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Top 10 Musical Episodes: 'Buffy,' 'Scrubs,' 'The Simpsons' and More!

by Jane Boursaw, posted Apr 26th 2010 7:00PM
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Once More With Feeling
If 'Glee' has you yearning for more song-and-dance routines on TV, hold onto your (top) hats! From April 29 to May 5, Fox is turning several of its shows into musicals, including 'Bones,' 'House,' 'The Simpsons,' even 'Fringe.' On May 2, 'Family Guy' will celebrate its 150th episode with an extended episode featuring new and familiar musical numbers. Suffice to say the shows should be a blast, for both us and the actors.

Of course, TV aficionados know this is nothing new. Shows like 'Ally McBeal,' 'Eli Stone,' and 'SpongeBob SquarePants' have featured musical numbers regularly, and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention 'Viva Laughlin' and 'Cop Rock' (even though the latter was declared by TV Guide to be one of the worst shows ever, ouch!). In fact, we can trace the trend back to classic episodes like Bugs Bunny's 'The Rabbit of Seville' and 'What's Opera, Doc?'

To honor Fox''s celebration, I've put together some favorite musical episodes. See if you agree with my choices, and feel free to add your own in the comments below. There are plenty of great ones I didn't have room for here, including 'Oz,' 'Malcolm in the Middle,' 'Daria,' 'Seventh Heaven' and 'Xena: Warrior Princess.'

10. 'That '70s Show': 'That 70s Musical.'
Even curmudgeon Red catches the fever on the show's 100th episode in season four, when Fez dreams up song-and-dance numbers while prepping for a high school concert. This love letter to the 1970s features characters belting out famous 70s tunes.

9. 'Pushing Daisies': 'Dummy.'
Any time Kristin Chenoweth gets to flex the golden pipes, I'm a happy camper. 'Pushing Daisies' often featured musical numbers, and here's one of my favorites, 'Hopelessly Devoted to You,' from the second episode in season one.

8. 'Northern Exposure': 'Old Tree.'
Pregnant Shelly wakes up one day to discover she's in her own little musical. She can't stop singing, and she's worried she'll never be able to stop. The best part of this tune is when her beloved Holling joins in with a sweet duet in this episode from season four.

7. 'Batman: The Brave and the Bold': 'Mayhem of the Music Meister.'
The talented Neil Patrick Harris gets to show off his chops in this episode from season one, where the Music Meister uses his singing voice to hypnotize everyone within hearing range into obeying him.

6. 'Mad Men': 'My Old Kentucky Home.'
I'm stretching it here, because this isn't a musical episode from start to finish. 'Mad Men' is way too cool for that. But this episode from season three featured the characters engaging in music in a believable way for that era. We got Joan playing an accordion while crooning 'C'est Magnifique,' Roger (in black face!) singing to his fiance, and Pete and his wife dancing a lively Charleston.

5. 'South Park': 'Chef Aid.'
When Cartman comes to school singing the new hit song, 'Stinky Britches,' Chef realizes that the song he wrote 20 years earlier has been stolen. An expensive lawsuit, attorney Johnny Cochrane, a charity concert, and a bunch of famous singers all come together in a musical montage from season two.

4. 'The Simpsons': 'A Fish Called Selma.'
Can anything be turned into a Broadway musical? Yes, and Troy McClure proves it in this musical episode from season 7, where 'Planet of the Apes' takes to the stage.

3. 'Scrubs': 'My Musical.'
When a patient with a brain disorder hallucinates everyone in the hospital singing, it gave us the classic 'Guy Love,' in which Turk and J.D. sing about their, uh, friendship in season 6. Nothing gay about it.

2. 'How I Met Your Mother': 'Girls vs. Suits.'
The show's 100th episode in season five creates a tough choice for our beloved Barney -- menswear or a sexy bartender? He gets some help from backup singers and dancers -- in suits, of course.

1. 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer': 'Once More, With Feeling.'
Joss Whedon's essential episode from season six finds our Sunnydale friends bursting into song for no apparent reason, revealing their innermost secrets in the process. Could it be demons? Witches? Ghosts? Anya has another idea -- bunnies.

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how could they forget about even stevens? the music for that episode was very well written.

the best musical episodes were of buffy, scrubs, and even stevens.

June 24 2011 at 3:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Buffy musical episode was one of my favorite episodes of any tv show ever.

May 10 2010 at 3:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

One of the more bizarre ones (and probably one no one ever saw) was "Brigadoom," the musical episode from the Canadian sci-fi series, "Lexx." It played on the Sci-Fi Channel (now SyFy, though the reason still escapes me) quite a few years ago.

April 28 2010 at 8:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Taxi did a great musical bit!

April 28 2010 at 5:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tom zabriskie

what about BONES when temperence sang girls just want to have fun???

April 28 2010 at 9:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Of course, no Xena "Bitter Suite" :(

April 28 2010 at 9:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Britney on GLEE has made me downright giddy. Madonna, Britney, Lady Gaga, possibly Billy Joel or Courtney Love...who's next? How about some other possibilities - could a Disney episode be in store one day? or Michael Jackson? http://thesmogger.com/2010/04/27/gleeful-possibilities/

April 27 2010 at 9:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What about Even Stevens? Their musical episode was right up there, in my opinion. I thought it was almost as good as the Buffy musical. The show starred a then unknown Shia LaBeouf, as one of the main characters. I still remember one of the songs-- "What's the matter with Ren?" It was a very cute show. The Mom in the show was Donna Peskow (from Saturday Night Fever).

April 27 2010 at 4:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dewey's comment

agreed. that episode is fabulous. I still sing "I went to the moon... in 1969" LoL.

April 28 2010 at 12:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Viva Lachlin was a copy of Viva Blackpool which was a wonderful romantic mystery story.

April 27 2010 at 3:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You forgot the Roseanne episode!!! I think it's season one or two. It's the one that takes place in the bathroom. I know. It sounds very odd and it is--but it is also brilliant.

April 27 2010 at 11:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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