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Various characters worthy of a crush over the past decade
We love ‘em!
Graphic: James Bareham/Polygon

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The 69 biggest crushes of the last decade


Is there anything better than a crush?


Luckily, the past decade has been particularly ripe with crushes, keeping the flames of our hearts stoked as we made our way through the modern world. To celebrate them — and the act of crushing in general — we’ve compiled the 69 biggest crushes we’ve had over the past 10 years.

Whether you’re into sweet men trying to navigate the zombie apocalypse, or strong Greek assassins who are incredibly good at flirting, or space dads, our list (like your crushes!!!) has it all.

Kyle Maclachlan as FBI Agent Cooper, looking concerned.
Damn fine

Agent Dale Cooper

The return of Twin Peaks was, all told, one of the best things that ever happened to me, and the return of Dale Cooper specifically was a blessing. He is still absolutely beautiful, if now even more of a tragic hero. —Karen Han

Akali from League of Legends poses with her back facing the viewer
Akali, obviously
Riot Games

Akali (League of Legends)

Sick dragon back tat? Check. K-pop star voiced by the fabulous Soyeon of (G)i-dle? Check. Will annihilate me in lane and walk away like it’s nothing? Check, check, check. —Julia Lee

Amber Gray as Persephone in Hadestown

She’s MY Lady of the Underground. —Petrana Radulovic

Antonio Banderas in Pain and Glory.
One of the dreamiest faces we’ve ever seen.
Sony Pictures Releasing International

Antonio Banderas

This may be a cheat since we’ve all had a crush on Antonio Banderas for years now (whether its originating point was Zorro or Spy Kids or Interview with the Vampire), but we’re dubbing 2019 the return of Banderas as a major crush with Pain and Glory. Plus, the GIF of him in Assassins — the one where he’s leaning back from a laptop — was apparently born in 2013, so case closed. —KH

Mendelsohn leaning against a doorframe.
The song of the summer is Ben Mendelsohn in Bloodline.

Ben Mendelsohn in Bloodline

I have tricked convinced several of my friends into watching Netflix’s Bloodline simply by telling them Ben Mendelsohn is in it. The series, of which I maintain the first season is actually genuinely good, contains the Mendelsohn performance which is possibly the purest distillation of his appeal, i.e. as a terrible, sweaty, itinerant boyfriend. See also: him showing up with a cigar and a giant fur coat in Slow West. —KH

Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) holds a calzone.
I love Ben Wyatt as much as he loves calzones.
NBC Universal

Ben Wyatt of Parks and Rec

Ben Wyatt loves and respects his wife’s ambitions while maintaining his own interests and without becoming a wife guy. His only flaw is not loving Little Sebastian. 9/10 we stan a supportive king. —Emily Heller

Bertie Carvel as Jonathan Strange.
Just look at that hair. That confidence.

Bertie Carvel as Jonathan Strange

The Byronic hero we need and deserve. (And, yes, the BBC adaptation of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is one of the best shows of the last decade.) —KH

Gruff voice, dead wife, strong jaw. That’s my shit.
Obsidian Entertainment/Bethesda Softworks

Boone in Fallout: New Vegas

Oh hey it’s another dysfunctional dude! Craig Boone seems like the strong and silent type, but don’t worry: if you pick at the surface, you’ll find a tragic backstory and poignant doubts about the new rise of American democracy stretching out across the post-apocalypse West Coast. Plus he’s got a big ol’ jaw and a sick set of shades paired with a cool ass beret.

You can’t romance Boone, but I brought him anywhere I went in Fallout: New Vegas. It didn’t matter whether I was going into a cave of Deathclaws or the heart of the Caesar’s Legion warcamp — I trusted him to have my back.

And sure enough, when we fought our way out of Legion territory covered in the blood of Caesar, I felt like I had bonded with Boone on a deep level. In my mind, he and my Courier totally ran away together. —Cass Marshall

Tim Blake Nelson is Buster Scruggs in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, a film by Joel and Ethan Coen.
The ballad of how much I love Buster Scruggs.

