Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” recently wrapped an amazing four-season run with Rebecca Bunch (co-creator Rachel Bloom) deciding to pursue love – as in her love of writing songs, but now she’ll do it on paper instead of in her head. As fans know, not all of the 150 to 300 songs (depending on how you count them) from “CXG’s” run were in Rebecca’s head, meaning that Josh, Greg, Nathaniel, Paula, Heather, Darryl, etc. also did their share of internal songwriting.
My ranking of the top 100 “CXG” songs focuses on the full-length tunes that play mostly in characters’ imaginations, so I’ve excised reprises (although I mention some highlights within the original entry), songlets (such as “Makey Makeover,” unless they pair nicely with a full song) and most of the diegetic music (such as when Rebecca tries out for a musical in Season 4, unless it functions as a whole “music video” that’s important to characters or themes).
Judging not only the song itself, but also the choreography and performances in the videos, here are my selections, from weakest to best:
Note: This post is updated and expanded from “All 89 ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend songs, ranked,” posted on Jan. 18, 2018.
100. “I’ve Got My Head in the Clouds” (Season 3, episode 2, sung by Josh) – Josh’s flirtation with religion leads to this harmless but forgettable swing/tap number.
99. “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.
98. “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 annoyingly catchy exaggeration of Jewish wedding songs. Your mileage will vary widely depending on your familiarity with Jewish culture.
97. “This Is My Movement” (3.6, Valencia) — Gabrielle Ruiz must’ve gotten on the writers’ bad sides this particular week, 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.
96. “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,” it’s tame, although this is a nice early example of Donna Lynne Champlin’s vocal skills.
95. “Man Nap” (2.12, Darryl, Tim and Jim) – Yep, Nathaniel taking a nap is the basis for a song. Hey, not all the premises are home runs.
94. “Best Friend” (2.11, Darryl) – This children’s-style song from Darryl to Paula tells us where Darryl’s mind is at, and leaves a listener kind of sad.
93. “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.
92. “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 to folks such as Josh’s mom, opening up the premise wider.
91. “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 songlet “Romantic Moments” completes a thematic pairing with the notion that what Rebecca recalls as romantic moments were probably not seen that way by Josh.
90. “Horny Angry Tango” (3.10, Rebecca and Nathaniel) – The Season 3 lovebirds are “pissed off yet turned on” by each other in this solid satire of aggressive tango dance numbers that functions as a sequel of sorts to “Let’s Have Intercourse.”
89. “Slow Motion” (4.15, Rebecca, Valencia, Heather and Paula) – The girls get together to walk through a casino and make mildly amusing observations about how slow-motion looks cool at a precise speed and while doing precise actions (not including sneezing).
88. “I Always Never Believed in You” (4.5, Paula) – Further proof that Champlin can sell any premise comes in this song about how she has had no belief in her son. Indeed, when her baby boy was first placed in her arms, she thought, “Well, there’s a murderer.”
87. “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.
86. “Friendtopia” (2.6, Rebecca, Heather and Valencia) – “Spice World” is an easy target, but the British accents almost make it work.
85. “Real Life Fighting is Awkward” (4.13, sung by Adam Schlesinger) – Set to a tune vaguely reminiscent of “Kung-Fu Fighting,” this song illustrates the extreme differences between a real-life fight and the fights we’re familiar with from TV shows and movies. Josh’s and Greg’s not-quite-committed scuffle is “CXG’s” answer to the Xander-Harmony fight from “Buffy.”
84. “Period Sex” (2.3, Rebecca) – This is definitely the grossest concept the writers came 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). This became the show’s signature pound-a-joke-into-the-ground song, with even Naomi and Trent reprising it.
83. “Time to Seize the Day” (4.2, Rebecca) – In the style of zany musicals, the relatable Rebecca tries to go out in the world but keeps finding excuses to stay indoors, ranging from cleaning the fridge to watching internet porn. It’s a goofy, smile-worthy number.
