Sydney Sweeney as Eden – The Handmaid’s Tale
Eden was brought in and married to Nick in season 2, forced upon him by Gilead’s tyrannical regime and, in some ways, by the show’s creators. Eden, Sweeney’s devout 15-year-old, drew more notice from spectators and critics than the actor had anticipated!
Was Eden Serena’s spy or the Eyes’? We’d been guessing all season, and the answer was stunning, upsetting, and potentially pivotal for the entire show.
Alexandra Breckenridge as Moira – American Horror Story
Moira O’Hara was mostly played by Frances Conroy in American Horror Story: Murder House, who later played the Angel of Death in Asylum and the legendary Myrtle Snow in Coven (“Balenciagaaa!”).
Moira, on the other hand, took on the form of her younger self on occasion, necessitating the usage of a younger actor. Sharing a role with Conroy is a big deal, but Alexandra Breckenbridge’s stunning red hair and stocking tops were remarkable.
Alexandra Daddario as Lisa – True Detective
True Detective’s first season was criticized for its portrayal of women, and the detractors may have been correct. The female characters, who mostly move the plot forward by meeting an unhappy demise or attempting to court the other investigators, are given less agency than Detective Rust Cohle’s large notepad.
Even still, you have to acknowledge that they look fantastic doing it – at least when it comes to Alexandra Daddario as Lisa Tragnetti, Detective Hart’s sidekick. She was claimed to have received marriage proposals from fans after her nude moment in episode 2.
Rose Leslie as Ygritte – Game of Thrones
“Winter is coming!”; “Hodor!”; “What do we say to the God of Death?” are just a few of the notable lines from Game of Thrones. “Not today!”; “You haven’t been paying attention if you think this has a pleasant conclusion.”
Each of them is a winner, but perhaps no sentence has been quoted and memed more than Ygritte’s “You know nothing, Jon Snow,” delivered by the flame-haired wild Ygritte. Rose Leslie, fresh from Downton Abbey, made a lasting impression on not just the audience, but also Kit ‘Jon Snow’ Harrington.
Reese Witherspoon as Jill – Friends
Now that Reese is a media magnate on her own, it’s difficult not to perceive her participation as an attempt to pump a little stardom into the sagging midsection of season 6. However, this was before Legally Blonde and Sweet Home Alabama… We had no idea how enormous the Reese Witherspoon would be.
Furthermore, Jill’s character was really well-developed. She adopts all of Rachel’s early-season blunders, such as expecting all of her problems to be solved by shopping, relying on Daddy’s credit card, and dating Ross, and makes them her own.
Norman Reedus as Daryl – The Walking Dead
Daryl Dixon was not even a character in The Walking Dead when it was initially developed. When Norman Reedus auditioned for the role of Merle Dixon, the creators realized he wasn’t the proper fit for the position, but they also knew they needed him in the show.
So they created the role of Daryl particularly for him, and the character rapidly became a fan favorite, earning him a promotion to series regular following season one. After Andrew Lincoln’s departure as Rick, he finally took over as the series’ central character.
Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia – Buffy the Vampire Slayer
In the early episodes, Cordelia’s role appeared fixed in stone: she was a well-dressed, popular girl who was cruel to nerds. Buffy demonstrated to viewers that by selecting Willow over her as a friend, she was rejecting the high school life she could have had. So far, everything has been so clichéd.
In the first three seasons of the show, she went from an opponent pitted against the Scooby gang to an ally, even performing a little vampire-slaying herself, until both she and David Boreanaz crossed over to Angel.
Krysten Ritter as Gia – Veronica Mars
Don’t Trust the B * * * * * in Apartment 23, Jessica Jones, Breaking Bad… everyone has a favorite Krysten Ritter vehicle, but Veronica Mars fans adored her the most.
She took Gia Goodman (a sassy, affluent character who might have easily become another wealthy girl cliche) and turned her into such an important element of the program that there was no way she wouldn’t return for the fan-funded movie in 2014.
April Bowlby as Kandi – Two and A Half Men
Kandi is a famous example of a sitcom character rising from a single appearance to the main cast. April Bowlby initially appears in season 3 of Two and a Half Men as a single bimbette named Kimber.
