The 10 Hottest 90s Teen Heartthrobs

1. Taylor Hanson

Taylor Hanson

Despite the fact that Taylor Hanson looked like a female monkey at the mere age of 14, girls effing loved him. Taylor and his brothers emerged from a pile of dust in Oklahoma (because that’s all there is in Oklahoma) in 1997 and became overnight celebrities with their hit “MMMBop.” They had a few other hits and went from the public eye to specific, obsessed eyes — because no one is just a Hanson fan. They are die-hard, obsessed Hanson fans. But these die-hards were kind of smart, because the ugly, gender confused trio blossomed to actually be good-looking dudes — Taylor, of course, being the hottest.

2. Nick Carter

Nick Carter

Why? Why did we find Nick Carter attractive? What did we see in him? A blonde who could sing… and dance too, just not as well as JT. I guess that’s pretty much all we cared about back then, so it worked. We loved Nick so much that we later welcomed his younger brother Aaron with open arms to the teen idol gang; even though his attempted raps about having parties with no parents home were… sub-par, to say the least. The Carters must have just had us under some magic, bleach-blonde, gel-spiked spell.

3. Brian Littrell

Brandon Litrell

Brian was my favorite member of BSB, but only because Brian was a brunette and Nick Carter was a blonde… and duh, I’m deep. I was obsessed with Brian, and drawing hearts around his face on posters and CD covers. And as hard as it is to imagine now, it was normal back then to be so obsessed with his looks. Brian today is not ugly, but he’s not hot. He just looks like some average middle aged man… because he is, at age 37 (wtf, I know). Guess he stopped being 25 at some point.

4. Lance Bass

Lance Bass

In keeping up with my ‘not-going-after-the-lead-guy-in-a-band’ theme (I liked Brian over Nick), I obsessed over Lance Bass. For some unknown reason, I thought Lance Bass was attractive. I have a theory that this was because everyone else also did (while not admitting it) and I, like any average pre-teen, followed the crowds and liked what (and who) everyone else liked. And as much as I hate to admit that, I really hope it’s true for this, because Lance was actually never attractive. At all. He just wore tight clothing and stuff, which, at the time, was more than enough to make a 12-year-old fall in love.

5. Freddie Prinze Jr

Freddie Prinze Jr.

Freddie found fame due to the success of the not-so-scary movie franchise, I Know What You Did Last Summer. It wasn’t until She’s All That that we all went nuts over him though. He played the typical teenage popular jock role as seen in almost every teen movie created in the 90s, except, instead of being an ass the whole time, Freddie showed his true colors when he fell for loser Laney Boggs (what a name). FPJ went out with the early 00s, but that’s okay because he’s now married to Buffy herself, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and they have two kids together. SO 90s.

6. Rider Strong

Rider Strong

Rider AKA Shawn Hunter was super effing hot. From his hair to his clothes, this kid had everything going for him… except for the fact he lived in a trailer park. But that made him sooo much more mysterious and badass. And what teen girl doesn’t like a troublemaker? After Boy Meets World ended, Rider actually decided to meet the world too — but like, for real. He went to Columbia and graduated magna cum laude as an English major. You go, boy (meets world — sorry, couldn’t help myself).

7. Jonathan Taylor Thomas

Jonathon Taylor Thomas

JTT was probably one of the most precious teen idols to ever exist. He didn’t only have the hair and the looks, he had the voice, too (hello young Simba — roar). Jonathan was Tim Allen’s son on Home Improvement for approximately a million years and was the one and only reason we actually put up with watching Tim Allen make horrible jokes on a regular basis.

8. Leonardo Dicaprio” target=”_blank”>Leonardo Dicaprio

“I’ll never let go, Jack.” Well, guess what, Rose? You let go. And you let loose one Leo Dicap, who is still hot, if not hotter than before. When I think of Leo, I don’t think of The Departed or Shutter Island or even the much-anticipated Great Gatsby. I think of TITANIC. And teen mags covered with Leo’s abs. Leo was the epitome of beauty in the 90s. Not so much anymore (I mean he’s still good looking, but he’s got some fierce competition), but back then he had it all. And, umm, Rose… I would have never let go. Your bad, girl.

