Ranking ’90s TV Boyfriends from Worst to Best


There ain’t no boyfriend like a ’90s TV boyfriend, are we right or are we right? For some reason or another, they don’t make ’em like they used to. Is Puck our new A.C. Slater? Is Tim Riggins our new Jordan Catalano? It’s safe to say that while their 21st-century equivalents are attractive enough, the original guys are irreplaceable, so we’ve ranked some one-of-a-kind ’90s TV boyfriends from worst to best, because — well, why not? Don’t be alarmed when you don’t see any adults on this list — recounting the many lost loves of Jerry Seinfeld sounds exhausting, so we’re sticking to teenagers. Check ’em out after the jump, and hit the comments to let us know which Savage brother you prefer.

10. The Worst Boyfriend — Jordan Catalano, My So-Called Life

One cannot merely say the words, “Jordan Catalano”; one must sigh the words, “Jordan Catalano.” So, if TV were real life, we wouldn’t be caught dead speaking ill of — sigh — Jordan Catalano. You know, just in case he wanted us to, um, tutor him in the boiler room, or whatever. That being said, let’s put aside our fluttery inner 16-year-old and face the obvious truth: Jordan Catalano was a pretty terrible boyfriend. Sure, he was in a band, he was gorgeously aloof, and he was Jared Leto before Jared Leto became Jared Leto, but when push came to shove, Angela Chase should’ve gone with Brian Krakow from the get-go. Wow, we can’t believe we actually typed that. Is this adulthood?

9. The Playboy Boyfriend — Will Smith, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Now this is a story all about how the Fresh Prince got a ton of chicks. Like, a ton. This ’90s Casanova used his lovably goofy Will Smith charm to get away with some harsh heart-breaking shenanigans, so we’re ranking Will as our bad “playboy” boyfriend. Sure, he became incredibly smitten with the occasional gorgeous guest star, but it never lasted long.

8. The Wild Card Boyfriend — Mike Seaver, Growing Pains

Mike Seaver somehow mastered being a rebel and a sweetheart, all at once. Although he had a long relationship with that Kate MacDonald girl, we still wouldn’t really consider Mike great boyfriend material. But then, maybe we’re biased because Kirk Cameron is a bit nutty these days.

7. The Hungry Boyfriend — Steve Hale, Full House

We really like food over here, folks. So, having a boyfriend whose shtick is to eat everything in our fridge sounds like an argument waiting to happen. Other than that, Steve Hale was pretty great to D.J. Tanner. Plus, he was Aladdin, who might just top our list of great Disney cartoon boyfriends.

6. The Overwhelming Boyfriend — Nick Andopolis, Freaks and Geeks

Nick Andopolis’s only problem was that he loved Lindsay Weir a little too much. Is that such a crime? Sounds a lot like HBO’s Girls, no?

5. The Naïve Boyfriend — Kevin Arnold, The Wonder Years

Kevin and Winnie’s relationship was a bit more tumultuous than Cory and Topanga’s. The former often required reassurance that they belonged together, whereas Cory and Topanga were pretty much married by the time high school rolled around. So, we’re leaving little Kevin Arnold at a neutral 5.

4. The Topanga Boyfriend — Cory Matthews, Boy Meets World

Cory would be higher on this list if he hadn’t cheated on Topanga by kissing Lindsay Weir on that ski trip. Of course, her name wasn’t Lindsay Weir on Boy Meets World, but if we said “Lauren,” would anyone know who we were referencing? Other than that little mix-up, Cory was a pretty great boyfriend.

3. The “Mama” Boyfriend — A.C. Slater, Saved by the Bell

Despite playing the lady-killin’ jock, Slater absolutely fawned over Jessie Spano. Just look at him with that little lizard. So sensitive, that Slater.

2. The Boyfriend With “The World’s Most Perfect Sideburns” — Harvey Kinkle, Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Who can resist a guy whose last name is the love child of “kinky” and “cankle”? Harvey was the ultimate sweet, understanding boyfriend, who accidentally fell in love with a witch. Hey, it happens to the best of us.

1. The Best Boyfriend — Doogie Howser, Doogie Howser, M.D.

Doogie Howser is our number one ’90s TV boyfriend. Don’t fight it. He has the moral compass of Fred Rogers, the brains of BBC’s Sherlock, and the face of Neil Patrick Harris. What’s not to love? Let’s reminisce with good old NPH and the SNL gang, shall we?