Peeta Mellark set fire to the bread, and then threw it at Katniss’ head. How awesome is that?

Yesterday, the incredibly thoughtful yet deeply misguided Hypable staffer Karen Rought tried to sway you over to the dark Gale side. And she made some valid points. Sure, Gale is a brawny family-man who strongly resembles Thor, but at the end of the day, there’s only one little doughboy we want to take home to mama.

Fictional boyfriends are a complicated business, whether his name is Edward Cullen, or Zack Morris, or even Severus Snape (if you’re into that sort of thing) because we end up projecting so much of our life’s expectations onto them. Why can’t real-life guys be sociopaths with great hair like Zack Morris? Why can’t real-life guys be skin-sparkling insomniacs who passive-aggressively pressure us into marriage like Edward Cullen? Why can’t real-life guys be insecure professors who call us nasty names because they sort-of-inadvertently murdered our family due to peer pressure like Snape?

Just kidding. These fictional boyfriends are horrible. But Peeta isn’t. He puts them all to shame. So here are 22 reasons why we find ourselves falling in love with a fictional character, despite our better judgment telling us it can only lead to heartbreak. One-sided heartbreak. Because, you know, Peeta’s not real. Except in our hearts.

LAST CHANCE: SPOILERS from ‘Catching Fire’ and ‘Mockingjay’ ahead.

Why Peeta Mellark is the best fictional boyfriend

1) He bakes.

Peeta Mellark baking

With Peeta as your boyfriend, you can eat bread every day, and that’s great because bread is delicious. You’re also pretty much set for every major milestone in your life: i.e. you will always have the best birthday cakes.

2) So he has strong baking arms.

Peeta 6

To hold you while you cry at night. Or to toss you over his shoulder like a sack of flour. He would ask permission first, he’s polite that way.

3) He’s kind.

Peeta Mellark

Kindness is by far the most underrated quality in human beings. If you’ve got a good heart, you’ve got it all.

In our essential Harry Potter life-lessons, Sirius Black taught us that the quality of a man is judged not by how he treats his equals, but how he treats his inferiors, and Peeta can’t help but show compassion for his friends as well as his adversaries. His kind heart is on full display in Catching Fire, as he cradles the Morphling woman on the beach, soothing her into death with stories of his painting’s beautiful colors.

4) He’s witty.

Peeta witty

Witty is the best kind of funny because it means you’re secretly smart too, but kind of too classy to openly brag about your brains.

5) He keeps it real.

Peeta beach

His mom is like, “Yah, you’re probs going to die,” and he’s just like, “Dude. I know.”

6) He likes the color orange.

Katniss_with_Peeta_in_cave

Ugh, orange? Calm down now, he doesn’t mean obnoxious-orange, he means like the color of sunset. Now you’re swooning, right?

7) He can keep a secret.

HQ-Cinna-Haymitch-Peeta-Still-People

Which is a pretty useful quality if you work for the CIA and/or are a season behind on Game of Thrones.

8) He’s artsy.

Peeta-Camoflage-Hunger-Games

Artsy guys consistently have groupies because they’re totally hot, and totally sensitive, and they aren’t afraid to openly weep when in the presence of Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night,’ because the world is so, so beautiful, and so are you. The way your blue eyes shine put those Georgia stars to shame tonight. That’s not a lie.

9) He’s determined.

Peeta 2

So sober up, Haymitch. Peeta don’t mess around. He’s in it to win it.

10) He’s a leader, not a follower.

Peeta 8

His beautiful speeches. His charisma. The kid sure knows how to work a room and best of all he uses his powers for good, not evil.

11) But he still likes strong women.

Peeta 9

He doesn’t mind if you wear the pants. He thinks it’s hot actually. So go be an independent woman you hot mama you.

12) He’s smart.

Peeta smart

Peeta plays the game so hard he’s two Red Weddings away from the Iron Throne. He manipulated the Capitol audience, he tricked the Career Tributes, and THEN he did it again the next year.

13) He’s humble.

Peeta_during_the_reaping

Look, he’s fairly aware that he’s generally pretty useless as a hunter. He’s got other stuff going for him. Like pastry skills.

14) He’s romantic.

Peeta 10

Taking away the fact that this might be the least genuine romantic moment in the trilogy, Peeta is a true romantic at heart. He pined after the same girl for ELEVEN YEARS! That’s either ridiculously insane or incredibly sweet.

15) He just sort of gets it.

Peeta Katniss

The guy knows how to take a hint. After he finds out Katniss faked their arena romance, he gives her her space, but he also knows just how much to play it up for the cameras. His understanding of other’s needs is shown in quiet moments, like when he plants primroses in Katniss’ garden after Prim’s death in Mockingjay.

16) He’s generous.

He gave away part of his Victor money to Rue and Thresh’s families. That was a real classy move, Mr. Mellark.

17) He’s rebellious.

Peeta 11

Peeta’s generally a pretty clean-cut guy, but when it really counts, he knows how to throw caution to the wind and let his flag fly. The painting he made of Rue’s dead body covered in daisies was a bold move not really in line with his usual carefully strategic battle plans, but like Peeta said before, being true to his values is what’s most important.

18) He’s brave.

Peeta 4

He was continuously tortured in Mockingjay, but he still found the strength to warn District Thirteen about the upcoming bombings, even though it took the last bit of his sanity to do it. Also, he confessed his long-time crush on national live television. It’s a toss up as to which of these two actions actually took more guts.

19) He’s good with kids.

Peeta 7

The ones he accidentally killed in the Hunger Games totally don’t count. He’s good with his own kids. Katniss says he plays with them in the dandelion fields and stuff.

20) He’s prepared.

Peeta 3

The guy always double-knots his shoelaces. How pragmatic. I want him on my team.

21) He knows how to laugh at life.

Katniss-Peeta-Smile

In Catching Fire, he’s literally days away from certain death and he’s cracking up over Katniss’ inability to deal with immodesty. But come on Katniss, Johanna and Finnick’s strip teases are pretty funny.

22) He’s true to himself.

Peeta Katniss Roof

“I don’t know how to say it exactly. Only… I want to die as myself. I don’t want them to change me in there. Turn me into some kind of monster that I’m not. I keep wishing I could think of a way to…to show the Capitol that they don’t own me. That I’m more than just a piece in their Games.”

We want to hear your thoughts on this topic!
Why not write a comment below or submit an article to Hypable.

Introducing the Hypable app

Free for iOS and Android