Skip To Content

    The 15 Best Musical Moments In Non-Musical Movies, Ranked By Someone Who's Thought Way Too Hard About This

    Nobody leaves this post without singin' the blues.

    I'M BACK AT IT AGAIN, Y'ALL. It's me, Allie, BuzzFeed's most-perfectly-adequate writer, returning to your phone/laptop/tablet/the-reflection-in-your-one-friend-who's-on-their-phone-at-dinner-and-not-paying-attention's-glasses with yet another specific, granular, movie-related ranking* that I wasn't asked (or even semi-encouraged) to do!

    Warner Bros. Pictures

    *I've done quite a few of these, so if you'd like to read more, check 'em out! We've got: Horror Movie Jump Scares, 21st-Century Fight Scenes, Underrated Disney Songs, Shocking Plot Twists, Gory Scenes in Horror Movies, and, most recently, Love Declarations in Romantic Movies.

    This time around, I'm looking at the best musical moments in otherwise non-musical films. So, basically, I will only be including musical scenes that show up in movies that DO NOT otherwise identify themselves as "musicals."

    Columbia Pictures

    OH and, as per usual, I just want to reiterate that these picks are my personal opinion! My rankings are never meant to make your own personal rankings feel any less valid or valued — in fact, I truly want to hear all about your favorite musical scenes in non-musical movies in the comments below! Tell me things! We're friends! Best friends! I'm having the charm bracelets made as we speak!

    Paramount Pictures

    And, just FYI, there are some light SPOILERS AHEAD for every single one of these movies!

    Ready? Okay! Buckle up, buttercups:

    15. "Love Is Strange," Dirty Dancing (1987)

    View this video on YouTube

    Vestron Pictures

    Some Context: A Baby who refuses to be cornered falls in love with a rugged dance instructor while on vacation with her parents, Lumière and Emily Gilmore.

    Why It's Here: Yeah, I'm aware most people would put, ya know, the actual dance scene on this list, but I'm not most people — I'm much, much worse. There's something about the switch in dynamics in this little moment that I've always really loved: Baby is finally taking control of herself and her sexuality, and Johnny can't focus on dancing because he's so enamored by her. Seriously, if your S.O. isn't willing to crawl around on the floor with you while singing a '50s classic, dump 'em.

    14. "Black Sheep," Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)

    View this video on YouTube

    Universal Pictures

    Some Context: Michael Cera at perhaps his Michael Cera-iest must fight every single one of his new girlfriend's exes in order to date her. Unfortunately, his next fight just so happens to be against HIS ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend: Clark Kent with vegan superpowers and the hair of MCU's Quicksilver.

    Why It's Here: This movie is desperately underrated and should already be considered a cult classic/midnight movie. This song is a whole-ass bop, and I only have two more words for you: Brie. Larson. (Captain Marvel INDEED.) Also, the way Michael Cera says, "Oh no," is my perpetual mood.

    13. "Peter You Suck," Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

    View this video on YouTube

    Universal Pictures

    Some Context: Peter sucks so bad that even Peter knows it.

    Why It's Here: I know, this one's a touch random, but stay with me! Few moments in movies perfectly sum up what it feels like to be a creative person with depression who wants nothing more than to work on their art, but can't because of their current mental state. Sure, it's goofy and clearly played for a laugh, but — as with all of the best funny things — it's painfully relatable and makes me say, "LOL, me," whenever I catch this scene on TV.

    12. "Babysitting Blues," Adventures in Babysitting (1987)

    View this video on YouTube

    Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

    Some Context: A babysitter is forced to take the kids she's watching on a wild ride around the city in a desperate attempt to rescue her friend, Brenda, who tried to run away from home. However, as the night goes on, they get sidetracked by increasingly wacky tasks. The entire movie is like a video game that refuses to let you at the final boss until you've finished every side quest. Anyway, one of these side quests leads them into a blues bar, where they're forced to sing for their release. Also, Thor is in this! (No, really! There are lots of great, pre-MCU Thor references in this movie!)

    Why It's Here: A! CLASSIC! Not nearly enough people are familiar with the sheer ridiculousness that is Adventures in Babysitting, and I'm here to change that! It's quintessential '80s viewing, and this scene is great! So many exclamation points! That's really all! To this day, I still wonder if the little girl in this would've liked the MCU Thor movies (I think she would've).

    11. "I Will Always Love You," The Bodyguard (1992)

    View this video on YouTube

    Warner Bros. Pictures

    Some Context: A singer falls for her bodyguard and then proceeds to sing the best cover of any song ever in the history of music or human civilization on Earth as we know it. I'm also only just now (in writing this post) learning that this movie was written by Lawrence Kasdan, which explains A LOT about why I love it so much.


