From Cameos to Regulars: 6 TV Characters Who Weren't Supposed to Stay But Did
Life wouldn't be the same without them.
In the world of television, especially long-running shows, characters come and go, changing like leaves in the fall. Sometimes, however, the original plans for some cameos don't always work out as expected. Often, a character intended for a brief cameo becomes a fan favorite, leading to an extended stay on the show.
Here are six iconic TV characters who were originally intended for limited roles, but ended up becoming integral parts of the show.
1. Andy Bernard — The Office
Ed Helms' Andy Bernard started out as a foil for Jim Halpert but eventually became more involved with the merger of the Scranton and Stamford offices. By Season 4, he had become a recurring character, known for his mischievous nature, office nicknames, and musical talents.
He even briefly ran the Scranton branch when Michael left the show, showing his progression from a minor character to a major part of the show.
2. Andy Dwyer — Parks and Recreation
Chris Pratt 's character, Andy Dwyer, was originally conceived as a temporary role, appearing as Ann Perkins' lazy and bumbling boyfriend. However, Pratt's charisma and comedic timing quickly made him a beloved figure in the town of Pawnee, leading to Andy's transformation into a lovable goofball and central character throughout the series.
3. Castiel — Supernatural
Misha Collins initially had a limited arc as Castiel, but the demand from fans led to his character becoming a mainstay of the show. As an angel of the Lord, Castiel was supposed to guide Sam and Dean Winchester for three episodes but his humorous attempts to fit in as a human and his growing bond with Sam and Dean endeared Castiel to fans and solidified his role in the Winchester family over 12 years.
4. Daryl Dixon — The Walking Dead
Originally not part of the comic book source material for The Walking Dead, Norman Reedus' Daryl Dixon was introduced as a sidekick. He started off as a supporting character with a brief appearance, but Daryl's complex personality, survival skills, and unique crossbow-wielding prowess made him a fan-favorite after season one and a central character in the television series.
5. Jesse Pinkman — Breaking Bad
To symbolize Walter White's guilt and the expendability of characters, Vince Gilligan originally planned to kill off Jesse Pinkman in the first season of Breaking Bad. However, he changed his mind early in the filming of the second episode, realizing Jesse's importance to the plot and the moving chemistry between Paul and Bryan Cranston.
Aaron Paul's portrayal of Jesse added complexity and showed the duality of humanity, offering a clearer view of Walt's descent into obsession with power.
6. Mickey Milkovich — Shameless
Noel Fisher's role as Mickey Milkovich in the series about a dysfunctional family in Chicago was initially limited to three episodes but it was extended due to his exceptional performance. Although Noel appeared in numerous episodes, he was often credited as a guest star due to scheduling conflicts but, despite this, Mickey became a fan favorite due to his memorable one-liners and his relationship with Ian Gallagher.