We’re not sure if Kandi was a new character or just a new name because Kimber had such a bland personality. In any case, Kandi was the primary character in Season 4, eventually becoming Alan’s second wife… Season 10 will feature a surprising twist.
Melissa McCarthy as Megan – Bridesmaids
If Bridesmaids was the girl comedy counterpart of The Hangover, Melissa McCarthy was Zach Galifianakis: a lovable comic relief who couldn’t care less about what other people thought.
Megan had the most famous phrase in the boutique scene, which brought Kristen Wiig’s character out of absolute depression and, most importantly, launched Melissa McCarthy out of her post-Gilmore Girls slump. Who was in Samantha, as adorable as McCarthy? We were glad to see her, along with Mike and Molly, go on to more exciting and high-profile projects like The Heat and Ghostbusters.
Chris Hemsworth as Kevin – Ghostbusters
When Ghostbusters was revived with an all-women ghostbusting team, the gang continued the gender-swap concept by hiring a lovely but sassy receptionist. For the role of Kevin, Chris Hemsworth’s instructions were straightforward and simple: look attractive and act vacuous.
However, he proved to be more than capable of keeping up with the SNL-trained female ensemble, stealing the show in passages like the largely improvised job interview (remember the dog named “Mike Hat”?). Who knew that Home And Away’s alumni had such impressive comedic chops?
Anne Hathaway as Fantine – Les Miserables
Anne Hathaway’s passion for acting began when she saw her mother (actress Kate McCauley) play Fantine in a theater version of Les Miserables when she was six years old. When she was cast in the 2012 remake of the film, she knew that other musical aficionados would question if she was the correct age for the part… and whether she could truly sing.
But there was no need to be concerned: Hathaway wowed us all with her commitment to the part, her singing voice, and her in-character hairdo. Her Oscar for Best Supporting Actress was well-deserved.
Emily Blunt as Emily – The Devil Wears Prada
Anne Hathaway, of course, was fantastic in The Devil Wears Prada, as did Meryl Streep. Emily Blunt, who played Miranda Priestly’s world-weary, snarky, insecure senior assistant, was responsible for some of the show’s most famous, quotable, gif-able remarks, situations, and eye-rolls.
Who hasn’t said to themselves, “I love my work, I love my job, I love my job,” to get through a tough day? Even better, one of Em’s most famous lines (‘I’m hearing this… and I want to hear this’) was included in the film at her request.
Misha Collins as Castiel – Supernatural
Despite not entering the series until season 4, Misha Collins’ Castiel certainly made his way into fans’ hearts almost immediately. His grave approach to everything mixed with the naivety of being an angel in a human body created a fun combination in a character that fans responded to. He was much closer with one of the brothers, Dean, but Collins easily found his place in the cast.
In fact, he was so beloved by fans and critics alike that he became a main cast member beginning with season 6. Collins had an episode where he was able to play himself instead of the guileless angel which he said was a blast.
Anna Kendrick as Jessica – Twilight
Give us a movie that wouldn’t be better if Anna Kendrick was in it. Go ahead and try it; we’ll wait. Jessica Stanley, like Cordelia in Buffy, has a similar position at the start of the Twilight saga: she’s attractive, popular, and has no knowledge about her town’s supernatural goings-on.
Kendrick’s charisma, on the other hand, kept her intriguing, convincing in her connection with Bella, and provided a few genuine chuckles (especially during the wedding scenes of Breaking Dawn).
Lauren Lyle as Marsali – Outlander
Lauren Lyle’s portrayal of Marsali has wowed fans from her debut appearance in season 3. She was definitely Laoghaire’s daughter, from her body language to her vocal intonation, yet Lyle was able to distinguish Marsali as a separate and distinctive character very instantly.
Marsali’s obvious distinction from the other time-traveling characters, as a resident of the 18th century, is a tribute to the level of care Lyle puts into her portrayal.
