"Thank you for the obligatory cameo."
A brief appearance by a well-known star or other famous person in a role that would otherwise be an extra or walk-on
. Most often used today as a surprise or punchline of sorts. It can be accented with a character's leitmotif
Can also indicate a similar surprise appearance by an animated character—often as a Continuity Nod
—in a production in which they play no real part.
The term originated with producer Mike Todd, when he was describing the literally hundreds of Hollywood and foreign movie stars who made brief appearances in the original 1956 film version of Around The World In 80 Days.
May be a One-Scene Wonder
. See also Special Guest
, Stunt Casting
. When a movie or show only appears
to have a cameo after some years have passed, that's Retroactive Recognition
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- The Mahou Sensei Negima! manga has dozens of cameos, mostly of fighting game characters, especially during the first Tournament Arc.
- In the second episode of GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class anime, characters from Shoulder-a-Coffin Kuro, the mangaka's other work, can be seen in the background.
- Fairy Tail has a few cameo especially from the creator's previous manga Rave Master.
- Love Lucky: In chapter 56, Yura and Makoto (from mangaka Katsu Aki's more famous work, Futari Ecchi) have a walk on cameo as they pass by Kirari, who jealously contemplates how much she wants to be a "normal happy couple" like they are.
- Puella Magi Oriko Magica has Charlotte, a popular witch from the parent series, make a brief appearance in chapter 3. Doubles as a Mythology Gag, considering the circumstances.
- Isaac and Miria from Baccano make appearances in a few episodes of Durarara!!, establishing the series' shared universe.
- Helen ESP has a a cameo by Katsuhisa's other work Franken Fran's main character, Fran, in an extra chapter. She gives Helen a wish for saving one of her creations. She asks to read Braille faster.
- Despite being made by different people, Katz from Courage the Cowardly Dog made a brief cameo on Panty's shirt in the diet episode of Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt. it was even on an infamous scene/internet fad.
- Urusei Yatsura has a few One-Scene Wonder examples. Kenshiro isn't a One-Scene Wonder in virtue of him appearing in two scenes, enough to establish him as a delinquent and pick a fight against Kotatsu Neko (he lost).
- Watch any of the Pretty Cure All Stars movies. Count how many past characters show up in one movie.
- "Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure" has Kiyone Makibi, Ramia, and Misao Amano from "Tenchi Muyo" appear as background characters in the final ova episode. other tenchi charaters show in the laser disk sleeve artwork while elements of Dual! pop up in "Tenchi Muyo GXP" both shows are fro the same team at AIC and are considered as part of one multiverse.
- In the American dub of Duel Masters, after Shobu defeats Kokujo, he is finally given his opportunity to duel Hakuoh and ascend to the rank of Kaijudo master, along such famous names as his father Shori and seven-time grand champion Greg the Bunny.
- Usagi and Naru appeared at the end of a Codename: Sailor V manga chapter.
- Zettai Karen Children The Unlimited anime, in the 5th episode, features a cameo of two biggest internet web video personas: both The Nostalgia Critic and The Angry Video Game Nerd
- The Darker Knight is made of this trope, cameo characters often appearing out of nowhere and doing absolutely nothing to advance the plot.
- Clash Of The Elements: A TON of characters from the entire Super Mario Bros. universe make brief, one line cameos in Chapter 50, speaking of their desires so the Star Spirits will have enough energy in the Star Rod to heal Alex. Seriously, just try and identify everyone who speaks.
- One of the characters from the second story, and by the far the most popular, of Crossoverpairinglover (Of Fanfiction.Net) Naruto Mysterious Power, Taisune AKA, a version of Naruto Uzumaki who got thrown across the multiverse by a version of Sasuke Uchiha, frequently pops up in the other stories in roles varying from an observer to a way to deal with minor problems. He's appeared in major stories such as Naruto and the Last Vampires, Moon Heir and the Lost Ones Part 1, Percy Jackson and the Olympians; Olympus Divided, Harry Potter and the Restored Legacy and Harry Potter and the Altered World, occasionally with Fluffy, His version of a female Kurama who got merged with Sakura and Hinata. Recently, various versions of the Percy Jackson titan Prometheus have begun to appear as well, popping up in the Moon Heir, Brother's bet, Divided Olympus, Last Vampiress and Altered World universes as part of a current cross story event. Other characters, who do not have any known ability to cross time and space have also appeared in other worlds, such as Avatar the Last Airbender's Cabbager Merchant in Mysterious Power, Last Vampiress, Altered World, Restored Legacy, Moon Heir and Next Gen verses in gags very similar to what happens in his homeverse. Alternate versions of Dolores Umbridge, Grover Underwood, Ichigo Kurosaki, Spongebob, Alex Russo, Justin Russo, Naruto Uzumaki, Hinata Hyuga and others have also found their way of appearing in the various stories via cameos and Omakes
- A Growing Affection: Though mentioned only in name, it seems Thomas Arashikage, Recca Hanabishi, Yanagi Sakoshita, and Cameron Watanabe are all Leaf ninjas.
- Eighties rock singer Huey Lewis, who sung the theme song "The Power of Love", shows up in the first Back to the Future movie as a prom band audition judge... to denounce his own song as being "just too darn loud".
- Alfred Hitchcock movies are famous for this.
- One of the first films to make use of The Cameo was the late silent era comedy Show People, a satire of Hollywood moviemaking, which featured cameos from film stars of the day, including huge stars such as Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin.
- All of The Muppets movies were chock full of cameos. Listing them all would take the whole page, but a pair are in the picture above.
- A few cameos popped up in the original Pink Panther film series, but the biggest one turns up at the end of Curse of the Pink Panther to write out Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau: Clouseau had Magic Plastic Surgery, and though he's as big a fool as ever, he now looks like/is played by Roger Moore!
- The Thundering Herd sequence at the start of the Ranma ½ film Big Trouble In Nekonron, China and the crowd of guests for the Tendos' Christmas party in one of the OVAs are both liberally strewn with characters from throughout both the TV series and the manga.
