Adams began her film career in 1977 with a small role in Exorcist II: The Heretic. From there she began to find larger roles. In 1991, Adams appeared in "Top of the Heap", the 100th episode of Married. . . with Children, and subsequently starred in its short-lived spinoff. In 1993, Adams landed her first major film role as Simone in Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused. The same year, she appeared in the Saturday Night Live spinoff film Coneheads as one of Connie Conehead's friends.