Top 10 Musical Episodes of Non-Musical TV Shows
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Top 10 Musical Episodes of Non-Musical TV Shows

VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Tal Fox
These musical episodes of non-musical TV shows were showstoppers! Our countdown includes "Community," "Futurama," "The Flash," and more!

Top 10 Musical Episodes of Non-Musical TV Shows

Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Musical Episodes of Non-Musical TV Shows.

For this list, we’ll be looking at times that television series pleasantly surprised us by flexing their song and dance skills. Note: spoilers to follow!

Did we include your favorite musical episode? Let us know in the comments.

#10: “Regional Holiday Musical”
“Community” (2009-15)

Nothing says Christmas spirit quite like a good ol’ yuletide-themed musical episode. Especially one that playfully mocks the genre and takes constant shots at “Glee”. Taran Killam guest stars as Mr. Rad, the Glee Club’s slightly intense instructor, who convinces the gang to step in when the usual performers are hospitalized. It’s a great tongue-in-cheek episode, with plenty of hilarious and brilliant musical numbers, even if some are more on the cringe-worthy side. After all, once you see Annie’s weird seduction number, you can’t unsee it. At least we get this great rap number from Donald Glover a.k.a. Childish Gambino and A-B-E-D.

#9: “Psych: The Musical”
“Psych” (2006-14)

Opening with “Santa Barbara Skies,” this highly anticipated two-hour long meta-musical is simply delightful. Shawn and Gus chase after a criminally insane playwright, known as Z, played by Rent’s Anthony Rapp. While the episode feels a tad misplaced in this detective comedy-drama, there’s no denying that it’s still rather charming. It’s abundantly clear that it was as much fun for the cast to film as it was for the audience to watch. Of course, there’s a big twist at the end of the two-part musical extravaganza. It turns out that our protagonists are actually pitching the events of these episodes to the villainous playwright.

#8: “Mayhem of the Music Meister!”
“Batman: The Brave and the Bold” (2008-11)

While Batman doesn’t necessarily strike us as a song-and-dance kind of superhero, this episode in all its musical joy proves otherwise. In fact, it’s so good that it’s often brought up alongside the episode in our top spot. We encounter the villainous Music Meister, played by Neil Patrick Harris, who uses the power of song to control people in his pursuit of world domination. The numbers range from entertaining to emotional and all serve perfectly to drive the plot. Met with a standing ovation during its debut at Comic-Con, this Emmy-nominated episode is still fondly thought of as one of the best musical episodes around.

#7: “Girls Versus Suits”
“How I Met Your Mother” (2005-14)

The 100th episode of the sitcom features the song “Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit”. Because “How I Met Your Mother”’s executive producer and co-creator Craig Thomas decided that apparently the best way to celebrate this milestone was with a “big-ass musical” number. And that’s exactly what we got. Barney fantasizes this whole performance when he’s forced to choose between sex and suits - and, naturally, suits come out on top. He’s joined by the rest of the principal cast, sixty-five backing dancers, and a fifty-piece orchestra for this show-stopping number. The Emmy-nominated song will have you reaching for your finest suit. It’s simply legen...wait for it...dary.

#6: “The Devil’s Hands Are Idle Playthings”
“Futurama” (1999-2013)

When this episode first aired, we thought that this would be the final bow for Fry and company. Still, a musical farewell seemed like a great send-off. But Comedy Central decided that it wasn’t time for the final curtain just yet. So, in this almost series-finale, Fry unleashes utter chaos after making a deal with the Robot Devil in order to impress Leela. The episode even scored an Emmy nomination for the highly entertaining song, “I Want My Hands Back”, written by Ken Keeler. Fry’s Leela-inspired opera might have been interrupted, but we still got our curtain call while the show got its encore.

#5: “Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious”
“The Simpsons” (1989-)

It takes almost half an episode for this musical to kick off, but based on the episode’s title and new character, Shary Bobbins, we should have seen it coming. This episode parodies the 1964 Disney flick, while also throwing in a Quentin Tarantino reference. The latter supposedly turned down a cameo opportunity in the episode. After a brief time spent with the Simpsons family, the magical nanny goes from practically perfect to devastatingly dispirited. Julie Andrews was initially slated to voice Bobbins, but the role ultimately went to Simpsons’ regular Maggie Roswell. The episode was nominated for an Emmy and remains a fan-favorite to this day.

#4: “Mr. Greg”
“Steven Universe” (2013-20)

In yet another Emmy-nominee on our list, this musical episode takes inspiration from the golden age of musicals. iDigital Times gave it the highest of compliments, calling the songs, “Some of the catchiest tunes this side of Hamilton”. And one of the best of them, if you ask us, has to be “It’s Over, Isn’t It,” which beautifully mirrors “Crazy World” from“Victor/Victoria”, an ‘80s musical film. The 11-minute episode centers around Pearl and Greg’s complicated relationship. And while you might think conveying that much emotion in a short space of time might be overkill, they execute each song perfectly. It ticks all the boxes for a great musical episode.

#3: “Duet”
“The Flash” (2014-)

Music Meister, we meet again! Only this time he’s live-action and played by Darren Criss. In this crossover episode, the musical villain sends Supergirl and The Flash to a musical dreamland, where the only way out is through song. In addition to well-established numbers, the episode features original tracks by “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” creator Rachel Bloom and Pasek and Paul of “La La Land” fame. Joining the titular protagonists are musical theater vets, Jesse L. Martin, Jeremy Jordan, Victor Garber, and John Barrowman. With an engaging albeit far-fetched story, fantastic music, and more talent than lights on Broadway, this episode was destined to be a hit.

#2: “My Musical”
“Scrubs” (2001-10)

This long-awaited episode saw the “Scrubs” writers join forces with “Avenue Q” writers Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx. It centers around a patient, played by Broadway star, Stephanie D’Abruzzo, who curiously hears everything through song. According to the credits, there are ten original numbers in this episode, parodying various musicals, from “Rent” and “Grease” to “42nd Street” and Gilbert and Sullivan. Of course, the bromantic “Guy Love” is a firm fan favorite and can be heard in subsequent episodes in various forms. This popular episode was nominated for five Primetime Emmy Award nominations, winning one. It’s fun, fresh, a little crazy, and sure, even educational at times too.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“That ‘70s Musical”, “That ‘70s Show” (1998-2006)
Sometimes the Only Way to Vent Your Feelings Is through ‘70s Disco Hits

“The Nightman Cometh”, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (2005-)
Charlie Writes a Musical for the Gang & It’s Erm, Interesting…

“Bloody Celestial Karaoke Jam”, “Lucifer” (2016-21)
When Dialogue Won’t Do, Sing It Out

“The Road to Audition”, “That’s So Raven” (2003-07)
It’s Fun to Be an Undercover Health Department Employee at Bayside High School

#1: “Once More, with Feeling”
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997-2003)

If you grew up watching “Buffy,” then you probably still haven’t come across a musical episode to rival this one. When a demon called Sweet stops by Sunnydale, everyone is forced to sing out their innermost thoughts. The musical styles vary throughout the episode, but still drive the story forward and remain true to the show’s tone. Not to mention that the intricate and well-thought-out lyrics successfully convey a plethora of emotions. Much of the cast was apprehensive about the episode since it took them so far out of their comfort zone. But the pay-off was worth it. You might even say, they slayed.