- Stan "The Man" Lee has had — and probably will continue to have — a Creator Cameo in almost every Live-Action Adaptation of a Marvel comic he created. As a nod to the genre, he also has a cameo in the 16th episode of Heroes, as a passenger bus driver.
- In the first Fantastic Four movie, he plays the FF's mailman Willie Lumpkin. In the sequel, he appears as himself, trying to get into Reed and Sue's wedding.
- In "Film/Daredevil" he appears and is saved by a young, blind Matt Murdoch from walking into incoming traffic.
- In "Iron Man" he also appears, this time mistaken for Hugh Hefner by Tony Stark. He also appears in the sequel as a man confused for Larry King, again by Tony Stark.
- He also shows up in Promoted Fanboy director Kevin Smith's Mallrats.
- He has a classic cameo on a Simpsons where Homer Hulks out.
- Don't forget Heroman!
- Action and horror filmmaker Takashi Miike had a cameo in Eli Roth's action/horror film Hostel.
- It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World has cameos from most of the comic actors of the time.
- The Three Stooges appear for seconds as firefighters. And are hilarious. Without even doing anything.
- Peter Jackson can be seen in in the opening scenes of Hot Fuzz as a knife wielding Father Christmas.
- Also, fellow Rings alumnus Cate Blanchett appears as Simon Pegg's ex-girlfriend...who is only seen with a mask covering her face.
- Jackson also inserted himself into his LOTR films: in the first as a carrot munching drunk, in the second as a human at the Battle of Helm's Deep (above the entrance gate), and in the third as a pirate sailor. His kids also appear in three films.
- He also has a brief (but fairly noticeable) appearance in the film version of The Lovely Bones. He's making a home movie in the store that Jack goes to to get Susie's camera film developed.
- Peter Jackson apparently loves to insert himself into his own movies for stretches of time lasting a few seconds: this habit of his goes back to Heavenly Creatures! (He's the homeless guy Juliet Hulme hugs as she and Pauline exit a movie theater towards the beginning of the film.)
- He was the mortician's assistant in Dead Alive.
- And in one of the many homages in his remake of King Kong, he's the pilot of the first biplane to be downed by Kong, just as the original's director piloted the only plane Kong destroyed in the original.
- The children of the various directors of the Harry Potter films inevitably find themselves in Hogwarts crowd scenes.
- George Lucas' children also get a couple of cameos in the new Star Wars trilogy. And, in the third episode, so does George Lucas.
- One crowd scene in the 2006 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie features the original Marvin robot (from an earlier adaptation of the same series) as an extra. Another scene features Simon Jones, the actor who played Arthur Dent in the original radio drama and TV versions of the series, as a prerecorded Magrathean hologram. And the last image of the entire movie is Douglas Adams.
- All Pixar movies have cameos of characters and items from other Pixar movies, including ones whose movies have yet to be released.
- All Pixar films also have a role with John Ratzenberger. While usually a credited supporting character, he has occasionally performed as an extra that is essentially just a cameo, notably as the Underminer in The Incredibles and as a construction worker in Up.
- Also in some of the Disney Animated Canon films. Remember that lion skin Hercules was wearing? That was actually Scar!
- Also, the many appearances of Bambi's mother.
- In Aladdin, while the Genie is looking through a book of recipes he finds one for "Alaskan King Crab". He sticks in his finger and gets it pinched by Sebastian, the crab from The Little Mermaid.
- A more classical example is The Greatest Story Ever Told, which is packed with them, the nadir being John Wayne playing a Roman centurion: "Truly, this man wuz the son of gawd!"
- Lou Ferrigno, who played The Incredible Hulk in the TV series, had cameo appearances in Ang Lee's Hulk and Louis Leterrier's The Incredible Hulk. In both films, he played a security guard, while in the latter he also voiced the Hulk.
- In the first Spider-Man movie by Sam Raimi, several actors from the TV series he's produced get bit parts, including Lucy Lawless from Xena: Warrior Princess and Bruce Campbell from the Evil Dead series. Oh, and let's not forget the car that Uncle Ben was driving, also from Evil Dead.
- Bruce Campbell returned in cameo roles for the next two films as well.
- Raimi himself did a couple of cameos; as the outtakes from the second film point out, he plays the student whose backpack smacks Peter in the head during a Montage.
- Macy Gray showed up as herself singing at the festival the Goblin attacked in the first movie, too.
- Joel McHale showed up as the Bank Manager in Spiderman 2, and made a whole sketch on his show about how the next movie was going to be about him.
- The Andy Kaufman biopic Man on the Moon went crazy with cameos, with the twist than some of them aren't by famous people but instead by those who had some connection to Andy's life. Some are actually depicted in the film by other actors.
- Andy's granddaughter Brittany Colonna as Young Andy's little sister.
- George Shapiro, Andy's agent, as the comedy club owner who fires Andy for having too odd an act. (Shapiro is played onscreen by Danny DeVito.)
- Richard Belzer as an emcee for the first episode of Saturday Night Live. Belzer was a colleague of Kaufman's on the comedy club circuit, and partial inspiration for the latter's Tony Clifton persona.
- Bob Zmuda, Andy's frequent co-conspirator, as Jack Burns, the producer of Fridays. (Paul Giamatti plays Zmuda.)
- In that same sequence, Norm MacDonald and Caroline Rhea play Andy's co-stars in the sketch (substituting for Michael Richards and Melanie Chartoff, incidentally).
- Lynne Marguiles, Andy's final girlfriend, appears as a mourner at the funeral. (Courtney Love plays her.)
- Andy's father and siblings appear as extras.
- Most of the cast of Taxi (aside from Tony Danza and Danny DeVito, the latter due to Celebrity Paradox), Andy's friend/collaborator Wendy Polland, Jerry Lawler, Lance Russell, Lorne Michaels, David Letterman, and Paul Shaffer appear as themselves.
- Also, recognize the voice of that commentator during the scene where he first meets Jerry Lawler? It's Lawler's WWE commentary partner, Jim Ross.
- "Hey Kids, it's Mark Hamill! [Applaud]."
- Although the credits list it as just "???", Hamill has a sorta-cameo in the Wing Commander movie, as the voice of Merlin, the computer in human fighters.
