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Teen Beat Tuesday: Rider Strong

Teen Beat, Tiger Beat, 16, Bop: these tween rags introduced us to all our first crushes. Every Tuesday, we remember the dudes that decorated our photo binders. This week: Rider Strong, a bad boy that you could totally bring home to your mom.

Teen Beat Tuesday: Rider Strong
Credit: Teen Beat page via Tumblr    

Name: Rider King Strong

We Called Him: Shawn Hunter. Or Rider Strong.

How Old Is He Now: 33! (Born December 11, 1979)

Claims to Fame: He was Shawn Hunter on Boy Meets World, which turns 20 today, for those of you that want to feel like an old.

Why We Loved Him: We loved him because Shawn Hunter was our first crush. And he wasn't our first crush just because he was cute or he had the "muppet hair" or whatever, although that didn't hurt.

Teen Beat Tuesday: Rider Strong
Credit: BB via Tumblr    

Seriously, his hair was the bounciest of all the middle-parts. Was there some crazy product in there or did his hair just do that on its own?

The thing that elevated Shawn, and thereby Rider, from cute dude to a crush that lasts a lifetime was his complexity, even amongst the TGIF "WOOOOOOO" track. We didn't get a lot of that back when we were nine years old, but his struggles, and his pain, were real, even if Shawn's relative poverty and trailer park life was sometimes, uncomfortably, the butt of a joke.

Of course, it's not just Shawn's layers. It's also that deer in the headlights look he got when he knew he messed up.

Teen Beat Tuesday: Rider Strong
Credit: ABC    

He also made a super hot girl, so he's a totally multi-purpose crush.

Teen Beat Tuesday: Rider Strong
Credit: ABC    

What He's Up To Now: Not gonna lie: we still have crushes on him. Partially because he has such a sense of humor about everyone's ridiculous, ongoing crush on him.

Teen Beat Tuesday: Rider Strong
Credit: Alyse Whitney, Wetpaint Entertainment    

Seriously, though, homeboy's still working, and working well. We ran into him at ATX Television Festival in July, and the luckiest of the Wetpaint editors got him to take a sweet selfie. He was even on an episode of Castle in 2009 and an episode of Bones in 2007, but it seems like his heart is in small-budget indies. Most notably, he works with his brother Shiloh on festival-circuit films like The Dungeon Master, Method, and Irish Twins. Shawn Hunter couldn't have been prouder if Rider was cherry-bombing a mailbox.

As if that weren't enough, Rider totally made us have a crush on him all over again when we read about his super fun sounding wedding! Rider got hitched to actress Alexandra Barreto on October 20 in a summer camp themed ceremony, complete with bunk beds, a ropes course, and a talent show. Love him!

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