By Lanford Beard
June 02, 2014 at 10:12 PM EDT

We asked, you answered. And one thing is abundantly clear: Jukeboxers love Sarah McLachlan. I mean, y’all really love her. McLachlan’s silken contributions to TV’s aural history — most notably in Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s season 2 finale, but also via Alias and Felicity — made her the undisputed champ of TV Jukebox’s All-Time Greatest Hits list.

On the other end of the vocal spectrum, the gravelly voiced Man in Black Johnny Cash put in a strong showing, with songs from four different shows (an all-over-the-map mix of Person of Interest, The Shield, Stargate: Atlantis, and Deadliest Catch). Other heavy hitmakers include Peter Gabriel, The Fray, and Florence + the Machine. And, for some reason, Styx’s 1978 midtempo rocker “Renegade” also figured into this list more than we would have expected. (It’s all about the Styx mix, right?)

So which shows really popped? Scrubs, ER, The West Wing, The Vampire Diaries, How I Met Your Mother, Supernatural, and Sons of Anarchy… to name a scant few. Now, without further ado, it’s time to fire up Spotify and dive in to what may be TV Jukebox’s most epic playlist ever — and, yes, it includes an “epic” moment from Veronica Mars.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

“Another music moment that stands out for me is ‘Full of Grace’ in the second season finale of BtVS, just one of many great music moments on that show.” —CR

Sarah McLachlan’s ‘Full of Grace’ from Buffy‘s season 2 finale still breaks my heart. As she stands there crying… Ugh.” —Sandra B (@CinephileSandra)

“The Sarah McLachlan song at the end of Buffy season 2 (‘Full of Grace,’ I think). There were a ton of other great musical moments on Buffy, but that one wrenches my heart more than an SPCA commercial.” —Betsy R.

‘Agreed. Whenever I hear that song (which is fairly often, as I have it on my ipod), I get this sort of melancholy feeling in my heart, because it always reminds me of that scene.” —DD60449

“YES! That season ender devastated me and the music was perfect.” —Liz

“Buffy season 2 Finale — ‘Full of Grace’ by Sarah McLachlan” —TC

“In Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Sarah McLachlan’s ‘The Prayer of St. Francis’ in the episode ‘Grave.'” —Melissa

“Season 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy and Angel are two tormented lovers possessed by the souls of two tormented lovers. The song, ‘I Only Have Eyes for You’ by The Flamingos features throughout the episode (which is also named after the song). When Buffy and Angel dance to the song, I cry. When I hear the song now, I still see their faces, and remember how much I loved that one moment where they got to hold each other before they went back to being new enemies.” —Bethany Rose

“Dude — you missed the best one. Buffy the Vampire Slayer — season 3 episode 20 ‘The Prom.’ When Buffy and Angel dance to ‘Wild Horses’ by The Sundays. CLASSIC.” —Michele

“I would say the prom episode from Buffy. Buff is at prom alone and as they begin to play The Sundays’ rendition of ‘Wild Horses,’ Buffy spots Angel from across the room.” —Grace

“And ‘Wild Horses’ The Sundays version during the prom scene” —Sarah

“‘Wild Horses’ on Buffy, ‘Prom.'” —Dvnovert

“Or how about when they were at The Bronze and Michelle Branch was singing ‘Goodbye to You’? That one still gets me.” —Sam

“Michelle Branch’s ‘Goodbye to You’ from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer ep where Tara broke up with Willow.” Retro Remixes

“Remember in ‘When She Was Bad’ Buffy sexy dancing with Xander in the Bronze? I don’t remember the song, but the scene was terrific.” —Angie

“It’s ‘Sugar Water’ by Cibo Matto. One of my TV/music snob friends who used judge me for watching the show had a change of heart when he found out that was used. The Bronze had some awesome musical guests considering how dangerous it was. Just glad Aimee Mann made it out alive.” —CR

“The first one that comes to my mind is ‘Blue,’ performed by Angie Hart in the BtVS episode ‘Conversations with Dead People.'” —Michelle Smith


“What about in the season 5 episode of Angel ‘Shells’ when Kim Richey’s ‘A Place Called Home’ played over the end montage? Angel, Gunn, Wesley, Spike, Lorne, and Harmony were trying to recover from Fred’s death and Illyria was learning that the world she’d come back to would be much harder to inhabit than she’d ever imagined, which was intercut the flashback of Fred first leaving her home in Texas. I know it’s kind of a simple scene, but it was definitely an emotionally effective use of the song.” —Cory

“‘A Place Called Home’ by Kim Richey used on Angel in the 5th season episode ‘Shells.’ This was the episode after Fred’s death. It was played at the end of the episode over a flashback of Fred leaving home to go to college.” —Brian