Buster Scruggs

Watching Tim Blake Nelson, in a lovely cream cowboy outfit, sweetly sing his way through the desert and then shoot a bunch of men to death is the happiest I’ve ever been. That’s yeehaw culture. —KH

Winston Deavor (voiced by Bob Odenkirk), a suave cartoon man dressed in a suit.
It must be said that the cartoon man is hot.
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Cartoon Bob Odenkirk in The Incredibles 2

Is he the hottest cartoon character since the Robin Hood fox? Yes. Taking no further questions at this time. —KH

chris pine in outlaw king on netflix
Chris Pratt could never

Chris Pine

Of the Four Hot Chrises of Hollywood, Pine is the supreme. Don’t @ me. —EH

Chrom from Fire Emblem Awakening

I would add more Fire Emblem characters to this list, but I have to give Chrom the title here for stealing my heart so fully. Chrom is just a good guy. He’s trying. He has a bit of a temper, but he wants what’s best for his people. He’s princely, noble, kinda dumb, really pretty, and is voiced by Matt Mercer, so really what else could you want? I have told my partner multiple times that the only person I’d ever leave him for is Chrom. —PR

Colin Farrell and John C. Reilly seated side by side in The Lobster.
Take a closer look at that stache!

Colin Farrell with a mustache

Okay, maybe the one thing I love more is when actors grow weird facial hair, e.g. Colin Farrell in The Lobster. I love to see it. Honorable mention for Tom Holland’s tiny mustache in The Lost City of Z, Jude Law’s crazy mutton chops in Dom Hemingway, and Aidan Gillen as Littlefinger (yes, he’s terrible; yes, I still love him; yes, I’m sorry). —KH

Criss and Liz get married at city hall.
Nice turtleneck.
NBC Universal

Criss Chros from 30 Rock

The first time I watched an episode of 30 Rock I wanted Liz and Jack to kiss, but in my defense I was 13. By the time James Marsden showed up as the perfect sweet dummy for Liz, I had grown into an adult bisexual who knows a crush-worthy himbo when she sees one. —EH


Cullen from Dragon Age

Alistair in Dragon Age: Origins was one of the best video game romances of all time, so BioWare wisely put another handsome dumbass Templar in my party and let me smooch him.

Cullen is a big, strong dude who wears a giant fur stole and is ripped. He’s struggling with a magic drug addiction. It’s probably a workplace violation, because I’m technically his boss, but I romanced him anyways. I love his strong jaw and his big shoulders and I will not apologize for any of this. —CM

Inquisition was the first Dragon Age game I played and my type in video games (see: Chrom) is strong, capable dude who gets really flustered if you tell him you want to listen to him lecture more. —PR

Danny McBride backs up Katherine Waterston as they battle an alien.
We love a man who can follow a woman’s lead.
20th Century Fox

Danny McBride in Alien: Covenant

When I saw that Danny McBride (whose status as a crush icon has been cemented by Eastbound & Down, Vice Principals, The Righteous Gemstones, and so many other genius works of comedy) had been cast in Alien: Covenant, I was positive he’d die within the first 30 minutes. Spoilers: he does not! He makes it all the way through to the end! Did I want him and Katherine Waterston to kiss? I didn’t not want that! —KH

A composite image of Dean Winchester from Supernatural (Jensen Ackles) Sherlock Holmes from Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and The Doctor from Doctor Who (Christopher Eccleston)
Yes, I prefer the Ninth Doctor don’t @ me
Graphic: Emily Heller/Polygon | Image sources: The CW and BBC

Dean Winchester (Supernatural)/Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock)/The Doctor (Doctor Who)

Don’t judge me, it was the height of Superwholock-era Tumblr. —EH

Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) stands in front of a radar screen in Star Wars: Rogue One
“Jabba, c’mon, touching his belly [growls]”
Image: Lucasfilm

Diego Luna as Cassian Andor in Rogue One

The accent ... the jacket ... the sensitive look in his eyes. I was happy that Felicity Jones’ Jyn Erso didn’t have a love interest, following in a new line of Star Wars heroines that don’t die of sadness, but by the time that elevator scene came around, I was screaming NOW KISS. —PR

Elsa from Frozen

That moment in “Let it Go” when she lets her hair down, changes into her ice dress, and does that little shimmy … PR

The Roy family drinks champagne in a luxurious living room.
J. Smith Cameron run me over with a bus, please.
Peter Kramer/HBO

The entire cast of Succession

If loving pasty, terrible people is wrong (it is), I don’t want to be right. —EH

Avengers: Endgame
They’re all hot!!!
Marvel Studios

Everyone in every Marvel movie

They’re all impossibly hot. —EH

Some of the cast of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy seated around a table.
The Circus at work.

