20 Childhood Crushes Who Grew Up Nothing Like We Imagined

There are certain rites of passage that have been a mainstay of society since its beginning stages and one of them is an instinctual thing—developing crushes on the people we see regularly. That said, since the advent of movies and television, it has been a regular thing that young people develop feelings for people they will likely never be in personal contact with—celebrities. As a result, over the last several decades, there are some famous people that loads of people came to be smitten with from afar when all involved are youngsters. Growing up before our eyes, as the audience and talent mature, it is safe to say that the people at home start to picture what the star will look like once he/she becomes an adult. At times, the ideas that are created are far from the truth. Realizing that is what inspired us to put together this list of twenty childhood crushes who grew up nothing like we imagined.

In order for someone to be up for consideration for possible inclusion on this list, he/she first needs to have been famous when he/she seemed like teens or younger. Next, he/she needs to have been someone that a significant group of people were likely to have developed a crush on. Finally, he/she needs to have grown up to look quite a bit differently than a lot of people who followed that celeb’s careers would have thought he/she was going to. With that all of that, let’s get to the list.

20 Miley Cyrus

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First becoming a big deal as a part of the Disney Channel family of shows, Miley Cyrus landed the main role in the show Hannah Montana where she played a version of herself. Seen as a teen that was also a pop star under a pseudonym, in it, she earned the affection of millions as viewers who saw her as a sweet-looking young woman who they could relate to. Maturing in front of the world’s eyes, it is safe to say that she would transform not only her image but also her looks in a huge way. Gone were the days of the kid that people grew up watching as she was replaced by someone who was prone to wearing over-the-top clothes and outrageous hairdos.

19 Emily Osment

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From one star of the Disney Channel show Hannah Montana to another, this time around, we are looking at the person who played Miley’s best friend in that series, Emily Osment. The little sister of Haley Joel Osment who rose to fame as the star of The Sixth Sense, she wouldn’t have to live in his shadow for long. Also seen in the Spy Kids series of movies as a kid, she found a number of kid-friendly entities to be a part of, including Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil and several other Disney productions. These days best known as the star of the show Young & Hungry that has been airing since 2014, viewers of that series that saw her when she was young would probably be surprised at just how beautiful she is now.

18 Raven-Symoné

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Made a huge star around the world when she was a kid that was cast in the most popular sitcom on TV at the time, The Cosby Show, when she was hired, Raven-Symoné landed a dream role. Cast as Olivia Kendall, the stepdaughter of one of the show’s original stars, she was added so that the series’ star had a new cute kid to react to as that was one of his comedic strengths. Going on to remain a star during her teen years since, she played the main role in the Disney Channel show That’s So Raven, and between both series, she amassed quite the following. Included on this list because she fits it to perfection, it isn’t a single look Raven has had as an adult that we didn’t expect. Instead, we are surprised to see how different she looks from year to year as she changes dramatically due to things like changing her hair or losing a bunch of weight.

17 Alexa Vega

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A former child star who has remained a part of the acting industry, this actor has spent much of her career associated with a single director above all others. Introduced to the world as one of the main characters in the Spy Kids series of films, Alexa Vega served as one of the titular children. Playing Carmen Cortez in four films to date, as the series went on, people that came to be fans of it were able to see her grow up in front of their eyes but they were likely to be surprised by how she looks now. Continuing to work in movies made by Robert Rodriguez, including Machete Kills, in that production, she showed that not only had she grown up to be a gorgeous woman but that she had a body for the ages.

16 Kelly Clarkson

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Just barely squeaking into this list as she first rose to fame as a contestant on American Idol when she was barely a teenager still, people may forget it now but at the time, Kelly Clarkson was a sensation. The winner of the first season of that competition show, she was so popular at the time that she was given a movie to star in alongside her main competitor, but it unfortunately sucked. Able to survive that easily, however, she would become known for songs like "Since U Been Gone," "Miss Independent," "Behind These Hazel Eyes," and "Because of You" to name only a sampling. Starting out her time in the spotlight as a thinner person, as time went on, she became even more toned but it seems like that was largely to do with the pressure she was under. Seeming to be a lot happier and comfortable with who she is today, she has put on more weight than we expected, but it is great that she is so body positive.

15 Raquel Castro

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A former child actor who was a part of a film that was much maligned at the time but still found an audience, Raquel Castro was cast as the titular Jersey Girl in Kevin Smith’s movie. Seen alongside some Hollywood heavyweights in that movie, including George Carlin and Ben Affleck, she was able to hold her own despite how young she was at the time. Reentering the public consciousness when she was a contestant on the American version of The Voice, Christina Aguilera chose her during the blind round and coached her. Very cute as a kid when she first made her mark to whom many people developed a crush on, it was likely a shock to those same people to see how sultry she could look once she became an adult.

