If you have watched New Girl since the start, you have probably forgotten how many actual celebrities have been on the show. For some, they were relatively unknown when they made their New Girl cameos, but are now award-winning actors on hit shows. Others, however, came through and were quite the big deal when they popped up on the show.
We’ve seen actors from major TV shows, Disney Channel stars, mega pop icons, and more during New Girl‘s six-season run. While some may be fresh enough in your mind, I can guarantee you will be saying “OMG” to at least a couple. Plus — who knows what other celebrities we’ll be adding to this list after the seventh and final season!
1. Dylan O’Brien
We all have our first and for Jess, well it wasn’t Teen Wolf‘sDylan O’Brien. It almost was though. A call from the guy Jess lost her virginity to leads to a full-on flashback episode where we see Jess on prom night. Dylan played a young cutie who won her over with a guitar in a hotel hallway.
2. Merritt Wever
Learning about Schmidt’s past as a larger man was possibly the best thing to ever come out of New Girl. Then we met Elizabeth, fat Schmidt’s ex-girlfriend. They reconnected for a short time and while it was an endearing relationship full of pizza and awkward dancing, it, of course, didn’t last.
Sadly that was the last time we saw the Emmy-winning actress best known for her roles on Nurse Jackie and The Walking Dead.
3. Mary Elizabeth Ellis
Nick Miller comes with a lot, and we mean a lot, of oddities. Number one may be his ex, Caroline. In this role she actually had a name, but that’s not the case for the role we all know her for — the waitress on FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
4. Adam Brody
If you couldn’t tell, we’re riding the ex train right now. We couldn’t leave Adam Brody out of that. The former nerd love of our dreams played one of Jess’ exes. While a total weirdo who didn’t mind the idea of cheating on his wife with Jess, he was still totally adorable as per ushe.
5. Natasha Lyonne
Remember that one time Orange is the New Black‘sNatasha Lyonne popped up on New Girl as the chick Schmidt always hooked up with at weddings? We didn’t either until we were reliving the show on Netflix. Natasha’s Gretchen on New Girl was almost as abrasive as her Orange persona, Nicky Nichols.
6. Olivia Munn
From The Newsroom to Magic Mike, Olivia Munn has played a wide variety of roles. New Girl, though, saw her as one of Nick’s lady friends who happened to be a stripper. She even showed her top-half to help Jess get past the hospital security to declare her devotion to a doctor at one time. It’s beautiful to see women helping other women, right?
7. Steve Howey
Shameless fans know Steve Howey only has the bad-at-math but great father and husband, Kev. Audiences of Reba from way back when will even remember him as the goofy and lovable Van.
His New Girl cameo was very different from his Shameless but definitely gave us Van vibes. He played a football player who was… a bit obsessive when it came to love. One afternoon with Jess and the boy was onstage saying he was going to put babies in her. Whoa — that’s a stage five clinger.
8. Lake Bell
Currently, you can hear Lake Bell on Netflix’s BoJack Horseman. But back in the day she was bossing Nick Miller at the bar. Not because she was seeing him, but because she was the new manager for a short time.
9. Stephen Amell
It’s hard to imagine Stephen Amell as anything but a superhero, but alas the Arrow star wasn’t always fighting crime. On New Girl breifly, Amell played Cece’s hot as hell beau, Kyle. Kyle was far from Oliver Queen considering the last we saw him he had peed his pants. Awkie.
10. Lizzy Caplan
Yes, we know Nick and Jess were meant to be BUT Lizzy Caplan‘s Julia was pretty darn close to Nick’s soul mate. Maybe it’s just because we love her so much from Mean Girls, but Julia was so amazing. She had anger issues, but uh, yeah… we sort of low-key miss her with Nick.
11. Brenda Song
The former Disney star got a grown-up role when she appeared on New Girl as Winston’s love interest. She wasn’t the greatest as she wound up cheating on our boy but she was the reason we got one of the best New Girl characters ever: Ferguson. Yup, Ferguson the cat was once hers but Winston took him over and we’re forever grateful for that.
12. Justin Long
Jeepers Creepers star and the voice of Alvin in the Alvin and the Chipmunks movies, Justin Long has done a lot. That includes being Jess’ first real boyfriend, Paul, after her big breakup at the start of the series. Of course, it didn’t last, but what came out of it was Paul’s horrific ugly cry.
