Whatareyoudoinghere: Unexpected Guest Stars of Boy Meets World

Fourteen years ago, we said goodbye to one of the most influential TV series on millennials. In the current era in which nostalgia is not only cool, but more importantly, profitable, the folks from Boy Meets World decided it would be the perfect time to bring back the beloved series. Except they were super smart about it and instead of doing a whole reboot, it’s a spin-off with BMW’s main star, Cory and his oddly-named soulmate/wife/best friend Topanga and their two kids, specifically tween daughter Riley who like young Cory, is trying to find her place in the world.

Before the highly-anticipated series premieres on Friday, it’s only appropriate that we look back at the past, at a time when jeans were high-waisted, the hair was teased, and leather jacket made teachers look cool (where ARE you Mr. Turner?). While we know that people like Mr. Feeny, Mr. & Mrs. Matthews, and Uncle Shawn are heading to Girl Meets World, here are some unexpected guest stars of BMW that mostly likely won’t be reprising their roles.

Marla Sokoloff as Paige

{Season 1, Episode 4}

Just before Marla appeared as Gia, the bad influence on Stephanie Judith Tanner on Full House, she had a small role on BMW as a classmate who calls Cory overhears her call him a total “Brillo Head”, a term that sticks out in my mind when I think about this show for some reason. Cory gets the courage to confront her about calling him that, except she wasn’t talking about him in the first place, but rather her friend’s brother instead.

Keri Russell as Jessica

{Season 1, Episode 7}

dem jeans doe

Pre-Felicity (but with all the same hair to rival Topanga’s), Keri played Mr. Feeny’s niece who had a brief fling with Eric. That is until Cory pointed out Eric was “swapping spit with a Feeny”.

Rue McClanahan as Bernice Matthews

{Season 1, Episode 7}

In an alternate universe, Blanche Deveraux is the Matthews’ kids’ grandmother. And she wears fringe. God bless America.

Lindsay Price as Linda

{Season 1, Episode 8}

Lindsay Price is supposed to be 15 and 3/4 in this episode, but looks like a grown ass woman wearing one of those sweater vests that is like what you would wear to an ugly Christmas sweater party. Except sans Christmas decorations. Anyways, she plays a love interest for Eric who gets called something racist while she’s at the mall. It’s one of those deeper, more moral-centric episodes of the series, and Cory gives a passionate speech about Linda and Anne Frank in class. Gotta love this program.

Shane West as Nick

{Season 3, Episode 14}

It’s hard to believe there was ever a time when Cory and Topanga were ever not together – and in those episodes, we try to forget – but apparently Topanga even got the chance to date a kid named Nick, played by A Walk to Remember favorite, Shane West. Topanga and Cory run into Nick while they’re shopping for Christmas presents at the mall and turns out he’s working at Macy’s. But really, why is this teen boy working at Macy’s is my question.

Larissa Olyenik as Dana Pruitt

{Season 3, Episode 15 & 16}

Larisa was able to escape the Secret World of Nickelodeon and head over to Disney, leaving Alex Mack behind and stepping into the shoes of Dana Pruitt. She’s one of Cory & Shawn’s classmates, who Shawn asks out on a date, but since it’s clear all he wants to do on said date is make out with her, she declines a second date. Turns out she’s then interested in Cory who’s a “nice guy” and ended up not even kissing him at all, because he’s “boyfriend material” and wanted to take things slow. Meanwhile, Shawn got all jealous and pours his heart out to Dana who agrees to go on another date with him. They date for another episode until things get weird when Dana’s mom AND aunt date Mr. Turner (who is technically Shawn’s guardian at the moment). Yikes. Fun fact: Rider Strong and Larisa appeared as Gavroche & Cossette in a San Francisco production of Les Mis together in 1989!

Danny Strong as Arthur

{Season 3, Episode 15}

In the same episode as Alex Mack’s appearance, comes Danny Strong, who has since become an award-winning multi-hyphenate, but to me will forever be Doyle McMaster/Mr. Paris Gellar on Gilmore Girls. In BMW, he played a rival to Eric when the two compete for an internship at the local news station. Surprise, surprise (no really, a total surprise), Eric beats him to it.

Mena Suvari as Laura/Hilary

{Season 2, Episode 16; Season 3, Episode 12}

Mena is a double agent in BMW, first appearing as a girl who’s into Eric, and the second time she plays a girl checking people in at the door to a dance and thinks Cory is Shawn, who already as a reputation as a ladies’ man at this school on the other side of town. Needless to say, it’s not surprising this was her first professional acting role.

