There’s been a disturbing trend in Hollywood over the last couple of years: invasion of the emos. Aparently we girls like our movie heroes hot, angry, and whiny. For whatever reason, the hot male lead + pent-up angst formula seems to be working, because emo sells. All of the specimens listed here can typically be found staring soul-searchingly out from the pages of Tigerbeat, or starring unwillingly in the steamy chapters of Mary Sue fanfics written by obsessed teenage girls.

Edward Cullen

‘Twilight’ 2008

Most emo line:
“I don’t have the strength to stay away from you anymore.”

Favorite emo accessory:
A well-tailored custom peacoat.

Recognizable by his brooding stares, perfectly disheveled hair and stalker tendencies, Edward Cullen is a product of the romantic fantasies of 30-something author Stephanie Meyer, who would like you to believe he’s a dangerous vampire despite not drinking human blood and having no fangs. Edging out Buffy’s Angel in “the vampire who wants to be good” market, Edward Cullen is a vampy hero who spends the majority of his time obnoxiously torturing himself over his human love interest, the perpetual damsel-in-distress Bella Swan. Superficially played by Robert Pattinson, who never read the books and never misses an opportunity to make fun of his own sculpted-browed character.

Harry Potter

‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ 2004

Most emo line:

Favorite emo accessory:
An invisibility cloak, to hide his spontaneous fits of crying.

There is perhaps no hero more emo than boy-wizard Harry Potter, who, among other things, struggles with school, girls, dead parents, abusive relatives, and an evil dark wizard who constantly tries to murder him. In a way, his emo-ness is probably the most justified. Some of Harry’s favorite activities include mouthing off to teachers and Slytherins, alienating his two best friends, staring longingly at pretty Hogwarts girls, and wallowing in the “nobody understands me” variety of self-pity. Played by Daniel Radcliffe, whose acting (thankfully) seems to be getting better with each movie.

Anakin Skywalker

‘Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith’ 2005

Most emo line:

Favorite emo accessory:
A lightsaber, for murdering Jedi children.

Better known as Darth Vader, Anakin Skywalker is the tragic antihero of the Star Wars universe. Played by a young and virile Hayden Christensen, Darth Vader’s youth is a far cry away from the crusty old white man unmasked in the orginal Episode VI. Unfortunately Christensen’s acting kinda sucks, so his verbal transition to the dark side is often ripe with unintentional humor. Anakin’s favorite hobbies: disagreeing with the Jedi Council, chillin’ with Darth Sidious, brooding over visions of Padme dying (then later helping the process along by choking her—with his MIND), and whining because he wasn’t bestowed the title of Jedi Master. Now that I think about it, most evil overlords act pretty emo, don’t they? I urge you to recognize the warning signs.

The Phantom of the Opera

‘The Phantom of the Opera’ 2004

Most emo line:
“The world showed no compassion to me!”

Favorite emo accessory:
A mask that hides half of his hideous face.

Despite being 50% brutally hot and having a tremendous singing voice, the Phantom, an eternal pessimist, refuses to recognize his inner beauty and instead uses his deformity as his justification for murdering, stealing, and of course, stalking the beautiful Christine Daae. But it’s not actor Gerard Butler’s fault. Gaston Leroux’s iconic Phantom of the Opera, once a ruthless and fearsome character, has been emasculated into the whining, crying, opera-singing emo kid most people are familiar with today, thanks to Broadway legend Andrew Lloyd Weber.


‘Spider-Man 3’ 2007

Most emo line:
“I don’t need your help!”

Favorite emo accessory:
His emo flip haircut.

As if Peter Parker wasn’t emo enough—you know, crying about his dead Uncle Ben and pining over Mary Jane—in Spider-Man 3, Toby Macguire gets what can only best be described as an extreme emo makeover, ruining an otherwise decent third installment of the blockbuster Marvel franchise.

Futhermore, WTF is this?