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Every Aidan Gallagher TV And Movie Role Ranked

Actor, musician, and activist Aidan Gallagher has made a major name for himself in a very short time. Launched to fame at just 11 years old as the star of Nickelodeon's "Nicky, Rick, Dicky & Dawn," Gallagher has grown up on camera and in the public eye. In 2019, he left the Nickelodeon stable behind for a role on Netflix's dysfunctional super-family adventure series "The Umbrella Academy," where his world-weary presence and penchant for verbal and physical comedy have earned him accolades. He even has a massive online fanbase, collectively known as #aidansarmy. 

While Gallagher is still primarily known for "Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn" and "The Umbrella Academy," the young talent has also appeared in a wide variety of sitcoms, short films, and TV specials. He also has offscreen side-lines in acoustic pop songwriting and climate change advocacy. Want to learn more about the multi-talented young actor? We're here to help you do just that, by ranking Aidan Gallagher's TV and movie roles from worst to best.

9. Jacked Up

Even the most diehard #aidansarmy soldier probably hasn't seen "Jacked Up." There's no shame in this — "Jacked Up" was never actually released. This sitcom pilot was produced for CBS in 2013 (via Deadline). The show would have centered around Jack (Patrick Warburton), a pro baseball player struggling with life after retirement. The mysterious pilot was directed by former "Wonder Years" star Fred Savage, who, in the decades since his own child stardom, has amassed an impressive body of work behind the camera. "Jacked Up" was set to co-star Missi Pyle ("Galaxy Quest") and Tyne Daly ("Judging Amy"), with Gallagher in the role of Evan. 

Though pictures from the "Jacked Up" set can be seen on the show's IMDb page, sadly, the production was not to be. This isn't uncommon — many sitcom pilots are produced and shot, only to be passed over for broadcast. CBS declined to pick this pilot up, and to date, it has never aired, or been posted anywhere online.

8. Modern Family

"The Wow Factor," a Season 4 episode of the hit ABC sitcom "Modern Family," features a subplot in which Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) confronts a handball-playing bully at his daughter's school. The bully, Milo (Luke Grakal), is introduced while hogging the handball court and beating any kid who tries to play him — including a very young Aidan Gallagher in an uncredited and non-speaking part. 

This is closer to a featured extra role than a true guest part, but even so, Gallagher gives it his all: He's incredibly pouty as he sits on the playground bench in defeat. This subplot concludes with Mitchell beating Milo at handball and taking a little too much joy in it, much to the horror of his fellow parents. Less-than-helpful parental assistance is a theme throughout this episode, as Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell) reaches out to his father (Fred Willard) after he tries and fails to relight his water heater's pilot light.

7. Nickelodeon's Sizzling Summer Camp Special

Between 2015 and 2017, Nickelodeon put together a series of holiday-themed variety shows starring their stable of young talents as fictionalized versions of themselves. They perform songs and act in sketches, while a loose plot ties the whole thing together. Each special is narrated, for some reason, by a pair of Santa's elves first introduced in 2015's "Ho Ho Holiday Special." Their presence makes the least amount of sense in 2017's "Sizzling Summer Camp Special," which also features a small appearance from Aidan Gallagher. 

While his "Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn" co-stars all figure prominently in the main storyline, which sees a summer camp full of Nick stars haunted by a forest monster known as Bighand, Gallagher only appears in the cutaway music video, "Worst Guy at the Beach." He acts as a chorus member and dancer to lead singer Kira Kosarin of "The Thundermans." The song is a bop, but unfortunately, Gallagher has little to do with its success.

6. We Make That Lemonade

This Lonely Island-style hip hop parody comes from Season 1 of "Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn." It features the eponymous quadruplets making fat stacks of cash from — what else? — their sidewalk lemonade stand. It's a cute and clever short, performed well by the young actors. In fact, it would rank higher on this list ... if not for the fact that Aidan Gallagher doesn't have very much to do here.

This is ironic, considering the music career Gallagher has gone on to have. Yet as in "Worst Guy at the Beach," he is largely on hand to back up Lizzy Greene, Mace Coronel, and Casey Simpson, who handle most of the lyrics. Gallagher only has a couple of lines to call his own, plus a fun moment when he looks at the camera and drops his piggy bank like he's dropping the mic. Be on the lookout for "Barry" and "The Good Place" scene-stealer D'Arcy Carden in the small role of "Mom with Stroller."

