Disney Channel stars have a lot to prove once they leave the network. Sometimes, they find themselves getting into trouble, but others use the time afterward to really showcase their talents, taking on roles that completely change their fans' perceptions and have people in Hollywood recognize them as "real actors."

Many of these celebs pursue spots in famous television shows that are far from, and often a lot more serious than, what they were used to on the Disney Channel. These projects tackle topics that are so far removed from the storylines in shows like Demi Lovato's Sonny With a Chance or Debby Ryan's Jessie. For instance, a few actors have gone on to play serial killers or characters with mental illnesses.

These roles seriously showed their acting chops and versatility as actors, which established them as more than just kid stars. They have gone on to chase careers that surpass people's expectations for them. Stars like Demi, Keke Palmer, and Cameron Boyce have shown the world how far they can go after graduating from a Disney Channel show.

Click through the gallery to see which ones of your favorite actors starred in grown up shows after leaving the channel.