Have you ever wondered if, in a parallel universe, your favorite celebrity wasn’t famous and had a completely different career?

For example, imagine a world where Eva Longoria didn’t nab her breakout role as Gabrielle Solis on “Desperate Housewives” — and was still working as a headhunter in Los Angeles. Yes, you read that right. Although Peso Pluma‘s voice may have been sculpted by the gods to sing corridos tumbados, and no one has comedic chops quite like Sofia Vergara, they both almost had completely different career paths. Even our queen Mariah Carey herself almost wasted that five-octave vocal range on a different job few would ever expect.

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Ahead, we rounded up nine Latino celebrities that almost took on very different careers. Spoiler alert: if Lin-Manuel Miranda ever gave you middle school teacher vibes (in the best way, of course!), it was for a reason. Prepare to be shook.

1. Peso Pluma

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First up, we had to include Peso Pluma, 24, whose “dream” was actually to be a professional soccer player. You may think, “Sure, that’s everyone and their father’s dream,” but he actually excelled in the sport for years. As per Cabra Futbol, “La Bebe” star once explained on a podcast: “I always wanted to be a soccer player… I played in “básicas” for [Club Deportivo Guadalajara soccer club] Chivas.”

Yes, he was well on his way to becoming pro. In fact, he even remembers playing with soccer greats like Liga MX club Guadalajara player José Juan Macías, 24.

2. Platanito

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Another star who almost had a very different career was famous Mexican comedian and presenter Sergio Verduzco, 51, otherwise known as everyone’s favorite clown, Platanito. While you may have laughed along to his show “Noches con Platanito” for years, you may not know that the Ciudad de México-born comedian actually studied communications in university. However, as per Milenio, he soon left college to pursue his comedy dreams. So yes, Platanito was almost in marketing.

3. Sofía Vergara

Each of these celebrities almost took on completely different career paths.
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Another shocker? Well, in an alternate reality, you may have had Dr. Sofia Vergara as a dentist. Really. According to NBC, Vergara, 51, once told Harry Connick Jr. on his talk show “Harry” that she once dreamed of being a doctor. However, medical school seemed like a huge time commitment (relatable!). So, as she put it, a career in dentistry was “the next best thing for [her] at the time.” She continued, “So I went to dental school, but I didn’t finish. I went for two years.”

4. Lin Manuel-Miranda

Each of these celebrities almost took on completely different career paths.
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Okay, so, did anyone else ever get cool middle school teacher vibes from Lin-Manuel Miranda? No? Just us? Anywho, if you did get that vibe, it was a reason. The New York City-born “Hamilton” genius, who is of Puerto Rican descent, once wrote on X: “I taught 7th grade English for a year, then I was a professional substitute teacher.”

However, Miranda only had his teaching gig up until his acclaimed musical, “In the Heights,” made it to Broadway in 2008. In another X post, he wrote that he also once worked at McDonalds, as a community newspaper writer, and running the slushee machine at his aunt’s store.

5. Eladio Carrión

Each of these celebrities almost took on completely different career paths.
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Ah, these celebrities never cease to surprise us. Yet another star who had a very surprising side gig — if you can even call it that — is Puerto Rican trapero and reggaetonero, Eladio Carrión, 29. In fact, Carrión was actually a competitive swimmer before musical fame. As per Primera Hora, he represented Puerto Rico at the Central American and Caribbean Games in 2010. He also represented his country in the Pan American Games in 2011. As per his biography, he reached eight place in the 200-meter breaststroke portion of the 2011 competition.

However, Carrión later explained that he stopped swimming professionally because “with swimming, it is difficult to make money if you’re not the best.”

6. Cardi B

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Cardi B, 31, is another celebrity who wasn’t always set on being a singer. In fact, she actually first worked at a grocery store as a teen. As per The Fader, the “WAP” rapper once worked at the Amish Market in the TriBeCa area of New York City while still living in South Bronx. According to the outlet, she was a full-time cashier there up until she became a stripper at 19 years old. That being said, the story is a bit more interesting than that. In fact, Cardi B’s grocery store boss actually fired her for giving a co-worker a good discount (she’s mother, after all). Upon the firing, a manager allegedly told her, “You’re so pretty, you got a nice body.”

The rapper remembered how the manager then told her to “go across the street to New York Dolls, the strip club.” And the rest was history leading to her music’s commercial success with “Bodak Yellow” in 2018, of course.

7. Eva Longoria

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Eva Longoria, 48, is yet another star who almost didn’t pursue her true passion. However, she always put in the work, no matter what job she had. For one, the actress and producer worked at her local Wendy’s as a teen in Corpus Christi, Texas, to pay for her own quinceañera. She once explained to Redbook, “I got a job at Wendy’s and paid for it myself.” Later, though, did she pursue acting? Not quite. She actually attended Texas A&M University–Kingsville and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology — A.K.A. the study of human body movement. Okay, so she became a star after college… right? Not yet!

After college, Longoria became a very successful headhunter. Why? Well, because she worked on commission. She once recalled to Parade, “I was making so much money. I was making $100,000 a year when I was 22.” In fact, she made so much bank, that her boss had to restructure the commission cut. And yes, eventually she went into acting and became a worldwide star — no biggie.

8. Residente

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One musician with an initial career path you may not expect is Puerto Rican rapper René “Residente” Pérez Joglar, 45. As per the “Latinoamérica” star’s AllMusic biography, he almost became a different kind of artist. As in… an illustrator, video editor, and filmmaker. For one, Residente obtained his bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Puerto Rico’s Escuela de Artes Plásticas. He later graduated with a master’s degree in Fine Arts from Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia, where he did come up with his “Residente Calle 13” name (and began rapping). After that, he moved to Barcelona and made some short films, and once he returned to Puerto Rico, he made money from his illustrations. Later, he started making music videos — which led up to forming his band Calle 13 with his step-brother, Eduardo “Visitante” Cabra, 45.

9. Mariah Carey

Each of these celebrities almost took on completely different career paths.
Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Global Citizen

Last but certainly not least, Mariah Carey’s almost career choice may blow your mind a little. While the “Songbird Supreme” has arguably one of the best vocal ranges of all time, she almost became a beautician. Yes, Carey, 54, has often talked about how she once put “500 hours of beauty school” before reaching fame in 1990 with her self-titled debut album at just 21 years old. While working on her daughter Monroe’s hair at home, she once wrote on X: “Passing time in quarantine… My 500 hours of beauty school came in handy!” Plus, all the way back in 2013, she famously captioned an Instagram post with, “Beauty school dropout”:

Yes, we may have never gotten “Without You,” “We Belong Together,” or “Hero”— a safely-avoided tragedy, if you ask us!