Have you found yourself wondering, “What’s that song?” while watching your favorite TV shows? We’re here to tell you. Check out our Spotify playlist below and see why these music picks clicked. (Warning for those still catching up on DVR: Spoilers ahead.)
FAMILY GUY (Fox)
The song: Def Leppard, “Pour Some Sugar on Me”
The episode: “The Simpsons Guy” (1301)
The hook: When the Griffins of Quahog found themselves in the Simpsons’ Springfield on Sunday, no one was surprised when things would got a little wacky. But who really expected a booty-shaking car wash? After his car was stolen, Peter Griffin joined forces with Homer Simpson to catch the culprit. Donning tight tank tops and cutoffs, the animated patriarchs put on quite the show to the 1987 strip club classic. Labor Day may have come and gone, but the most anticipated crossover episode of the year ensured that the Summer of Butts is wiggle-wiggle-wigglin’ on.
Check out Darren Franich’s take on “The Simpsons Guy,” read Dan Snierson’s epic Q&A with Simpsons mastermind Matt Groening and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, take a look at out our gallery of images from the episode, and read The Community’s react
The song: Donna Summer, “MacArthur Park”
The episode: “The State of the Union” (402)
The hook: On Thursday, Liv (Kerry Washington) literally knocked boots with Jake (Scott Foley) as they set boundaries—and then kinda totally broke them—for their Not a Relationship relationship. But it’s Cyrus (Jeff Perry) who might wind up as wet and alone as Summer’s symbolic cake in the rain now that his desperate loneliness has driven him to a relationship with a hooker, whom he doesn’t realize is working for a political foe (Portia de Rossi).
The song: Salt-N-Pepa, “Let’s Talk About Sex”
The episode: “The Talk” (102)
The hook: The rap trio’s 1990 hit backdropped that moment that strikes fear into every parent’s heart on Wednesday—when its time to deliver the lowdown on the birds-and-bees. But the blunt tone of “Sex” was a hilarious counterpoint to the maneuvers Dre (Anthony Anderson) pulled in order to avoid having the titular “talk” with Andre Jr. (Marcus Scribner).
The song: Elliphant, “Look Like You Love It”
The episode: “Fountain of Youth” (103)
The hook: Reliable weepy emo troubadours Sleeping at Last finished Tuesday’s episode with “Chandeliers,” which played through Henry’s (Ioan Gruffudd) centuries-spanning flashback, but Swedish songstress Ellinor Olovsdotter got the party started when Henry and Jo (Alana De La Garza) headed out to a Hamptons rager.
REIGN (The CW)
The song: Bear’s Den, “My Lair”
The episode: “The Plague” (201)
The hook: As the plague descended upon the French court on Thursday, Kenna (Caitlin Stasey) shared a tearful moment with a dying boy to Don Brownrigg’s “Fight for Your Castle.” But Mary (Adelaide Kane) would not forfeit her “Lair.” Sitting stoically on her throne and staring down the spot abandoned by her king Francis (Toby Regbo)—who fled castle walls to rescue his lovechild from the disease—the lyrics to the London folkies’ spare ballad echoed the resolve Mary found amid catastrophe: “I could not turn away from all I wish I did not know.”
The song: Angus & Julia Stone, “You’re the One That I Want”
The episode: “Pilot” (101)
The hook: Ratings suggest that viewers don’t love (or even Like) My Fair Lady on Instagram, but Jukebox’s long-time favorite brother-sister act struck a chord as social media-obsessed Eliza (Karen Gillan) and buttoned-up branding expert Henry (John Cho) made their partnership Facebook official at the end of Wednesday’s series debut.
The song: Michelle Branch, “Creep”
The episode: “Pilot” (101)
The hook: Reviews were mixed on Kevin Williamson’s latest spine-tingler, but opinions were consistent on Branch’s cover of Radiohead’s 1992. With parallel framing for dark Detective Jack Larsen (Dylan McDermott) and the show’s super-stalker in the making Perry Whitley (Erik Stocklin), it was downright spooky.
The episode: “How Far Down Can I Go” (302)
The hook: Scarlett (Bowen) and Gunnar (Palladio) once again made beautiful music Wednesday. While Gunnar’s girlfriend Zoey (Chaley Rose) was steamed at the prospect of a reunion between the on-again, off-again songwriting partners, shippers swooned at their beautifully bittersweet strummer.
The song: Portishead, “Roads”
The episode: “Selina Kyle” (102)
The hook: Twenty years after its release, the alt-electronica outfit’s tune popped up twice this week—both as the playout track on Tuesday’s Person of Interest and on Monday’s Batman origin story as Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and partner Harvey Bullock’s (Donal Logue) ongoing investigation landed them in the crimson den of Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith). Bonus: The New York Dolls’ spare stomper “Jet Boy” was playing when some obnoxious fratbags picked up a down-and-out Oswald Cobblepot (the deliciously sinister Robin Lord Taylor) on the side of the road; terrible (and now dead) people, excellent taste in music.
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (The CW)
The song: Alt-J, “Hunger of the Pine”
The episode: “I’ll Remember” (601)
The hook: Superstar music supervisor Season Kent admitted going into this TV season that she was hankering to use this moody, Miley-sampling track in one of her shows this fall, but it looks like TVD‘s Chris Mollere has beat her to the beat. The Jukebox regulars closed out Thursday’s season premiere as Caroline (Candice Accola) voicemail-begged Stefan (Paul Wesley) to return to Mystic Falls, where the aftershock of last season’s game-changing deaths is just beginning to register.
Read Mandi Bierly’s recap, then check out Samantha Highfill’s post-mortem with star Nina Dobrev, her FAQ about TVD’s new characters, and her Delena relationship status check-up with Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder
The song: FMLYBND, “Come Alive”
The episode: “Pilot” (101)
The hook: Some day her prince will come? Maybe, like, next Tuesday? During the teen-com’s Sept. 30 debut, theme park employees Lucy (Bianca A. Santos) and Ian (Shane Harper) watched fireworks and saw sparks to Madi Diaz’s “White Lightning.” The next morning, duty called, so they got in character as loves and danced to California quartet FMLYBND’s synth-sational YOLO anthem.
RED BAND SOCIETY (Fox)
The song: Coasts, “Oceans”
The episode: “Liar Liar Pants on Fire” (103)
The hook: The U.K. quintet’s driving anthem expressed the surging vitality of teen hospital live-ins Jordi (Nolan Sotillo) and Emma (Ciara Bravo), whose bond deepened Wednesday even as they faced their own looming mortality. (And much to the chagrin of Charlie Rowe’s Leo, Jordi’s fellow cancer patient buddy and Emma’s ex.)
GREY’S ANATOMY (ABC)
The song: Billy Squier, “Everybody Wants You”
The episode: “Puzzle with a Missing Piece” (1102)
The hook: Take a cue from the Grey Sloan gang and stop reading, stop thinking—just dance it out (scalpel option but maybe not recommended). Enjoy your weekend!