The 1990s were a time of day-glo outfits, 1970s-inspired accessories, and phenomenally floppy haircuts. The bonkers decade also produced some of the raddest babes around. You know who I'm talking about — those
'90s heartthrobs you definitely forgot existed. You'll want to run your hands through their product-filled hair, borrow their unwashed flannel, and ask them to recite their iconic lines of dialogue over and over again.
Now, these aren't
just any '90s heartthrobs. These are the ones audiences swooned over then and have since forgotten about with the natural passage of time. Whether they retired from acting or just too their careers in another direction, these men eventually lost their prime placement on the wall of Teen Beat posters. It'll all be okay, though. The internet will always remind everyone of the most swoon-worthy dudes that still deserve all the recognition they once had. "But I never stopped loving them," you say, "I just found room in my heart for newer, cooler dudes with more fashionable jackets." At least these heartthrobs were so cute, they transcended even the most questionable '90s trends.
Pop in your Ace of Base cassette and plug in your unironic lava lamp for these
'90s heartthrobs worth appreciating every day. 1 Barry Watson
It's time everyone addressed the elephant in the room: Actor Barry Watson could, forever, and always,
get it. He played caring brother Matt on 7th Heaven for years, and it was hard not to find him foxy. Let fans not forget his starring role in My Date With The President's Daughter, too. While that pink mini-dress was obviously the breakout star of the movie, it officially made Barry Watson break through into the hearts of America's youth. 2 Lee Thompson Young
Man, did Disney Channel know what they were doing with their casting. Lee Thompson young starred in
The Famous Jett Jackson, and was pretty much the only guy apart from Neo in The Matrix that could make wearing a pleather duster look cool. 3 Andrew Lawrence
Andrew Lawrence had two older brothers that paved the way for him. They each got to star in a memorable sitcom (
Blossom and Boy Meets World, respectively), and the youngest Lawrence never got his chance to shine. Today, you are saluted, star of The Other Me and Jumping Ship. You were cute, too. 4 Kirk Fogg
One of the legends of
Legends of the Hidden Temple was definitely the TV show's host. 5 Sam Huntington
Jungle 2 Jungle, will you please stand up. He continued acting, and retained some nerd cred, too. It's a shame more people don't know who Sam Huntington is. 6 Ryan Merriman
Merriman starred in two unforgettable Disney Channel films
and went onto have a career afterwards, he for sure deserves the #1 spot in your '90s-loving heart. Remember Smart House? The Luck of The Irish? What about Final Destination 3? All definitely worth remembering for Merriman's charm. 7 Mike Vitar
The Sandlot is mostly a coming-of-age tale about boys, baseball, bonding, and first crushes. But for so many viewers, it's even more of that: It's an introduction to Mike Vitar, who played the swoon-worthy Benny 'The Jet' Rodriguez, the cutest, coolest, and nicest guy on the block. 8 Erik Von Detten
You'll remember this blonde icon as a skater dude, a teen experiencing a personal Groundhog's Day on Christmas, or the guy unworthy of making Mia Thermopolis' foot pop in
The Princess Diaries. 9 Chez Starbuck
Disney Channel original movie
The 13th Year was about what happens when a teenager turns 13 and finds out he's actually a merman. Wherefore art thou, Chez Starbuck? You and your unreal name and blond swoopy locks to die for. 10 Devon Sawa
As a kid, Devon Sawa starred in films like
Now & Then and Casper, and made adolescent hearts flutter beyond belief. Eventually, he went on to star in the Final Destination series (among other things), but it's hard not to see him as a true '90s teen dream. 11 Nathan West
Nathan West appeared in a few '90s and '00s films, and was the perfect goofy, brooding brunette counterpart to the many surfer blonds the '90s brought to the big screen. Fun fact: He is married to
Grey's Anatomy actor Chyler Leigh, whom he met while filming Not Another Teen Movie. Amazing, right? 12 Philip Van Dyke
Halloweentown hottie made being too cool look, well, cool. 13 Nate Richert
Sabrina's perfect boyfriend Harvey was totally brought to life by actor Nate Richert, who isn't a household name and totally deserves to be.
14 Brandon Lee
Brandon Lee was the perfect celebrity. He looked like a rockstar, he was terrifying in
The Crow, and was the son of martial arts icon Bruce Lee. Unfortunately, he passed away while filming cult '90s hit The Crow. He lives on in the hearts of fans forever, though. 15 Thomas Ian Nicholas
He is the unsung, babyfaced-but-handsome hero of the
American Pie franchise and I will not tolerate arguments against it. Also he was in Rookie of The Year, which is a very good movie, in terms of stressful baseball films aimed at kids from the '90s. 16 Will Friedle
He wasn't just the goofy, under-appreciated brother on
Boy Meets World. Friedle was also the voice of Ron Stoppable on the Disney animated series Kim Possible. A laid-back guy in a baggy sweater with a sense of humor? Is he accepting volunteers for dates? 17 Edward Furlong
Let's be honest: Only those who watched
Terminator 2 in their youth would understand the love for teenage John Connor. The angst! And the swoopy hair. Also, dude on a motorcycle with Arnold Schwarzenegger. If you were a kid when T2 was released, you definitely had a thing for newcomer Edward Furlong.
You may have forgotten about these '90s heartthrobs, but they are definitely worth remembering.