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See the shows and episodes that make us want to stand up and sing!

Shaun Harrison
tv-musicals-smash1.jpg
1 of 21 Will Hart/NBC

Smash

Bursting onto the scene in the post-Glee era, Smash took the TV musical concept a few steps further. Centered on the trials and tribulations of Bombshell, a new Broadway production based on the life of Marilyn Monroe, Smash mixes covers of radio stars like Florence and the Machine with an impressive catalog of such original tunes as "Let Me Be Your Star" and "Second Hand White Baby Grand" from the minds of Hairspray composers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Hate-tweet all you want about Julia's scarves and Ellis' very existence, but the music of Smash is hard to beat — on TV or otherwise. What's your favorite TV musical? Vote now!
2 of 21 Adam Rose/FOX

Glee

A Spanish teacher who raps and plays guitar? A bossy ingénue who belts Barbara Streisand to no end? On paper, the high school musical dramedy seemed destined for the same fate as other TV musical shows before it (RIP Cop Rock). Whether it was all those faithful American Idol viewers looking for a new (scripted) fix, or the show's top 40-friendly playlist, Glee not only helped industry big-wigs start believing in musical TV shows but will also go down as one of the most successful musical series ever thanks to iTunes sales, international concert tours and even a 3D movie based on said concert tour. (Yes, that really happened.)
3 of 21 Chris Hollo/ABC

Nashville

The musical numbers on Nashville may not boast the choreography or production value of those on, say, Smash or Glee, but they're no less important to the heart of the show. It's impossible to choose just one musical moment from ABC's chronicle of two country superstars, since each episode is packed with so many catchy, pertinent tunes that essentially make the music a character in itself. Highlights from the first season include frenemies Rayna (Connie Britton) and Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) dueting on "The Wrong Song" and Juliette and Sean (Tilky Jones) jamming in her private jet on her hit "Love Like Mine."
4 of 21 Everett Collection

Eli Stone

Practicing law can lead you to do crazy things… like hallucinate musical numbers. Such is the situation Eli Stone (Jonny Lee Miller) found himself in on the quirky ABC dramedy that, despite this wacky premise, managed to last two seasons and even called on Katie Holmes' song-and-dance skills. What's the cause of these musical visions? Either a brain aneurysm or, as Eli believes, the work of a more powerful being. Like the oft-played George Michael tune that serves as the soundtrack in Eli's mind says: You gotta have faith.
5 of 21 ABC Archive/Getty Images

Cop Rock

Lasting only eleven episodes, Cop Rock will go down in history as the single most bizarre TV musical of all time. From verdicts delivered by gospel choirs to a criminals singing about racial profiling, Cop Rock was just plain out of tune.
6 of 21 Gary Null/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

Fame

Long before Glee, there was Fame. The original high school musical was the first proof that people can't get enough of toe-tapping teens. Much like our favorite Fox hit, Fame's popularity lead to multiple hit records and live concert tours by the cast. Though, we have to admit, Matthew Morrison is no Debbie Allen.
7 of 21 Comedy Central

South Park, "Elementary School Musical"

The South Park gang parodied High School Musical in this Season 12 episode, in which a new boy, Bridon, comes to South Park and introduces a new singing-and-dancing trend in the school. But even as their classmates start spontaneously breaking out in song, Kenny, Stan, Cartman and Kyle vow never to go along with the trend. By the time the boys get drawn in by the allure of musical theatre, all the other students have already moved on to the next fad.
8 of 21 Ron Jaffe/AMC

Mad Men, "Zou Bisou Bisou"

During a surprise 40th birthday party for Don, his new bride Megan treated him to a sultry rendition of "Zou Bisou Bisou." Although Megan's singing and dancing were fine, her stunt seemed better suited for a private performance. (An embarrassed Don looked like he wanted to melt through the floor during the whole thing.) Although the scene underlined how fundamentally different Don and Megan are, the song sure was catchy. What's your favorite TV musical? Vote now!
9 of 21 20th Century Fox

Ally McBeal, "The Musical, Almost"

For a drama, this show was no stranger to the comically absurd (dancing babies, unisex office toilets). That's why no one was too thrown off when Vonda Shepard's bar hosted a full-blown musical in the season three finale. If you didn't sing along to the entire cast performing the Ally theme song, you have some serious soul searching to do.
10 of 21 HBO

Oz, "Variety"

A far cry from Dorothy and her yellow brick road, HBO's Oz musical replaced the prison drama's traditional narrative with a musical variety show format. The Highlight: B.D. Wong singing Tori Amos' "Leather." Who knew prison priests had so much soul?
11 of 21 Cliff Lipson/CBS

How I Met Your Mother, "Girls Versus Suits"