Everybody in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

They’re all wracked with angst and they’re all at least a little in love with each other. —KH

The Creature (Rory Kinnear) cradles a body.
2019 is the year we admit we absolutely love monsters.
Jonathan Hession/Showtime

Frankenstein’s monster on Penny Dreadful

Rory Kinnear is always great, but perhaps never as great as he is as Frankenstein’s monster. He just wants to be loved! Come on! —KH

Gabe (Winston Duke) and Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) look out in horror in a screenshot from Us.
This sweatshirt/glasses combo is *chef’s kiss*
Universal Pictures

Gabe from Us

After capturing everyone’s attention as the MCU’s broody and thicc M’Baku, Winston Duke rocketed to the top of my crush list when he reached peak Hot Dad in Us. —EH

Yeun as Glenn in The Walking Dead.
Gotta love Steven Yeun.

Glenn from The Walking Dead

I understand that this is irrational, but I will forever hold a grudge against The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, showrunner Scott M. Gimple, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, the actor who played Negan, for Glenn’s death. We’ll never forget his glow-up from shy cutie to Hot Dad, before he was cruelly taken from us by with a bat wrapped in barbed wire. —EH

Greg Universe from Steven Universe

Greg is a good dad, with a luscious and decadent singing voice and luscious and decadent hair. —PR

Grimsley grabs his face in agony of defeat in Pokémon Sun and Moon
I choose you
The Pokémon Company

Grimsley from Pokémon

Grimsley was already hot in Pokémon Black and White but when he came through with the white streak in his hair in Sun and Moon, something dark awakened in me. I could really get into it here, talking about his gambling habits and skills with sleight of hand as well, but just look at him. He’s HOT. —JL

A Final Fantasy 14 character fawns after Hien Rijin
Square Enix via Polygon

Hien Rijin from Final Fantasy 14: Stormblood

A prince, who’s frickin’ ripped and also hot. To quote one of Polygon’s own, he’s a “major himbo with a ‘nice jock’ energy.” He also likes mushrooms to a point where he’ll eat random ones off the ground and then proceed to almost die due to the effects. Thank you, Hien. —JL

Free ... to play ...

Jake Mackenzie from Choices: Stories You Play’s “Endless Summer”

A pilot with great hair, a cool jacket, and a tragique backstory spells everything that normally checks off my boxes but a few details bump Jake up on this list for me. He’s a Bi icon since you can romance him with a male or female main character and he’s 5’9 (in boots). Short kings, rise up! —PR

laurie strode (jamie lee curtis) in halloween 2018
There’s nothing I love more than a mean mom with a knife strapped to her hip
Universal Pictures

Jamie Lee Curtis

Upon seeing Jamie Lee Curtis kick ass in Halloween (2018), I realized that I had been nursing a latent crush on her for 15 years, ever since she flirted with Chad Michael Murray in Freaky Friday. —EH

Jason Mantzoukas tells an anecdote as a guest on Conan
He’s got kind eyes.
Warner Bros. Studios

Jason Mantzoukas

Every Jason Mantzoukas performance has a powerful chaotic energy that I am inexorably drawn to, from The Good Place’s Derek to his Comedy Bang! Bang! meta-character Jeffrey Characterwheaties. The fact that Mantzoukas is, by all accounts, a total sweetie, makes me feel better about crushing on nightmares like Parks and Rec’s trashy mens fragrance mogul, Dennis Feinstein. —EH

the good place’s Manny Jacinto as Jason Mendoza
The platonic ideal of a himbo.
Colleen Hayes/NBC

Jason Mendoza (The Good Place)

Pretty of face, gold of heart, and absolutely dumb of ass. As a fellow Floridian, I must stan. —PR