- An early episode of the show Space Cases had Bill Mumy and Mark Hamill in bad make-up using Liverpool accents.
- Anthony Head makes a cameo in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
- Bruce Willis loves his cameos - Four Rooms, National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Nancy Drew (one of two Emma Roberts movies in which he turns up uncredited), Grand Champion (the other one), The Expendables and The Astronaut Farmer.
- Annie Hall: "Oh, do ya? Well, that's funny, because I happen to have Marshall McLuhan right here." Cue the actual Marshall McLuhan appearing from behind a pot plant to give the pretentious windbag a well-deserved dressing down.
- "Oh, there's the winner of the Truman Capote Look-Alike Contest!"
- The Movie of Kamen Rider Kiva has cameos by several actors from its predecessor, Kamen Rider Den-O, most prominently the voice actors of the Taros. The film draws attention to said cameos by having three of the four utter their character's Catch Phrase; the fourth, who plays a teacher, finds his character's phrase written on the blackboard at the start of class.
- In The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, Heidi Klum appears as Ursula Andress in the scene regarding Casino Royale 1967.
- The end of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein has The Voice of Vincent Price as The Invisible Man.
- Fabio has a cameo in Dude, Where's My Car?. Kristy Swanson also has a role that, while not technically a cameo (she's fifth-billed in a cast of 56 actors credited), is little more than a fleshed-out Fanservice Extra.
- Fabio was also in Zoolander receiving a slashie.
- Zoolander was also filled with cameos (being about fashion/celebrity life). The best of which has to be David Bowie, who shows up to judge the "walk-off".
- He appears in a dream in The Exorcist III.
- Stephenie Meyer, the author of the Twilight series, can be seen in the diner during the Twilight movie. She also appears in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 as one of the guests at Edward and Bella's wedding.
- At the end of the TV-movie adaption of Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett appears as a Krullian.
Krullian: So...does that mean the star turtle's female, then?
Terry: Well, in my opinion...it's all a question of perspective.
- And at the end of the other TV-movie adaption (Hogfather), as the owner of the toyshop that Death visits.
- And at the end of the TV-movie adaptation of "Going Postal" he has a brief appearance as a postman.
- John Landis likes putting other movie directors in various cameo roles in his movies. He did it to Steven Spielberg (uncredited as a tax clerk in Blues Brothers) and Frank Oz (in several movies, usually as an authority figure), while Spies Like Us is full of such cameo roles (Sam Raimi, Costa-Gavras, the Coen brothers, Terry Gilliam, ...).
- The Greatest Show on Earth, a melodrama bordering on the World of Ham, features an uncharacteristically funny pair of cameos. Dorothy Lamour is cast as a circus performer who sings about the South Seas in her act, during which Bob Hope and Bing Crosby are shown in the audience, presumably as a Shout Out to all of the "Road" pictures the three of them starred in.
- Crosby put cameos in several of Hope's starring vehicles; one of the more memorable is My Favorite Brunette, where he's a prison guard who is disgusted that Hope's execution via electric chair has been called off.
- There's a "gotcha!" moment early in My Favorite Brunette, where you're carefully set up to expect Crosby as the "cool private eye" whose office is across the hall from Hope's photography studio. But when he turns around, it isn't Crosby, it's Alan Ladd.
- Louis Armstrong in Hello, Dolly!! Also in High Society.
- The Airplane! movies had quite a few.
- Airplane!: The directors (Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker) all have minor roles; the "Jive Lady" is Barbara Billingsley (June Cleaver of Leave It To Beaver); Ethel Merman plays a hospitalized war veteran who thinks he is Ethel Merman; the guy stuck waiting in the cab is Howard Jarvis (creator of California's Proposition 13).
- Airplane! 2: The Sequel: Both Bob Costas and Pat Sajak have brief appearances.
- In "Apollo 13" the B-movie director Roger Corman has a brief cameo as an budget-minded American senator being shown round the Apollo assembly building.
- Ron Howard who directed Apollo 13 got his start working for Corman. This is not the only time "students" of Corman has had their mentor appear in cameos: He shows up as a senator in The Godfather Part II and as an FBI director in The Silence of the Lambs (where he's even listed in the opening credits!). He also appears in The Howling (along with Forrest J. Ackerman)— as a phone booth user who just has to check the coin return when he's done.
- Tom Petty appears in the 1997 film The Postman, as the mayor of Bridge City.
- The Wayne's World movies are pretty thick with cameos. The second movie even lampshaded the Charlton Heston cameo, having him replace another actor at Wayne's request.
- The end of Malcolm X features a cameo by Nelson Mandela as a teacher. There are several smaller cameos: Bobby Seale (one of the founders of the Black Panthers) and Al Sharpton play street preachers, Chicago Seven lawyer William Kunstler appears as a judge, and Ossie Davis narrating a eulogy for Malcolm X over one scene (the same one he gave at the real Malcolm X's funeral, in fact)...
- Jon Hamm at the end of The A-Team. It came completely out of left field.
- Political figures John McCain and James Carville have cameos in Wedding Crashers.
- Superman Returns, in addition to featuring several Remake Cameos from cast members of previous Superman films and TV shows, has Richard Branson cameo as a space shuttle pilot.
- In Sunset Blvd., the other silent film stars Norma Desmond plays bridge with Anna Q. Nilsson, Buster Keaton and H. B. Warner. The big party scene shows Paramount songwriters Jay Livingston and Ray Evans at the piano playing their hit "Buttons and Bows." Cecil B. DeMille appears As Himself directing the film Norma thinks is going to star her. At the end, gossip columnist Hedda Hopper briefly appears as herself.
- Tapeheads was rife with musician cameos, the biggest names being "Weird Al" Yankovic as himself, Ted Nugent as an unnamed rock star, and Jello Biafra as an FBI agent (who of course has the line "Remember what we did to Jello Biafra?")
- Popular Mexican-American singer Selena did a background cameo in 1994's Don Juan DeMarco, performing in a hotel lounge. Tragically, this was her first and last movie cameo; she was murdered by a deranged fan in 1995 (which could qualify as Harsher in Hindsight, since the movie deals with mental illness.)