Robin Sparkles isn't the only one of the MacLaren's gang to break out in song every now and then. And while we loved Marshall's emotional rendition of "You Just Got Slapped," it was Barney's closing number in "Girls Versus Suits" that makes our heart sing. With the entire cast doing supporting vocals, Barney declares his love of suits over all in "Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit." The moment was a huge turning point for old Swarls. Who would have thought anything could make this ladies' man say no to lovin'?
12 of 21 NBC

Community, "Regional Holiday Music"

Fame begat Glee and Glee begat a wonderful parody, courtesy of the Greendale Human Beings. In the Season 3 Christmas episode, the Greendale glee club members suffer a nervous breakdown. Though they publically revile the club, the study group is manipulated into joining through a series of songs, tapping into each one of their weaknesses. What's more Christmas-like than exploiting loved ones' guilt and innermost desires?
13 of 21 ABC

Grey’s Anatomy, "Song Beneath the Song"

After Callie was thrown through the windshield of Arizona's car, she coped with the extensive surgeries — and the possibility that both she and her unborn baby would die — by, well, singing. The episode featured music the series made famous over the years, including Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars" and Anna Nalick's "Breathe (2AM)." Unfortunately, we liked the songs much better the first time around.
14 of 21 The CW

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Once More with Feeling"

Buffy was never afraid to go campy and "Once More with Feeling" does so delightfully with its self-referential wackiness. When a demon comes to town and makes Sunnydale into a real-life musical, relationships crumbled in perfect time with some well-done soft shoe. Smack in the middle of Buffy's darkest season, the musical episode reminded viewers how fun the Scoobies can be, all the while maintaining Season 6's signature heartbreak.
15 of 21 Renaissance Pictures

Xena: Warrior Princess, "The Bitter Suite"

Though it shockingly wasn't the first Xena musical episode, "The Bitter Suite" is the only one with an original soundtrack. The Emmy-nominated episode allowed Xena and Gabrielle to work out their problems like they do on the Great White Way — with song and dance! Plus, Xena gets naked. How could you not love it? What's your favorite TV musical? Vote now!
16 of 21 Fox

Fringe, "Brown Betty"

In "Brown Betty," Fringe took on two TV tropes in one: a story-within-a-story and a musical! With Peter still missing, Walter smokes his own strain of marijuana and then, in his drug-addled state, entertains Olivia's niece by telling a detective noir story with Olivia as the central P.I. The concept alone (Fringe meets Raymond Chandler meets Broadway) was a great hook, but the rare opportunity to see how Walter really feels about his son and the relationship between Peter and Olivia proved there was more to this episode than just tunes.
17 of 21 Chris Haston/ABC Archive/Getty Images

Scrubs, "My Musical"

Sacred Heart goes Broadway when an aneurysm patient begins seeing life as a musical. And while singing about poop has its charms, "My Musical" will forever be lauded for giving us the ultimate bromance ballad, "Guy Love."
18 of 21 MTV

Daria, ”Daria! The Musical”

Pessimistic high school loner Diane Morgendorffer’s flat monotone voice and complete lack of emotion makes her a logical choice for a musical, right? Wrong, which is why the show’s loyal following can’t be blamed for lashing out against the idea even before the episode aired. In typical Daria fashion, the episode mocked the musical format from beginning to end. It wasn't exactly great, but on the bright side, the bland showtunes made Mystik Spiral look a whole lot better by comparison.
19 of 21 FX

American Horror Story: Asylum, "The Name Game,"

Jessica Lange just wants to daaance! Ask and ye shall receive. Ryan Murphy concocted a hilariously weird and unexpectedly awesome choreographed musical number to, of all things, "The Name Game" for Lange's Sister Jude to belt out with her asylum-mates. (It's actually all a hallucination from her electroconvulsive therapy, but who cares?) It's only a matter of time before that Glee-AHS crossover happens.
20 of 21 NBC

Parks and Rec, "5,000 Candles in the Wind"

Andy Dwyer and his band Mouse Rat (formerly known as Scarecrow Boat, Punch Face Champion and Fiveskin) have had their share of outstanding musical moments on Parks and Rec, but it was Andy's heartfelt performance at Lil Sebastian's memorial that takes the cake. The ode to the miniature horse was definitely 5,000 times better than a single "Candle in the Wind."
21 of 21 NBC

30 Rock, "Werewolf Bar Mitzvah"

First there was Boyz II Men and then there was Men II Wolves. Thanks to Tracy Jordan, every Jewish werewolf finally has the 1980s novelty song they deserved, and we will forever have the catchy tune stuck in our heads. It's hard to believe 30 Rock only aired a 6-second clip of the "spooky, scary" hit! What's your favorite TV musical? Vote now!