Awkwafina as Peik Lin – Crazy Rich Asians
Long-time readers of the Crazy Rich Asians novel may have noted that the character of Peik Lin in the much-anticipated film version differs significantly from Awkwafina’s interpretation. That’s because filmmaker Jon M. Chu had been a long-time admirer of Awkwafina before casting her.
He had so much faith in Awkwafina that he practically allowed her full reign to create a unique, comedic take to the role. And she didn’t disappoint: Awkwafina’s improvisation resulted in some of the most hilarious sequences in Crazy Rich Asians (including the film’s lone F-bomb).
Elizabeth Banks as Effie – The Hunger Games
The character of Effie Trinket does not feature much in the last installment of the Hunger Games trilogy, since she was brought into captivity at the end of Catching Fire.
However, Elizabeth Banks made such an impact that Suzanne Collins (the book’s author) insisted on the character’s return in the last two films as the pompous, expensively dressed escort. Banks has stated that she was inspired by Rosalind Russell’s iconic performance in the 1958 film Auntie Mame.
Dan Stevens as Matthew – Downton Abbey
Matthew Crawley (and his on-again, off-again relationship with Lady Mary) was a major fan favorite throughout his three seasons on Downton Abbey. Julian Fellowes, the show’s creator, murdered the character in a vehicle accident on his way home from the hospital where his new kid was born when he opted not to extend his contract!
There was not a dry eye in the house, and Stevens has since admitted that he has found himself apologizing to fans of the program for his character’s sad farewell.
Angela Sarafyan as Clementine – Westworld
After a flaw in her programming caused problems in other hosts around the park, Clementine was placed in the care of Dolores and her rebellious crew, ultimately leading to her own deactivation and the host revolt. She was, however, a mere shadow of her former self at this time.
It was a devastating shift, yet Clementine was still able to steal every scene she was in with little more than a wistful gaze to communicate the ghost of her previous vibrancy. It was an accomplishment that demonstrated Sarafyan’s outstanding acting talents.
Chyler Leigh as Lexie – Grey’s Anatomy
Chyler Leigh was only supposed to appear on Grey’s Anatomy for a multi-episode plot arc beginning in Season 3 of the show. The bright, cheerful younger Grey (remember when the interns decided to start operating on each other?!) captivated the viewers with her eidetic memory and occasionally bad judgment.
She rapidly became such a fan favorite that she was given star billing from seasons 4 to 8. It was even speculated that when Ellen Pompeo left, she would be the only “Grey” on the program.
Geoffrey Rush as Barbossa – Pirates of the Caribbean
Your Jack Sparrow is yours to keep. In our opinion, Hector Barbossa was the genuine star of the Pirates series. He was featured in the first film as the major villain and captain of the Black Pearl and provides the terrifying phrase to Keira Knightley, “You best start believin’ in ghost stories, Miss Turner… You’re in one.”
Despite the fact that he was murdered at the conclusion of the first film (only to be replaced by Bill Nighy as Davy Jones in the second), the audience erupted in applause when Barbossa reappeared in the film’s final moments.
Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
It’s difficult to maintain the camera’s attention when you’re sharing sequences with Jack Nicholson. But Louise Fletcher succeeded in doing just that in Cuckoo’s Nest.
Her portrayal as Nurse Ratched garnered her the Academy Award for Best Actress, the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, as well as an indelible position in viewers’ minds as one of the most terrible villains of all time. That’s no minor achievement, and we applaud her for it.
Jon Hamm as Reverend Richard – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is doing something that only a few people would believe is feasible. It depicts the narrative of a young lady who is kidnapped and kept captive by a fanatical cult, but it manages to convert her into a light-hearted, feel-good, out-of-the-box comedy.
So it’s understandable that Jon Hamm’s crazy, destructive cult leader is one of the show’s funniest elements. Hamm’s Reverend Richard is irritating in his ability to get away with his misdeeds, but his overdone and simply gaudy villainy saves the program from becoming too dark.
Chelsea Peretti as Gina – Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Gina Linetti might easily be written off as a sidekick on the Nine-Nine. She’s too casually nasty and superficial for any genuine character development, and she loses out on a lot of the drama by not being an actual officer.