82. “Cold Shower” (1.12, Rebecca, Paula, Darryl and Josh’s neighbors) – In this solid “Music Man” parody that’s better than the surrounding plot, Rebecca gets her clients on board with the idea that cold showers are a gateway drug to crack.
81. “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.
80. “I’m Not Sad, You’re Sad” (4.12, Rebecca) – Euro brat punk isn’t my favorite genre, but this is a good satire of the style, and the random “Lilo & Stitch” reference – probably in there just because it rhymes – is snort-worthy.
79. “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.
78. “Nothing Is Ever Anyone’s Fault” (3.13, Rebecca and Nathaniel) – This song is a classic example of latching onto a valid idea (the impact of nurture, as opposed to nature) and extrapolating it to funny extremes. By the song’s end, Rebecca and Nathaniel have excused Hitler and blamed everything on the Big Bang.
77. “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 in the narrative. The lyrics confess that the video production ate up their entire budget, and unfortunately, this number doesn’t deserve it as much as some others.
76. “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.
75. “Miracle of Birth” (3.13, Paula) – Paula has gotten some pretty disgusting lyrics throughout the series, premised on the funny contrast between her beautiful voice and not-beautiful subjects. “Miracle of Birth” leans into this as she tells Heather about how wonderful the birthing process is but undercuts it with raw details, at one point rhyming “explosive diarrhea” with “labor’s drawing nearer.” Because of the details, this one doesn’t have a lot of repeat value, but it is well done.
74. “Anti-Depressants Are So Not a Big Deal” (4.13, Dr. Akopian, Rebecca and ensemble) – This colorful showstopper is a spiritual sequel to both “My Diagnosis” and “No One Else is Singing My Song,” as Rebecca realizes she’s not special for being depressed, and that’s OK.
73. “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.
72. “Love’s Not a Game” (4.16, White Josh and cast) – It took until the penultimate episode, but “CXG” finally finds a number for White Josh to lead, and it’s fairly fun once he abandons his moralistic lecture about betting on Rebecca’s suitor with a “JK, LOL.”
71. “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. Fans of near-fourth-wall breaks get more good stuff when Rebecca nicely reprises the song as “He’s the New Guy” in 3.10.
70. “The Darkness” (4.12, Rebecca) – She goes for some humor when she names the Darkness “Tyler,” but other than that, this is a pointed spotlit ballad about Rebecca’s on-and-off lifelong depression.
69. “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 it certainly sticks in your ear, and the Renaissance Faire setting is a nice hook.
68. “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).
67. “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.”
66. “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 Groban is the singer is a fun surprise.
65. “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.
64. “You Do/You Don’t Want To Be Crazy” (Season 3 theme song) – The theme song — as with the other three — tightly summarizes the season’s premise, in this case illustrating Rebecca’s seesawing emotional state by alternating between genre stereotypes, from unhinged rapper to “individualist” country singer.
63. “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.
61 and 62. “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 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 but changes the lyrics and therefore rates as more than a mere reprise, is the most pivotal and detail-laden song in the show’s history, one that drives a serious rift between Rebecca and Josh.
60. “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.
59. “Hello, Nice to Meet You” (4.8, Rebecca and Greg) – This song serves the story function of establishing the duo’s fresh start while also confirming that the new Greg (Skylar Astin, replacing Santino Fontana) can hold his own and the recasting isn’t anything to fret over. The biggest achievement of the song itself is how it gradually grows into a bizarre cautionary tale about eating pizza naked.
58. “What’s Your Story?” (4.1, Rebecca) – The most biting piece of social commentary in “CXG’s” catalog, this “Chicago” parody starts with Rebecca seeking sexy crime tales from her fellow inmates. But she learns that they are all in prison for crimes with no victims, crimes borne of desperate poverty, or accidental crimes, obliterating her original premise.
57. “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 diegetic 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.
