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Contest Winner Cameo

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Sometimes, either to promote a product and generate interest in it, or maybe to maintain interest in it, or maybe just for the hell of it, a company will hold a contest in which the winner will get to make a brief appearance in a future work by that company. Sometimes this contest takes the form of a charity auction.

The contest winner's cameo could turn out to be anything from a simple appearance in the background, to playing a role in an important scene in the story. Or, depending on the tone, to be horribly killed. Sometimes the winners' scenes will be cut or the project itself canceled.

In some cases, appearing in the work is the result of a Kickstarter reward; people who donate to the product's development can win the right to appear in it.

Compare Official Fan-Submitted Content and Make-A-Wish Contribution. Also compare Tuckerization, where characters are based on real people who haven't won anything.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Funimation ran a contest in 2003 promising the winner a bit voice role in their English dub of Dragon Ball GT. It's unknown who the winner of said contest was or who they voiced.
    • Similarly, 4Kids Entertainment ran a contest on 4KidsTV promising the winner a voice role in one of their shows. It's unknown who the winner was, who they voiced, or what show they were cast in.
    • Also Sentai Filmworks ran a contest at a convention promising two winners cameo voice roles in Parasyte, though unlike most of these examples, the winners at least had to record an audition in person.
  • Okayado has asked fans of Monster Musume to submit self-portraits along with what type of monster girls they'd like to be paired up with. This is the source of all the minor human characters that have been popping up in the manga, especially during the Hot Springs arc.
  • PriPara:
    • The Prism Idol Trainees in the fourth ending theme were chosen via the Dream Girls Audition. They also played roles in the anime.
    • There was also a contest to design a dress that would appear in an episode of Idol Time PriPara in which three winners would be chosen and shown along with the players' characters on TV. The coords they designed would also appear in the final update of the game.
    • The runway sequence at the end of each movie was also comprised of people's characters who won a lottery to have their characters shown in the movie. The most notable example of this was when a famous Western PriPara blogger was shown in the credits to Kirarin Star Live.
  • Makoto Hanamatsuura, who appears in a bonus chapter of the Sailor Moon manga, was a real person who won a 2 million yen bid at a charity auction benefiting the victims of the Kobe Earthquake in 1995. No word on whether he was happy with his "Tubby Mask" scene.
  • There was a contest during the Party! season of the Shugo Chara! anime where the winner would become the new Dia in the Shugochara Egg! idol unit. The winner was a girl named Nanami Tanabe.
  • Tokyo Ghoul :Re held a promotional event called the Ghoul Investigator Recruitment Campaign, allowing fans to submit a fake employment application. The 20 winners chosen have a character based on them appear during the Auction Arc. Unfortunately for said characters, they're the members of a Red Shirt Army and a bonus page each chapter tracks their often-brutal deaths.
  • While it wasn't a contest per se, a live event open for female fans only was held shortly before the second season of YuruYuri, during which the crowd's cheers was recorded specifically to be used for an all-female in-universe crowd in the last episode.
  • Some children's shows with a Dancing Theme as the ending song, like the Pretty Series and Doraemon, will have dance contests where people can submit themselves dancing to the song for a chance to be shown on TV and win prizes.
  • A variation—Gunpla contest winners have shown up in Gundam Build Fighters and its subsequent spinoffs, usually as cameos in action scenes. The actual designers are never mentioned or shown in the shows, but their custom mobile suits get to be immortalized in fiction.
  • Many of the bit roles in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions were dubbed by the winners of a Yu-Gi-Oh! contest held at the card game's World Championship events in Orlando and Minneapolis as well as at New York Comic Con.

    Comic Books 
  • An issue of The Amazing Spider-Man from the 1970s featured a one-panel cameo of Stan Lee and two contest winners talking about how great Spider-Man is.
  • There are occasional charity auctions at UK comic conventions to get characters or Mega-City One Blocks in Judge Dredd named after you.
  • Kind of in Kick-Ass, but going a bit beyond it: Dave Lizewski, winner of a charity auction and contest to name the main character, named him after himself. Which is rather fortunate because he could have named the character anything from Betty to Captain Ass if he wanted to.
  • In the Knights of the Old Republic comic "Masks," charity auction winner Pete Hottelet (covertly renamed Commander Telettoh) appears, real-world glasses and all.
  • Erik Larsen's comic The Savage Dragon featured a contest where the winner would appear in a future issue of the comic. The winner (James Quentin Manning, if you must know) had a two-panel appearance, the second of which composed of his feet as Dragon knocked him the fuck out. To be fair, the contest announcement was bluntly honest about this, to the point of showing the two panels pre-storyboarded.
    • James wasn't really a fan of the comic, he just entered because his friend had entered.
  • One The Simpsons Halloween comic had one of these. She spent her single panel of screentime running from a crazed Homer driving a clown car named Krustine and thinking about how she regretted entering the contest in the first place.
  • Topolino, the main Italian Disney comic magazine, did it at least twice:
    • Lady Claire, a one-shot character from Wizards of Mickey, was designed after a contest winner.
    • They held a contest for Donald Duck's 80th birthday where readers could send their one-page comics featuring Donald in a bad situation they actually found in their life. The winner appeared in a comic panel where she and Donald exchange greetings.
  • Ultimate Marvel Team-Up once had a contest winner brag about getting a cameo... and then get instantly fried down to a skeleton by a Skrull Death Ray in the very next panel.
  • Vampirella once has a contest, and the winner did not only get a mere cameo, but was the (misguided) villain of Vampirella #112. (Directly after that issue, Warren folded. Probably coincidence.)

    Fan Works 
  • Readers of Skyhold Academy Yearbook were invited at one point to leave comments with names they wanted to use, either their own names or those they had created. These were incorporated into a later installment; participating readers were added to the cast of the series as returning graduates of the eponymous school who attend a reunion.
  • The authors of Time Fixers: Nicktoons of the Future had a contest and the winner would have their OC make a cameo. The winner's OC appeared in the episode "Turnageddon" and had a few lines where he conversed with Tommy.

