I’ve gotta say, straight dudes / lesbians, you’ve been pretty greedy lately. And right now, I’m kind of in the mood to take a sledge-hammer to your Manic Pixie Dream Empire. That’s right, mortals! Equality now! It’s time to end your monopoly on unreasonable romantosexual expectations.
But a quick word of warning: I’m not talking about you, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. When I say “Manic Pixie Dream Boyfriends,” I really mean “Manic Pixie Dream Bad Boys.” So leave your Seth Cohen starter packs at the front door, nerds. Please and thank you.
1. Jess Mariano (Gilmore Girls) - For my money, the quintessential MPDB. He exhibits all of the necessary components: chain smoking, shitty parents, the perpetual leather-jacket. Plus, he falls asleep listening to Pavement, flunks out of school, steals garden gnomes, and keeps a book in his back pocket at all times. And let’s not forget those times he fixed Luke’s toaster, cleaned Lorelai’s gutters, brought Rory a care package or gave her an umbrella. This bad boy has a heart. of. gold. Calgon, take me away! Jess Mariano is the standard to which I hold all romantic prospects, and I will probably never find happiness in my life.
2. Ryan Atwood (The OC)- He’s just a good guy from the wrong side of the tracks, you know? Ryan punches things. Ryan steals cars. Ryan smokes cigarettes and says broodingly soulful things to young women. Did I mention that Ryan likes to punch things? If I’m ever involved in a bar fight in Southern California, I pray to sweet baby Jesus that Ryan shows up at my side. But there’s so much more to Kid Chino than meets the eye. He’s brilliant (obviously). He’s suuuper romantic. He listens to you. Carries you home when you’re drunk. Listens to Journey…..Just ask Ryan who he is, and he’ll tell you. “Whoever you want me to be.” Swoon.
3. Jordan Catalano (My So-Called LIfe) - His name is Jordan Catalano. He was let back—twice. One time, Angela almost touched his shoulder in the middle of a pop quiz. He’s always closing his eyes, like it hurts to look at things. And, I mean, he leans really well.
4. Dean Winchester (Supernatural) - Dean is the All-American bad boy. Beer drinking, gun toting, muscle car driving, classic rock listening, demon hunting…Okay, so maybe he’s not the ALL-American bad boy, but he’s pretty darn close to it. Just don’t let that surly exterior fool you, ladiez. The Supernatural drinking game is as follows: take a shot every time Dean has emotions and get drunk before the title credits.
5. Spike (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) - What can I tell you, baby? He’s always been bad. Well, not really, but he’d like you to think so. He’s a vampire, so, bonus points for strength, stamina, and eternal life. He’s killed two slayers, so you know he’s dangerous. But at the end of the day, Spike is just a hopeless romantic. He’ll write you love poems and chain-smoke in the dark outside your house until the cows come home. Precious.