Everyone always talks about the Hollywood Chris Industrial Complex, the members of which include the likes of Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans and Chris Pine. But what about the Toms? There are so many Toms. All the beautiful Toms. We need to talk about the Toms. And so we’ve ranked the Toms, with varying levels of seriousness, for your convenience.
1. Tom Hanks
We’ll say it, we have an unhealthy obsession with Tom Hanks. When did our love for Tom Hanks start you ask? Well for Watson, it was the cold winter of 2005. She was a young whippersnapper watching Robert Zemeckis’ 2004 Christmas masterpiece, The Polar Express. Specifically, Hanks’ only documented song on Spotify, “Hot Chocolate.” To be clear, Hanks does not actually sing, he just yells the phrases “Hot Chocolate,” and “you want it,” over and over for 2 minutes and thirty seconds.
For Annie, it was watching one of the many rom-coms he starred in with Meg Ryan. In You’ve Got Mail (1998), Sleepless in Seattle (1993) and Joe Versus the Volcano (1990), he is the perfect gentleman, the kind of man you can respectfully simp over while watching movies with your parents.
Since those critical, life-changing moments, we’ve loved Tom Hanks wholeheartedly. We haven’t even mentioned his award-winning roles in Philadelphia (1993) and Forrest Gump (1994), and his exceptional performances in countless other films (One of Annie’s personal favorites: Catch Me If You Can (2002)). If we had to choose one Tom, this is The Tom.
2. Tom Hiddleston
In our humble opinion, Loki is the sexiest character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). That alone grants Tom Hiddleston our ranking of Second Tom. If you doubt this distinction, we direct you towards Thor: Ragnarok (2017). And as if portraying the God of Mischief wasn’t enough, Hiddleston is an incredible actor on both the screen and stage. His performance in Coriolanus (2014) in the titular role was fantastic. And he was great as Hank Williams in I Saw the Light (2015). We stan Tom #2 not because we have to, but because we need to. We must.
3. Tom Holland
We think Tom Holland is a skinny little child of a Tom, but we love him anyway. Compared to the other adult Toms, he is a baby, but he has become a phenomenon we cannot ignore—nor should we. Despite what you may believe, Tom’s best performance is not as Spiderman in the MCU, but rather his Lip Sync Battle performance of Rihanna’s “Umbrella.” And if you’ve never seen clips of him dancing as Billy Elliot, you must. Now.
Honorable mention for his performance in In the Heart of the Sea (2015).
4. Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise gets this rank purely based on Mission Impossible and his super cool jumping-off-buildings skills. He knows how to high-altitude military parachute, and he does most of his own stunts. He broke his ankle filming the last Mission Impossible film, while horribly gross footage, shows a dedication to the craft. His performances in Top Gun (1986), The Firm (1993), and most of all, A Few Good Men (1992), make the most athletic of the Toms memorable enough for fourth place.
Tom does lose a few points, however, for the Scientology thing. Tom, if you’re reading this, you can do better.
5. Thomas the Tank Engine
Choo choo! Make way for Tom #5, an underappreciated but immensely talented member of the Tomniverse. His strength is unparalleled. If you think about it, the image of a train with a face that appears like melted wax is slightly off-putting, but don’t go there. Thomas is a “cheeky engine,” which also prompts a lot of questions, but his competitive, ambitious, and loyal nature will win over any three year-old. Or twenty year-old. Also the Thomas the Tank Engine theme song is lyrically impressive and culturally significant.
6. Tom Felton
The star of #DracoTok who sparked everyone’s toxic love for the “bad guy” (no, you can’t change him), here we have Tom #6, Draco Malfoy himself. Though we both have varying degrees of interest in the Harry Potter series (Annie was captain of her school’s Quidditch team, Watson says she doesn’t “not like” Harry Potter), we can agree that Tom is a force to be reckoned with and a pop culture icon. Who else could say “Potter” like that? No one. Especially not any of the other Toms.
7. Thomas Edison
Used a lightbulb recently? Exactly.
8. Thomas Paine
The man who penned Common Sense (1776) feels like an important inclusion in our list of Toms, particularly in our status as a Brit and an American Studies major respectively.
This Tom’s rhetoric, speechwriting, and journalistic abilities both provided an impetus for the need of the revolution and continuous momentum during years of heavy casualties and Continental Army losses. Paine’s American Crisis (1775) would provide hope to the soldiers losing faith in General Washington’s leadership and the dream of an independent America.
(Annie would like to add that Thomas Paine was also referred to in Hamilton.)
9. Tom Petty
We haven’t included a lot of musical Tom’s (save for Tom Hanks’s aforementioned breakout performance in The Polar Express (2004)), but we have to include Tom Petty. Without Tom, we wouldn’t have “Free Fallin’” or “I Won’t Back Down.” And not to make light of Tom’s incredible career, but without “I Won’t Back Down,” we wouldn’t have that very emotional scene in Back at the Barnyard (2007).
More iconic, music-industry-changing songs that defined rock in the 1970s, that we have to mention: “American Girl” and “Refugee.”
(Disclaimer: Watson did not know who Tom Petty was. Now she does.)
10. Tom Cat (of Tom and Jerry)
Rounding out our list of Toms is Tom Cat, a classic Tom who must make our list, even though he’s a cat and we both don’t like cats. The Tom and Jerry cartoon empire was a staple for many childhood memories, just not ours since Watson watched British cartoons and Annie was too cool for cartoons.
Nevertheless, we commend Tom Cat for his illustrious career of violence spanning decades and the iconic images his cartoon appearances have inspired. Congratulations to the cat.