10. Lizzie McGuire (2001 – 2004).
It’s impossible to overstate the low-key brilliance of Lizzie McGuire: the show, the movie, the character. Smart, sweet and just the right amount of awkward, the universally appealing Hilary Duff made the painful, confusing journey of growing up seem funny, warm and real. Whether you saw yourself in Lizzie or only wanted to, we all fell in love with her here. (Just ask Gordo.)
9. Being quirky before quirky was cool.
Long before Zooey Deschanel strummed her first ukulele, Hilary was defining “adorkable” — just check out this early interview where she literally tumbles 4 Conan O’Brien.
8. Surviving Duff/Carter/Lohan-gate.
Let’s be honest: we, the public, are like ravenous wildebeests, thirsting for even the slightest tinge of scandal in our rising stars. Someone who grows up in the spotlight can’t escape the double-edged sword nature of fame — imagine if your middle- and high-school era heartbreaks were the stuff of international gossip. To Duff’s credit, she managed to escape her regrettable involvement in the oh-so-00’s-Aaron Carter-Lindsay Lohan-love triangle relatively unscathed…which is saying a lot, seeing where those two ended up. Word to the wise: if it’s Aaron’s or Lindsay’s party…don’t come get it.
7. This gif.