When it comes to TV boyfriends, viewers have their favorites. We hear all about the Seth Cohens and Derek Shepherds of the world and fantasize about the likes of Chuck Bass and Aidan Shaw and Jax Teller.
While these characters certainly have a lot going for them, fans tend to forget about other TV boyfriends who are great catches, but never get the appreciation that they deserve.
Every show has the primary love interest and then the underdog that most people tend to overlook. These characters can be bad boys or gentlemen, but they do tend to have a few endearing qualities in common, like their willingness to do anything at all for their loved ones. Underrated TV boyfriends might not be huge stars, but they are tolerant and understanding, and most importantly, have huge hearts that allow them to give out their love.
Some of the most underrated TV boyfriends are the central love interest on their shows, but their shows don’t have huge cult followings, and so they’re largely forgotten in the pop culture space. Some aren’t appreciated for their skills as lovers because they’re famous for other things. Check out our list of the most underrated yet lovable TV baes!
20 Jason Dean: Charmed
The love stories everyone talks about when it comes to Charmed are Piper and Leo, of course, and Phoebe and Cole (who we still think should have worked out, but whatever). Phoebe has a lot of love interests on the show, but one of the most underrated is her Season Five boss, Jason Dean.
What’s not to like about this media mogul? He’s smart, successful, very handsome, and totally understanding. While he understandably gets freaked out when he finds out Phoebe is a witch, the two remain on good terms even after they break up. Jason even sacrifices a business merger to protect Phoebe’s real identity.
19 Wade Kinsella: Hart Of Dixie
Wade Kinsella gets our automatic approval thanks to that Southern accent. There’s a lot of tension between Wade and Zoe since his easy-going swagger comes head-to-head with her New York neurosis. But the best relationships are built on passion like that, whether it’s a positive passion or more negative, tense passion.
Bickering and squabbling is their thing, which they do before and after they get together. Just imagine them as an old married couple! What we love about Wade is that he challenges Zoe to be better and doesn’t let her get away with things that everybody else in her life does.
18 Rajesh Koothrappali: The Big Bang Theory
There are a couple of reasons why Rajesh Koothrappali from The Big Bang Theory would make the best boyfriend ever. For starters, he doesn’t have a selfish or careless bone in his body. He’s been blessed with a willingness to please, and he would make sure that your needs were always met.
When he does have a love interest on the show, there are no lengths he won’t go to in order to please her. This includes preparing romantic dinners and going through the trouble of buying romantic gifts. And the whole time, he worries that he’s not doing enough. Bless!
17 Jess Mariano: Gilmore Girls
Even those on Team Dean or Team Logan have to admit that Jess Mariano is serious boyfriend material. This guy is witty and always has the best sarcastic comeback up his sleeve. He fits in well with Rory’s rebellious stage because even though he’s not a total bad boy, he is a little risky. And it’s hard to resist that smirk he likes to do!
Being a writer, Jess is in touch with how he’s feeling, even though he sometimes doesn’t know how to express himself. He’s a bit of a mystery, but that makes him all the more exciting.
16 Nate Archibald: Gossip Girl
He’s no Chuck Bass, but we have time for Nate Archibald. Nate isn’t perfect all the time, but he’s probably the most reliable of the three male leads in Gossip Girl. He is so polite, agreeable and easy to get along with that going out with him would be a breeze (until it came time to hang out with his uptight family).
Sure, Nate makes mistakes, like the Shepherd wedding. And the way things ended with Vanessa was pretty disappointing. But ultimately, this trust fund baby has a big heart and is far nicer than the majority of men who look as good as he does.
15 Jackson Avery: Grey’s Anatomy
Move over, McDreamy. All Jackson Avery has to walk into a room with those dimples of him, and we’re falling to our knees. Jackson is one of those characters that has a lot to offer both on the inside and on the outside. Nothing needs to be said for the outside—just look at him!
On the inside, he is thoughtful and caring, extremely dedicated, and impressively driven. There’s also the fact that he’s wealthy, which is just the cherry on top. He might be immature in the beginning, but he grows a lot as the show progresses, and we always love a man who knows how to learn a lesson.
14 Harry ‘Opie’ Winston: Sons Of Anarchy
Jax Teller is the favorite, but Opie Winston has a lot going for him too. He’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but nobody can say that he’s not a high-quality human being. After spending five years in jail, Opie works hard to provide for his family. Once he loses Donna, his sensitive heart is shaken, never to return to the way it was again.
Despite his mistakes, Opie is too good for this world and doesn’t deserve the end he meets. All he wants to do is care for his children and stay loyal to his friends. We’re not crying. You’re crying.
13 Chandler Bing: Friends
Ross and Rachel are all anybody talks about when the topic switches to Friends. But we’d take Chandler Bing over Ross Geller any day! Rachel may be the biggest star of the show, but Monica’s the lucky one in our eyes.
Chandler knows how he feels about Monica from the moment they get together in London (except for the brief incident on their wedding day). He’s a total commitment-phobe but loves her enough to get past his own issues. And if he were on a break with Monica, he wouldn’t run to another girl within 24 hours. Plus, we love a man who can make us laugh!
12 Ezra Fitz: Pretty Little Liars
To clarify, we don’t condone teacher-student relationships. But Ezra Fitz as a person is definitely a catch, even if he has no business getting involved with Aria. He sees people for what they are, and as a boyfriend, he would appreciate the individual character traits that make you unique.
Ezra sacrifices his job for Aria, which isn’t the smartest thing to do. But it does show that he will go to great lengths for love. He’s definitely a man that will fight to be with you and prioritize you over the other things in his life. Also, the vests he wears just get us every time.
