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13 Best Musical Moments in Non-Musical TV Shows

Drama, mystery, and action sequences all match up to entertain and instigate audiences until the end of the season. Yet, whenever a TV character hits a high note out of the blue, you can’t help but be blown away and caught off guard. The following list is filled with music moments that aren’t in musically led shows, like Glee or Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, and that became the cherry on top of the cake. And no, these picks weren’t just lip synching. From This Is Us to Succession, here are some musical highlights to remember from some of our personal favorites.

Kate Pearson (This Is Us)


In between heavy tears and heartwarming Big Three encounters, we saw Kate Pearson shine with her beautiful vocals. Despite having sung in the show several times, nothing compares to the scene right in the beginning of Season 1, in which Toby (Chris Sullivan) convinces Kate (Chrissy Metz) to perform “Time After Time” at a nursing home to overcome her stage fright. You see her progressively feeling comfortable in her own skin and impress Toby at the end.

Phoebe Buffay (Friends)


It’s impossible to not view Phoebe’s (Lisa Kudrow) hilarious music video of “Smelly Cat” as an iconic moment in the whole series. The glorious looking gold outfit and backing vocals harmonizing to “smelly cat, what are they feeding you? / it’s not your fault” in the middle of a ton of artificial smoke is just so notable that during the Friends reunion special, Lisa Kudrow joined Lady Gaga into a nostalgic acoustic sing-along.

Payton Hobart (The Politician)


Yes, we have seen Ben Platt sing on-screen in Pitch Perfect and just recently in the musical adaptation of Dear Evan Hansen. Yet, we can’t forget his emotional cover of Joni Mitchell’s “River” during River’s (David Corenswet) memorial service in the first episode of Ryan Murphy’s Netflix original, The Politician. There’s just so much emotion in the delivery that you can’t help but shed a couple tears just like the other characters in the scene.

Barry Allen and Kara Zor-El (The Flash)


The CW always ends up adding a random musical episode to their shows, including one in this crossover between Barry (Grant Gustin) and Kara (Melissa Benoist) in The Flash Season 3. For those who have seen Glee Season 3 and 4, you know that the two actors were in the musical comedy series, so having the two get together alongside Glee-alum Darren Criss in this episode hit differently for fans. The two sing “Super Friends” together in a tap dance number that is simply a joy.

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Rebecca Welton (Ted Lasso)


Ted Lasso has really captivated audiences (especially in the awards season) with its charisma and the expression “Football is Life!” While Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) tried to sabotage Coach Lasso’s (Jason Sudeikis) efforts to make the Richmond team succeed in Season 1, she briefly showcased her vocals during a karaoke get together. She even wowed everyone when she stepped on stage to sing “Let It Go”. Right after this scene, Rebecca also demonstrates compassion towards Ted in a tough moment.

Reggie (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)


Sterling K. Brown might have left the singing out of his role in This is Us, but he surely had the opportunity to do so as Reggie in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 3. The character is invited on stage by Shy (Leroy McClain) and playfully says that he shouldn’t have done that or else everyone would know who the real star is. He wasn’t wrong. Miriam (Rachel Brosnahan) and Susie (Alex Bornstein) even look at one another, surprised by his skills.

Joey Potter (Dawson’s Creek)


This is a trip down memory lane for those who remember this scene in the first season of Dawson’s Creek. Joey (Kate Holmes) is competing in a beauty pageant and performs “On My Own” with so much rawness that Dawson (James Van Der Beek) is mesmerized by her voice all the way through, which instantly makes his girlfriend Jen (Michelle Williams) feel uneasy. This performance even led her to win the competition and deliver an empowering speech.

Dustin (Stranger Things)


In the middle of the Upside Down chaos happening towards the end of Stranger Things Season 3, the writers decided to add some comic relief with Dustin’s (Gaten Matarazzo) girlfriend Suzie (Gabriella Pizzolo) answering his call and making him sing “Never Ending Story.” While everyone in the show was waiting for them to shut up so that they could save the world from monster invasion, audiences had a great time with that 80s easter egg.

Lexi (Modern Love)


Modern Love had some episodes that stood out, one of them being Episode 3 in Season 1, which features Anne Hathaway playing a character with bipolar disorder. In order to highlight her high-spirited moment, we have Lexi singing in the middle of a supermarket parking lot after meeting a potential love interest. The character doesn’t sing much but it was still a treat, especially when you experience the rest of the heart-wrenching episode.

Haley James Scott (One Tree Hill)


Like many early 2000s teenage dramas, One Tree Hill had some great music to accompany the basketball tournaments and crazy storylines throughout its nine seasons. Although there were many characters that sang in the show, Haley James Scott (Bethany Joy Lenz) was the one who started it all with her dream to pursue a career in music. We might have hated her during Season 2 (those who’ve seen it know what I am talking about), but we can’t help but admit that her original song “Halo” was one of the best in the whole series.

Kendall Roy (Succession)


In between family intrigues in the run for power, Kendall (Jeremy Strong) decided to crash the 50th anniversary of his father founding Waystar Royco by rapping “L to the OG.” It was both cringy and cool for those in the room (cousin Greg was certainly into it). To top things off, he blurts out the iconic line, “since I stan dad, I’m alive and well.”

Marnie Michaels (Girls)


Having a memorable music moment doesn’t always mean an appreciated one. When Marnie (Allison Williams) starts covering Kanye West’s “Stronger,” no one at Charlie’s (Christopher Abbott) app party is feeling it. The character is often narcissistic and cringeworthy, and this scene stood out as proof.

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