    10. "Somebody Kill Me," The Wedding Singer (1998)

    View this video on YouTube

    New Line Cinema

    Some Context: After being unceremoniously abandoned at the alter and dumped on his wedding day, an aspiring singer shares his pain in the only way he knows how — a song that is one part The Cure, one part vintage Adam Sandler, and all parts iconic.

    Why It's Here: So, I went through a biblically bad breakup at the end of college. It was...not good. Sure, it's hilarious now in hindsight, but at the time? Real bad. But the VERY FIRST THING that made me genuinely laugh a couple of days afterwards was rewatching this movie — and, more specifically, this scene — with a friend. Even though it's clearly an over-the-top exaggeration, anyone who's had their heart shattered can relate to it, and it's just very, very funny. Also, low-key/high-key, the song itself slaps and Linda sucks.

    9. "Day-O," Beetlejuice (1988)

    View this video on YouTube

    Warner Bros.

    Some Context: A demon (but like, a fun one) terrorizes a buttoned-up family at the behest of their odd daughter and her wacky bangs.

    Why It's Here: Every time I make one of these lists, there's one entry that I feel like I had to include, or I'd be arrested. Not for lack of enjoying whatever the scene is, it's more because it's a classic and people in the comments can be cruel. Well, meet this list's I-was-legally-obligated-to-include-it entry! (Seriously, I implore you, just IMAGINE if I didn't include this. Just IMAGINE the comments.) Anyway, I do love this scene, and I had nightmares about shrimp-hands for longer than I'm comfortable saying.

    8. "I Say a Little Prayer," My Best Friend's Wedding (1997)

    View this video on YouTube

    Sony Pictures Releasing

    Some Context: A food critic with the best hair I've ever seen on a human being attends her best friend's wedding (LOL, she said the title). One problem: She's still in love with her best friend and is only attending the wedding in a desperate attempt to steal him away from his prim-and-proper fiancé. However, when her other BFF shows up to support her, she lies and says he's actually HER fiancé to cover up his sudden appearance — which backfires spectacularly when he makes a spectacle of their fake relationship at the rehearsal dinner.

    Why It's Here: If you checked out my Love Declarations ranking, then you already know I ride pretty hard for this movie. It's one of my personal ~comfort films~, and I never hesitate to put it on when I need cheering up. I've easily seen it 20+ times, and this scene is a big part of that obsession. It's perfection, and every time I see this moment, I turn into that Michael Jackson "I love this song" meme.

    7. "Bohemian Rhapsody," Wayne's World (1992)

    View this video on YouTube

    Paramount Pictures

    Some Context: Nothin' much to see here, y'all. Just bros bein' bros, rockin' out to the best rock song of all time. Party on.

    Why It's Here: This one's another "duh" inclusion, but it's considered a classic for a reason, and there's absolutely no one alive who hasn't reenacted this scene in the car with their friends — however, if for some reason you haven't had the pleasure, you're invited to come with me the next time I go out for a drive, and we'll reenact it together! (Just let me get a head count first, because — depending on how many of you there are — I may need to rent a bigger car.)

    6. "Cuban Pete," The Mask (1994)

    View this video on YouTube

    New Line Cinema

    Some Context: A nerdy, self-conscious banker finds cartoonish confidence whenever he dons a cursed mask. However, when he puts on the mask (LOL, she said the title again), it makes him look like if the '90s just were someone's face. We really loved that Nickelodeon slime-green color in the '90s — what can I say? Anyway, the police are after him, so he distracts them with a song and dance number, as one does.

    Why It's Here: Whenever I hear youths say the phrase, "[Random thing] lives rent free in my head!" I think of this scene. Rent. Free. I will sometimes just wake up in the morning, singing this song at full volume for no discernible reason. Why? I haven't thought about it, yet there it is. Is this a curse? A blessing? No real way to tell. Anyway, The Mask is a very, very dumb movie, and I love it very, VERY much.

    5. "Can't Take My Eyes off You," 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

    View this video on YouTube

    Buena Vista Pictures

    Some Context: The most attractive human man I've ever seen in my life is paid off to date his high school's most unapproachable girl so that — stay with me — the guy who paid him off can date said unapproachable girl's sister. It's The Taming of the Shrew but better (I stand by this statement). However, just as he begins to fall for his fake date for real, he accidentally embarrasses her publicly at a party. So to level the playing field, he opts to embarrass himself publicly in a moment that is so marvelous, it's seared into my more-hopeless-than-romantic brain.