Adam Scott as Griff Hawkins

{Seasons 2 & 3}

Adam Scott easily wins the best guest star role award, just because he is Adam Scott. The funny thing about him in this show is that when I watched it as a tween, I remember thinking he was way too serious and seemed like too much of an “adult actor” on a kids show that it was oddly unsettling. Fast forward years later when I find out that the kid who fills in for the man in charge, Harley Kleiner, was no other than Human Disaster Ben Wyatt I flipped out. If anyone should make an appearance on GMW, it needs to be Adam Scott. Come on, Adam. Do it for your kids.

Brittany Murphy as Trini

{Season 3 , Episode 9}

Don’t be confused by her name – she’s not the yellow power ranger (although, RIP to both of them :\ ) Britt plays a classmate who needs a partner for one of their projects, and since Topanga is out sick, and Mr. Feeny split Cory and Shawn apart, Cory’s in need of a partner. And instead of choosing sweet, awkward Trini, he goes for super popular hot girl Missy. Check minus, Cory Matthews.

Charisma Carpenter

{Season 3, Episode 10}

This is the episode where they get stuck on a subway train on New Year’s Eve – and don’t get that confused with the episode of Full House where they get stuck on a subway train on the way to Uncle Jesse’s graduation, because lawd certainly knows I did. In the clip above Charisma Carpenter doesn’t have any lines, however you know who does- Wesley Jonathan. C-I-T-Y you can see why/these guys/the neat guys/smart and streetwise. Anyone? Anyone?

Andrew Keegan

{Season 3, Episode 21}

Remember the heartthrobs of the 90s and how both Rider Strong and Andrew Keegan were always in those pullout posters in Teen Beat? Well I can’t even imaging what it was like when they were on the same show together, even if it was for but a fleeting moment. Andrew played Ronnie “Lips” Watterman, who along with Topanga and this chick Kristen win an essay contest that wins them a trip down to Disney. And yes, this is the episode (again, not to be confused with the FH ep where DJ can’t stop seeing Steve everywhere) where Cory follows Topanga down to Florida to declare his love for her.

Candace Cameron Bure as Millie

{Season 5, Episode 5}

Speaking of Deej Tanner, immediately after FH ended, Candace got married and died her hair bleach blonde and then ended up back on the TGIF lineup on BMW as a crazy neighbor to Jack and Eric. Also, she’s a witch. Naturally. I wonder what her brother Kirk Cameron had to say about this.

Jennifer Love Hewitt

{Seasons 5, Episode 17}

Obviously, if you’re a BMW fan, you know this episode is probably not only the greatest in the entire series, but one of the most 22 minutes of television ever. How can you deny the screams of Jennifer Love Fefferman and the ultimate story of loyalty and friendship??

Linda Cardellini as the bitch who kissed Cory Lauren

{Season 5 }

First of all, I’d like to point out that I did not make the above meme, someone else clearly has the same thoughts as many BMW experts who also watch Mad Men. Linda obviously played the infamous Lauren in the ski trip episode, kissing Cory and ultimately the reason why he and Topanga broke up. Listen, Linda. You can be Freaks and Geeks me, Scooby Doo, even ER me, but you will forever be the bitch who broke up one of TV’s greatest couples. I mean, they clearly got back together, but still.

Fred Savage

{Season 6, Episode 7}

It was inevitable to have Ben Savage’s brother be on the show, right? Well I always found it interesting that the one time he’s on it, he plays skeezy college professor Stuart,. who hits on Topanga then instantly denies it. When confronted about he by Cory, the usually level-headed Mr. Matthews pushes Stuart through a glass door and he has to “go on trial” in front of the Dean – who subsequently only suspends Cory for one day. Peace out Ben Savage.

Nia Vardalos as Mrs. Gallagher

{Season 6, Episode 18}

Remember the time Eric befriended a small tot named Tommy who basically begs Eric to adopt him so he doesn’t have to live with foster parents in California. Eric seriously considers it and talks to the adoption center worker, played by Nia Vardalos. In a shocking moment of clarity, Eric realizes it’s the wrong thing to do and has to break this kid’s heart.

Marcia Cross as Rihannon Lawrence

{Season 7}

I appreciate that Topanga’s mom’s name is Rihannon – it totally fits with their hippie vibe. However I always thought Marcia Cross herself was an odd choice of casting, even though she joined later in the series, since the original Mrs. Lawrence was busy, I guess? I mean Topanga’s dad was played by three different actors, including one of The Monkees.

 

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Whatareyoudoinghere: Unexpected Guest Stars of Friends

Today we are kicking off a week – A WEEK! – long series of posts exclusively dedicated to one of our personal favorite TV shows of all time – Friends. May 6th (tomorrow!) marks the 10th anniversary of the series finale airing, which drew in 52.5 million viewers, making it the fourth most watched finale in TV history. But more on that tomorrow.