“This was perfect, and one of the saddest episodes of TV ever…” —JAllen

Miami Vice

‘In the Air Tonight’ by Phil Collins in Miami Vice pilot episode titled ‘Brother’s Keeper,’ played against the late night race of Crockett’s Black Ferrari Spyder. Also ‘Long, Long Way To Go” by Phil Collins from Miami Vice episode titled ‘Sons and Lovers’ as Tubb’s love, Angelina, perishes in a car bomb. Lastly, from Miami Vice episode titled ‘Calderone’s Return’ there was ‘Voices’ by Russ Ballard played against Crockett and Tubb’s boat trip to the bahamas for revenge against Calderone. Miami Vice is the gold standard when it comes to music mixed with television.” —pie fighter

Miami Vice and Michael Mann always chose music extremely well.” —Robert

“Miami Vice, yes!! Two scenes in particular: 1) ‘In the Air Tonigtht’ as Crockett and Tubbs close in on the gang and 2) ‘Relax’ [by Frankie Goes to Hollywood] as the force works undercover in a prostitution ring.” —Jim Dickinson

“‘In the Air Tonight’ – Phil Collins – Miami Vice. The one that started it all!” —Don Johnson


Scrubs has a TON of great moments but the best was [Peter Gabriel’s] ‘The Book of Love.’” —guest

“HELLO! ‘The Book of Love’ at the end of Scrubs!” —sa21

“First series finale of Scrubs. When Zach Braff sees the future of everyone on a sheet outside the hospital while ‘The Book of Love’ by Peter Gabriel. Tears every time I see it.” —Dhani Sanborn

“Peter Gabriel’s ‘Book of Love’ from the Scrubs series finale. I am not ashamed to admit that the final five minutes make me openly weep, largely due to the pitch perfect song selection. What’s that you say? Scrubs went on for a season after that episode? I have no idea what you’re talking about…” —GF Finger

“Agreed! Scrubs had sound great uses of music. That moment and Joshua Radin’s ‘Winter’ playing at the end of ‘My Screw Up’ stand out.” —Meghan

“Related to Scrubs, their use of ‘Waiting For My Real Life To Begin’ by Colin Hay in the scene where J.D. imagines the dying actress going out with a song made me fall in love with the song’s original version.” —The Nobullman

“Ted’s Band (The Blanks) doing the Underdog theme a cappella in Scrubs when hospital residents perform their inspired tasks to the music. Colin Hay from Men at Work in Scrubs doing an acoustic version of ‘Overkill’ (‘I can’t get to sleep!’) after popping up out of a morgue drawer. Also The Mavericks playing ‘I Want to Know’ to a montage in Scrubs.”GreatScrubsMusic

“I’m really surprised they didn’t list The Fray’s ‘How to Save a Life,’ from the Scrubs episode ‘My Lunch’ (S05E20). I thought that was the one of the best uses of a song in a tv show that I had ever seen.” —Just a guest

Scrubs‘ ‘How to Save a Life.’ I cry every time.” —lane6866

Scrubs was one of the best shows, period, when it came to music choices. Plus, that show used ‘How to Save a Life’ before Grey’s Anatomy did, yet the latter somehow got all the credit.” —GooglesLawyer


“When Dr. Greene was dying on ER in Hawaii to ‘What a Wonderful World’ by Iz Kamakawiwo’ole” —Steve b

‘Over the Rainbow’ by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole in the episode when Dr Mark Greene dies in ER” —lorepottter

“‘Over the Rainbow’ when Dr. Mark Green dies on ER!!!” —Name

“The cover of ‘Over the Rainbow’ when Mark Greene died on ER” —annmartina

“OHHHHHH YESSS!! How could we forget that one???? Everyone in America was crying when that song was playing!!” —Erin

“Speaking of ER… Definitely not a favorite, but the most memorable for me… Lo Fidelity Allstars’ ‘Battleflag’ playing as Carter gets stabbed and Lucy lay dying…” —Al C

“‘Battleflag’ by Lo Fidelity Allstars was played when Carter and Lucy were stabbed on ER. That was the first time I was truly shocked by a television show and the music made it even more brutal.” —Liz

ER — In ‘Be Still My Heart’ when Battleflag is playing in the background as the Valentine’s Day party goes on and Carter gets stabbed. The song still gives me chills! ER also had a really great scene in the episode ’21 Guns’ with the Snow Patrol song ‘Open Your Eyes.’” —guest

“Oh gosh yes to the ‘Battleflag.’ I still see the image of Carter falling and locking eyes with Lucy whenever I hear that song!!” —Sara

“‘Battleflag’ when Carter and Lucy were stabbed in ER. [Snow Patrol’s] ‘Open Your Eyes’ in ’21 Guns.'” —Amy

“@DaltonRoss @EW How could you not include Carol and Doug’s reunion on ER with [Don Henley’s] ‘Taking You Home’ playing?” —Dan Schwartz ‏(@danielschwartz)