Jason Statham in Spy

Praise be a man willing to make fun of his uber-macho image. —KH

Jesse Plemons and Kirsten Dunst

They are the one celeb couple who make me believe in love. —KH

John Wick (Keanu Reeves) with a dog.
A nice man who has never done anything wrong.
Image: Lionsgate

John Wick

He loves dogs. —KH

Kaede poses in a fiery dress
Pair with a cold brew
Bandai Namco

Kaede Takagaki from Idolmaster: Cinderella Girls

I have a lot of Idolmaster characters who I see as my precious daughters, who I want to see grow big and healthy. Not Kaede. I want to go out all night with Kaede, slamming down beers. At the end of the night, we will kiss and she will be the mature anime girlfriend I’ve always wanted. —JL

Kassandra admiring a knife in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
I wish I were that knife.
Ubisoft Quebec/Polygon

Kassandra from Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

So Kassandra, although you, being far away, forget us, the dear sound of your footstep and light glancing in your eyes would move me more than glitter of Lydian horse or armored tread of mainland infantry. —Sappho, paraphrased by Jenna Stoeber

Whoever Kate McKinnon played in Ghostbusters

Look, I don’t even remember her name, [Ed. note: It’s Holtzmann.] I just remember her licking her gun and going Wow in the theater. —PR

king harrow
Yes, sir

King Harrow from The Dragon Prince

To paraphrase a friend of mine: “I just said wow hello when a CARTOON character was introduced — that’s how hot he was.” —PR

Eleanor (Kristen Bell) sits in Michael’s office in a screenshot from The Good Place.
She’s a legit snack.
NBC Universal

Kristen Bell

Kristen has never strayed far from my mind since Veronica Mars aired, but between Frozen (a movie I still love) and The Good Place, she’s been particularly spectacular this past 10 years. She gives off an aura of both hardworking and super chill and that’s what I want to invite into my life, maybe over a cup of coffee sometime, pls dm me Kristen. —JS

A promotional image for Charlie’s Angels featuring Kristen Stewart, Ella Balinska, Naomi Scott, and Elizabeth Banks.
The leopard print! The loafers! The confused expression!
Chiabella James/Sony Pictures Entertainment

Kristen Stewart

The fourth Twilight movie was released in 2011, freeing Kristen Stewart to spend the following 9 years transforming herself into a gay icon. Judging by how many women on my Twitter feed thirsted over the Charlie’s Angels trailer, she has succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. —EH

An album cover for the made-up group the “Style Boyz,” featuring the members of The Lonely Island.
The only musical group from the last decade that matters.
Universal Pictures

The Lonely Island

Between MacGruber and Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping — plus the individual members of The Lonely Island showing up in a lot of the greatest comedy of the last decade — they have our hearts forever. —KH

Magic Mike XXL

Do I ... really need to say anything else? —KH

Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, and Pierce Brosnan.
Image: Universal Pictures

The Mamma Mia! Dads / Lily James as Donna Sheridan in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

If you need a pure shot of serotonin, here’s where to go: the scene in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again where Colin Firth holds Stellan Skarsgård like they’re in Titanic, and then everything after that, including Firth, Skarsgård, and Pierce Brosnan sporting skintight disco suits. —KH

mamma mia
Playtone / Littlestar / Productions Legendary Entertainment

I liked Lily James in Cinderella. But seeing her dance through the Greek countryside in overalls, charming every person she meets, and singing her heart out no matter how low she gets, well, it won me over for real. —PR

Margarey Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) welcomes Cersei in a screenshot from Game of Thrones season 5, episode 3.
The scheming, smirking queen of my heart.
Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO

Margaery Tyrell (Game of Thrones)

Witty: check
Progressive: check
Good with kids: check
Could absolutely kill me just by looking at me: checkEH

Specifically Michael Palin’s travel diaries

There is not a man on this Earth purer than Michael Palin, and his travel diaries are all the proof you need of that. He’s genuinely, earnestly interested in the places he goes, and the people he meets. —KH

Michael Shannon

I have never seen my entire workplace enter into as intense a fit of delirium as they did when Michael Shannon’s Bon Appetit video came out. We all love big Mike. —KH