- Though he technically didn't appear in Serenity Joss Whedon did cameo in the R.Tam Sessions, a short film that served as promotional material that depicted River Tam at the Academy undergoing interviews by a faceless "counselor" played by Whedon. She eventually stabs him in the throat, leading to some jokes that River finally got revenge for all the other characters Joss has killed or tortured over the years.
- In one scene of The King Of Comedy, a group of punk rockers (credited as "street scum") start mocking Masha: among them are Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, and Paul Simonon of The Clash, as well as Ellen Foley.
- Joan Rivers shows up at Odile's promotional party in The Smurfs.
- Harvey Keitel and Penny Marshall take part in the film being made at the end of Get Shorty.
- The original script for Gettysburg did not include the bit where General Hancock's aide tries to get Hancock to take cover. Historical advisor Ken Burns insisted that the exchange (seen on the Crowning Moment of Awesome page) had to be included. The director told Ken to get over to wardrobe, and the part of "Hancock's Aide" was played by Ken Burns.
- Ted Turner, who backed said film, has a cameo as Col. Walter Patton, and gets shot and killed within minutes.
- Chester Bennington has small roles in the movies Crank, Crank High Voltage, and Saw 3-D.
- Although not a Disney character, The Incredible Mr Limpet can be seen in the background during the "Under The Sea" number in Disney's The Little Mermaid.
- Robert Shaye, founder and CEO of New Line Cinema, which distributed the original A Nightmare On Elm Street films, has made cameos in five of said eight films (one As Himself). He even made a brief appearance in an episode of Freddy's Nightmares.
- Audrey Hepburn has an extended cameo in Steven Spielberg's film Always. She is credited as "special appearance by..." and it would become her last film role.
- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Mr. Kyle, the Transporter Chief from TOS, is the Communications Officer on the Reliant - making him the only Red Shirt known to have survived the five-year mission. (He even got tossed aside by Khan in the transporter room in the original episode.)
- G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra: Brendan Fraser (of The Mummy Trilogy) plays Sgt. Stone in a brief scene involving a spar between Duke and Snake-Eyes.
Live Action TV
- Newhart currently holds the title of Best Celebrity Cameo Ever. Larry (of Larry, Darryl, and Darryl) mentions off hand that Johnny Carson pays their gas bill. Dick is skeptical of the weird trio's claim until the last minute of the episode. Johnny visits the Inn and tells Dick off because he does pay their gas bill. How dare Dick not believe the words of those fine upstanding lads.
- Well-known Senator and former presidential contender John McCain (R-AZ) once made a cameo appearance in 24 and appears onscreen for a few seconds in Wedding Crashers as well.
- Another politician cameo: King Abdullah of Jordan made a cameo appearance on Star Trek: Voyager, back when he was merely the Crown Prince.
- Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, who happens to be a big Trek fan, also had a cameo appearance on Voyager.
- Corner Gas has a lot of cameos.. various Canadian TV personalities, sports stars, and as noted above, two sitting Prime Ministers (Paul Martin and Stephen Harper). Lampshaded and parodied more than once, such as the time when the characters talk about how Colin Mochrie cameos on every Canadian TV show just before a minor character played by Colin Mochrie makes an appearance.
- This happens a lot in Canada. Air Farce, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Corner Gas, and almost every other comedic (and sometimes not-comedic) show produced by CBC and often CTV too, often has cameos of one sort or another. You haven't lived until you've seen Peter Mansbridge (a well-known Canadian news anchor) affect a Newfoundland accent and sing a shanty.
- Or former Prime Minister Kim Campbell singing "Raise a Little Hell".
- iCarly: Daniella Monet was at Nora's party in iPsycho.
- Victorious: Jerry Trainor showed up at a stage play performed by Trina. However, this may be foreshadowing a planned crossover event between the 2 shows.
- Billy Dee Williams appeared as himself, acting on a "show within a show" on LOST.
- Rob McElhenney from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has a one scene cameo as a Other who gets outsmarted by Sawyer and Kate in "Not in Portland" because Damon Lindelof (Lost's co-creator and showrunner) is a fan of Sunny. The character later returned in season 6 and got shot by Claire.
- The 1960's live action Batman TV show was notorious for random celebrity appearances as Batman climbed up buildings. Including Colonel Klink. Holy time-space distortion!
- Most memorable was, as Batman & Robin were scaling a building... The Green Hornet and Kato were climbing up from the opposite side!
- On the subject of Batman, sitting US Senator Patrick Leahy has cameoed three times in Batman stories: once in Batman The Animated Series, once in Batman and Robin, and once in The Dark Knight. In the last one, he stood up to The Joker.
- Then-NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani made an appearance on the premier of Law & Order's eleventh season, to introduce the new D.A (Nora Lewin, played by Diane Wiest).
- MythBusters Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman can be seen watching Nick through a window in a CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode ("The Theory of Everything") involving a man being set on fire via a taser He'd been sprayed with butane pepper spray, green blood, ground squirrels and cyanide.
- The October 27, 2011 episode of Jeopardy! had "MythBusters" as a category. Adam and Jamie appeared in pre-recorded clips to give each answer.
- The last episode of Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye had the real Sue Thomas (who was portraying an actress, no less).
- Dennis Rodman appeared briefly as himself on 3rd Rock from the Sun as an old friend of the aliens from their home planet. They all mention how surprising it is that no one has figured out he's not from Earth, and he then reveals some shocking facts, such as that Michael Jordan is a robot and Madonna... is actually human. When he heads home, he takes with him a gift for the Big Giant Head: a big, giant nosering.
- While he didn't appear in the movie, his alien status was mentioned in Men In Black. Elle didn't think he had a very good disguise.
- John Hodgman in the Battlestar Galactica episode "No Exit." And Ron Moore in the final scene of the series.
- Douglas Coupland wrote an exaggerated version of himself into jPod referred to as the "Anti-Doug". Anti-Doug does not appear in the J Pod TV series, though Coupland himself does make a cameo.
- While the marvels of modern effects and stock footage allowed for cameos by real-world politicians in JAG and its spinoff NCIS, one famous real-world figure, Oliver North, appeared on the former series as himself.
