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Top 10 Horribly Awkward TV Cameos

VO: Matthew Wende WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
Well, that was unnecessary. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top ten most awkward TV cameos ever. For this list, we’ll be looking at unnecessary and awkward cameos and minor roles from celebrities in a television show, whether they’re playing themselves or a fictional character. We won’t be considering the celebrities’ acting talent, unless of course, it’s bad enough to drag down whole scenes, but we’ll be focusing on how awkward, needless, fan-pandering, or immersion-breaking the cameo or minor role was. Have an idea you want to see made into a WatchMojo video? Check out our suggest page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and submit your idea.
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Well, that was unnecessary. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top ten most awkward TV cameos ever.

For this list, we’ll be looking at unnecessary and awkward cameos and minor roles from celebrities in a television show, whether they’re playing themselves or a fictional character. We won’t be considering the celebrities’ acting talent, unless of course, it’s bad enough to drag down whole scenes, but we’ll be focusing on how awkward, needless, fan-pandering, or immersion-breaking the cameo or minor role was.

#10: Jean-Claude Van Damme


“Friends” (1994-2004)

We know we just said that we wouldn’t be taking acting ability into account, but holy cow is Jean-Claude Van Damme really not in his element here. Granted, he was never really known for his acting prowess, but rather for his fighting skills. Jean-Claude Van Damme appeared in the Friends’ Season 2 episode “The One After the Superbowl,” and that title is rather indicative of the episode’s overall quality. It’s clear that they wanted to capture as many demographics as possible, which included the masculine fans of football and of Van Damme who wouldn’t normally tune in to “Friends.” His awkward and chemistry-free inclusion felt like a relatively obvious ratings ploy.

#9: Pete Wentz


“One Tree Hill” (2003-12)

Some musicians make a flawless transition from music to screen – think Will Smith or David Bowie. Others, like Pete Wentz, should probably stay in the recording booth. Wentz, the bassist and lyricist of rock band Fall Out Boy, appeared with the entire band in the One Tree Hill episode “An Attempt to Tip the Scales,” playing their song “Dance, Dance.” Fair enough. A scripted performance by a popular band is always a welcome addition to any teen-centric series. However, things get a little dicey when Wentz starts dating Peyton later in the season. He’s… not the greatest actor, and his forced inclusion feels like more like fan-baiting than a worthwhile story addition.

#8: Chris Brown


“The O.C.” (2003-07)

Chris Brown appeared for a three-episode arc in the fourth season of “The O.C.,” which aired in 2007. Yes, this was before the Rihanna incident, when Chris Brown was a significantly less loaded name. But this O.C. cameo wasn’t very good nonetheless. Brown plays Will, an intelligent student who takes the rebellious Kaitlin under his wing as her tutor, and the two soon grow an attachment. It’s typical high school drama TV, but it’s brought down by Brown’s rather inadequate acting. He mumbles through his lines, delivers them as if he’s reading off a cue card, and conveys the same expression no matter the content of the scene.

#7: Ed Sheeran


“Game of Thrones” (2011-)

“Game of Thrones” has been a lot of things over the years - gruesome, bleak, provocative and absolutely addictive. But it wasn’t really the sort of show to include celebrity cameos. And then suddenly, in season 7, they inserted one of the most popular pop artists of the decade with no narrative justification... Of course, if you don’t know who Sheeran is, his cameo may have slipped by you, as he wasn’t singing “Shape of You” or doing anything to draw attention to himself. But millions DID recognize him, and many of them saw this as a pointless, immersion-breaking cameo in an otherwise respectable drama.

#6: Larry David


“Hannah Montana” (2006-11)

If there’s a group of people who would appreciate a Larry David cameo, it’s Hannah Montana’s demographic, right? Larry David, creator of two of the most acclaimed comedies in television history – “Seinfeld” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” – seemingly randomly appeared in the episode “My Best Friend’s Boyfriend,” playing the typical Larry David character. He certainly wasn’t bad by any means – in fact, he was quite funny. It’s just incredibly jarring seeing a comedy legend appear in a children’s show, and his brand of comedy doesn’t really mesh with that of “Hannah Montana”’s. David’s appearance allowed him to get his real daughters – who are big fans - on the show, but that doesn’t excuse the awkward pairing.

#5: Kevin Federline


“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (2000-15)

Remember when Kevin Federline was a thing? Good times. Federline appeared in the season seven episode of CSI entitled “Fannysmackin’,” and it was every bit as embarrassing as you would imagine. He played Cole Tritt, the ringleader of a gang and in one scene, Federline being punched in the stomach after taunting Nick. This moment almost seems to be some form of wish-fulfillment, as Federline’s reputation was still in the dumps around the time of this episode’s initial airing, mostly for leaving the pregnant Shar Jackson for Britney Spears some time before. The question this cameo raises is why cast Federline when a more experienced actor could do better?

#4: Bristol Palin


“The Secret Life of the American Teenager” (2008-13)

Was it really necessary to cast Bristol Palin, daughter of the often-mocked politician, Sarah Palin? We’ll answer that for you: no. With this performance, Bristol proved that she has no business or future in scripted television, delivering arguably one of the most uncomfortable performances in popular television history. Her line delivery is utterly robotic, and her facial expression never changes. It’s like watching a cyborg, or a video game dialogue sequence in real life. It’s so forced that you assume the character is supposed to be acting off, as if she’s setting up Amy to be murdered just outside the room.

#3: Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage & Ric Flair


“Baywatch” (1989-90; 1991-2001)

The ‘80s and ‘90s boasted some of the most iconic wrestlers in the history of the industry, such as Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, and Ric Flair. You know what else was popular in the ‘90s? Baywatch! And you better believe that the two were brought together. The result? One of the most silly episodes of television you’ll ever watch. The three wrestlers appeared in the episode “Bash at the Beach”, fittingly named after (and shamelessly promoting) the WCW pay-per-view event. The story revolved around Ric Flair challenging both Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage to a wrestling match to decide the fate of a youth center. We wish we were making this up.

#2: Justin Bieber


“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (2000-15)

Who. On. Earth. Greenlighted Justin Bieber to be in an episode of “CSI?” Oh, excuse us, TWO episodes of “CSI,” because… why not?! Bieber appeared in the eleventh season as Jason McCann, a serial killer and bomber. Yes, they cast Justin Bieber as a serial killer, and that was the moment when many fans would say “CSI” lost all credibility. Bieber’s acting is wooden at best, and his boyish appearance and squeaky voice is about as threatening as your kindly grandmother who bakes cookies. And then they shoot him, which, like Federline, was almost certainly scripted solely to go viral...



Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.



Lance Bass

“7th Heaven” (1996-2007)



Michael Phelps

“Entourage” (2004-11)


Boy George

“The A-Team” (1983-87)



#1: Kim & Khloé Kardashian


“90210” (2008-13)

These two aren’t number one for the sole reason of their being Kardashians. Even Snoop Dogg was really awkward on 902010, and we love us some Snoop Dogg. To the Kardashians’ credit, they aren’t the worst actresses ever. It’s just a completely pointless and grating scene that serves no purpose other than to scream, “Look, we have the Kardashians on our show!” and to promote their sisters’ expensive and luxurious clothing line. Combining a cringe-worthy storyline, some could-be-better performances and shameless celebrity advertising, this cameo just had to top our list.
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