I Spy: 15 Idol Pre-Debut Appearances That Bring Smiles To Our Faces

Before our favorite idols ever even had the chance to debut, they were trainees within their own respective companies. But for some lucky few, there were opportunities to be on camera during trainee life. Appearing alongside senior groups in things like music videos, music show performances, and commercials, these idols were seen by the public before fame inevitably came to them. So looking back now, it’s really fun to see how they all got their start! As a way to have a little laugh, I have compiled some throwback moments of idols’ hidden pre-debut appearances for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

1. Stray Kids

Back in 2015, Bang Chan of Stray Kids made a cameo in TWICE’s “Like Ooh-Ahh” music video! Though it’s difficult to recognize him with the zombie makeup, you can spot him if you look closely enough.


Before their debut, TWICE made plenty of surprise appearances in the media, particularly in GOT7 music videos! Watch “Girls Girls Girls” below to see Nayeon and Jeongyeon acting alongside the GOT7 boys.

Meanwhile, the “A” music video features Sana as the main love interest , who all the GOT7 members are obsessed with.

One comeback later, Dahyun plays the lead in “Stop Stop It,” acting well alongside JB.

Not only that, but TWICE members were offered CF roles even before their debut!


Before he became a MONSTA X member, Shownu was a backup dancer in Lee Hyori’s “Bad Girls” music show performances! His stage presence was as impressive back then as it is now, so be sure to give it a watch.

Wonho also made a surprise appearance in SISTAR’s “Ma Boy” performance as a dancer! If you look to the far left, you can see glimpses of Wonho in his snazzy suit.


Continuing with the trend of companies using their own trainees, WJSN’s Eunseo has a role in MONSTA X’s “Rush” MV! Starship family never fails to impress.


Several of the now-members of SEVENTEEN appeared in their labelmate NU’EST’s debut MV for “Face”! The fact that they tried to act tough and intimidating truly contradicts the SEVENTEEN that we know and love, which makes it all the more entertaining.

SEVENTEEN, as well as PRISTIN members, show up in Orange Caramel’s “My Copycat” performance!


Since BTOB’s Ilhoon was unable to perform his rap parts, then-trainee E’Dawn of PENTAGON took his place on stage with HyunA for “Roll Deep.” His improvement from here to now is really impressive!

7. NCT

Taeyong of NCT featured in Red Velvet’s remake of the S.E.S. song “Be Natural” back in 2014, and boy is this a throwback. The Red Velvet members are slaying while Taeyong is killing it with his “TY track” line, truly an iconic combination.

NCT’s Lucas also briefly appears in Ten’s SM Station song “Dream in a Dream” from last year, before he formally debuted.

8. BTS

Several of the BTS members are hiding in the background of Jo Kwon’s “I’m Da One” music video; Jungkook and J-Hope are background dancers, V and Jin have acting roles, and Suga…is just being Suga, as far as I can tell.


This might not count…but member Somin debuted in the cute girl group APRIL before becoming a part of KARD, and she took on an image completely different from now. It’s actually pretty jarring to see her act this way!

She can also be seen in Epik High’s “Born Hater” MV. Just look for the girl with black hair!

10. EXID

Little Jeonghwa can be seen in Wonder Girls’ “Tell Me” music video as she is getting bullied by boys in the classroom scene. Though she only appears for a couple seconds, you can definitely tell that it’s her!

11. Wanna One

In a clip that caused quite a bit of buzz, Kang Daniel performed with FIESTAR’s Cao Lu back when he was still a trainee. But the funny thing is that Yoon Ji Sung is a backup dancer too, despite people initially not noticing.

12. f(x)

Who knew that a song as iconic as SHINee’s “Replay” would also feature f(x)’s Victoria as an actress in the MV?! Though the quality of the video definitely shows its age, Victoria’s beautiful visuals still shine through the screen.

Continuing the f(x) and SHINee trend, you’ll be able to see that Krystal is the girl under the mask in SHINee’s “Juliette”!

13. SF9

Before he was to debut in SF9, Dawon acted in the subunit AOA Cream’s “I’m Jelly Baby” music video! Poor Dawon has to suffer as the girls play pranks on him, much to the amusement of us viewers.


Because of her modeling talents, Jisoo of BLACKPINK starred in CFs before debut. This one features her acting alongside Lee Min Ho in a rather dramatic luggage ad.

Meanwhile, this cell phone CF details a melodramatic love story between Jisoo and the iKON members, which I just find hilarious.

In a true throwback, Jennie played the female lead in G-Dragon’s “That XX” MV back in 2012, years before there was any news of BLACKPINK’s debut. She was still just as gorgeous back then!

The GD and Jennie collaboration continues, as she featured in “Black” back in 2013 as well!

15. WINNER and iKON

If you pay attention to what’s happening behind GD, you can see the faces of WINNER and iKON members in this performance of “Crooked.” They really look like they’re having a good time!

Which idol’s pre-debut appearance surprised you the most? Are there any that we missed? Be sure to tell us in the comments below!

jadicus35 is a ordinary college student by day, and a not-so-closet fangirl by night. She spends her time on Tumblr when she’s not (but really should be) studying and/or pretending to be a functional human being.

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