- JAG also had a few other real-world figures making cameos like Jay Leno, Bill O'Reilly and Johnnie Cochran.
- And in a strange inversion, an actor playing a Donald Rumsfeld stand-in features in one episode of NCIS, but the scene is shot to make it look like crappy stock footage of the real Rumsfeld.
- Even more weird, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus in late 2009 made an apperance on NCIS while not playing himself.
- Brad Garrett, better known as Robert Barone carried a short lived series called Till Death, in which in one episode he's trying to apologize to his wife in an Italian restaurant, causing Ray Romano to turn around from his table and go "C'Mon lady, what more do you want!?". His wife asks "Who was that?" "Looks like someone I used to work with."
- In an episode of The Big Bang Theory, Raj is excited about appearing on People Magazine and brags about it to a random guy sited on his back to him at a bar. But the random guy turns out to be Charlie Sheen. He says: "Call me when you get the cover."
- In "The Toast Derivation", Sheldon boasts that LeVar Burton will be at a party he's throwing because he sent him a tweet asking him to come. In the episode's stinger, he actually shows up, but is freaked out by the other guests (one of whom is wearing only a towel) Karaoke-ing "I'm Walking On Sunshine" and leaves before anyone notices him.
- In "The Excelsior Acquisition", the gang (minus Sheldon) go to a comics book signing by Stan Lee. He appears at the very end with a different attitude than normal.
- Stan Lee shows up in the 2010 Nikita as a bystander named Hank Excelsior.
- In Good Eats, Alton Brown has ensured that all of his crew make at least one-time appearances as characters on the show.
- The Mission: Impossible episode "The Catafalque" has Hall of Fame baseball player Johnny Bench in a cameo as a guard.
- Dick Clark on Dharma and Greg. Once, Greg hangs out with Jane's weird friends and when they ask him if he'd like to play a game he says that he'll just watch. They all gasp in shock as no one has ever volunteered to be The Watcher before. As they all line up to lick The Watcher, Greg tries to escape through the nearest door only to find Dick Clark behind it who instantly knows that Greg is The Watcher and also wants to lick him. He appears another time in Edward's flashback but Kitty corrects him that it wasn't Dick Clark he was thinking of but Rick York. Another time he shows up only only for us to discover it's actually just someone disguised as Dick.
- In the Tales from the Crypt episode "The Switch" Arnold Schwarzenegger (who also directed the episode) appears in a few cameos first as the Cryptkeeper's personal trainer who introduces the story and as a body builder in the beach scene.
- Liberace on The Monkees in one episode, smashing a piano to pieces with a sledgehammer as a performance piece.
- The "How I Met Your Mother" episode "Subway Wars" parodies this by having Robin mention seeing Maury Povich, only for him to appear as a background character in almost every other scene.
- In Community episode Investigative Journalism Owen Wilson shows up in the last scene.
- Scrubs loved its cameos, ranging from Bill Dee Williams as the godfather of JD's Girl of the Week to Gary Busey as a doctor who looks like Gary Busey.
- Noah's Arc: Raz B from B 2 K as a patient in one episode.
- Pawn Stars had George Stephanopoulos buy a first-edition of "For Whom The Bell Tolls" from Rick—who slips in a new offer ($675) while he had George shaking on the last one ($625).
- Tom Bergeron of America's Funniest Home Videos made an appearance on Castle as the Body of the Week, a late-night TV show host poisoned for having to fire his best friend due to Executive Meddling.
- An entire episode of the Colgate Comedy Hour was spent building up to a 30-second bit by Jack Benny.
- The Royal Rumble tends to have former WWE legends and other superstars
- At one time DREW CAREY entered the rumble (after being egged on by Edge & Christian).
- He wasn't big at the time, but during John Cena's gangster entrance at Wrestlemania 22, one of the gangsters there would, years later, become The Best In The World, CM Punk .
- LEGO has an incredibly large fondness for littering their licensed franchises with cameos in their on-line animations and in video games, usually Star Wars and Indiana Jones (mostly because they both have characters played by Harrison Ford, see). It's basically a Running Gag now.
- Used quite frequently in video games; the longer the series, the more likely you are to have cameos in later games from older characters. Mario, in particular, has had so many cameos (even in games that aren't made by Nintendo) that they outstrip his appearances in games where he's playable.
- Remember the castle window in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time?
- Speaking of Zelda, many enemies from the Mario series have crossed over into Zelda to bother Link instead. Bob-Ombs, Goombas, Lakitus, Piranha Plants, Thwomps, Cheep-Cheeps, Bloopers and Boos amongst several others have appeared in Zelda games.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, if you hack into the game's files you can find an Arwing enemy. Apparently it was coded in to test a flight pattern for one of the game's bosses.
- Lampshaded by Balthier (who else?) in the rerelease of Final Fantasy Tactics. Ramza tells him that the path they're on is dangerous, and Balthier responds that a leading man doesn't balk in the face of danger...but this does feel more like a cameo role.
- This actually happened with classic video games. The Galaxian flagship has had cameo appearances in Pac-Man, Rally X, and Dig Dug among others, and even the newer Tekken.
- The Special Flag from Rally X is also a recurring item in Namco games.
- The Hito-Shura makes an appearance in Digital Devil Saga as
a Bonus Boss the Anthropomorphic Personification of Dr. Kevorkian's wet dreams.
- And the Updated Rerelease of Nocturne features Dante as an early boss fight (including a Shout Out to the his appearance at the start of DMC 2) and later as a crucial participant in a lengthy sidequest.
- Saturn Bomberman eschews having just multi-colored Bombermen for battle mode: instead, you get the White and Black Bombers, then Master Higgins, Milon, Bonk, and several Tengai Makyou characters to choose from.
- Nippon Ichi lives on this trope.
- Michael Jackson cameo'd in Space Channel 5.
- Oliver and Hardy as French Foreign Legionnaires cameo'd in Quest For Glory III.
- Lenneth Valkyrie makes cameo appearances as a Bonus Boss in various Tri-Ace games.
- The later Mega Man Battle Network games feature a number of cameos from Konami's Boktai series, including series creator Hideo Kojima (due to the latter three Battle Network games each having link functionality with one of the Boktai games...at least in Japan.
