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The Blink-And-You'll-Miss-It Danny Trejo Cameo You Have To See On Reno 911!

This content was paid for by Quibi and created by Looper.

Who doesn't love a good cameo? It's an oddly gratifying experience to see someone familiar in a fleeting spotlight, catching you off-guard with a big surprise in a small moment. To that end, the Reno 911! revival made sure to drop a doozy for eagle-eyed fans of high-octane action flicks. 

In May 2020, Reno 911! made its triumphant return with a seventh season, 12 fresh episodes arriving over a decade after season 6 wrapped up the series' original run on Comedy Central. This time around, the short-form streaming service Quibi managed to get the cast back together for one more run that's as laugh-out-loud as ever — if a little more socially conscious than before.

While most tune in to Reno 911! for the misadventures of Lieutenant Dangle (Thomas Lennon) and the rest of the Reno Sheriff's Department, they will want to keep an eye out for a particularly fun one-off guest spot. The penultimate episode includes a cameo from action movie icon Danny Trejo, whose role fits in delightfully with the rest of his resume. Still, you'd be forgiven if you missed it entirely, so let's take a closer look at Danny Trejo's Reno 911! cameo.

Where you'll find Danny Trejo on Quibi's Reno 911!

On season 7's 11th episode, entitled "Lil' Primo," Deputy Williams (Niecy Nash) and Deputy Wiegel (Kerri Kenney-Silver) are waiting at the local hospital. The patient they're with — the titular gangster, Lil' Primo Vasquez — is in a coma. Williams and Wiegel are hoping he'll wake up soon so they can swiftly take his statement and then haul him off to jail. As they wait, various get-well gifts arrive for Vasquez, ranging from wine to ham. Sick of twiddling their thumbs, Williams and Wiegel finally decide to indulge themselves in the presents, distracting them greatly from their objective.

As they continue to wait, wine-drunk and only half paying attention, a different nurse enters the room with gifts in hand. He warmly tells the deputies he has flowers for Vasquez, which they acknowledge. Then the nurse — who, at this point, is clearly not a real nurse — shoots Vasquez in the chest three times as he lies in his hospital bed. The nurse announces that this was for his primo, then disposes of the gun and walks off, leaving the deputies mortified. 

As it turns out, that nurse was real-life badass Danny Trejo.

Why Danny Trejo's Reno 911! cameo is so fitting

While Trejo's violent cameo on Reno 911! offers a pretty dark contrast to the light-hearted nature of the series, his appearance is a fairly appropriate reflection of Trejo's work on screens both big and small over the past four decades. The actor is no stranger to characters who fire shots at unsuspecting targets, and his filmography is full of big guns, big explosions, and plenty of blood — images with which Trejo has become synonymous.

Of all his rough-and-tumble roles, Trejo's most famous is undoubtedly Isador Cortez, more commonly known as Machete. The character is an unstoppable, knife-wielding killing machine that some liken to a Latin James Bond. Machete's self-titled movie in 2010 and its 2013 sequel mark a rare moment in Trejo's long filmography of the actor taking a lead role, truly securing his place in the action pantheon.

Aside from Reno 911!, Trejo has frequented the small screen in gritty crime dramas like Breaking Bad and Sons of Anarchy, where he typically plays no-nonsense tough guys. All that considered, the gun-toting "nurse" on the Reno 911! revival is a classic Trejo character, albeit in an unexpected setting.

Danny Trejo has a comedic side to his work

Despite building a reputation as a legitimate, tough-as-nails bruiser on the big screen, Trejo has a more diverse portfolio than people give him credit for. Although he's rarely a leading man, he isn't afraid to try out different roles, big or small. His Reno 911! cameo proved this by condensing his larger-than-life persona into one hilarious burst.

In fact, even that iconic role of Machete has origins that might shock the hard-core action enthusiasts who thrilled to the anti-hero's R-rated rampages. Before he burned up the screen in his very own self-titled saga, even before his unforgettable appearance in the faux trailers that accompanied Grindhouse, that very same character was known as "Uncle Machete" in Robert Rodriguez's family-friendly Spy Kids movies, popping up in all four over the course of a decade. 

That silly side is actually a key part of Trejo's image — his other live-action work includes small roles in movies like Muppets Most Wanted and Adam Sandler's The Ridiculous 6. He's even delved into voice acting, lending a gruff cheerfulness to projects like King of the Hill and the upcoming sequel Minions: The Rise of Gru. Clearly, Trejo isn't scared to poke fun at himself or the characters he plays — characters which could easily fall into violent stereotypes if not for his wry sense of fun and tongue-in-cheek humor.

If you're keen to catch Danny Trejo on Reno 911!, season 7 of the show is available to stream exclusively on Quibi right now.