1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8-Octaethylanthracene (5), 1,2,3,4,6,7,8-heptaethylfluorene (7), and 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8-octaethylfluorene (8) were synthesized by Friedel-Crafts ethylations of 9,10-dihydroanthracene and fluorene. MM3 calculations indicate that the two ethylated six-membered rings of 5 and 7 are conformationally independent. According to the calculations, two low-energy conformers of each compound are possible with the ethyl groups attached to the external aryl rings arranged in an alternated "up-down" orientation. MM3 calculations indicate that in the lowest energy conformation the central fluorene core of 8 adopts a twisted conformation to avoid repulsive steric interactions between the ethyls at the bay region. Two fully alternated up-down conformations are possible for 8, differing in the orientation ("in" or "out") of the ethyls in the bay region. MM3 calculations predict that the lowest energy conformer is the fully alternated "out" form of C2 symmetry. The rotational barriers of 5, 7, and 8 are in the 8.7-11.3 kcal mol-1 range, the largest barrier corresponding to the more crowded octaethylfluorene 8. Anthracene 5 adopts in the crystal a conformation of approximate C2h symmetry with pairs of peri groups on the same edge of the molecule oriented syn. The conformations adopted in the crystal by 7 and 8 do not correspond to the calculated lowest energy form. In the conformation of 7 in the crystal the ethyl groups on the trisubstituted ring adopt the unusual all syn arrangement. Octaethylfluorene 8 adopts a conformation with a twisted central fluorene core but with a syn arrangement of a pair of vicinal ethyl groups.