May 17, 2018 11:50 AM

Just think: That Price Is Right contestant you mock today could be tomorrow’s big Emmy-winning star.

From Jon Hamm to Lady Gaga, these celebs appeared on everything from dating shows to prank series before making it big in Hollywood, proving the road to fame can have some surprising pitstops.

Tiffany Haddish
The world has an eagle-eyed Twitter user to thank for unearthing this throwback gem.

In 2005, Haddish appeared on Pimp My Ride to share some history behind her friend’s busted whip. “There was a fine guy across the street and I was like, ‘Dang, look at him!'” she recalled.

The comedian confirmed that she’s still tight with said friend, Rashae, in 2016.

Lady Gaga

Back when she was still known as Stefani Germanotta, the superstar’s temper was tested on MTV prank show Boiling Points. Gaga was unknowingly tasked with enduring ridiculous waitstaff behavior without losing her cool. Unfortunately for her, she dropped a curse words when the waitress brought her a garbage-covered salad, thus losing out on the $100 prize.

Emma Stone

Long before she was singing and dancing through L.A. in La La Land, Emma Stone (then going by Emily) belted her way through the VH1 series In Search of the Partridge Family, which aimed to case a reboot of the 1970s classic. She won the competition (although the show never aired), and 13 years later, she also won an Oscar for her musical chops.

Janel Parrish

Parrish, who played Mona Vanderwaal on Pretty Little Liars, was 14-years-old when she showed off her impressive pipes on the show Junior Singer. She didn’t make it past the audition, but her luck on reality shows improved: She placed third on Dancing with the Stars in 2014.

Heather Morris

Back in 2006, before she stole the show as Brittany S. Pierce on Glee, Heather Morris was a fresh-faced dancer who auditioned for season 2 of So You Think You Can Dance with her best friend. However, just a year later, she was dancing with Beyoncé on her world tour, and landed a role on Glee in 2009.

Aaron Paul

Sure, it was only a one-episode stint, but Aaron Paul’s 2000 appearance on The Price Is Right earned him the title as quite possibly the most enthusiastic contestant in the show’s history.

Jon Hamm

Another future TV star who made a big impression with just one appearance? Jon Hamm, who stopped by The Big Date back in 1996, rocking a very un-Don Draper-like hairstyle. He didn’t find love on the show, but not long afterward, his acting career took off, so really, it looks like he won in the end.

Lucy Hale

The actress, best known as Aria Montgomery on Pretty Little Liars, got her first taste of TV stardom back in 2003, when she competed on the American Idol spinoff, American Juniors, which aimed to put together a group of talented young singers. Hale made it into the group — dubbed, of course, American Juniors — but the group disbanded in 2005. She got the last laugh in the end: In 2012, she signed a record contract with Hollywood Records and released her debut country album Road Between in 2014. Oh, and she was on a super successful TV show, too.


The pop star’s mother, Pebe Sebert, hosted Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie in their home during a 2003 episode of The Simple Life. During their time at her home in Nashville, the starlets worked at a wedding chapel and set Kesha’s mother up on a date. Their attempts at matchmaking weren’t successful, but Kesha and Hilton stayed in touch, and years later, Kesha attended a party at her house, threw up in her closet, and then wrote a song about it.

Yaya Dacosta

DaCosta was best-known in season 3 of America’s Next Top Model as the worldly, super-smart former dancer who had a habit of lecturing her fellow contestants on the importance of “respieto.” She ultimately placed second, and enjoyed a successful modeling career before transitioning to acting, where she’s since appeared on Ugly Betty and in Oscar-nominated films The Kids Are All Right and The Butler. Oh, and she too appeared opposite Ryan Gosling on-screen, thanks to a part in 2016’s The Nice Guys. (She currently stars on Chicago Med.)

Elisabeth Hasselback

She’s best known for her hosting jobs on shows like The View and Fox & Friends, but she first established herself as a television personality back in season 2 of Survivor, where she ultimately placed fourth overall.

Laverne Cox

Cox first rose to fame while appearing on the first season of MTV’s I Want to Work for Diddy. Although she was eliminated in the sixth episode, the time on the show earned her a job hosting and producing the VH1 show TRANSform Me, in which transgender stylists give a cisgender woman an external and internal makeover. The show made Cox the first African-American trans woman to produce and star in her own TV show, and established that she has pretty much always been everyone’s role model.

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