Some of my fondest memories from growing up involved sitting around my bedroom with my besties and cutting out photos of our favorite teen idols from the brightly colored magazines featuring pin-ups and posters of their beaming faces. Looking back, it seems like as soon as I hit age 11, I couldn’t help but zero in on those flashy publications for the latest scoop on my celebrity crushes.
As someone who was a tween and teen throughout the late 90s and early 00s, that meant a lot of photos of Hanson, *NSync, and Devon Sawa (especially during his Casper years). At one point, however, my focus shifted — I happened to stumble upon an episode of The Monkees and found myself instantly hooked by the nostalgic series. Instead of scanning my grocery store for the new issues of Teen Vogue or CosmoGirl, I hit up flea markets and eBay for vintage issues of Tiger Beat and hoped they’d still be in good condition. Thankfully, there was plenty to go around.
No matter when you grew up, the appeal of a sweet teen idol flashing a smile in your direction — even if it’s on your TV screen or in a magazine photo — is all it took to fill our stomachs with delighted butterflies.
Take a look below to remember all the cuties who stole our hearts over the years and remember which one was the biggest teen idol from your own younger days!