Her past as Jake’s childhood buddy also adds dimension to both characters, which is why she not only nails it with nearly every line she’s given. (The acoustics are incredible!) We miss you, Gina Linetti!
Kristofer Hivju as Tormund – Game of Thrones
Tormund, like Ygritte, initially appears as Jon Snow’s wildling opponent in Season 3. But, over time, he established a more intricate relationship with Snow’s character, without any romantic overtones, of course. Much to our disappointment.
Tormund has grown into a warmer person over time, had his own romance, and virtually fulfilled Snow’s position as a friend, thanks to Hivju’s work and devotion to character. “I devoted everything to Tormund,” he stated in an interview. “I really like where the character went.”
D’Arcy Carden as Janet – The Good Place
Friends, the first bunch of times you saw Janet on The Good Place, you probably assumed she was a one-note joke, right? We get it: a human-computer disguised as a secretary from the 1970s.
With the twists the authors brought in for the character (Jason! The cactuses!) and D’Arcy Carden’s incredible abilities (how does she seem to weep like Snoopy? ), she rapidly became our favorite part about a fantastic program. (How did she manage to fool everyone?)
Jaime Camil as Rogelio – Jane the Virgin
Of course, Gina Rodriguez was fantastic as Jane the Virgin’s main character, but Jaime Camil as Jane’s father, an excessively arrogant, self-absorbed, and theatrical TV personality, dominated every scene.
Camil looked to be having a great time portraying a character who, according to others, was a far-fetched version of himself. However, we can see that there is a genuine depth to his character as he reunited with his daughter, married his high school love, and finally became a father again.
Becki Newton as Amanda – Ugly Betty
Silvio Horta, the creator of Ugly Betty, admits that Amanda began out as a minor character on the program. Newton’s beautiful beauty likely got her past the door despite the fact that she was meant to be little more than a receptionist with supermodel good looks.
But she picked the part because she saw comic potential in Amanda’s lines. The profundity of Newton’s performance and her remarkable connection with Michael Urie, who played Marc St. James, had fans coming back for more.
Christine Baranski as Beverly – The Big Bang Theory
Leonard had already left an impact on Beverley, Leonard’s mother, by the time we met her in the middle of season 2: not only was she impossible to satisfy, but she also refused to allow her son to celebrate his birthday.
It would have been impossible for anyone to live up to our collective image of a severe, non-maternal matriarch… Christine Baranski’s abilities, however, were well within her capabilities. Her precise delivery of Beverley’s robotic, artificial speech made her the funniest thing in every scene she was in.
Adam DeVine as Andy – Modern Family
You might forgive yourself for moaning when Andy initially appeared in season 5 of Modern Family. It’s been eleven years since Friends made the same joke about male nannies. Andy, on the other hand, turned out to be more than a one-episode sensation.
His real wholesomeness, as well as his friendship with Haley, were indicators of what made the show so unique. We’re so happy he was able to pursue his ambition of becoming a real estate agent!
Britney Spears as Abby – How I Met Your Mother
To be honest, Britney stole the first few scenes she appeared in just by being Britney. We were attempting to concentrate on Ted’s efforts to get to know Stella better, but we were distracted by the fact that Britney Spears was standing just behind the reception counter!
But it wasn’t only Britney’s star power that helped her shine: the cast and crew of How I Met Your Mother was blown away by Spears’ amazing comic timing. She allegedly made everyone on set giggle, and she also improvised a couple of lines throughout the program.
Jerry Stiller as Frank – Seinfeld
When Jerry Stiller died in May 2020, he left behind a prestigious legacy. But the character of George’s father, Frank Costanza, in Seinfeld, was one that everyone remembered warmly. Originally, the role was supposed to be much different, more timid and quiet, possibly as a contrast to Estelle Harris’s shrieking mother.
However, after a few days of rehearsals, Stiller asked the show’s creator if he should play it that way. This version of Frank Costanza, which he helped develop, was featured in some of the show’s funniest sequences.