How I Met Your Mother

Everything But the Girl’s cover of ‘Downtown Train’ when Ted meets the Mother in HIMYM‘s terrible series finale. It was one of the few moments I enjoyed in the entire series finale.” —Rayanna Riecss

Everything But the Girl’s version of ‘Downtown Train’ in the How I Met Your Mother finale was absolutely beautiful. That would have been a perfect way to end the show, without all of the ‘back to Robin’ nonsense.” —Gland1

“I also liked Florence and the Machine’s ‘Shake It Out’ for when Ted walked out into a sea of opportunity/yellow umbrellas. Shame the whole idea of shaking it/his love for Robin off was still beaten like a thrice dead horse even after this beautiful illustration and usage of song.” —Guest

“Actually, now that I spent a little time thinking about it, what was really great was The Shins’ ‘Simple Song’ in the season finale of season 8. That whole sequence with everyone rolling out to the wedding and then finally seeing The Mother was really great for me. I loved that episode and and the ending was fantastic.” —Gland1

“Exactly what I came here to say. The music paired with everyone heading towards the ending., and the big reveal, it was so climactic. And a great song choice, given it was written with the songwriters wife and new family in mind. (I just pretend the Robin thing never happened… grrr.)” —Vicki

“Climactic is a great word for it. I loved that whole sequence so much. It sort of renewed my faith in the show. I watched it again recently and you could almost make a case that it would have been a better series finale than what we got. It would have left a lot of things in the air but maybe that would have been better?”—Gland1

How I Met Your Mother, ‘Something New — ‘Simple Song,’ The Shins. I hear that song and it’s like I’m watching the episode.” —yaaaaas

“For HIMYM: ‘Simple Song’ is great, but I was also a big fan of [The Magnetic Fields’] ‘It’s Only Time,’ played while Barney writes the final play in ‘Platonish,’ and ‘Prophets’ [by A.C. Newman], which backed the gang jumping between buildings in ‘The Leap.’ (To say nothing of [Cristin Milioti’s acoustic cover of] ‘La Vie En Rose’ and the show’s original music.)”mary garth

The Vampire Diaries

“The Digital Daggers cover of ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ on The Vampire Diaries when Klaus killed Carol in ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful.’ Klaus, covered in blood after killing his Hybrids as fake snow falls around them, Carol pleading for her life before he coldly drowns her. That scene guts me everytime and the haunting carol is a large part of it.” —Carrie

“Seriously those Christmas songs made those scenes so much more intense. I also have to give props to the use of Birdy’s ‘Wings’ on the season finale, it made Bonnie and Damon’s fade to white more emotional even though u know they r gonna come back.” —akiame21

Vampire Diaries – season 3, episode 1: ‘The Birthday’ — the final song in that episode was Ron Pope’s ‘A Drop in the Ocean.’ The song is amazing (I became obsessed after seeing this episode,) and it fit really well with the scene, Elena telling Stefan she loved him and to hold on to that.” —Sam

“The timing of’ ‘Never Let Me Go’ by Florence and the Machine for Elena and Damon’s first real makeout session [is perfect].” —Lisa M

The Vampire Diaries 3×20. The Fray – ‘Be Still.’ The cast says goodbye to Alaric Saltzman.”Hannah


Supernatural‘s season 2 episode ‘Heart’ featured a character who asked to be killed to prevent her becoming a werewolf. While they didn’t show the death, they did show the boys’ faces right before Sam killed her, and that unspoken moment between them was set powerfully to Queensryche’s ‘Silent Lucidity.’ Supernatural always had great music, especially in the early years, but that was one of the best uses of music ever.” —erik1326

Supernatural has too many memorable music moments to name, but the one that always stands out to me is ‘Renegade’ by [Styx] at the end of the season 2 ep, ‘Nightshifter’; I love the extended pause after the slow intro, ‘We are so screwed,’ then the song kicks in. Also, who can forget the outstanding ‘Mystery Spot’ episode and its repeated use of [Asia’s] ‘Heat of the Moment’?!” —WZILLA13

Supernatural season 1 ‘Faith’ when Dean is dying so Sam takes him to see a faith healer, [Blue Öyster Cult’s] ‘(Don’t Fear) The Reaper’ was used to great effect. Also at the use of ‘Bad Moon Rising’ [by Creedence Clearwater Revival] at the end of the season 1 finale in the build up to the Winchester’s crash.” —Melanie

“And every single ‘The Road So Far’ sequence with [Kansas’s] ‘Carry on Wayward Son’ ever?” —Hamzah Shafiq

“Absolutely! Gives me chills every time!” —WZILLA13

Freaks & Geeks

“Styx’s ‘Renegade’ in the pilot of Freaks & Geeks, as the boys walk to a showdown with the bully.” —Dcle

