The 1990's were such a great time in television and music. Things just seemed a bit more vibrant and colorful on television and that was always reflected in the clothes —and sets of hit 90's TV.
Plus, there's something to be said about the hunks of that time too. We're not sure what it was exactly, but there was just a down-to-earth quality about so many of the men in the 90's. They didn't need to look absolutely perfect — nor could they because it was the 90's and things were very different then! But there was zero pretension and less chiseled and perfect looking bodies, it was just more fun. Plus, there weren't things like social media back then, so besides the fun teen rag magazines, we didn't really know what was going on in their personal lives and that always seems like maybe a better idea.
There are so many great 90's hunks to choose from. There are the sitcom faves like Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Mario Lopez from Saved By The Bell or Will Smith from Fresh Prince. Or Jason Priestley and Luke Perry from the very dramatic hit Beverly Hills, 90210. And then there are the guys who hit the ground running in the movie scene like Freddie Prinze, Jr. and James Marsden and Skeet Ulrich. Really, the list is so vast it makes our knees a little weak thinking back to that time.
So, please — pick your favorite 90's hunks and find out which one's your match!
This just has to be said — is there anyone out there who didn't have a huge crush on Uncle Jesse from Full House? He was just always one of the most interesting characters on that show. He was this rough around the edges musician who played with the Beach Boys — seriously, did they ever explain how that happened? But then he also so warm and always there for the girls and such a good husband to Becky. Really, John Stamos — is there anything you can't do?
For those true Leonardo DiCaprio fans out there, we all remember that it wasn't 1996's Romeo + Juliet that first brought him into our lives. It was his stint on the hit show Growing Pains that made everyone and their mother fall in love with him. And then shortly after that it was the angsty What's Eating Gilbert Grape alongside Johnny Depp. The 90's was a total hay day for Leonardo DiCaprio though as he was just getting famous and had all those great roles of someone who was really in it for his art.
If you didn't watch 1995's Casper when you were younger and imagine yourself hanging out around your haunted mansion with a cute ghost that turned out to be an even cuter teenage boy, you seriously weren't doing the 90's right. The world definitely sat up and noticed Devon Sawa alongside a young Christina Ricci in Casper. He also caught up with her again in the nostalgic 70's drama Now & Then. We're just realizing right at this moment that they starred alongside one another in two movies back to back. Let us all take a moment to appreciate this.
We have a theory here that makes a lot of sense, especially in regards to Brad Pitt. Maybe the beginning part of something really is the most magical and beautiful because it's so new, so nothing has had a chance to mess it up yet. Think about it. In the 90's we got to see a young Brad Pitt in movies like Thelma & Louise, True Romance, Legends of the Fall and even Fight Club. There was just no other era that treated Brad Pitt so well. We miss it.
Who knew that watching a cheesy TV show about a teenage girl taking down vampires would lead to the world full on loving David Boreanaz. When he came into Buffy's world, he was this handsome mysterious figure and the viewers just immediately gravitated towards him and his storyline. So much so in fact that Angel actually got his own show that lasted five seasons. To have a television network actually take notice of that love and give a character their own show — we'd have to say that yes, fans really did love David Boreanaz.
Looking back at Heath Ledger's performance in 1999's 10 Things I Hate About You can make us feel a bit sad because he's no longer with us, but really, it's just a reminder of the greatness he brought to the movie world. Even in a fun teen rom-com such as 10 Things, he was able to deliver a performance that was layered and complex and he still managed to hit the typical notes of being charming and funny as well. This movie is quite a gem and so was he.
Jared Leto as Jordan Catalano in My So-Called Life is basically a mood. He was so aloof and only showed up when he wanted to and yet he still had these really intense and tender moments with Angela Chase, played by Claire Danes, that totally made you swoon. And then just when things were going smoothly, he screws everything up by not showing up or acting like he doesn't like her. Still, with all that, the world fell in love with Jared Leto in this role and we'll just never forget about it.
We'll always love the show Blossom because not only did it let us see a teenage girl's family life from a quirky yet real perspective, but it was a show that brought us Joey Lawrence as the hysterical older brother. Seriously, if you don't look at any photo of Joey Lawrence and think of him saying his signature "Whoa!" in that very specific funny pitch, then what did you spend your 90's doing? It better not have been actually living your life rather than sitting in front of the TV because that's weird.
Was there any greater "bad boy" in the 90's than Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills, 90210? He just had it all going for him. He was ruggedly handsome and fiercely independent, mostly due to his family life growing up. He was also involved in one of those back and forth things with both Brenda and Kelly throughout the whole series — we all wanted to be those girls. Luke Perry was the one who brought this all to life and let us all thank the TV gods who brought him to that role.
Boy bands were such a huge part of growing up in the 90's and thank goodness 'N Sync and Justin Timberlake were a big part of that equation. Of course we all first met Justin when he was on The Mickey Mouse Club in the early 90's, but things really took off for him when 'N Sync happened. You know you did that thing with your friends where you had to pick between them and the Backstreet Boys and from there you had to pick your favorite guy. Justin Timberlake was always ours.
