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    18 Completely Iconic TV Music Moments That People Should Study In History Books

    ♪ ♫ Mmmm whatcha say... ♪ ♫

    Music is one of the most important parts of any TV show — it can enhance or detract from any moment.

    Bart hanging off the edge of a building as Chuck and Blair watch on Gossip Girl as weird Hitchcock-like instrumental music plays
    The CW

    A lot of times, the mark of good music or score is not noticing it. But other times, there is a music moment that is so good, it becomes forever associated with the show.

    FX

    Here are 18 music moments from TV shows that should go down in history as the best ever:

    1. "Hide and Seek" by Imogen Heap — The O.C.

    Marissa shooting Trey
    Fox

    You know I had to start with this one. It spawned a classic meme and SNL sketch. It felt incredibly inappropriate and out of place for a scene in which a main character shoots another main character's brother, and yet...it is absolutely iconic. The cultural impact alone earns this moment a spot on this list.

    Watch the scene here:

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    2. "Breathe Me" by Sia — Six Feet Under

    Claire looks up as she drives off into the desert and we see the deaths of a bunch of the family members
    HBO

    The Six Feet Under series finale is often brought up as an example of one of the best finales ever, with many pointing out its final sequence, which flashes to many of the characters' deaths. That scene just would not be the same without one of the classic soft emo (is that a genre?) songs of the 2000s that perfectly captures the tone of the last few minutes of this award-winning show.

    Watch the scene here:

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    3. "How to Save a Life" by The Fray — Grey's Anatomy

    Derek says it's a beautiful afternoon to save lives and "let's have some fun" as "How to Save a Life" plays
    ABC

    There was nothing particularly noteworthy about this moment, but the song elevated it into an iconic moment in pop culture history. They were certainly not the only medical show to use this class song by The Fray, but it will forever be associated with this show above all others — so much so that the cast sang it in the musical episode.

    Watch the scene here:

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    4. "Phantom of the Opera Medley" by Lindsey Stirling — The Umbrella Academy

    as Vanya plays the violin, we see Number 1 (Luther) on the moon, Number 2 (Diego) in a house in a mask, Number 3 (Allison) on the red carpet, and Number 4 (Klaus) in rehab
    Netflix

    All of the music in The Umbrella Academy is amazing, but to me, this choice was particularly inspired. It seems like such a random instrumental to use while introducing the Hargreeves children, but somehow, it just works. Having Vanya play their introduction was a perfect hint of her role within the family, and the dark, mournful, yet rock-style Phantom medley really fit the show.

    The scene doesn't appear to be on YouTube, but you can watch it in the beginning of the first episode on Netflix or listen to the medley below!

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    5. "You've Got the Love" by Florence and the Machine — Sex and the City

    the girls walk together on the street, then Carrie gets a call from Big (named John in her phone) and answers it, walking off into the crowd
    HBO

    This song always gives me goosebumps, because it reminds me of two iconic finales — Sex and the City and Gossip Girl. It played in the final scenes of both, but because Sex and the City was first, I'm counting that one. It just feels so happy and celebratory and like it's closing out a chapter, almost like the equivalent of a "happily ever after." It also matched Carrie's voice-over about friendship and love so well — and it was such a fun moment to have Big's name finally revealed.

    Watch the scene here:

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    6. "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen (covered by Jonathan Groff) — Glee

    Quinn in labor and Jesse St. James and his glee team sing at Nationals
    Fox

    Say what you will about Glee, but watching Quinn give birth while Jesse St. James and his team performed "Bohemian Rhapsody" flawlessly was peak TV. The performance and choreography were so good, and the music was so well timed to Quinn giving birth. Having Quinn scream things like "Let me go!" at the times the words are sung in the song was particularly genius.

    Watch the scene here:

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    7. "Sinnerman" by Nina Simone — Sherlock

    Sherlock and John get ready for Moriarty's trial as we see a newspaper introducing it and Moriarty being brought from the jail
    BBC

    Sherlock rarely uses actual sung music, making this montage particularly special. The jaunty yet old-fashioned tune created such a fun buildup in this scene and fit Moriarty so well — it made everything feel even more like a game.

    Watch the scene here:

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    8. "Gotta Get Up" by Harry Nilsson — Russian Doll

    Nadia looks at the door, shaken, then opens it and sees no one in the hall
    Netflix

    I thought this song was okay the first time it played — and then it played again...and again....and again. Each time, the upbeat tune got more and more frustrating, and finally more and more ominous as the people at the party began to disappear each time Nadia was rebooted back to the bathroom. Using the song once? Cool. Using it every episode??? Legendary.

    Watch a bunch of the scenes that use the song here:

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    9. "Whatcha Say" by Jason Derulo — Gossip Girl

    Cece revealing Lily left her in August and Rufus saying she didn't come home until October; Jenny telling Eric she knows he sabotaged her at Cotillion; Blair accusing her mom of being pregnant; Maureen threatening to out Serena and Tripp's affair
    The CW

    Season 3 of Gossip Girl was a bit of a mess, but this one scene in the Thanksgiving episode seemed to perfectly encapsulate the backstabbing, lying, cheating, and manipulation of the Upper East Side all at once. Every character and storyline was addressed over the course of a single song seamlessly. The fun pop song about making mistakes and the truth coming out worked so well here, and it was fun to hear "Hide and Seek" (which is sampled in this song) in an entirely different context than in The O.C.

