You can keep your Darcies, your Rochesters, your Wentworths (okay, okay, save one Wentworth for me). Because the best fictional crushes are the weird ones, the ones that require you to read between the lines, to infer sexual charisma from a throwaway sentence or two, to dig beyond stormy brows and passionate kisses to the supporting characters behind the hunks. To acknowledge all of you who can’t understand the fuss about Sherlock, but have a big ol’ thing for Inspector Lestrade, who would leapfrog Harry to get at Seamus, I present a list of my most unlikely literary crushes. What are yours?
Mercutio, Romeo and Juliet
While Romeo was all, “Wah, why won’t Rosaline love m—hey, who’s that?” *pushes Rosaline into fountain in rush to get to Juliet*, Mercutio is kicking back, making jokes, and refusing to take life so seriously. He tries to defuse the tension with the Capulets via killer barbs, but when that doesn’t work, he’s ready to fight. A brilliant, quick-witted dude who tries to avoid conflict but is brave when it arises? Put me down for one, please.
Captain Hook, Peter Pan
I’ve aged out of my maaaaajor crush on Peter Pan, moving onto the sad and sensitive Captain Hook. Not the ridiculous cartoon character, but book Hook, the one with the mysterious origins and the faded elegance, whose plot to kill the Lost Boys at one point involves baking a very heavy cake and tricking them into eating it (“They will find the cake and they will gobble it up, because, having no mother, they don’t know how dangerous ‘tis to eat rich damp cake”). What a hilariously mild murder plot! Don’t ask me why I find it so charming…there’s really no good answer.
Willy Wonka, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
I mean…free candy, for one thing. Also that adorable glint of insanity in his eye—everyone wants to date someone with a passion! And if there were a Mrs. Wonka, one would assume she’d have the opportunity to weigh in with new candy ideas? And go on candy-eating research trips around the globe? And basically every day of her life would be a gold-ticket kind of a day? Yessss.
Boba Fett, Star Wars extended universe fiction
What’s beneath that mask? Boba Fett’s not telling, because he walks alone. There’s basically no sexier job title than “intergalactic bounty hunter,” unless it’s “gentleman, scholar, rogue.” Fett travels the lonely galaxies, tracking down his prey. He makes his own hours, he is his own boss, he answers to one. Sound like anyone you know? That’s right: Han Solo. Minus the morals, the girlfriend, and the cute vest, of course. I can help you get one of those things, Boba Fett. And I’m not talking about vest-shopping.
Mr. Weasley, Harry Potter
Everyone has a secret-not-so-secret crush on Snape (and some of us can’t help but acknowledge the sexy intensity of a young Tom Riddle), but what about Mr. Weasley? He was raising ginger hell around Hogwarts long before Fred and George ever met a nose-biting teacup. There’s something weirdly charming about his bumbling obsession with the Muggle lifestyle, and I want to blow his mind by taking him on a date to the mall. Escalators? Cash registers? RadioShack? Best date ever.
Well, spill it: who’s your oddest fictional crush?