Top ten childhood crushes (Yup, I like-liked them…)


By Shawn Robare

I’ve been feeling a little under the weather this week, not to mention in a very silly mood (did you read the last article?), so I’ve decided to finish off the week a bit weirder than usual here at Branded by posting another top-ten list, something I’m not prone to doing, but I’m going to let you into my head a bit.  When I was a kid I started having crushes around age 3 or so.  Not sure if this is early for a boy, but I do know that I had a “girlfriend” by age 4 (Robin – she dumped me by the by), and was madly in love at 5 with a girl, Heather, down the street when we lived in Tampa.

(That’s me in yellow & green on the far right, and Heather is the blonde next to me.  Oh and that was my birthday at Showbiz and I was peeved at my Dad for sticking me in the back, no one puts Shawn in the corner!)

Anyway, I’ve been threatening (myself) that I’d eventually do a top ten list of my childhood crushes, so here it is.  You’ll notice the absence of Punky Brewster, Drew Barrymore, and Vicki the Small Wonder robot because even as a boy I was into older women (TMI, I know.)  First off, a couple of honorable mentions…

Honorable Mention 1: E.G. Daily (Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Better Off Dead, and the Rugrats)

How can you not be in love with Dotti from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure?  Not only was she the cool bike store chick, but she was also playing herself as a rock star in Better Off Dead (pick up some of her albums by the way, they’re great!)

Honorable Mention 2: The Guys – John Cusack (the holy trinity of Lloyd Dobler, Lane Meyer, and Hoops McCann), Matt Adler (Teen Wolf, White Water Summer, and North Shore), and Clayton Rohner (as Rick Morehouse in Just One of the Guys)…

I’m pretty comfortable with my sexuality, enough so to admit that I had crushes on all three of the above mentioned gentlemen, Matt Adler in particular.

Okay, now on to the main list.  These were kind of tough to put in an order, but after a lot of deliberation this is how it plays out…

10). Erin Grey (Buck Rogers & Silver Spoons)

Mrs. Grey is probably one of my first big crushes.  While Star Wars introduced me to Carrie Fisher, I spent the better part of my youth watching Buck Rogers and Silver Spoons week in and week out so it was hard to ignore Mrs. Grey charms.  I’m also not sure how much this crush was that I wanted her as my alternate mom…

9). Mitzi the Mouse from the Rock-Afire-Explosion Showbiz Pizza Band

As much as I’m willing to admit that I had a crush on a bunch of guys, I can also admit that I had a crush on an audio-animatronic mouse.  Was it the cheerleader outfit?  Shalisa James’ singing?  I’ll never know, but I do know that I looked forward to seeing her every time a birthday came around in the early 80s.

8). Lea Thompson (Howard the Duck, Back to the Future, Red Dawn, & SpaceCamp)

Lea Thompson didn’t jump out at me at first, but as I was looking through my DVDs to compile this list I couldn’t help but notice that she starred in a number of my favorite films.  The more I thought about it the more I realized that I had most certainly had a crush on her growing up.  She was my favorite junior-naut in SpaceCamp, was one of the only ones to make it out of Red Dawn alive, and was quite the flirtatious bad-girl in Back to the Future.  Did I mention she was the awesome lead of the Cherry Bombs in Howard the Duck?  If I can love a mouse and she can love a duck, well, there has to be something there…

7). Diane “Monique” Franklin (Better Off Dead)

Cute as a button and a tomboy to boot.  She can throw a lemon like no other, and you have to give her props for lasting as long as she did under the same roof as Rickey…

6). Joyce “Terry Griffith” Hyser (Just One of the Guys)

I’m not sure this was intentional on the part of the filmmakers or not, but I found Joyce Hyser way more attractive as Terrance then Terry.  I guess I dug the short hair and bravado, but she was my deamgirl for a couple years in middle school.  The final confrontation scene in the flick didn’t hurt either…

5). Tie between Jane “Diana” Balder & Faye “Julie Parrish” Grant (V)

Jane Balder’s Diana ate a guinea pig in V.  I still had a crush on her.  Julie Parrish was also a big crush of mine, I’ll admit for her weirdly sexy white get-up in the torture scenes.  If I ever speak to a therapist, I’m positive that scene will come into the conversation.  I’m also noticing a trend of girls with guns here.  Hmmm….

4). Christine “Moose” McGlade (You Can’t Do That on Television)

YCDTOTV was my first real experience with sketch comedy, and by far my favorite actor on the show was Moose.  Well, I guess I probably had a crush on Alister too, but Moose was where it was at.

3). Susan “Boof” Ursitti (Teen Wolf)

Teen Wolf is a film that I love, but is rife with huge problems, not the least of which is the insanity that Scott would rebuff Boof.  Seriously.  Oh, as TL, of Flashlights are Something to Eat, brought up on instagram today, where did she get a name like Boof?