    Films — Animated 
  • In a case that's more than a cameo, the Brazilian and French dubs of The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea had protagonist Melody voiced by a girl who won a TV contest.
  • In the scene in Over the Hedge where RJ and Verne are chased by Nugent the dog through various lawns, there is a man barbecuing who says "Huh?", and a man in a lawn chair who pushes a female companion out of the way with a cry of "Look out!". Both of these men were played by contestants on The Apprentice, and these small cameos were the result of winning a reward challenge.
  • For the Australian version of Robots, the voices of the Watches ("Don't buy us; we're fakes!") in the train station were dubbed by six children who had won a competition to appear in the movie. A voice coach trained them to speak with an American accent to blend in with the rest of the movie.
  • In Rugrats in Paris in the scene where Kimi is in daycare before the Rugrats pick her up in the robotic Reptar, a couple of kids who point this out to her were voiced by kids who had won a contest.
  • Some of the additional voices in the Latin Spanish dub of Meet the Robinsons were done by members of the Parra family, a family from Hermosillo, Mexico who won a contest organized by Disney. Family members César Parra and César Parra Jr. would later advance their career in The New '10s when their Hermosillo-based SDV Servicios de Voz company received several high-profile outsourcing jobs, most notably Parra providing additional voices (via SDV) for the Latin Spanish dub of the 32nd season of The Simpsons, and being outsourced by ZOO Digital for a lot of work on Netflix productions.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The fictional card game in The Gamers: Hands of Fate uses a system based on the Legend of the Five Rings example below. One of the top tournament players actually uses a deck based around the hero card version of himself, and one of the important historical characters in the setting is revealed at the end to have been the avatar of a player as well.
  • Wondering who that mysterious "catching smoke" kid was in the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban movie? Yeah, it was a contest winner. Chamber of Secrets had another contest winner as an extra.
  • A somewhat heartwarming example: around the time Licence to Kill was released, a woman won a contest and was promised a cameo role in the next Bond film. But there was a six-and-a-half-year hiatus between that film and GoldenEye, the longest break in the series' history. The heartwarming part? The producers remembered, and she got her cameo! She's in a black-and-gold dress, behind Xenia Onatopp in the baccarat scene.
  • Nintendo Power magazine ran a contest for a cameo in the sequel to The Mask. The film proceeded to languish in Development Hell for over a decade, so it was unknown what if anything the winner actually got, before some detective work from the website Destructoid revealed that the winner, Nathan Ryan Runk from Arbutus, Maryland, was eventually given a pile of SNES games and the option to wait indefinitely or settle for a $5000 cash prize. Unsurprisingly, he took the money.
  • Averted in Resident Evil (2002): when Resident Evil 2 was released, Capcom held a contest where the winner would get a walk-on role in the upcoming movie. However, after that, the movie underwent a massive retooling, and thus the role was axed.
  • After the success of Scream (1996), MTV held a contest in which the winner would get a role in Scream 2. The winner ended up playing the movie theater employee who hands out Ghostface masks to Jada Pinkett-Smith and Omar Epps in the beginning of the movie. The young woman even got to speak some dialogue in the film (a rarity for these kinds of contests).
  • DC Comics gave away a cameo role in Superman via a contest requiring clipping letters out of comics to spell a word.
  • The janitor who gets killed when he steps between the T-1000 and the T-800 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day in the back hall of the mall was the winner of an MTV contest.
  • In TRON: Legacy, Sam is briefly stuck in gladiator-style games with other programs, with other programs in the audience cheering on the contestants, as well as Rinzler. The chanting was recorded at a panel held for the film at San Diego ComicCon using the audience.
  • In the audio commentary for UHF, "Weird Al" Yankovic says that the audience members sitting on either side of "the box" in the "Wheel Of Fish" scene were contest winners.
  • The highest reward for backing the Veronica Mars movie on Kickstarter was starring as a cameo.


Author examples:

  • Occasionally when he needs money, Tim Dorsey will auction off the opportunity to have a minor character in one of his books be named after the winner. This being Tim Dorsey, all these characters tend to die.
  • Andy Mangels, who frequently writes for the Pocket Books Star Trek series, has been known to feature names of real people in his books. Sometimes the names are featured because of a high bid in a charity fundraiser, and other times as a thank-you for doing something helpful.
  • Ian Rankin has done the charity auction version numerous times, and one time had a prank pulled on him. The winner gave his name as Peacock Johnson and asked for his mate "Wee Evil Bob" to be included as well. Rankin enjoyed writing about Elvis-lookalike Arms Dealer Peacock Johnson and his sidekick Wee Evil Bob in the Rebus novel A Question of Blood, and afterwards he tried to contact Johnson to ask if he could include them in other novels. The website and the email address he had been given didn't exist, and after doing some sleuthing of his own, Rankin discovered he was the target of a practical joke by Stuart David, the former bass player for Belle and Sebastian. Just to twist the knife, David denied him permission to reuse the character, and went on to write a story of his own where the character seeks out Ian Rankin himself to complain about his portrayal in his novel. Rankin has described the whole situation as "a mindfuck".
  • Matthew Reilly auctions character names, ranging from a Gandalf role spanning a trilogy to a spy killed (by jet engine) in his only scene.
  • Not a contest per se, but Baen Books author John Ringo offered spots in his list of readers for Redshirting or cameos to those who purchased the now-discontinued OH JOHN RINGO NO t-shirts, whose profits went to the Helen Bamberg Foundation.note 

Book examples:

