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31 TV Actors Who Should've Won An Emmy For These Memorable Performances, But Didn't

The fact that Chandra Wilson has never won an Emmy for Miranda Bailey is criminal.

We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us which actors were so good in TV shows but got zero credit for it. Here are some of the best responses:

🚨Warning: There are some massive spoilers ahead!🚨

1. Bellamy Young as Mellie Grant on Scandal

Mellie telling Fitz and Olivia that she will not standby while they try to paint to the press that Fitz and Olivia's affair only lasted for a year and didn't mean anything

"She gave an absolutely amazing performance and remained consistent in giving good acting performances in every episode, but especially during Season 3, Episode 1. You could clearly see the heartbreak and disappointment on her face in this episode. She's unreal."


2. Danny Pudi as Abed Nadir on Community

Abed getting up on stage and saying how much he liked meeting Rachel

"His performance makes Abed the perfect combination of funny, relatable, and absolutely heartbreaking at times. I'm completely convinced no one else could have played Abed anywhere near as perfectly as Danny. Joel McHale might play the main character on Community, but Danny really steals the show!"


3. Dylan O'Brien as Stiles on Teen Wolf

Void Stiles chasing Lydia and Stiles saying, "You can kill the Oni. But me? Me? I'm a thousand years old. You can't kill me!"

"Stiles is not only an amazing character, but Dylan is an amazing actor. In Season 3, Stiles is evil and it is so believable when his body is being possessed. Season 3 shows Dylan's versatility and range as he takes Stiles from a funny and positive character to a character who is purely evil. I feel like Dylan has gotten ZERO credit for his performance on Teen Wolf and it needs to be recognized!"


4. Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers on Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy finding Joyce's dead body and saying, "Mom? Mom? Mommy?"
Warner Bros.

"Sarah Michelle Gellar never getting an Emmy Award for Buffy is unbelievable. She had one of the hardest acting jobs ever and nailed it EVERY time. She had to do emotional scenes, comedic scenes, incredible physical stunts, and niche supernatural things. A truly masterful performance."


5. Michaela Coel as Tracey Gordon on Chewing Gum and Shania Lowry on Black Mirror

E4 / Netflix

"Michaela Coel in literally everything she’s done, but Chewing Gum and Black Mirror are just two performances that deserved more recognition."


6. Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki as Dean and Sam Winchester on Supernatural

A possessed Sam beating up Dean and Dean saying, "Sammy. It's okay. I'm here. I'm not gonna leave you"
The CW

"After 15 seasons, they still haven’t won any major awards and their acting isn't talked about enough. Jensen and Jared have played darker versions of their characters and acted so many death scenes, it blows my mind how good they are."


7. D'Arcy Carden as Janet on The Good Place


"Seriously, the 'Janet(s)' episode is probably the best acting I’ve ever seen on TV. There were not enough accolades that could have been given to D'Arcy Carden for her work in this episode."


8. Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey on Grey's Anatomy

Meredith crying while in a hospital bed with her jaw wired shut and a broken arm

"Ellen has always been amazing, but especially after Patrick Dempsey left the show because it has given her character room to shine on her own. The episode 'The Sound of Silence' when Meredith gets attacked by a patient is just one example of how good Ellen is."


9. Chandra Wilson as Miranda Bailey on Grey's Anatomy

Bailey crying and saying how she was able to help all of her patients today, but there  was nothing she could do to prevent her miscarriage

"Chandra Wilson has consistently given breathtaking performances during 15 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, but recently, Bailey's breakdown after her miscarriage gave me chills. I was in tears."


10. Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy on Game of Thrones

Theon talking to Bran, and Bran telling him, "Everything you did brought you to where you are now. Where you belong. Home"

"Alfie Allen 100% deserved so much more credit for his amazing performance as Theon! You hated him, you felt bad for him, and then you rooted for him. His character development and outstanding performance deserved so many awards and so much praise. I actually get upset when I think about how snubbed he was!"


11. Emily Hampshire as Stevie Budd on Schitt's Creek

Stevie singing in Cabaret as Sally and David saying, "That's my friend"

"Emily is great in every season, but especially during Stevie's Cabaret storyline! Both Stevie and Alexis had such incredible character arcs that year, and Stevie's song at the end made me sob!"


12. Victoria Pedretti as Nell Crain on The Haunting of Hill House

Nell surrounded by her family at Hill House and then Nell as the Bent Neck Lady

"She managed to show so much emotion and be so versatile in only 10 episodes, but especially during Episode 5, 'The Bent-Neck Lady.'"


13. Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Fitz being crushed under rubble and dying

"Iain De Caestecker has had multiple Emmy-worthy performances on the show. From when Fitz is literally just standing in a room and hitting a rock, to playing his character having a mental break and hallucinating an alternate version of himself, and then his death scene, he has been incredible. I’m still mad he hasn't won any awards or gotten recognition."


14. Ncuti Gatwa as Eric Effiong on Sex Education

Eric talking to his dad and saying that it doesn't matter what he says, Eric is going to be who is

"I feel like Sex Education is overlooked in general, but Ncuti Gatwa outshines almost every other cast member, in my opinion. Most of the characters lean into the awkward uncomfortable teenager aspects, while Eric feels so real, raw, and human. All of his scenes made me laugh or cry. The show deals with such deeply personal parts of these characters' lives, and I feel like I know Eric 10 times better than anyone else on the show."


15. Sophia Bush as Brooke Davis on One Tree Hill

Brooke finally telling Peyton that she was actually attacked and that's why she has been so distant
The CW

"Brooke had huge character development throughout the series. During Season 6, Sophia gave it her all as she managed to act both vulnerable and strong. Sophia has so much talent and it needs to be recognized."


16. Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen on Arrow

Oliver dying in front of me and saying, "I love you, Mia. You keep me in your heart, okay?"
The CW

"Stephen Amell deserved more credit for his role as Oliver Queen. Oliver's journey from a thoughtless playboy to vigilante to hero, and ultimately to a father and savior of the multiverse, only felt believable because of Stephen. He made Oliver's experiences with trauma and pain feel real, consistently, for all eight seasons."


17. Linda Cardellini as Judy Hale on Dead to Me

Judy telling Jen, "Please forgive me, Jen. I had no idea that I was gonna love you so much, or the boys, or that you guys would become my family"

"The scene when Judy tells Jen that she killed her husband is so emotional. Both Linda and Christina Applegate's emotions are so raw, I could feel their inability to breathe through the weight of their emotions."


18. Nina Dobrev as Elena Gilbert and Katherine Pierce on The Vampire Diaries

Katherine telling Elena, "It's getting really easy being you"
The CW

"Nina played each of her characters so distinctly that you almost always knew which one was on screen. The fact that she wasn't nominated for a Golden Globe or an Emmy for her performance is criminal."


19. Danai Gurira as Michonne on The Walking Dead

Michonne killing a bunch of walkers and crying

"The way Danai was able to portray Michonne's hesitancy and guardedness to get close to anyone because of her son's death in Season 3 is a performance that still stands out to me. Then, watching Michonne open up and be vulnerable with Rick, Carl, and the rest of the team as she slowly accepts them as her family is next level. The emotions Danai can portray with just her eyes gives me chills. She’s a phenomenal actor and deserved an Emmy for this role! Period."


20. Freddie Highmore as Norman Bates on Bates Motel

Norman talking to Marion and saying that loving people is a trap

"Freddie Highmore gave one of the scariest performances I've ever seen on television and got zero recognition! He wasn't nominated for anything for this show and he was just incredible."


21. Lana Parrilla as Regina Mills/Evil Queen on Once Upon a Time


"She's the complete package. Lana playing Regina/Evil Queen could ooze so much evilness that you wanted to run and hide under the covers in one second and then turn around and break your heart with one look in the next. Her Regina/Evil Queen brought sass and grit to a potentially saccharine show. She carried the whole show and never got recognized for it."


22. Dacre Montgomery as Billy Hargrove on Stranger Things

Eleven trying to get through to Billy and saying, "She was pretty. And you... you were happy"

"Dacre's acting in Season 3 is just awesome and his final scene with Eleven... A LOT OF TEARS. He deserved more recognition for this role and the character didn't deserve to die, especially because his arc could have been explored more!"


23. Noah Schnapp as Will Byers on Stranger Things

Will screaming while being possessed by the Mind Flayer

"Noah as Will Byers on Stranger Things is one of the absolute best performances of the decade. The character is completely underrated, and the performances Noah has given throughout all three seasons are completely flawless."


24. Hannah Simone as Cece Parekh on New Girl

Cece at her wedding to Schmidt saying, "Just when I thought you couldn’t make me any happier, look what you did today. You’re amazing"

"Hannah Simone deserved way more praise for her work on New Girl. She's extremely talented and her character is so phenomenal."


25. Marie Avgeropoulos as Octavia Blake on The 100

Octavia fighting people and saying, "You are Wonkru, or you are the enemy of Wonkru. Choose"
The CW

"Marie flawlessly played Octavia's transition from a sweet girl who chased butterflies to a ruthless and maniacal leader who struggled to regain her morality again."


26. Yon González as Francisco Gomez on Cable Girls/Las Chicas del Cable

Francisco chasing after Lidia at the train station and saying, "I lost you here once. It won't happen again" and then kissing her

"He was so amazing as Francisco and he was able to make his character so wonderful and perfect. Yon showed a range of so many emotions and I just couldn’t help but love his character so much."


27. Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall-Fraser on Outlander

Claire weeping while holding Faith one last time

"Caitriona Balfe in the Season 2 episode 'Faith' is all you need to watch to see how good she is. Claire had to deal with the stillborn birth of her child without Jamie, and there are so many individual moments in the entire episode that stand out, but the most powerful is when Claire holds her baby in her arms and sings to her."


28. Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser on Outlander

Sam Heughan as Jamie during the Outlander Season 1 finale

"Sam Heughan's work in Season 1 of Outlander deserved every award. I've never read the books, but I was captivated by his performance. Sam can do drama, light comedy, action, you name it. He's still the best thing on the show, but Season 1 Jamie is legendary."


29. Dominique Jackson, Mj Rodriguez, and Indya Moore as Elektra Abundance, Blanca Rodriguez, and Angel on Pose

Dominique Jackson, Mj Rodriguez, and Indya Moore as Elektra Abundance, Blanca Rodriguez, and Angel in Pose

"Dominique Jackson, Mj Rodriguez, and Indya Moore in Season 1 and Season 2 of Pose. Period."


30. Emmy Rossum as Fiona Gallagher on Shameless


"Emmy had so many powerful moments throughout many seasons of Shameless and got no recognition!"


31. And finally, Cameron Britton as Ed Kemper on Mindhunter

Merrick Morton / Netflix

"Normally a cute teddy bear of a guy, Cameron's portrayal of Kemper is bone-chilling. His mannerisms, cadence, and speech patterns are eerily similar to the real serial killer, Ed Kemper."


Are there other actors whose TV performances deserve more recognition? Tell us in the comments below!

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Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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