10 Awesomely Unexpected TV Musical Numbers

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If High School Musical were to graduate and enroll in community college, we’d imagine the results would look a lot like last Thursday’s season premiere of Community. Bright pastels and overenthusiastic choreography ensued as the good ol’ Greendale study group sang promises of a “more fun,” “less weird,” “mainstream dream” of a third season. If Community‘s musical intro accomplished anything, it reminded us just how enjoyable our favorite comedic actors can be in brief, unnecessary musical numbers. Check out Joel McHale’s croons, a couple cartoons, and other bursts of unexpected song after the jump.

Community

The writers of Community have surprised us with some strange twists and turns in the past (like that time all of Greendale turned into flesh-eating zombies), but we can hardly believe the lyrics to this musical surprise: “We’re gonna get more calm and normal, we’re gonna fix our state of mind.” Yeah right, Community. After a minute of novelty jazz hands and fancy footwork, the truth is revealed. Alas, the musical number was merely a dream sequence — a figment of Jeff’s surprisingly glitzy unconscious. Snazzy way to kick off three hours of NBC Thursday premieres, eh?

How I Met Your Mother

In honor of How I Met Your Mother‘s 100th episode in Season 5, Barney Stinson took a break from talking about suits and womanizing to — wait for it — sing about suits and womanizing! This isn’t just any unexpected musical number, this is a highly anticipated unexpected musical number. C’mon, it’s Neil Patrick Harris, you knew he had to sing at some point.

30 Rock

This second-season 30 Rock musical surprise was marvelously nerve-racking. Kenneth? Going back to Georgia? To the tune of Gladys Knight? Say it ain’t so, Lorne Michaels. Watch as Tracy, Jenna, and the gang temporarily see Kenneth off with some casual Motown grooves.

House

If you can’t handle circuses or A Clockwork Orange, you might want to skip this awesomely eerie performance from Season 7 of House. In yet another dream sequence, Hugh Laurie sings his Dr. House rendition of “Get Happy” amidst some creepy, creepy nurses. Could he get any cooler?

The Simpsons

Who could forget the unexpected splendor of Mr. Burns’ “See My Vest”? Despite being a riff on 101 Dalmatians sung to the tune of a Beauty and the Beast song, his ode to animal poaching and puppy skinning is all but Disney-friendly. Poodle hats? Endangered rhinos? Classic Mr. Burns.

Note: If you live in New York, 3 Geeks and a Girl will be performing 69 songs from The Simpsons in 60 minutes at The Triad on October 13.

The Office

To debut Steve Carell’s final season in style, the Dunder Mifflin employees at The Office pulled off quite the impressive lip dub. Although this musical number didn’t involve any real singing, Creed Bratton’s air guitar stylings were enough to keep us coming back for more.

Six Feet Under

Have you ever fantasized yourself into a musical number from Bye Bye Birdie while vacuuming? No? Well, Michael C. Hall has, and we think that’s a perfectly good argument for trying it. For those of you who primarily know the actor as a killer in Dexter, you’re in for a silly daydream treat from Six Feet Under.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Long before illiterately penning a musical in Season 4, Charlie Kelly found himself in a simpler time, when huffing spray paint in the dark of his apartment inspired a revolutionary, new song. A song that would reappear in the musical episode and eventually sell out theaters across the USA. A song we all know as “Day Man.”

Rescue Me

Rescue Me is a bad-ass show with a bad-ass reputation that knows how to cook up one helluva jazzy dream sequence. Get a load of the voice on firefighter Sean Garrity! He’s lucky his hospital-themed musical involves more friendly swaying vegetables than House‘s distorted dancing doctors. Who knew all these fellows could sing so well?

Family Guy

We’ll end this list of surprise songs with Peter Griffin’s melodic litany of censorship complaints. This anti-FCC anthem becomes a family affair as Stewie and Brian join in to highlight Family Guy‘s loathing for the Federal Communications Commission. Caution: Not for those sensitive to half-naked cartoons and poop jokes.