The 10 Best Cameos on Girls

The 10 Best Cameos on Girls EXPAND
Mark Schafer / HBO

The Queens of Quirk from Girls will be back on HBO this Sunday to kick off their fifth season. It doesn't seem that long ago that we first met Hannah Horvath (Lena Dunham), her best friend Marnie Michaels (Allison Williams), college friend Jessa Johannason (Jemima Kirke), and Jessa's cousin Shoshanna Shapiro (Zosia Mamet.) We've watched them glide, tumble, and bounce back from normal and not-so-normal 20-something situations, learn their lessons, then have to learn them again. 

These characters don't exist in a vacuum though. Some of the show's standout moments have come from the other series regulars, namely the bros to these babes: Adam Sackler (Adam Driver), Ray Ploshansky (Alex Karpovsky), and Elijah Krantz (Andrew Rannells.) They've also come from guest appearances by a variety of stars from TV, film ,and music, many of which have brief, but impactful interactions with the female foursome. Here are some of our favorites.

Amy Schumer
"
Angie"
Season 2, Episode 9 ; Season 3, Episode 1

Amy Schumer has earned a spot — alongside Girls creator Lena Dunham — in the new class of "feminist" comedy (or, just awesome comedy). Her alterna-girl brand was flipped around for Angie, the wingwoman to Natalia, Adam's blink-and-you'll-miss-her flame. Angie was first introduced at her own engagement party, shaking with her ring-fingered hand and positioning Natalia as "the kind of girl who has friends who get engaged." This disparity was even further shown in an incredible opening scene where, after Adam ghosted Natalia for Hannah, they all ran into each other at Grumpy's. Angie leads the charge to confront Adam about how he hurt her, later claiming Natalia is pregnant. (She wasn't.) Natalia lists the ways in which Adam creeped her out, making you wonder how these two opposites made it last as long as they did. The best line, though, comes once it's revealed who Hannah is and she's standing right there. Angie looks her up and down and says, "Did you leave in a rush?"

The 10 Best Cameos on Girls EXPAND
Craig Blankenhorn / HBO

Marc Maron
"Ted Duffield" 
Season 4, Episodes 6 & 9

Everyone's favorite grumpy uncle took a quick break from his popular WTF Podcast and his own show, Maron, to do what he does best. Maron plays a disillusioned New York City Council member, who lashes out at a well-meaning Ray when he shows up to protest a poorly planned intersection by his apartment. This reaction leads to Ray running against Duffield and winning his own seat at the table. Their showdown might look like Ray versus his future self, but the earnest way he ran his campaign may be a sign of realizing the good things he's capable of.

The 10 Best Cameos on Girls EXPAND
Mark Schafer / HBO

Felicity Jones
"Dot"
Season 3, Episode 10 

After starring in Like Crazy and before her Oscar-nominated performance in The Theory of Everything, Jones took a quick detour from film to play Dot, the estranged daughter of Jessa's rehab fling, Jasper. After a relapse for both of them, Shoshanna sets up a dinner-turned-intervention with Dot in an effort to pull the lovebirds out from the haze of their current bender. While Jessa immediately cites her strain with her own father, Dot barrels through the "you'd be better off without me" speech of an addict and pleads with her Father to let her help him, showing the kind of unconditional love that Jessa so badly needs. 

The 10 Best Cameos on Girls EXPAND
Jessica Miglio / HBO

Ben Mendelsohn
"Salvatore" 
Season 2, Episode 7

Speaking of Jessa's captial-D Daddy issues, Mendelsohn expertly plays Papa Johansson in one of the series' first "off-campus" episodes. Jessa brings Hannah upstate with her to see him, his wife, and their son, Frank. Hannah serves as a voice of reason (surprisingly) while Jessa chips away at the life of abandonment that's all she's ever known. A few rosy moments break her down to a vulnerable place, especially when questioned by her father if he can rely on her, a trigger that explodes into her reminding him, "I am the child!" In the end, Dad falls off the planet again and after the trauma of her whirlwind marriage gone-wrong, she decides to as well. It's painful, but tears away some of the Jessa mystique and explains a lot of her motivations and behavior. 

