In honor of The Flash‘s musical episode this week, I decided to look back on some of my favorite moments when a show I watched did a musical episode. I’ve enjoyed musicals since I was young, so its always fun when a show takes the dip into belting out some sweet tunes for my auditory pleasure.
Editorial Note: I know the best example of these types of episodes is “Once More, with Feeling” from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but I haven’t seen it, so it’s not on the list! I also decided not to include anything from Animaniacs, despite its cavalcade of great songs, because its variety show aspect always afforded musical numbers.
“Mayhem of the Music Meister” Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Since this whole impetus of this article is from the Music Meister showing up in The Flash, we might as well start at his first appearance. This Batman show reveled in its lighter take on Batman, so having a whole musical episode seemed par for the course. Plus having NPH voice the Music Meister was just a fun little bonus, such a shame he didn’t play the role The Flash.
Favorite Lyric: “As I regale you with my story, you’ll know you have no choice
But to do my evil bidding, when you hear my booming voice!”
“The Nightman Cometh” It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
The Sunny gang seems like the last group of people who could do a musical, but they did it anyway. Charlie’s secret plan to impress the Waitress doesn’t work out for him, but the show’s formula for offensiveness and disgust is now available in song!
Favorite Lyric: “You’re a master of karate and friendship for everyone!”
“Regional Holiday Music” Community
Community’s evolution from a somewhat grounded sitcom to full-blown insanity allowed it mock whatever type of media they wanted, from documentaries to westerns to war movies. One of my favorites, though, is their Christmas episode where the gang is suckered into joining the glee club, accompanied with Childish Gambino raps and baby-boomer pandering.
Favorite Lyric: “Families are closer when families are winning!”
“Everything’s cooler when cameras are spinning!”
“LABretto” Dexter’s Laboratory
The idea of a show predicated on an 8-yr old super genius and his adventures detouring into a full blown opera is fantastic, but this episode stands out because it has the added benefit of providing an origin story for Dexter’s nascent intellect. Despite not having seen the episode in nearly a decade, I still know about half the music off the top of my head.
Favorite Lyric: “Hello, dear brother, what have you got there?”
“Nothing, nothing, you only see air!”
“Don’t be silly, I love you very much! Oops, I guess I shouldn’t touch!”
“My Musical” Scrubs
The cultural touchstone, after Buffy, for musical episodes is most likely the time a patient who can only hear people singing comes to Sacred Heart Hospital on Scrubs. While hearing JD and Turk sing about poop is fun, the episode still manages to balance Scrubs’s usually mix of comedy and drama very well.
Favorite Lyric: “Doctors! Nurses! Patients! Dead Guy!”
“Whats Opera Doc” Looney Tunes
This foray into the Ring Cycle by Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd is simply one of the best cartoons ever made, staying true to the Bugs/Elmer formula while showcasing some of the most gorgeous animation ever for a 6 minute cartoon.
Favorite lyric: “Oh mighty warrior of great fighting stock!
Might I inquire to ask, eh, what’s up doc!”
“Little Rock of Horrors” The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy
A send-up of Little Shop of Horrors, Billy rounds up pretty much everyone he knows to get their brains drunk by this glowing meteor with a catchy tune. Even though there’s only the one song, the rhythm of this earworm elevates it.
Favorite Lyric: “Brains, brains it’s okay! It’s not a matter if it isn’t gray!”
“The Devils Hands are Idle Playthings” Futurama
Envisioned as a series finale for the show, this episode brought back one of its best bit players, the Robot Devil, back for a mockery of Faustian bargains. Fry’s final melody for Leela is one of the sweetest things ever on the show, which contrasts nicely with multiple characters losing body parts throughout the preceding events.
Favorite Lyric: “The use of words expressing something other than their literal intention,
Now that is ‘irony!’ “