Maya Hawke as Robin – Stranger Things
In season 3, Robin was a newcomer to Stranger Things, and all indications were that she would be presented as Steve’s love interest over the season. After all, the two of them had incredible chemistry, especially when they were in peril together in later episodes.
The restroom moment surpassed all our expectations, not just because of Robin’s discovery, but also because of the quiet, delicate manner it was presented. It established the character as an LGBT icon.
Constance Zimmer as Dana – Entourage
Dana Gordon was a refreshing change of pace from the Entourage macho mentality. The wall-to-wall male chauvinism of a woman who could stand out, be powerful, and go head-to-head with the likes of Ari Gold was a hit with viewers.
Constance Zimmer portrayed Dana as powerful as, if not stronger than, Ari Gold in her own (more professional) manner. It was an exhilarating and refreshing change of pace. “Dana Gould – we adore you!” people yell on the street, according to Constance Zimmer… It’s not difficult to understand why.
Chance Perdomo as Ambrose – Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
In the ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,’ Ambrose Spellman (played by Chance Perdomo) captivated the hearts of fans – and also created a lot of thirst. He was clever, legendary, and most importantly, sexy and British. Fans have selected him as their favorite actor from his debut appearance.
Some even advocated for him to have his own spin-off. Chance Perdomo, like all of the performers on this list, was perfect for the part because it was created just for them; the show’s writer recalled Perdomo from his Riverdale audition.
Michael Peña as Luis – Ant-Man
One thing you may have noticed about the performers on this list is that they were always willing to admit when their initial idea for their role didn’t pan out. And, as a result of this realization, they were ready to start over. That’s exactly what occurred when Michael Pea began filming Ant-Man.
Originally, he imagined Scott Lang’s (Paul Rudd) best buddy, Luis, to be quieter and more laid-back. But, as a counterpoint to Rudd’s deadpan charm, he devised his character’s frantic linguistic style… It was well-received by moviegoers.
Shannon Elizabeth as Nadia – American Pie
We saw a bunch of misfit teens looking for happiness in the popular teen comedy American Pie two decades ago. Among all the humorous actors, though, Shannon Elizabeth managed to steal the show. Nadia, a gorgeous exchange student, was played by the brunette beauty.
You may not realize who Nadia was, but trust us when we say you do. She’s the one who arrives on the scene and, uh, something happens… twice. Ahem, yes. Do you recall now? That’s correct. Shannon Elizabeth is now the director of a wildlife foundation in South Africa.
Amanda Seyfried as Karen – Mean Girls
Karen Smith wasn’t the brightest star in the Mean Girls sky, but rather the key to her hilarity. The sassy blonde character who almost launched Amanda Seyfried’s career delivers some of the film’s funniest lines.
And, in interviews, Seyfried has claimed that, like Karen, she can actually put her whole fist in her mouth… But that’s about all she has in common with the character.
Juliet Tablak as Amber – Married with Children
In season 9, Amber was the niece of Marcy D’Arcy’s neighbors, the Bundys. To get her from Los Angeles, she was reportedly sent to reside with Marcy, where she was getting up to trouble.
We think this was a reference to Will Smith, who was heading to Los Angeles, and the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, who inevitably pulled him out of jail. The show’s audience…and of Bud Bundy, who spent the rest of the program trying to figure out what she was up to.
James Whitmore as Brooks Hatlen – Shawshank Redemption
Few films have received as much critical acclaim as Shawshank Redemption. It’s hard to believe that a minor character managed to steal the show with such high-quality performance throughout. For many, though, this was the case. They walked away from the movie with one character sticking in their heads: Brooks Hatlen.
The figure, played superbly by James Whitmore, is a quiet and tragic illustration of what the prison industrial complex does to the human brain. It’s a hint: it’s ineffective. Brooks was stuck in his brain after his body was released from prison.
Scott Baio as Bob Loblaw – Arrested Development
Leave it to Arrested Development to come up with amusing characters for the board. Although fans of the show have their favorite major characters, it would be difficult to find an Arrested Development fan who didn’t find Bob Loblaw to be amusing.
