Remember when American Pie first came out, and people couldn't get enough of "It" girls Mena Suvari, Shannon Elizabeth and Tara Reid? Thirteen years later, those three lovely ladies have largely fallen off the map (unless you count Reid's frequent mentions in gossip mags for her, um, unusual antics). Meanwhile, endearing nerd Alyson Hannigan has been steadily building a rather impressive career to become, arguably, the most successful of all the American Pie alum.
Hannigan had already built up a loyal fan base when Pie came out in 1999, thanks to her role as Buffy's trusty sidekick Willow on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She showed fans a completely different side of her as the sex-crazed band geek Michelle in American Pie. (Shy Willow would never throw herself at Jason Biggs like that!)
Since Pie (and Buffy), Hannigan has had memorable guest spots on shows like the cult classic Veronica Mars and That '70s Show before landing the role of lovable Lily Aldrin on the hugely popular How I Met Your Mother. She may not have decorated countless covers of men's mags like Elizabeth, or starred in one of the most memorable scenes in contemporary movie history like Suvari's sultry rose fantasy sequence in American Beauty, but Hannigan has proven that sometimes slow and steady does win the race.
While Elizabeth, Suvari and Reid may have all sizzled then quickly fizzled, Hannigan isn't the only Pie alum to go on to enjoy a long and steady acting career. With that in mind, we've compiled a completely unscientific ranking of the most successful American Pie alumni. (Assuming that success is measured by actually working, and not just getting media exposure that may or may not be related to acting. Based on pure exposure, Reid would win, no contest.)
1. Alyson Hannigan. As outlined above, Hannigan's ability to bring memorable characters to life has served her well over the years, from Buffy to Pie to How I Met Your Mother.
2. John Cho. Even after finding huge success as Harold Lee in the Harold & Kumar movies, Cho made the time to reprise his role of "MILF Guy #2" (not even #1!) in American Reunion. With roles in Star Trek, Kitchen Confidential and Total Recall also under his belt, Cho should probably rank higher than Hannigan on this list. He was bumped to the #2 spot only because his role, while memorable, was so fleeting in the original American Pie.
3. Eddie Kaye Thomas. Since bedding Stifler's mom in American Pie, the suave Mr. Finch has been popping up everywhere from the Harold & Kumar movies to 'Til Death to How to Make it in America. (Bonus points for playing Steve's nerdy pal Barry for eight seasons and counting on American Dad.)
4. Seann William Scott. Ah, Stifler. When Pie first came out, Scott probably got the most buzz out of all the male co-stars. Since then, he's gone on to have some pretty memorable roles in flicks like Old School, Role Models, and, most recently, the critically revered Goon. His brief stint in rehab was just a bump in the road.
5. Chris Klein. Klein's role in the cult classic Election helped him narrowly edge out Jason Biggs. His recent role as the meathead boyfriend on hilarious Tv show Wilfred didn't hurt, either.