“Seriously though, I always remember how ‘Ripple’ by The Grateful Dead was used in the series finale of Freaks & Geeks.”Philly Ray

Sons of Anarchy

SoA has some of the best usage of music in enhancing the tone of the story, but if I had to narrow it down to the most memorable I’d go with Audra Mae’s ‘Forever Young’ that bookends the day Donna is murdered or Greg Holden’s ‘The Lost Boy’ at Opie’s funeral.” —CR

“I really love ‘The Lost Boy’ by Greg Holden during Opie’s funeral scene on Sons of Anarchy. SOA does too many musical montages but this one is very very sad and good.” —Preetybird

“Sons of Anarchy, season 5 episode 12, ending montage while Clay gets his club tattoos blacked out — ‘The Whistler’ by The White Buffalo.”—JoeyMosh

The Forest Rangers — ‘Day Is Gone’Sons of Anarchy season 6 finale. I still am not recovered from that ending and the song just perfectly fit what we were all feeling, including Jax :(” —Jennifer


“The perfect use of Florence and the Machine’s ‘Seven Devils’ in the first season finale of Revenge.” —Mikey P.

“Yes! I was so happy when they used that song. Always loved it, but that chilled my spine hearing it with Revenge.” —Abby

“That song made the finale even more iconic. Best finale of the series.” —Jenn

“Perhaps the single best season finale of that 2011-2012 season. For a moment, it even seemed like Revenge is a niche cable show that seeks to go its own way. One of my absolute favourites.” —Jerry

“I thought of another one: Florence and The Machine’s ‘Seven Devils’ on the season 1 finale of Revenge. I love the song and that show in general. :)” —ssilva872


‘God Put a Smile Upon Your Face’ — Coldplay… Sidney Bristow and Michael Vaughn gettin’ it on for the first time in Alias. Seriously a great song and a hot, hot moment… Song still gives me goosebumps. I also love the musical moment from the pilot episode of Alias. Where Sidney (with her bright red hair) steals the Rambaldi device, blows up the lab, and sprints away to the tune of Sinéad O’Connor’s ‘No Man’s Woman.’” —Emmy

“Great one! What about when Sydney meets Vaughan on the pier and she’s crying b/c she was supposed to meet he dad for dinner and she’s like he just bailed for no reason and Sarah McLachlan’s ‘Do What You Have to Do’ is playing I the background? — ‘What ravages of spirit conjured this temptous rage?’ Great song, great scene!” —Maddy


“On Friends, during Rachel and Ross’s breakup/staring out the window when it’s raining scene. Song: U2’s ‘With or Without You.’” —LRo

“U2’s ‘With or Without You’ on Friends” —ihateukfans

“Ross and Rachel [take a break on Friends to] ‘With or Without You,’ very memorable.” —lane6866

The West Wing

The West Wing has several of moments that really stick out for me as a great combination of music and film: ‘Brothers in Arms’ by Dire Straits in ‘Two Cathedrals’; ‘Hallelujah’ by Jeff Buckley in ‘Posse Comitatis’; ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’ by Tori Amos in ’20 Hours in America’; ‘Angel’ by Massive Attack in ‘Twenty Five’; ‘Sanvean’ by Lisa Gerrard in ‘7A WF 83429’ (This one really stuck with me); ‘Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground’ by Blind Willie Johnson in ‘The Warfare of Genghis Khan’; I am so sure there are more!” —taj_mahal07

Excellent notes, I like Dave Brubeck’s ‘Take Five.’” —Chilakegirl

“I now get tears in my eyes EVERY time I hear ‘Brothers in Arms’ because of that episode. Not sad tears, just ‘Ah, the majesty that is West Wing‘ tears.” —HallieCat

West Wing — second season finale ‘Two Cathedrals’ — Dire Straits’ ‘Brothers in Arms'”Scott

“The ‘Two Cathedrals’ episode of The West Wing. ‘Brothers in Arms’ by Dire Straits at the end of season 2. Simply amazing.” —dan

“Massive Attack ‘Angel’ in the 4th season finale of West Wing while Zoey is being kidnapped…chilling…” —BKIII

“I also loved ‘Hallelujah’ by Jeff Buckley in the brilliant The West Wing episode ‘Posse Comitatus,’ the season 3 finale.”Tony Vance

The Newsroom

Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ during the first season of The Newsroom is amazing.” —Tom

Sports Night

‘Valentine’ by Tim Cullen in the first few minutes of season 2 of Sports Night is one of my favorites.” —Alia Castiella


“How can you forget the season 2 opening of LOST with ‘Make Your Own Kind Of Music’ by Mama Cass? Brilliant.” —Garen

“What the Fudge?! ‘Make Your Own Kind of Music.’ LOST” —BillyMozart

“Another one will be the start of LOST season 2 with ‘Make your own kind of music'” —Jerry