- The Sierra adventure games Kings Quest and Space Quest were known for including famous figures from fairy tales/mythology and science fiction, respectively.
- At least one cameo has been the inspiration for an entire series: Ryo Sakazaki's playable cameo in Fatal Fury Special inspired the creation of The King of Fighters series, while Akuma's cameo in X-Men: Children of the Atom lead to the creation of the Marvel vs. Capcom series.
- Samus Aran has made cameo appearances in Tetris for the NES and Kirby's Dream Land 3.
- Dr. Robert Hoffman of Trauma Center fame makes an appearance in Etrian Odyssey as the main town's apothecary.
- Vyse, Aika, and Fina of Cult Classic Skies Of Arcadia fame make cameo appearances eight years later in Valkyria Chronicles; Vyse and Aika as playable soldiers and Fina (who's apparently one of a set of identical triplets) as the medic that rescues downed soldiers.
- In a secret room in Duke Nukem 3 D there's a certain iconic marine in green armor impaled on a pyre. Duke even comments "Hmm, that's one Doomed space marine!"
- Similarly, in the first level of the first episode there's an arcade cabinet of Duke Nukem 2. Pressing use on it earns the one-liner "Hmm, don't have time to play with myself." Attentive players would notice that doing this also opens a door next to the machine containing a holo-duke, bringing the joke full circle.
- Blood hit back by including a partially dismembered Duke Nukem hanging from a chain. On finding him, Caleb quips "I've got time to play with you"; pressing use on it makes it swing in place, to which Caleb says "Ooh, shake it baby." Check it out.
- Shadow Warrior the Duke's Recycled In JAPAN version has Lara Croft appear in a secret room, bound and gagged.
- Quake III Arena has the Player Characters from Doom and Quake 1, and a number of playable characters from Quake 2 were brushed up for the new engine and included. Doom's death animation is even a faithful fully 3D reproduction of his iconic throat-grab from the original game. TankJr is explicitly stated to be a Strogg, although nothing exactly like him appears in Quake 2. And that's just the characters included on the disc.... Bullfrog made an official add-on model for Quake 3 of Dungeon Keeper 2's Great Horny.
- In Doom 2, if you turn on the clipping cheat and go inside the Icon of Sin's head, you discover that the Man Behind The Curtain is John Romero's head on a stake. Also, the "satanic" speech that is heard before its attack commences is actually the following, played backwards through a modulator: "To win the game you must kill me, John Romero."
- Doom 2 has two entire levels taken from Wolfenstein 3D, complete with the iconic blue-suited gestapos. The second level finishes up with Commander Keen of all people making an appearance.
- Claude of Grand Theft Auto III has a pretty prominent cameo in San Andreas.
- All over the place in Hideo Kojima's games.
- Snake makes a cameo in Boktai, although he's dressed in a different outfit and calling himself "a man with no name" (since the game is spaghetti Western-themed). When you save him, he'll start an Item shop and sell you Boxes.
- In Parasite Eve, Cloud Strife makes a cameo. As a piece of anti-virus software. Attached to a computer magazine called 'Aeris'.
- Two bosses from Gunstar Heroes appear in Alien Soldier.
- Spyro the Dragon made a brief appearance in Crash Twinsanity.
- Yoda and Darth Vader get cameos in Soul Calibur IV, depending on the console you play on.
- Soul Calibur II also had console-specific cameo characters: Xbox got Spawn, PS2 got Heihachi, and Gamecube got Link.
- After the series mostly died out after the 16-bit era, Sparkster of the Rocket Knight Adventures series became Konami 's cameo specialist, appearing in numerous games of this publisher:
- Super Mario RPG has Link appear in the Rose Town inn after the Bowyer incident ends. Examining him with "A" triggers the Zelda "secret discovered" sound effect. Also, at one point, Samus appears in the guest room of Peach's Castle. Talk to her and she'll tell you she's resting up for Mother Brain. Why she chose to go all the way to the Mushroom Kingdom instead of just resting in her ship or something and saving time is beyond me. There's also a Samus doll in Booster's Tower. Finally, although he doesn't make an appearance, Bruce Lee is referenced by Mallow when Mario is about to rush in and engage Bowyer.
- Sonic the Hedgehog appears in the Sega game Bug!, twice. The first is a bonus level where Bug was able to race him (Sonic's route was a lot longer and uneven, so it balanced out), and the second one was a secret area where Sonic would appear and leave a bunch of powerups on a platform.
- Wario Land 4 has a really, really obscure one. The professor character from the bonus rooms is actually Dr. Arewo Stein from For The Frog The Bell Tolls. On that note, Mr Game and Watch (from both Super Smash Bros and the Game & Watch handheld games) appears, although he turns out to be a magically disguised ghost princess/cat being.
- While playing through a level in Jedi Knight, there's one small home with a finnicky automatic door; it'll only open when Katarn is a certain distance away. Move quickly enough, and you can get inside to find Max, holding a blaster very much like the one you start out with. Lead him out and he'll start blasting your enemies for you. Happen to attack him, and he'll come after you!
- Amaterasu makes an appearance in Asura's Wrath in one of the episode recaps. Considering both games are published by Capcom, and are based on Asian Mythology, it makes a lot of sense.
- Kirbys Return To Dreamland includes some from stone statues of Rick, Coo and Kine from Deamland 2 and 3 and Marx from Super Star. Mass Attack has Max Flexer and Chef Shataki from the anime. And finally, Super Star has Mario while Ultra has him with Peach, Luigi and Wario.
- The iDOLM@STER 2 - So far Hatsune Miku and 876's idols Ai Hidaka and Eri Mizutani are available in DLC as in story rivals for the 765 Pro idols.
- In Street Fighter Alpha 2, Ken's home stage features cameos by Morrigan, Felicia, Hsien-Ko, Mei-Ling and Lord Raptor from Darkstalkers, Biff Slamkovich and Jumbo Flapjack from Saturday Night Slam Masters, Captain Commando and Ginzu the Ninja from Captain Commando, the two Unknown Soldiers from Forgotten Worlds, Pure the Magician from Adventure Quiz: Capcom World 2, Michelle Heart from Legendary Wings, Strider Hiryu from Strider, Linn Kurosawa from Alien Vs Predator Capcom and Capcom's CEO Kenzo Tsujimoto as a butler, all as guests attending Eliza's birthday party.