    Watch the scene here:

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    10. "Rivers and Roads" by The Head and the Heart — New Girl

    the loft throwing confetti at Cece and Schmidt, then hugging Coach, then putting up a "Save the date" for Cece and Schmidt on the fridge
    Fox

    This may not have stood out to anyone else, but I was always absolutely obsessed with it playing over the last scenes of New Girl Season 4. It's such a beautiful song, and it really captures that bittersweet feeling of moving on and getting older — which was perfect for Coach moving away and Cece and Schmidt starting to build a life together!

    Watch the second half of the scene(s) here:

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    11. "September Song" by Agnes Obel and "You Can't Always Get What You Want" by Ituana — Big Little Lies

    the women watch their kids on the beach as waves crash and it flashes back to them fighting with Perry
    HBO

    Big Little Lies is another show with amazing music, and the finale in particular was flawless. But the best moment was seeing the women watching their children happily on the beach intercut with waves crashing and the women defending Celeste while a peaceful instrumental played — which eventually transitioned into "You Can't Always Get What You Want." It was haunting yet also kind of...empowering? It just perfectly wrapped up everything.

    Watch the scene here:

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    12. "That's Not How the Story Goes" by Nick Urata — A Series of Unfortunate Events

    Klaus and Violet sing that there are no happy endings, and Count Olaf sings that it's all sorrows and woes, and Mr. Poe says you might dream that justice and hope win, but that's not how the story goes
    Netflix

    I honestly kind of love when characters on a non-musical show break into song (Buffy's "Once More, With Feeling," anyone?) especially when it's not frequent. This was such a random end to Season 1 but also felt really theatrical, which fit a lot with the larger-than-life vibe of the show (and Neil Patrick Harris's involvement, of course) while still being depressing as heck. It even felt like it gave a small window into Count Olaf's point of view and character.

    Watch the scene here:

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    13. "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" by Led Zeppelin — One Tree Hill

    the limo crashes into the water, Peyton burns the picture of her, Brooke and Lucas, Dan sees "murderer" written on his wall, Lucas has 3 identical purses in his car, and Haley shouts for Nathan as he is stuck in the water-filled car
    The WB

    In case you forgot, this is the scene when we found out someone was pregnant and when Nathan jumped in to save Rachel and Cooper after their limo went over the Molina bridge. The buildup of the scene worked perfectly with the buildup of the song until it hit its crescendo, when the limo actually fell in the water. One Tree Hill always had amazing music, but using a Led Zeppelin song in this high-stakes season finale was the absolute best music moment.

    Watch the second half of this scene here:

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    You miss out on the beginning, where Haley tells Nathan she has something to tell him and Brooke tells Peyton their friendship is over, but you get the meat of it here.

    14. "The Rains of Castamere" by Ramin Djawadi — Game of Thrones

    The song begins, and Catelyn cries as Robb is killed
    HBO

    The song actually barely plays in this scene, but just hearing the opening notes alone is enough to send chills down your spine and make your heart sink. It's so mournful and dark, and will be forever associated with one of the most brutal moments in television history.

    Watch the scene here:

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    15. “All for Us” by Labrinth and Zendaya — Euphoria

    HBO

    This is probably my favorite modern example. Euphoria's music moments were already great, but ending the first season with Rue's trippy relapse in a dance number set to Zendaya's music was a stroke of genius. It perfectly captured how tumultuous she felt in that moment and how she was trying to escape everything.

    Watch the scene here:

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    16. "Don't Fence Me In" by Billy Williams & Sammy Kaye — Pretty Little Liars

    the girls see that there's an electric fence and they're in the middle of nowhere
    Freeform

    Pretty Little Liars' ridiculously rising stakes made it much harder to actually scare the viewers or seem clever, but the Season 5 finale did over-the-top so well. The dollhouse was creepy enough, but having the Liars think they'd escaped only to realize they were trapped behind an electric fence in the middle of a dense forest while the old-timey "Don't Fence Me In" played?? Genius. It felt sadistically creepy, ironic, and funny at the same time.

    Watch the scene here:

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    17. "Never Let Me Go" by Florence and the Machine — The Vampire Diaries

    The CW

    We'd seen Damon and Elena kiss a few times before, but this felt like the first big moment that they really gave into their mutual attraction. It felt like it was seasons in the making, and the buildup of the song was timed perfectly to their kiss and the feeling it gave the audience.

    Watch the scene here:

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    This song was actually also used in an amazing music moment in One Tree Hill Season 9, when Nathan and Julian rushed Dan to the hospital and Nathan and Haley finally reunited.

    18. And finally, "Wild World" by Cat Stevens (covered by the cast) – Skins

    Tony lying on the ground bleeding
    E4

    Skins was super gritty and hyper-realistic. And then in the first season finale, everyone broke into song, starting with Sid in the bathroom while two guys were at urinals. Then Tony, WHO WAS PASSED OUT AND PRESUMED DEAD ON THE SIDEWALK, started singing as he bled out. Others joined in, including the bus driver. But everyone was...legitimately good? And the song somehow fit everything? PLUS it ended with Cassie and Sid reuniting. 10/10.

    Watch the scene here:

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    What are some of your favorite TV music moments? Let us know in the comments!

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