“Two more: ‘Delicate’ by Damien Rice on Lost. I have a deep obsession with that album so I’m biased but it was so perfect and then Hurley’s batteries die and you realize he’ll probably never get to hear it again.” —CR

“Don’t forget ‘You All Everybody’ by Driveshaft! : )” —Goose

“In the episode of Lost, ‘Tricia Tanaka is Dead’ — ‘Shambala,’ Three Dog Night” —yaaaaas

Veronica Mars

“There’s also lots of great music in Veronica Mars, like ‘Momentary Thing’ by Something Happens in the episode ‘Weapons of Class Destruction’ (the big Logan/Veronica smooch — I am having geekbumps thinking about this), or the weird/intriguing/lovely ‘Run’ by Air in ‘Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner,’ when Sheriff Lamb wordlessly lets Veronica and Duncan out of his car and returns to sit menacingly in front of the home of child abusers. ETA: I think America’s ‘Ventura Highway’ was also creepily used as the soundtrack for revealing Logan’s abusive home life.” —Michelle Smith

“What about ‘That’s Amore’ [by Dean Martin] as the soundtrack to Aaron beating the crap out of his daughter’s boyfriend? What a weird moment.” —mary garth

[The Perishers’] ‘Sway’ on Veronica Mars.” —Karen

“Veronica Mars — ‘I Hear the Bells’ [by Mike Doughty] with the iconic ‘Epic’ scene….” —Avatar Jill

“Yes, yes, yes. Perfection.” —Alia Castiella

Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad didn’t use popular music often, but when they did it was to perfect effect. ‘Crystal Blue Persuasion’ by Tommy James & The Shondells over a collage of making meth and money, and [Badfinger’s] ‘Baby Blue’ in the closing moments of the series were sublime.” —RockGolf

Breaking Bad series finale, ‘Baby Blue’ by Badfinger :’)” —AB Mood

“‘Baby Blue’ on Breaking Bad” —Karen

“‘Baby Blue’ from the Breaking Bad series finale” —Yeah Bitch

‘El Paso’ by Marty Robbins as well. It was never played completely, it was partially overheard — not even from the beginning — while Walter was working on a car (and singing along).” —Philly Ray

Breaking Bad had so many great music moments, ‘Who’s Gonna Save My Soul’ by Gnarls Barkley, ‘Freestyle’ by the Taalbi Brothers, ‘Black’ by Danger Mouse and Norah Jones, ‘Windy’ by The Association. And yes, ‘Crystal Blue Persuasion’ was a perfect, perfect choice for accompaniment to that montage.” —Jason Lee

One Tree Hill

One Tree Hill, Peyton and Lucas kissing after basketball game José González’s ‘Heartbeats’ plays… or when Switchfoot’s ‘Dare You to Move’ plays when Nathan and Haley kiss for the first time.” —LRo

‘God Bless the Child’ [by Michelle Featherstone] that was used in season 3 of OTH during “With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept” forever gives me chills. OTH has many music moments but that one….Whew. Also when they used Led Zeppelin’s ‘Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You’ during the coda of the season 3 finale. Which was also groundbreaking because it was the first time a broadcast network was allowed to use a Zeppelin song.” —Winston Mize


[Death Cab for Cutie’s] ‘Transatlanticism’ in @nbcparenthood when Julia & Joel’s adoption falls thru & Crosby declares love for Jasmine. #tvjukebox#sobs” —Jen (@jenflortx)

Parenthood has some awesome music scenes! Any Braverman lovers out there? Best one is end of season 1 (I think) Amber ran away after fight with Haddie and Haddie and Christina go to pick her up at a truckstop and Ray LaMontaigne’s ‘Let It Be Me’ is playing in the background. OMG, loved that scene and now I love that song. You know it’s good when you Shazam the song and then go buy it straight away!” —Marci

Person of Interest

“The use of Johnny Cash’s ‘Hurt” in Person of Interest‘s ‘The Devil’s Share.’ Best use of a song on TV ever.” —zivaolivia

“The Person of Interest episode where Shaw and Reese go on a revenge rampage after Carter’s death opens with the haunting version of Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Hurt’ as sung by Johnny Cash. It was a perfect fit of images to song!!” —POI Fan

“YES!!!!! They matched the visuals to the lyrics so perfectly on that episode. I was PO’d that POI didn’t get any mentions on the season finale awards thread especially the ‘Hurt’ montage.” —DollyMadisonWI

“This season, Person of Interest used Johnny Cash’s cover of ‘Hurt’ during the scenes of Joss Carter’s funeral. I cried like a baby.” —disgruntledredhead

Parks and Recreation

“A nod to Parks and Rec for every use of [Mouse Rat’s] ‘The Pit’ or ‘5000 Candles in the Wind,’ and for [“April Come She Will” by] Simon and Garfunkel as April and Andy’s wedding march.” —lane6866