It wasn’t so much because of Scott Baio’s acting ability as it was because of his name. Bob Loblaw puns abound, such as the infamous “Bob Loblaw Law Blog.” Coming up, the writing team had a great time. You know what I’m talking about.
Henry Winkler as The Fonz – Happy Days
The Fonz is one of our favorite TV show supporting characters. We’d rejoice on the few occasions when he appeared on Happy Days. Oh, hold on a second… Are we recalling this correctly? Isn’t The Fonz the primary character of the show? In a way, yes.
The Fonz began as a minor character on the program until he got so renowned that the creators changed their minds and decided to make the show solely on him. That must make him one of the most memorable supporting characters ever.
Creed Bratton as Creed Bratton – The Office
Because The Office is so heavily reliant on its people rather than its interesting narrative, it’s only natural that it requires strong side characters to stay afloat. Creed Bratton is the definition of a side character, as he doesn’t contribute much to the program other than a few gags here and there.
However, his quips are so brilliant that he earns a position on our list. His personality exemplified the surreal and counter-intuitive nature of the modern workplace, and we will be eternally thankful. Oh, and his song, which closed out the performance, was incredible.
Sydney Lassick as Charlie Cheswick – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
That’s right, another One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest post. But the film is so good that we could go on and on about the numerous fantastic supporting characters (and don’t worry, we’ll do one more before we’re done).
One of the most compelling aspects of this picture is Cheswick’s ability to dive deeply into and examine the human psyche. While his childlike traits may have irritated others, they really taught us something about what inspires people to act in unusual ways. The movie might not have been the same without him.
Anthony Daniels as C3PO – Star Wars series
Finally, despite the fact that C3PO is a minor figure in the Star Wars universe, we couldn’t resist including him on our list. His personality is unlike any other in the franchise. He’s always perplexed by what’s going on around him, and his witty one-liners give the movies even more personality.
He also works effectively as a foil for R2-D2, his companion. It’s tough to believe that in the new era of cinematic magic, C3PO was merely a man in a robot costume, but it’s true. Anthony Daniels, on the other hand, has mastered the walking robot.
Chris Parnell as Dr. Leo Spaceman – 30 Rock
30 Rock was a TV program that pushed the audience’s boundaries every day with crazy characters, strange plotlines, and out-of-nowhere punchlines. Though we were disappointed that the program had to come to an end, it had a fantastic run.
Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin are the obvious headliners, but there were a few minor characters that piqued the audience’s curiosity. Chris Parnell, Dr. Leo Spaceman, was one of them. With a pitch-perfect supporting part, Parnell provided funny timed lines. Dr. Spaceman is vastly underappreciated.
Dan Castellaneta as Groundskeeper Willie – The Simpsons
It’s difficult to pick just one side character from The Simpsons, another program that relies largely on its colorful ensemble of characters. Groundskeeper Willie, on the other hand, is a fan favorite who is frequently chosen as one of The Simpsons’ best characters.
Despite the fact that he scarcely adds to the plot in most episodes, he still manages to make us chuckle. Willie is a consistently entertaining sidekick who steals the show, however quietly, whether it’s thanks to Dan Castellaneta’s overdone accent or his strange secrets (we’re talking about his six-pack abs, by the way).
Andy Buckley as David Wallace – The Office
Straight males are required in television comedies. We don’t intend it in that sense. We’re talking about a character’s archetype. If Jim, Dwight, and Michael are all exchanging jokes and doing all episodes over-the-top, it can get a little much for a program like The Office. That’s where David Wallace may be found. The ever-present image of patience,
Wallace portrayed the ideal straight man, continually countering personalities like Michael Scott. When he lost his job on his own, his character became a little more complicated. Andy Buckley’s contributions to The Office are underappreciated.
Jaleel White as Steve Urkel – Family Matters
Is this another predicament like The Fonz’s? Urkel was unquestionably the star of Family Matters. Urkel was originally intended to be a supporting character, similar to The Fonz. The choice makes sense because his on-paper persona is more irritating than amusing.
However, as a writer, you should never disagree with readers who like your characters more than they should. Steve Urkel quickly rose to prominence as one of television’s most beloved characters, despite his humble origins as a small role.