11 Dylan McKay: Beverly Hills, 90210
Dylan McKay has been the answer to our bad boy prayers since the 1990s. This guy is a grade-A charmer and knows how to win over a heart with a simple smirk. Plus, girls tend to fall for the ruggedly handsome kid who is loaded with a major trust fund. Over the course of the show, Dylan falls down a rabbit hole of problems and despair and made everyone just want to take him home and cuddle him better.
The actor who portrayed Dylan, Luke Perry, tragically lost his life in March 2019 to a stroke and has been fondly remembered by his Beverly Hills castmates. We will definitely miss him forever.
10 Jim Halpert: The Office
The thing we love most about Jim Halpert is his patience. When he first meets Pam, she’s engaged. But he doesn’t forget his feelings for her just because of that. He also doesn’t try to steal her away from her fiancé because he’s a good guy. Instead, he waits for Pam, all the while falling more in love with her.
Jim isn’t perfect, but he does always try to do the right thing. Dwight might have some negative things to say about him, thanks to all the pranks Jim likes to play, but he still makes a caring and reliable boyfriend.
9 Ben Wyatt: Parks & Recreation
Ben Wyatt is one of the best TV boyfriends because he understands Leslie. And he accepts her. She never has to pretend to be anybody else when she’s with him, which suggests that he’s just perfect for her. He knows her hopes and dreams for the future as if they were his own, totally gets her humor, and understands what it takes to please her.
He never guilt trips her when she runs for city council since he knows how important it is to her and is willing to put his own happiness on hold for her. What a keeper!
8 Jon Snow: Game Of Thrones
Trust us, this guy knows something. When you look at some of the other characters in Game of Thrones, Jon Snow really is the diamond in the rough. Despite living in this dark and dangerous world, he still has a good heart and is capable of true love.
Being raised by the honorable Nedd Stark probably had a lot to do with Jon growing up to be such a loyal and respectable young man who stays true to his deceased lover Ygritte, as well as his family members and the men in his army. Daenerys has had some impressive lovers, but none beat the King in the North.
7 Archie Andrews: Riverdale
Gentleman? Check. Handsome red-head? Check. Abs of steel? Check. Archie Andrews is all that and more. What we love most about this Riverdale character is that he’s incredibly tactful and considerate of other people’s feelings. When he lets Betty down, he does so with an emotional conversation, not a heartless breakup text.
During his seven minutes in heaven with Veronica, he waits for her to make the first move, which shows how respectful he is. Some viewers say he’s too vanilla, but sometimes that’s better than the bad boy. Give us Archie over a disrespectful boyfriend any day of the week!
6 Pacey Witter: Dawson’s Creek
We’re still not over Pacey Witter, though it’s been years since Dawson’s Creek finished its run. He and Joey are so good together because we all know that the best relationships start with friendship. Sure, they don’t start out on the right foot, and it’s not exactly love at first sight, what with all their arguing and tension.
But there are deep feelings there brewing right from the beginning. He’s also not afraid to go all out for the love of his life, and if he has to buy a wall to impress someone, then that’s exactly what he’ll do!
5 Logan Echolls: Veronica Mars
Men like Logan Echolls are rare in the real world, or may not exist at all. This character takes love to a new level, and if we were the object of his affections, he would happily get himself thrown in jail just to avenge us, whether or not we were dating.
While most people would do anything for their significant other, Logan would do anything for the girl he loves, even if she wasn’t his. Even if she didn’t love him back. And he’s flawed, just like the rest of us. Logan is full of passion, which works in his favor but also works against him sometimes.
4 Zach Stevens: The O.C.
People who worship Seth and Summer probably won’t like Zach Stevens very much. He has a rivalry with Seth, it’s true, and nearly comes between the golden couple of Orange County. But you have to admit that as a boyfriend, he’s a pretty big catch.
Zach is polite, sensitive, and caring. He’s also a big enough man to still be okay with Seth after Summer goes back to him and conceals his hurt feelings behind a made-up girlfriend from his international vacation (which Summer bails out of at the last minute). In the end, he chooses the comic over Summer, but to be fair, she’s already put him through a lot by that point.
3 Tim Riggins: Friday Night Lights
Tim Riggins certainly doesn’t start out as an impressive potential boyfriend. He’s a no-good cowboy who drinks too much, betrays his best friend, and has no part of his life together. But as the show carries on, we find out more about Tim’s character, and we find out that he has these problems because his life has been really tough.
And although he appears to be a hard kind of person, he’s really soft and loving on the inside. He’s one of those guys who needs someone with enough patience to get through to him, but the pay-off will be worth it!
2 Mike Hannigan: Friends
We always hoped Phoebe would end up with someone special, and Mike Hannigan delivered. He may not know how to have a conversation with Ross (who does, though?), but he is a kind, caring and funny guy who loves Phoebe for who she is. His parents don’t approve of her, but he doesn’t care.
He’s also not fazed by the fact that she’s never had a serious relationship before him, or that she’s kind of off-beat and quirky. He’s also happy to marry her on a freezing New York street instead of one of the expensive venues that his parents could afford.
1 Steve Brady: SATC
SATC fans spend their time arguing over whether Carrie should have ended up with Big or Aidan, but we think it’s Miranda’s man, Steve Brady, who deserves the most praise. Let’s face it: Miranda is hard to put up with sometimes. She’s cynical and sarcastic and lashes out at Steve when she doesn’t know how to express her feelings, and he never stops loving her.
He brings a sense of fun to her life, even though some may think that they’re mismatched. Though he makes a mistake in the first movie, he tells her straight away and begs for her back, showing how honest and loyal he is.
Sources: TV Guide, Culturess