Spot the baby actor!

If you’re just checking in, here’s an update: British television has largely consumed my summer. And if you’re just checking in on British television, here’s an update on that: Britain has about ten actors. They’re all wildly talented, and they all take turns appearing in each others’ shows and blockbuster films and it’s FINE. It’s fun, actually—it’s like a game. Spot the actor. A friend who’s marathoning her way through Doctor Who texted me in a frenzy when she realized that Cassandra was Madam Hooch in Harry Potter (her exact words: “OMGGG I’M BEATING OUT A SAMBA RIGHT NOW”). These are the exciting moments brought to you by the BBC.

In honor of England’s bigger-on-the-inside entertainment industry, I figure it’s time to talk about our favorite “spot the actor” moments. You know what I’m talking about: those “I had no idea who you were the first time I saw this, but now I know and love you and look at you you’re such a baby!” moments. We’ve all been there. Let’s discuss.

Jason Segel on Alias

jason segel alias

By 2005, when Jason Segel popped up on Alias as a midwestern kid whose semester abroad was more “I miss grilled cheese” than “I’m having an adventure,” I should’ve already known his shining face BECAUSE I SHOULD’VE KNOWN FREAKS AND GEEKS. But I did not. He was just a guy with bad facial hair and a cute smile who kept getting in the way—which, in retrospect, makes sense.

jason segel gun himym

Adam Scott on Boy Meets World

Before he fed eagles on morphine—before he charmed the nation with his line-for-line breakdown of “Ice Ice Baby”—our brilliant, sexy little hummingbird took down Harley Keiner’s grammar AND mocked his fashion choices. This works for me.

Jennifer Lawrence on Monk

I watched a lot of Monk after Alias ended. I wasn’t looking for anything serious. J-Law wasn’t either.

The best thing about Spot the Actor is when the actors play it too.

Diego Klattenhoff in Mean Girls

Mike from Homeland is in the projection room above the auditorium.

shane oman prom

Jim Rash on Friends

Something’s wrong with the left phalangedean.

David Tennant in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Like I wasn’t gonna go there.

Zooey Deschanel on Veronica’s Closet (suggested by @some1tookmename)

You guys it’s 1998 and Zooey’s using her squeaky five year old voice with the nun from Sister Act! What a time to be alive!

Emily Deschanel on Law and Order: SVU (suggested by Helen)

emily deschanel svu

Someone hurt our flawless queen. It’s ok, little Emily, someday this will be your life.

emily david look at them

David Boreanaz on Married with Children (suggested by @geraghtyvl)

Speaking of our knight in shining FBI standard-issue body armor…

Some men are born great actors. Others have great acting thrust upon them.

And finally,

TJ Thyne on Friends (suggested by @NatesMama1128)


I like to think that this experience helped shape Hodgins into the well-adjusted scientist we know today.

hodgins hate everyone

Thanks so much for all of your suggestions! You’re all smart and wonderful people with excellent taste in television. And best of all, Spot the Actor is a never-ending game. Keep an eye out for your favorites in their little baby days, and let me know what you find!


  1. Aw, you missed out Eddie McClintock on Friends!

    But I do love this game. Also, British TV should take over EVERYONE’S summer. It’s mostly awesome!

    (And we totally have more than ten actors! I mean seriously…it’s at least 12 😉 )

    1. He was on Friends too?! That’s glorious. Aw, Sully.

      And it completely, definitely should. I’m a little desperate for Broadchurch to sweep the nation.

  2. This happens on JJ Abrams shows a lot. Jennifer Garner on Felicity! Terry O Quinn on Alias! I feel like every time he has a new show JJ just calls up his friends like, “hey, wanna come hang out? on tv??”

    1. He totally does, and I love it! I especially love how Greg Grunberg pops up in EVERYTHING. And Victor Garber apparently had a cameo in Star Trek, but it was cut (which is ridiculous. I don’t care if it’s a 25-minute segment of V-Garbs brushing his teeth. You never cut Victor Garber). But yeah, Terry O’Quinn didn’t even have to audition for LOST. JJ was just like “hey remember that guy who interrogated Sydney? I liked him. Let’s get him.”
      Hanging out on TV with JJ Abrams really gets you places.

      1. Fortunately, my mom was a casual Ugly Better viewer and knew enough to clue me in. It’s so magical. Every show needs to set aside an episode for Victor Garber to play a character JUST LIKE THIS.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s