Film and TV

The 10 Best Cameos on Girls

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
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?"

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.

Felicity Jones
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. 

Ben Mendelsohn
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. 

Spike Jonze
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. 

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Ashley Harris is a longtime professional fangirl. You can usually find her out at concerts, movies, and live theatre, or glued to the latest Netflix revival.
Contact: Ashley Harris