Throwback Thursday: 90s Heartthrobs (Boys Edition)

Giving you butterflies one after school special at a time.

10. Zachery Ty Bryan

Then: Zachery Ty Bryan was most known for playing the role of Brad Taylor on “Home Improvement” and for having the stereotypical 90s boy haircut.

A huge step up from the mullet he used to rock.
A huge step up from the mullet he used to rock.

Personally, he wasn’t my favorite but I also wasn’t a huge fan of “Home Improvement.” But I know he was popular with some of my friends so I felt like he had to make the list. He is most known for his stint on that show but has also appeared in a dozen other TV shows and handful of movies as well, most notably “3 Fast 3 Furious” (also known by its technical name of “Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift”).

Now:

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“Holy shit, is that a camera?!”

Now 33, his last appearance as an actor was in Syfy Channel’s movie “Hammer of the Gods” as Thor. Since then, he appears to have switched over to producing instead of acting.

9. Joey Lawrence

Then: Joey Lawrence was probably best known in the 90s for playing Mayim Bialik’s unoriginally named older brother, Joey, in the hit TV show “Blossom.”

I can't even with that hair.
“Whoa!”

He acted in various other TV shows and movies throughout the 90s. Originally, I was all set to make fun of the Disney show “Brotherly Love” or the movie “Horse Sense”, but when I was looking through Joey Lawrence’s acting credits, I discovered that he was the voice of the titular character in the 1988 Disney movie “Oliver & Company.”

AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO DIDN'T KNOW THIS? What else don't I know about my childhood?!
AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO DIDN’T KNOW THIS?
What else don’t I know about my childhood?!

Now:

He was a lot cuter last year when he had buzzed hair.
He was a lot cuter last year when he had buzzed hair.

Aside from rocking the incomprehensibly popular Roger Klotz hair, 39-year-old Joey Lawrence seems to be doing well. He’s acted in a variety of projects but most notably “Melissa & Joey” which he stars in alongside another 90s darling, Melissa Joan Hart.

Get it?!? Because she played Clarissa Darling?!?
Get it?!?
Because she played Clarissa Darling?!?

Guys, I am so freaking funny. You’re welcome.

8. Devon Sawa

Then: If you asked “Who is Devon Sawa?” then you didn’t have the same sexual awakening experiences the rest of us did while watching “Little Giants”, “Casper”, “Now and Then”, “Wild America”, and “SLC Punk!”

YES, YOU CAN KEEP ME, DEVON SAWA!

Now:

"I wonder if that guy wants to share his sandwich."
“I wonder if that guy wants to share his sandwich.”

Now 37, Devon Sawa has continued to work steadily in a mix of independent films and bigger movies such as “Final Destination.” He also appeared in the Eminem’s music video “Stan” as the crazed fan obsessed with Slim Shady.

7. Erik von Detten

Then: Most notably known for the Disney Channel Original Movie “Brink”, this floppy haired kid was a favorite for anyone with cable and a love of inline skating. He’s also known for visiting my high school and revealing himself to be either completely stoned or completely stupid.

God dammit, why do you have to be so dumb?
I want to say the former, but it’s probably the latter.

Now:

I have no idea how old this photo is.
I have no idea how old this photo is.

The most recent acting credit I could find was when he reprised his role of Sid for a cameo in “Toy Story 3” in 2010. Perhaps my prediction in last week’s column came true and 32-year-old Erik von Detten has moved back into his parents’ basement to start an online t-shirt company.

6. Will Smith

Then: What didn’t he do in the 90s? Most notably he starred in the incredibly popular TV show “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” but he also starred in indie films such as “Independence Day” , “Men in Black”, and several others you’ve probably never heard of.

Sorry to get all hipster on you, I promise the next guy will be much more mainstream.
Sorry to get all hipster on you, I promise the next guy will be much more mainstream.

When he wasn’t busy being the art house favorite, he also released some little known albums and songs such as this little ditty:

Don’t feel bad if you’ve never heard of it, it wasn’t very popular.

Now:

No known photo.
No known photo.

No one has heard from the 46-year-old in years or has any idea what he’s been up to.

5. Mark-Paul Gosselaar

Then: Best known as the love of our lives, Zack Morris, on “Saved by the Bell.” 

Zach Morris, you can call me on your giant cell phone anytime.
Zack Morris, you can call me on your giant cell phone anytime.

He was clearly way cooler than Slater and vastly superior to Screech. Not that the latter was difficult–pretty much everyone is better than Screech.

