How many of you have ever watched a television show or a movie and said aloud, “This person is so me!” or thought that it would be pretty sweet to have their life as your own?
Below are the top five fictional characters that I’d love to be in real life, along with some honorable mentions who just missed the cut.
(Spoiler alerts: Ted Mosby is not in the top five, and this post contains spoilers to shows and movies listed.)
5. Ari Gold, Entourage
Yes, he’s an asshole; yes, he’s a narcissistic prick; and yes, he’s a workaholic; but Gold has a ton of admirable qualities about him that often go overlooked: He’s a loving and faithful husband; he’s a self-made man who busted his ass for everything he has; he fights like hell for the people he loves.
At his core, he is a good man who is only seen for his flaws — being loud, obnoxious, and brash. Nobody can knock his hustle or love for family and friends, and those are great reasons to envy his life.
4. Cory Matthews, Boy Meets World
For millennials growing up with the T.G.I.F. lineup on ABC, Cory Matthews was life goals. He came from an amazing family, he had a good head on his shoulders, had the respect of his peers, and had a gorgeous and faithful girlfriend. He ended up marrying Topanga, having two kids, and becoming a history teacher like Mr. Feeny (#FEELS).
For real, Cory Matthews had a damn good life.
3. Troy Bolton, High School Musical
Sorry, I’m not sorry. I’ve seen High School Musical more than any 27-year-old man probably should, and I regret nothing.
Bolton is the stereotypical popular kid in high school, star athlete, and the guy every girl wants to be with. On top of that, he can sing and dance. Oh, and then he bags Vanessa Hudgens. Words can’t describe the level of envy I have for Bolton, even today.
As a karaoke buff, I’m waiting for the day I meet a girl through singing a duet together. It nearly happened over the summer, but, alas, it wasn’t meant to be. But hey, Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and there are bound to be some single ladies in a karaoke bar that night.
2. Dan Humphrey, Gossip Girl
Truthfully, I really do have more in common with Humphrey than Mosby. He was the outsider who never came from money and was always looked over by those around him. He’s a talented writer, witty, and doesn’t take a lot of crap from people, which are admirable traits to me.
He becomes a successful author, and he snags Blake Lively. I love him so much that I kind of hate him a little. (Fun facts: The title of my second book, “Inside Out,” was inspired by Humphrey’s book in the show, and I took a girl to shoot pool on a first date partially because of Humphrey’s date with Lively’s character. Seriously.)
1. Alex Hitchens, Hitch
In many ways, “Hitch” is exactly who I aspire to be. He’s good-looking, a self-made man with a successful business, a charming romantic, and he helps people find love.
Some people can frown upon his job, saying that he’s messing with fate or using unethical methods to set people up, but I love his argument in the restaurant where he says he “tricks women into getting out of their own way so great guys … have a fighting chance.”
His work really does bring light to a part of life that can have so much darkness. Part of the reason I enjoy writing about love, dating, and relationships is because I hope there is someone out there that maybe gives someone they’ve overlooked a chance, or that they find happiness within themselves that wasn’t there before.
Being a sports reporter was always my dream job, and I’m living it, but has that dream changed to being some kind of “relationship guru” or dating coach? I honestly don’t know what the parameters are. What I know is that I’m a guy friends have come to for relationship advice, and I love hearing them and trying to help. What’s more is that I love seeing people find happiness — even if it’s an ex-girlfriend.
Those of you have followed my work must be wondering, “No Ted Mosby?!” Don’t fret — he was considered. Here are five honorable mentions that just missed the cut, in ascending order.
Honorable mention: Ferris Bueller, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Why he was considered: It is one of my goals in life to recreate the “Twist and Shout” parade scene, although mine would have to either be at a small local parade or some skit on the roof of my car. Ferris is clever, charming, and popular. What’s not to like?
Why he was cut: Ferris seems like the guy who will always look for the shortcut in life. That’s cute in high school, but it’s not an admirable (or desirable) trait in adulthood.
Honorable mention: Hank Moody, Californication
Why he was considered: Moody truly has zero shame. He’s a wildly talented and successful writer, seemingly irresistible to women, can play guitar, and witty as all hell.
Why he was cut: The dude is an absolute train wreck of a person. He’s a terrible father, a self-destructive alcoholic and drug-abuser. He’s selfish and narcissistic, but unlike Gold, there are few admirable qualities about him.
Honorable mention: Lucas Scott, One Tree Hill
Why he was considered: Even as a straight man, I’d throw Lucas Scott a shot. Aside from being great with the ladies and a basketball star, he eventually becomes a successful author and gets the girl of his dreams.
Why he was cut: Between the drama with his biological father and murder of his father figure, there’s some seriously dark stuff lurking in that mind. Couple that with his heart problems, and it’s not the greatest life.
Honorable mention: Vincent Chase, Entourage
Why he was considered: While I may not have the fame and fortune of Chase, there are parts about him that I already see in myself. His friends and family are everything to him, and he takes exceptional care of them. He has principles he sticks to, and isn’t afraid to fight for what he believes in. He’s a movie star with a pretty lax schedule and comfortable lifestyle.
Why he was cut: Believe it or not, his drug use wasn’t really a factor. Unlike Moody, Chase was receptive to rehabilitation and change. Chase is way too dependent on the people around him and can’t stand to be alone. Most of his fame is because he is a pretty face, and not a great actor; I’d rather be respected and liked for my work than good looks.
Honorable mention: Ted Mosby, How I Met Your Mother
Why he was considered: Having watched the series in its entirety a few months ago, it’s really frightening how much Mosby and I are actually alike. He is a textbook hopeless romantic with a flair for the dramatic (the two-minute date is still one of my favorite scenes). He is an eternal optimist who always believed that his true love was out there, and he got her. He’s intelligent and has a successful career.
Why he was cut: When he went back to Robin in the final scene of the series, I wanted to throw my remote through the television. My producer Heidi Priebe does make an exceptional argument in defense of his actions, but I always thought it was like, “Dude, really?!” Plus, after finding his love after all the years of treacherous dating, she dies at such a young age. I can’t ever imagine experience feeling that kind of pain, and I hope I never have to. For that alone, I wouldn’t want to trade places with him.