2). Evil Lyn, specifically Linda Gary’s voice-acting and the Mattel action figure (He-Man and the Masters of the Universe)

Yup, I’ll admit it.  I scraped off the paint on my Evil Lyn breast plate because I wanted to see what was underneath.  I was six.  Little did I know that I’d just have to wait a couple years to watch Just One of the Guys to find out what was really under there.  By the way, after that my mom never bought me any of the female action figures in any line of toys, so I never had a Scarlett, Lady Jaye or Baroness.  I had to buy Jinx with my allowance.

1). Michelle “Jordan” Meyrink (Real Genius)

Hands down, Michelle Meyrink is the ultimate 80s nerd girl (starring in Real Genius and Revenge of the Nerds.)  Jordan is someone who would drive me insane, what with the non-sleep and six million projects all running at once, but still, she was awesome in my book.  She’s also one of those actresses that I thought should have been in more flick.  Thanks to Jamie over at Shezcrafti for reminding me of the flick Nice Girls Don’t Explode for a starring turn by Meyrink.

Well, that’s the list, what about you guys and gals, any crushes you’re afraid to admit to from back in the day?

  • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

    Ryan – Likewise!

  • http://www.blogspot.finkythekid.com Ryan

    Shawn, cool list. I’m surprised to see a bunch of the same folks on your list as would probably be on mine. Even the man-crushes. Glad to know I’m in good company, bro!

  • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

    Shezcrafti – Thanks, and yeah, E.G. Daily does have one hell of a sexy voice. I’m kind of dying to know what she was like as as kid (I’m sure so was close to being too adorable to look at directly without getting a headache.) It always messed with me a little when I started watching Rugrats. Hmm, Deadly Lessons, adding it to the mental queue of flicks I need to see…

  • http://www.shezcrafti.com/ ShezCrafti

    I think this might be my most favoritest post by you ever! Some surprising but awesome choices on here, too, like Christine from YCDTOTV!? Didn’t see that one coming! She was one of my faves, too, along with Alistair (whom I also had a crush on). Another thing that’s so crushable about Dotti from Pee Wee Herman–that voice! God was it sexy, in a Jennifer Tilly kind of way. She was supercute. Hey, if you love Diane Franklin, you must see the low-budget, made-for-TV horror film she did called Deadly Lessons (1983), which also stars an extremely young Bill Paxton AND Ali Sheedy. Now can I steal this blog post idea? :P

  • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

    Brian – The motto here at Branded is honesty first, even if that means copping to a 30 year-old crush on an freaky looking audio animatronic mouse. I’m guessing you’re okay with Evil Lyn? ;)

  • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

    Paxton – Lori Laughlin was one of those girls that I dug as a kid (especially in Rad), but at the same time felt way out of my league. Even at 9…

  • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

    TL – Thanks man! Lea Thompson has a way of creeping up on you…

  • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

    Esteban – Oh man, I didn’t consider Catlin “Valerian” Clarke! You’re right, her boy to girl thing was hit me as a kid too. So apparently I like girls who pretend to be boys and carry heavy firearms… Oh and LOL over the Anthony Michael Hall thing!

  • http://www.coolandcollected.com/ Brian (Cool and Collected)

    You started really strong with Erin Grey, but you lost me with Mitzi. ;)

  • http://www.timlybarger.com Tim L.

    I talked about my crush on Stacy Ferguson a while back (http://tinyurl.com/74qqdxz) but you’ve hit the nail on the head with Lea Thompson. I watched Space Camp and was in love! Great post!

  • Esteban

    I was 8 the first time I saw Anthony Michael Hall (which was at the movies in ’82 when he was in Six Pack) and I thought he was a girl and I fell in love. What’s weird was I was so convinced he was a girl that I kept believing it until about halfway through the movie and then I figured it out. Aside from that I had it bad for Kristy McNichol, Princess Leia, and that girl in Dragonslayer who really was a girl but started out a boy in the movie (kind of the opposite of Anthony Michael Hall).

  • http://www.cavalcadeofawesome.net/ Paxton Holley

    I’m not going to argue most of those. I loved Erin Gray and Moose from YCDTOT. I’m so glad you brought up Moose and felt the same. And Boof, yes, complete insanity to overlook her, HOWEVER, Pam was pretty damn hot. In much the same way as Boof, I had a big crush on Lori Laughlin, most notably from the movie Secret Admirer. I couldn’t believe C Thomas would overlook Lori for the less interesting Kelly Preston (who was also hot, to be honest). Lea Thompson was a big one for me, too. Still kinda is.

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