In honor of the Fall TV season, we're looking back on some of our favorites in the Random Musical Episode canon. From unexpected departures like Grey's Anatomy to the gold standard (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), we put the spotlight on seven of the most memorable musical episodes on TV.
'That '70s Show' (2002)
First things first: Ashton Kutcher, Topher Grace, Mila Kunis, etc. are not particularly strong singers. Fair. But the fact that the entire gang looks like they're having the *best* time -- not to mention the groovy costumes -- more than makes up for that fact.
Featuring music from Avenue Q/Book of Mormon/Frozen maestro Robert Lopez, this musical episode features homages to several huge shows -- from Rent to Avenue Q to West Side Story. For some musical TV episodes, the idea is better than the execution, but the fact that the entire cast here are surprisingly accomplished singers only makes the whole thing sweeter –- and more earworm-y.
'How I Met Your Mother' (2010)
Okay, so technically this wasn’t a full musical episode. But how could we not include the comedy's 100th episode celebration, “Girls vs. Suits,” which concludes with the entire cast -- led by showman Neil Patrick Harris -- singing showstopper “Nothing Suits me Like A Suit.”
'Grey's Anatomy' (2011)
The 2011 episode certainly divided fans, but it was a reminder that anything can happen in Shondaland -- even singing.
Combine talking-head animation with the added spectacle of a musical, and it could have been a disaster. But "Daria!," the third season premiere, holds up surprisingly well -- and dry tunes such as "Morning in the Burbs" and "Gah, Gah, Dammit!" are still a treat to re-watch.
Part spot-on Glee parody, part holiday fun, all with that specific Community weirdness, the musical parody is a high point for the cult favorite. When Greendale's glee club members are out of commission, our favorite gang agrees (or are forced) to lend a hand. Bonus: Taran Killam guest stars!
'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' (2001)
With tunes written by creator Joss Whedon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s “Once More With Feeling” from the show’s sixth season featured Sunnydale plagued by a demon who makes everyone spontaneously burst into song. The episode has since developed its own cult-within-a-cult following. (Buffy fanatics even used to gather at movie theaters for “Once More” sing-alongs.) Although the monster of that week is silly, the music is catchy and the entire hour moves the plot in both serious (Giles decides to leave!) and romantic (Buffy and Spike kiss!) ways. And when the Scooby Gang belts “Walk Through the Fire,” you want to follow them through the flames.