Even ‘90s Kids Won’t Recognize These 19 Forgotten Heartthrobs Today

Let's face it, we all still dream about the 1990s. It was a decade of nostalgia, amazing TV and music, having a huge impact on our childhood and teenage years. Great personalities had their careers started in the '90s and quickly became true icons of this decade, with their faces hanging in every poster on every teenager's room walls and being the front cover of magazines everywhere.

Today, we take a look at some of the biggest heartthrobs of the 1990s that have become dust in the wind, forgotten as years went by and as careers changed. These were everyone's crushes in the '90s, the talk of young girls at sleepover parties. After 20 years, you probably won't recognize most of them!

19 Rider Strong

via Vice & Looper

Trouble but caring Shawn Hunter was the character that made Rider Strong famous back in the 90s, in the hit sitcom Boy Meets World. Who wouldn't develop a crush seeing those blue eyes and soft smile? Teenagers in the 90s were wild for Rider and it's understandable why. Years later, he starred in a horror movie, wrote and directed a short movie, won awards and recently provided his voice for the animated show Star vs. the Forces of Evil. He remains as handsome as he used to be, adding a beard to his look that makes it harder to recognize him from his golden days.

18 Hanson

via Cosmopolitan

Another 90s band worth mentioning is Hanson, featuring three blonde, long-haired brothers from Tulsa, mixing talent and good looks. Their first independent release, 'Underneath', peaked at the Number 1 on the Billboard Top Independent Albums chart, leading them even further to fame and placing their faces on posters in every teenagers' room. Even after 20 years, they continue to make music for their dedicated fans, and continue to take good care of themselves. Unfortunately for many fans, they are now also married with children.

17 Barry Watson

via hallmarkdrama.com & mediavillage.com

Another heartthrob coming straight from 7th Heaven, Barry Watson would go on to star with incredible actress Katie Holmes in the 1999 film Teaching Mrs. Tingle, only to be diagnosed with Hodkin's disease in 2002. Of course, his acting skills lead him to gain roles in countless TV shows and movies after that. Now, 20 years later, he remains just as handsome as he used to be, now with a more mature look that will for certain steal the hearts of all the teenagers who loved him and now grew to become women who will certainly still be Watson's fans.

16 Mark-Paul Gosselaar

via E! News

Who doesn't remember Saved By The Bell? Mark-Paul Gosselaar found his first role that lead him to fame as lovable Zack Morris, a character he played for 4 years. Ever since he stole everyone's hearts with his smile, he starred in more shows such as NYPD Blue, Raising the Bar and Franklin & Bash. We know his face all too well now, but we're sure not even his fans from all the way back in the 90s recognize him for his incredible character in Saved The Bell. He's still looking good though, we can't say otherwise.

15 Devon Sawa

via InStyle & omgcheckitout.com

Remember Casper, the friendly ghost turned movie (that you should definitely watch this Halloween)? Alongside the beautiful Christina Ricci, Devon Sawa played Casper when he turned into a boy, swooning girls everywhere. He went on to star in Wild America, Idle Hands, and Final Destination, as well as other incredible and more recent opportunities such as Nikita. Now, he's a dad to a boy named Hudson with his wife Dawni.

14 Aaron Carter

via Yahoo

Who doesn't remember Aaron Carter? We're pretty sure every fans still has at least one poster stuck behind their bed in their old room with his face plastered all over it. He even famously dated both Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan, causing a well-known and long feud between the two Disney stars. Now, after having dealt with a drug addiction in 2010, he found success in a Broadway production of The Fantasticks. Still, in 2013, he filed for bankruptcy. We haven't heard much from him since 2014, but we know he has long lost his boy-ish charm, probably from the struggles he has faced since the 90s.

13 Brendan Fraser

via Tribecca Film Festival & looper.com

Last, but certainly not least, the incredible Brendan Fraser, a true heartthrob of the 90s with roles in movies such as The Mummy trilogy, George of the Jungle or Encino Man. His attractive face and haircut with defined muscles and beautiful eyes have really gone downhill as time went by. We don't see him much on the big screen anymore but, although his face is easily recognizable, his look has completely changed to the point we are not sure how this is the same Brendan Fraser.

12 Kirk Cameron

via Throwbacks & Taddlr

Playing the adorable Mike Seaver on Growing Pains skyrocketed Kirk Cameron's career and heartthrob status. His signature smirk still remains to this day, and was one of the many reasons he would receive around 10,000 fan letters a week. His words, not ours! Now, at 39, he is married to actress Chelsea Noble and they have six children, four of them adopted. He still makes everyone's heart skips a beat though, that's for sure.

11 Jeremy Jackson

via The Daily Beast

Jeremy Jackson was Hobie on Baywatch, if you don't quite remember his face. Apparently, he beat Leonardo DiCaprio for that role, but he hasn't acted much since that role. Now, he is very different from his 90s days, featuring a much bulkier appearance, a lot more tan and a beard thrown in for a more mature look. Definitely impossible to recognize nowadays.