  • Just as much of a "cameo" as Kick-Ass's real name above is, the Animorphs character Erek King was named after a fan. He made several more appearances as the Animorphs' "inside man" after #10, when he was introduced, and was a crucial part of the Batman Gambit that won the war. After that, his disgust with Jake's methods led him to bleed the power from the weapons; their inability to attack led to Rachel's death.
  • in the mid-to-late 1990s, Michael Stackpole auctioned off a cameo appearance in his BattleTech novels at the Gen Con charity auction, a few of whom became minor recurring characters.
  • Ray Huizenga, a minor character in Stephen King's novel Cell, was named via charity auction.
  • In 2002, held a raffle to raise money. The six winners had characters in "Diary" named for them. (Nora Adams and Will Tupper are two of them.)
  • Discworld novels often include characters named after (and perhaps slightly based on) winners of charity auctions. Once they exist, they may appear in later books. Known examples include:
  • David Weber has a standing offer to name a character after whoever is the first to catch and point out a typographical error in a published Honor Harrington book. Most such characters are minor ones who die in their first appearance, so this process is known in the fandom as "winning a Red Shirt". Sometimes, the character is not immediately killed off, and thus this is known as "winning a pink handkerchief".
  • From the children's book Hilda and Richie: the household servants Richie is shown running past in Hilda and Richie's Wizard were both rewards for Kickstarter backers.
  • Robert Asprin's Myth-Nomers and Im-Pervections features a Pervect cabbie who at one point casually mentions bidding for a cameo in a book at an art auction, before adding that if he hadn't won, Skeeve would be talking to someone else.
  • Dougie Barr, a major character in Ann Cleeves' Shetland novel Blue Lightning was named for a charity auction winner. The character shares his namesake's love of Irn-Bru.
  • In Sole Survivor by Dean Koontz the character of Barbara Christman was named after a competition winner. The real Barbara had hoped to be portrayed as a psychotic killer, but instead was written as a flight crash investigator.
    • Ditto Linda Paquette, the protagonist's love interest, from The Good Guy.
  • Sean Tourangeau won a contest to design the Luna-class of starships for the Star Trek: Titan novel series. The novel with the design in it also established a Dr. Tourangeau as one of the design team in-story, a man who was killed horribly when the USS Luna suffered a core breach.
  • Used in the first book of The Thrawn Trilogy. Two fans won a charity auction to get their names in the book; whether or not the second one lived or died was up to the first fan. So after Cris Pieterson's tractor beam failed due to a trick of Luke Skywalker's, he tried to pin the blame on his superior officer, Colclazure. Thrawn had Pieterson killed for borderline insubordination, failure to adapt, and as a lesson in the difference between mere errors and worse mistakes. Colclazure was merely reprimanded. It's likely that one of the two would have died either way - this was one of Thrawn's important character moments (being the setup for a later scene where an operator who shows initiative in a similar situation gets promoted).
  • The Thursday Next series had a competition to ask Thursday any three questions after the Eyre Affair (book 1). A fan of her work appeared in book 2, at the behest of a public relations agent, and asks three questions, none of which gets answered (she's rather busy at the time), but their presence provides a "Eureka!" Moment for her. Separate contests were held in the United States and Britain, and the name of the fan and the questions asked were different in both editions.
  • Several characters in David Gerrold's A Season For Slaughter are named after real people who made charitable donations for the privilege.
  • The Wheel of Time started doing this in later books.
  • There are a few instances in the Goosebumps series where they held contests/auctions where the winner would get a character named after them in a book. The most notable example was Jack Archer, protagonist of the Invasion of the Body Squuezers two parter.
  • Two of the Alex Rider books had competitions to design a gadget: the winners were the hand grenade disguised as an inhaler from Ark Angel, and the Hat Nav from Scorpia Rising. (Whilst the inhaler was crucial to the plot, the Hat Nav was never used, because all of Alex's gadgets are removed by the Big Bad before he has a chance to use them.)
  • Peter David's Star Trek: New Frontier novel series has a minor character, Commander (later Captain) Alexandra Garbeck, who was named after a a contest winner.