This post is all about the people who walked into the world of our six favorite New Yorkers – and then walked out immediately. These guest stars aren’t people like Paul Rudd or Brad Pitt or even Julia Roberts for that matter, but rather the less high profile actors who were only in one episode and the ones you barely remember (or don’t remember at all).

Let’s go all the way back to 1994, shall we?

Melora Hardin (Celia)

TOW The Stoned Guy {Season 1, Episode 15}

Before she was crazy Jan Levinson who wooed Michael Scott on the office, she wooed Ross … in the most awkward way.

 Leah Remini (Lydia)

TOW The Birth {Season 1, Episode 23}

Somewhere in between being Stacey Carosi on Saved by the Bell: Malibu Sands and the King of Queens, Leah Remini stopped by NYC to have a baby. While the gang is in the hospital for the birth of Ben, Leah’s character Lydia had no one – so obviously Joey stepped in.

Lea DeLaria (Woman at Wedding)

TOW The Lesbian Wedding {Season 2, Episode 11}
lea delaria friends

This connection didn’t occur to me until writing this post – but the woman who hits on Pheebs at Carol & Susan’s wedding is Big Boo from Orange is the New Black!

Tahj Mowry (Kid)

TO After the Super Bowl {Season 2, Episode 12}

He’s a Smart Guyyyyy *doo doo dooo doo doo doo dooo* And also a kid who likes listening to inappropriate songs from Phoebe

Michael Bower (Roy Gublik)

TOW The Prom Video {Season 2, Episode 14}

Roy Gublik was Monica’s prom date in the famous video (you know, the guy who has seen Star Wards  317 times), but you may know him as Donkey Lips from Salute Your Shorts.

Charlie Sheen (Ryan)

TOW the Chicken Pox {Season 2, Episode 23}

Remember when Charlie Sheen wasn’t QUITE as crazy as he is now, and considered somewhat of a Hollywood heartthrob? Yeah this was then. He played a guy from the navy who was home for a couple weeks and had a thing with Phoebe. But he gets the chicken pox, which Pheebs had never had before and that explains the odd cow oven gloves.

Mae Whitman (Sarah Tuttle)

TOW Rachel Quits {Season 3, Episode 10}

One of TV’s best criers, Mae Whitman, was obviously a child star, but this role gave her the upperhand on Ross, who accidentally broke her leg. Because of this, he has to sell all her Christmas cookies a la the girl scouts. I mean that end scene with the fake space camp?? Come on.

Sherilyn Fenn (Ginger)

TOW Phoebe’s Ex-Partner {Season 3, Episode 14}

Chandler starts dating this chick Ginger and when he finds out she has an artificial leg, he Chandlers it and freaks out. But then she finds out he has a ‘nubbin’ and SHE’S too freaked out so she ditches him.  You know when she should’ve ditched everything? When she and her stupid daughter April came into the life of Luke Danes on Gilmore Girls and ruined everythingggg.

Sherri Shepherd (Rhonda)

TOW Phoebe’s Uterus {Season 4, Episode 11}

Did anyone else watch Less Than Perfect? Just Me? It’s the show where I thought Zachary Levi was really cute and then years later realized he was ZACHARY LEVI. Anyways, Sherri Shepherd is like the token black woman here, but oh dear lord is it good.

Iqbal Theba (Doctor)

The One Hundredth {Season 5, Episode 3}

Apparently Joey always needs to have his own separate story line when the episode is set in a hospital. While Pheebs is off having the triplets and dealing with the Fonz stan, Joey has kindey stones. Otherwise known as KIDNEY stones or kidney STONES.

Michael Winters (The Doctor)

TOW All The Thanksgivings {Season 5, Episode 8}

Michael Winters couldn’t put Chandler’s severed toe back on his foot mainly because it was a piece of carrot. You know who would have a lot to say about this? Taylor Doose from Gilmore Girls.

David Sutcliffe (Kyle)

TOW The Engagement Picture {Season 7, Episode 5}

Speaking of Gilmore Girls, Christopher also made his way from Boston via Stars Hollow to Greenwich Village, playing one half of troubled couple Kyle and Whitney. Pheebs dates Kyle, Ross dates Whitney and Pheebs and Ross end up having a fight on behalf of Kyle and Whitney – who end up working their problems out and start dating again.

Scott Adsit (Director)

TOW Ross and Monica’s Cousin (Season 7, Episode 19)

In which Pete Hornberger from 30 Rock has to stare at Joey’s fake… thing. Which falls embarrassingly to the floor.

