Television

The 10 Best Musical TV Episodes, From 'Buffy' to 'Bob's Burgers'

Riverdale "Chapter Thirty-One: A Night to Remember"
Katie Yu/The CW

Riverdale "Chapter Thirty-One: A Night to Remember" 

Riverdale’s excellent musical episode on Wednesday night has inspired us to take a look back at some of our favorite ones in television history.

From Community’s spot-on Glee parody episode to Buffy the Vampire Slayer's cheekily named "Once More, With Feeling," we’ve ranked the most memorable musical episodes to have graced the small screen.

10. Arthur -- "Locked in the Library!”

Anyone else permanently scarred by this scary episode of the childhood classic? Arthur and his friends get locked in the library overnight, as the title suggests, and everyone resorts to breaking into song. Basically, it’s a nightmare, in the best possible way. The pseudo-rap "Library Card" and a parody of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are particularly hard to forget.

9. Rocko’s Modern Life -- "Zanzibar!"

This Earth Day-centric episode sees Rocko and the town citizens fighting Conglom-O, a company that's polluting the place. "The Recycle Song" is a warning everyone should heed, one highlight being the following lines: "I must admit we make a lot of garbage/ This dump is filled up way above the brim/ If we don't make an effort to recycle/ The future could be looking mighty grim.”

8. The Simpsons - "Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious"

Hands down, this Mary Poppins parody is one of the essential Simpsons episodes. Marge finds out she's losing her hair from stress, so the family hires a nanny to help her with the workload. Enter Shary Bobbins, who tries to reform the Simpsons, which is obviously impossible. She's driven to crying, drinking, all while singing. Finally, she’s sucked into a jet engine.

7. Riverdale -- "Chapter Thirty-One: A Night to Remember"

This might be the most recent addition to any Best Musical Episodes list, but its place is well-earned. Riverdale is a confusing show, and the beauty of this episode, which revolves around the high school's production of Carrie: The Musical, is that even a casual viewer can enjoy it. For those on the fence about watching, the extremely hot Archie does push-ups while reading.

6. Daria -- "Daria!"

These days, it’s common for an animated series to feature random, original musical numbers, but Daria was somewhat ahead of its time with this 1999 episode. Dry tunes like "Morning in the Burbs" and "Gah, Gah, Dammit!" absolutely hold up.

5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer -- "Once More, With Feeling"

Creator Joss Whedon was behind the songs for this season 6 episode, which has since developed a cult following -- on top of the show itself, of course -- complete with sing-along screenings held at movie theaters. This episode features a ridiculous monster, considering it’s a demon who makes everyone randomly burst into song, but the music is super catchy and the plot even manages to move along (Buffy and Spike kiss, Giles decides to leave!).

4. Scrubs -- "My Musical"

Though the quality of Scrubs undoubtedly declined in its later seasons, this is an episode worth watching out of order. It all starts when a patient hallucinates that the Sacred Heart Hospital medical staff is singing, including the curmudgeonly Dr. Kelso. Avenue Q/Book of Mormon/Frozen mastermind Robert Lopez is responsible for the music, which pays homage to big shows like Rent and West Side Story. The episode earned five Emmy Award nominations and one win.

3. Bob’s Burgers -- "The Bleakening"

Bob’s Burgers is known for sprinkling original songs throughout its episodes, but in this hour-long special, there are seven musical numbers, giving characters a chance to go even more off the rails than usual. Linda attempts to host a holiday party at the restaurant to try and spread some cheer but finds out her beloved ornaments have been stolen. The kids sneak away to see if they can find who they think commited the crime: an anti-Santa creature called The Bleaken. Todrick Hall, Adam Driver and John Early guest-star.

2. SpongeBob SquarePants -- “Dunces and Dragons”

This medieval-themed half-hour special absolutely qualifies, purely for any appearance made by Squidly the jester. Notably, Squidly offers SpongeBob and Patrick up to the Dark Knight in exchange for his own safety: “Pray take these two and let me go free/ And I will give to thee some cheese.”

1. Community -- "Regional Holiday Music"

Greendale Community College’s glee club is served a cease-and-desist letter for singing copyrighted songs, and while Jeff initially refuses to save the day, each member of the study group is individually convinced to join as they get wrapped up in the cheer of it all. Troy/Donald Glover/Childish Gambino’s "Jehovah's Secret Witness" rap serves as a particularly iconic moment. Plus, Taran Killam guest-stars.