Ever watch a television show or movie adaptation of a book you loved and think that coffee-sipping woman in the diner looks familiar? You probably recognized the author of said favorite book from the photo on the inside jacket. Since we’re not always super familiar with some writers’ appearances, often times their cameos — as impressive as they might be (looking at you, Denis Johnson!) — pass by unnoticed. Here’s a look at some of those author pop-up parts you might have missed.
Denis Johnson, Jesus' Son
Yes, that’s Jesus’ Son author Johnson hanging out next to Jack Black in 1999 with a knife through the eye (courtesy of his wife) in a scene from the short story, Emergency. Hey, if you write it, you’ve got to be able to take it.
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
Catch Atwood in the pilot episode of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale as one of the evil Aunts at the red center who hits Offred on the head when she hesitates to participate in the slut-shaming of Jeanine.
Kathryn Stockett, The Help
Stockett put on her Sunday best and headed to church (beehive hairstyle in tow) for her cameo in The Help in 2011.
Kathy Reichs, Bones
Reichs had a cameo in Bones as a professor of forensic anthropology named Constance Wright. The author also happens to be a real-life forensic anthropologist, so her role wasn’t too much of a stretch.
Lee Child, Jack Reacher
Child has a short cameo as a police officer who’s suspicious of Tom Cruise’s character in the 2012 movie. It’s almost like he knows something we don’t…?
Lee Child, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
Again, Child has a Cruise-suspicious cop cameo in the 2016 sequel.
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander
The Outlander author had the opportunity to don tartan and head back in time for a quick cameo as a character named Iona MacTavish in season one of the Starz series.
Dennis Lehane, Mystic River
Lehane appears in the 2003 movie’s big parade scene, driving by in a convertible. “His sets are the most just relaxed places you could ever be,” the author told EW of hanging with the movie’s director Clint Eastwood.
Sara Shepard, Pretty Little Liars
Shepard had two cameos in PLL. One, as a substitute English teacher in the episode “The Homecoming Hangover,” and her second in “I’m a Good Girl, I Am,” this time playing a news reporter.
Cheryl Strayed, Wild
Strayed pops up early in the movie adaptation of her novel, Wild. You can spot her driving the pickup truck that picks up Reese Witherspoon at the start of her life-changing hike.
Stephen King, Under the Dome
Just call him the cameo King. The prolific writer has found time for quick guest spots on multiple shows — adaptations of his own works and others — including an appearance in the premiere episode of Under the Dome‘s second season in 2014.
S.E. Hinton, The Outsiders
Not only did Hinton make a small cameo as a nurse in the 1983 movie adaptation of The Outsiders, but she also served as a location scout for the production.
Stan Lee, Deadpool
Mr. Marvel has popped up many times in the movies tied to his comic-book characters. In Deadpool, the Marvel mastermind played an emcee at a strip club where Wade Wilson’s (Ryan Reynolds) lady love Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) is employed. “I wish I had spent more time in the strip club,” Lee told EW.
Terry Pratchett, Hogfather
Pratchett popped up in the 2006 two-part television film adaptation of his novel Hogfather as a toymaker sporting a fetching hat. No, he didn’t get to ride the sleigh pulled by four wild boars.
Charlaine Harris, True Blood
The Southern Vampire Mysteries (a.k.a. True Blood to TV viewers) author Harris was brave enough to stop by Merlotte’s for a cold one. Luckily, Sam was the one to serve her, not surly Tara.
Jeff Lindsay, Dexter
Lindsay had a fleeting cameo in Dexter‘s season 3 episode, “Go Your Own Way” in 2008. He played a police officer to whom Angel talks before visiting Gianna in the hospital.
Ken Follett, Pillars of the Earth
Look out for Follett in his cameo role as the merchant who tells Jack the story of his father’s sailing in the “New Beginnings” episode of the eight-part 2010 TV miniseries.