14 Mara Wilson

via POPSUGAR Australia

A child star that was good enough at what she did that she earned the trust of the powers that be in the movie industry at the time, Mara Wilson was one of a handful of kids they would base a movie around. Cast in three movies from the early to mid-nineties that would pass the test of time, Mrs. Doubtfire, Miracle on 34th Street, and Matilda, none of these films would have been the same without her. Now known more for her online presence than anything else, she works on a podcast called What Are You Afraid Of, as well as briefly appearing in a web series called Missed Connection. Going from an adorable little girl to a somewhat awkward-looking adult, Mara carries herself with a great deal of confidence which we applaud, but we still have to admit that we expected something else.

13 Abigail Breslin

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Somebody who we first became aware of when she played one of the main roles in the movie Signs, Abigail Breslin would break out even further four years later. Landing a role in the independent drama film Little Miss Sunshine, that charming little flick made her famous far and wide pretty much overnight. Going on to star in several other films that did well in the following years, including Zombieland and Definitely Maybe, she has shown a great deal of staying power. Recently cast as one of the stars of the Ryan Murphy created show Scream Queens, it was a boon to her career as he tends to work with the same people over and over so it will probably lead to much more. These days often seen in clothes that reveal much of her body, including as part of that aforementioned series, she has grown up to become a very curvy woman.

12 Lindsay Lohan

via Comedy Central UK

Somebody who seemed like she had all the makings of a lasting star even as a kid, when Lindsay Lohan played a pair of twins in The Parent Trap, she shocked the world by creating two different characters. Going on to star in several films that were very popular as she became a young woman, she turned heads in movies like Freaky Friday and Mean Girls, the latter of those may be the best teen film ever. Also a pop star at the time, she released several songs that were hits and seemed to have the world on a string. Unfortunately, as she matured, she took on the partying lifestyle and the once vibrant and fiery redhead that many people became smitten with began to look like her lifestyle was taking its toll.

11 Amber Scott

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Sometimes, it takes a slew of roles for an actor to make an impact on the general public, but in some rare circumstances, a single performance makes them memorable overnight. An actress with a single film to her name, Amber Scott only ever appeared in one other thing, a TV Series documentary where she did some voice over. Known as the little girl that played Maggie Banning, the daughter of a grown-up Peter Pan in the 1991 movie Hook, she played a pivotal role in a movie that a generation of kids adored. Remembered as she was seen in that movie for decades, suddenly, a few years back, a shot of her grown up spread online and although she was cute as a kid, nobody could predict how hot she would become.

10 Phoebe Cates

via Yahoo

Making her film debut in the movie Paradise, Phoebe Cates’ next movie role would make her a star in large part due to a single legendary moment. Cast as high school student in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, the scene where she exited a pool and took off her top ensured that she had a place in the fantasies of viewers all around the world. Also going on to star in the Gremlins series of films and Drop Dead Fred, she appeared in some beloved films before she decided to largely walk away from her career to live a more private existence. Married to Kevin Kline since 1989, she still appears in public sometimes with him on red carpets or celebrating her past work, and we have to admit that she looks a lot more matronly than we imagined she would.

9 Keshia Knight Pulliam

Via toofab.com

Cast as one of the stars of The Cosby Show when she was only five years old, at the time she first started playing Rudy Huxtable, there was no way to know how huge that series would become. At one time the most popular show on television, Keshia Knight Pulliam continued to play her part in it until it ended when she was thirteen during which time several fans grew up along with her. Mostly spending the next decade getting small roles in movies and shows or being interviewed about the series that made her a star, she would land a lasting gig as one of the stars of Tyler Perry's House of Payne. Somebody who the world adored when she was just a kid, she has since grown into an exquisite beauty who can easily be lusted after which is quite the turn of events.

8 Nikki Cox

via krotoffa - LiveJournal

One of the main characters in the show Unhappily Ever After which was based off the hugely popular series Married with Children, Nikki Cox was cast as the hot daughter of the family at the story’s core. An alluring redhead with a body to die for, at that time, whenever she would first appear on stage in an episode, the audience would hoot and holler at her. Going on to land further starring TV gigs in The Norm Show, Nikki, and Las Vegas, she seemed poised to have an incredible career in the future. Unfortunately, she hasn’t been seen in any major project since 2009, and we think that has a lot to do with the fact that she went under the knife and the surgeon’s work left her looking extremely unnatural.

