NYR iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
GET UPDATES FROM Christina Hobbs
GET UPDATES FROM Lauren Billings

The 11 Most Lovable 'Players' in Pop Culture

Posted: 11/04/2013 3:58 pm

Of the many male character tropes in film and literature, the lovable cad is one of the most ubiquitous. Here is the man who--whether or not it's true--lets you believe he has veritable binders full of women, bursting at the seams, and never spends a night alone. Usually this player is an expert flirt, has fantastic life slogans, and always has that twinkle in his eye that says, "You. Leading lady? Yeah, I could have you flat on your back in 30 seconds if I really turned on the charm."

But there may be nothing we love more than a reformed scamp, the winking, flirting lothario who falls flat on his ass when the woman of his dreams--whether he knew he had them or not--steps onto the scene. She is the Diane to his Sam, the Charlie to his Maverick, and we love almost nothing more than watching him go down.

(In flames of love, of course. What did you think we meant?)

Christina and Lauren's newest book "Beautiful Player" is out now.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Sam Malone from "Cheers"

    We used to watch this when we were younger and knew that there was...something...happening...between Sam and Diane? Now, we get it! It’s called chemistry. He’s a pig, she’s uptight. And rawr. Sam, you are one naughty boy.

  • Barney Stinson from "How I Met Your Mother"

    One critical component to a successful player in film and literature is the inherent likeability. And Neil Patrick Harris has this quality in spades. He walks onscreen and we don’t care what he’s done. We love him.

  • Rhett Butler in "Gone With the Wind"

    We can totally ignore the mustache for now (the look will come back, we’re sure of it, and not just ironically in Brooklyn and Berkeley) because millions of words have been written about the perfection of Rhett. He’s smooth, suave, more than a little mysterious, and he isn’t afraid of telling a diva when to put a lid on it.

  • Dr. Peter Venkman from "Ghostbusters"

    Truth time—and maybe it’s just us—but there is nothing even remotely sexy about Bill Murray. But what is better than the player who woos you because he’s so damn smart and funny? Men who wear their heart on their sleeve and don’t take themselves too seriously are nearly irresistible.

  • John Willoughby from "Sense and Sensibility"

    So many actors over the years have played this smoking hot scamp, and it takes more than a pretty face to pull this one off. There has to be the trustworthy vibe, too, so that when the rug is pulled out from underneath Marianne, we’re right there with her in our heartbreak and indignation. (Oh, oops. Spoiler alert.)

  • Ryan Gosling in "Crazy Stupid Love"

    Sorry...where are we and what are we supposed to be talking about?

  • Jason Stackhouse from "True Blood"

    We’re "Twilight" fandom alumni so it’s pretty sad that all we can come up with is “bite me” jokes. But just...look at him.

  • George Wade in "Two Weeks’ Notice"

    Hugh plays the best adorable, oblivious cads and in this role he nailed (ha! Nailed!) the humor and sensitivity of a former player tripping through *gasp* real feelings. [As an aside, Lauren still has this Netflix DVD from about three years ago. Sorry Netflix, but I’m sure you’ve charged me handsomely by now.]

  • Zack Morris from "Saved by the Bell"

    Don’t worry, we were completely age-appropriate when we perved on Zack. He was adorable and generally pretty responsible but also cocky and kind of an ass—it’s like preteen girl kryptonite.

  • Maverick from "Top Gun"

    Oh, you gum-popping, wisecracking hottie. We never knew at the time that we would need to forgive Tom Cruise for so much weirdness in the future, but this went a long way toward good credits.

  • Danny Zuko from "Grease"

    We can totally put aside the impossibility of believing this 5-o’clock-shadow-at 9-in-the morning guy could really be in high school, but we’ll forgive him because of the baby blues (dear sweet Jesus). We agree with Sandy though: better for her to go saucy than him to clean up. Lose the cigarette and bring back the dimple.


Follow Christina Hobbs on Twitter: www.twitter.com/seeCwrite