- Hyperdimension Neptunia makes plenty of shout-outs and references to other video games, often by using silhouettes of the characters and avoiding using their actual names. One side quest, however, basically has you chasing after (and then fighting) Macaroon, the merchant girl from Trinity Universe, another of Idea Factory's dungeon exploring RPGs.
- The Curse Of Monkey Island features The Flying Welshman who looks almost identical to Bobbin Threadbare from Loom. The only difference is he's wearing a lifejacket and has a different voice (Loom had a talkie version, rare at the time)). As Loom had no sequels, LucasArts clearly put this in for people wondering what Bobbin was up to.
- In reference to the Loom advertisement in the first game, The Curse Of Monkey Island advertises Grim Fandango in a similar way, with Guybrush encountering the advertiser in a restaurant. The only difference is that the character who does so is the lead character from that game, Manny Cavalera...who doesn't speak to Guybrush on account of being dead.
- At the beginning of Alleyway, an old Breakout clone for the Game Boy, Mario runs across the screen and hops into the pilot seat of the paddle.
- In the bonus modes of Duel Savior Destiny a couple of characters from early games the company made are playable characters.
- In Hitman: Absolution, Kane And Lynch have cameos in the first stages of Act II. Kane is seen in a bar while Lynch is at a shooting range in a gun store.
- Breath of Fire series:
- In Breath of Fire I, an easter egg shows Chun-Li practicing her Lightning Kick.
- In Breath Of Fire II, Nina must fight a boss who turns out to be the Nina from I, the sorceress Bleu/Deis is a hidden Optional Party Member, and Bo and Karn appear on the optional Giant's Island.
- In Breath Of Fire III, Bleu/Deis appears again, this time playing a small role in the plot and acting as a Master. Several generic characters also look like Ox and Mogu from I, and Sten from II.
- In Breath Of Fire IV, Momo from III is a Master, and in the End Game Plus, Rei and Teepo appear to sell you a unique item.
- Seeing as how the Sega Superstars series involves crossovers, other characters cameoing in the courts and tracks is inevitable. (Chao as spectators on Sonic tracks, Yoyo, Rhyth, Professor K, and others on Jet Set Radio tracks, the Burning Rangers flying around the track based on the game named after them, and so on)
- Playstation All Stars Battle Royale. A crossover fighting game, so it's a no-brainer. Each stage involves elements from some other game interfering with that one, you can get chibi versions of certain characters to cheer you on in fights, story modes involve characters from the same franchise as that character, etc. Also, some finishing moves include cameos from other characters of that franchise too. (Sly's Lvl. 1 finishing move has Murray come out and attack, PaRappa's Lvl. 3 finishing move has him put on a concert with characters such as Lammy and Katy Kat watching, etc.)
- Sonic Generations is filled to the brim with cameos.
- In Atlantis No Nazo, the old master whom you rescue at the end is the hero from Sunsoft's earlier game Ikki.
- The first batch of McPixel's DLC had stages for YouTube Lets Players who supported the game, such as Jesse Cox & Pew Die Pie.
- In Atomic Robo-Kid Special, the 1-Up dolls are Ninja-kun from the game of the same name and Mutron-kun from Mutant Night.
- Stan Lee's many cameos in his webseries Bad Days.
- To the shock and awe of everyone, sketch-comedy group LoadingReadyRun snagged some major cameos in its video Lock Out! The gang was lucky enough to grab Wil Wheaton and Tycho while at a charity convention.
- This Mega64 skit.
- In Atom.com's webseries Video Game Reunion episode 1-10, Link goes into the elevator and guess who else is there. The actor who played Link in The Legend of Niel, another of Atom's webseries.
- That Guy with the Glasses basically made "Cameo!" into a Running Gag.
- Mr Coat And Friends has several.
- Drew Goddard at the end of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog as Bad Horse member "Fake Thomas Jefferson". He's part of Joss Whedon's Production Posse. Marti Noxon and David Fury also appear as newscasters.
- Joss himself appears as a newscaster on Jane Espenson's internet series Husbands.
- At the end of the Joueur du Grenier's review of Platoon and Metal Gear on the NES, Doug Walker makes a most unexpected cameo appearance.
- Parodied in Mario Party TV: Mr. Doom's character of choice is Boo whenever the ghost is available. On boards where Doom isn't even playing, this has led to jokes about him appearing as the thieving Boo the players can hire.
- Quite common in webcomics, especially in the case where the artists are personal friends. The Webcomic Crossover & Cameo Archive is a comprehensive and very extensive index of webcomic cameos.
- The characters of Sluggy Freelance show up as miscellaneous extras all over the Internet.
- In Sluggy Freelance, there's a one-panel, no-line cameo of the Digimon Season 3 (Tamers) main characters.
- An earlier El Goonish Shive comic gave Silent Bob a quick cameo.
- The KA Mics has lots of cameos of other webcomic characters. Then again the author is a self-confessed Cameowhore.
- The Cartoon Chronicles of Conroy Cat takes place in a world where all cartoon characters live, and cameos occur often.
- The Cyantian Chronicles: Various fan made characters have gotten cameos as part of a donation drive.
- The Crossoverlord, being a webcomic superhero crossover series set in a multiverse, tends to cameo various heroic characters rather frequently. However, it really went over the top with this page.
- Sprite comics have a large tendency to rely upon cameos due to the easy nature in which an author can use another person's 'sprite sheets' in order to quickly and easily represent different characters.
- RPG World's Hero and Dianne make an appearance in TwoKinds.
- Fancharacters made for Bittersweet Candy Bowl occasionally appear in the background during the story.
- Although Brawl in the Family is a comic about Nintendo characters, Teddie makes a brief appearance in one of the strips.
