27 TV Actors Who Were Only In One Episode, But Were Extremely Memorable As Their Characters

Some of my favorite TV episodes often include when an actor guest stars and absolutely knocks it out of the park. While sometimes guest stars become so popular they return for multiple episodes, I always find it impressive when they only appear in one episode and make a lasting impression. So, here are some of the very best actors who starred in ONE episode of a TV show and were so memorable:

Warning: In order to show some of their very best scenes, there are spoilers in the photos ahead!

1.First, Grace Van Dien as Chrissy Cunningham on Stranger Things

Chrissy: You know, you're not what I thought you'd be like. Eddie: Mean and scary? yeah, well I actually kinda thought you'd be kinda mean and scary too. Chrissy: me?

Episode she appeared in: Season 4, Episode 1: "Chapter One: The Hellfire Club"

Netflix

2.Sterling K. Brown as Philip Davidson on Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Phillip being interogated and answering that he was in a taxi watching jimmy fallon highlights and amy adams was the guest

Episode he appeared in: Season 5, Episode 14: "The Box"

NBC

3.Patty Guggenheim as Madisynn on She-Hulk: Attorney at Law

Madisynn on the witness stand saying, at first it was fun then it was scary then fun again the spooky but in a fun way

Episode she appeared in: Season 1, Episode 4: "Is This Not Real Magic?"

Disney+ / Marvel

4.Bruce A. Young as Tom Maynard on Grey's Anatomy

Tom's character in the hospital hugging another patients in a neck brace saying that the do believe in heaven

Episode she appeared in: Season 2, Episode 6: "Into You Like a Train"*

*Monica Keena, who played Bonnie, appeared in one more episode after this.

ABC

5.Sarah Paulson as young Dr. Ellis Grey on Grey's Anatomy

character: Dr. Gray, looking beautiful as ever. Dr Gray: Flattery will not get you to an on-call room in 5 minutes or less

Episode she appeared in: Season 6, Episode 15: "The Time Warp"

ABC

6.Carey Mulligan as Sally Sparrow on Doctor Who

Sally watching a TV ad that's saying, don't turn your back don't look away and dont blink good luck

Episode she appeared in: Season 3, Episode 10: "Blink"

BBC

7.Randall Park as Steve, aka Asian Jim Halpert, on The Office

Steve: Good morning, Dwight. Dwight: Who are you? Steve: Who am I? I'm Jim, we've been working together for 12 years

Episode he appeared in: Season 9, Episode 3: "Andy's Ancestry"

NBC

8.Nanna Blondell as Lady Laena Velaryon on House of the Dragon

Lady Laena encountering a dragon

Episode she appeared in: Season 1, Episode 6: "The Princess and the Queen"

HBO

9.Chloe Fineman as Sylvia Plath on Dickinson

Sylvia: there was a book published years ago that caused such the scandal it almost didn't get published because the author says that Emily Dickinson was a lesbian

Episode she appeared in: Season 3, Episode 7: "The Future never spoke"

Apple TV+

10.Carrie Fisher as Rosemary Howard on 30 Rock

Rosemary: You're gonna kill me aren't you? Liz: um, you are my heroine and by that i mean lady hero .i dont wanna inject you and listen to jazz

Episode she appeared in: Season 2, Episode 4: "Rosemary's Baby"

NBC

11.Marlon Wayans as Lou on Bel-Air

Lou: I didn't come here to be disrespected. Will: You ain't earn no respect. Lou: You're the one who came looking for me remember?

Episode he appeared in: Season 1, Episode 10: "Where To?"

