Musicals / Plays
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Every Single Musical Theater Reference In 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend'

Updated June 14, 2019 3.7k votes 570 voters 23.6k views26 items

List RulesVote 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. 

  • 1

    'The First P*nis I Saw' Is A NSFW Rendition Of 'Mamma Mia!'

    Video: YouTube
    • Paula is overcome with nostalgia when she comes across her first love, Jeff, at the grocery store in "Getting Over Jeff." In "The First P*nis I Saw," she sings about the man who was her "first everything." The number has ABBA vibes running all the way through.

    Musically, the song is practically a cover version of "Mamma Mia!" and it also visually parodies the way the song is performed in the movie adaptation of the same name. Paula sneaks around her old flame and catches glimpses of him through the scenery, the way that Donna does when re-discovering her old boyfriends.

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  • 2

    'Flooded With Justice' Is Pretty Much 'Do You Hear The People Sing?' From 'Les Miserables'

    Video: YouTube

    Can you hear that trickling sound? That's the faulty faucets of truth! After uniting Josh's neighbors to take part in a class action law suit against Greater City Water, Rebecca, Josh, and Whitefeather & Associates march the angry citizens into the L.A county courthouse.

    From start to finish, "Flooded With Justice" isn't just a naughty double entendre about "flooded basements." It's also a clear tribute to the triumphant "Do You Hear The People Sing?" from Les Miserables, from the rhythm of the melody, to the construction of the lyrics, to the waving flags.

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  • 3

    'The Math Of Love Triangles' Takes Its Cues From 'Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend'

    Video: YouTube

    In "All Signs Point To Josh... Or Is It Josh's Friend?" Rebecca decides to take a more academic approach to her romantic problems. "The Math Of Love Triangles" sees her enlisting some math professors for the job, with the whole routine being an obvious homage to "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend" from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

    Rebecca even matches Marilyn Monroe's outfit exactly, minus the palette swap from pink to blue. The red love hearts that Marilyn's suitors offer her are also swapped to oversized rulers forming triangles for the parody.

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  • 4

    The 'Dream Ghosts' Are 'Dream Girls'

    Video: YouTube

    As if the title didn't make it clear enough, Dr. Akopian's "Dream Ghost" song - which she serenades Rebecca with on her flight back home to New York - is a tribute to Dream Girls and the age of Motown. As the song goes on, it leans harder and harder into this musical reference, ending up with the three "dream ghosts" in early Diana Ross-era wigs and matching, sequin dresses.

    Dr. Akopian's fellow "ghosts" are Amber Riley, who notably covered "And I Am Telling You I Am Not Going" in musical dramedy Glee, as well as musical legend Ricki Lake.

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