A Celebration of Musical Moments in Non-Musical Films

Because who doesn’t love a good impromptu song and dance number?

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As a fan of musicals, who is also a huge fan of movies (but I’m sure I’ve made that clear by now), there’s nothing that warms my heart more than an unexpected musical number in a non-musical film.

Whether this is simply one character breaking out into song, a room full of people breaking out into song, or literally an entire choreographed routine — I absolutely love how this juxtaposes with the regular-ness of the film up to that point. It’s something that will effectively cement a movie in my memory forever, and many of my favorite romcoms are ones that have these exact moments.

Recently on Film School Rejects (in my very first paid article, in fact), I focused solely on the romantic films that contain such unexpected musical moments. You can read about the 8 Times Romantic Movies Became So Full of Love That They Broke Into Song on the website here. I cover the top instances of this wonderful phenomenon, from 10 Things I Hate About You to Casablanca.

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But there are many more non-musicals out there besides romcoms that may whip out a ballad on their unsuspecting audience. Here’s an ever-growing (I hope) list of films that do just that:

  1. Top Gun

  2. Shrek 2

  3. Easy A

  4. Romeo + Juliet

  5. Hocus Pocus

  6. Magnolia

  7. Scream 2

  8. Yes Man

  9. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Pippin’s song)

  10. Jaws

  11. The Lizzie McGuire Movie

  12. The 40-Year-Old Virgin

  13. Ella Enchanted

  14. A Knight’s Tale

  15. Enchanted

This list could also serve as a watchlist, should you be looking to marathon all your favorite non-musicals that break out into song. Check out my article for even more suggestions, all from the romantic or romcom variety.

Long live the unexpected dance number!

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