Zooey Deschanel struck small-screen gold when she landed the role of Jessica Day on Fox’s new hit comedy New Girl. The raven-haired beauty (born January 17, 1980) is so perfect for the “adorkable” part we simply can’t picture anyone else stepping into Jess’s brightly colored ballet flats. That said, Zooey has brought her special brand of quirkiness to several other TV series and commercials, and what better excuse to look back on five of her most amazing small-screen moments than her 32nd birthday?
5. Bones Doubles the Deschanels
Long before scoring her starring role on New Girl, Zooey grabbed a guest spot on a Season 5 episode ("The Goop on the Girl," originally aired December 10, 2009) of a little show called Bones — starring her older sister, Emily Deschanel, as Dr. Temperance Brennan. Zooey played Margaret Whitesell, Dr. Brennan’s similarly antisocial second cousin who has an annoying penchant for quoting Benjamin Franklin. When Booth (David Boreanaz) asks if she and Margaret are sisters, Brennan snaps, “There’s no resemblance.”
4. Be Afraid, Very Afraid
There's no question that New Girl’s “Wedding” episode is priceless. And the best scene has to be the one in which Jess scares off blond and beautiful Brooke (Katie Cassidy) — the girl Schmidt (Max Greenfield) has wanted to bed since his chubby college days. Nothing is more frightening than a potentially unstable girl cutting off her underwear/bike shorts with a knife in a women’s restroom... unless you know her. That’s Jess!
Jess, to Brooke while holding a knife in the bathroom: Oh, hi! Schmidt is very fond of you.
Brooke: [Nervously] Look, I don’t even really know him that well, OK?
Jess, seeing that Brooke is concerned about the knife: Oh! I’m just cutting off my underwear. [Sings] Girl stuff. [Pulls off the bike shorts] So tight!
3. The Fabric of Our Lives
Singing her way through a series of charming Cotton commercials, Zooey — one half of the indie duo She & Him — makes us want to listen to the brand’s theme song on repeat. Can you say that about polyester?
2. Crazy in the Weeds
In 2006 and 2007, Zooey channeled her crazy side as Andy Botwin’s (Justin Kirk) psychotic ex, Kat, in several episodes of Weeds. Between eluding a bounty hunter, giving heart-hugs, and stalking/scaring/licking Andy, klepto Kat manages to lure Shane (Alexander Gould) away from Agrestic. But that’s nothing compared to what she did to Andy while they were living together in Alaska: Kat stabbed him with an icicle after he stepped on her “spirit turtle.”
1. It's Sexy Time!
Zooey’s most absurd TV moment on New Girl (so far) has to be when Jess and new boyfriend Paul (guest star Justin Long) decide to consummate their relationship in “Bad in Bed.” The hilarious scene involves spanking, starfish lingerie (“an erotic ropes course!”), old-timey voices, a lumberjack impression, and some "light choking.” Paul eventually runs out of the room in terror, naturally.