If Valentine's Day snuck up on you this year, you're not alone — time moves fast while you're busy doing other things (read: waiting in line for Chipotle, hitting snooze three times every morning, and trying to ignore the crippling existential weight of living in America in 2017). In fact, it may have seemed like just yesterday you were stuffing cards into your classmates' decorated cereal boxes mooning at your second grade crush in the lunch line. If you're riding that nostalgic wave right now, then lean into it with these depictions of your favorite '90s sidekicks as your grown-up Valentines, who are here to bolster your wistful '90s baby heart in this cold, cold, post-'90s world.
Because let's be real — while our '90s heroes and heroines had their perks, by now they are overplayed AF. It's time that we appreciate the sidekicks who put the ~sweet~ in sweetheart, who were steady and loyal and usually much funnier than their main hangs, anyway. So if you're looking for someone to take you out this February 14, feel free to take one of these '90s sidekicks out for a spin. They all have their own unique V-day styles, so be sure to pick yours accordingly and swipe right on your new '90s bae.
Chuckie Finster From Rugrats
Sweet summer child Chuckie Finster was indisputably a cinnamon roll too good, too pure for your television screen. An even-tempered, easily influenced worrywart, we may have identified more with the Tommys and Angelicas as kids, but then all kind of grew up to be Chuckies anyway (woops). But as you can see, growing up to be a Chuckie ain't so bad after all.
Chuckie Finster is basically the most precious Valentine you could ask for. He'll make you heart-shaped waffles (gluten and dairy-free because, well, Chuckie) and make sure you're properly caffeinated on your way out the door, and then when you get home the two of you will order something delicious on Seamless and marathon as many Star Wars movies as you can on a work night (originals only). You will undoubtedly get drunk dialed at some point in the night by Phil, Lil, and Tommy, who are out with their dates dancing in a club, but you're too cozy to care.
Phoebe Heyerdahl from Hey Arnold
Speaking of sweet summer children, mild-mannered but secretly tough AF Phoebe Heyerdahl took more flack from her bestie Helga Pataki than a tennis racket takes from balls. Deeply empathetic and ridiculously smart, there was really no match for Phoebe in P.S. 118 — but you're welcome to try to step up to the plate.
Phoebe's all grown up now and owning herself and her unmatched savvy. She's in the middle of launching her third startup, but she still has the time to make you a personalized app that reminds you she loves you with cutesy push notifications for Valentine's Day. To celebrate, the two of you will head to an intimate, candle-lit restaurant in the city you made reservations for well in advance, splitting a bottle of wine and a fancy molten chocolate cake.
Miranda Killgallen from As Told By Ginger
Nobody kept Sheltered Shrubs on its toes quite like Miranda Killgallen, who was every bit as unapologetic as she was fierce. Responsible for the show's most iconic liners, she may have been a "sidekick" in the series, but she was undeniably a queen. Really, who else had the power to move and shake like she did?
Miranda is unlike any other Valentine you've had before. She buys you chocolates, but unrepentantly eats a few before she forks them over; she invites you to the house party her friend is throwing, but gets there late and leaves you to mingle with strangers for a half hour. You weirdly don't have it in you to be annoyed — Miranda's one of a kind, and you're lucky just to be able to keep up.
Twister Rodriguez from Rocket Power
#Bless Twister Rodriguez, whose laid back vibes and blunt jokes were the only thing that tempered people from strangling his egomaniac best friend. Always up for adventure and repping all of his with his lifelong love for burritos, Twister is an ideal chill V-Day companion.
Twister may be a little bit of a hot mess, but he'll get his ducks in a row for you, Valentine. The two of you will spend the day exploring the city on the back of his motorbike (popping wheelies every now and then, because YOLO), and eat his precious burritos on a picnic in the park that is decidedly more tame. Your love may be a little unconventional, but there's no doubt that it's true — you're the only one aside from his mother who's allowed to call him "Maurice".