Obviously, we all know that Disney Channel has produced so many superstars in the world of acting and singing — Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, and Zendaya are some of the biggest names in the world today, and they all got their start on Disney Channel. But there were many more stars hidden in the Disney Channel constellation that you may not have noticed… or just totally forgot about. So, it’s time to take a trip down memory lane with these celebrities you might not remember were once on Disney Channel.
Working with Disney is something of a rite of passage for young stars, but you’d still be surprised by just how many of the most famous actors today got their start with small parts on Disney Channel. Some you may have forgotten because they only last for one episode, or even a single scene; others you might not remember simply because the actor wasn’t well-known at the time. Either way, it’s a blast from the past to look back at all the megastars who popped up in your fave shows from back in the day. If this list inspires you to indulge in some nostalgia, all these Disney Channel original series are available to stream on Disney+.
1. Alison Brie on Hannah Montana
Before she shot to fame on shows like Mad Men, Community, and GLOW, Alison Brie’s first-ever on-screen role was a guest spot on Hannah Montana. She played Nina in one episode, a beauty school student Rico hired to cut off all Jackson’s hair as a prank.
2. Noah Centineo on Austin & Ally
Noah Centineo became the ultimate heartthrob when To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before debuted, but before that, he was stealing hearts as the Cell Phone Accessory Cart worker Dallas on Austin & Ally. As one of Ally’s major crushes, his role was pretty important, although he only appeared in a handful of episodes in Season 1 before disappearing.
3. Joey King on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody
One of Joey King’s first roles ever was on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody as a mischeivous little girl who tormented the twins. King was only six years only when she filmed this guest spot.
4. Lucy Hale on Wizards of Waverly Place
Before she was hunting down A on Pretty Little Liars, Lucy Hale appeared in two episodes of Wizards of Waverly Place as the new girl Miranda. Her character briefly dated David Henrie’s character Justin on the show, while she and Henrie were also dating IRL at the time.
5. Kristen Bell on Liv & Maddie
Kristen Bell has starred in so many shows, you might not even remember the time she showed up in an episode of Liv & Maddie. Bell played herself as she teamed up with Liv to get reporters to stop only asking actress’ questions about their looks.
6. Scheana Shay on Jonas
Scheana Shay has been serving up food-related drama long before Vanderpump Rules. The reality star had all three Jonas Brothers wooing her in an episode of Jonas. She even became the muse for one of the band’s early songs “Pizza Girl.”
7. Evan Peters on Phil of the Future
Before he could face an American Horror Story, Evan Peters had to survive the horrors of high school. He recurred in the first season of Phil of the Future as Phil’s outcast buddy Seth, but was replaced in Season 2.
8. Tiffany Haddish in That’s So Raven
Years before her Girl’s Trip, Tiffany Haddish got her first acting gig with a small part on That’s So Raven. She appeared only briefly as a science center employee named Charlotte.
9. Zoey Deutch on The Suite Life on Deck
Zoey Deutch’s first on-screen role was a recurring spot on the Suite Life of Zack and Cody sequel series Suite Life on Deck. Her character Maya had an on-and-off relationship with Zack up until the series finale, when they ended things.
10. Emma Roberts on Jonas
Emma Roberts was already pretty famous when she appeared on Jonas, as evidenced by the fact that she played herself at a star-studded event. But her tiny cameo is still easy to forget. The appearance is pretty fun, though, considering she’d go on to work with Nick Jonas again a few years later on Scream Queens.
11. Carly Rae Jepsen on Shake It Up
“Call Me Maybe” was already the earworm of the century when Carly Rae Jepsen showed up on an episode of Shake It Up. The pop star played herself and performed her song “Sweetie” in the episode.
12. Victoria Justice on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody
You probably think of Victoria Justice as more of a Nickelodeon girl, but she also had her Disney Channel moment. She played a young pageant queen in a memorable episode of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.
13. Austin Butler on Wizards of Waverly Place
Pre-Elvis, Austin Butler jumped around between a ton of buzzy young adult shows. In one episode of Wizards of Waverly Place, his charms inspired Alex to cast a spell on herself to become a more positive person.
14. …and Hannah Montana
Butler’s Hannah Montana character was less of a charmer, though. His character Derek completely ruined a date with Miley by totally freaking out while watching a scary movie.
15. …AND Jonas
He may not have had his own show on Disney Channel, but Butler was truly all over the network. He also appeared on an episode of Jonas as a hot-shot surfer who totally intimidates Nick.
Don’t have Disney+ yet? You can sign up here.