    Live-Action TV 
  • A while back, around 2003, Nickelodeon held a competition titled "R U All That". The winner, Christina Kirkman, remained in the cast of All That for its final two seasons. Ryan Coleman, who joined the show's cast midseason, was a finalist in that same competition.
  • Babylon 5:
    • Two fans won a contest to get characters in an episode named after them. Unfortunately, the episode was "ExoGenesis", widely considered one of the show's worst.
    • The serial murderer being hunted in the Psi Corps episode "The Corps is Mother, The Corps is Father" was also named after the winner of a charity auction at a convention. Amusingly, the winner's name was Jonathan Harris, so most viewers thought it was a Shout-Out to Lost in Space, a previous series starring Billy Mumy, who plays Lennier on Babylon 5.
    • Dr. Lillian Hobbes made a very large charitable donation to have a recurring character named after her.
  • Actor John Bell, better known for his roles as Bain in The Hobbit and Young Ian Murray in Outlander, made his career debut as Creet in the Doctor Who episode "Utopia" by winning a Blue Peter contest to appear in an episode. He gets turned into a Toclafane offscreen.
  • Family Matters held a contest for young Urkel impersonators. The best four impersonators appeared in an episode where Carl dreams that Laura and Steve got married and had children (with another on the way). Some of the runner-up entries were shown as the credits rolled in the same episode.
  • Ghostwriter did this. The winner could be seen rollerblading past the camera at the beginning of one episode.
  • The Glee Project on Oxygen, was a reality show where the winner(s) would get guest starring roles on Glee. In fact, all of the top four in season one got at least a guest starring role, and all of the top 3 of the second season got one as well.
  • Good Eats host Alton Brown participated in a Food Network kitchen makeover giveaway. The winner of his design, Nic Sims of Michigan, was also treated to a guest spot as a government agent on the episode "Churn, Baby Churn II".
    • Also, the live 10th Anniversary special Good Eats Turns Ten held a contest for "superfans" of the series to create videos in order to appear as contestants on the Game Show portion of the special.
  • Rush'd is a reality contest on the Greek website where the winner gets a walk-on role. The first winner appeared as a judge in the ZBZ "Mr. Purr-fect" competition.
  • In another game show example, High Rollers during 1978 offered a prize where a contestant could appear on "Project UFO" if they rolled a certain combination with the dice. The prize wasn't awarded, however.
  • The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade had two "design a balloon" contests during the Turn of the Millennium:
    • The first was in 2004 and geared towards children, and was won by a 7 year old from California with a turkey whose feathers were based on international flags. The hosts described the image on air as "join[ing] the dove today as a symbol of world peace."
    • The second was in 2011 and coincided with the parade's 85th anniversary. Macy's hid several blank statuettes modelled after their popular elf balloon in their stores, and invited the public to make their own designs in the hopes that one would be selected for a one-off flight down Broadway. The winning design, "Gazer" by university student Keith Lapnig, becomes heartwarming if you know the story behind itnote .
    • For a few years in The '90s they had a "Be A Star" campaign where the winners would appear in the parade on several floats in addition to modeling for the company.
    • In 1993 the kids who selected the name for the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games mascot (Izzy) appeared in a "rocket car" ahead of the newly-debuted Izzy balloon.
    • From 2012-2014 one act performing in the parade was selected by the public through the Macy's iHeartRadio Rising Star contest. Megan and Liz were the first winners to perform in the parade; in 2013 it was The Summer Set, and in 2014 it was Before You Exit.
  • FOX held a Hank Hill look alike contest on their network at one point where the winner gets to cameo on an episode of MADtv (1995).
  • Mythbusters takes the first however many people to respond who fit their requirements when they need a really big crowd for something, though not all of them will appear in the episode. They'll also take the old cars of fans who really want to see their automobiles have a Dying Moment of Awesome as they're blown up or smashed to bits as part of the testing of a myth.
  • NBC had a sweepstakes sponsored by Sears in the early 1990s where the winner would cameo on one of NBC's shows.
  • More than a few times, The Price Is Right has offered Walk-On roles on various CBS soap operas as part of a prize package. The only one that has been won so far as of this writing was for The Bold and the Beautiful, where the winner could be seen in a party scene in the episode shown later in the day.
    • And on Price itself… in December 2003, Jackie Amacher won a contest on the Oprah Winfrey Show and got to call a contestant to "come on down" in one show.
  • Psych held a contest for fans to get their colleges mentioned in the show. The winner, Brigham Young University, was briefly featured in season six episode "Neil Simon's Lover's Retreat". The cameo quickly got flak from BYU fans, however—said feature was on a couple of bar patrons' t-shirts. BYU is a private school owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is known for teaching abstinence from alcoholic beverages; such abstinence is also required as part of BYU's honor code.
  • Punky Brewster had a contest where kids could suggest a story to be made into an episode. The winner got to appear in the episode that got based on his story, about Punky having to learn CPR so she can later apply it on her friend Cherie (who ended up trapped in an old fridge) to save her life.
  • The Red Dwarf Smeg Ups VHS tape included a competition where participants would go in the draw to appear in a future episode. The winner ultimately appeared in the Series VII episode "Stoke Me a Clipper" as an extra in the artificial-reality Camelot jousting sequence.
  • Back when Remember WENN was AMC's only original programming, they ran a contest to win a walk-on role in the following season. AMC ended up futzing with the contest (apparently editing out a scene that was supposed to answer a question), and cancelling the show, thus precluding the prize altogether. This article mentions (among others) the walk-on contest.
    • A similar offer for Mad Men went by without any problems.
  • In 1977, Saturday Night Live held a contest for the Guest Host spot on that year's Christmas episode called the "Anyone Can Host" contest, where an average person gets to be an SNL guest host. The winner of that contest was Miskel Spillman, an 80-year-old grandmother from New Orleans who happened to be a fan of the show (and still was until she died in the early 1990s). After learning that an old lady won the contest, the SNL production team tried to get the Sex Pistols on as the musical guest (as it would drum up more publicity and be hilarious to have a controversial punk band as the musical guest for a show hosted by an old lady), but visa problems caused them to pick Elvis Costello and the Attractions instead. Costello's infamous performance where he stops his planned performance of "Less than Zero" to play "Radio Radio" (a song which was considered too "anti-media" to play on mainstream television at the time) instead has become one of the most iconic in the show's history. Even though Miskel Spillman lives on as SNL's only non-celebrity to host an episode, her place as the oldest host (which actually once belonged to Ruth Gordon before Spillman usurped it) was usurped years later by another old lady host: Betty White.
  • Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis have done this for several seasons now on Sci Fi. The contest winner has a walk-on cameo appearance in one episode of each show. One winner was the wife of the Ori religious zealot in the Season 9 premiere three-parter.
    • The DVD Commentaries for the episode usually reveal the identity of the winner. In "Lost City", it's the woman who enters the Oval Office and shakes Hayes' hand after his meeting with Weir. Later, in "Camelot", director Martin Wood specifically made the contest winner John Noble's wife so "she wouldn't get cut," seeming to imply that other contest winners have had their scenes cut.
  • Star Trek: Voyager had a contest tied in with the release of their new game Star Trek: Voyager: Elite Force The winners cameoed during the academy scene in the final episode.
    • Star Trek: Enterprise had a couple of Engineering crew who were winners of the USS Enterprise's (the aircraft carrier) Crewman of the Year competition, and a radio contest winner played a female engineer.
    • Similarly, the online animated spoof Stone Trek has a feature where fans can submit photos of themselves so that they can be drawn and featured as the show's Red Shirts.
    • Actually subverted way back at the beginning of Star Trek: The Next Generation's run, when General Mills held a contest via Cheerios cereal to win a walk-on role on an episode. The subversion came when the winner, another old lady (see the SNL example), declined the appearance in favor of the alternate cash prize.
  • An in-universe example occurs on an episode of That's So Raven, where Cory wins a trip to Hollywood to cameo on a popular sitcom. The episode in question focused on the star of that show as she went through her daily life (the concept would later morph into another Disney Channel show: Hannah Montana.)
  • The Ultra Series, being a toku long-runner, occasionally held their own "design-a-monster" contest for fans, where the winning submission would end up being designed into a suit as the next Monster of the Week.
    • They have been doing this since the 60s, as early as Ultraseven, with the underwater monsters Tepeto and Guyros being the winner and runner-ups of a context where fans can submit their own alien designs for the show.
    • In Return of Ultraman, the winning submission comes from a script-making contest featuring Leogon, a Planimal monster in the episode "The Life that Can't be Forgiven". It's notable that the winner in this case is a then 16-year-old Shinichiro Kobayashi, who would later create a similar script for Toho Studios in the 1980s, resulting in Godzilla vs. Biollante.
    • Taraban from Ultraman Tiga comes from a Create Your Own Monster contest.
    • The Ultraman Gaia episode "I Want to See Gaia!" features children going on a field trip to visit the XIG Aerial Base, coinciding with the monster Pazgeek attacking XIG at the same time. The children cameo-ing in the episode are winners of a magazine contest to appear in the show itself, with the "champion" playing a kid named Taro who gets captured by Pazgeek requiring Ultraman Gaia to rescue him.
    • Ruganoga the planet-destroying monster from Ultraman Max comes from a Tsuburaya-sponsored contest to have their own monsters, complete with backstories and bios, featured in the show.
  • German TV Quiz Wer hat's gesehen? (Who watched it?) has the top price of winning a cameo on a Tatort (German police procedural) of the candidate's choice.
  • In 2011, Wheel of Fortune had a "Vanna for a Day" contest, which allowed home viewers to submit videos for a chance to replace Lovely Assistant Vanna White for one episode. The winner was Katie Cantrell, who took Vanna's place for two rounds of an episode. The other four finalists got to sit in the audience.
  • One of the prizes for winning Who Wants to Be a Superhero? was a cameo appearance on a Sci-Fi Original Movie.
  • Spoofed in an episode of Yes, Dear where the actors talk about how they could not find a place to fit him in, so they just had the winner standing there in the last scene, then asked him to move over into HD.