“When Chris and Ann Perkins left [Parks and Recreation], ‘Wildflowers’ by Tom Petty….” —Harvey_Dent

“Also, ‘Pony’ by Ginuwine on the sixth season finale of Parks & Rec was just perfect.” —Yeah Bitch

Dawson’s Creek

‘I’ll Be’ by Edwin McCain in the season one finale of Dawson’s Creek will always be my TV soundtrack moment. Joey is running while Dawson is chasing after her, finally realizing he has feelings for her. I still get invested in this moment when I watch the show on DVD.” Mary-Helen Clark

“[I] also loved [Sting’s] ‘Fields of Gold’ on Dawson’s Creek” —Karen


“Castle & Beckett get together in 4×23 [to Andrew Belle’s] ‘In My Veins” —Sandra knows best (@Sandraxf)

Castle season 2 finale, Sara Jackson-Holman‘s ‘Into the Blue.’ Rips my heart out every time.” —Lm

Gossip Girl

‘With Me’ – Sum 41 #gossipgirl (season 1, episode 7 ‘Victor, Victrola’)” —Willie Gichora (‏@_gichora)

Gossip Girl – Chuck & Blair – ‘Without Me’ — Sum 41″ —trixie


“I guess this is silly, but I loved the season 3 finale of Community. The full version of the theme song (‘At Least It Was Here’) played over a montage of the characters wrapping up their storylines. We were sure that this was a series finale, and it brought everything together beautifully. I loved it, and I always tear up. DAMN YOU NBC.” —Caiti


‘That Home’ by The Cinematic Orchestra playing while Donna is leaving the firm on Suits [is a] ridiculously well scored scene.” —Lisa M

Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights series finale Delta Spirit’s ‘Devil Knows You’re Dead’” —Nikki

‘Devil Town’ [by Tony Lucca]FNL” —Amy

Twin Peaks

Julee Cruise, ‘The World Spins’ from Twin Peaks. Easily one of the most heartbreaking moments on TV” —Fruity Fonzie

Moral Orel

The Mountain Goats. ‘No Children.’ The dark, cold void of emotion that permeates the scene is Clay makes his way through the house, seeing the state of his family as the song plays from his perspective and we the audience are made blatantly, viscerally aware through lyrics like ‘You are coming down with me, hand in unlovable hand’ that both he and his wife have resigned themselves to suffering through their loveless marriage until death do they finally part.” —Matt

Magnum P.I.

John Denver’s ‘Looking for Space’ playing as Thomas Magnum walked through the clouds on his way to Heaven in ‘Limbo,’ what was supposed to be the final episode of Magnum P.I. at the end of its seventh season (before they decided to do an eighth at the last minute). My young middle school self got choked up at that scene, and it took me years to figure out the title of the song.” —WZILLA13

New Girl

[Ellie Goulding’s] ‘Anything Could Happen’ and ‘Until We Get There’ [by Lucius] on New Girl always give me a lot of ~feels.” —Jenn

Ally McBeal

“A million years ago, but I still have Vonda Shepard’s version of ‘Goodbye to Love’ from Ally McBeal. The montage was very touching.” —Sarah010


Nashville season 1 with Hayden Panettiere singing ‘Nothing in This World Will Ever Break My Heart Again’ was the best song to close out the season with. truly heartbreaking.” —Milo

“I agree that was a powerful song moment. I still tear up every time I listen to that song.” —Pam


‘Passing Afternoon’ by Iron and Wine at the end of House season 4. When Wilson found Amber’s note and collapsed on the bed, it was like a punch in the gut. The song was perfect accompaniment to the different reactions people were having to her death.” —Liz

The Wire

The Wire — season 4 finale. ‘I Walk on Gilded Splinters’ — Paul Weller.” —Jason

Sym-Bionic Titan

“The incredible, much-missed show called Sym-Bionic Titan had two absolutely perfect music-on-TV moments. The first was in an episode called ‘Lessons in Love,’ when Kimmy (newly in love) walks home at night, listening to [A Flock of Seagulls’] ‘Space Age Love Song’ on her headphones, while the Sym-Bionic Titan battles a giant monster in the background. The last image of that sequence, with the fireballs falling behind a blissfully unaware Kimmy, is truly beautiful. The second instance was during the episode when the gang is getting ready to go the prom while the song ‘Serious’ by [Daryl] is playing. Both sequences are perfection.” —ABC


Fringe when Walter [Bishop] in an episode filled with an overwhelming bleak view of the future gets in a car and puts on ‘Only You’ by Yaz and notices a flower growing in the wasteland, providing a glimmer of hope.” —CR

The Americans

“More recently, Peter Gabriel’s [‘Games Without Frontiers’] in The Americans‘ season 1 finale” —Sarah010