56. “No One Else is Singing My Song” (4.1, Rebecca, Nathaniel, Josh and the cast) – This is a blunt joke about how everyone thinks their universal problems are unique, but it’s ironically effective. Bloom said in the series-concluding concert special that this song touched many viewers, and their response in turn made her feel like she was not alone in her experiences.
55. “The Group Mind Has Decided You’re in Love” (4.5, cast) – This square-dance number has fun with the idea of people living vicariously through the relationships of friends (or people they barely know), in this case Darryl and White Josh. It’s amusing to think about the writer penning something for the sake of a rhyme and then the props department having to come up with an item (Rebecca: “Look what I whittled”).
54. “What’ll It Be?” (1.6, Greg) – My excitement for this song — a spiritual companion to both “West Covina” and “Settle For Me” — parallels Rebecca’s excitement about dating Greg at this point in the narrative. It’s fine. But I admit it’s a crucial character piece for Greg.
53. “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.
52. “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 as some other tunes.
51. “Meet Rebecca” (Season 4 theme song) – In the style of a 1980s sitcom theme song, this is an absolute earworm, and a prime example of how characters’ reactions play a role in many “CXG” videos. (Here, Rebecca is bemused that the theme song has mistakenly focused on the wrong Rebecca.) As a bonus, Wrong Rebecca says a different bizarre one-liner every episode.
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.
49. “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.
48. “I’m Just a Girl in Love” (Season 2 theme song) – The best of the four 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.” In a fun reprise, Trent sings “I’m Just a Boy in Love” in 3.12.
47. “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.
46. “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. The song morphs into “The Math of Love Quadrangles” in a 4.15 reprise featuring Rebecca’s three suitors.
45. “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.
44. “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, but with epic choreography.
43. “Don’t Be a Lawyer” (4.3, Jim) – The writers of this tune seriously have a bone to pick with the law profession. While it’s not all on point (I know some happy lawyers), it’s still funny (There’s apparently “no money … no, no money” for lawyers who aim to change bad laws or help people). Other highlights of this catchy number are the troupe’s MC Hammer-style dance moves and colorful suits.
42. “I Could If I Wanted To” (1.16, Greg) – 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 Greg does indeed have better solo numbers.
41. “Sports Analogies” (4.10, Nathaniel and Josh) – The Sinatra-style stage act is neat, and it’s fun to hear Nathaniel and Josh reel off sports cliches to illustrate that men with nothing else in common can at least bond over sports. It sticks the landing with one of those ridiculous clinchers: “Cuz soccer’s just a bunch of foreigners running around.”
40. “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.
39. “We Tapped That Ass” (2.4, Greg and Josh) – It combines tap dancing with Rebecca’s exes singing about the various locations where they had sex with her. ’Nuff said.
38. “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.
37. “Settle For Me” (1.4, Greg) – This fan favorite 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” in 1.13, sung by Heather to Greg, is a nice callback.
36. “Trapped in a Car With Someone You Someone You Don’t Want to Be Trapped in a Car With” (4.6, cast) – With a title and chorus that would make Meat Loaf say “That’s too much,” this song captures the spirit of its title while also — for some bizarre reason — making fun of the Beach Boys’ career trajectory.
35. “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.
34. “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.
33. “Getting Bi” (1.14, Darryl) – The arc of Darryl realizing he’s attracted to men felt somewhat forced at the time, but this song patterned after 1980s saxophone-driven pop is catchy and quite informative about the bisexual community.
32. “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.
31. “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 “Harry Potter’s” Professor Snape, and a clincher about how Rebecca’s thong was just up her butt.
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.
29. “You Stupid Bitch” (1.11, Rebecca) – No other song more poignantly crystalizes Rebecca’s penchant for self-loathing. This fan-favorite singalong number also showcases Bloom’s range when she belts out the soaring chorus “You ruined everything.”
28. “Dream Ghost” (1.15, Dr. Akopian and the Dream Ghosts) – In the style of girl-group pop songs, this one has an extremely catchy chorus with three women singing “We’re the dream ghosts!” Dr. Akopian actress Michael Hyatt’s voice is a particularly nice revelation.
27. “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.
26. “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.
25. “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 before been so catchy.
24. “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 Bloom sells it, helped by snort-worthy lyrics such as “Doctors Without Borders ain’t got nuthin on me.”
23. “Greg’s Drinking Song” (2.2, Greg) – In an extreme — and extremely funny — satire 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 it only gets more absurd from there.
22. “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.
21. “Ping Pong Girl” (2.2, Josh) – In a catchy satire 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.”
20. “Whatcha Missed While You Were Popular” (4.8, George) – Before this, George was best known for the punchline where his solo number gets cut off by a commercial, so it’s refreshing that he takes the lead on a clever and well-choreographed song about the benefits of being in an unpopular high school clique. George was a magic nerd, but among the other examples are the Goth kids, who – while Josh was wearing flip-flops – distinguished themselves by wearing “black flip-flops.”
19. “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.”
18. “Do the Cringe” (4.2, Castleman and the cast) – Guest star Patton Oswalt leads this “Monster Mash”-style number about regrets from one’s past. The graveyard setting and the ladies’ skeleton dresses are on point, as are the relatable anecdotes. It closes with a surprising zinger – “Wait, aren’t you the guy that murdered me?” – that wraps the song in a perfect way.
17. “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.
16. “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.
15. “Where’s the Bathroom?” (1.8, Naomi) – Despite the missing-the-point 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. This now-classic gets an additional riff in 4.16 with Weird Al Yankovic’s “There’s No Bathroom” (on a hot-air balloon), culminating with his observation that “It’s hard to get poop out of wicker.”
14. “Gratuitous Karaoke Moment” (4.11, Nathaniel and Maya) – “CXG’s” standout romantic-comedy parody episode — my favorite episode of the series, narratively — hits its peak with this song that outlines all the genre cliches that have been played out in a dream sequence starring Nathaniel and Maya (Yay, Maya gets a song!).
13. “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.
12. “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.
11. “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.
10. “The First Penis I Saw” (3.7, Paula) – The idea of middle-aged actress 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.
9. “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. More great verses are added in the reprise in 4.15.
8. “I Want to Be a Child Star” (4.4, Tucker) – Introducing Rebecca’s kid brother out of the blue is more of a crass disregard for continuity than recasting Greg, but it’s totally worth it for this rhyme-filled number by Tucker Bunch (Luca Padovan). Backed by teenybopper choreography, it’s a humorously detailed account of a stereotypically tragic journey of a kid who becomes a pop-culture icon when he is too young to handle it.
7. “Buttload of Cats” (3.12, Rebecca) – It’s the age-old question: Is “Buttload” or “F***ton” funnier? I lean slightly toward the former, but in both versions, this is a bouncy ode to resigned depression with two perfectly (purr-fectly?) cast cat ladies and a bevy of singing feline puppets. I like the choreography that includes Rebecca and the ladies making scratching motions, and I also learned something, courtesy of The Atlantic via this song: Organisms in cat poop can make you crazy.
6. “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 (the kid version is played by Ava Acres) being smitten in the front row of the crowd.
5. “California Christmastime” (1.8, cast) – 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?
4. “I Have Friends” (1.3, Rebecca) – In this early classic that made me love Rebecca, she tries to convince us – and herself – 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.
3. “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.
2. “The Moment Is Me” (3.3, Heather) – It took until Season 3 for the writers to find an ideal solo number 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.
1. “I Hate Everything But You” (4. 12, Greg) – This song really clinched for me that we didn’t lose anything in the switch from one Greg to another. It’s also the perfect encapsulation of Greg — the “CXG” character I personally relate to most — as he endlessly lists things he hates (but is still willing to try because he loves Rebecca … aw). The video is also a delightful parody of 1970s-vintage Bruce Springsteen.