Most people in the world get crushes, and the GGA crew is no exception. Sometimes, that extends to fictional characters. From anime to queer awakenings, join us as we share our first character loves and crushes from our formative years!
I was an ’80s toddler. Do you know what that means? Watching lots of primetime soaps! My parents never missed an episode of Dallas, and since we only had one TV in those days … I didn’t either. Being a sprightly young tot, I didn’t understand what was going on most of the time. However, there was one thing I did notice: Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy), the Ewing clan’s sweet and adorable youngest son. He was the likable boy-next-door opposite shrewd and lascivious elder brother J.R. (Larry Hagman).
Bobby was a first love at a time I didn’t know what the word meant. I still hear stories about how I kissed the TV when he came on screen during the credits. The hair. The smile. When I go back and watch reruns, I get it. Patrick Duffy still exists as what I call a “Yesterday, Today and Forever” crush. I was five years old when Dallas came to an end but was right back there when Step by Step came around later that same year. Heck, he was why I came back for the Dallas reboot in 2012. Here’s to you, Bobby Ewing — Kimberly Pierce
My very first crush set the bar really high because, after all, what 13-year-old boy could ever compare to a fictional man? The first to capture my heart was Inuyasha (Kappei Yamaguchi/Richard Ian Cox), the hot-tempered, half-demon hero from Japan’s feudal-era series of the same name. The Toonami special started a long-standing interest in all of the bad boys, with a heart of gold in every type of media. I’ll happily read or watch enemies-to-lovers stories until the end of my days.
I even remember intensely disliking Kagome (Satsuki Yukino/Moneca Stori), Inuyasha’s love interest, finding her annoying. Watching as an adult, I find her to be a well-written character and have conceded that pre-teen me was somehow jealous of a fictional girl. I credit Inuyasha for kicking off my anime obsession that Pokémon laid the groundwork for. The beautiful artwork felt so much more realistic than the cartoons on daytime television. The writing also drew me in, weaving an intricate, branching storyline that I still look for when I start watching new shows today. — Lauren Darnell
I’ve admitted some highly personal, borderline-embarrassing things on the internet, but this might take the cake. My first character crush (crush in general) was Goofy’s son Max (Jason Marsden) in 1995’s A Goofy Movie. I must have watched this film dozens of times when it came out — I was eight — and honestly, more than anything, it was probably Marsden’s voice that got me (I’m a sucker for a voice). Or, maybe, it was the pure chaos of a high-school-aged dog-kid bonding with his uncool parent. I have no idea.
Did I recognize it as a crush back then? No, but my parents sure did. They teased me about it, too. At that young age, a crush is abstract, not backed by a drive for romance but an intense infatuation. So, it manifests more as an obsession. In my young brain, Max Goof was just really cool. — Melis Amber
Motormouth Maybelle (as played by Queen Latifah)
I was in sixth grade when my friends and I went to the movies to watch Hairspray, and I can still remember how excited I was during every scene in which Motormouth Maybelle (Queen Latifah) appeared. I loved everything about the character, from her wardrobe and her wigs to the sound of her voice in every song. “Big, Blonde, and Beautiful” still plays in my car from time to time as I drive, and I know every word of the song (I cannot sing it as well as Queen Latifah, of course).
Years later, I realized that Motormouth Maybelle was my queer awakening, and the character holds a very special place in my heart. To this day, I rewatch Hairspray as often as possible, and I still feel the same excitement to see her on my screen. She will definitely be a forever crush of mine. — Lara Rosales
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