  • The LEGO company had a little comic in Disney Adventures magazine involving a hero transported to a Lego-themed world and having to fight evil. Seriously. The comic had a contest in which the winner would appear in the comic, and he later did, helping out the hero at a crucial moment.
    • Disney Adventures also featured a short comic in which the magazine's writers and editors fought against a team of four villains designed by readers for a contest.
    • And once they did a Design-a-superhero contest, with the winner having a short comic in the magazine. The winner's hero was surprisingly awesome, compared to the other kids' entries.
      • In yet another DA contest, a girl appeared in a short "Kim Possible" comic.
  • Robot Wars Magazine once ran a competition to be on the Panic Attack team during the 4th season.
    • Another competition was to design a robot for the video game Arenas of Destruction, the winner (Thor) was an unlockable robot in the game.
  • The short-lived Sega themed magazine Sega Visions gave a cameo in an entire strip (the size of two pages) of their recurring comic "Niles Nemo in Sega-Land" to a contest winner. The strip involved the winner, Kuanray Huang, and Niles meeting Sonic The Hedgehog... and then waking up to discover it had all been a pizza-fueled dream.
  • Disney Adventures had a contest where readers submitted their best original villains. The winning villains would be part of a special comic printed in the magazine. The grand prize winner's villain was a guy who always entered Disney Adventures contests but never won. Since he lived in New Jersey, and Disney Adventures was published in New York City at that time, they had him come in and play his villain himself (the comic involved live action photos of the DA staff fighting against the (animated) winning villains).
  • In the mid-'80s, MAD Magazine held a "Spy vs. Spy" contest. The winner was rendered by artist Angelo Torres into the mag's satire of Miami Vice.
  • Fox Kids Magazine had a contest winner appear in a short "NASCAR Racers" comic that was in the Spring 2001 issue.

  • The beginning of the music video for Loverboy’s 1983 single "Queen of the Broken Hearts" features a bit of a young woman operating a futuristic machine. This was the winner of an MTV contest.
  • Die Krupps held a video-making contest for their song "Schmutzfabrik". The winning entry became the official video.
  • In 2022, Newport Folk Festival started the John Prine Songwriter Fellowship, where a new artist who embodied Prine's spirit would be selected to play a main stage set at the festival (in addition to a week-long songwriting residency). Leith Ross was the first winner.
  • When Susan Boyle was recording her album The Gift, she started a contest called "Susan's Search", in which members of the public were invited to upload a video of themselves singing "Silent Night" to her YouTube channel. The winner, New York paramedic Amber Stassi, got to sing with Boyle on a version of "Do You Hear What I Hear".

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Backyard Wrestling: Don't Try This At Home features wrestling fan Josh Asbill, who won a spot on the game's roster from a sweepstakes.
  • At WCW Halloween Havoc 95, WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan and manager Jimmy Hart presented a motorcycle to a contest winner.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Winners of the Magic: The Gathering Invitational tournament get to make their own card, the image of which is based on their appearance.
    • Which caused much hilarity when Wizards decided to reprint "Chris Pikula" (Meddling Mage) in Alara Reborn. With new art. Depicting a woman. Boy, how harsh time's been on old Chris...
    • And much consternation when "Bob" (Dark Confidant, designed by Bob Maher, Jr.) was reprinted in Modern Masters with new art.
    • Weirdly, not near as much was said when Solemn Simulacrum (designed by Jens Thoren) was reprinted with new art in a Core Set.
  • Similar things are a major part of the Legend of the Five Rings Collectible Card Game tournament scene, with winners getting to create cards and, at high enough levels of competition, actually help determine the products' storyline.
  • The awesomest version of this, though, is the prize for high-end Universal Fighting System tournaments - the winner gets a character card made of themselves, complete with art even more like the winner than the ones for Magic: The Gathering and the player's name as the card name. This leads to basically anyone who decides to use the championship cards referring to their deck by the champ's name.
  • Donate at least ten bucks to the Comic Book Defense League through Hero Games official website and you'll have one of the company's official NPCs named after you.

  • The Broadway Flea Market, held every year to raise funds for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, tends to offer walk-on roles in Broadway shows as part of their auctions.