“Also from The Americans [debut], ‘Tusk’ by Fleetwood Mac!” —Goose


“The season 2 finale of Justified when they play Brad Paisley’s ‘You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive’ while Mags is killing herself is the best ending to a season ever. They play different versions of the song at the end of every season but season 2 was the best because it perfectly captured that moment.” —Audrey1596

True Detective

True Detective‘s opening theme by The Handsome Family — ‘Far from Any Road.’ Also the ending of True Detective episode 1 by The Black Angels, ‘Young Men Dead.’” —SnarkyRichard

The X-Files

“Both ‘Brothers in Arms’ and the show Miami Vice were mentioned … but not together. Incredible scene. Also, Moby’s ‘My Weakness’ during an episode of The X-Files (which had several great musical moments).” —dinosaur1972


‘Running Up That Hill’ by Placebo when Booth goes to dig Bones out of the ground in ‘Aliens in A SpaceShip’? Chills.” —Sam

“I liked this year’s Bones season finale using Beck’s ‘Wave.’ Really set the tone for the character’s futures.” —SouthStPaul


‘Come unto Me’ by The Mavericks in the season finale of Dallas. It worked so well and fit the tone perfectly.” —Woody7

The Walking Dead

“I love the music on The Walking Dead (it isn’t usually very cheerful, of course…) New favorite song from the ‘Terminus’ episode — ‘Be Not So Fearful’ by A.C. Newman of the New Pornographers.” —Kate


‘I Will Remember You’ [by Sarah McLachlan] in the final scenes of Felicity. Won’t ever forget that.” —Kim S.

The Wonder Years

“Although you could pick almost every episode from The Wonder Years, there was none better than the ending of ‘The Accident’ with Bob Seger’s ‘We’ve Got Tonight’ playing. Great song choice that fit the scene perfectly…not to mention the best ‘I Love You’ in TV history…” —stottle4375


Scandal: Marvin Gaye & Tammi [Terrell’s] “You’re All I Need to Get By’” —Sarah010

Beverly Hills, 90210

Beverly Hills 90210 — Brenda and Dylan breaking up in the car at the beach to R.E.M.’s ‘Losing My Religion.’ Haven’t been able to listen to that song since!” —Melissa

“OMG, I am right there with you. For some reason, that had a profound effect on me!!” —Chilakegirl

Mad Men

Mad Men season 5 had some really great moments scored to music: Don listening to and then shutting off ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ [by The Beatles], Peggy leaving SCDP to [The Kinks’] ‘You Really Got Me,’ and the season-ending ‘You Only Live Twice’ [by Nancy Sinatra] as Don walks away from his wife on a commercial set and we see naked Roger and Peggy being grossed out by two dogs having sex. Oh and how could I forget, ‘Zou Bisou Bisou’!” —Jason Lee

The Big C

“Sia’s songs are just awesome and I would nominate the season 1 finale of The Big C where [Laura] Linney’s character’s son finds the storage unit with all of his future gifts after she dies. Sia’s ‘Lullaby’ is playing and you might need tissues. :'(” —ssilva872

The Shield

“[One that comes] to mind immediately is the use of ‘I Hung My Head’ by Johnny Cash in The Shield at the opening of season 6.” —Tony Vance


[Jump Little Children’s] ‘Cathedrals’ during Everwood‘s season 1 finale, as Colin is prepped for surgery. What a heartbreaking scene.” —mary garth

Gilmore Girls

Gilmore Girls also had some great music — Sam Phillips’ ‘That’s Where the Colors Don’t Go’ in the pilot as Lorelai contemplates asking her parents for help, and Joey Ramone’s version of ‘What a Wonderful World’ as Luke smashes a hole in his apartment wall during ‘Lost and Found’ remains the only tolerable cover of that song for me. Oh, and OF COURSE ‘Gonna Fly Now’ [from Rocky] as Kirk celebrates his dance marathon win and Rory has a sleep-deprived cry in the middle of the dance floor (‘They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They?’).” —mary garth

Make It or Break It

“Completely destroying any street cred I have here: [MIKA’s] ‘We Are Golden’ during S1E10 of Make It or Break It, as the medal-winning gymnasts visit an injured Payson. That show (as many sports shows do) did the inspirational soundtrack to training/competition so well; it was cool that they applied it to a more melancholy scene.” —mary garth

Stargate: Atlantis

“The second to last episode of Stargate: Atlantis, ‘Vegas,’ and the death of alternate-Shepard, used Johnny Cash’s ‘Solitary Man,’ which was the perfect song to end that scene.” —Tossaway


“The entire series of Life (actually on TV, the DVD’s don’t have the same music….boo). Couple of stand-out usages were Gram Rabbit, LCD Soundsystem, Kid Beyond, and even T.A.t.u moment was effective.” —DrChocolate