7 Amanda Bynes

via Daily Express

One of the sadder stories of a former child star we can think of from the last few decades, at one time, Amanda Bynes seemed like one of the best-adjusted kids in Hollywood. A part of several shows like All That, The Amanda Show, and What I Like About You, in all three series, she came off as a likable youngster that fans were able to invest in. Going on to be a big deal in the film world, her movies What a Girl Wants, She's the Man, Hairspray, Sydney White, and Easy A were all hits for her. Then suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, she announced her retirement from acting and seemed to go through a mental breakdown. Piercing her cheek, as well as dramatically dyeing and cutting her hair at the time, when we first saw her new look, it was shocking, to say the least.

6 Nicole Eggert

Via eonline.com

Cast as one of the kids that had to be taken care of in the sitcom Charles in Charge in 1987, Nicole Eggert and her TV siblings were watched every day by an actor that was already a star at the time, Scott Baio. The most popular of the characters on the shows among teens that were attracted to women, lots of viewers developed a thing for her at the time. Going on to star in another landmark show, Baywatch, in it, she showed off how hot she was every week as it called for her to be filmed in the trademark red swimsuit it was known for. Continuing to act in the years that followed, sadly, for her career, she never reached those heights again and before too long, she mostly disappeared from the public eye. The next time people really paid attention to her was when she took part in Celebrity Fit Club when the world saw that she was much larger than they’d ever seen her before or expected to.

5 Kylie Jenner

via SANT Magazine

A member of the famed Kardashian-Jenner clan, from her childhood, it was clear that Kylie Jenner would spend much of her life in front of cameras. The daughter of a former Olympic star and a manager that turned all of her kids into “reality” stars, she became one of the stars of Keeping Up with the Kardashians the same year she turned ten. Looking as though she was destined to have a body type that was much more in line with that of her athlete father than her famous siblings as a kid, her body was a lot more slender. However, once she came of age, her image became much more in line with those of most of her older sisters. These days a very curvy woman with hips for days and a large chest, she also has garnered a lot of attention for how plump and large her lips already are.

4 Ariel Winter

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A member of the ensemble cast that has made the popularity of Modern Family possible, Ariel Winter started her time out on the series as a kid with a tiny body who always wore glasses. While fans of the show began to pick up on the fact that she didn’t wear lenses in real life, during those early days, her fellow celebrity kids that were smitten with her saw her body remain static. Continuing to star on the sitcom to this day, over time, producers were forced to have her wear more and more baggy clothes if they didn’t want fans to pick up on how her body was changing. Extremely curvy and obviously proud of it, based on the clothes she wears while in her personal life, that is great that she is so at home with herself but her dimensions surprised everyone.

3 Lark Voorhies

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One of six teenagers that made up the main cast of Saved by the Bell, alongside its sole adult star, Dennis Haskins, who played a school’s principal, Lark Voorhies was as important to its success as anyone. Cast as Lisa Turtle, the fashion-obsessed member of the group, her character would often chime in with a sarcastic remark about whatever was going on in front of her. Also able to find success in daytime television, later on, she would go on to star in shows like Days of Our Lives as well as The Bold and the Beautiful. Someone who the public felt they knew well, when she suddenly appeared with a completely different face and skin tone out of nowhere, it took all her fans by surprise.

2 Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen

via NY Daily News

Stars since they were literally babies, The Olsen Twins shared the role of Michelle Tanner, the youngest member of the family at the core of Full House. Quite adorable as kids, it could easily be argued that they were the most popular part of that sitcom right from the start, and they were able to fully capitalize on that. Going on to be incredible entrepreneurs, they would star in a series of direct-to-video movies they sold to their millions of fans as well as creating a clothing line that sold incredibly well as they grew up. Very pretty while they were in their teens, once they became adults, they eschewed the spotlight and changed their image greatly to the disappointment of many since they kind of look like bag ladies at times.

1 Taylor Momsen

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A star from a very early age, Taylor Momsen looked and presented herself like a very sweet and innocent little kid. A must since she was cast as Cindy Lou Who in the live action movie adaptation of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, she played the part of a kid with a heart of gold. Going on to star in the show Gossip Girl when she was a teen, that series was well-known for its boundary-pushing scenes that were very steamy for television. Still, by the time she became a young woman even a show like that was too stifling for her and she would leave the series before it came to an end. Going to be the singer in the rock band The Pretty Reckless, since then she has taken on a gothic and revealing look that couldn’t be more different than the way she came across when the world first met her.

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