Moira pours liquid from one test tube to another.
Fuck me up, Moira.
Blizzard Entertainment

Moira from Overwatch

I want Moira to step on me. She would probably drain all of my blood and use it for terrifying shadow science. She’s like if David Bowie and an evil wizard were mixed up in a The Fly machine and had a sociopath baby. Please destroy me, Moira. —CM

The Creation of Adam except with what I believe to be a Mothra larva.
Me when I see Mothra.
Warner Bros. Pictures


She’s big, beautiful, confident, selfless, and most importantly, she is innocent. —KH

Screenshots of Nick Miller from New Girl (Jake Johnson) and Danny Castellano from The Mindy Project (Chris Messina)
There’s no topping these two grumps.
Fox Broadcasting Company via Polygon

Nick Miller from New Girl and Danny Castellano from The Mindy Project

The two grumpy hunks that stole my heart circa 2012 are the pinnacle of their respective forms. Chris Messina perfected the sweetheart with a prickly exterior and Jake Johnson is the platonic ideal of a lovable schlub. Let’s all agree to stop writing these types of characters now. —EH

A composite image of Noel Fielding, Richard Ayoade, and Russel Brand on the Big Fat Quiz of the Year
The fashion choices alone.....
Channel 4 via Polygon

Noel Fielding/Richard Ayoade/Russell Brand

I discovered British panel shows my senior year of high school, and was immediately obsessed with these three weirdos. I followed Richard Ayoade to The IT Crowd and Russell Brand to his marriage to Katy Perry but I’d never have guessed that in 2019 the one I’d still be crushing on is Noel Fielding as he judged the latest season of The Great British Baking Show. —EH

Logan (Hugh Jackman) leads Laura (Dafne Keen) by the hand.
Aged like a fine wine!
Ben Rothstein/Fox

Old Logan

Honestly, “beloved character but make them old” works on me every time. —KH

spider-man ps4 costume in spider-man into the spider-verse
My spider-crush sense is tingling
Sony Pictures Animation

Peter B. Parker from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Peter B. Parker is a mess. He’s got a dad bod, he’s greying, he has Jake Johnson’s incredibly sexy scruffy voice. He wears sweatpants. He’s in an absolute slump, and I love him. —PR

A gif of Poe Dameron telling Finn he can keep his jacket in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
I love my two space dads.

Poe Dameron and Finn

Let them kiss in The Rise of Skywalker, you cowards. —EH

Ralph Fiennes dancing in A Bigger Splash

Ralph Fiennes has gotten to the point in his career where he just does whatever he wants and the dividends have been incredible. —KH

Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) and Jocelyn (Cameron Esposito) share a look in a screenshot from Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Ok but seriously, nice turtleneck.
NBC Universal

Rosa from Brooklyn Nine-Nine

I wish I had a bisexual icon like Rosa on TV when I was growing up. Her sexuailty is treated with such care and grace (thanks in large part to actress Stephanie Beatriz) that I cried a lot when Rosa came out to her friends. Also, she’s a dang snack. —EH

sam claflin as finnick odair in the hunger games: Mockingjay
Rugged Mockingjay look
Image: Lionsgate

Finnick Odair in Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Mockingjay

I was 18 when Catching Fire came out and Finnick Odair was already my favorite book character. Sam Claflin earned a poster on my wall, a staple of my multiple dorm and apartment room transitions all through college. Finnick fulfills one of my favorite character tropes: the ladykiller ... in LOVE. Plus his hair is great. —PR

Stuhlbarg stands in his study in Call Me By Your Name.
Michael Stuhlbarg be my dad, please.
Sony Pictures Classics

Sensitive Michael Stuhlbarg in Men in Black 3/Call Me By Your Name/The Shape of Water

If watched any of the three above movies and didn’t wish, for even just a moment, that Michael Stuhlbarg would hold your hand, look deep into your eyes, and tell you everything is going to be alright, you are lying to yourself. —KH

Daniel Craig, with bleached hair and a bathrobe, crouches in the yard.
Please, I’m begging you, watch Logan Lucky.
Bleecker Street

