Musicals / Plays

Every Single Musical Theater Reference In 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' 

Hannah Collins
Updated June 14, 2019 2.7k votes 499 voters 20.1k views 26 items

List Rules Vote up the references that made the musical theater nerd in you do jazz hands.

The CW's musical comedy series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is well-known - and loved - for its iconic and usually spot-on parodies of various musical genres. From iconic bands, famous music videos, and pop music clichés, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend covers the gamut of musical forms. 

But, for the Broadway lovers out there, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend songs inspired by real musicals are oh-so-satisfying. In addition to hitting the sweet spot for scrupulous viewers bound to recognize the nods to showstopping hits, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend musical references happen more often than most viewers realize. 

Some of the best Crazy Ex-Girlfriend songs are affectionate, tongue-in-cheek parodies of the most iconic numbers from musical classics like Les Miserables, Singin' in the Rain, and The Music Man. Even viewers with only a passing interest in musical theater are bound to pick up on chords eerily similar to classics like "Do You Hear the People Sing?"

However, Rachel Bloom is a well-known connoisseur of all things Broadway. There have also been hilarious spoofs and nods to older, lesser-known musicals from previous eras. Only the true musical theater geeks will catch Bloom's references to esoteric Gilbert and Sullivan as she undercuts the sappiness and schmaltz with the kind of crudeness and sass we've come to expect and love from the show.

Which jokes about musical theater in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend are the best? Browse the list below, and vote up your favorites. 

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'Settle For Me' Has Fred Astaire And Ginger Rogers Written All Over It
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The black and white filter, the suit with the tailcoat, the permed curls, the tap shoes, the romantic setting... "Settle For Me" from season one's "I'm Going On A Date With Josh's Friend!" has all the visual hallmarks of a classic Fred and Ginger number, with Greg and Rebecca filling in for iconic duo respectively.

Of course, this being Crazy Ex, the sweeping romance and upbeat tone in Greg's singing voice is underlined by a less idealistic and awkward truth in the lyrics. He's not professing Rebecca is his one and only true love. He's requesting that she simply settle for him. 

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6
'One Indescribable Instant' Is Every Disney Princess Song Ever (Sung By An Actual Disney Princess)
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For those super special moments that are truly indescribable - like Josh finally confessing his love for Rebecca in season one's "Paula Needs To Get Over Josh! - the only song that'll do is one fit for a Disney Princess. In the world of Crazy Ex, that song is, "One Indescribable Instant." It comes from the fictional animated film Slumbered, which sounds suspiciously like a mash-up of Sleeping Beauty and Tangled. Both these films feature similar epiphany-themed, romantic songs.

Just to really hammer the Disney references home, the singer is none other than musical icon, Lea Salonga, the singing voice of Princess Jasmine and Mulan.

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7
'The Buzzing From The Bathroom' Is A Pastiche Of 'Empty Chairs At Empty Tables' From 'Les Miserables'
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While Rebecca and Nathaniel get to know each other a little more intimately in "To Josh, With Love," their (secretly) Canadian co-worker Tim is shocked to learn from the women of the office that his own sex life may have been in trouble for years - without him knowing! 

In a clear send-up of "Empty Chairs At Empty Tables" from Les Miserables, Tim laments about what the "buzzing sound" from the bathroom really means after he and his wife make love, in a stripped-down, heartrending (and hilarious) ballad.

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8
'Cold Showers' Is A Drug-Laced 'The Music Man' Parody
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In "Josh And I Work On A Case!" Rebecca corrals people living in Josh's apartment block into signing a petition about water pressure. This is, of course, yet another effort to get closer to Josh by giving them something to work on together. And it works.

The rousing song Rebecca uses to get Josh's neighbors on board directly parodies "Ya Got Trouble" from The Music Man. In the song, a fast-talking salesman convinces the citizens of River City that a pool hall puts their town on a slippery slope to moral depravity. Or, as Rebecca vastly more bluntly puts it, "cold water is drugs!"

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