Geeks is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
If you're a Steven Universe fan like me, then you already know that Nicki Minaj had a low-key cameo in it. During one of the earlier seasons, she played Sugilite, the unruly and super-strong fusion between Garnet and Amethyst.
Among fans, Sugilite still remains a favorite character to date and even gets brought up in memes from time to time. Judging by fandom alone, Nicki's cameo also happens to be one of the most successful celebrity cartoon appearances in recent years.
No matter what cartoon you're talking about, the subject of celebrity cameos remains a hotly debated topic. Some people feel like celebrity cameos in cartoons can add to a storyline or just make an episode extra special. For example, some fans felt that the cameos in The Lego Batman Movie expanded the virtual world of the movie. Others feel like celebrity cameos in general are a pretty awkward marketing grab.
Even if you're a fan of the cameo trend in cartoons, there are some appearances that just don't work. The wrong celebrity matched with the wrong show or plot can easily spoil an otherwise great TV show. Don't believe it? Check out these awful examples below.
Lady Gaga in 'The Simpsons'
The Simpsons is one of the few shows that proved that celebrity cameos in cartoons can work well. Some of the best celebrity cameos in The Simpsons included appearances from the likes of Michael Jackson, Lucy Lawless, Leonard Nimoy, and Sir Patrick Stewart.
However, not all of the cameos to be featured on The Simpsons were good. Lady Gaga's remains one of the most disliked appearances in the show's 30-year history, primarily because it was such a contrived episode.
The worst part, though, was how the characters were portrayed. Lisa acted uncharacteristically bratty, while Lady Gaga seemed to be portrayed as a Mary Sue. Overall, audiences were struck by how much of PR piece this seemed to be.
Matt Damon in 'Arthur'
Yes, Arthur, as in Arthur the Anteater. Yes, Matt Damon. Like, the teenage heartthrob. You're not misreading this. Somewhere, off in the hills of Hollywoods, some producer thought this was a great idea. We are going to have to assume that gratuitous amounts of cocaine was involved.
The two concepts go together about as well as milk and orange juice, don't they? Matt Damon doesn't look sexy in this role. Actually, he looks like a really badly drawn fursona that got transported into King of the Hill.
We'll pass, thanks.
Smash Mouth in 'Kim Possible'
You remember that 90s band, Smash Mouth? Yeah, the one that made a total of two songs that keep showing up in kids' movies regardless of how many decades have passed?
Four years after they stopped being featured on MTV, they decided to do a little stint on Kim Possible. The thing is, the entire episode felt like a mad grab for some kind of youthful audience by Smash Mouth.
The entire episode kept mentioning how cool Smash Mouth was and how awesome it was for the band to be playing in a school dance. Even if you were a kid, the writing just struck you as awkward.
Weird Al in 'Batman: The Brave and the Bold'
Weird Al has a track record of successful cameos in cartoon series and live action shows as well. He's Cheese Sandwich in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, he's done some work with Tim and Eric, and let's not forget that knee-slappingly hilarious appearance in 30 Rock.
But, Weird Al's appearance in Batman: The Brave and the Bold was just a little too weird for most peoples' tastes. This Batman/Scooby-Doo/Weird Al crossover episode involved a lot of classically bad 80s animation, poor acting from the guys voicing Batman and Robin, and a totally chaotic plot.
In the episode, the three 80s icons worked together in order to battle the Joker and the Penguin. Because, of course they did. This clip above shows about how exciting the acting was—and why this remains one of Weird Al's most forgettable cameos.
Surprisingly, finding a clip of Al in this episode is pretty hard. We wouldn't blame him if he took the time to scrub the net of any evidence. It's really that bad a show.
Marilyn Manson in 'Clone High'
MTV's Clone High was one of the most underrated cartoon series in recent decades and was tragically cut short due to controversies surrounding Ghandi's character. The show itself had clones of famous historical figures, all living together in high school.
Understandably, the fact that MTV produced this show pretty much guaranteed some interesting celebrity cameos. However, what ensued was one of the most awkward celebrity cameos in cartoons ever made.
