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The Thinking Person's Most Regrettable '90's Crushes

By Emily Chambers | Case Study In Hotness | April 15, 2016 |


90s Crushes.jpg

No, this isn’t just another list of people who were considered heartthrobs in the ’90s. Those lists are single-handedly powering one wing of Buzzfeed, and make people feel just slightly embarrassed along with nostalgically delighted. Everyone knows it was silly to have a crush on J.C. Chasez. We knew back them it was a bad idea. Look:
JC Facial hair.jpg
Guy has a landing strip on his chin. This was never going to work out well.

But there were some crushes that the nerdier, slightly pretentious among us nursed because we believed it made us seem cool. “Oh, you’re into Richard Grieco? I mean, he’s alright I guess. But I’m more of a Johnny Depp girl. I just think he’s more of an artist,” said Me If My Parents Had Had Cable In 1987. And now Mr. Artist has turned into what would be a caricature of himself were he not actually just a walking collection of scarves and hats. These crushes cut because we thought they made us better when actually they’re pretty much just the worst.

Leonardo DiCaprio
Then
Young Leo.jpg
“Oh, you guys like Leo now? I just call him Leo for short. Yeah, everyone likes him from Titanic, but I actually first thought he was hot in The Basketball Diaries a couple of years ago. My mom didn’t know I watched it because it’s about drugs and stuff.”

Now
Leo Vaping.jpg
Look at that picture. Really look at it. Now imagine how this guy smells. Yeah.

Jennifer Love Hewitt
Then
J Love Young.jpg
Oh, J. Love. She was the sexy, girl-next-door girl before it was cool. When boys in the 7th grade said they just wanted a “sweet girl,” this is who they meant. You know, that average girl who just happened to be stunningly beautiful with a killer rack who wasn’t stuck up. She was the kind of person you could fall in love with at first sight, never speak to for 4 years, and it still didn’t seem creepy. Except of course that it was totally still creepy. But not because of her. She’s an angel.

Now
J Love Now.jpg
Vajazzling. And picking out engagement rings before getting engaged, and then going to visit that ring. And The Client List . And somehow just being a walking, talking collection of stereotypes about women that are more suited for a Cathy cartoon than for a real life, adult, human woman. Turns out that “being down to earth” thing was actually just an ability to say no to anyone. Even Jamie Kennedy.
(Sidenote: if you walked out of Can’t Hardly Wait crushing on either Ethan Embry or Lauren Ambrose, well done. They’re both holding up nicely.)

Jared Leto
Then
Jared Leto Young.jpg
Yes, Jared Leto had a pretty face. And great hair. But it was more than that. He was, like, deep. Like you just knew that underneath that pretty face was, like, an even prettier mind. And the prettiest part? He wasn’t just going to show it to anyone. Only people who could really appreciate the pretty in, like, the little things. Like how he leaned? He was a great leaner.

Now
Jared Leto now.jpg
Fuck me running, you are the worst. THE WORST. “They’re going to lock [you] away in a box after this movie comes out”? No they fucking won’t. Because that’s not even how we deal with mentally ill people anymore, and, most importantly, because people know the difference between real life and a movie. Also, Jordan Catalano? Terrible. Terrible human being. Your idea of treating a girl to a night out is to come make her watch your shitty band practice? Ugh. And let’s not forget the part about how Jordan couldn’t read. I’m not blaming him. He was let down by his family, his teachers, and an entire school system that kept passing the buck. But honors student Angela Chase can’t date a dude who can’t read. It excludes him as a romantic viable partner. It’s a sad and unfortunate existence, and I hate to be harsh but “not being able to read” is where the line is drawn. And luckily I can’t imagine I’ll be getting a lot of strongly worded letters from the illiterate community.

Jenny McCarthy
Then
Jenny McCarthy Young.jpg
Sure, Jenny McCarthy is objectively beautiful, but she wasn’t like our pinup models. She made funny faces and fart jokes and would roughhouse with the dudes. She wouldn’t be pushed around, and she didn’t want to be just a pretty face and slammin’ bod. She was a comedian in the body of a Playmate, and that’s what made her cool.

Now
Jenny McCarthy Now.jpg
Leaving aside for a second the medical advice she’s given over the years, let’s just focus on Jenny McCarthy herself for a second. She sucks, doesn’t she? Even if she’d never made herself unqualified spokesperson for any cause, just her personality sucks. She’s not actually funny or talented and fart jokes aren’t funny, unless it’s a really great fart joke. There was once a part of me that believed that liking Jenny McCarthy made me a feminist. That makes me cry on the inside.

Andrew Keegan
Then
Andrew Keegan Young.jpg
Sure, in a lot of ways Andrew Keegan seemed like a dumb surfer type. But that’s just if you weren’t paying attention. Look at that hair, man. That’s the hair of a guy who’s in touch with nature. He doesn’t need to learn things because he can just feel things. He’s the kind of guy who will stay up with you all night talking about leaves and shit. And his work as an ass in 10 Things I Hate About You just proves he’s got a sense of humor about himself. He’s a super free-spirit hottie.

Now
andrew Keegan Now.jpg
Actual, real life cult leader.

Stacey Dash
Then
Dash young.jpg
There were more than a few regrettable crushes that came out of Clueless, but the smart money at the time was on Dash. If you knew anything, you knew that Clueless wasn’t just a teenybopper movie and actually it was a really great adaptation of a Jane Austen book? (This part holds up, but I was still an asshole when I explained it to people.) And Dash as BFF Dionne was great. She was in a temperamental, but loving relationship where she didn’t take any shit from her boyfriend. And most importantly, she and Cher were good friend who were good to each other. Dionne wasn’t willing to just be a sassy sidekick, and we loved her for it.

Now
Dash now.jpg
Sweet baby Jesus. What happened? It’s like Dash neglected the fact that saying stupid shit is only funny when it’s done as a satire. And she’s trying to get all that saying dumb shit money. I can only hope that the entire planet enters into an agreement: Dionne was an amazing character who existed in one perfect movie, and one perfect movie only. She was a computer-generated composite designed to show us the best friendship we could ever dream of. And then that beautiful creature disappeared. And Stacey Dash? Who is Stacey Dash?




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