It doesn’t have to be Thursday to throwback to some of the best music moments in TV history. So for this TVLine Mixtape, let’s go way back.
What follows is a collection of songs from the ghosts of TV past, complete with artist and album information — and a Spotify playlist — in case you want to add them to your own collection.
We picked songs that instantly remind us of our favorite characters, couples and series, but we want to hear your favorites too. So hit the comments with songs that stuck with you from your favorite shows. And remember: You can always submit questions or suggestions about TV music on Twitter @sarahhearon.
SERIES AND EPISODE | The OC, “Rainy Day Women”
SONG | “Champagne Supernova”
ARTIST | Matt Pond PA (Oasis Cover)
ALBUM | The OC: Mix 4 (2005)
WHY IT ROCKED | After Summer ditches Zach at the airport, she reunites with Seth and the iconic couple shares an unforgettable upside-down, rainy Spiderman inspired kiss. It’s impossible to hear this song — the Oasis original or this cover — without thinking about Orange County’s only rainy day.
SERIES AND EPISODE | One Tree Hill, “Some You Give Away”
SONG | “Heartbeats”
ARTIST | José González
ALBUM | Veneer (2003)
WHY IT ROCKED | OTH fans will never forget the moment the confetti started to fall after the Tree Hill Ravens won the State Championship and Lucas finally realized — with Brooke’s help, of course — that he belonged with Peyton. (“It’s you, Peyton. It’s you.” Sigh.)
SERIES AND EPISODE | Sex and the City, “An American Girl in Paris: Part Deux)”
SONG | “You Got the Love (Now Voyager Mix)”
ARTIST | The Source Featuring Candi Staton
ALBUM | You Got the Love (1996)
WHY IT ROCKED | Carrie happily disappears into the New York City crowd after a call from John (Mr. Big’s first name revealed at last!) and declares the most important thing in life is to find someone who loves you for you.
SERIES AND EPISODE | Gossip Girl, “Double Identity”
SONG | “I’m In Here”
ARTIST | Sia
ALBUM | We Are Born (2010)
WHY IT ROCKED | Sia’s piano version of “I’m In Here” acts as the seamless backdrop to a tear-jerking Chair moment in which Blair convinces Chuck to return to the Upper East Side following his attempt to change his identity after breaking Blair’s heart and getting shot in Paris. And it’s a good thing she’s successful, because it wouldn’t be our world without Chuck Bass in it, either.
SERIES AND EPISODE | Friday Night Lights, “State”
SONG | “Devil Town”
ARTIST | Tony Lucca (Bright Eyes cover)
ALBUM | Friday Night Lights: Original Television Soundtrack (2007)
WHY IT ROCKED | Instead of using an upbeat song to accompany Coach Taylor and the Panthers on their victory parade after winning State, FNL presents a slightly disheartening (with a hint of teen angst… looking at you, Lyla Garrity) vibe to end the first season, leaving the victorious characters unsure of what’s next for Dillon.
SERIES AND EPISODE | Dawson’s Creek, “Like a Virgin”
SONG | “Hold On”
ARTIST | Mary Beth Maziarz
ALBUM | A More Perfect World (2000)
WHY IT ROCKED | The beginning of Joey and Pacey’s friendship-turned-epic-romance starts with sweet and sarcastic banter between the two, enhanced with the epitome of late ’90s/early 2000s music.
SERIES AND EPISODE | Scandal, “A Woman Scorned”
SONG | “You’re All I Need To Get By”
ARTIST | Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
ALBUM | You’re All I Need (1968)
WHY IT ROCKED | Ah, the early days of Olitz. Before things got too messy (that whole going-to-war-for-his-mistress thing) between the President and Olivia Pope, Fitz tried to “earn” Olivia by spending time with her instead of stopping Mellie from exposing his infidelity to the world. The pair waited for the clock to wind down and celebrated their reunion in bed (and then in the shower) to a special ’60s duet.
SERIES AND EPISODE | Grey’s Anatomy, “Didn’t We Almost Have It All?”
SONG | “Keep Breathing”
ARTIST | Ingrid Michaelson
ALBUM | Be OK (2008)
WHY IT ROCKED | After announcing Burke and Cristina’s wedding is off (it’s so over), Meredith attempts to comfort her heartbroken “person” by cutting her out of her wedding dress and holding her as she struggles to breathe through her hysterics. From this point forward, Ingrid Michaelson = tears for Grey’s fans.
SERIES AND EPISODE | Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Tabula Rasa”
SONG | “Goodbye To You”
ARTIST | Michelle Branch
ALBUM | Broken Bracelet (2000)
WHY IT ROCKED | Michelle Branch visits The Bronze and perfectly captures the Scooby Gang’s somber tone as Tara packs up and moves out of the house because Willow broke her no magic for one-week promise. Meanwhile, Buffy deals with Giles’ leaving for England and her continuing struggle to readjust to Sunnydale after returning from Heaven (a journey that leads her to Spike).