15 Fantastic TV Musical Episodes, Power Ranked
Gather ye around
As we celebrate the best in musical episodes!
Ranked from great to greater
Are the best musical episodes in town! (or on your phone or TV)
Yes! We know!
Nothing here is rhyming and we’re
Sure a child could better write this bit (at least an AI could)
But, you see,
Suck our monkey nuts
Because we’re rating TV’s best musical episodes!
”Musicale Finale” — Transparent
Fantastic show, lukewarm musical episode/film/series finale that maybe tried too much of the “and-a-one-and-a-two" and should probably have stuck to its strengths by letting the characters just be their melancholy selves instead of La La Land-ing it. The song arrangements were pretty great, it should be said, but the episode was messy stuff, much like the show and its complex but vibrant characters. We’ll say this, though: No one needs another song about L.A. traffic ever again.
Power rank: Road work on Sepulveda Boulevard in L.A.
”Brown Betty” — Fringe
Hey, remember Fringe? Man, what a show, until it wasn’t anymore, and also we can hardly remember anything except for John Noble’s beady little eyes. Great show! “Brown Betty” was their musical episode in season two, and while there are classic moments — the always smooth Lance Riddick has never looked this smooth, people — this episode does put the cringe in Fringe, much to the show's advantage. Amazing television.
Power rank: Riddick on the piano accompanying those three animated corpses while Olivia and Peter kiss and Walter blows bubbles out his nose. God, what a show.
”Duet” — The Flash
It’s the Flash-Supergirl musical crossover that’s a little bit Romeo & Juliet with a sprinkle of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend thanks to Rachel Bloom’s “Super Friend” contribution right here:
Power rank: The superest smiles and flashiest feet. Hey, blame the songs.
“Raisin the Stakes: A Rock Opera in Three Acts” — Clone High
Look, it’s Clone High everyone! It's the adult animation parody show about famous historical people like Abe Lincoln and Gandhi — only Gandhi has ADD and is kind of a jerk, and Honest Abe is indecisive and kind of lame. So, not too far off, then. The musical episode also stars Jack Black. Points for that.
Power ranking: Obviously the final lines of “I’m the Pusher:”
I'm the sky high high and dry pusher
I'm the smoke screen heaven green pusher
I'm the booty poking raisin smoking pusher
and in summary,
I'm The Pusher!
”The Musical, Almost” — Ally McBeal
It’s Ally McBeal, you guys! Oh wow, let’s just watch all the old classic TV shows and reminisce over dancing babies and poor Peter MacNicol trying to hit a note.
Power ranking: The pipes and just general talent of Jane Krakowski.
“Mayhem of the Music Meister!” — Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Starring Neil Patrick Harris as the voice of the Music Meister who controls people through song — as one does — the episode has been compared to the musical entry in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (coming up, obvi). It’s got slightly the same plot, and in classic musical terms like arrangements and arias, it’s legit.
The episode also proves that Batman totally works as a musical. So, you all know what that means: Baz Luhrmann for the next Bats movie.
Power rank: Phantom of the Opera in colorful zoot suits.
“Daria! The Musical” — Daria
It’s Daria! And it’s the musical episode that was as weird as the show — and when we say weird, we mean totally kicking it.
Power rank: It’s a cynical musical. It can basically destroy the entire planet if it wants to.
Related: 4 Sitcoms That Explain the 90s
”Regional Holiday Music” — Community
This spoof on Glee would get a higher ranking only for the magic that is Troy and Abed:
It doesn’t get a higher ranking, though, thanks to the cringing inclusion of the whole Annie-Jeff sequence:
Power rank: All the Glee Club buses going over a cliff, together.
”Mr. Greg” — Steven Universe
One of the best 11-minute musicals comes from the show about a boy and his Crystals.
Seriously, for an animation, the music in this short and enjoyable episode is pretty damn good. Like, Broadway good, you guys.
Power rank: All the Pearls in the world.
”Yasper” — The Afterparty
The Apple TV murder-mystery comedy show features a lot of comics talent, and in its third episode Ben Schwartz (who plays Yasper) gets to pull out his Jean-Ralphio vibes and entertain us with his style of song and dance.
Power rank: Every TV show in the future featuring at least one Ben Schwartz/Jean-Ralphio cameo (preferably of him turning the episode into a musical).
"Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious" — The Simpsons
It’s the one where the stressed out Marge hires Shary Bobbins, and the show spoofs Mary Poppins as well as the Simpsons family's absolute inability to change. It’s one of the best episodes in the history of the show.
Power rank: The magic of a plane not crashing horribly after Bobbins gets sucked into its jet engine.
Related: The Evolution of Homer J. Simpson
“Nightman Cometh” — It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
It’s Charlie’s rock opera (and wedding proposal) and it’s as chaotic as anything the gang has ever done. Which, of course, means it’s magnificent.
Truly, it is as awful as it is magical.
Power ranking: The musical humanity deserves.
”My Musical” — Scrubs
You know the one. It’s the episode people either love or hate. It’s the one critics deem either the best or the worst of the season. No one can deny that it’s probably the most memorable, at the very least.
The best, however, remains the “West Side Story” bit the gang did in a non-musical episode back in season one:
Power rank: The award for a TV musical that includes a song about poop.
”Once More, With Feeling” — Buffy the Vampire Slayer
It was the seventh episode of the sixth season that saw the show open with a musical overture and Buffy singing her inner thoughts while kicking vampire butt in a graveyard. Yes! Now that's television. It was clever — the premise had a demon come to Sunnydale and make everyone reveal their inner fears and secrets through spontaneous outbursts of song and dance. It was wild — said spontaneous dancing made some folks burst into spontaneous flames. All the Emmys.
Power rank: The power of everyone who grew up in the ‘90s.
”LABretto” — Dexter’s Laboratory
Do not speak. It is the work of pure and incalculable geniuses.
Power rank: A lab filled with incalculable geniuses.
Thumbnail: FX, Apple TV