5. Nickelodeon's Ho Ho Holiday Special

The first of Nickelodeon's late-'10s holiday shows, 2015's "Ho Ho Holiday Special" offered Gallagher room to grow. Here, Christmas elves Jingles and Tinsel tell the story of a group of Nick stars who get invited to a mysterious mansion on Christmas Eve. There, they're forced to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles in order to escape. Gallagher gets trapped in a room with Isabela Merced of "Dora the Explorer," Jack Griffo of "The Thundermans," and Jade Pettyjohn of "Henry Danger." 

As the room fills up with eggnog from a giant faucet, Gallagher saves the day by simply drinking it all down. Whether this counts as an homage to or blatant ripoff of the classic 1980s Canadian comedy "Strange Brew" is up to you. Who is the secret mastermind behind these yuletide puzzles, you ask? It turns out to be Rico Rodriguez of "Modern Family," who's mad because he thinks he wasn't invited to the holiday party. In fact, his invitation simply got lost in the mail.

4. Paradise Run

Hijinks-heavy obstacle course game shows have been a staple of Nickelodeon programming since the days of "Double Dare" and "Wild & Crazy Kids." "Paradise Run" continues that tradition for three seasons, sending Nick stars and regular kids running, sliding, and ziplining across a swanky Hawaiian resort. 

Season's 2 "A Nick Showdown in Paradise" ditches the regular kids in favor of pitting the stars of "Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn" and "The Thundermans" against one another. Aidan Gallagher is paired with his co-star Casey Simpson. After an early head start in the first challenge, they fall to third place, only to rally at the end and claim a nail-biting victory. Winning aside, Gallagher acquits himself better in this production than any of the Nickelodeon holiday specials: He ably steps into the reality game show format and shows off his environmental bonafides by playing on behalf of the Oceanic Preservation Society.

3. You & Me

The 2013 short film "You & Me" follows William (Martin Durante) and Alice (Kay D'Arcy), a loving elderly couple who get into a bad car accident on a rainy day. As they cling to life and each other in the hospital, the film flashes back to earlier moments in their lives, from their marriage in the late 1950s to their years raising children in the 1970s. 

Aidan Gallagher plays a younger version of their son David, who is played by Jon Eric Preston in the present-day storyline. In his one scene, Gallagher peppers his father with questions about the glamorous, journalism-centered life he gave up to raise a family. Like the rest of the film, this moment tantalizes the viewer with interesting details, such as the regret that tinges William's comments when he watches Dan Rather report on Watergate. Ultimately, "You & Me" ends on a family-centric note, which serves Gallagher well. He has especially solid chemistry with "Pretty Little Liars" star Tyler Blackburn, who plays young William. This is definitely the best of Gallagher's pre-"Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn" work.

2. Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn

The story of four quadruplets whose love of mischief is only matched by their love for each other, "Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn" became a hit for Nickelodeon shortly after its 2013 premiere. Aidan Gallagher plays Nicky, who immediately sets himself apart from his siblings — and not just because of his dark hair, which offers a dramatic contrast to their dirty blonde locks. Nicky is the most quiet of the quads, and the most fearful of getting in trouble. This never seems to stop him from getting involved with his siblings' shenanigans, however. 

As the seasons went on and the actors grew up, their characters were allowed to grow with them. Nicky becomes the chef of the family, his fastidiousness in the kitchen sometimes putting him at odds with his kin. Throughout the sitcom's four seasons, Gallagher proves to be a capable and engaging comic actor. It's clear in every episode that he's headed for big things — though few Nickelodeon watchers of the time could have easily envisioned him on a kid-unfriendly series like "The Umbrella Academy."

1. The Umbrella Academy

If Number Five, the teleporting, time-traveling, coffee-loving, apocalypse-preventing, teenage boy/old man superhero of "The Umbrella Academy" isn't the part Aidan Gallagher was born to play, it's definitely his first real role of substance (sorry, Nickelodeon stans). It's also the first role to take real advantage of his skilled physicality. There's an offbeat quality, even an uncanniness, to the way Gallagher carries himself here, especially the way he squares his jaw and lets his strikingly light eyes grow shadowed. It fits the show's mid-century sci-fi aesthetic, and also helps sell the notion that this teen has spent decades as a time-traveling killer. 

None of this is to say that Gallagher's time in the Nickelodeon trenches has no bearing on his performance. In keeping with the Nick house style of kids talking sass to clueless adults, there's great joy (and supercut material) in watching Gallagher's Five issue withering put-downs to his estranged superhero siblings. When these elements are combined, as in the bravura Season 2 sequence where Five tracks down his former timeline-monitoring employers and kills them all to the strains of Tony Joe White's "Polk Salad Annie," the show and Gallagher are at their best. Number Five is Aidan Gallagher's first great role, but it definitely won't be his last.