Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Celeb Crushes

Disney

Jonathan Taylor Thomas was always the '90s heartthrob we needed, but never the one we deserved. We were lucky to have him in our midst.


We take this opportunity to celebrate him because today is a monumental day: It is the 25th anniversary of the premiere of Home Improvement. It was a quarter century ago that we were introduced to one Randy Taylor, and in turn, to JTT. The Taylor family was many things—they were Midwestern, they were wholesome, they were great at decorating for Halloween. But truly, Randy was by far the most superior member of the family, in more ways than one. 

For starters, he was by far the most sensitive and intelligent Taylor. From his reluctance to join in on Tim's creepy man-grunts and household projects, to his interest in the environment. Even his departure from the show was nuanced; for those who have forgotten, he moved to Costa Rica to help out with a local village. Male sensitivity may not have been as "in" during the 90s, but this was as close as we got. 

But really, we're here to talk about something a little bit more...insightful. Something more personal than just respecting Randy Taylor's brain. We refer to a little something called the sexual awakening. Yes, this pint-sized heartthrob brought about his fair share in the 90s. He was the kind of television personality that made you go...huh?

It started on Home Improvement, of course. This show introduced the world to his popping hazel eyes, his olive skin and his thick, flowing locks. He had the hair of a young Fabio, that one. And his smirk! Dedicated fans will recall that the other actors tried desperately to capitalize on its magic, but it cannot be replicated. (For what it's worth, they also attempted to try the triple-name on for size, but Taran Noah Smith and Zachary Ty Bryan just don't have the same ring as JTT.)

As Randy grew up, his fans did too. We got to watch his hair grow, his interests in girls grow, and all through that he continued to wear the chunky sweaters we all loved. His fame began to skyrocket and he eventually achieved the career pinnacle that every 90s actor aspires to: Tiger Beat magazine covers. And not just Tiger Beat—JTT fronted such venerable publications as BopJ-14 and 16. They offered up insider goodies like How to get JTT to notice you! and JTT: If you were my girlfriend. Somebody call the Pulitzer committee.

Along with the magazine covers came award-winning (actually, make that award worthy) movie roles. He starred opposite Chevy Chase in Man of the House, in which he got to utter such JTT-isms as "I'm 11, I hate girls." He starred in Wild America, which let audiences gawk while he convened with nature. He starred in I'll Be Home for Christmas, in which he, well, got home for Christmas.

Jonathan Taylor Thomas GIF

And of course, who could forget the movie role that started it all: The Lion King. And by "it all," we mean "being attracted to cartoon characters." Simba was hot, guys. That's not hard, seeing as he was drawn to be the carbon lion cub copy of JTT himself. He had it all: The eyes, the butt chin, even the tousled center part. Is it weird to be jealous of an animated jungle cat's flowing locks? If that's wrong, we don't want to be right. 

Jonathan Taylor Thomas GIF

Jonathan Taylor Thomas has been largely out of the public eye, and by default our own lives, for years now, and things have not been the same. Although, if we're being honest with you, reader (and with ourselves), we've always preferred 1998 JTT to all the others. We'll hold onto the memories. 

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