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  • May 28th 2014
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Best Musical Numbers in TV Shows

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Best Musical Numbers in TV Shows is a public top list created by Listnerd on on May 28th 2014. Items on the Best Musical Numbers in TV Shows top list are added by the community and ranked using our secret ranking sauce. Best Musical Numbers in TV Shows has gotten 3.359 views and has gathered 25 votes from 8 voters. A A

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    Buffy The Vampire Slayer - "Going Through The Motions" (and others)

    • Episode: 6x7 "Once More, With Feeling"

    Considered by many to be the peak of the "Musical Episode" trope, Joss Whedon made "Once More, with Feeling" not just a showy attempt to breath life into a series, but uses the songs as plot devices to push focus on the state of the characters' lives and relationships. While most opening numbers are meant to make the audience smile with a peppy introduction to the world, right off the bat Buffy is talking about how she's "Going Through The Motions" and that nothing is satisfying her any more. Ugh, bummer right? So many other shows have fallen into just using a musical episode as a "gimmick", but Joss Whedon doesn't play around with creative risks unless he can use it as a statement, which this whole episode does to great effect.

    6 votes

    It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia - "The Nightman Cometh"

    • Episode: 4x13 "The Nightman Cometh"

    The amatuer, demented musical put together by Charlie Kelly (played by Charlie Day) is the centerpiece of the show's 4th season finale, and is rightfully considered one of the greatest episodes of the series. Each of the characters bring their own maniacal narcissim to the production making it a sure-fire mess, but not before delivering some catchy tunes. The episode was so popular that the cast did a limited tour of the show across the country, including Philadelphia's legendary Tower Theatre.

    5 votes

    Mad Men - "The Best Things In Life Are Free"

    • Episode: 7x7 "Waterloo"


    Robert Morse is another example of a highly talented song-and-dance veteran taking refuge on a television cast (See Also: Christine Baranski in The Good Wife, which tragically has yet to have her sing), having showed himself talented in the 1967 film version of "How To Suceed In Business Without Really Trying". After 6 and a half seasons, it looked like (SPOILERS) we weren't going to get a chance to watch Morse strut his stuff, as his character passed away from a heart attack while watching the moon landing. However, in the final moments of the episode after selling their company for millions of dollars, making our protagonist Don Draper insanely rich, Morse's character Bert Cooper appears before him like a messager from beyond to deliver the words "The Best Things In Life Are Free". If I'm reading the foreshadowing correctly here: I think he's saying they messed up.

    4 votes

    The Monorail Song

    • Episode: 4x12 "Marge vs The Monorail"

    Phil Hartman is a comedy legend, and some of the greatest work of his impressive career was with The Simpsons. But nothing stands as tall, or is as catchy, as "The Monorail Song". A loose parody of The Music Man, Hartman's Lyle Laney sells the idea of installing a monorail to the gullible town of Springfield. That's really all there is to it. 

    3 votes

    How I Met Your Mother - "Nothing Suits Me Like A Suit"

    • Episode: 5x12 "Girls vs Suits"

    In celebration of its 100th episode, How I Met Your Mother pulled from Neil Patrick Harris' seemingly endless bucket of talents to allow the Broadway star to show his singing and dancing on the small screen in a number perfectly tailored (forgive me) for the character of Barney Stinson. The rest of the cast comes in later to turn it into a group number, and while Jason Segel (himself a singer who has done noted song work in films like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and The Muppets) really brings it, the same can't be said of the other castmates. However, this number is all Barney and it's all wonderful.

    3 votes

    Pushing Daisies - "Hopelessly Devoted To You"

    • Episode: 1x2 "Dummy"

    Pushing Daises was too perfect for this world. Lasting only 2 seasons and 22 episodes, Creator Bryan Fuller's "Forensic Fairy Tale" still managed to have an entirely unique tone and visual style that has yet to be replicated anywhere else. One of the biggest tragedies of the cancellation was the lost of the absolutely knock-out cast including Broadway star Kristen Chenoweth (Fuller tends to enjoy casting actors notable for their stage work whenever he can), and the writers wait long to give her an excuse show off her pipes. In only the second episode, we get to see Olive singing the classic Grease song "Hopelessly Devoted To You" when alone in The Pie Hole, lamenting over her unrequited love of Ned.

    Now if only Fuller can convince Raúl Esparza to sing "Being Alive" on Hannibal...

    1 votes

    30 Rock - "Midnight Train To Georgia"

    • Episode: 2x10 "Episode 210"

    30 Rock is another show whose loose relationship with reality allowed it to pull out some musical gems over the course of its 7 season run, the most outrageous and entertaining of them being a full cast rendition of "Midnight Train To Georgia" after loyal NBC page Kenneth (Jack McBrayer) goes to the train station to return home. The performance by Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) gets interrupted by Jenna (Jane Krakowski), and is played over interactions with Liz Lemon (Tina Fey), Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) and Avery Bishop (Elizabeth Banks). Talk about an All Star cast. Composer Jeff Richmond said of the number "...we felt like, if we didn’t come back this year, we felt like we had a finale. Because of that energy, it was a very special thing. Audio below is 2m52s into the stream. (Here's a link with video)

    1 votes

    Community - "Brittabot"

    • Episode: 2x11 "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas"

    Community has a lot of great musical moments that are funny but what set Community apart from the rest was its willingness to go honest, even if it didn't bring laughs, when it came to how people related to each other. "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas" took the clever, fun gimmick of a Rankin/Bass Christmas special parody, and made it about Abed having a psychotic break and his friends trying desperately to help him through therapy. Dark, right? This little tidbit of a song is a perfect example of not only the honesty that Community's characters had for each other, but the whole reasons musicals exist. Songs are placed in scripts for when human emotion can not be truly delivered by language alone, as this quick rejection of Britta's attempts to help shows.

    2 votes

    Adventure Time - "I Remember You"

    • Episode: 4x25 "I Remember You"

    It wouldn't be a stretch to have a list of just Adventure Time songs, which despite being aired on Cartoon Network is one of the most daring and thematically complex shows on television. However of all the fantastic songs in the series so far, none has brought more people to tears than Season 4's "I Remember You" The eponymous song of this especially emotional episode focuses on the relationship between Marceline and Ice King, which before this 11 minute episode was barely even touched upon in the show. Props for this, and many other musical numbers in Adventure Time, go to Rebecca Sugar who soon after became the first female showrunner of a Cartoon Network show for her creation "Steven Universe"

    0 votes

    GIRLS - "Stronger"

    • Episode: 2x9 - "On All Fours"

    For a show that celebrates the cringe-worthy efforts of people in their mid-twenties to find meaning and definition in modern America, few things are more difficult to watch than Marnie, the first of the main characters to insist her life is together, stumbling through her attempts to leave an impression on others. While her Lisa Loeb-eqsue music video for "what i am" deserves a shoutout, nothing tops her live cover of Kanye West's "Stronger" in front of her ex-boyfriend for sheer awkward factor.

    0 votes
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