Inspired by the OGs, Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee.
by Gabby Sgherri
The bad boy meets a good girl and falls in love cliché has been repeated ad nauseam in Hollywood movies and pop culture for years. But you can’t talk about this niche genre of celebrity couples without mentioning IRL OG’s Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee. When the two met in 1994 and got married within 96 hours of knowing each other (you read that right), people couldn’t get enough. She was a worldwide sex symbol, captivating people through their TV screens in a red speedo bathing suit on Baywatch. He was the lead drummer in Mötley Crüe, known for his partying and bad boy rock’n’roll antics. Anderson and Lee were idols in their own right, but as a couple, they were enigmatic. They had that effortless cool factor—overly glam with a bit of dirt—that left fans hanging on to their every word and trying to mimic their style. Their relationship was passionate and tumultuous, filled with highs and lows that were publicly documented for the world to see.
20 years later, the obsession for this sort of power duo is about to runneth over. Hulu announced a limited series starring Lily James and Sebastian Stan as Pam & Tommy, which will take a comedic spin on that infamous VHS sex tape. It made us realize, since the ’90s, there’s been a slew of couples that follow a similar format—pop-punk rockstar meets bombshell and finds love. So we’re taking a look at some old and new couples that are reminiscent of Pam & Tommy. Aesthetically they’re all the same word, just different Gothic fonts.
In the words of Avril Lavigne, “He was a punk, she did ballet, what more can I say?” but replace ballet with Pilates and that sums up the “Sk8er Boi” relationship of Travis Barker and Kourtney Kardashian. No one would have guessed this unlikely pairing but after glimpses into their relationship via social media like trips to Disneyland and desert getaways, the internet is here for all their love. Kravis, yes they already have a couple name, have been together dating since January 2021, and emboldened their love with a tattoo of “I love you” on Barker’s arm making their relationship ink-official.
Since Megan Fox entered the spotlight in the early 2000s, most notably in Jennifer’s Body and Transformers, she’s been pegged as a brunette bombshell, breaking hearts everywhere. She took a break from the spotlight for a while but has since returned with a new boo—Machine Gun Kelly. It’s a badass pairing that seemed unlikely at first but now we can’t get enough. But here is the TikTok question, are they a hot couple, or is Fox just hot enough for the both of them? It perfectly sums up our confusing obsession. Fox even tapped into her Jennifer’s Body alter ego and gifted Kelly a necklace with a drop of her blood in it. We’re here for it.
One of the OG bad boy and girl-next-door couples of the early aughts was Joel Madden and Hilary Duff. The Good Charlotte frontman was the epidemy of 2000s emo-pop punk—side-swept bangs, black eyeliner, and all. We couldn’t open a Tiger Beat or J-14 without spotting Duff and Madden in the pages from 2004 to 2006. In true old-school fashion, we probably doodled a heart above their head.
Who could forget Pete Wentz and Ashlee Simpson? They dated pre-social media era which meant gossiping about them was exclusive to the lunch table at school and in teen glossy mags. We grew up watching their pop-punk love go through a relationship, marriage, baby, and unfortunately a divorce in 2011.
One of the more low-key couples has to be Yungblud andJesse Jo Stark. Stark always brings the sexy Chrome Hearts drip (her parents are the founders) and it pairs perfectly with Yungblud’s emo-punk aesthetic.
A real life story of You’ve Got Mail, supermodel Behati Prinsloo caught the attention of Maroon 5’s frontman Adam Levine over email. It’s the nostalgic DM slide.