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What's An Example Of A Time A TV Show Referenced Another Role An Actor Played?

*Insert meme of Leonardo DiCaprio pointing at the TV*

A ton of actors are forever associated with a part they played — oftentimes, their first big one.

Warner Bros. Pictures

While I love to see actors go on to do other stuff, I think it's always so funny when their later projects make a quick reference to the actors' past iconic roles.


Like in Smallville, when James Marsters guest-starred and told Clark there were no such thing as vampires in an episode featuring a girl with vampire-like abilities named Buffy Sanders. Marsters famously played Spike, a vampire, in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Dr. Milton Fine on Smallville tells Clark there's no such thing as vampires, and on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, James Marsters (as Spike) transforms into his vampire face
The WB

Or in Grey's Anatomy, when Derek revealed to Bailey that he was a skinny nerd with big hair and acne in high school. This was likely a nod to Patrick Dempsey's iconic role as a nerd in Can’t Buy Me Love.

Derek says he was 110 pounds with an afro and acne in high school, then there's a photo of him in Can't Buy Me Love as a skinny nerd with glasses and an afro
ABC / Buena Vista Pictures

One of my favorite nods to past roles was in the Gossip Girl finale, when Kristen Bell and Rachel Bilson guest-starred and Kristen made a joke about being too old to play high school. Both actors previously played high schoolers despite being twentysomethings: Kristen in Veronica Mars and Rachel in The O.C.

Kristen tells Rachel "I don't think you can pull off high school anymore" and then there are photos of Kristen Bell playing at a teen on Veronica Mars at age 24 and Rachel Bilson playing a teen on The OC at age 24
The CW / UPN / Fox

Now it's your turn! What's your favorite time a show made a nod to a past role an actor had? Let us know in the comments below and you could be featured in an upcoming BuzzFeed Community article!