No shame — we’ve all had weird crushes. A lot of us had pants feelings for Fox Robin, some of us find Bradley Cooper more attractive as Rocket Raccoon (the Venn Diagram of people who dig Fox Robin and find Bradley Cooper most attractive as Rocket Raccoon is a perfect circle), and the entire FANGRRLS staff wants to climb Zaddy Hulk like a tree. The crush object doesn’t necessarily have to be human for us to want to bone it. But there are some crush objects in genre that are real head-scratchers.
They’re the baes who inspire a lot of questions about, er, mechanics, and some who are just plain creepy. Sometimes genre takes our interest in the beastly a step too far. These are those beastly baes.
Black Widow and Hulk (not just Bruce)
It is not strange that a person would fall for Natasha Romanoff. She is strong, smart, an Avenger, and she looks like Scarlett Johansson. What is very specifically odd is that the Hulk seems to be in love with her, not just Bruce Banner. Up until Endgame, Bruce Banner and the Hulk were two distinct personas who did not particularly get along. However, they have one thing in common: Natasha. We learn in Avengers: Age of Ultron (for better or worse) that Bruce has developed feelings for Natasha. But we also see in that movie, and it is again reiterated in Thor: Ragnarok, that the Hulk also has some tenderness for Nat. So, like… what is going on with the Hulk? Is this akin to a kid having a crush on their cool and capable babysitter? Does he merely recognize Natasha as a friend? Or does he have, like… desires? And if he DOES have desires, how would the Hulk go about fulfilling them?
Lorraine Baines and Marty McFly
Lorraine Baines is a very confusing crush object, mainly because Back to the Future can’t decide how we’re supposed to feel about her. Marty is appropriately horrified when his mom hits on him in the past, but she is also presented as a spunky girl who looks like Lea Thompson to the audience, so it’s never clear if we’re supposed to be horrified, like Marty, or be attracted, like George McFly. The movie fluctuates between two extremes and leaves us with a very confusing crush that may or may not be taboo.
Scarlet Witch and Vision
Sometime between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, Wanda Maximoff and Vision go from crushing in the kitchen to full-blown secret assignations, which begs the question: Does Vision have parts? What is going on in his downstairs? He more or less looks like an inflamed human man, so Wanda has already cleared more hurdles than many people on this list. Vision has a lot to recommend him as a crush object—tall, handsome, sounds like Paul Bettany, easy to spot in a crowd—but we don’t know how far Vision’s humanity does, or does not, extend. It’s one of the great mysteries of the MCU—were Wanda and Vision banging, or just like, melding minds?
L3-37 and Lando
L3-37 is a droid we instantly loved as soon as we met her in Solo, and then we found she was having relations with Lando Calrissian and you could hear the record scratch echoing in all our heads. One day, probably sooner rather than later, we will live in a world where people have sex with AI robots all the time. I think we imagine that future, though, as a Blade Runner scenario where the robots look like people. L3 does not look like people. Oh, she’s bipedal and upright and also Phoebe Waller-Bridge, but she has a satellite dish for a head and no eyes. Where would you even look, when trying gaze lovingly into her eyes? Her light array? Good on L3 for getting some, I mean that sincerely, but also, HOW DOES IT WORK?
Belle and the Beast
The OG strange bae, from back in fairy tale times. The Beast, particularly as presented in the Disney animated and live-action versions of Beauty and the Beast, is a huge, bipedal, talking dog, and he is weirdly hot? He has all the signifiers of human hotness—strong jaw, heavy brow, triangular torso—but he is also a large furry dog-person. There is no getting around it, no matter how much they brush his hair—the Beast is a dog. Fox Robin makes sense in a world of anthropomorphic animals, but the Beast is interacting with Belle, a human woman. He is a large talking dog, she is a human. And when she falls for him, Belle has NO IDEA he could turn back into a regular person, so she is straight up falling for a giant dog. The question has haunted me since childhood: What if the Beast had remained a beast? Would Belle have stayed with him? How far was she willing to commit to that crush?
Eliza and the Fishman
Like the Beast, The Shape of Water’s Fishman is a monster built along human lines, with cheekbones that could cut glass. The Fishman is a swamp creature who f-cks. Literally, the first land-woman he meets falls for him and helps bust him out of a testing facility, such is the power of his magnetic fishy appeal. I’m still not sure there is any level of lonely that justifies falling in love with a fish monster, but I do appreciate that the movie attempts to explain the how of it all.
Prince Lir and The Last Unicorn
At one point in The Last Unicorn, the unicorn is turned into a woman in order to protect her from the evil Red Bull. As a woman, she is introduced as Lady Almathea, and heroic Prince Lir promptly falls for her. When he is informed that Lady Almathea is actually a horse, Prince Lir is like, “UNDETERRED.” Learning that his beloved is, in truth, a magic horse does not lessen Prince Lir’s love, which is sweet but also like, dude, she’s a HORSE. It’s a reverse Beauty and the Beast situation—his crush object is not a human disguised as an animal, she IS an animal. When you think about it, Prince Lir and Belle are the real destined lovers here.
Howard the Duck and Beverly
Yes, Lea Thompson is on this list twice because she's a freak and I'm into it.
One of the weirdest things I ever saw in my childhood was the movie Howard the Duck. It was notable at the time not because I realized it was one of the worst movies ever made, but because Howard the Duck tried to bone a human lady. It’s an extremely weird scene for LOTS OF REASONS, but chief among them is that he is a duck? And she is a human?? And they don’t have compatible parts??? Live-action film makes it really hard to ignore the physical reality of things, which is why Beauty and the Beast works and Howard the Duck doesn’t. Also, the Beast turns back into a man but Howard is just A DUCK. I am concerned about the number of people trying to bone talking animals on this list.
Voldemort and Bellatrix
Voldemort is an evil snake person whose own followers seem petrified of him, except for Bellatrix Lestrange. Especially as played with fawning enthusiasm by Helena Bonham Carter, Bellatrix doesn’t just believe in Voldemort, she loves him in all his snake-faced glory. Of course, Bellatrix is off her rocker so it makes sense she would be enamored of Voldemort, but you must wonder what the actual appeal of a snake-man with a white worm body is. I choose to believe what Bellatrix is really attracted to is his power, because an attraction to anything else about Voldemort is too gross to contemplate.
Mac and all of us, tbh
Look, I get. Mac from Earth Girls Are Easy looks like Jeff Goldblum. He is arguably the easiest sell on this list, just by virtue of not being a robot, a duck, or a giant dog. Still, though, unless you’re prepared to invest a lot of time and effort into waxing your boyfriend’s entire body consistently, you are dating a blue fur creature. Sure, he has compatible parts, but does he shed? Do you have to comb his coat regularly? What kind of upkeep are we talking, beyond full-body waxing? And just imagine all the inconvenient places all that hair can get, if you know what I mean.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's, and do not necessarily reflect those of SYFY WIRE, SYFY, or NBC Universal.