We all remember our first time. The memory remains as clear as crystal: We flipped on the TV, unexpectedly tuned into our new favorite primetime show and then, before we knew it, we were writing fan mail to some lead actor’s Burbank, California P.O. box. Just us? Doubt it.
In hindsight, it’s apparent that just as our hormones began kicking in, nighttime programming across network and cable TV was revving up as well. As such, our TV habits spawned many an aggressive crush on the quietly brave, devotedly romantic men of the small screen.
For starters, there was Full House‘s motorbike-riding, leather-jacketed Uncle Jesse—a first crush for many a Lucky staffer. That ’70s Show‘s Michael Kelso was our endearing goofball of choice, while The Office lead Jim Halpert’s closed-mouthed smirk infinitely improved our weeknights. But no, the obsessions didn’t pass once we graduated into adulthood: dreamboats like Jake Ballard, Matthew Crawley and Derek Shepherd (aka McDreamy) still manage to give us heart palpitations with even the simplest of lines.
Above, we’ve put together a list of 21 fictional TV dudes with whom we count ourselves in a (sadly imaginary) relationship. For a swoon-worthy trip down memory lane—or perhaps just a crash course in small-screen hotness—click through the slideshow above to meet some of TV’s most universally adored gents. (As a gentle warning, some series spoilers are involved.)