Freddie Prinze, Jr.
Is it just us or does anybody miss those edge-of-your-seat movies from the 90's like I Know What You Did Last Summer that totally capitalized on pretty people running around doing silly things and getting stalked for it. Those were just the days for movies like that and it was also the time when we got to know the tall drink of water also known as Freddie Prinze, Jr. He possessed that boy next door charm and good looks, but there was also always something deeper going on beneath the surface and boy, did we want to find out what it was!
We're not going to lie. Even when Skeet Ulrich's character was all mysterious and a little bit dangerous — up until the big reveal, we couldn't help but want him to be with Neve Campbell's character. It wasn't until the very end of that movie that we lost interest, but up until that point, we were fully digging those two little strands of hair on either side of his face that fell so gingerly. We love seeing him play a dad on Riverdale, but Scream was where it all started for Skeet Ulrich.
Let's just say that you didn't get the proper middle school experience unless you fell in love with the dude who sat behind you in band only to dance the night away at the eighth grade dance to "Hero" by Enrique Iglesias. We just can't help but think of all of his soft spoken love ballads when it comes to being awkward and in middle school. Little did we know at the time though that Enrique Iglesias was so ridiculously good looking that it's really not fair.
Chances are, if you were into the whole boy band phenomenon of the 90's then Nick Carter was sending your cute boy radar through the roof. A lot of people recognized him as almost the frontman of Backstreet Boys even though there were five of them in the group! He was the youngest of the group and that definitely showed with that baby face and great dance moves. Who here remembers all the choreography to "Backstreet's Back"? No, just us? Cool.
Will Smith was just the epitome of cool in the 90's and that came through on a little show called The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The whole concept of a fish out of water teenager from Philadelphia being sent to live with his wealthy family in California, it just worked like a charm. Plus, what Will Smith brought to that role, which was a whole lot of playfulness and charisma and charm, it just took things to such a great place. No wonder the show was a total hit.
Now, we're not saying that you absolutely had to pick between Mario Lopez and Mark-Paul Gosselaar from Saved By The Bell when you were younger, but chances are you probably did. You probably liked A.C. Slater if you were into the sensitive jocks as even though Lopez played a wrestler, he was also always a great friend and sensitive boyfriend to Jessie Spano too. Who knew Mario Lopez would go on to be an entertainment host on Extra, but we're sure glad he got his start on Saved By The Bell!
Ryan Phillippe definitely caught everyone's attention playing Sarah Michelle Gellar's tough but very blonde and cute boyfriend in I Know What You Did Last Summer, but it was truly Cruel Intentions that really put him on the map. This was the movie in the 90's that you absolutely did not want to watch with your parents. There were all sorts of temptations and improprieties all featuring teens and Phillippe's character Sebastian was at the center of it all. This was the movie that you wished you could live in that world, if only for a day.
Paul Rudd as Josh in the movie Clueless was such a highlight of the 90's for so many people because he just fit like a glove for that role. There was such a great chemistry between him and Alicia Silverstone that played like step brother and sister, but obviously filtered way over into the world of romance so seamlessly that you didn't even realize you wanted it to go there. He was sweet and handsome and caring and not afraid to call her out on her shenanigans — he was basically perfect!
The world totally fell in love with Jason Priestley as Brandon Walsh on Beverly Hills, 90210 in the 1990's because we basically had to. Priestley's character was the caring big brother to Brenda that all of us always wanted. He was continually there for Dylan when things went awry with his family. He was a good boyfriend to Kelly when they dated off and on as well. He was just an all-around nice guy who was also pretty easy on the eyes, so why wouldn't you like him?
Matthew Perry will just always be one of the most lovable "Friends" out there. Even saying the name Chandler Bing almost immediately brings a smile to your face because you're met with all these great television memories that involve him and his loved ones. Also, Chandler went on to have this amazing relationship with Monica and you fell even more in love with him through that because you got to see him as such a supportive partner. And that was a truly beautiful thing.
Is it just us or does anybody else immediately think back to dark grade eight dances that involved most boys and girls on opposite sides of the gym while "I'll Be Missing You" blares over the speakers when they think of Puff Daddy. We have to put this out there as well — he no longer goes by Puff Daddy anymore. It was P Diddy for a while and now it might just be Sean Combs. Whatever the name is he's going by currently, we will always have a soft spot for you, sir.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Jonathan Taylor Thomas was the epitome of a 90's poster boy. Meaning you could find about six full-length posters of him in any issue of Tiger Beat for about three years in the mid 90's. It's kind of funny that his claim to fame came about when he played one of the three sons of a not-so-handy handyman with his own TV show. Jonathan Taylor Thomas did go on to do his own thing though. Let us all remember a little movie called I'll Be Home For Christmas he starred in with fellow 90's TV alum Jessica Biel.
The 90's was the height of medical dramas as it was when ER started and Chicago Hope was around as well as Third Watch. It was also the time when George Clooney played the handsome Dr. Doug Ross on ER. He's such a massive movie star now, but it's actually so fun to look back and see where some of them got their big break. ER was definitely that place for George Clooney and what a great show to take those steps from.