“Totally agree that the soundtrack on Life set the scenes up perfectly. Like Gram Rabbit’s ‘Devil’s Playground’ when Reese and Crews were finding dead bodies in steamer trunks, Camper Van Beethoven’s ‘Pictures of Matchstick Man’ when Ted and Olivia woke up after running out of gas and sleeping in the orchid overnight. Too bad NBC was too cheap to get the music rights for the DVDs!” —SnarkyRichard

Battlestar Galactica

‘All Along the Watchtower’ by Bear McCreary in ‘Crossroads Part 2’ during the reveal is one of the most haunting pieces of music I have ever heard The episode and the song were integrated perfectly.” —Judah

“‘All Along the Watchtower’ — BSG” —Amy

Deadliest Catch

“On season 6 of Deadliest Catch, the episode where Capt. Phil passes away…there was a beautiful sad shot of gray ocean waves, as Johnny Cash’s ‘Redemption’ played. Awesome and perfect sendoff for Capt Phil.” —seasick schooner

The Blacklist

“You’ve been writing about it for months…‘[Slow Ass] Jolene’ on The Blacklist. Absolutely perfect.” —Sarah


“Also ‘With Arms Outstretched’ by Rilo Kiley in the Weeds pilot and series finale. No words needed… just the song.” —David Allen

The Offfice

The Office‘s wedding dance scene to Chris Brown’s ‘Forever’!” —LRo

Queer As Folk

‘Proud’ by Heather Small for the Queer As Folk pilot episode and series finale. It summed it all up and Netflix had the nerve to edit it out of the finale!” —David Allen

And thanks to all of you for singing the praises of our original 10 picks and adding in your own faves:

My So-Called Life

“I still can’t hear ‘Blister in the Sun’ without thinking of My So Called Life. I also love Carrie and Big dancing to Moon River [on Sex and the City].” —Beth

“I believe the scene from My So-Called Life is the most perfect scene in a TV series, ever. I’ve watched it dozens of times. It’s sublime.” —Angie

“I had that episode of My So-Called Life on video — it was a perfect episode — I had been Angela myself as a teen and it rang so true. I still listen to Buffalo Tom.” —Kate

The Sarah Connor Chronicles

“Thank you for noticing Sarah Connor Chronicles. I thought that scene became so powerful with that song!” —Marty


“Another great musical moments from Girls is Hannah dancing to Robyn’s ‘Dancing on My Own.’ That’s when I fell in love with the show, and though it has had its up and downs, I always think of that moment and smile.” —Tiff

“I would have thought the iconic musical moment from Girls was Robyn’s ‘Dancing On My Own'” —Sarah

The O.C.

“Glad one from The O.C. made it! Although story lines on The O.C. may have stumbled, their music selections were always amazing!” —Sam

The Sopranos

“What about from The Sopranos ‘Comfortably Numb’ by Pink Floyd when Christopher died???” —Ava

‘My Lover’s Prayer’ [by Otis Redding on] The Sopranos” —AngelaChase

Family Ties

“Thank GOD Family Ties made the list.” —David Hatkoff ‏(@davidhatkoff)

Grey’s Anatomy

“I was going to go with ‘Chasing Cars.’ Good choice! Still the most perfect music on TV moment for me.” —Carla

Grey’s Anatomy does music better than anybody else.” —Jax

“Agreed. I have found so many artists I love because of Grey’s. There are too many to name but the one mentioned above was great and also the bomb episodes had some great music. I also loved the scene with ‘How to Save a Life’ by The Fray.” —Sam

“I know the musical episode of Grey’s was very divisive and mostly forgettable but Callie’s version of ‘The Story’ [by Brandi Carlile] still gives me chills.” —ron12274

Grey’s Anatomy has too many to mention.” —Sarah010

Six Feet Under

Six Feet Under‘s final scene with Sia’s ‘Breathe Me’ playing cannot be topped imo! That song is just so emotional and that scene too epic!” —ssilva872

“I listen to ‘Breathe Me’ on the subway in NYC all the time. Six Feet Under is by far the best series ending I have seen.” —Peter

“I hardly ever watched Six Feet Under, but I watched the finale. I cried like a baby. Just thinking about that finale has me tearing up. I agree: an amazing ending (close to MASH) — it had to be powerful to get people who don’t even watch the show crying their eyes out!” —Erin

“I was going to see if anyone had suggested this before I did. That’s my pick after Sia/Six Feet Under as my favourite song/TV moment. When I hear either song, they both make me emotional.” —browncoatali

Six Feet Under had the best series finale of all time. What a great way to wrap everything up and the music just added to the images on the screen. Best, most emotional ending ever.” —RM

Six Feet Under finale/song is possibly the best of all time. The brilliance of the song along with the best good bye I could ask for makes it #1 for me!!! I’ll miss you Claire, Ruth, David, Rico, Brenda and I suppose you too Nate.” —Tom

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