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See the TV characters that turn us on, even though we're not sure why

1 of 21 Danny Feld/NBC

Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman), Parks and Recreation

He hates people. He loves killing animals. But every time Ron opens his mouth to utter a completely deadpan diatribe on technology, government or clear alcohol, we get a little turned on. Add to that Ron's very well-hidden, but very strong feelings of admiration for his polar opposite, Miss Enthusiastic-About-Everything Leslie Knope, and suddenly we're weak in the knees. And did we mention he has a pyramid named after him and he moonlights as a jazz saxophone player named Duke Silver? The line to become Tammy No. 3 starts behind us.
2 of 21 PBS

James Watson (Martin Freeman), Sherlock

Martin Freeman's take on Sherlock Holmes' iconic sidekick gives an intriguing complexity to the role. He's been psychologically damaged by his service in Afghanistan, but he's affable, trustworthy, a crack shot, has a dry sense of humor and the wits to keep up with Sherlock. Is it any wonder the famed detective keeps him around? Sherlock may be exciting for a lost weekend, but Watson is the one you bring home to mother.
3 of 21 Craig Blankenhorn/NBC

Eileen Rand (Anjelica Huston), Smash

Smash is full of your typical bombshells (pun fully intended), but while Karen and Ivy have their obvious charms, Eileen's sex appeal snuck up on us. As a female producer in a man's world, Eileen is as big of an underdog on Broadway as fresh-faced Karen, but her determination and idealism have stolen our hearts away from her much younger co-workers. And is there really anything sexier than a woman who isn't afraid to throw a drink or two in someone's face?
4 of 21 AMC

Walter White (Bryan Cranston), Breaking Bad

A bald meth dealer with a goatee in a pork pie hat doesn't exactly scream sexy, yet for some reason we can't help but find ourselves attracted to Walt. His immoral Heisenberg persona is so intense and powerful, we can't help being drawn in. You'd never know he was battling lung cancer by the way he exudes confidence and commands respect. At least we can justify our attraction by reminding ourselves that everything Walt did was for his family, right?
5 of 21 Eric McCandless/CBS

Lily Aldrin (Alyson Hannigan), How I Met Your Mother

You never know which side of Lily you'll get: the responsible wife and mother or the sex and shopping addict you never want to cross. But either way, one thing's for sure — Lily always goes after what she wants full-steam ahead (all the while getting some good jabs in at Ted along the way). She might be one complicated woman, but fortunately that's the way we like it!
6 of 21 Ronen Akerman/Showtime

Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin), Homeland

Don't be fooled by the CIA's Middle East Division chief's rather comfortable exterior. Although he's a steady father figure to Claire Danes' erratic agent Carrie Mathison, there's steel under that salt-and-pepper beard. Whether he's dealing with an assignment gone awry or eavesdropping on a (loud) sexual romp, Saul doesn't go into histrionics or blink an eye. His ability to handle that much crazy with aplomb and loyalty is attractive; his heartache from not being with his wife is irresistible.
7 of 21 Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

Abed (Danny Pudi), Community

Abed might not understand the difference between real life and movies, but his sitcom idealism is an attractive change from today's jaded hipsters. Plus, who hasn't wanted to play the romantic lead in their own real-life rom-com? And on a more basic level: Think of all the sexy possibilities a couple could enjoy in the Dreamatorium!
8 of 21 Monty Brinton/CBS

Bernadette Rostenkowski (Melissa Rauch), The Big Bang Theory

Bernadette epitomizes the old saying that good things can come in small packages. She may be tiny, but Bernadette is the only woman who could tame Howard — and that's saying something. Oddly, even we get turned on when she sounds like Wolowitz's mom — and that's really saying something.
9 of 21 Patrick McElhenney/FX

Rodney Ruxin (Nick Kroll), The League

In public, Ruxin might be an immoral, insufferable jerk who goes to exhausting lengths to humiliate his friends. In private he's still a jerk, but one that sings about crackers and jelly in a goofy voice. It's beyond endearing and makes us not care whether our crush on Ruxin turns our own morals forever unclean.
10 of 21 Nick Briggs/PBS

Mr. Bates (Brendan Coyle), Downton Abbey

It seems impossible for someone not to fall under Bates' spell (except for Thomas, of course). Like an onion, the stoic valet hides many layers under his dignified demeanor: brooding passion, a troubled past and even the occasional macho aggression all help to make Bates the unlikely sex symbol we can't help but root for. Who would have ever thought a somber valet with a limp would elicit so many sighs of unrequited longing?
11 of 21 Greg Gayne/Fox

Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling), The Mindy Project

It's inexplicable how Mindy constantly turns her self-involvement and general cultural ignorance into lovable charm. Yet, we find ourselves forgiving her for calling Bob Dylan "Jakob Dylan's dad" and forgetting about her best friend's daughter. Maybe it's because that at the end of the day, Mindy might not be perfect but she's unrepentantly herself. What's sexier than that?
12 of 21 Brownie Harris/NBC