9. Nick Lachey” target=”_blank”>Nick Lachey

Nick was actually my number one pre-teen (slash teen… slash adulthood) crush. He was hot, muscular, and had really good hair (the trifecta). Before I knew I was going to be sexually attracted to men like this, I was sexually attracted to Nick Lachey. If he asked, I probably would have slept with him at 12 years old. NBD. He eventually married Jessica Simpson, and even though they were kind of a much hotter couple than Brit and Justin, they certainly weren’t as cool. But to me, they were. Until Jessica thought tuna was chicken on Newlyweds and I realized he must have only liked her for her looks, therefore making him an asshole, therefore making him sooo my type. The best part is that Nick is hotter now. And not married to Jessica Simpson, but instead to Vanessa Minnillo. And I hate her. JK, I’m just super jealous and still obsessed with him… but it’s fine. I’m fine.

10. Justin Timberlake” target=”_blank”>Justin Timberlake

No 90s teen heartthrob list can be complete without mention of the one, the only Justin Timberlake. JT was our JB (Justin Bieber), except he was way more talented (duh) and not Canadian. JT dated Britney Spears, the female teen hottie of the time, and many compare the Biebs and Selena’s relationship to theirs. If Bieber and Selena keep it up, maybe Selena will end up bald and in rehab… and the Biebs will end up starring in Oscar-nominated movies while engaged to someone as hot and poised as Jessica Biel (cue 7th Heaven music). JT was hot back then and is still just as hot now, and even though I personally think Nick Lachey is hotter, JT will win this race because he is actually still very successful. Who could have seen it coming, given his ‘N SYNC-era hair? TC mark

image – Shutterstock


More From Thought Catalog

  • Poulla?

    devon sawa of Casper!?! unless Casper wasn’t shown in the 90s hehe

    • Claire

      ah yes for sure! according to imdb it’s from ’95

  • Kelly

    The Justin Timberlake photo is definitely not the 90s version… Missing that bleached mess.

  • Veronica

    The first time I saw a poster of Hanson (at age 8ish) I thought they were a family trio: dad, mom, and son.

    • Claire


  • Stephanie

    And where is Jonathan Brandis?

  • letirodriguez

    You called Brian Littrell “Brandon Litrell” under his photo. Ultimate fail, ThoughtCatalog, ultimate fail. Other than that, this list is pretty much spot on. Except I still love Brian and Nick. You always know just what to say.

  • Char

    I was in love with Zac Hanson (he was the same age as me, OK?), Nick Carter, Leo and JTT. Also a holla to Devon Sawa. Never ever saw the appeal of Justin Timberlake – bad skin and ramen hair, ick.

    • Thamsa

      I think Justin Timberlake looks better now than back in his NSYNC days.

    • Kaley_T


  • VEA

    Man I love Taylor Hanson. Always and forever.

  • Macy

    I think you make an “The 10 Hottest 2000’s Teen Heartthrobs” list, too. :)

  • princesscards

    Sorry, but Zac is the infinitely hotter Hanson now.

  • Jessica

    Love Shawn Hunter…but swap Devon Sawa or Joey Lawrence for Nick Lachey

  • Brandon Humphries

    Let me introduce you to the 5 G’s: Good God Get a Grip, Girl!

    I remember being 13 or 14 and girls going nuts over these guys. Seriously ladies, you were insane. I mean, I was obsessed too, I was a closeted gay kid in the late 90s after all, but I didn’t want to scream in their faces and cry. I wanted them to fuck the hell out of me.

  • becky

    nick & jessica hotter than JT & brit?! ARE YOU ON CRACK

  • Theresa

    I do agree with many others, Devon Sawa made my little girl parts tingle. Honorary 90’s teen heartthrob fo sho.

  • Jessica

    JTT was my first celebrity crush! also, i thought freddie prinze jr & smg only had one kid so far?

    • DLD

      Her eggo is preggo.

  • Fake Name

    Zack Morris anyone??

    • ERIN

      YES! Top of the list.

  • KTBSPA4Lyfe

    This sounds exactly like it belongs in the older version of a BOP or BB magazine. Jesus. I mean, I agree with most of your choices, but uh, I’m just saying, this imaginary boyfriends list is way better:

  • KC

    Liam Gallagher. <3

  • jess

    hahahhahaa i would be having this conversation with any of my friends on a given night; reading someone else write it makes it seem really creepy how shallow and obsessive we were as pre-teens and teens, but i stand by everything you said! and btw, these guys are for the most part NOT hot.

  • FE

    I love that Taylor Hanson is number 1 on this list! Because it’s still true. Nevermind that his wife is pregnant with their fifth kid…

  • Weekend Reading | Melbourne Maharani

    […] site put one up a few days ago that just made my heart skip a beat. Yes you guessed it. Presenting The 10 Hottest 90s Teen Heartthrobs. You are SO welcome. I am just excited because the teenage love-of-my-life Taylor Hanson is number […]

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