    Video Games 
  • Nintendo Power ran a contest in the late 1990 where anyone who met the Final Fantasy Optional Boss Warmech and sent in a photo of themselves posing with it would win the honor of having themselves programmed into a future game. The winner, Chris Houlihan, had his name and a message ("My name is Chris Houlihan. This is my top secret room. Keep it between us, OK?") programmed into The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past in a secret room, and it inspired much discussion and strategy over how to get to the room in the first place. It doesn't help that the "secret area" is actually, in programming terms, an error handler function which the game sends you to if an error occurs in loading an area to prevent a Game-Breaking Bug, making it tricky to get to on purpose. With Nintendo Power being a firmly American magazine, none of the translations in other languages use his name. The Game Boy Advance remake has the room, but also doesn't use his name in English.
    • The Mega Man series is well known for having fans create and name Robot Masters, but only two were by fans from outside of Japan, both in Mega Man 6: Wind Man, by Michael Leader; and Knight Man, by Daniel Vallee. Both won a design contest in Nintendo Power. When Capcom decided not to publish the game in North America (due to it being the very end of the NES' lifetime), Nintendo published it themselves so the game winners could see their own Robot Masters.
  • The PC Nancy Drew games have tons of games with this. Examples include The Silent Spy and Alibi in Ashes.
  • For Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, Sanzaru Games ran a contest where people can submit pictures of their own designed treasure loot. The winners chosen had their loot featured in the game.
  • The Kingdom Hearts Optional Boss Kurt Zisa is named after a contest winner.
  • In Turok 2: Seeds Of Evil, entering "Juan's Code" placed the face of Juan, a contest winner, on the health icons.
  • The Super Robot Wars: Original Generation character Katina Tarask, debuting in the Trading Card Game spin-off Super Robot Wars Scramble Gather, was the winner of an original character design contest.
  • Konami held contests for various versions of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and The Twin Snakes where the (numerous) winners would have mooks named after them by way of dog tags you can steal from them. For Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, they held a camouflage designing contest, with winning designs appearing in the game.
    • From the same company, during the popularity peak of the Tokimeki Memorial series, Konami organized the "Tokimeki Teens" marketing program. In there, they selected one idol among a bunch of candidates, and this idol would get her fictionalized version of herself in the Drama Series games of the series, as well as being able to produce various songs. The winner of this contest was Mie Kuribayashi. Let's just say she quickly fell back in the shadows after the Drama Series were done.
  • Several NPCs in Fable II are named for people that won lots at the Penny Arcade Child's Play charity auction.
  • A few NPCs in Breath of Fire III are named after contest winners. These same people also named some in-game items and a few fish.
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum: There are a set of stairs near Clayface's cell that lead to a cell where a creepy prisoner is held; he is actually the winner of a GameSpot contest, and is mentioned on Joker's party list as Luke Oliver.
  • The 3D0 version of Star Control II included two new songs by Finnish contest winner Riku Nuottajärvi.
  • Cameron and Lucas, two characters in the First Town of Fallout 2, are named after Cameron Rapmund and Łukasz Kawarski, the winner and runner-up of the official Fallout trivia challenge. In the unpatched game, they are called Dumar and Standing Fist.
  • Konami held a contest for beatmania for a fan to get their music into IIDX RED. This led to a meme in the fandom.
  • In System Shock 2, the unfortunate Brian Norris was named and designed after the winner of a contest Looking Glass held with the name of Get Killed by SHODAN.
  • King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder! did this with Austin and Amanda, two characters in the pie shop, both of whom were winners of the "Be a Character in King's Quest V" contest in Inter Action Magazine. Entrants had to submit photos of themselves in outfits that would fit into the King's Quest world — those costumes are exactly what the characters are wearing.
  • Quest for Glory V also did this — Wolfie was a fan who sent cartoon sketches of his character to the game's creators, the Coles. They used those sketches to create a full-fledged character without whom the game is unwinnable! How's that for a cameo?
  • Dan Emmerson won a contest for his Meat Cello entry and wound up in the second level of Dead Space 2. The name of the contest, "Get Dismembered in Dead Space 2", gives away what would happen to him.
  • Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords has Nikko, a pazaak player who appears on Onderon during the course of the game. His appearance was based off the likeness of a contest winner named Paul Keeler, who also won a trip to the LucasArts studios in the deal.
  • Tales of Monkey Island: Lizink's Wig of Foppery, which Bailiff Killick Hardtack is compelled to wear after losing his case against Guybrush in Chapter 4, is named after the screen name of Liz Johnston, a native of British Columbia, Canada, and Telltale Games' winner of the "How Has Guybrush Wronged You Competition" in the "Game Designer for a Day" contest (which started on July 14, 2009, a week after the release of Chapter 1); her winning line, "He dug up my perfectly good X!", appears in Hardtack's accusation against Guybrush. Not only that, but her name also appears on the list of "Designer for a Day Finalists" in the end credits of Chapter 4.
  • BioShock Infinite held a contest to get a fan's name in the game. The winner was a fellow named Payton Lane Easter who is now the proud owner of a robot horse company.
  • The winner of a contest at E3 2009, Charlie Malone, was made into a patient in Trauma Team.
  • Felix the Fish, the mascot of Big Fish Games, was concealed in one of the Hidden Object Game scenes of Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst. Finding and clicking on him opened a screen which enabled the player to enter a contest, the winner of whom got to have their likeness included in a later MCF game. (Humorously, the contest ended in March 2007 - but they never removed the contest from the game. This means that if you buy the game even now, Felix is in there and clicking on him will still bring up that screen.)
  • As part of the Retroactive Legacy related to Dark Void Zero, Capcom created a fictional contest that a young Jimmy Fallon won to get an appearance in the game. Said "cameo" consisted of him being unceremoniously killed off before the main character could find him.
  • To promote Grand Theft Auto V, Rockstar ran a contest a few months before the game came out for people to have their faces scanned into the game, where they will appear as members of the Epsilon Program. The five winners can be seen here.
  • People who donated a certain amount of money to the Kickstarter project for Mighty No. 9 were given the right to have their likeness appear in the game, in what the Kickstarter page described as a place where they would be easily noticeable, and yet not distracting to players who don't want to see cartoonified Kickstarter backers.
  • Season 1 of The Walking Dead (Telltale) had a contest where the winner would show up, get killed, turned into a zombie, and killed again. The winner of this was Brie in the game. There's also four zombies based on other contest winners.
  • The creator of Pokémon Prism held a Facebook contest involving custom moves. The 13 winners, in addition to having their moves put in the game, got the opportunity to cameo as AI-controlled trainers.
  • Parodied in Deadpool, when Deadpool encounters and kills the "contest winner who was supposed to appear in this game", whose head seems to be crudely pasted onto a generic flying enemy.
  • TinkerQuarry had two YCH (your character here) raffles over the course of its development:
    • On July 5th, 2017, Wraith, the developer, announced a raffle for fans of the game to send in their ideas for characters. On the 15th, three characters (Tenor, Camime, and Charles) were chosen randomly to receive NPC roles in the game, and they were added in an update on September 4.
    • From December 10-20 of the same year, Wraith held another YCH raffle, this time for fans to submit their own shopkeeper character, only this time, Wraith added an extra rule: The character's name had to start with W, to fit with the Alphabetical Theme Naming of the other shopkeepers in the game. The winner was an airplane-like toy named Wemblin, who was added to the game in a later update.
  • In BattleTech, Kickstarter backers of a certain tier or higher were rewarded with the opportunity to design a hirable pilot and characterize them.
  • The Hall of Champions in Shovel Knight is a place where people who donated at least $200 to the Kickstarter campaign are immortalized on portraits. Higher-level donors, meanwhile, had their own boss characters added to the game (Reize Seatlan, Mr. Hat, The Baz, and Phantom Striker - like Kick-Ass's real name and Erek King above, Reize ascended into a plot-critical character in the Specter of Torment campaign.)
  • The 2010 remake of NBA Jam held a contest for fans to submit new catchphrases for the game, and the winners received a "Special Thanks" in the credits. One of the winners was a young man named Austin Hargrave, better known later on as PeanutButterGamer.
  • In Madden 12, Hope Bromley won a contest and got her likeness put into the game as a free agency quarterback.
  • During the development of Yakuza: Like a Dragon, SEGA held an open audition for a potential female party member. The top four runner-ups were given parts as NPCs in which they played fictionalized versions of themselves while the winner Eri Kamataki was not only made an Optional Party Member but also the central figure of the business minigame questline.
  • Armored Core:
  • Splatoon:
    • The Japanese magazine Famitsu ran two gear design contests, one for the first game and another for its sequel, where the winning designs would be added to the game. The first contest was held in 2015, with the winning design being based off a traditional Japanese chef. The winner of the second contest, held in 2017, was based on a ghillie suit. Famitsu also held a graffiti design contest for Splatoon 2 at the same time; of which the winning entry was featured in the Walleye Warehouse stage.
    • CoroCoro, a Japanese manga magazine that publishes the official Splatoon manga, held a design contest of their own in 2019, where participants were given a template to make a design from. The winning design was a Mecha-inspired armored suit with a huge claw, and was added into Splatoon 2 as a set of gear items. However, it could only be obtained via an exclusive code from CoroCoro for a limited time, and the codes would only work for Japanese copies of the game, making the gear unobtainable for the rest of the world.

