Throughout its 2000-2007 run, Gilmore Girls served as a launching pad for a number of celebrities. It was Alexis Bledel's first major role, and now she's winning Emmys for The Handmaid's Tale. It was also one of Bridesmaids' Melissa McCarthy first big parts, as well as This Is Us' Milo Ventimiglia. And of course, it's where Jared Padelecki got his start before joining the CW's long-running sci-fi show Supernatural (on which his brother just so happens to share a name with his Gilmore Girls character, Dean). But there are several teen stars who appeared on Gilmore Girls that you probably forgot about.
According to Vanity Fair, casting directors Mara Casey and Jami Rudofsky looked for two things in the actors they cast: they had to be funny, and they had to talk fast. Those were creator Amy Sherman-Palladino's biggest requirements, and some of the attributes the show is best remembered for. It's also what likely helped the actors who appeared on the series get noticed; a couple even left mid-show to be on bigger projects. In the grand scheme of things, Gilmore Girls is nothing but a blip on their résumés — though a pretty impressive blip nonetheless. Let's look back.
Chad Michael Murray
For two seasons, Murray played Rory's obnoxious but handsome private school classmate Tristan Dugray. She once shared a kiss with him, which may have developed into a longer fling if he hadn't left in Season 2 to star on Dawson's Creek (and of course, later join One Tree Hill). The show wrote Tristan out by saying that his dad was sending him to military school. Rory later dated Tristan 2.0, Logan Huntzberger (Matt Czuchry), at Yale.
Early in Schmidt's career, he played a boy scout on Gilmore Girls Season 2, Episode 5 who wanted extra crispy fries from Luke's diner. In Season 3, Episode 3, he returned to ask Luke to make him an old-fashioned ice cream drink. After his bit parts on the show, Schmidt starred on Nickelodeon's Big Time Rush as a member of the band.
Before his days as Seth Cohen on The O.C., Brody played Lane Kim's (Keiko Agena) boyfriend and bandmate Dave Rygalski on Gilmore Girls for most of Season 3. But once The O.C. came calling, Brody left the show behind, with his character Dave fittingly moving to California. With Dave out of the picture, Lane developed a crush on her other bandmate Zack (Todd Lowe).
Justice was only 10 when she appeared as a guest at a child's birthday party in Gilmore Girls Season 4, Episode 3. It was her first-ever role, and she eventually worked her way up to starring on Nickelodeon shows like Zoey 101 and Victorious.
Greenfield is now known for New Girl and his Ryan Murphy projects like American Horror Story and American Crime Story. But after briefly playing Dean's friend in Gilmore Girls Season 4, Episode 4, he appeared as Michael on ABC Family's teen dramedy Greek and as a young Sandy Cohen on The O.C.
Though best known for his role as Community's Abed, Pudi also appeared on Greek after playing Yale newspaper staffer in Gilmore Girls Season 6 and 7.
Marano played Luke's secret daughter April Nardini in Seasons 6 and 7. Her sudden arrival in Luke's life eventually destroyed his relationship with Lorelai, so Gilmore Girls fans tend to not like April (even though the revival revealed he and Lorelai still ended up together). But that's no sweat off the back of Marano, who went on to appear in several other big projects, most notably the Freeform show Switched at Birth.