Southern Daniel Craig

As Daniel Craig labors to get away from being James Bond, he’s taken a couple of trips into southern accent territory with Logan Lucky and Knives Out. Both performances have been … lovely. Drawl to me all day, DC. —KH

Squidward (Gavin Lee) in a Follies-esque number.
He’s not a loser.
Joan Marcus

Squidward in the SpongeBob musical

He’s a tall, artistically ambitious sea creature who plays the clarinet. What’s not to like? Less facetiously, I have never had an emotional reaction to a moment in theatre as keen as the one I had during Squidward’s big number in the SpongeBob SquarePants Broadway show, and I have had a giant crush on Gavin Lee for years, so the SpongeBob musical was really a perfect storm. —KH

J.K. Simmons conducts in Whiplash.
Those arms, though!
Sony Pictures Classics

Swole J.K. Simmons

[ Me looking at J.K. Simmons normally: ] Oh.
[ Me looking at two J.K. Simmonses in Counterpart: ] Oh!
[ Me looking at J.K. Simmons with his huge arms in Whiplash: ] Oh. —KH

tadashi in big hero 6
Press F to pay respects

Tadashi from Big Hero 6

Smart, a good brother, great taste in cardigans, and ... smokin’ hot. (Because he, uh, dies in a fire.) —PR

Ted Danson as Michael on The Good Place.
That’s a dapper demon, I tell you what.

Ted Danson on The Good Place

I love one (1) demon. —KH

The primary cast of The Terror.
Sometimes you just have to accept that all your loves will die terrible, icy deaths.
Image: AMC

The cast of The Terror

I’m sorry for putting yet another cadre of old men onto this list (I’m not sorry) but there really is a crush in The Terror for everyone. Company man? John Franklin. Long-suffering saint? Francis Crozier. Seemingly shallow but surprisingly deep protege? James Fitzjames. Personification of the Hippocratic Oath? Harry Goodsir. Chaotic evil? Cornelius Hickey. Possibly magical creature? Tuunbaq. This show’s got it all. —KH

2010s era They Might Be Giants

They Might Be Giants has been around for a while, but they’ve earned a place on this list for having put out no less than 9 studio albums over the course of the decade. (Haven’t listened to I Like Fun yet? What’s stopping you?) They’re my favorite dreamy music men and I will have a crush on them forever. Johns Flansburgh and Linnell, this one’s for you. —KH

Yes. Yes! Keep meditating on the nature of evil. Yeah!!
Wonderstorm/Bardel Entertainment Inc.

Viren from The Dragon Prince

Viren is the antagonist of a children’s show, but this dude isn’t a hammy Skeletor. Viren is an absolute trash disaster who’s desperately trying to lay down track quick enough for his bad plans train. While he starts in a sympathetic place, he immediately starts snowballing under the pressure of living in a fantasy world on the brink of war. Before long, he’s making worse and worse decisions. Highly relatable. Highly cute. —CM

Vriska stands, shocked, in her god-tier form
God tier
Andrew Hussie/What Pumpkin

Vriska Serket (Homestuck)

Vriska did nothing wrong. —JL

Goggins, shirtless, in Deep State.
America’s sweetheart Walton Goggins.

Walton Goggins

Our national crush on Walton Goggins has been years in the making, and this decade has finally seen one of our most beautiful flowers come into full bloom. Whether he’s trying to stop Lara Croft, clogging for Jesus, or playing the most chaotic vice principal of all time, his perfect teeth and billboard forehead demand love. The Unicorn — you know, the show where he plays a dad everyone wants to get with — is just the universe’s way of showing us that we’ve been right all this time. —KH

The Dauphin (Pattinson), in armor, sits in a fine chair, surrounded by his soldiers.
Terrible wig, terrible accent, terrible character — we love it.

Weird Robert Pattinson

There is nothing I love more than when actors go totally balls to the wall, which is exactly what Robert Pattinson has done over the course of the last decade. Just look at what he’s doing in The King. Also in this category: Weird Jake Gyllenhaal (see: Okja, Nightcrawler, Velvet Buzzsaw, and even Spider-Man: Far From Home). —KH