Celebrity movie cameos are a fun wink to the audience when a familiar face drops into a scene for a brief but memorable appearance. Sometimes, it’s just a blink-and-you-missed-it pop in, while other times, they’re given a joke to deliver. Occasionally, the guest star plays a pivotal role in moving the plot along.
But these cameos are also often very much a reflection of the times. The stars chosen for these moments were part of the zeitgeist in that given time. As a result, the person or the reference may not be as recognizable or relevant to audiences watching years later. A Michael Jordan cameo in a 1993 film is going to pack less of a punch now than it would have if you saw it in the theater on opening weekend 20 years ago. Here are some movie cameos that could’ve only happened in the '90s.
1. Vanilla Ice In ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze’Photo: New Line Cinema
Because Vanilla Ice’s musical success was so short-lived, it may be difficult to remember what a major pop cultural moment he had in 1990 and 1991. “Ice Ice Baby” was a huge No. 1 smash and his debut album went platinum seven times. He even dated Madonna and appeared in her Sex book.
Taking advantage of the momentum, Ice booked a role in the sequel to the super successful Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Ice certainly appreciated the opportunity and later called it “one of the coolest experiences” of his career.So, so '90s?
2. Robert Patrick In ‘Wayne’s World’Photo: Paramount Pictures
Robert Patrick made a name for himself playing the T-1000 in 1991’s blockbuster Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Usually when celebrities make movie cameos, they’re either playing themselves or a new original character. But in Wayne’s World, Patrick actually reprised his role from T2 with a comic twist.
When Wayne realizes he’s been pulled over by a shape-shifting Terminator, he turns to the camera and screams.So, so '90s?
3. Alanis Morissette In ‘Dogma’Photo: Lions Gate Films
Alanis Morissette achieved massive commercial success in the '90s with the mega-selling album Jagged Little Pill, and as a result, her music is often considered an essential part to the decade. When the Kevin Smith film Dogma was released in 1999, it seemed like a bold yet somehow fitting decision to have Morissette play the role of God.
Of course, there was all kinds of controversy and outrage surrounding the casting and the film itself. But as Smith explained, “There’s a Zen Buddhist serenity to Alanis that calls to mind something otherworldly.”So, so '90s?
4. Blink-182 In ‘American Pie’Photo: Universal Pictures
The original American Pie film is usually remembered for the oft-quoted, “One time at band camp” line, introducing the term "MILF" to audiences, and of course, the infamous pie scene. But the movie also contains a cameo from rock band Blink-182 that happened to fall during a time when the band was beginning to score major mainstream success. American Pie hit theaters in July 1999, just one month after the band released their breakthrough Enema of the State album, which featured their biggest hit to date, “All the Small Things.”
The record went on to become Blink-182’s biggest-selling album, while American Pie grossed over $235 million worldwide at the box office, and both projects were hailed as major victories that same summer.So, so '90s?