Does anybody else remember that moment in Party of Five when everyone is gathered for an intervention for Bailey, Scott Wolf's character, and his sister Claudia tells him that she loves him best. That's pretty much how we feel about Scott Wolf's portrayal of Bailey on the 90's drama that featured a small group of siblings taking care of one another after their parents pass away in a car accident. That show was such a great family drama that also looked at teen issues. We'll always have a soft spot for it and for Scott Wolf.
Chris Klein's lacrosse loving character Oz in a certain movie franchise related to a pie was pretty much the be all and end all for a lot of people who tuned in to watch a group of friends trying to lose their v card. He was the best of both worlds really. He showed up for his friends and supported them and was never judgmental. But he was also a super sweet boyfriend who wasn't afraid to show his sensitive side. We're getting nostalgic just thinking about sweet Oz!
Michael Vartan as the lovable Mr. Coulson in Never Been Kissed alongside Drew Barrymore was such a special little thing to watch. He was that teacher in high school that we all had a crush on. He loved what he was teaching and his students and that really stood out. Vartan playing that character always made us think of those special teachers back in the day that you remember so fondly now. Only, Drew Barrymore's character Josie got to live out our fantasy!
Josh Hartnett always reminded us of that really quiet but cool guy in high school who always sat in the back of the class and maybe didn't say much, but he always passed his classes with flying colors because there was a lot going on under the surface. He always had that mysterious vibe going pretty darn strong. The Faculty was such an underappreciated little teen movie from the 90's that not a lot of people talk about now. But the combination of an angsty teen drama with a teacher alien invasion somehow totally worked!
James Marsden will always be one of the greatest pretty boys of the 1990's. He had those blue eyes that felt as though they were piercing right through to your soul. He really just looked as though he belonged on the cover of a really cheesy 90's magazine. In 1998 he acted alongside Katie Holmes in a teen film. We'll always remember that movie as the one where Katie Holmes tried to remind everyone she was not little Joey Potter from Dawson's Creek.
7th Heaven was such an interesting show. It was on The WB network which then turned into The CW which now plays host to nothing but supernatural or teen dramas. We're not really sure we would find a show about a Reverend and his family on television today as there always needs to be a gimmick. But Barry Watson's character Matt Camden, the eldest son was always interesting to watch. Mostly, we suspect it was a lot of our moms who thought this guy was pretty hunky.
You really couldn't grow up in the 90's without watching Saved By The Bell on the regular. It was such a staple in so many homes. Along with being a wholesome and fun television show for young adults everywhere, Saved By The Bell also helped to launch the professional acting life of Mark-Paul Gosselaar who played none other than Zack Morris. He was such a dreamboat to so many girls (and guys) with that charm and quick wit and blonde hair and high tops — he was the whole package!
You might think that the big Keanu Reeves movie that we're going to talk about here would be Speed, but any true fans of his would probably go as far back as Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures to truly show their appreciation. Sure, Speed was the big movie that sort of cemented his more serious acting life and put him on the map as far as leading men were concerned. But it was his portrayal of Ted that made him lovable, fun and goofy for so many women out there.
If you didn't watch Dawson's Creek and immediately try to decide if you were a Pacey fan or a Dawson fan, then you probably weren't doing 90's TV in the correct way. We didn't have a favorite, but we do have to point out that Pacey was basically the perfect boyfriend to Andie, who suffered from mental illness. And he also helped Joey build a Bed & Breakfast and took her on a sailing trip for the summer and didn't get handsy once. He was basically the perfect high school boyfriend.
Here we have another cutie from ER with actor Omar Epps. He played Dr. Dennis Gant on the medical drama in the mid 90's. Also, let us not forget the pivotal role Epps played in the popular Scream franchise. He appeared in Scream 2 to be exact. He played the boyfriend of Jada Pinkett Smith's character who gets butchered in front of an entire movie theatre and everyone thinks it's a joke. There was always something very peculiar about that scene. But, anyway — we'll always appreciate Omar Epps though!
James Van Der Beek
Not everyone was a fan of the title character of the massively popular teen 90's drama, Dawson's Creek. A lot of people preferred his sidekick Pacey as he just seemed to have a tighter grasp on reality, plus Joshua Jackson's chemistry with Katie Holmes (who played Joey Potter) was practically electric. James Van Der Beek did have a few things going for him though. For one, he was always super cute and he also had nice chemistry with Michelle Williams who played Jen Lindley. What about you? Were you Team Dawson or Team Pacey?
Before the world knew him as Peter Parker in the Spider-Man series, Tobey Maguire got his start in more serious indie films that garnered quite a bit of attention when they came out. He starred alongside Kevin Kline and Joan Allen in The Ice Storm which was nominated for Golden Globe awards back in the day. And who remembers a little movie called Pleasantville in which he acted opposite Reese Witherspoon. With that cute hair and soft smile though, we'll always think of him as the first Spider-Man!