardcore mullet we all knew and love thanks to our moms playing him on repeat, and then there is the equally studly gangsta-rapping, fax machine breaking, penny embezzling Michael Bolton from Office Space .
Family Matters' Steve Urkel
Admittedly, a huge part of Steve Urkel's appeal was his alter ego, the smooth-talking Stefan Urquelle. Whatevs, though — nerdy Urkel with his "Did I do that?" slogan was cute as a button, too. And the way he worshiped the ground Laura walked on? We'll take that any day.
Admit it: we're all still in love with this library card-carrying, saxophone-playing, feminist ideal-spouting cartoon character ... and we wouldn't have it any other way.
Images: 20th Century Fox Television; Giphy (14)