Julia Neville (Kim Raver), Revolution

Julia proves that if you want it to be good, you gotta get yourself a bad girl. Her story line might be the least sympathetic one on the series (she's a power-hungry, ruthless Lady Macbeth-type), but we gotta admit, Julia's tough demeanor is a major turn-on. She's willing to do anything to protect her family and we're willing to do whatever she wants!
13 of 21 Isabella Vosmikova/Bravo

Ken Todd,The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

With all the drama that goes on in Beverly Hills, Ken's quiet stability is increasingly attractive. Never afraid to don a little pink (his wife Lisa VanderPump's favorite color), Ken seems cheerfully willing to do whatever it takes to keep a happy home. Whether that means supporting Lisa in a feud, taking her fashion advice or even letting Giggy, her Pomeranian, get more cuddle time than him; Ken's down with it all. Despite all those concessions, Ken never comes across as a pushover. He's just a man in love — and what's hotter than that?
14 of 21 Ali Goldstein/NBC

Liz Lemon (Tina Fey), 30 Rock

Sure, when she's seen stuffing her face with cheesy blasters or mid-pratfall, Liz Lemon is like a Monet from far away — aka a big old mess. It's also hard to be seen as sexy when a character talks about just how much she dislikes sex for six whole seasons. But up close, what guy on Earth wouldn't love to see their girlfriend walk down the aisle in a full Princess Leia get-up? A woman so aware of her own strengths and many weaknesses is a rare treasure compared to the many high-maintenance Jenna Maroneys of the world.
15 of 21 HBO

Arlene Fowler Bellefleur (Carrie Preston), True Blood

It seems that every guy in Bon Temps wants to sleep with Sookie, but we often find her self-centered neediness a little exhausting. Enter: Arlene. While we can't express our frustration with Sookie through the TV screen, Arlene takes care of that for us. She's never afraid to call out the fairy — or anyone else — no matter who she might offend. How could we not want to kiss that smack-talking mouth of hers?
16 of 21 Ali Paige Goldstein/HBO

Hannah Horvath (Lena Dunham), Girls

As an insecure 20-something who's figuring out how to navigate her own sexuality, Dunham certainly isn't shy when it comes to nudity on Girls. But while her Hannah Horvath is by no means centerfold material, she still has an unconventional sexiness (see: her one-woman dance party to Robyn's "Dancing On My Own" in Season 1). Sure, Hannah has no shortage of cringe-worthy moments on the show, but her quirkiness and wide-eyed resilience hold their own appeal.
17 of 21 FX

Louis C.K. (Louis C.K.), Louie

At first glance, Louis C.K. seems so mediocre in every way that some would wonder how an overweight, balding, middle-aged man even got on TV in the first place. But then he speaks! Not only is Louis funny as hell (which is sexy as hell), but he's completely ego-free. He's refreshingly candid about his own shortcomings and extremely humble when it comes to picking up the ladies. Not sold yet? Try watching any of his many scenes with his TV daughters, whom he clearly adores above all else. Swoon.
18 of 21 Michael Yarish/FX


Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe), American Horror Story: Asylum Normally you wouldn't think the Devil could be sexy, but Sister Mary Eunice took it to a whole new level. The fact that she'd exude flirtatiousness in her nun outfit made us more confused than when we were in Catholic school.
19 of 21 Ray Mickshaw/FX

Wilfred (Jason Gann), Wilfred

Though he might be a dog — or more accurately, a man in a dog suit — Wilfred's brash honesty and bad boy charm has made us look past that one little hold-up. And while he's taught Ryan important life lessons, Wilfred also taught us something valuable: that we can still find a grown man attractive when talking about sniffing butts and fantasizing about a poodle. Plus, It's not bestiality if we're attracted to a person pretending to be an animal, right?
20 of 21 PBS

The Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith), Downton Abbey

Mary has the looks, Sybil has the passion and Edith has... well, the worst luck. And the Dowager Countess? She has the sass! A living testament to English tradition, Lady Violet scoffs at all such things as preposterous as Americans, social change and even picnics. But every now and then the Dowager will surprise us, whether it's in the form of a clever quip or an unexpected show of sympathy. There's something sexy about a woman who keeps us on our toes. And did we mention her sass?
21 of 21 Helen Sloan/HBO

Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), Game of Thrones

Does being born into a family of insane, super-blond, incestuous, snooty, morally bankrupt backstabbers get the Half Man down? No! Instead, his devious intellect and ridiculously irreverent wit make him the best of the lot. Tyrion talked himself out of an execution, led an army to victory and has won his way into at least one whore's heart. Seven hells! We'd give up one of our dragon eggs for one of his clever, smoothly delivered barbs directed our way.