The Dudes Of Sweet Valley High, Ranked
Somehow we stumbled on the topic of the Sweet Valley High series in Frisky group chat this week and I found myself arguing the merits of various characters from the series. I’ve read most of the books multiple times and used to collect them — I was forced to give up about 20 of them during a major move about eight years ago and it’s among the greatest regrets of my life — so I consider myself a little bit of a Sweet Valley expert. Oh fuck it, I thought. I’ll just rank them. I started with the dudes, ranking them based on a mixture of how attractive they were as drawn with colored pencil on their relevant book covers, how interesting their little micro dramas were and various other criteria, like whether I would hit it…
24. Scott Daniels: Scott had a sweet ‘stache and a red Firebird, but he also took Jessica to a secluded boathouse, got all rapey and then eventually ditched her there ALL NIGHT LONG. His parting words? “Just be glad it wasn’t worse.”
23. Winston Egbert: Francine Pascal really went overboard trying to make Winston lovable, when he was actually annoying as fuck and needed to take a chill pill. He’s basically the prototypical “nice guy” who never really gets the girl — because, as it turns out, he’s a total asshole. Winston’s life story is basically the story of every class clown who grew up to be a self-important douche nozzle. In real life, he would have worked at Gawker. Winston is considered so useless within the SVH universe that Pascal never even put him on a book cover, that I can find anyway, and that’s saying something considering rapey John Pfeifer was on the cover of TWO books. This picture of Winston is from the Sweet Valley High board game.
22. Rick Andover: Total drunk, and not the fun kind.
19. Chrome Dome Cooper: I’m pretty sure my lack of a attraction to bald men — sorry — stems from the Sweet Valley High books beating it into me that bald = unattractive. I’m not saying that’s factually true, just explaining why I can’t get it up for real life chrome domes. Blame Mr. Cooper, SVH’s principal.
18. Barry Rork: On one hand, Barry worked at the Teen Hotline answering calls from distressed peers. On the other hand, he dated Amy Sutton, a raging bitch who was mostly likely, out of all of Jessica’s friends, to bully a peer to the point of distress. I don’t know what to make of you, Barry Rork.
17. Nicholas Morrow: The only thing I really remember about Nicholas is that he was the brother of Regina Morrow, the deaf girl who died from snorting the world’s tiniest bump of cocaine. Hard to stand out when your sister convinced a generation of young women that their hearts would explode if they ever tried cocaine. Seriously, Regina did more for drug prevention education than the entire D.A.R.E. program. Sorry Nicholas, you will forever live in your sister’s shadow.
16. Devon Whitelaw: I’m down with Devon if only because, for a brief moment — i.e. one book — he knocked Elizabeth off her perfect pedestal. See, usually unfailingly perfect Saint Elizabeth cheated on her boring ass boyfriend Todd with Devon and eventually dumped Todd to date him. It was nice to see Liz slut it up a little.
15. Roger Collins: SVH’s English teacher and newspaper adviser totally wanted to stick his dick in Elizabeth. You know it. I know it. Francine Pascal knows it, though she never actually writes it. Whatever, I read between the lines. Total perv, I’m convinced. I remain disappointed that there wasn’t a Special Edition called Hot For Teacher or something.
14. Todd Wilkins: Elizabeth’s longtime high school boyfriend, Todd was tall, dark and handsome, great in school and a solid athlete. But he was also, as Jessica put it, a “dull goody goody.” Liz can have him. (Or Jessica actually can, according to Sweet Valley Confidential.)
13. Roger Barrett Patman: Real talk, Roger would have been way more interesting if Pascal had left him as the poor dude working as a janitor to help support his family. She really could have done so much with his struggle, you know? Instead, Pascal took the easy route and had Roger turn out to be Bruce Patman’s secret cousin who was adopted into their rich family when his mom died. Rich Roger was just a lesser Bruce — ugh, just look at that popped collar — and that sucks.
12. Steven Wakefield: The twins older brother was in college but was always coming home on the weekends because he was clearly incapable of being interesting enough to make friends. Steven was a total relationship guy, but dated the most boring women ever. First there was Tricia, who wore high-neck Victorian blouses and then died of cancer. Then he dated and married Cara Walker, Jessica’s dullest friend. Steven’s repressed demeanor made sense years later, when it was revealed in Sweet Valley Confidential that he really would have a rather had a cock in his mouth this whole time.
11. Jeffrey French: When Todd moved away for some reason and he and Liz broke up, Elizabeth thought she would never love again. When Jeffrey started at SVH, she tried to, like, literally force him on Enid and he was all, “Yo that chick is a snooze, I want to get with you” — not realizing that Liz is only slightly less of a snooze than Enid — and eventually Liz realized she liked him back. Eventually Todd came back to town and Jeffrey was toast. Jeffrey ranks higher than Todd with me only because I didn’t have to endure as many books with him as a central character.
10. Peter DeHaven: Peter could have been cool because he was really smart and into science and stayed out of the usual high school drama that these idiots lived and died by … until he got involved in some lame drama of his own by obliviously leading on two girls at once. TYPICAL.
6. Bruce Patman: Okay, yes, he was a total dickbag. Yes, his license plate said “1BRUCE1.” Yes, he could be a little sex pressure-y. I know there are so many reasons to loathe Bruce Patman — including his brief dalliance into being “nice” when he was dating Regina Morrow — and I’m not saying I would date him myself, but I would hit it and quit it.
5. Ken Matthews: Ken was the star quarterback of the football team and a total playa. He even dated both twins, but no one ever seemed to think that was dickish because Ken was just that cool and nice and popular.
4. Ned Wakefield: The twins’ dad is a forever DILF.
3. Bill Chase: Points for being a surfer, obviously, but the dead ex-girlfriend sob story tugged at my heart and when he eventually took up with artsy DeeDee Gordon, I was like, “Bill Chase gives me hope that some day a cute surfer dude will appreciate me.”
2. Sam Woodruff: This dirt bike enthusiast was a total panty dropper, so no wonder Jessica was all over him. But if you thought Jessica was a shitty girlfriend to AJ, remember that she basically murdered Sam. See, Jess was competing against Elizabeth for prom queen, so, in typical Jess fashion, she spiked her twin’s drink in order to humiliate her and ruin her chances. But drunk Elizabeth ended up leaving the dance with Sam and got in drunk driving accident that resulted in Sam’s death. Poor Sam. He deserved so much better than being collateral damage in Jessica’s insane quest to outshine her sister.
1. Aaron Dallas: What’s not to love about Aaron? He’s an awesome soccer star. He has really gorgeous dark brown feather-y hair. He seemed to have an off-on, chill casual sex (to be clear, there was never sex in the books, but I’m reading between the lines/inferring adult scenarios where there might not be any)-type relaysh with Jessica and was always pretty LOL about her antics, a tone more people really should have taken. Then he dated super cool Dana Larson from the Droids for awhile, and I like to imagine he first started to realize he was gay (as revealed in Sweet Valley Confidential) during a threesome she initiated with another dude.