Peacock

12.Lin-Manuel Miranda as Guillermo on Modern Family

Guillermo the dog trainer saying, when she is good she gets a doggie treat. Gloria: Brilliant! We're going to be rich. Guillermo: There you have it. The good Doggie, Bad Doggie training system. welcome to the ground floor

Episode he appeared in: Season 2, Episode 22: "Good Cop Bad Dog"

ABC

13.Hilarie Burton as Lucille Smith on The Walking Dead

Lucille saying that her partner needs to stay with her because the doctor didn't say that they would make it

Episode she appeared in: Season 10, Episode 22: "Here's Negan"

AMC

14.Laura Dern as Susan on Ellen

Laura's character hugging ellen after she announces she's gay

Episode she appeared in: Season 4, Episode 22: "The Puppy Episode"

ABC / Via youtu.be

15.Michelle Trachtenberg as Diane Turner on Criminal Minds

Diane holding a gun to a hostage's head and saying, You never wanted me, you lied

Episode she appeared in: Season 8, Episode 12: "Zugzwang"

CBS

16.Brian Tyree Henry as Ricky on This Is Us

Ricky: Oh man, you pay me back with a notebook full of platinum records. That's how you pay me back. You really got a gift. you know that? You see something you want, you don't look away, you go get it. you hear me, cuz?

Episode he appeared in: Season 1, Episode 16: "Memphis"

NBC

17.Bea Arthur as Mrs. White on Malcolm in the Middle

Mrs. White dancing in the kitchen singing a song and then an ambulance coming to get her

Episode she appeared in: Season 1, Episode 16: "Water Park"

Fox

18.Dolly Parton as Agnes on Grace and Frankie

Agnes meeting the two characters in heaven saying, I'm not the almighty. Hardly. I"m agnus. Just a working-class angel

Episode she appeared in: Season 7, Episode 16: "The Beginning"

Netflix

19.Tim Curry as Nigel St. Nigel on Psych

Tim yelling after being told that his meal is poisoned

Episode he appeared in: Season 2, Episode 1: "American Duos"

USA

20.Stephanie Beatriz as Pilar on One Day at a Time

Pilar announcing she's jewish and saying she converted for her wife and a teen replying, "ohhh, i see what you did there you got lesbian jokes

Episode she appeared in: Season 3, Episode 1: "The Funeral"

Netflix

21.Ferdinand Kingsley as Hob Gadling on The Sandman

hob waiting for someone and finally saying, you're late

Episode he appeared in: Season 1, Episode 6: "The Sound of Her Wings"

Netflix

22.Andy Samberg as Carl the Park Ranger on Parks and Rec

Carl saying, I'm going to show you a log i found thats got like 50 worms on it. then he looks into the camera and says, I've always been a bit of an outdoorsman. But if there's any criminals out there watching, i never get tired. and ladies, too

Episode he appeared in: Season 2, Episode 19: "Park Safety"

NBC

23.Dylan O'Brien as The Guy on New Girl

man and woman half clothed stuck inside a playground asking a kid to get a grown up for help and saying, sir we tried to make love on the bench but there was a man there

Episode he appeared in: Season 2, Episode 23: "Virgins"

Fox

24.Lisa Kudrow as Hypatia on The Good Place

hi are you hypatia of alexandria? then hypatia smiles and says, yep! how's it hanging?

Episode she appeared in: Season 4, Episode 12: "Patty"

NBC

25.Robin Williams as Merritt Rook on Law & Order: SVU

in a dark room Merritt says, you have no idea what ive suffered

Episode he appeared in: Season 9, Episode 17: "Authority"

NBC

26.Carol Burnett as Bridget "Birdie" Sulloway on Law & Order: SVU

Bridget: My chet would not cross his aunt birdie. Chet: I didin't want to tell them. they made me do it. Bridget: We all do what we have to do, dear

Episode she appeared in: Season 10, Episode 16: "Ballerina"

*Matthew Lillard is also SO good in this episode as Chet.

NBC

27.And finally, James Earl Jones as himself on The Big Bang Theory

James and Sheldon having a fun night out having dinner, going on the ferris wheel and then doing karaoke

Episode he appeared in: Season 7, Episode 14: "The Convention Conundrum"

CBS

We can't fit everyone into one post, so which other actors who only appeared in ONE episode are the best and why? Tell us in the comments below!