Greg Behrendt, He’s Just Not That Into You
At least Behrendt was into the holy cameo he made as a priest in the 2009 big screen adaptation of his tough love advice book for women.
David Levithan and Rachel Cohn, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Cohn and Levithan, who authored the source novel, cameo in the 2008 film as a couple sitting behind Nick and Norah at a diner.
Nicola Yoon, Everything, Everything
Yoon, her husband, and her daughter have a cameo on the beach in Hawaii in 2017’s Everything, Everything. “It took 45 minutes to film a two-second scene because my little kid would not stop pointing at the camera on the drone as it flew by,” the author told EW.
Stephen King, Pet Sematary
Another adaptation, another cameo: This time King played the minister at Missy’s funeral in 1989’s Pet Sematary.
Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
You know that old, bald, hippie-looking guy surrounded by women whom Johnny Depp walks past in the club? Yep, that’s author Hunter S. Thompson in the 1998 adaptation of his book.
John le Carre, The Night Manager
Apparently le Carre tried to expand his two-line walk-on role in the BBC’s 2016 adaptation of his novel. Some serious cutting had to be done in the editing room when the author stretched his part out to eight lines!
John le Carre, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Le Carre also made a brief appearance in a Christmas party scene in 2011’s Gary Oldman-starring film adaptation of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
Louis Sachar, Holes
The children’s and YA author plays a character named Mr. Collingwood, who has a serious need for more hair, in a flashback scene in 2003’s Holes.
John Irving, The World According to Garp
Irving makes a fleeting cameo in the 1982 film as an official in one of Garp’s high school wrestling matches.
Emily Giffin, Something Borrowed
In a very meta move, Giffin sits on a bench in Madison Square Park reading her follow-up novel, Something Blue, as characters Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Marcus (Steve Howey) talk nearby in the 2011 flick.
Fannie Flagg, Fried Green Tomatoes
Based on the novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, the 1991 movie cast author Fannie Flagg as the leader of a self-help group. Luckily, she didn’t try the barbecue “pork.”
You’ll have to wait until nearly the end of this 2009 movie to see author Ramona “Sapphire” Lofton pop up as a woman at a daycare center.
Jennifer Weiner, In Her Shoes
Weiner and her agent appear walking behind Rose (Toni Collette) and her friend in the Italian market scene. What’s more, Weiner’s sister and grandmother are also in the 2005 movie.
Jacqueline Susann, Valley of the Dolls
Even though she wasn’t a big fan of the movie adaptation of her best-selling novel, Susann did have a brief cameo in the 1967 film as a news reporter.
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated
This one will blow you away. Remember near the end of the movie when Elijah Wood stands before his grandfather’s grave as a groundskeeper blows leaves in the background? That leaf-blower is none other than author Safran Foer.
Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club
Look for Tan in the party scene at the beginning of the 1993 movie.
Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting
Not one to let the actors have all the debaucherous fun, Welsh makes an appearance as Mikey Forrester, Renton’s heroin dealer, in the 1996 hit.
Charles Bukowski, Barfly
Bukowski went for the obvious cameo role in 1987’s Barfly by playing, surprise, a man drinking a drink at the bar.
James Dickey, Deliverance
Dickey’s cameo in Deliverance back in 1970 turned out to be quite a memorable moment, portraying a sheriff sneering at Jon Voight’s character.
Stephenie Meyer, Twilight
Meyer just couldn’t resist that garden burger at the Forks diner. She stopped by with her laptop in 2008 for a quick cameo in the first movie of the franchise based on her books.
Chuck Palahniuk, Choke
Palahniuk’s cameo jets by so fast, you might not notice it. He played a non-speaking traveler in an airplane scene in 2008’s adaptation of Choke.
Bryan Lee O’Malley, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
You can see O’Malley and his wife, cartoonist Hope Larson, hanging out at Lee’s Palace after Sex Bob-Omb leaves the stage in the 2010 comedy.