13. Dermot Mulroney
Oh… the fancy man. It’s taken a lot of men to get Jess to realize Nick Miller is the one. Fancy man AKA Russell was just another stop on the way. He wasn’t the best guy for her so we’re glad they didn’t work out. Dermot, the movie star in August: Osage County and The Family Stone, as well as a guest star in Shameless and lead in CBS’s Pure Genius, has had many roles but we’re appreciative of the one he had next to Zooey Deschanel.
We’re going to shift into the famous faces that have played family members of our favorite roommates. Only Freaks and Geeks‘Linda Cardellini wasn’t just Jess’ messed up sister, she was also Schmidt’s lover for a while.
15. Peter Gallagher
Speaking of Schmidt and lovers… Oh no, The O.C.‘sPeter Gallagher wasn’t his lover! Peter was Schmidt’s dad, and Jess’ lover for a HOT minute. Yeah, it was slightly disturbing and something we didn’t really need, but it’s kind of fun that both he and his former on-screen son were on the same show.
16. Jamie Lee Curtis
Nick admitted that he had a thing for Jess’ mom, played wonderfully by Jamie Lee Curtis over the years. Thankfully that never panned out. How weird would that be now knowing that Nick and Jess are finally together? Hopefully for good.
17. Kaitlin Olson
Jess got a new mom too! Mary Elizabeth Ellis isn’t the only cast member from It’s Always Sunny to stop by. Nope, Sweet D AKA Kaitlin Olson played the woman Jess’ dad would wind up marrying. She was also a girl Jess went to high school with, and a former sex addict — but it was true love and actually kind of endearing in the end.
18. Gordon Ramsay
Sometimes cameos happen just because. They don’t have to have slept with, been sleeping with, or be related to anyone. They can just be. That was the case when the world-famous chef Gordon Ramsay came by.
19. Taye Diggs
Well, Taye Diggs almost slept with Jess. We don’t think it would’ve ever happened because she was with Nick at the time, but in a perfect world, she would’ve gotten to because hello… Taye Diggs is bangin’! All we got was Nick in bed with him and it was well, not something we complained about.
20. Billy Eichner
What’re the holidays without Billy Eichner! One of the most talked about men this year due to his titillating role on American Horror Story: Cult, Billy was his Billy on the Street self when he played an irritated airline employee in New Girl‘s holiday episode.
21. Josh Gad
The world may know Josh Gad as one of the current kings of the Disney realm thanks to Frozen and Beauty and the Beast, but New Girl fans know him as Bearclaw. A bumbling friend of Nick’s who fell for Jess, Bearclaw has got to be one of the most memorable characters to ever come through.
22. Joey King
She held her own alongside Zach Braff in Wish I Was Here, as well as in New Girl. She played one of Jess’ students who was also a bully. Luckily Ms. Day was able to teach her the error of her ways through song. Beautiful!
23. Alexandra Daddario
In 2017, Alexandra Daddario got to be the luckiest girl in the world as she starred in Baywatch with Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron. Uhh, imagine going to that set every day! Before that, though, she was just as lucky to be the gang’s new neighbor in 4C on New Girl. She and her girl made Winston do a hell of a lot of chores around their place, and then we never saw her again. Think they moved?
24. Jessica Biel
It felt like it’d been a minute since we’d seen Jessica Biel on the small screen. She hadn’t lost her TV talents though when she played Jess’ nemesis at a wedding trying to score with the Best Man. Girl even went as far as to lock Jess in the bathroom for the guy! Pure evil or pure genius? You decide.
25. Taylor Swift
The tale of Schmidt and Cece is a tangled one. One of its many chapters though includes when he straight up ruined her wedding. Only on the screen a second, this was when Taylor Swift popped up to declare her love to Cece’s former groom. This came a few years after “Speak Now” so perhaps that’s why the New Girl execs reached out to her — they knew she already had experience in this field!
How could you have forgotten this one?! The absolute BEST New Girl cameo there ever was and ever will be, Prince. So when Prince likes a show, apparently he will contact them and ask to be on. Imagine getting that call. There’s no way the crew was going to deny the late, great Prince and they promptly found a way to incorporate him into the show.