What's that? A twinge? A stirring maybe? What's this funny feeling in your tummy? It isn't the guilt Captain Planet makes you feel, or the desire to dance the Racoons' theme song stirs from within. It isn't the desire to cheer along you get with Galaxy High (Galaxy High!) or a heart wrench as you realise Alvin and the Chipmunks has ended on a cliffhanger again (I mean who do those guys think they are?!).
No, this darling is a crush. A crush more crushing than unrequited love (that personal devastation is still to come), more unattainable than your (also to come) first celebrity love. This is a crush on a cartoon character. And I got news for you baby, it doesn't end come junior school.
2. In my youth I have nursed an affection for Captain Troy on Stingray - such understanding eyebrows – a puppet passion I later learned I shared with Meera Syal (she notes this Troy crush left her with a lasting attraction for wooden men) but I'd escaped any confused cartoon crushes in my childhood. Which was fortunate because most children's cartoons feature anthropomorphic turtles. It wasn't until later my head was turned by animation and who could blame me. For my cartoon crush is Fry of Futurama. I don't know why, I think it is because he kind of reminds me of someone who's real and equally unattainable. Still, could be worse. Could be Bender. Squeamish Kate
3. Harley Quinn - if it wasn't for fear of what Mr J would do to me if he caught me I'd run off with her in a heartbeat. A truly incredible foil for The Joker it is hard to believe he existed for over 50 years without Harley Quinn at his side. And I'm not the only one who fell in love with her - she was created as a one off character for the Batman:The Animated Series cartoon, but the producers were so impressed by Arleen Sorkin's voice acting that she returned time and again and eventually ended up as an official character in the DC comics. Not bad for a character created purely because they wanted someone to jump out of a cake with a Tommy gun! Gareth
4. My cartoon crush was moody, chiseled and carried a pack of cards. Swoon! Every Saturday I turned on Live and Kicking ready to watch the next installment of X Men (great theme tune!) and catch sight of the mysterious red eyed Gambit. I think a lot of this crush had to do with his will-they-won't-they love affair with Rogue. She was amazin' I pretty much wanted to be her with that southern drawl and cool grey-topped red hair, as far as I was concerned that made Gambit MY boyfriend. I liked his brown tench coat and his messy hair and although if he kissed Rogue he'd DIE, you gotta love a guy who kept trying! YouTube has not failed me - there's a Gambit & Rogue montage - Yas! Squeamish Nicola
5. I'm not sure if it qualifies as a crush, but Red Fraggle was my imaginary best friend in the years where I didn't have any real ones. Well, when I was a child, anyway. I did like her attitude, but mostly it was about the fact that she had red hair - I was the only redhead I knew until I was about 13, so I latched on to fictional redheads. Red Fraggle, Anne of Green Gables, and me - and Red had the best theme tune. I bet it gets stuck in your head...