Kevin Rahm (Tim)

TOW Rachel’s Date {Season 8, Episode 5}

Kevin Rahm may play stupid Ted Chaough on Mad Men now, but I will forever think of him as Tim, Monica’s sous chef (sous = under. I ‘soux stand’) who Phoebe begs Monica to date but then wants to break up with him because he’s totally annoying. Problem is that Monica wants to fire him too. There’s a part where Tim blows a kiss to Phoebe and she catches it, but when he walks away, she throws the invisible air kiss back at him in anger. I may or may not do this on a regular.

Emily Osment (Lelani Mayolanofavich)

TOW The Halloween Party {Season 8, Episode 6}

Little Emily Osment visits the gang as a trick-or-treater, but when Rachel runs out of candy, she offers a personal check… except pre-Hannah Montana Emily’s name is so hard to spell. Just make it out to ‘cash’.

Marla Sokoloff (Dina Tribbiani)

TOW Monica’s Boots {Season 8, Episode 10}

In a parallel universe, Gia, Stephanie’s rebel friend on Full House, grows up to be Joey’s sister who gets knocked up and asks Rachel for life advice.

Dan Bucatinsky (Waiter)

TOW Phoebe’s Birthday Dinner {Season 9, Episode 5}

James! Dear, dear James from Scandal. From waiter on Friends to White House Press Secretary, he really moved up in the world. Kinda. Fun fact: Dan Bucatinsky and Lisa Kudrow have been friends for a super long time and are producing partners together, and produce Lisa’s Web Therapy as well as the really cool genealogy show, Who Do You Think You Are?

Jim O’Heir (Adoption Agency Worker)

TOW the Birth Mother {Season 10, Episode 9}

I mean how crazy is it that Jerry/Garry/Larry/Terry helped Andy Dwyer’s IRL wife find her baby out of wedlock find a home with Chandler and Monica??

Ellen Pompeo (Missy Goldberg)

TOW The Stripper Cries {Season 10, Episode 11}

This role is weird because Ellen Pompeo is playing fairly nice and not as Type A as Meredith Grey. But she looked totally rad in the 80s flashback!

Craig Robinson (Clerk)

TOW Princess Consuela {Season 10, Episode 14}

Daryl Robinson pre-Dunder Mifflin was helping Phoebe legally change her name… you know, to Princess Consuela Bananahammock.

Jane Lynch (Ellen)

TOW Estelle Dies {Season 10, Episode 15}

Jane Lynch plays a realtor showing a house to Chan and Mon – but the other person looking at the same house? Hint: OH. MY. GOD.

Jim Rash (Nervous Male Passenger)

The Last One {Season 10, Episode 18}

Hey Dean Pelton, relax. There was no left phalange to begin with.

Whatareyoudoinghere: Unexpected Guest Stars of The West Wing

In its seven season history, The West Wing created some of the created episodes and moments in television – period. Aaron Sorkin’s most successful show to date took home 26 Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Drama Series four consecutive times. Basically, it was the definition of a hit series.

And with its critical acclaim and popularity, came outstanding actors, both those were were already accomplished (Martin Sheen, Alan Alda, Jimmy Smits), there was also a multitude of actors who were talented but on their way to finding fame.

Here are just some of the guest stars throughout The West Wing that were totally a part of Bartlet for America before hitting it big.

Nick Offerman

Season 1, Episode 4
Leave it up to the guy who plays a government worker who hates the government to play someone asking the White House for a $900 million ‘wolves-only roadway’ on The West Wing. Ron Swanson, everyone.

Liza Weil

Season 1, Episode 13
For some reason, Liza Weil is typecast as the unlikable, bitchy woman in everything I’ve seen her in (Paris Gellar?!). In TWW, she plays a young staffer who leaks Chief of Staff Leo McGarry’s troubled addict past. She gets fired, then gets rehired because Leo is da bomb.

Jane Lynch

Season 2, Episode 1
Pre-Glee, Jane Lynch spent her time in the White House press room, nagging Allison Janney for answers.

Sam Jaeger

Season 2, Episode 4
Before becoming a Braverman on Parenthood, Sam played a reporter in the White House. Look at how tiny he is!!

Eric Stonestreet

Screen shot 2013-10-02 at 9.36.41 PM

Season 2, Episode 19
Cam from Modern Family didn’t have many lines, but I’m sure he was an integral part to Oliver Platt’s White House Counsel.

Connie Britton

Season 3, Episode 2
Tami Taylor, y’all! She appeared in a few episodes as ‘Connie’, a Bartlet-Hoynes re-election campaign staffer. She was flawless before, she’s flawless now.

