While Justin Bieber‘s incredible rise to stardom has left us dumbstruck, conflicted and a little lovesick, when we’re not hyperventilating and listening to ‘Baby’ on repeat, we try to remind ourselves that, like everything in life, this too shall pass.
Whether the Biebs has minutes or decades of success in his future remains unknown, but it’s likely his diehard fans won’t forget about him any time soon. Even in our own hardened hearts, we still have fondness for the dreamboats of yore, teen idols sent back into the wild to explore what life away from throngs of screaming fans is really like.
After the jump, we count down our biggest pre-Bieber celebrity crushes.
10. Malcolm Jamal Warner
How do we love you, Theo Huxtable? Let us count the ways. Your came from a nice family with cool parents. You were adorable with kids. You made a flat-top look good. These days, MJW is still working as a director, poet and actor, even guest-starring on a recent episode of ‘Community’ sporting a Cosby sweater.
9. Sasha Mitchell
Before he made his mark on our hearts as doofy cousin Cody on the ’90s ‘Brady Bunch’-style mixed family sitcom ‘Step by Step,’ Mitchell parlayed his Keanu-like good looks into a successful modeling career.
From his high cheekbones to the affable van-living dimwit he played, Mitchell had a whole lot to do with our later, sometimes regrettable, penchant for anyone with a flannel and a shaggin’ wagon.
8. Jonathan Brandis
There are few pre-teens that can make an ill-fitting dress and a woman’s wig look good, but Jonathan Brandis was one of them. From his big blue eyes to his husky voice, we were totally smitten with the ‘Ladybugs’ star. Brandis’ career was cut tragically short when he ended his own life at age 27.
7. Will Friedle
Will Friedle, best known for his role as Eric Matthews on ‘Boy Meets World,’ made us love him with his “doofy Portland alt-rock singer your mom would actually let you bring home” looks and charm. He wore his hair long. He wore Converse. He wore shirts over other shirts. We wore our heart on our sleeve.
6. Joey Lawrence
The only man who could make “Woah!” a catchphrase, Lawrence was every inch the dreamboat, from that amazing head of hair to his sweet dance moves. In fact, Lawrence was so hot, he couldn’t be bothered to wear a shirt for the better part of the ’90s.
5. Taylor Hanson
So what if his fame was born out of a song about gibberish? So what if he was prettier than most of the girls his age? Taylor Hanson has never stopped making us want to stand outside a mall screaming his name.
4. Rider Strong
Another ‘Boy Meets World’ alum, Rider Strong had a little bit of edge that made him stand out from the rest. From a name reminiscent of a family-friendly motorcycle gang leader to the leather jacket he wore so well on ‘BMW,’ Strong could do no wrong in our eyes.
3. Andrew Keegan
Andrew Keegan was one of those kids with the good fortune of bypassing the whole awkward stage and going straight from unbelievably good-looking young man to unbelievably good-looking adult. While his acting career has slowed in recent years, Keegan’s movie star good looks are still in place.
2. Devon Sawa
If teen idoldom was a sport, Devon Sawa would be MVP. From ‘Little Giants’ to ‘Final Destination,’ Sawa kept hitting it out of the park and had the throngs of adoring fans to prove it. Although he’s aged past 16 and gotten rid of his amazing ’90s haircut, Sawa still manages to find work, recently starring on small-screen action drama ‘Nikita.’
1. Jonathan Taylor Thomas
OMGWTFJTT. Jonathan Taylor Thomas, more commonly known as JTT, was the end-all, be-all of teen idols. The posters! The fan collages we may or may not have hung on our wall! While it’s anyone’s guess what he’s doing now, in our hearts, he’s still hanging around the ‘Home Improvement’ set, totally outshining Tim Allen.
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