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The Chris Wars Are Worth Fighting — but Not Fighting Over

The star-crossed struggle has been waged for millennia — just ask Christopher Columbus — and it’s bigger than all of us

(Getty Images/Ringer illustration)
(Getty Images/Ringer illustration)

Perhaps you’ve noticed that the internet is abuzz with talk of glorious battles among the Chrises: Pine, Pratt, Hemsworth, and Evans. All are movie stars, but only one can be Most Chris. The takes, they are a-flying.

The quizmasters at BuzzFeed have thrown down the gauntlet; the writer supports Hemsworth, but the open quiz favors Pratt by a slim margin.

Our pals at Jezebel chose as their champion Chris Pine, fresh off his starring not-star turn in Wonder Woman.

The culture experts at the Music Television channel selected Evans. And the good folks at The Odyssey Online gave everyone a trophy.

We at The Ringer have made our selection, and twice over: The best Chris last year was Chris Evans, and the best Chris this year is also Chris Evans. Separately, Chris Pine deserves a number of hugs for the performance he’s turned in as he ascends the Chris ladder. We stand behind these rankings.

But this is no fight. We come here not to bury opposing Chris Wars, but to praise them. Because the Chris Wars are nothing new. In fact, they are decades — nay, millennia — old. Christopher Walken is a seven-time champ. Christopher Meloni won three in a row on the back of his Law & Order performances in the early 2000s. (It was a slow time for Chrises.) And Christopher Nolan took home the trophy after the release of Interstellar, but the Chris Board kicked him out of the ceremony — and retroactively awarded that year’s Chris Wars title to Christopher “Frank Ocean” Breaux — after Nolan delivered an interminable speech about the transcendental power of love, and also waistcoats.

Note that the Chris Wars don’t just exist to celebrate beefcakes of the 20th and 21st centuries. No, the Chris Wars operate on geological time: they stretch as far back as one cares to look. Christopher Columbus lost in a squeaker in 1492. Saint Christopher (d. A.D. 251) was a trendy pick in his day.

All of which is to say: The Chris Wars are bigger than any one of us. They were waged long before we set foot on this earth, and they shall be waged even after Florida has slipped into the sea. (That will be tricky, for Florida has a large number of Chrises, but I’m sure we’ll manage.) The Chris Wars do not look kindly on internet squabbling, nor do they brook false hot takes. The Chris Wars are worth fighting, but not worth fighting over. On this — praise be to Chris — we can all agree.