Do you remember your very first crush? Maybe. Was it someone you saw on TV? Possibly. Is it someone on this list? Most likely.
We grew up during a time of truly iconic television, and even more iconic-ly, crushable characters. Hopefully, this list brings back some fun memories, and maybe you’ll be reminded of one or two embarrassing journal entries in the process. This is in no particular order since it was pretty tough trying to pick favorites — but that’s where you come in! Cast your vote in the crush poll and see who rises to the top!
AVAN JOGIA (Beck, Victorious)
Oh Beck, the male half of the chaotic but adorable duo we all know and love – Beck and Jade! Level-headed, cool, and maybe tying with Tori as the most untalented of the bunch (because honestly, when have you ever seen him sing or dance?). But he gets points for being a relatively good boyfriend, and comedic gold when coupled with Andre.
THE SPROUSE TWINS (Zack and Cody)
We had a really long run with these guys. First there was The Suite Life of Zack and Cody then The Suite Life on Deck, and you know that everyone was either team Zack (Dylan) or team Cody (Cole) from start to finish. The age old question, smart and dorky, or cool and crazy? In this list we’re tying them both though, because I for one, have had the pendulum swing both ways, and even more recently (but not too recently!) had a Jughead phase when Riverdale first aired.
THE JONAS BROTHERS (Camp Rock, Jonas)
Yes, I am putting them all together, but we’re not gonna pretend like we didn’t pick favorites. In a time when the Disney Channel was run by the girls (think Miley, Selena, Demi, Raven, you get the idea), the Jonas Brothers were a very welcome addition to the network. Their TV show was a flop, but Camp Rock would be nothing without these three gents (it would also definitely be about 70% less cringey without them, but let’s not talk about that.)
ZAC EFRON (Troy, HSM Franchise)
The classic Disney man. The basketball boy. The greatest identity crisis ever seen on television. Zac Efron, also known as Troy Bolton, was able to fight his way through the immense inner turmoil of questioning one’s identity – jock or theater kid? And he did it all while looking absolutely stunning. I maintain that Sharpay is the theater queen and deserved every single opportunity taken from her, but hey, the guy was charming.
GREGG SULKIN (Mason, Wizards of Waverly Place)
Any fan of Wizards of Waverly Place will remember the absolute insanity that was the Vampires and Werewolves era. Not only was he British, he was an artist and a werewolf. How do you even begin to top that? Yes, he was still hung up on his ex after hundreds of years, and yes, he ate his current girlfriend’s (Alex’s) ex, but surely the accent makes up for it all, right?
DAVID HENRIE (Justin, Wizards of Waverly Place)
Okay, hear me out. I know for a fact that Justin Russo had fans. Don’t pretend! If you were Team Cody when you watched The Suite LIfe then you were also most likely Team Justin when you watched Wizards of Waverly Place, okay? I don’t make the rules. Unlike most other entries in this list, I have almost nothing negative to say about him, so if he was the object of your affections many years ago, own it. He had his annoying moments, but overall he was a good brother, a great wizard, kind, driven and a bit of a dork, but sometimes that’s cute too.
LEO HOWARD (Jack, Kickin’ It)
Probably the least popular on this list, but nonetheless still very much crush-worthy is Leo Howard, or Jack, the lead on the karate-focused Disney XD show Kickin’ It. He also guest starred in a couple of Shake It Up episodes as Rocky’s love interest. Admittedly, I do not remember much about his character or the show itself, but he looked good, and the martial arts thing is always a plus. He was kickin’ it! Get it?
Who wouldn’t want to go on a magic carpet ride? Aladdin is one of very few animated guys with a pretty sizable fanbase, it wouldn’t make sense to not have him up on this list. Plus, he’s got a genie for a best friend.
FLYNN RIDER (Tangled)
Legend has it that Flynn Rider was the product of a meeting referred to as the “Hot Man Meeting”. This was held amongst about thirty female employees working on Tangled in order to construct and deconstruct the perfect man – and some would say that the meeting worked. Flynn, also known as Eugene, is a dashing and sweet bad guy. A bit obnoxious, but sweet.
ZUKO & SOKKA (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
We’re placing these two together, because I couldn’t cut either of them from the list, so bear with me. Zuko started out not so great, but his looks and character as a whole only got better with time. Don’t pretend like you were only paying attention to his fabulous character arc. As for Sokka, whether or not we think he was awesome (which we do), the girls of the Avatar universe certainly thought so, from Princess Yue, to Suki, to Ty Lee. He was a dedicated, driven and funny guy, which certainly counts for something.
Ruth Ayambem is a Freshman Emerging Media major who enjoys binge-watching Disney Channel shows and is still not over Mason the werewolf. They can be reached at [email protected].