Producers hired Marilyn Manson to do a celebrity appearance on the show. This alone would be pretty neat, if it weren't for the fact that they made him sing about eating healthy according to the USDA standards.
That's right. They made Marilyn Manson, the glam rocker who was once considered a "menace to the youth," sing and dance while discussing the goddamned food pyramid.
Any street cred Manson had probably died the day this episode aired. Just saying.
Larry King and Coolio in 'Gravity Falls'
Back in the mid-90s, Coolio was a rapper who became famous for the song "Gangsta's Paradise." Then, he vanished. About 20 years later, he resurfaced as a celebrity cameo on the hit series Gravity Falls along famous talk show host Larry King.
Admittedly, it's easy to imagine a guy like Larry King finding his way into being a newscaster in the Gravity Falls universe. So, he ended up being "some kinda goblin man" in Grunkle Stan's wax figure collection.
But Coolio? Why would Coolio become a wax figure? When they come to life, their acting is good and at times, intensely engaging. Still, why Coolio of all people?!
Prince in 'Animaniacs'
Animaniacs was one of the many 90s cartoons that pushed the envelope when it came to dirty jokes that parents could enjoy. But, unlike most other shows of the time, Animaniacs took it a step further—and even included celebrity cameos in cartoons that only parents would really understand.
Though they definitely had plenty of hidden adult humor throughout the show, one of the most notorious lines in the series involved "fingerprints." The artist formerly known as Prince made his appearance here, and yes, also acted as the punchline.
This remains one of the worst and best cameos the series had. It's terrible because it's an NSFW cameo featuring a singer that's famous for X-rated lyrics in a kids' show that was almost fingered by Dot. It's amazing for the exact same reason.
Snoop Dogg in 'Sanjay and Craig'
For a lot of Gen Z kids, Sanjay and Craig was the best cartoon out there—and honestly, the show was pretty darned good. They had a lot of comedic points, had great writing, and really brought on some great guests.
One of the guests was none other than Snoop Dogg, who played "Street Dogg" on the show. Snoop is relevant, sure, but seeing him on a kids' show is still a little squicky for some parents.
I mean, he's a gangster who talks about weed and pimping a lot. Then again, he's also baked cookies with Martha Stewart, so you never really can know what to expect from him. But, the fact that it was Snoop wasn't what made this such a bad cameo.
The entire episode was about an argument between Snoop and another rapper, and then it turned into this whole thing about friendship, blah, blah, blah. It just seemed contrived, much like many other poorly-written episodes featuring music celebrities.
Fallout Boy and Cee Lo Green in 'Teen Titans GO!'
Ugh. Just ugh. This series has become the bane of my Cartoon Network-watching existence and actually was a driving part of why I decided to cut cable altogether. It's a television show that's just plain awful and has been unceremoniously jammed down everyone's throats.
If you can't tell, I'm not a fan of the show. It literally choked the network's schedule, has no humor whatsoever, and made the Teen Titans look like sausages with heads.
Now, I don't know what the producers were trying to do with Cee Lo Green and Fallout Boy, but they decided to include them on the Teen Titans Go! as bands that help the crew fight some magical creature using a magical song called "The Night Begins to Shine."
All the movie cameos are painful to watch. I'm fairly certain that this marked a low point in Fallout Boy's career. Fallout Boy, do you need a hug? What drove you to this point? It's okay, guys. It's okay.
Ozzy Osbourne on 'Bubble Guppies'
Ozzy Osbourne is around 70 years old, a metal legend, and bit the head off a bat. Bubble Guppies is a children's television show that's so cuddly, it's even on Nick Jr. So, what's the worst that could happen when the two get mixed together?
A really, truly awkward episode that involves the Prince of Darkness himself playing the role of Sid Fishy, a clear take on Sid Vicious. Because, you know, nothing says kid-friendly like a reference to a heroin-addicted man who killed his girlfriend.
This is one of the very many celebrity cameos in cartoons that don't make sense. Do you really think three year olds will know who Ozzy is, or who Sid Vicious is? Come on!