- Questionable Content has referenced XKCD a few times (once on a characters' shirt), and in this strip portrayed an webcomic artist wearing an "I<3MATH" shirt, with a sketch of a stick figure wearing a black hat in front of him. He wasn't explicitly named, but the allusion was obvious.
- Bittersweet Candy Bowl, Many fancharacters given to the author have either become regular cast or served as background filler.
- Liam, a fan-made character, even had an entire intermission chapter dedicated to his relationship with Lucy.
- One strip of Fite! contains Tamino the Cat, the main character of another comic by the same author, as a passerby.
- In The Whiteboard Doc tends to invite a couple dozen characters from other webcomics to his Halloween Parties.
- In the International Comic Continuity, you'll often see characters from one member's series appearing in another member's.
- Ozy and his father, Llewellyn, from the furry webcomic Ozy And Millie make an appearance in a couple of strips of Stubble Trouble.
- The time travel Story Arc of The Packrat features cameos of real-life persons from the history of synthesizers as Lovelace-style animals, including Bob Moog, Don Buchla, Howard Jones, Stevie Wonder, Thomas Dolby and Herbie Hancock. He also meets Dr. Emmett L. Brown.
- Itachi made a cameo in comic #48 of Yu Gi Oh Card Game Gusto Fancomic. Probably because he shares a similar pupil shape with the Gusto Archetype.
- Sister Claire has loads of these in the background ranging from Powerpuff Girls to Panty And Stocking.
- Happens at least twice to Marceline the Vampire Queen from Adventure Time.
- Fifi La Fume from Tiny Toon Adventures appears as the owner of a perfume shop in Animaniacs.
- Also Baby Plucky made cameos as well. The fact that he shares the same voice actor as Skippy Squirrel helps.
- The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes features multiple clear shots of Wolverine as one of the soldiers helping Captain America infiltrate the Red Skull's castle.
- At the end of the Christmas Episode of Ben 10, one of the "elves" they rescue from the time-warped Santa's Village theme park shows up as an old man with his grandchildren, who look suspiciously like Konohamaru and his ninja squad. Now that I think about it, the old man did look a lot like the Hokage at the time...
- Chowder frequently has cameos from cartoons and other media, with the Powerpuff Girls having three so far. The first was Mrs. Bellum apparently being The Sarge's blind date in The Hot Date, the second being Bubbles' head in The Heist, and the third being Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup in the form of a bird, a cat, and a pig respectively in Wayne Tootin.
- The Flintstones take a trip to Jellyrock Park in the episode Swedish Visitors. They get a surprise visit from Yogi Bear and Boo Boo, who in typical fashion steal the Flintstones' picnic basket.
- The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! has had guest appearances (with their respective creators' permission) by the casts of Melonpool, Zortic, and Zeera The Space Pirate.
- In Toy Story 3, one of Bonnie's toys is a plush Totoro.
- Turtles Forever, as a special commemorating the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' 25th birthday, has a lot of oneshot appearances from characters throughout the franchise's history. One scene alone has Irma, the human forms of Bebop and Rocksteady, and a memorable battle briefly shows Tokka and Rahzar; that's just a few of them. The end of the film even manages to have a Creator Cameo in the form of a "flashback", showing Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird just as they are finishing the very first issue of the TMNT hoping it would sell, literally bringing the series full-circle.
- Dexter made near constant cameos in The Powerpuff Girls to the point where it was practically a Running Gag. The fact that the (earlier) art of both shows was done by Craig McCracken, and the two shows are part of a Shared Universe helps.
- He also made a cameo in the series finale of Time Squad 'Orphan Substitute'.
- Augie Doggie, Doggie Daddy and Speed Buggy have all had cameos on The Powerpuff Girls.
- Professor Utonium appeared at the end of the Billy & Mandy episode "My Fair Mandy" as part of the temporal disruption caused after Mandy smiles (she, Billy and Grim became the Powerpuffs).
- Yogi Bear, Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm and Suzie Chan show up in Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated.
- Baseball slugger Mike Piazza and the NHL's Brett Hull have appeared in cartoon form as cameos on What's New, Scooby Doo?
- Family Guy: You hardly EVER see any cameo appearances in this series. Characters from other Seth MacFarlane animations do pop up here, including Steve Smith's fat friend, Barry in fat camp from the episode "Killer Queen".
- Both Pluto The Pup and Owl have made cameo appearances on Recess, though Pluto only appeared in a dream sequence.
- Popeye co-star Swee' Pea appears in The Beatles episode "Tell Me What You See."
- Popeye himself is seen on a wall frame in a Greenwich Village coffee house in "I Don't Want To Spoil The Party."
- Private Gripweed, John Lennon's character in the 1967 movie How I Won The War, appears very briefly in "Strawberry Fields."
- Bugs Bunny, a Warner Bros. character, cameos in the George Pal Puppetoon Jasper Goes Hunting (released by Paramount). In his own Warners universe, Bugs cameos in at least three cartoons with other animated stars.
- Daffy Duck cameos in two Bugs cartoons, "Sahara Hare" and "Apes Of Wrath." Foghorn Leghorn cameos at the end of "False Hare."
- Little Audrey cameos on the Popeye cartoon "Olive Oyl For President."
- Static Shock had a quite few of them:
- Both DCAU Batmen (Bruce Wayne and Terry McGinnis) appeared in "Future Shock" (while Batman had a few episodes as well).
- Superman appeared in "Toyz In the Hood".
- The rest of the Justice League appeared with Batman and Braniac in thw two-part "A League of Their Own".
- The Joker was in "The Big Leagues," while Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy were in "Hard as Nails."
- Lil Romeo, Shaquille O'Neal and Karl Malone each was an Ink Suit Actor in their episodes ("Romeo In The Mix", "Static Shaq" and "Hoop Squad").
- The other "Hoop Squad" members (Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady, and Steve Nash) are voiced by others though.
- Justice League Unlimited had Static in the two-part "The Once and Future Thing" alongside Terry, an older Bruce Wayne, and Static, as well as Hal Jordan (as the show used John Stewart as Green Lantern).
- Futurama has had many over the years, but one impressive one is Jonathan Frakes doing a one-line cameo in "Where No Fan Has Gone Before."
"Yes! Front row!"