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Written by Cast Member

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"The brave and magnificent Ozan, who writes his own examine text."

Sometimes actors want to have a say in the words they're given; sometimes they want to stretch their artistic muscles; sometimes they look at the scripts they have to do and think, "I could do better than this!" When this happens, and the producers are on their side (or the network is), you have something written by a cast member.

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Much less prevalent than Directed by Cast Member, particularly in these days of arc-driven television. Writing is less glamorous than directing, for one thing, and it's harder to develop a story from scratch than to bring someone else's to the screen.

Key to both of these tropes is that the actor gets into writing or directing through the show they're on, without having a previous background in it (let alone being the series creator). For the opposite direction of crossover, see Descended Creator and Creator Cameo. For shows where the cast and the writing staff heavily overlap, see Cast Full of Writers.


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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Kaori Yamagata—under the pen name Sakurako Akino—voiced Queen Pumpkin in The Movie for Go! Princess Pretty Cure and was also the writer for one of the movie’s three acts. She later wrote the novel sequel to the movie under the same pseudonym.

    Literature 
  • Doctor Who:
    • Ian Marter, who played Dr. Harry Sullivan, subsequently wrote several of the Doctor Who Novelisations, as well as an entirely original novel featuring Harry as the protagonist, Harry Sullivan's War. Marter and Tom Baker co-wrote a speculative script for a Doctor Who movie during their time together on the show, which eventually ended up as a novel called Doctor Who Meets Scratchman — as Marter had died in the meantime the novelisation was a collaboration with Whoniverse writer James Goss.
    • Sophie Aldred, who played Ace, wrote the New Series Adventures novel At Childhood's End, in which Ace is reunited with the Thirteenth Doctor.
  • Has happened a few times in the Star Trek franchise:
    • Andrew Robinson, who played Elim Garak in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, wrote a spin-off novel, A Stitch in Time, centering on the character.
    • J G Hertzler, who played several roles in the franchise, most notably the Klingon military officer and politician Martok and the outlaw Founder Laas in Deep Space 9, co-wrote two novels centering on Martok.
    • William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk, co-wrote a series of novels known as the "Shatnerverse", which take place in an Alternate Timeline in which Kirk is resurrected after his main-canon death in Star Trek: Generations.
    • Armin Shimmerman, who played Quark in Deep Space Nine, co-wrote The 34th Rule with David R. George III. In addition to starring Quark, it cameos a number of other Ferengi Shimmerman played over the course of TNG, with Quark insisting they only look alike to hew-mons.
    • John de Lancie, who played Q, co-wrote I, Q with Peter David.
  • Paul Darrow, who played Avon in Blake's 7, wrote an officially-licensed spin-off novel, Avon: A Terrible Aspect, which gives his own preferred version of his character's pre-show backstory.

    Films — Live-Action 
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    Live-Action TV 

     Professional Wrestling 

    Radio 
  • In 1955, The Archers had an episode where Grace Archer, the wife of Phil, was killed off. (It may or may not have been a coincidence that the episode went out on BBC radio the very night commercial television began.) The script had Grace's fate be conveyed in the final line of dialogue thus: "She... she died in my arms... on the way to hospital," but Norman Painting, who played Phil, suggested the line go "In my arms... on the way to hospital... she's dead!" Suffice to say that not only was this one of the most talked-about episodes of the soap, but Painting went on to write many, many episodes (and the book Forever Ambridge � 25 Years of The Archers), as well as act in them.
  • Louise Jameson, who played Leela in Doctor Who, wrote a Fourth Doctor and Leela audio drama for Big Finish Doctor Who, "The Abandoned."
  • Most of the episodes of The Men from the Ministry were co-written by John Graham, who also played most of the side-characters such as Lord Stilton and Mr. Crawley.

    Theater 
  • In Godspell, "By My Side," the only song retained from the original Off-Off-Broadway production, was composed by its performers, Peggy Gordon and Gilmer McCormick (with lyrics by non-cast-member Jay Hamburger).
  • Both of the two musicals written by Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights and Hamilton) featured him performing in the lead role in both their original Off-Broadway runs and their original Broadway casts.