The 10 Best Cameos on Girls EXPAND
Mark Schafer / HBO

Spike Jonze
"Marcos" 
Season 4, Episode 10

You might have to do a double-take to realize that Jonze is the scruffy record label head that inexplicably wants to sign Marnie and Desi (ugh) in the final episode of last season. He played the strange sadness of a man who overshares his personal problems in such an endearing way. He even offers to step in for an absent Desi at their showcase — that is, after insinuating that Marnie's beloved is probably dead. The prospect of more Marcos is really the only reason we want  Marine and Desi to succeed. 

 

The 10 Best Cameos on Girls EXPAND
Jessica Miglio / HBO

Kim Gordon
"Mindy"
Season 3, Episode 1

The First Lady of Sonic Youth joined an ensemble of Jessa's rehab peers, ending up on the receiving end of one of her self-important speeches. While questioning the therapist's motives during a group session, she proclaims that she had everything figured out when she was five, unlike the rest of the group. While calling out everyone's flaws, Jessa narrows in on a defensive Mindy, wondering why no one has addressed that she likes wearing scrunchies - even though she says doesn't - but she wants to wear them though. Any sort of pushback just fuels Jessa, who would later get hers by way of a hot cup of coffee in he face. *slow clap*

The 10 Best Cameos on Girls EXPAND
Jessica Miglio / HBO

Patrick Wilson
"Joshua" 
Season 2, Episode 5

Thanks in large part to Wilson's stellar performance as a wayward doctor who shacks up with Hannah, this is one of the best episodes of the series. The majority of the episode focuses on these two, after she ends up at his very grown-up apartment and temporarily navigates a life without chaos: making dinner, reading the paper, and topless ping pong. This all quickly implodes when the good doc showed his vulnerable side (namely, his failed marriage) and Hannah throws whatever is left onto the fire when she can't handle it. It's never mentioned in the series again, but was a real turning point for Hannah, and dug into the depths of what this show can accomplish with its characters. 

The 10 Best Cameos on Girls EXPAND
Jessica Miglio / HBO

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Colin Quinn
"Hermie" 
Season 2, Episode 10 ; Season 3, Episodes 3 & 4 ;  Season 4, Episode 10

As the boss man at Greenpoint's coffee staple, Grumpy's, Hermie has had influence over several characters who worked there, including Hannah, Marnie, and most importantly, Ray. He mostly swooped in periodically as a sounding board for the only 30-something of the bunch, whom he later entrusted a second location to.  It was Ray's ex Shoshanna, however, who had a life-changing encounter with Hermie when she shared her quandary about moving to Japan or staying for a guy. His advice to "lean-in"and do what she needs to do for herself pulled Shosh out from under her neurosis and onto a plane to Tokyo, where we will meet her in Season 5. 

The 10 Best Cameos on Girls EXPAND
Jessica Miglio / HBO

Danielle Brooks
"Laura" 
Season 3, Episode 1

Brooks had already come out of the gate in a big way on Orange is the New Black, playing the outspoken and generally naive inmate Taystee. As another patient of the rehab facility, she takes the most significant hit when Jessa flips her story of molestation to make the observation that Laura is gay. After much denial, she reveals that Jessa is right, but she just doesn't know how to act (and especially didn't want to play sports). This leads to an "educational" lesson from Jessa, if you catch our drift, and the final straw for the facility's staff, who kicked her to the curb.

The 10 Best Cameos on Girls EXPAND
Craig Blankenhorn / HBO

Zachary Quinto
"Ace" 

Season 4, Episodes 7 & 8

If we can glean one positive from the brief, bizarre courtship of Hannah's ex Adam and Mimi-Rose Howard, it's that it brought us her touchy-feely former flame Ace. He's puts on a big show for Adam and also Jessa, who set the lovebirds up in the first place in order to get to Ace. Eventually, he "accidentally" ends up at Mimi-Rose and Adam's apartment, confessing his love to her after not-so-accidentally telling Adam he would. Unless he ends up with a visibly scorned Jessa after Mimi-Rose rejected them both, we might not see him walking around with a toothbrush in his mouth again.


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