  • Ava's Demon held a Kickstarter and the highest donators received portraits of themselves by the artist as well as their own fan demon. Seems mundane, up until the donators appeared again - in Titan's base.
  • Drowtales readers are able to buy their way into the story, to fill character slots needed for larger chapters, where too many characters will be needed for the writers to create themselves. The readers who do so create their own character fitting the canon of the Drowverse, which are then included and put into the story. These roles can range from the reader created cameo appearing in a single panel in the background, to a small spoken role, to a side character for that chapter.
    • A fan run competition is currently being held up until December 28th, to create a character and put it up for voting, the winners of which will get their way into the story with their character paid for by the competition runners.
  • Sluggy Freelance occasionally features characters based on fans who contribute to the fandom in some extraordinary way, usually as background characters during Halloween Party strips, or as minor characters who get killed off in some messy fashion.
  • Kagerou has a contest to be killed on panel. The winner (and explanation) can be seen here.
  • Every year, Penny Arcade auctions off an appearance in their comics for charity. The first time got amusingly meta.
    • As have some other strips.
    • In the first episode of Penny Arcade Adventures, there is a listing in the credits with the title: "That guy who paid us a lot of money to be in the game."
    • Several of the auctions have been won by a guy named Wil Shipley, who writes software for Macs, or to put it another way, gets HAND jobs from STEVE Jobs.
  • Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures pretty much got its start this way...
  • Isla Aukate uses this frequently to populate minions as background extras. Some have even become Ascended Extras to the point of having their own (commissioned) story arcs.
  • Toward the end of It's Walky!, many of the die-hard message board fans were made into members of the army, and were, naturally, horribly killed.
  • The Cyantian Chronicles: There's several instances, but the most notable is the fan scripted bonus comic at the end of Akaelae # 5. Although, The Scripting Game only let me cameo as the writer. It didn't get a character included.
  • Connecticon '07 auctioned off a guest spot in Something*Positive. Randy put the winner in and hung perhaps the world's biggest lampshade on the practice.
  • Kevin & Kell has had a number of these.
  • Least I Could Do: For its Valentine's Day Episodes, there's a contest where the winner gets to go on a date with a character of their choosing (which means, yes, they get to live out their Perverse Sexual Lust). Interestingly, Butt-Monkey John has had the most luck so far with two dates; protagonist Rayne has also had two, but one was with a gay man and the other was with a beautiful blonde, but the rest of the cast did their best to sabotage it.
  • As a joke for Homestuck's Kickstarter Project, Andrew Hussie offered to canonize the fantroll of anyone who donated $10,000 or more. Well, two people took him up on that offer. And here they are! And now they aren't. (They didn't donate enough to have them survive for more than a single panel).
  • Similarly, Skin Horse offered an appearance in the strip as a reward in their Kickstarter, which several people took them up on. They were all eaten by zombies. Later Kickstarter backers have mostly survived, although one was turned into a dragon.
  • Slobber, a ridiculously cute pug-faced gnoll from Rusty and Co., turns out to be based on a winner's pet.
  • The top reward in The Order of the Stick's Kickstarter drive was a walk-on cameo, eventually fulfilled with Veldrina the elven priestess (who Rich Burlew decided to give a larger role than originally planned). Veldrina's bodyguard Wrecan is a tribute to a late member of the comic's forum. In typical style, Rich pokes some fun at himself for how long it took to get there.
  • The biggest backer of the Kickstarter for The Non-Adventures of Wonderella got to go on a date with the title character. It ... didn't go well.
  • Neo Yi, of Chess Piece, had a couple of contests, the winners of which would have their OCs featured. Said OCs only appeared in one page and got two or three lines, but still.

    Web Original 
  • This Weebl & Bob cartoon had the winner of an Ebay charity auction animated into it. Yes, that's his face with rocket parts on it, being driven by aliens going shopping.
  • We're Alive auctioned off a cameo role on eBay to help pay for tickets to the Audie Awards. The winner showed up as Dr. Guin in Chapter 29-3.
  • How It Should Have Ended had a contest to celebrate their 100th video. The contest winner had his likeness drawn into the Return of the Jedi spoof, as the Imperial Officer who reports to Palpatine that the exhaust ports have been replaced with a giant passageway straight to the core reactor on the new Death Star.
  • One of the authors of Darwin's Soldiers auctioned off a background character name for Team Fortress 2 items. Only two people bid, so second place got in for free.

    Web Video 
  • Economy Watch: David made an Instagram story in December 2022, asking viewers if they wanted to have a brief cameo in the Season 2 finale, and hosting a competition for it. User "Ebbflick Productions" on Instagram won, and he had a cameo in the episode.
  • A staple in many Object Shows: Recommended characters submitted by the subscribers. How they're submitted is dependant on the show. Played straight when said characters have a chance to actually join the show.

