While many TV shows have made household names out of their star players, occasionally showrunners have been able to corral some of Hollywood’s biggest names to drop in for a surprising cameo during a complete episode or a single scene.
Perhaps one of the most polarizing cameos belonged to Ed Sheeran on HBO’s Game of Thrones in July 2017. The singer appeared in a brief scene during the season 7 premiere, titled “Dragonstone.” In the episode, Sheeran plays a Lannister soldier sitting next to a campfire as Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) rode past on horseback. He sang a quick tune to his fellow soldiers and Arya replied, “It’s a pretty song. I’ve never heard it before.”
While some fans were pumped to see Sheeran pop up in Westeros, others were really annoyed. Following criticism of his brief role, Sheeran told MTV News that September that he was fine with it being a one-time performance. “No one wants to see me come back,” he said. “I wanted to be a cameo in it, and I’ve done the cameo. I’m cool with it, though. I enjoyed it.”
Another unforgettable cameo belonged to Taylor Swift when she made a one-scene appearance in the season 2 finale of New Girl in May 2013. While Cece (Hannah Simone) was set to marry Shivrang (Satya Bhabha) in the episode, the duo both had cold feet about their upcoming nuptials, As Shivrang called off the nuptials mid-ceremony, he remarked that he was in love with his ex-girlfriend Elaine, who stood up from her seat at the time. There, Elaine was revealed to be Swift in a scene that seemingly replicated her “Speak Now” track off her third studio album.
Scroll through to revisit the most surprising TV show celebrity cameos: