“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” recently marked its 100th song, so it’s a perfect excuse – I mean, reason – to rank every song. (This list goes to 89 because the show counted some reprises and songlets, and I did not – although in some cases, I combined a related songlet or reprise in an entry with a more complete song.)
These are, of course, my personal subjective rankings, and the order will no doubt vary wildly from other fans’ lists. One truism of “CXG” songs is that most of them will appeal to someone’s tastes, but those tastes are not always universal. For example, Vulture’s recent rankings of every “CXG” song are quite different from mine, even though we both love the show.
Here we go …
1. “The Moment Is Me” (Season 3, episode 3, performed by Heather) – It took until Season 3 for the writers to find an ideal song for my favorite character, and it’s worth the wait. Forever declaring “I’m a student,” Heather finally gets kicked out of college for having amassed too many credits to still be there. Society tells her to be excited about the possibilities of the real world, but her heart is not in it as she reluctantly works her way through the obligatory musical number.
2. “Devil Winds” (2.11, Santa Ana Winds) – The Santa Ana Winds are supposedly the cause of everyone’s relationship troubles, and they are wonderfully personified by actor Eric Michael Roy. It’s a parody of an earworm that becomes an earworm, and it gets progressively funnier every time the Winds interrupt a scene.
3. “I Have Friends” (1.3, Rebecca) – In this early classic that made me love Rebecca, she tries to convince us – and herself (the kid version is played by Ava Acres) – that she has friends, she DEFINITELY has friends. This is somewhat undercut by the slices of cafeteria pizza that come flying toward the Rebeccas of both ages.
4. “A Boy Band Made Up of Four Joshes” (1.3, Josh) – This tune is funny for the way it uses boy-bound sound design clichés, but the humor really comes from the visuals, such as the four Joshes doing dance moves and the two Rebeccas being smitten in the front row of the crowd.
5. “California Christmastime” (1.8, cast) – Three years after its debut, this is already a Christmas classic for me. While it’s certainly funny, it also has a genuine message about how Christmas is what you make of it – so Northerners can take their snow and shove it. And it introduced a conundrum no one had thought about before: Is gonorrhea or frostbite worse?
6. “Without Love, You Can Save the World” (3.9, Rebecca and cast) – “CXG” delivers a worthy entry for its 100th overall song. Contrasting the traditional radio hit idea that love makes the world go round and that you’d be nowhere without it, Rebecca – similar to the abstaining George on “Seinfeld” – discovers how much she can accomplish when she stops thinking about relationships.
7. “I Love My Daughter (But Not in a Creepy Way)” (1.5, Darryl) – This early classic illuminates the strange reality that it’s hard to sing a country song about non-romantic love, thus prompting Darryl to add the parenthetical qualifier.
8. “JAP Rap” (1.13, Rebecca and Audra) – In what must’ve been the most fun song to write in the show’s history, Rebecca gets into a rap battle with her Jewish American Princess frenemy. The insults flow deliciously, and it’s fun to see Rebecca’s posse of Darryl, Paula and Josh aggressively gesturing behind her.
9. “The First Penis I Saw” (3.7, Paula) – The idea of middle-aged actress Donna Lynne Champlin coming into work and learning she’ll be performing a 1960s-style first-love tune – but bluntly focused on a penis – strikes me as hilarious. And the visuals back it up, as Paula and female grocery store workers use appropriately shaped fruits and vegetables as faux microphones.
10. “Let’s Generalize About Men” (3.1, Rebecca, Paula, Valencia and Heather) – No need to get defensive, guys: The joke here is about women who need the ritual of generalizing about men after one bad experience. The Madonna-style music, hair salon setting and colorful outfits make it fun, and Paula’s line “Wait, I have sons” is a great clincher.
11. “Research Me Obsessively” (2.7, Anna) – It was a coup for “CXG” to get Brittany Snow for a guest arc as Josh’s cool new girlfriend, and the songwriters make great use of her with this pitch-perfect number. In this day and age, the new girl doesn’t have to remain a mystery, thanks to the internet, yet the information gaps often only deepen the mystery.
12. “Where’s the Bathroom?” (1.8, Naomi) – Despite the misleading title, this song actually confirms Rebecca’s fear that at some point during her mom’s visit, the passive-aggressive judgement will emerge. Indeed, Naomi can’t even make a visit to the bathroom before psychoanalyzing every aspect of her daughter’s life.
13. “Heinous Bitch” (3.5, Rebecca) – “CXG” bounces back from the dark period of early Season 3 with this ’60s-style pop number where Rebecca’s ill will toward her mom cools – at least temporarily.
14. “The Sexy Getting Ready Song” (1.1, Rebecca) – In an eye-opener for male viewers (and the horrified guest rapper), we see the insane and even painful lengths women go to to look good for a date. By contrast, when Rebecca says “Let’s see how the guys get ready,” Greg is taking a nap in his date clothes. Coming in the pilot episode, it illustrates the type of shock humor we should be prepared for more so than the traditional musical launcher, “West Covina.”
15. “Ping Pong Girl” (2.2, Josh) – In a catchy parody of “songs dudes sing” (more specifically, early Aughts pop-punk outfits like Fall Out Boy), Josh lusts after ping-pong superstar Rebecca: “She’s like Serena or Venus/Just watching her swing affects my penis.”
16. “Face Your Fears” (1.3, Paula) – This is an early example of the writers having fun with exaggeration. It starts as a traditional musical number about facing your fears, but then begins to give examples of brave feats that will obviously get the person killed, such as jumping off a building.
17. “Greg’s Drinking Song” (2.2, Greg) – In an extreme (and extremely funny) parody of Irish pub songs, we learn of Greg’s most famous alcohol-infused exploits, starting with peeing his pants and puking on his cat and only becoming more absurd.
18. “Strip Away My Conscience” (3.2, Rebecca) – Rebecca desires to go to the dark side via a relationship with Nathaniel, but the outstanding lyrics lighten the mood, including a “cocksuredness” innuendo, a reference to Professor Snape and a clincher about how Rebecca’s thong was just up her butt.
19. “I’m a Good Person” (1.5, Rebecca) – This one is very much on the nose, shining a light on good people who spend too much time thinking about being a good person, but Rachel Bloom sells it, helped by snort-worthy lyrics such as “Doctors Without Borders ain’t got nuthin on me.”
20. “I Gave You a UTI” (1.17, Greg) – In a contrast to “Settle For Me,” the safe and solid Greg gets to be a player for at least one song, as he expresses excitement about giving Rebecca a urinal tract infection. Without question, the letters “UTI” have never been so catchy.
21. “Feeling Kinda Naughty” (1.2, Rebecca) – This one is driven more by the lyrics than the catchiness of the tune, as “CXG” parodies “naughty” pop songs like “I Kissed A Girl” but takes it to extremes. For example, Rebecca imagines murdering Valencia, the object of her obsession, and wearing her skin.
22. “It Was a Shit Show” (2.4, Greg) – This song is funny due to its ironic contrast: Musically, we think we’re getting a nostalgic look back at a relationship, but lyrically, the always-honest Greg tells it like it was.
23. “Women Gotta Stick Together” (1.9, Valencia) – Valencia makes it 45 seconds into this country song about what women can accomplish if they work together before she starts passively aggressively criticizing other women (“This girl smells like sausages/But there’s nothing wrong with that”). We can see the joke coming from a mile away, but it’s still worth a smirk, and the tune is quite catchy.
24. “My Sperm Is Healthy” (3.8, Darryl) – Similar to Paula singing “First Penis I Saw,” I get a kick out of the idea of veteran actor Pete Gardner coming into work and being assigned this song. Needless to say, he’s a great sport, and while the plot point is as blunt as they come, its intrinsic absurdity is delightful.
25. “Dream Ghost” (1.15, Dr. Akopian and the Dream Ghosts) – In the style of girl-group pop songs, this one has a catchy chorus with three women singing “We’re the dream ghosts!” Dr. Akopian actress Michael Hyatt’s voice is a particularly nice revelation.
26. “We Tapped That Ass” (2.4, Greg and Josh) – It combines tap dancing with Rebecca’s exes singing about the various locations they had sex with her. ’Nuff said.
27. “You Stupid Bitch” (1.11, Rebecca) – No other song more poignantly crystalizes Rebecca’s penchant for self-loathing. It also showcases Bloom’s range when she belts out the soaring chorus “You ruined everything.”
28. “Oh My God I Think I Like You” (1.17, Rebecca) – Although Rebecca and Greg never quite felt like a real thing to me, this song effectively portrays that moment when you realize you like someone, hilariously contrasted with Rebecca being “torn up” by Greg in other ways.
29. “Let’s Have Intercourse” (2.11, Nathaniel) – Finding the humor a mere degree of bluntness beyond some entries in the John Mayer oeuvre, this number also showcases the vocal skills of Scott Michael Foster.
30. “We’ll Never Have Problems Again” (2.10, Rebecca and Josh) – In one of “CXG’s” thesis statement songs, Rebecca and Josh decide (wrongly, we all know) that they’ll live happily ever after since they are in love again. It’s not the strongest lyrical entry, but it gets bonus points for the disco club and costumes and Heather “soul training” out of the frame.
31. “Settle For Me” (1.4, Greg)/“Don’t Settle For Me” (1.13, Heather and Greg) – Fan favorite “Settle For Me” strikes me as barely being a parody of old-school ballroom numbers, as Greg pitches to Rebecca the virtues of the dull but stable guy over the exciting but unpredictable guy. The brief “Don’t Settle For Me,” sung by Heather to Greg, is a nice callback.
32. “One Indescribable Instant” (1.18, Aunt Myra) – Without a doubt the most played-straight song up to this point in the show’s run, this Disney-style number concludes Season 1 behind a montage of Rebecca and Josh getting back together. It’s sung by Lea Salonga, no doubt cast in the role for her singing prowess.
33. “Sex With a Stranger” (1.4, Rebecca) – In a nice illustration of Rebecca’s neuroses, her sexy song about bringing a random guy back to her house quickly devolves into her hope that he not be a murderer who harvests her kidneys.
34. “Getting Bi” (1.14, Darryl) – The arc of Darryl realizing he’s attracted to men felt somewhat forced, but this song patterned after 1980s sax-driven pop is catchy and quite informative about the bisexual community.
35. “Put Yourself First” (1.10, camp teenagers) – In a thematic companion piece to “The Sexy Getting Ready Song,” the camp girls teach Rebecca to “put yourself first for him” and to not think too hard about the seeming contradiction.
36. “West Covina” (1.1, Rebecca) – The show’s first musical number tries to promote the virtues of Rebecca’s new home, in part by exaggerating how close it is to the beach. It’s a safe introduction to the series’ concept, very much in the style of traditional musical comedies.
37. “The Math of Love Triangles” (2.3, Rebecca) – In one of the show’s most pun-laden — and most critically adored — songs, Rebecca plays a stereotypical ditz who thinks it’s cute to be at the center of a love triangle while professors futilely try to teach her about math.
38. “My Friend’s Dad” (3.7, Rebecca and Paula’s dad) – The concept of Rebecca hitting it off with Paula’s father is funny enough, but it reaches another level when Paula’s dad sneaks in the admission that he likes to picture Rebecca naked.
39. “I Could If I Wanted To” (1.16, Greg) – Somewhat in the style of Beck and those late-’90s hits where the singer talks rather than sings, Greg tries to make a case that his apathy is intentional, rather than a problem. It includes the line “This song sucks” – that’s taking it too far, although it is middle-of-the-pack by “CXG” standards.
40. “I’m Just a Girl in Love” (Season 2 theme song) – The best of the three theme songs is a perfect parody of the quirky girl who can’t be held responsible for her actions due to her affliction of love, a premise that would be explored further in “The Math of Love Triangles.”
41. “Heavy Boobs” (1.16, Rebecca) – Rebecca informs boob-obsessed men that breasts are actually just “sacks of yellow fat,” and makes the point in a funnier and/or grosser fashion by holding up sacks filled with yellow fat.
42 and 43. “After Everything I Have Done For You (That You Didn’t Ask For)” (1.18, Paula) and “After Everything You Made Me Do (That You Didn’t Ask For)” (3.2, Rebecca) – The former illustrates where Paula is at vis a vis her friendship with Rebecca, and Champlin certainly sells the “Chicago”-style piece, but the replay value is pretty low since it’s so specific to this point in the story. The latter, which repurposes the music and changes the lyrics, is the most pivotal and detail-laden song in the show’s history, one that drives a serious rift between Rebecca and Josh.
44. “You Go First” (2.7, Rebecca and Paula) – This power ballad shows how the best friends’ pride gets in the way of burying the hatchet, but it’s too short to capture the full obnoxious glory of the genre.
45. “The End of the Movie” (3.4, Josh Groban) – It has lots of good observations about how real life doesn’t make narrative sense and how real people’s choices aren’t always logical, perhaps as an apologia for the Dark Rebecca arc. The revelation that superstar crooner Josh Groban is the singer is a fun surprise.
46. “We Should Definitely Not Have Sex Right Now” (2.1, Rebecca and Josh) – This short conga-and-sax riff moves forward Rebecca’s and Josh’s relationship and is quite amusing in the context of the episode, but doesn’t have as much standalone value.
47. “What a Rush to Be a Bride” (2.13, Rebecca and Paula) – Death metal is an easy target, but “CXG” deserves credit for hitting the bullseye in a tune vaguely reminiscent of Evanescence’s heavy/pretty juxtaposition “Bring Me To Life.”
48. “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (Season 1 theme song) – The situation is indeed “a lot more nuanced than that,” but for a 30-second song, it’s a solid summary of the show’s premise.
49. “Rebecca’s Reprise” (2.13) – The last song of Season 2 artistically blends together elements of “You Stupid Bitch,” “I’m the Villain,” “I Love My Daughter (But Not in a Creepy Way)” and “We’ll Never Have Problems Again.” It’s not a showstopper like Season 1’s “One Indescribable Instant,” but it shares the strategy of setting aside the humor to concisely show us where Rebecca is at.
50. “A Diagnosis” (3.6, Rebecca) – It’s a story song more so than a funny song, but Bloom manages to make “My diagnosis!” into a catchy lyric, and it makes good points about how a diagnosis of a mental illness can help people get a grasp on their lives.
51. “What’ll It Be?” (1.6, Greg) – A spiritual companion to both “West Covina” and “Settle For Me,” my excitement for this song parallels Rebecca’s excitement about dating Greg. It’s fine.
52. “Fit Hot Guys Have Problems Too” (3.9, Nathaniel, White Josh and Josh) – This one is notable for how Josh joins mid-song and everyone has to clarify that he’s joining their imaginary song yet he also really works as a go-go dancer. It reminds us that the songs are actually in the heads of the characters. It also has a nice-post song gag where Josh enthusiastically tells White Josh that the bar (obviously a gay bar) has “tons of gay dudes, too” leading to a classic take of bafflement from White Josh.
53. “I’m the Villain” (1.14, Rebecca) – Before critics can accuse “CXG’s” hero of turning into a villain, the show acknowledges that is what is happening. It’s a remarkable realization for Rebecca, although the song itself is a rather clichéd musical number (which Rebecca of course underlines).
54. “Where’s Rebecca Bunch?” (3.1, cast) – No other song to this point crams in more plot information, as we learn that no one knows where Rebecca is and that she’s plotting revenge on Josh after an apparent Lost Weekend in a hotel room. It’s not the funniest of songs, but the Renaissance Faire setting is a nice hook and it gets the storytelling job done.
55. “Good at Yoga” (1.2, Valencia) – The concept of Rebecca being jealous of her rival’s yoga-ing isn’t really worthy of the luxurious Eastern spiritualism costumes and set, but that’s part of what sells it.
56. “Textmergency”/“Where Is the Rock?” (1.11, the lawyers) – These two 1980s-style metal tunes play behind Rebecca trying to get into Josh’s house to delete a text from his phone, and later realizing that staging a break-in by using a rock from inside his house could backfire. They are fun enough, but feel like random inserts in an episode short on song-inspiring moments.
57. “Get Your Ass Out of My House” (3.8, Lourdes) – Josh’s mom tries to encourage her adult son to move out in a motherly way in this episode, but once the music starts, she gets a little more blunt about it, at one point noting that Josh’s presence makes it difficult to have loud sex with Mr. Chan.
58. “Group Hang” (1.12, Rebecca and Josh’s friends) – This song crams in commentary about how you can feel alone in a large group, and how American “Mexican” restaurants can be far removed from Mexican food and culture. It’s worth a smile.
59. “You Do/You Don’t Want To Be Crazy” (Season 3 theme song) – Again, the theme song tightly summarizes the season’s premise, in this case illustrating Rebecca’s seesawing emotional state by alternating between music genre stereotypes, from unhinged rapper to individualist country singer.
60. “Love Kernels” (2.1, Rebecca) – Like a “sexy fashion cactus,” Rebecca soaks up whatever tiny hints of affection she can get from Josh, who is indifferent to her at this point. The lyrics confess that the video production ate up their entire budget, and unfortunately, this number doesn’t deserve it.
61. “Cold Shower” (1.12, Rebecca, Paula, Darryl and Josh’s neighbors) – In this solid “Music Man” parody that’s better than the surrounding plot but still rather one-note, Rebecca gets her clients on board with the idea that cold showers are a gateway drug to crack.
62. “Period Sex” (2.3, Rebecca) – This is definitely the grossest concept the writers have come up with, but it’s used in very funny ways on the show, starting when it interrupts a crucial relationship conversation. Rebecca briefly breaks into song before Josh says, “Oh my god, stop!,” and we’re spared more verses (which do exist in a web-only video if you’re brave enough to play it).
63. “Friendtopia” (2.6, Rebecca, Heather and Valencia) – “Spice World” is an easy target, but the British accents almost make it work.
64. “Man Nap” (2.12, Darryl, Tim and Jim) – “Oh, so they’re gonna make Nathaniel taking a nap the basis for a song. It’s one of those episodes, huh? OK. They can’t all be winners.”
65. “This Is My Movement” (3.6, Valencia) — Gabrielle Ruiz must’ve gotten on the writers’ bad sides, because she used to get good songs and here she’s literally singing about taking a dump. Granted, it’s remarkable how easily Christian ballad cliches can be retrofitted into a tune about poop, but this is not exactly high-brow humor.
66. “I Go To the Zoo” (3.3, Nathaniel) – This R&B clubbing number is like a deep Lonely Island cut. It’s possibly the most random song “CXG” has done, although I admit going to the zoo to let off steam seems in-character for Nathaniel.
67. “Who’s the New Guy?” (2.9, Paula, Tim, George, Maya and Weird Karen) – As the office mates wonder about their new boss, Nathan, the joke is that their words – “character,” “episode,” “season,” “ratings” – make it seem like they are aware they are in a TV show. It’s a too-familiar trope. Side note: When is Maya going to get a solo number?
68. “Dear Joshua Felix Chan” (1.10, Rebecca)/“Romantic Moments” (1.12, Rebecca) – In “Dear Joshua,” Rebecca sings the romantic letter her 16-year-old self wrote to Josh. Not intended to be a full song, it nicely illustrates the different points of view held by her and Josh, who finds the letter hilarious. The 30-second “Romantic Moments” reprises the notion that what Rebecca recalls as romantic moments were probably not seen that way by Josh.
69. “I Give Good Parent” (1.6, Rebecca and Lourdes) – In this early entry about Rebecca’s ability to impress her boyfriend’s parents, it is nice to discover that the musical numbers will venture beyond the main cast, opening up the premise wider.
70. “Sexy French Depression” (1.7, Rebecca) – This parody of French arthouse films illustrates that, if you think about it for a second, neurotic funks aren’t really sexy, even when they happen in to French people.
71. “Having a Few People Over” (1.10, Darryl) – Darryl’s preparations for having a few people over turn into a dance-club video, endearingly illustrating how a minor social occasion is a big deal to him. Although it’s relatable, it’s a character sketch more than a full song.
72. “His Status Is Preferred” (1.7, Paula) – This lounge song where Paula crushes on a high-class man would be a showstopper in those dated “edgy” comedies that are still the staples of community theater. By the standards of “CXG,” though, it’s tame.
73. “Tell Me I’m OK” (2.12, Rebecca) – It must’ve been fun for guest star Seth Green to play the “guy who is confused that he’s suddenly being sung to by Rebecca in a music video.” But Rebecca singing out basic neuroses is old hat for the rest of us.
74. “Remember That We Suffered” (2.10, Rabbi Shari, Naomi and ensemble) – Rebecca’s Jewish heritage is usually a buried undercurrent, but it comes to the fore in this exaggeration of Jewish wedding songs. Your mileage will vary widely depending on your familiarity with Jewish culture.
75. “I’m So Maternal” (2.8, Rebecca) – The joke of Rebecca thinking she can be a good mom after an hour of babysitting is all surface appeal, and the song doesn’t go much deeper.
76. “I’ve Got My Head in the Clouds” (3.2, Josh) – Josh’s flirtation with religion leads to this harmless but forgettable swing/tap number.
77. “Thought Bubbles” (2.5, Josh) – On a show full of neurotic people, Josh often seems like the one exception. But even he is not free of dark thoughts, as shown here when his reggae-lite beach tune is taken over by worries.
78. “Maybe This Dream” (2.2, Paula) – Paula goes all Disney princess, and the attempted humor comes from the contrast between fantasy and harsh reality. This one doesn’t really click for me, though, as undies that smell like a sewer rat strike me as more gross than funny.
79. “Flooded with Justice” (1.13, the plaintiffs) – “CXG” gets randomly niche with a B.J. Novak jab within a “Les Mis” parody, but this is still a relatively boring song within the overlong late-Season 1 plot about residents’ plumbing not being fixed by their landlord.
80. “Best Friend” (2.11, Darryl) – This children’s-style song from Darryl to Paula tells us where Darryl’s mind is at, but does nothing more.
81. “The Buzzing from the Bathroom” (3.2, Tim) – Theater geeks might love this racy “Les Mis” riff, but the rest of us are left wondering why an extreme side character like Tim has an arc, let alone a song.
82. “Stuck in the Bathroom” (2.6, Heather) – Your mileage will vary depending on how much you think R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet” is worth bothering to make fun of.
83. “I Feel Like This Isn’t About Me” (3.5, Cornelia) – This entry makes me wonder if “CXG” has a song quota it needs to fill. A pointless song by a random one-episode guest before a song by Maya? Really?
84. “Scary Scary Sexy Lady” (3.4, Rebecca) – This is a short parody of suspense film opening titles from Rebecca’s dark period. With the episode’s closing song, “The End of the Movie,” we’ll understand what the writers were going for, but even then, it doesn’t quite work.
85. “Duh” (2.8, Josh) – This is arguably “CXG’s” most brutal skewering of vapid boy-band songs, as it’s not about anything except the singer being dim-witted. But along those same lines, the rewatch value is nil.
86. “Makeover” (2.4, Rebecca) – A random Toni Basel parody plays behind a makeover montage.
87. “Angry Mad” (1.17, Josh) – In a 1980s-style karate workout montage, Josh outlines how he’s feeling at the moment. It’s fine for making a character point, but there’s no rewatch value here.
88. “Cleanup on Aisle Four” (1.16, Marty) – Grocery store worker (and Greg’s friend) Marty starts to sing a love song to a fellow employee, but it’s cut short when she gets distracted. It’s no big loss.
89. “Triceratops Ballet” (2.5, Valencia, Rebecca and Josh) – More of a drug-induced ballet montage than a song, it doesn’t have much to offer outside of the plot’s context.
What are your favorite “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” songs? Share your lists in the comment thread.