1. Shawn Hunter: Boy Meets World
Oh Shawn, with his leather jacket and flippy hair. He was the epitome of the bad boy that you desperately wanted to fix. He had walls up around his heart in order to protect himself from getting hurt, but deep down, he was so sensitive. It was a little weird that he lived with his teacher (that definitely isn’t allowed) but he had major daddy issues, so we understood. That episode where he revealed, “I want what they have” (in reference to Cory and Topanga’s relationship) absolutely slayed us.
2. Max Evans: Roswell
Max was the alien who would make any human girl give up her home planet and zip on back to Antar. Personally, I was always more #TeamMichael, but Max had the soulful romantic thing down pat. He hired a mariachi band to serenade his girlfriend from underneath her window, which is basically the Roswellian equivalent of John Cusack in “Say Anything.” He was selfless to the point where he literally time traveled in order to get Liz to break up with him to avoid disaster that might come in the future.
3. Ryan Atwood: The OC
I strongly debated Seth vs Ryan for this list for longer than I’d like to admit, but ultimately, I had to go with Ryan “white t-shirt” Atwood here. The thing about Ryan is that he is fiercely loyal – even if he’s hurt, or feeling slighted, he is unwavering in his dedication to his friends. Like Shawn Hunter, he’s got that “tortured bad boy” appeal. Despite the fact that he was slow to opening his heart to Marissa (RIP) he eventually let her in, and was even able to love again after her death.
4. Logan Huntzberger: Gilmore Girls
I can already hear the snorts of disbelief, but hear me out on this one. True, Logan could be kind of a d-bag. His whole involvement with “The Life and Death Brigade” was downright annoying, and it was so not cool when he hooked up with seven thousand blondes during his break from Rory, but there were a lot of good things about Logan too. For anyone who stuck around through the entirety of Season 7, Logan completely got his act together. Even though his financial endeavors took a nosedive, he was a risk-taker, which is a bonus. And, the biggest selling point, he offered Rory an AVOCADO TREE. Let that sink in for a second. Guac whenever she wanted – and it wasn’t extra.
5. Aidan Shaw: Sex and the City
Let’s face it, Carrie was not the best girlfriend. In fact, she was a terrible girlfriend. But Aidan put up with all of her sh*t, and then some. Even when she cheated on him with Mr. Big, he took her back. He forgave her when she lied about smoking, and he didn’t make a big deal out of her drama-queen moments. He offered to build her an extension to her apartment, which is almost as good as Big’s walk-in closet from the first film. Aidan is the ideal “nice guy” and we’d totally choose him over Big any day!
6. Pacey Witter: Dawson’s Creek
Pacey was a romantic, but like…so chill about it. Where Dawson was brooding and borderline annoying, Pacey was simplistic and straightforward. Just like his fellow “bad boys” on this list, Pacey engaged in some scandalous behavior. The affair with his teacher was Pacey’s version of stealing a car in Chino – we first met him as this rough character, and then got to know the sensitivity underneath.
7. Caleb Rivers: Pretty Little Liars
I feel really bad for teenage girls these days – they are being fed some bonafide lies with this character. In a recent episode *semi-spoiler*, Caleb literally expressed his undying love for Hanna by telling her he’d go to prison for her. True to form, Caleb continues to risk everything for her – he is constantly putting his own life in jeopardy just to help her out. As a former bad-boy (here we go again) Caleb is always one step away from getting into serious trouble, and yet he continues to engage in criminal activities like breaking and entering, hacking, and trespassing. All in the name of love. Le sigh.
8. Chuck Bass: Gossip Girl
If Chuck weren’t Chuck, he’d basically be written off as a stalker. Persistent to the core, Chuck never gives up when he’s interested in you. This kind of enthusiastic behavior is perceived as romantic and endearing because of his looks, and it further tricks ladies into believing that playing hard to get is the way to win the game. Most guys would not try this hard, fyi.
9. Jordan Catalano: My So Called Life
Obviously, I’ve saved the biggest name on this list for last. Jordan Catalano, you literally RUINED hundreds of lives. You raised women’s expectations so high that they have disappeared into oblivion, and you made it so no human male could ever reach them. And you did all of that without even doing much – that whole quiet brooding persona spoke volumes. Damn you Jordan, and damn your hair too. Love, girls everywhere.