I’ve got a theory… that every show needs a musical episode. This harks back to what’s probably the most famous musical episode – Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Once More, With Feeling – and whether the singing fits the storyline as in OMWF, or is there for comedic effect, I absolutely love musical episodes.
Once More, With Feeling, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The seventh episode of Buffy’s sixth season has Dawn wishing for everyone to be happy after witnessing her sister’s distance, a fight between Willow and Tara, and sensing discord between Xander and Anya. Unfortunately this wish is made on a magic charm, which invokes a demon called Sweet, who put Sunnyville under a spell.
Through the songs, the secrets that the various characters have been keeping come to light, shattering the already fragile harmony of the group. On the other hand, the events also conspire to push Buffy and Spike together.
My Musical, Scrubs
The sixth episode of the sixth season centres around patient Patti Miller, who’s suffered an aneurysm in her temporal lobe with the result that she hears speech as singing. The aneurysm isn’t diagnosed at first, with some belief that Patti is having a mental issue, with the progress towards diagnosis being made in song.
Like OMWF, the cheery lyrics disguise a sadder undertone and in JD’s last monologue he reflects on how, while everyone in a musical gets what they want, that in reality choices don’t always guarantee happiness; a conclusion proven by Elliot missing her roommate, Carla wishing she spent more time with her daughter, and Patti missing the music in her head.
In the eighth episode of season four, Abby is attacked in an alleyway and is possessed by an abnormal creature, which then starts rewriting her DNA. One side-effect is that she can’t speak, though Helen Magnus discovers she can communicate through singing. This also has the effect of slowing down Abby’s transformation, but there’s no cure and her situation grows increasingly bleak.
Abby threatens suicide, but Magnus thinks that if she implants another abnormal inside her, the parasite will overtake that instead of Abby. However, during surgery, the parasite bursts from Abby’s body. Magnus manages to capture it and and saves Abby.
Girls vs. Suits, How I Met Your Mother (Honorable Mention)
Girls Versus Suits is the twelfth episode of HIMYM’s fifth season and, while not a musical episode in the truest sense of the term, kind of has to be included due to Barney’s awesome closing song.