The love triangles
The Brenda (Shannen Doherty)-Dylan-Kelly (Jennie Garth) love triangle set the standard by which all subsequent teen series entanglements (including the Dylan-Kelly-Brandon triangle) would be judged. Packed with the sort of juicy drama that comes when two best friends for the same guy, it took 90210 to the next level. And that moment when Brenda found out Dylan and Kelly had been together while she was in Paris ... intense!
He had problems ...
No parent in their right mind would want their daughter to date Dylan McKay (which, of course, only made him more appealing). Besides his alcohol and, later, drug issues, he had a real problem with authority. Remember that time he and Brenda headed off to Mexico in defiance of her dad?
... but his heart was in the right place
We met Dylan when he stood up for bullied geek Scott (Douglas Emerson) after two jocks picked on him, and it quickly became clear Dylan's disaffected Catcher in the Rye-meets-Christian Slater in Pump Up the Volume persona was a front. Behind his stand-offish exterior, Dylan had a heart of gold.
He lived on his own ...
Dylan lived the life teenagers could only dream of - the cool house, the lack of parental supervision, the surfer lifestyle ... Who didn't look at that and wish their dull, suburban existance wasn't more exciting?
... but valued family
Nevertheless, what Dylan wanted more than anything was family, something his dodgy dad and hippy mum were unable to provide in any meaningful way. So much so that Dylan jumped at the chance to welcome a half-sister he never knew he had into his life, even though her parents were out to rip him off. Turns out, Brandon (Jason Priestley) and the others were all the family Dylan needed.
The show was never the same without him
Who even remembers what happened in the show after Dylan rode off on his motorbike early in Season 6 following the tragic death of his brief bride Toni (Rebecca Gayheart)? OK, we might be exaggerating, but 90210 didn't have that same feel until Perry returned to the show in Season 9. Brandon was all of us when he said goodbye ...