Movie cameos are novel, but seeing a beloved character in a completely separate movie franchise is a whole new level of meta universe-melding. Actors often make uncredited and surprise appearances in movies, and to a large degree, it is now somewhat expected by certain genres. In these examples though, actors have reprised their most iconic characters to appear in multiple franchises where, on paper at least, they have no place turning up.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has built itself upon characters sharing an interconnected universe, who are often seen popping up in each other’s movies. These work to maintain the notion that all of their characters live in the same world. These examples, on the other hand, are 10 instances where characters from one franchise turn up in a movie they have absolutely no place existing. While this may occasionally hint at some interconnectivity, more often than not their appearances are a sly tribute to a filmmaker or movie.

Related: 15 Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Cameos & James Gunn Connections Explained



1 Jay And Silent Bob In Scream 3

Jay and Silent Bob in Scream 3

Jay and Silent Bob (played by Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith) garnered a cult fandom for their offbeat comedic performances in a slew of Smith’s movies – often referred to as the “Askewniverse” after Smith’s production company. Starring in Clerks, Mallrats, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, among others, the duo is famed for their stoner-style comedy. It may, therefore, be a surprise to learn that the pair also appear for a cameo in Scream 3. While on the studio lot for Stab (Scream‘s film within a film), Jay and Silent Bob are flipped off by Courtney Cox’s Gale Weathers.

2 Machete In Spy Kids And Machete

Danny Trejo in Machete

Fans of Robert Rodriguez’s violent action movie Machete and its sequel Machete Kills may be unaware of when the titular character first appeared. Machete first appeared in Rodriguez’s classic family adventure Spy Kids and each of its subsequent sequels. In the Spy Kids movies, Machete (played by Danny Trejo) is a gadget inventor and the child protagonists’ uncle.

The character proved so popular, both with audiences and filmmakers, that Trejo and Rodriguez brought him back for an adult-oriented fake trailer in Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse. A feature-length, gore-filled romp, in which Machete truly lives up to his name quickly followed. Trejo is actually reprising his role again for a new Spy Kids to be released on Netflix.

3 Ghostbusters Ray Stantz In Casper

Dan Aykroyd in a Ghostbusters uniform in Casper

Two classic spooky family films collided in 1995 with the release of the live-action Casper. A delightful cameo sees Dan Aykroyd’s Ghostbusters character, Ray Stantz, attempt, unsuccessfully, to rid the haunted mansion of its spectral residents. In full Ghostbusters uniform, Stantz stumbles towards the antagonists and paraphrases his own movie, “Who you gonna call?… Someone else!”

4 Terminator 2: Judgment Day’s T-1000 in Wayne’s World

robert patrick t-1000 terminatoor Wayne's World

In a classic piece of Wayne’s World meta humor, the titular Wayne (played by Mike Myers) is pulled over while driving his car. An officer approaches and bending down into view, is revealed to be the unstoppable killer android, T-1000, from Terminator 2: Judgment Day (played by Robert Patrick). Mirroring his character, he asks Wayne if he has seen the boy in the photograph, prompting Wayne to turn to the camera and scream. Interestingly, Patrick also reprised his role for a brief cameo in The Last Action Hero.

5 Trading Places’ Randolph And Mortimer Duke In Coming To America

The Duke Brothers in Coming to America

John Landis’s classic comedy Trading Places featured two perfect antagonists so loathsome that Landis brought them back for a cameo in another movie to further revel in their downfall. Randolph and Mortimer Duke (played by Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche) lose their fortune and are bankrupt by the end of Trading Places. Initially, the finer details of their lives after this are left up to the audience’s imagination but a scene in Coming to America confirms their story.

During the closing scenes of Coming to America, Eddie Murphy’s character gives two homeless men a bundle of money. It is revealed that this is indeed the Duke brothers with Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche reprising their roles. Landis later confirms that the movies exist in the same universe in an episode of The Movies That Made Us.

6 The Transporter’s Frank Martin in Collateral

Jason Statham Tom cruise collateral-1

While still debated by some, Stuart Beattie the writer of Collateral has confirmed that the character Jason Statham plays in the opening scene of Collateral is indeed the same character he plays throughout the Transporter franchise. Frank Martin is a criminal courier, who in Collateral delivers a bag to protagonist Vincent, played by Tom Cruise. It is a very brief scene, but a memorable one for bringing together two iconic action stars in a surprising cameo.

Related: 10 Greatest Cameos By Characters From Other Movies

7 Jaws’ Matt Hooper In Piranha 3D

Matt Hooper piranha 3d

Being eaten by the most infamous shark in cinematic history was not enough to stop Richard Dreyfus from reprising his character for Piranha 3D. Dreyfus’s character, Matt Hooper, who survived the finale of Jaws, and meets a grisly end in the opening scene from Piranha 3D, where the character can be seen wearing his Jaws costume and even whistling the same tune he did in Jaws. He is given a new name for Piranha 3D, but Dreyfus (and the filmmakers) insist it is the same character facing a fresh bout with bloodthirsty sea life.

8 Alien’s Kane In Spaceballs

John Hurt kane spaceballs

One of the most famous scenes in cinema is undoubtedly Alien‘s chilling chest-burster scene, in which Kane (played by John Hurt) is violently killed by an alien life force that explodes out of his chest. It was therefore quite an unexpected surprise when John Hurt himself reenacts the classic scene in Mel Brooks’ science-fiction spoof Spaceballs. Of course, Brooks interprets the scene with his own comedic genius, but having Hurt reprise the character makes the moment particularly jarring and recalls the harrowing performance of the original.

9 Back To The Future’s Doc Brown In A Million Ways To Die In The West

doc brown christopher lloyd a million ways to die in the west-1

While arguably the highlight of a somewhat underwhelming movie from Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, the cameo from Back to the Future‘s Doc Brown in A Million Ways To Die In The West was as brief as it was delightful. Set in the same year as Back to the Future Part 3, MacFarlane’s character stumbles upon Doc Brown (played by Christopher Lloyd) with the DeLorean time machine momentarily uncovered. While only a short appearance, Doc Brown is one of the most enduring characters of 1980s cinema, and any chance to enjoy his idiosyncratic behavior is always welcome.

10 Die Hard’s John McClane in Loaded Weapon 1

John Mcclane loaded weapon bruce willis-1

Another piece of brilliant meta humor sees Die Hard‘s John McClane (played by Bruce Willis) attacked by a hapless action movie duo in the action movie parody Loaded Weapon 1. After his house is accidentally destroyed, McClane stumbles from the rubble wearing his iconic white vest and scorch marks. Waving a white flag, Willis mocks his own character’s constant exasperation and delivers a brilliant comedic performance.

Willis’s cameo is even more notable when you consider that Die Hard is one of the movies being spoofed by Loaded Weapon 1. This is further compounded by Loaded Weapon 1 casting Willis’s Die Hard with a Vengeance co-star, Samuel L. Jackson. Like each entrant to this list, Willis’s movie cameo demonstrates a sense of humor surrounding his character and performance, which often lends movies greater comedic potential, but also contributes to the world-building trend in modern cinema.

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