You know you know them. You’ve seen them in countless television shows and movies, and as soon as they pop on screen, you find yourself going, “Oh, them! I love them!” Unfortunately, as recognizable as the faces of these character actors and actresses may be, their names don’t always immediately spring to mind.
We think it’s about time these scene-stealers get their due and become the household names they should be. We’ve picked 12 of our favorite actors and actresses whose faces you know, but whose name always slips your mind. (But, don’t worry, we’ve come up with some handy tricks for you to remember from here on out!)
Jennifer CoolidgeGetty Images
Where You’ve Seen Her : The comedy powerhouse who has ditzy down to an art form has appeared on the big and small screen alike, including Legally Blonde, Best in Show, Friends, 2 Broke Girls, Glee, A Cinderella Story, Party Down, and, most memorably, as Stifler’s Mom in the American Pie series.
How You Can Remember Her Name: She’s the COOLest.
J.K. SimmonsTibrina Hobson/Getty Images
Where You’ve Seen Him: The respected actor has played a range of characters over 20 years in everything from Oz to Law & Order, Juno, The Closer, Spider-Man, Up in the Air and his Oscar-winning turn in Whiplash. Oh, and don’t forget about those Farmers Insurance ads.
How You Can Remember His Name: In the words of Matthew McConaughey (OK, Amy Poehler), “Just Keep Simmons.”
Judy GreerMichael Tran/FilmMagic
Where You’ve Seen Her: The eternal sidekick (and Archer voice actor) always makes us smile in movies and TV shows like Arrested Development, 13 Going on 30, Californication, The Wedding Planner, Two and a Half Men, and The Descendants. The actress may not be a marquee name, but she’s also starring in three of this year’s biggest projects, including Tomorrowland, Jurassic World, and Ant-Man.
How You Can Remember Her Name: Greer always kicks everything into the next gear
Dean WintersFOX via Getty Images
Where You’ve Seen Him: You mean aside from those oddly transfixing Allstate commercials? He’s starred in a wide variety of movies and TV shows including John Wick, Oz, 30 Rock, P.S. I Love You, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Sex and the City, and Battle Creek.
How You Can Remember His Name: A lot of mayhem happens in Winter, but he’ll have you covered
Kim DickensGetty Images
Where You’ve Seen Her: The actress has appeared in some prestigious television shows, including House of Cards, Friday Night Lights, Lost, Deadwood, Sons of Anarchy, and Treme. She’s made her mark on film, too, including her memorable turn as the no-nonsense Detective Boney in Gone Girl.
How You Can Remember Her Name: You still can’t remember? What the dickens
James RemarJohn Shearer/Getty Images for TV Guide
Where You’ve Seen Him: If you’ve seen a movie or TV show over the past 25 years, you’ve seen him. Case in point: he’s starred in Dexter, Sex and the City, Django Unchained, Grey’s Anatomy, X-Men: First Class, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Miracle on 34th Street, The Vampire Diaries, and The Warriors, just to name a few.
How You Can Remember His Name: That’s a pretty Remar-kable resume
Marla SokoloffPaul Archuleta/FilmMagic
Where You’ve Seen Her: When you aren’t mistaking her for her Party of Five co-star Lacey Chabert, she’s appearing in shows and movies like Full House, The Fosters, Sugar & Spice, The Practice, Whatever It Takes, Friends, Grey’s Anatomy, and, her crown jewel, Dude, Where’s My Car?.
How You Can Remember Her Name: Every time you remember it’s so close, but not quite off
John C. McGinleyRobin Marchant/Getty Images
Where You’ve Seen Him: Everything. Like, pretty much everything imaginable, including Scrubs, Office Space, Se7en, Wall Street, Platoon, Burn Notice, and 42.
How You Can Remember His Name: The ’C’ stands for everything you see him in
Clea DuVallTibrina Hobson/Getty Images
Where You’ve Seen Her: If you’re a ’90s kid, you’ll instantly recognize her from movies like Can’t Hardly Wait, The Faculty, She’s All That, But I’m a Cheerleader, and Girl, Interrupted. She’s also made her mark well beyond the ’90s, and on TV shows including American Horror Story, Heroes, Carnivale, The Newsroom, and Better Call Saul.
How You Can Remember Her Name: Just take a look at the VHS boxes of all your favorite movies from middle school, her name will be on there somewhere
Luis GuzmanJOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images
Where You’ve Seen Him: It’s hard to forget a face like that, especially when it’s appeared in countless movies and TV shows like Boogie Nights, Oz, Waiting, We’re the Millers, Out of Sight, How to Make It in America, Top Five, and Anger Management, among other titles.
How You Can Remember His Name: He’s the man. The Guz-man
Melanie LynskeyAndrew Toth/Getty Images
Where You’ve Seen Her: Whether she’s leaving a strong impression on the big screen (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Up in the Air, Away We Go, Coyote Ugly, Sweet Home Alabama) or being the bright spot on TV shows (Two and a Half Men, Togetherness, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), it’s downright baffling as to why the scene-stealer isn’t a bigger star.
How You Can Remember Her Name: You know what, just memorize her name now…you’ll be happy you did
John Michael HigginsJason Kempin/Getty Images
Where You’ve Seen Him: Well, you’ve definitely seen him as the hilarious announcer John Smith in both Pitch Perfect movies, but he’s also made you laugh in movies and shows like The Break-Up, Arrested Development, Bad Teacher, Ally McBeal, Glee, Yes Man, Best in Show, Seinfeld, Couples Retreat, and so much more.
How You Can Remember His Name: Let’s be real, you probably won’t. He is eternally “Hey, It’s That Guy.”