The internet has a history of anointing male stars as its shared (imaginary) boyfriend. Now and then, there's one man who rises from the depths of obscurity and is thrust into the spotlight overnight, thanks to an acclaimed TV show or film. Then, with the snap of a finger, POOF — he's adored. He becomes the face that launched a thousand GIFs, listicles, memes, think pieces, fan fiction Tumblrs, and tweets... until the internet replaces him with another dreamy man it deems worthy. At the moment, that guy is To All the Boys I've Loved Before star, Noah Centineo.
It's hard to dissect how the internet vets its boyfriends, mostly because each dude belongs in a different subset. In the past, we've happily ogled Benedict Cumberbatch, Rami Malek, and Tom Hiddleston — they may not be considered conventionally attractive, yet they exude enough charm and mystery to win our hearts. Youngsters like Timothée Chalamet and Tom Holland had their moment, as did the Hollywood Chris clan (Pine, Hemsworth, Evans, Pratt), the Doctor Who dudes (David Tennant, Matt Smith), and Disney protégés like Zac Efron and Cole Sprouse. The internet boyfriend blueprint is ever-changing, and evolves depending on our collective tastes. As The Cut's Sulagna Misra puts it, he is the "paragon of enlightened masculinity, constructed by committee." He is the complete opposite of the disappointing man-boys we deal with day to day who (unless proved otherwise — see also: Johnny Depp) does not belong to the Men Are Trash™️ pile.
While we're aware Centineo and Peter Kavinsky — yes, he must be referred by his full name at all times; Pete, Peter K., or Kavinsky will not suffice — are not the same person, many things we love about the character can be traced back to Centineo. The iconic back pocket spin was improvised. That time Peter Kavinsky moved the popcorn out of the way before the pillow fight with Kitty gets too rowdy was also his idea. He's even affectionate to his Boys co-star, Lana Condor, off-screen. One time, he cut his dinner short to console her and clean her apartment because she was sad. He also served as her cuddle buddy for naps in between takes. Centineo has the trappings of an all-around Nice Guy, and that's why he's been passed the internet boyfriend baton.
To say we can't get enough of him is putting it lightly. So, in true #stan fashion, we did a deep dive of all his projects, including Disney guest appearances and music video stints. If you're planning on going down the Noah Centineo rabbit hole, this guide is here to inform your binge-fest.
7. Johnny Sanders Jr. in SPF-18
My unwavering devotion to Centineo was challenged when I forced myself to sit through 75 minutes of SPF-18. TBH, I wanted to give up 18 seconds in, but the film features Centineo as a surfer dude, so I thought, hey, what could go wrong?
Unfortunately, it's 75 minutes of my life I'll never get back. The film's only redeeming quality is its plethora of shirtless Noah shots, along with Molly Ringwald. Centineo stars as Johnny Sanders Jr., a Malibu teen who spends his summer on his surfboard while house-sitting for Keanu Reeves (yes, really).
Johnny is no Peter Kavinsky. In fact, he does very un-Peter Kavinsky things. He ghosts his friends and calls girls "airheads." He's a pretty decent surfer, though, and that must count for something. Watch the film (if you can tolerate it), if only to satiate your Noah thirst.
6. Dallas in Austin & Ally
Noah filmed a handful of Disney projects in the early years of his career, but his stint as Dallas in Austin & Ally is one of the most notable. He plays Ally's former crush who used to work at a cellphone accessory stand, then as a clerk at a music store, then as a librarian. Obviously, the teen can't hold a job, but that's part of his allure (maybe?). He has the charm of Baby-era Justin Bieber (complete with the floppy bangs), and it's not hard to see why Ally is smitten with him. Even though he's terrible at his job at Sonic Boom, he tells Ally he loves it because he gets to see her every day. Centineo only starred in three episodes, but his portrayal of Dallas was a precursor for his future roles — an inimitable leading man.
5. Jaden Stark in How to Build a Better Boy
Noah starred in a 2014 Disney Channel original movie called How to Build a Better Boy, in which he played yet another #SoftBoi jock. He's a popular football player who secretly has the hots for the resident nerdy girl, Mae. He even pretends he sucks at math (even though he's basically Einstein himself) just to spend time with her. As the story goes, Mae builds the perfect robot boyfriend because she thinks Jaden doesn't like her back, but in the end, she realizes Jaden is indeed the Better Boy.
4. Hawk Carter in T@gged
Another one of Noah's brooding boy roles is his part in T@gged. He plays Hawk, a teenage genius who spends his free time tutoring struggling kids at the school library. Eventually, he meets Hailey, a student he develops romantic feelings for. He helps her recover from substance abuse and guides her in her search for deeper meaning. Hawk urges her to explore other interests, like drawing and singing. Other than the fact that the dude is named Hawk, it's a solid watch.
3. Mystery Dude in Camila Cabello's "Havana" Music Video
He couldn't dance to save his life in Austin & Ally, but Noah sways his hips like a So You Think You Can Dance contender in this telenovela-style music video. It's unclear why he breaks out in dance in the middle of the street when he runs into Cabello, but I'm not complaining. Can their story be turned into an actual movie, please?
2. Jesus Adams Foster in The Fosters
Before his rise to prominence as Peter Kavinsky, Noah was best known for his role as Jesus Foster in Freeform's The Fosters. Jake T. Austin renounced the role at the end of Season 2, and our dear Noah swooped in to take his place. His character ends up suffering a great deal, and even survives a brain injury. Centineo's portrayal of Jesus earned him a Teen Choice Award nomination for Choice Summer TV Star Male, which is basically the teen equivalent of a Best Actor Oscar. He'll revive the role in The Fosters spinoff, Good Trouble, which premieres January 2019.
1. Peter Kavinsky in To All the Boys I've Loved Before
Centineo's best role to date is Peter Kavinsky, but you already knew that. Unlike the Netflix romcom leads who came before him (who often mistreated the women they supposedly had feelings for), Peter Kavinsky has all the qualities we're looking for in a romantic partner. He's sugar, spice, and everything nice. He's not deceptively nice, and he's not a full-fledged bad boy, either. He's cheeky but respectful, direct but not rude, romantic but not clingy, and for crying out loud, he knows what he wants and isn't afraid of saying it.
He's so perfect that he's got everyone yearning for their very own Peter Kavinsky. Meanwhile, Noah — the face behind the almighty Peter Kavinsky — is cheering us on in our quests to find our own amazing partners. "Finding your own Peter Kavinsky, finding your own Lara Jean. I'm 100 percent behind that," he told Teen Vogue in early September.
Thanks, Noah. We love you, too.