He looks like the douchebag cousin of Seth Rogen whom no one wants to invite to Thanksgiving but they begrudgingly do anyway because Nana said to.
He looks like the douchebag cousin of Seth Rogen whom no one wants to invite to Thanksgiving but they have to because Nana said so.

Now:

Presumably, he now has a smaller cell phone.
Presumably, he now has a smaller cell phone.

41-year-old Mark-Paul Gosselaar has been fairly active in TV roles, most notably as one of the titular characters in “Franklin & Bash.” I’d tell you if was Franklin or Bash but I have no idea, I’ve never watched the show. Instead, I like to pretend like “Saved by the Bell” never ended, he’s married to Kelly Kapowski, and they’re busy living happily ever after.

4. James Van Der Beek

Then: He was Dawson in “Dawson’s Creek.” Do you really care what else he was in?

Nope.
Nope.

Now:

James Van Der Beek, now 38, has acted in a variety of roles but is perhaps best known for starring in a meme about 90s problems.

Spoiler alert, they're useless anyway.
Spoiler alert, they’re useless anyway.

3. Jared Leto

Then: In the 90s, Jared Leto was best known as Jordan Catalano in the cult classic TV show “My So-Called Life.”

No other dude has ever looked that good in a choker.

When he wasn’t making us feel twitterpated and insanely jealous of Claire Danes, he started to gain some notoriety in film and also started a band with his brother called 30 Seconds to Mars.

Now:

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He’s doing super well, thanks for asking.

2. Leonardo DiCaprio

Then: He appeared on the TV show “Growing Pains” alongside a yet-to-turn-crazy Kirk Cameron, starred in gritty and critically acclaimed films like “The Basketball Diaries”, and was nominated for an Oscar in 1993 for his performance in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.”

Spoiler alert: he didn't win.
He didn’t win.

What really got us going though was his role as a star-crossed lover in Baz Luhrman’s “Romeo + Juliet” opposite Claire Danes (that’s right, she got to kiss Jared Leto AND Leo) and, of course, as Jack Dawson in the 1997 blockbuster “Titanic.”

No, I’m not crying just thinking about Jack freezing to death in order to save Rose’s life. There’s just something in my eye. It’s a tear.

Now:

It's like watching a Pokemon evolve.
It’s like watching a Pokemon evolve.

In addition to slowly evolving into Jack Nicholson, the now 40-year-old Leonardo DiCaprio dates the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and creates countless movies that routinely make the Academy of Motion Pictures jizz in their pants but hasn’t yet won an Oscar.

Do NOT type "jizz in my pants" into Google search without adding "Lonely Island." Trust me.
Do NOT type “jizz in my pants” into Google search without adding “Lonely Island.”
Trust me.

He has a new movie coming out this Christmas called “The Revenant” in which he stars alongside Tom Hardy. We can expect that just a few short months later, Tom Hardy will win an Oscar and DiCaprio will have to be content with staying an internet meme.

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1. Jonathan Taylor Thomas

Then: What, did you think I could really make a list of 90s heartthrobs and leave out JTT?

jonathan_taylor_thomas
I could never forget you, JTT!

I almost feel at a loss for words to explain why exactly JTT was the ultimate hottie for us young folk in the 90s. Was it his role in “Home Improvement”? “Man of the House”? “Tom and Huck”? “The Lion King”?

For the last time, I'M NOT FUCKING CRYING!
For the last time, I’M NOT FUCKING CRYING!

Whatever it was, all I know is that all of my friends agreed that we were wildly in love with JTT and that he was the most beautiful thing we’d ever seen.

He was a certified hottie.

It was probably the jean jacket.

Now:

Still cute enough to hang on your wall.
Still cute enough to hang on your wall.

JTT took a break from acting for a few years to focus on his education and attended Harvard. Now 34, he has appeared on the occasional episode of “Last Man Standing” over the last couple years and I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m really hoping we see more of him in the future.

Please?
Please?

Additionally, I recently learned that my best friend shares a birthday with him on September 8th. My birthday is on April 15th–do you know what happens on my birthday? Tax Day, Abraham Lincoln died, and the Titanic sank.

Okay, NOW I'm crying.
Okay, NOW I’m crying.

One Comment on “Throwback Thursday: 90s Heartthrobs (Boys Edition)

  1. Pingback: Throwback Thursday: "Casper" - Maglomaniac

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