    Western Animation 
  • Dan Castellaneta has so far written eight episodes of The Simpsons with his wife Deb Lacusta ("Days Of Wine And D'oh'ses"note , "Gump Roast"note , "The Ziff Who Came To Dinner,"note  "Kiss Kiss Bang Bangalore,"note  "The Fight Before Christmas,"note  "A Midsummer's Nice Dream,"note , "The Ten-Per-Cent Solution"note , and most recently "Havana Wild Weekend"note ).
    • He also co-wrote at least one sketch of The Tracey Ullman Show.
    • Despite Guest Star Ricky Gervais getting credit for writing the season 17 episode, Homer Simpson, This Is Your Wife, he admits that he didn't really write much of it. He said that he only wrote the plot (which was his wife's idea), a couple of jokes and the song.
    • Guest star Seth Rogen co-wrote the episode "Homer The Whopper".
    • Harry Shearer, who voices Ned Flanders, Mr. Burns, Smithers, Principal Skinner, etc. wrote a season 28 episode "Trust but Clarify".
    • Nancy Cartwright, voice actress of Bart, Ralph, Nelson, etc. wrote the season 30 episode "Girl's in the Band".
  • Jack Mercer not only voiced Popeye but wrote several of his screen exploits.
  • Will Friedle has written two episodes of Thunder Cats 2011: "The Trials of Lion-O - Part  and "Birth of the Blades". Both focus on his character, Lion-O.
  • Voice actor Billy West received co-author credit on the The Ren & Stimpy Show episode "Ol' Blue Nose".
    • Likewise, Eric Bauza, who voiced Stimpy on Adult Party Cartoon, co-wrote the episode "Altruists".
  • April Winchell, the voice of Miss Finster, also did some punch-up writing for Recess: School's Out
  • On Mickey's Christmas Carol, Alan Young, the voice of Scrooge, receives a story credit.
  • Some episodes of Spliced were written by Mike Kiss, who also voices Mister Smarty Smarts.
    • Mike Kiss also appears in Fangbone! as the voice of Twinkle-stick and wrote the episode "The Ball of Clobbering".
  • The Tiny Toon Adventures episode "Best of Buster Day"note  was co-written by Charlie Adler, who voices Buster.
  • Rocko's Modern Life episodes ""Gutter Balls" and "Rocko's Happy Vermin" were co-written by Carlos Alazraqui, who voices Rocko.
    • Mr. Lawrence was a writer for the show on the first three seasons.
  • The TV special Garfield on the Town was co-written by Lorenzo Music, who voiced Garfield.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy episodes "The Bad News Ghouls" and "Keeper of the Reaper" were co-written by Richard Steven Horvitz, who voices Billy.
  • Like Rocko's Modern Life, Mr. Lawrence (who voices Plankton, Larry and various characters) wrote for SpongeBob SquarePants during the first two seasons. He returned to the show in Season 7. As of season 10, he's now the story editor.
  • Katie Crown (who voices Mary and Ms. Baker) wrote a handful of episodes in the second half of Clarence's first season.
  • Charlyne Yi, Chloe's VA, was credited for the story of the We Bare Bears episode "Chloe and Ice Bear".
  • Wander over Yonder: Sam Riegel, who voiced Emperor Awesome and voice directed the show, wrote 3 episodes ("The Bad Hatter", "The Bad Neighbors", and "The Robomechabotatron").
    • He also wrote an episode of another show he voiced directed, Pickle and Peanut, where he voiced a one-shot character.
  • The Bobby's World episode "Bobby Phone Home" was written by Tino Insana, the voice of Uncle Ted.
  • One episode of Ben 10: Omniverse was written by Ben's voice actor, Yuri Lowenthal.
  • Back at the Barnyard: The episode "Little Otis" was written by Chris Hardwick, who voices Otis.
  • One episode of Sonic Boom, titled Give Bees A Chance, was written by Cindy Robinson (Amy's voice actress).
  • The pilot episode to Puppy Dog Pals, "Hawaii Pug-Oh", was written by Harland Williams, the creator of the show and the voice of Bob.
  • Some episodes of Avenger Penguins were co-written by Jimmy Hibbert (the voice of the Avenger Penguin Bluey, Bella, the brown Badly Drawn Brother, Poodle Stink, and Caractacus P. Doom's lackey Harry Slime) and Rob Rackstraw (the voice of the Avenger Penguin Rocky, the Doc from Saskatoon, Cecil Stink, and the Avenger Penguins' mechanic Irv).
    • Fantomcat had one episode written by Lorelei King, as well as other episodes written by Jimmy Hibbert and Rob Rackstraw.
  • On Looney Tunes: Rabbits Run, Rachel Ramras (the voice of Lola Bunny) co-wrote the script and one of the songs, as well as serving as one of the voice directors.
  • A few episodes of Avengers, Assemble! were written by Trevor Devall, who voices Ares, Klaue, and Rocket Raccoon.
  • The The Super Hero Squad Show episode "Missing Impossible" was co-written by Iron Man's voice actor, Tom Kenny.
  • The Muppet Babies (2018) episode "Grandpa Camp" was co-written by Matt Danner, the voices of Kermit, Waldorf, and Beaker.
  • Iris Rainer wrote several episodes of Rankin-Bass' The Osmonds, in additional to voicing female characters.
  • Though the 200th episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, "Sparkle's Seven", is written by Nicole Dubuc and Josh Haber, the story itself was conceived by Tara Strong (Twilight Sparkle), Ashleigh Ball (Applejack and Rainbow Dash), Andrea Libman (Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie), Tabitha St. Germain (Rarity), and Cathy Weseluck (Spike), combining story ideas they've wanted to do with their respective characters for years.
  • Toad Patrol:
    • "Trapped" was co-written by Rick Jones, who voiced Puffball. Slightly inverted in that Rick also has writing credits for several other Canadian shows.
    • "Castaway" was written by Nancy Neilson, the second voice actress for Elf Cup.
  • One episode of Bob the Builder was written by Lorelei King, the U.S. dub actor for Wendy.
  • A few episodes of Glitch Techs were written by Ashly Burch , who voices K. Moon.
  • A 1954 Mr. Magoo cartoon "Destination Magoo" was written by Jim Backus and Jerry Hausner, voice actors for Magoo and Waldo respectively.
  • Several episodes of the Beetle Bailey cartoon from the 1960s were written by Allan Melvin and Howie Morris, who voiced several characters in the show (Morris voiced Beetle, among others).
  • The Big City Greens episode Present Tense was co-written by Tilly's voice actress, Marieve Herington .
  • Legend of the Three Caballeros: Tony Anselmo has voiced Donald for so long, Matt Danner had him work as a consultant in each episode in order to make sure he was portrayed as accurately as possible.
  • The Teen Titans Go! episode "Stockton CA!" was written by Starfire's voice actress, Hynden Walch.


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