10 Andrew Keegan

via alchetron.com & Nicki Swift

Remember the classic romantic movie 10 Things I Hate About You, or the drama TV show 7th Heaven? Andrew Keegan was the charming young antagonist who played Joey Donner in the first, and Mary’s boyfriend, Wilson, in the last. Years later, his career took a huge turn, when he founded his own religion called "Full Circle", busted in 2015 for “illegal” kombucha. Since that was a bust, he now spends his time surfing and being a full-time dad. His young good looks have since gone downhill with a dad moustache and a lack of fashion sense.

9 Zachery Ty Bryan

via celebrity.nine.com.au

American sitcom Home Improvement shot Tim Allen to fame and it brought three amazing brothers to the screen, played by young actors Zachery Ty Bryan, Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Taran Noah Smith. It's safe to say, teenagers' hearts exploded and crushes were developed, especially on oldest brother, played by Zachery, who ended up appearing on shows like The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars. Now, he's 33, and he has moved into producer roles, as well as having gained a bit more weight and having lost that fresh boy-ish look he was so known for.

8 Joshua Jackson

via celebrity.nine.com.au

Hit teen drama Dawson’s Creek brought us the incredible Joshua Jackson playing the side-kick best friend that everyone loves. He was funny, he was swoon-worthy, he was the whole package deal wrapped with a bow on top for good measure. Joshua Jackson's career continued to smile upon him as he starred in more TV shows and movies, including Fringe and Cruel Intentions. He even debuted as in Broadway's Children of a Lesser God, a performance he's received a Drama League Awards nomination for. He's basically continuing to make a name for himself even after 2 decades later.

7 Ryan Phillippe

via elitedaily.com & Cosmopolitan

Ryan Phillippe played the bad guy turned good guy in Cruel Intentions that made him so irresistible to teenagers everywhere, as well as the horror movie I Know What You Did Last Summer. A gorgeous man that never stopped being gorgeous, he went on to marry and divorce Reese Witherspoon, with whom he has two kids, as well as continuing his acting career in the series Shooter. 

6 Backstreet Boys

via Official Charts & Antwerps Sportpaleis

Who doesn't remember Backstreet Boys, honestly? This was one of the boy groups of the 90s that were basically the must-listen-to, stealing hearts with their music and their looks. The Backstreet Boys formed back in 1993, with members AJ McLean, Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Kevin Richardson and Brian Littrell, quickly rising to fame for years, having their ups and downs, with the constant promise that "as long as there is music, they'll be coming back again." And it's true! Recently, they have returned with the incredible album featuring the song "Chances", a beautiful love song that stands the test of time. The band members continue to look as amazing as they used to, with many changes to their lives and appearances that have stunned the hardest of fans.


via Billboard & Variety

NSYNC was probably the boy group that changed the most and are now barely recognizable. Apart from the charming and handsome "bringing-sexy-back" Justin Timberlake, band members JC Chasez, Chris Kirkpatrick, Joey Fatone and Jason Galasso have aged since their fame in the 90s and disbandment in 2002. We haven't heard much from the other members and they are seeming to live their lives away from the spotlight. If any of their fans would have walked past them in the street though, we're sure they wouldn't recognize them.

4 Nick Lachey

via Cosmopolitan

We can't mention Backstreet Boys and NSYNC without mentioning 90s band 98 Degrees and the handsome and smooth Nick Lachey. Later, his fame skyrocketed with his appearance in Newlyweds, the reality TV show he starred in alongside Jessica Simpson. Nick is now married to Vanessa Lachey, raising their three kids alongside her. Still, he never lost his good looks and charm, that's for sure.

3 Joey Lawrence

via E! News & The Blast

The same Joey Lawrence that voiced Oliver in Disney movie Oliver And Company, he was mostly known for playing Joey Russo on the show Blossom, quickly becoming one of everyone's favorite 90s heartthrob. He even launched his music career during this time of fame, but the main focus was always his acting skills. Although he looks much different now, apparently almost like the star from a reality TV show or a pop star, he is still very loved from his role in the television sitcom, Melissa and Joey with fellow actress Melissa Hart.

2 Scott Weinger

via Disney Wiki Fandom

Does anyone remember Full House? Who are we kidding, everyone does! Scott Weinger played the adorably sweet boyfriend of D.J. Tanner, Steve Hale. He also voiced Aladdin in the original Disney movie and sequel back in the 90s and early 00s. But he wasn't just incredible handsome and adorable, as well as a great actor. Scott Weigner also graduated from Harvard in 1998, as well as later working on producing and writing for the big screen. He's still serving us looks and a whole lot of personality, though we could hardly say we'd recognize him without a little help.

1 Matt LeBlanc

via Reddit & Page Six

Friends was the American sitcom of the 90s that no one wanted to miss an episode of, that the cast became actual icons of the decade, and, years later, continues to be one of the biggest comedy sitcoms ever created. Matt LeBlanc played the sweet and flirty (although a little on the dumb side) Joey, who just wouldn't share food and was crazy for pizza and his friends. He became one of the biggest heartthrobs of the 90s for young women everywhere. Now, he is much older and you can tell in his face, but he never lost the charm he is so known for.

Sources: Reel Run Down, Twenty Two Worlds, Distractify, Cosmopolitan, Pop Crush, Business Insider

More in Entertainment