    Western Animation 
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force had a contest sponsored by Burger King for the role of Carl in their live action episode.
  • BoJack Horseman had an Omaze campaign leading up to its final season, where the winner would not only attend the wrap party, but have a background character modeled after them. The winner was a woman named Charlie.
  • Celebrity Deathmatch did this twice. The first time, the contest winner had their spleen ripped out by John Tesh after they requested it, feeling that it would be an honor. The second time, the contest winner's soul was sold to the Devil by the hosts in exchange for the Backstreet Boys and **NSYNC, who fans had requested to fight each other (both having been killed in previous matches — the Backstreet Boys by the Beastie Boys, and *NSYNC by KISS).
  • An episode of Codename: Kids Next Door featured a brief cameo from a contest winner, who was put in the show as "Numbuh 24". He stood out because the design of his character's face had a lot more detail than the rest and, after he did his bit ("check to make sure the way is clear" or something) he popped up for a split second to give the audience a thumbs-up.
  • The Dexter's Laboratory episode "Dexter and Computress Get Mandark" was based on a story written by a kid who submitted a story for the show and he himself narrated the episode.
  • Drawn Together did one of these at the insistence of the network, which the creators were not happy about. The eventual winner was featured in a scene in the episode "Spelling Applebee's" as a waiter who makes out with Captain Hero then later masturbates into his food.
  • The Flintstone Kids had an in-universe example. Fred and Barney won a contest to appear in an episode of Captain Caveman and Son. They just cameoed.
  • In The Ren & Stimpy Show episode "A Visit To Anthony's" the boy Anthony was a winner of a contest to appear on the show.
  • Robot Chicken once had a contest winner appear on the show... only to get murdered on-stage by Seth Green. But hey, least he also got a PlayStation 3 out of the deal, too.
  • The Simpsons:
    • The two-parter "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" had a contest wherein the person correctly guessing the resolution to the season-ending Cliffhanger would be animated into an episode. But nobody won the contest: Only one viewer correctly followed the episode's trail of evidence and concluded that Maggie did the deed, but that person never signed up for the contest.
      • Much to showrunner David Mirkin's chagrin, the terms of the promotion forced him to declare a winner out of a batch of one thousand random samples, all incorrect. As he notes in the season 7 DVD Commentary, they just picked a woman who guessed that Smithers (who shot Mr. Burns in an alternate ending created as Foiler Footage) did it, paid her off, and no one even noticed.
    • Also the episode "Million Dollar Maybe" was part of The Simpsons "Best. Character. Ever." contest. The winning character "Ricardo Bomba" was shown for less than 30 seconds before crashing his car, which also explodes.
    • Another Simpsons contest they had was the "Create-A-Couch-Gag" contest where the winner gets their couch gag animated onto the last episode of the 24th season. The winner in America was a woman named Cheryl Brown, and her couch gag had five dandelions on the couch, and the screen filling with tiny airborne Homers, Marges, Barts, Lisas, and Maggies when the TV sneezes. In Canada, the winning Couch Gag was a simple one where The Simpsons share the couch with a Canadian loon, John A. MacDonald, a hockey player, and a Canadian beaver.
  • Played for Laughs in the South Park episode "Red Man's Greed". Throughout the episode, we see a random kid with "ALEX" written on his shirt, who gives fairly pointless lines that could have been cut. He does, however, manage to give An Aesop at the end, leading to the very last exchange of the episode:
    Stan: ...Dude, who the hell are you?
    Alex: Alex. Alex Glick? (Beat) I got to come on and do the guest voice thingy.
    Kyle: What?! Get the hell out of here!
    Alex: (walks off-screen waving) Hi Mom! Hi Dad! Hi Jill!
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man episode "Gangland" had a cameo from a school which won a contest to be animated in the series.
  • Total Drama did this in the season finale, with the winner of an online contest being used as a test subject for part of their final Death Course. Of course, they just had to make the winner get to fall into a gorge, and it is inferred he was eaten by sharks.
  • On a weekend morning show in the UK, there was a contest where a kid could have a background character in The Weekenders based on them. It's not known if they ever went through with this.
  • Towards the end of 1998, Disney and McDonald's ran a promotion where a kid (three to twelve years old) would get to appear on an episode of Recess in the show's third or fourth season (both ran at the same time; season three on ABC and season four on UPN/syndication), as well as winning a trip to Disneyland (and the second prize winners were given a Recess themed birthday party). The winner, Morgan (last name currently unavailable), appeared in season four's "The Rules" (he was the kid playing the crabgrass).
  • The PBS show Arthur featured an episode in which the cast entered a contest to propose a story idea, which was won by the avatar of the girl who submitted the premise for that episode.
  • The rampaging Drone from the Hero Factory TV mini series was designed by a member of the BZPower forums for the official BIONICLE Building Contest #53. It appeared in a flashback in episode 3, and later, rebuilt as a monument, in episode 4.
  • 6teen had at least two of these during its run. The first winner appeared as Jonesy's boss in the episode "Snow Job". The other one showed up sometime during season 3.
  • When Kids' WB! first came out, they had a contest tying in with its premiere which invited kids to answer questions related to the shows they were offering. If you got them all correct, you'd be entered to win a trip to Hollywood and (among other things) have a caricature of yourself appear in one of Kids WB's shows (exactly which one they appeared on, if at all, is currently unknown).
  • Phineas and Ferb
    • In the episode "Tour de Ferb", there is a Fireside Girl with light brown hair who was designed after the winner of a Radio Disney contest.
    • In the Italian dub, the kid who rips away the rollercoster poster in the first episode and thanks Phineas for the ride at the end was voiced by a contest winner.
  • Actor David Castro's career started when he won a Nickelodeon contest to appear in a SpongeBob SquarePants commercial.
  • Daria's Grand Finale movie "Is It College Yet?" included some new backgrounders who were this. ("Alien Victory" and "Winner" on this list.)
  • A re-run of the Teen Titans Go! episode "Beast Girl" on March 2, 2018 ended with a promo showing winners of a drawing contest that the network held to promote the episode.
  • Rick and Morty once had a contest where the winner would do the voice for an alien who would be killed by Rick.
  • The girl Marcie who narrated the opening to the Romeo and Juliet play in the Hey Arnold! episode “School Play” was voiced by a girl who had won a contest to appear on the show.
  • According to this article, Embassy Suites held a contest where the winner would star in a three-minute Rugrats short. It is unknown if the short was ever made and who the winner was.