What The Emo Crushes Of Your Teen Years Look Like Today

The early-to-mid 2000s were rough years for a lot of us. Being the well-adjusted, sophisticated women we are now, it can be hard to remember just how tortured our teenage existence was. A quick refresher: You were stuck on an emotional roller coaster powered by raging hormones — and the totally-not-imagined-or-exaggerated reality that your parents, the world, and life itself were all conspiring against you. Everything sucked.

Fortunately, we had music to turn to. Call it what you want: emo, screamo, emo-rock, emo pop, pop punk, emo-alt-post-punk-pop-indie-ska-rock. The point is, these bands had the power to put our intense, hormone-addled, fitful feelings into poetry when we couldn't even tell you what the fuck we were crying about half the time. So naturally, this nurtured some pretty intense crushes on the cute boys and girls who spoke to our souls...and maybe other, um, places in our bodies.

Today, Panic At The Disco releases Death Of A Bachelor, 11 years after its debut album turned us on to the charms of lead singer Brendon Urie. The question is, can our youthful infatuation with these emo heartthrobs live on into adulthood? We'll let you be the judge. Here are 10 of your greatest emo-crushes at the peak of their popularity — and what they look like today.
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Photo: Rocky Widner/Getty.
Brendon Urie, 2006

The Panic! At The Disco singer was always on the forefront of emo-boy fashion, as evidenced by this avant-garde clown/toy-soldier getup. Watching the music video for "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" changed our life. And we realized we were actually really into the ringleader-meets-Clockwork Orange look.
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Photo: Slaven Vlasik/Getty.
Brendon Urie, today

OMG, what a clean-cut cutie! A decade later, Urie has evolved into a rather handsome fellow. He lost the clown makeup and circus attire. And Panic at the Disco lost the exclamation point from its name (and subsequently put it back). Exclamation point!
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Photo: Henry Lamb/BEI/REX Shutterstock.
Tyson Ritter, 2006

The combination of hearing the epic opening chords to "Swing, Swing" and gazing into The All American Rejects lead's piercing blue eyes was enough to set our young hearts aflutter. And oh, those cheekbones!
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Photo: Stephen Lovekin/REX Shutterstock.
Tyson Ritter, today

Ritter god rid of his shaggy mop — and cultivated a perfectly messy coif, plus the ideal amount of facial hair. The ridiculously attractive 31-year-old has aged into what we might call a "hot young lit professor" or "scruffy banker" look.
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Photo: Jim Smeal/BEI/REX Shutterstock.
Hayley Williams, 2008

Paramore's front woman was the badass bitch we wish we had the confidence to be when we were "blossoming" (a.k.a. awkward) young women. We wouldn't have minded being her co-star in the sensual "Misery Business" video, either.
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Photo: Erika Goldring/Getty.
Hayley Williams, today

Though her hair is now a different shade of autumnal neon, Williams looks as fierce as ever. We're digging the fringe/french-braid combo — and would still like to be her.
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Photo: REX Shutterstock.
Gerard Way, 2005

As front man for My Chemical Romance, Way gave voice to a new generation of soul-crushing teenage angst in the cryptically titled hit "I'm Not Okay." Also, Way was pioneering the zombie-chic look way back when.
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Photo: Roger Askew/REX Shutterstock.
Gerard Way, today

A grown-up Way has lost the face makeup and hopped on the pastel-hair trend. Still rockin' that classic black-suit-and-funky-tie look, though! He also appears to frequent libraries, perhaps to read classics by Poe and Dostoyevsky. So emo.
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Photo: Matt Baron/BEI/REX Shutterstock.
Pete Wentz, 2006

The Fall Out Boy bass player gave us smudged-eyeliner and flat-ironed hair #goals back when "Sugar, We're Going Down" and "Dance, Dance" were all the rage.
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Photo: Chelsea Lauren/REX Shutterstock.
Pete Wentz, today

In the time since FOB's peak, Wentz has married and divorced Ashlee Simpson, become a dad of two, gone platinum blond, and started smiling. He just co-starred in FOB's awesome new *NSYNC-inspired music video with Demi Lovato.
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Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty.
Adam Lazzara, 2004

The Taking Back Sunday singer made many of us melt with his silky locks and mic-swinging abilities in the angry-sexy video for "MakeDamnSure."
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Photo: Andrew Benge/Getty.
Adam Lazzara, today

Well, he got hairier. And we suspect the scruffy TBS singer may have switched from a smoothing serum to sea salt spray to achieve his beachy waves. He's rocking a '90s grunge look now.
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Photo: Matt Baron / BEI/REX Shutterstock.
Brandon Flowers, 2005

The Mormon-raised front man for Vegas rockers The Killers got our attention back in '04 with the bi-curious "Somebody Told Me." He also articulated the pain of unrequited love while playing chess with Emma Roberts' dad in the music video for "Mr. Brightside."
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Photo: Matt Baron/REX Shutterstock.
Brandon Flowers, today

Wait, but for real, is this the same human? The eyeliner-free 34-year-old looks tan, chiseled, clear-eyed, and dare we say...happy?
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Photo: Picture Perfect/REX Shutterstock.
Davey Havok, 2006

The AFI singer was dark and brooding — and we liked it. He elicited jealousy from his young fans with his artistic eye makeup and general IDGAF attitude. Notice the lip ring.
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Photo: REX Shutterstock.
Davey Havok, today

Havok, now 40, has ditched the eye makeup, ear gauges, straightener, and lip ring in favor of a dapper tux. We're happy to see him let his natural beauty shine through without all those distractions.
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Photo: Picture Perfect/REX Shutterstock.
Billie Joe Armstrong, 2006

Okay, so Green Day preceded all these emo kids by several years with their '90s punk-pop. But we've included singer Billie Joe Armstrong here because he was the spiky-haired bad boy of our adolescent dreams. And listening to the iconic 2004 album American Idiot was like giving the world the middle finger without actually doing it.
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Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty.
Billie Joe Armstrong, today

Armstrong doesn't rock the eyeliner anymore — but it appears he hasn't lost a lock of his luscious mane with age. In fact, he looks pretty much the same all-around. Here he is at the induction ceremony into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
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Photo: Stacie McChesney/NBCU Photo Bank.
Anthony Green, 2008

The sensitive singer fronted not one, but two, of the biggest emo bands way back when: Saosin and Circa Survive. We might not have been sure what color his eyes were under that mop of tousled hair, but we're sure they were the windows into a beautifully tortured soul.
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Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty.
Anthony Green, today

Ah-ha! So his face was super-handsome under all that hair! A decade later, Green appears to have bulked up and embraced his hunkiness. He still plays shows with Saosin and has a solid solo career.
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