Dennis Haskins

Season 3, Episode 9
It’s really unfortunate that the guy I looked at as the ultimate high school principal turned into a creepo who owns a karaoke bar in Burbank. What happened to you, Mr. Belding? Luring Chief of Staff alcoholics liquor, that’s what.

Evan Rachel Wood

Season 3, Episode 21
This lucky bitch got to play CJ Cregg’s niece. And go shopping for designer clothes for prom. More jealous about the CJ Cregg thing, tho.

David Burtka

Season 3, Episode 21
Alright, how cute and adorable is Neil Patrick Harris’ boo?! Even though he played a young intern who ends up selling moose meat Josh gave Donna who gave it to David Burtka who illegally put it on eBay.

Amy Adams

Season 4, Episode 1
In the season opener, Bartlet & co. are back on the campaign trail, and we meet them in the middle of Indiana. Except the bus leaves without Toby and Josh, and they have to rely on farm girl Amy Adams to get them to their next stop in time. Really, it’s like she doesn’t age.

John Gallagher Jr.

Season 4, Episode 1
In the very same episode, high school student and Bartlet for America volunteer named Tyler helps out the gang by driving them around in his jeep. BTW, does he look familiar, Newsroom fans? Yep, that’s a young Jim Harper.
In fact, when John auditioned for Newsroom, Aaron Sorkin didn’t remember him from TWW, and just saw on his resume he had been in an episode. John of course refreshed his memory.

Danica McKellar

Season 4, Episode 6
Winnie Cooper guys, Winnie Cooper, back on TV! She played Will Bailey’s (Josh Malina) stepsister and assistant, Elsie Snuffin – an amazing name!

Christian Slater

Season 4, Episode 7
Basically if you were a person who got in the way of Donna and Josh’s sexual tension, I was not a fan. Enter Christian Slater. She met Lt. Commander Jack Reese outside a polling place, as she was trying to trade votes with a Republic voter after accidentally voting for the opponent instead of incumbent Democratic Pres Bartlet. They went out for approx 2 episodes before he was sent of to Italy. Good riddance.

Matthew Perry

Season 4, Episode 19
Technically Chandler still worked in the White House up until the new President moved in, but we only got to see him in a few episodes as the Associate White House Counsel. But their continuity is a little off since he was seen in season 4 as “Matthew Perry”, a celeb Donna tries to chat up during a Hollywood party. Oops.

Taye Diggs

Season 4, Episode 22
Let me start by saying this pic is what dreams are made of. My boyfriend Taye played a secret service agent who was in charge of keeping Pres Bartlet’s daughter Zoe (Elisabeth Moss) safe when she went out the night of her graduation. Except… things didn’t go so well…

Jesse Bradford

Season 5, Episode 2
Awesome, oh wow. Like totally freak me out I mean right *clap clap* the Toros sure are number one!!!
Jesse Bradford did not befriend a high school cheerleader in The West Wing. He basically followed Josh and Donna around just like in the gif.

Jason Isaacs

Season 5, Episode 21
Remember that thing I said about anyone getting in between Josh and Donna? Yeah, that goes for Lucius Malfoy. ESPECIALLY Lucius Malfoy. Jason Isaacs played a photojournalist Donna met during her trip to Gaza, and the two had a little fling. *Spoiler alert* Donna is one of the group of the White House who is injured in a car bombing, and Malfoy follows her to the German hospital she’s being treated in. Except Josh flies to her side too – to find the scene above…

Navid Negahban

Season 5, Episode 22 I would think it would suck to always be a Middle Eastern/Muslim/Terrorist if you’re of that ethnicity. But hey, as long as you keep gettin that dolla dolla billz, I guess it would be fine. Imagine my surprise when I found out Abu Nazir from Homeland showed up in the season finale as a foreign operative. I watch way too much TV to fully accept that Nazir travelled back in time to rendezvous with Josh Lyman.

Dean Norris

Season 7, Episode 6
Well, well, well, good old Hank Schrader, putting away his rocks and minerals in order to hang with the big guns. Dean came in for a couple of episodes in the last season, as the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, and while he may have had to face some tough politicians, I bet it was nothing compared to Heisenberg cornering you in your own garage.

Jon Bon Jovi

Season 7, Episode 15
What’s more American than getting Jon Bon Jovi to play at a campaign rally? Springsteen, probably, but he wasn’t available for this episode. JBJ even had speaking lines in this episode, where he helped raise money for Congressman Matt Santos’ (Jimmy Smits) campaign. He’s just livin on a bus and a prayer, you guys.