Sometimes characters don’t need excessive screen time to leave an impact. They become memorable in a matter of minutes. Like these characters: 

1. Frankie Ram Dayal: Kal Ho Naa Ho

Frankie Ram Dayal aka ‘Cute DJ’ aka Sweetu’s crush from Kal Ho Naa Ho, was also our crush when the film first aired. And over the years, he has continued to remain just as crushworthy and memorable as ever. Now if only we all could find a stranger like Ram Dayal and a matchmaker like Aman! *Sigh*

2. Chellam Sir: The Family Man Season 2

Okay, there’s Google, and then there’s Chellam Sir, a man faster than even Google. The ‘most cautious’ man that Srikant knows, Chellam sir is not even a part of every episode. And even when he appears on-screen, it’s not for more than a minute. But, his almost supernatural ability to always know the answer to Srika’t’s questions has made him the star of the season. 

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3. Bittu Ki Mummy: Gullak

When you think about it, the stories of Mishra pariwaar seem incomplete without the presence of their friendly neighbor, Bittu ki Mummy. Whether she appears for just one scene or lingers on in the background for longer, Bittu ki mummy is impossible to ignore. 

4. Ganesh: Run

Chances are, even if you’ve not seen the film, you remember the ‘kauwa biryani’ scene (that actually, also featured Pankaj Tripathi) from it. And while some of his other smaller roles went to become popular because of memes (remember, “nahi karna tha” from Dhamaal), kauwa biryani has a separate fanbase altogether. 

5. Sadhya Ji: Masaan

Pankaj Tripathi is a scene-stealer and nothing proves that better than his brief role in Masaan. In the middle of groundbreaking performances by Vicky Kaushal and Richa Chaddha, Tripathi’s Sadhya Ji still became a character that stayed with you long after the credits rolled. And that’s the power of intelligent writing and brilliant acting. 

6. Perpendicular: Gangs of Wasseypur 

The film gave us some truly brilliant actors and characters. But, while most actors got a fair share of screen time to flex those acting muscles, all Aditya Kumar aka Perpendicular needed was a handful of scenes to leave a mark. After all, his undeniable swag, along with his skills with a blade, is not something you look away from!

7. Khadak Singh: Hera Pheri

Hera Pheri is a film where every scene was a laughter riot in itself, especially if it featured Baburao’s ‘mast‘ one-liners. And yet, the highlight of the film remains Khadak Singh’s multiple but brief appearances, which have now birthed just as many memes. 


8. Ghasitaram: Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham

Mrs. Spritley was iconic, yes. But remember the time Rohan wanted to know Anjali and Rahul ‘kahan gaye’? Well, let’s just say, if it wasn’t for Ghasitaram, Rohan never would have known. No wonder Ghasitram was Rohan’s aka Kabir’s trusted team member in War. (IYKYK)

9. Rajan Tiwari: Omkara

Deepak Dobriyal gained widespread fame for his portrayal of the wonderfully adorable friend, Pappi Ji in the Tanu Weds Manu series. But those of us who have been his fans since Omkara know, only Rajan Tiwari could distract you from even the indomitable presence of Langda Tyagi (easily one of Saif Ali Khan’s career-best). 

10. Nawab: Made in Heaven

Nawab appeared for perhaps the shortest amount of time on-screen. And left an indelible impact. Perhaps it was because of the way his appearance tied to Karan’s story. Perhaps it was because it was the last episode in the season. Or perhaps it was all thanks to Vikrant Massey‘s emotionally rousing act. Whatever be the reason, Nawab’s presence was a royal treat indeed. 

11. Roohdaar: Haider

Roohdaar is easily one of the most memorable fictional characters from Bollywood. And the fact that it took less than 15 minutes of screen time for Roohdar to become entrenched in our memory can be attributed to both, Irrfan Khan’s magnetic performance, and Vishal Bhardwaj’s brilliant direction. 


12. Prof. Rasai: Main Hoon Na

If your mind immediately conjured up the image of Satish Shah spitting with abandon, then you already know why this character made it to the list. While Major Ram’s faculty was a mix of quirky characters, Prof. Rasai, with his inimitable sass and short-temper, left a long-lasting impact despite being absent for more than half of the film! 

13. Robin: Mirzapur S2

Compounder and Raja fought valiantly for this spot, but ultimately, Robin emerged the winner and I think we can all agree, “yeh bhi theek hai”. Because the ability to worm your way into every character’s life, and the audience’s heart, is one that Robin nailed like a pro – and that too, in just a few scenes. 

14. Ganesh: Panchayat

If I would have not added Ganesh, played by Aasif Khan, to this list, then gazab beizzati hoti yaar. Yes, Aasif Khan played the disgruntled groom in the finest web series of recent times, Panchayat. And it took him (and his baraat) all of 1 episode, and not even 15 minutes of screen time, to become one of the show’s highlights. 

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15. Lucky: Welcome

Majnu Bhai’s posse included some truly notable characters (like the guy jiski ek tang nakli thi). But none of them could hold a candle to RDX’s son, Lucky. I mean, not everyone’s revival can cause you to scream, ‘miracle, miracle’, right? 

16. Bob Biswas: Kahaani

Need I even explain why this character made it to the list? I mean the mere mention of his name is enough to send shivers down your spine, and yet you could count on one hand the number of times he appears on-screen. If that isn’t impactful, what is? 

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17. Sanjay Thapar: Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani

If we were to list our favourite fictional fathers, Sanjay Thapar would rank somewhere at the top. Because he understood millennials better than even millennials understand themselves. And he did not need more than 5 minutes to instantly worm his way into our hearts.  

18. Sarita Mehra: Wake Up Sid

Sarita Mehra is easily one of the most relatable on-screen mothers, whose interactions with Sid are a stark reminder of our bond with our mothers – because we may fail to understand them at times, but somehow, they never fail to look out for us. 

Is there a character you’d add to this list? Let us know in the comments section below.