    Why It's Here: That's right! It's time to talk about the scene that set every person who's attracted to men and grew up in the early '00s expectations for relationships way, WAY too high! It's's just very good, isn't it? A dream, really. Also, anyone who pretends like this happening to them IRL would be "cringe" or "embarrassing" — why are you lying to yourself? Know your worth! You are worthy of a cute boy paying off a band to sing a Frankie Valli classic to you! You are! And that lil' slide he does down the speakers?! UGH, perfection — your fave could/would/should NEVER.

    4. "Try a Little Tenderness," Pretty in Pink (1986)

    View this video on YouTube

    Paramount Pictures

    Some Context: Honestly, not a ton of context is needed to enjoy this scene. Duckie's the best, and I personally think that Andie made a huge mistake and those test audiences in the '80s had worse taste than I do (which is saying a lot, because I've been told pretty regularly that my taste in movies is "not good" and "real bad"). "Justice for Duckie." —Allie, 2021.

    Why It's Here: This is the best John Hughes movie song-and-dance scene. Period. THAT'S RIGHT! THAT FERRIS BUELLER SCENE ISN'T ON THIS LIST, AND I! STAND! BY! IT! I DIDN'T FORGET IT. IT'S JUST NOT HERE. BOLD, I KNOW. And that's not because I don't love that scene; it's because I love this scene more, and this scene doesn't get enough attention. I love Otis Redding. I love Duckie. I love his yellow jacket and wacky shoes. I love it all. If this lip sync was on RuPaul's Drag Race, Duckie would've Shante, stayed.

    3. "Miss Celie's Blues," The Color Purple (1985)

    View this video on YouTube

    Warner Bros. Pictures

    Some Context: As a child, Celie is married off to an abusive man who separates her from her sister and belittles her into believing she's worthless. Years later, Celie meets her husband's long-time mistress, Shug Avery — a charismatic and carefree showgirl who is everything Celie is not. The two form an unlikely bond, inspiring Shug to perform a song she wrote just for Celie, exemplifying her true strength and beauty.

    Why It's Here: I know this one is tonally different than most of my other, goofier picks, but it's too incredible a scene not to include. You're waiting so long for Celie to feel seen and loved, and, in this scene, she finally does — right in the middle of all the people who made her feel worthless, by the one person they all mutually admire. Anyway, this one is so high up because, frankly, it kind of cheated, since it holds a special place in my shriveled lil' heart: You see, my twin sister and I used to call each other back in college and sing this any time the other one was going through something — which is very lame, but, also, very sweet.

    2. "Stars Are Blind," Promising Young Woman (2020)

    View this video on YouTube

    Focus Features

    Some Context: After a horrific crime against her best friend causes a young woman to drop out of medical school, she closes herself off to everyone and, instead, seeks retribution on those who've yet to hear the proverbial bell toll for them. That is, until she runs into a guy she knew during her time in school. The two reconnect romantically, and, for the first time in years (and the entire course of the movie), it appears she may have finally found someone she can trust. Just...just don't get too attached to him.

    Why It's Here: I know, I know, this one is super high on the list, even though it's newer, but a quick story time: I was on a plane recently (I'm fully vaccinated — please just let me tell this story) and watched the gentleman seated diagonally across the aisle from me watch this entire movie, and then — as the credits rolled — I watched him rewind it and rewatch this scene TWO MORE TIMES. And, ya know what? SAME, SIR. IT'S GREAT. This scene manages to capture exactly what it feels like when you've finally found someone you can be yourself with (or, at the very least, when you think you have) in under two minutes. It's so sweet, and cute and I'm a simp for a romantic montage.

    1. "Scotty Doesn't Know," EuroTrip (2004)

    View this video on YouTube

    DreamWorks Pictures

    Some Context: Scotty doesn't know that his girlfriend, Fiona, and Matt Damon do it in Matt Damon's van every Sunday.

    Why It's Here: Yeah. Obviously. What the heck else was going to ~top~ this. It's a real ~banger~. This song...sure does...fuck(?). Listen — IDK, I'm running out of steam for this post. Real talk, though, this song goes way harder than it has any real right to, and I listen to it regularly. The whole situation sucks for Scotty, for sure, but, like, sometimes in life you're a Scotty, and sometimes you're a tattooed, pierced Matt Damon grinding up on Scotty's girlfriend, amirite?! Put THAT on one of those inspirational posters.

    So you've read my list, but what's YOURS? I want to hear all about your favorites in the comments below because, as I say in all of these, I genuinely do read all the comments! So be nice! Or don't! It's okay — I understand if you're going through something! I love you! This is all moving so fast! Anyway, thanks for readin'!

    TV and Movies

    Get all the best moments in pop culture & entertainment delivered to your inbox.

    Newsletter signup form