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27 TV Actors Who Were So Good At Their Jobs, They Made A Lasting Impression With Only One Episode
Carrie Fisher's episode of 30 Rock remains one of the funniest TV episodes of all time.by Nora Dominick
Some of my favorite TV episodes often include when an actor guest stars and absolutely knocks it out of the park. While sometimes guest stars become so popular they return for multiple episodes, I always find it impressive when they only appear in one episode and make a lasting impression. So, here are some of the very best actors who starred in ONE episode of a TV show and were so memorable:
Warning: In order to show some of their very best scenes, there are spoilers in the photos ahead!
1. First, Grace Van Dien as Chrissy Cunningham on Stranger Things
Episode she appeared in: Season 4, Episode 1: "Chapter One: The Hellfire Club"
2. Sterling K. Brown as Philip Davidson on Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Episode he appeared in: Season 5, Episode 14: "The Box"
3. Patty Guggenheim as Madisynn on She-Hulk: Attorney at Law
Disney+ / Marvel
Episode she appeared in: Season 1, Episode 4: "Is This Not Real Magic?"
4. Bruce A. Young as Tom Maynard on Grey's Anatomy
Episode she appeared in: Season 2, Episode 6: "Into You Like a Train"*
*Monica Keena, who played Bonnie, appeared in one more episode after this.
5. Sarah Paulson as young Dr. Ellis Grey on Grey's Anatomy
Episode she appeared in: Season 6, Episode 15: "The Time Warp"
6. Carey Mulligan as Sally Sparrow on Doctor Who
Episode she appeared in: Season 3, Episode 10: "Blink"
7. Randall Park as Steve, aka Asian Jim Halpert, on The Office
Episode he appeared in: Season 9, Episode 3: "Andy's Ancestry"
8. Nanna Blondell as Lady Laena Velaryon on House of the Dragon
Episode she appeared in: Season 1, Episode 6: "The Princess and the Queen"
9. Chloe Fineman as Sylvia Plath on Dickinson
Episode she appeared in: Season 3, Episode 7: "The Future never spoke"
10. Carrie Fisher as Rosemary Howard on 30 Rock
Episode she appeared in: Season 2, Episode 4: "Rosemary's Baby"
11. Marlon Wayans as Lou on Bel-Air
Episode he appeared in: Season 1, Episode 10: "Where To?"
12. Lin-Manuel Miranda as Guillermo on Modern Family
Episode he appeared in: Season 2, Episode 22: "Good Cop Bad Dog"
13. Hilarie Burton as Lucille Smith on The Walking Dead
Episode she appeared in: Season 10, Episode 22: "Here's Negan"
14. Laura Dern as Susan on Ellen
ABC / Via youtu.be
Episode she appeared in: Season 4, Episode 22: "The Puppy Episode"
15. Michelle Trachtenberg as Diane Turner on Criminal Minds
Episode she appeared in: Season 8, Episode 12: "Zugzwang"
16. Brian Tyree Henry as Ricky on This Is Us
Episode he appeared in: Season 1, Episode 16: "Memphis"
17. Bea Arthur as Mrs. White on Malcolm in the Middle
Episode she appeared in: Season 1, Episode 16: "Water Park"
18. Dolly Parton as Agnes on Grace and Frankie
Episode she appeared in: Season 7, Episode 16: "The Beginning"
19. Tim Curry as Nigel St. Nigel on Psych
Episode he appeared in: Season 2, Episode 1: "American Duos"
20. Stephanie Beatriz as Pilar on One Day at a Time
Episode she appeared in: Season 3, Episode 1: "The Funeral"
21. Ferdinand Kingsley as Hob Gadling on The Sandman
Episode he appeared in: Season 1, Episode 6: "The Sound of Her Wings"
22. Andy Samberg as Carl the Park Ranger on Parks and Rec
Episode he appeared in: Season 2, Episode 19: "Park Safety"
23. Dylan O'Brien as The Guy on New Girl
Episode he appeared in: Season 2, Episode 23: "Virgins"
24. Lisa Kudrow as Hypatia on The Good Place
Episode she appeared in: Season 4, Episode 12: "Patty"
25. Robin Williams as Merritt Rook on Law & Order: SVU
Episode he appeared in: Season 9, Episode 17: "Authority"
26. Carol Burnett as Bridget "Birdie" Sulloway on Law & Order: SVU
Episode she appeared in: Season 10, Episode 16: "Ballerina"
*Matthew Lillard is also SO good in this episode as Chet.
27. And finally, James Earl Jones as himself on The Big Bang Theory
Episode he appeared in: Season 7, Episode 14: "The Convention Conundrum"
We can't fit everyone into one post, so which other actors who only appeared in ONE episode are the best and why? Tell us in the comments below!
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