TVLine Mixtape

TVLine Mixtape Throwback Edition: Your Favorite Songs From Grey's, Buffy, Gossip Girl, Friday Night Lights and More

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”Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 12.57.21 PM
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” Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 1.02.11 PM
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)” Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 1.24.17 PM
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” Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 1.29.00 PM
SONG | “I’m In Here”
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” Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 1.31.29 PM
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” Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 1.44.45 PM
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” Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 1.37.35 PM
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?” Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 1.40.18 PM
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”Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 1.36.05 PM
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).


Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. brooke says:

    Love Ingrid Michaelson’s music!

  2. BennyBoo says:

    Dancing on My Own by Robyn on Gossip Girl… Mic drop!!!

  3. Sara says:

    Full of Grace by Sarah McLachlan at the end of Becoming part 2, the 2nd season finale of Buffy. Gets me every single time. Perfect end to an amazing finale.

  4. Hellastyle says:

    Music and television are two of my favorite things, so this post hits close to my heart! Most of the music I listen to is discovered through television.

    The song I remember the most from O.C. is Hallelujah – it was the first time I heard it in any rendition, so with that powerful scene it made a lasting impression!

    Gossip Girl was the show strongly connected to music and I think that it formed my music taste a lot, it introduced me to so many wonderful artists – One Republic, the Pierces, Lady Gaga, just to name the few!

  5. Tom says:

    The Goodbye to you scene was just so……..I need to come up with a term to replace heartbreaking as the heart is nothing more than a pump that has zero effect on emtions but I haven’t settled on the right one yet so it’ll do

  6. jm says:

    I was wondering when this mixtape will be back, and here is it… better B-day present. Thanks guys

  7. Cecily says:

    The Shins “Simple Song” for the lead-up to the Mother reveal in the season 8 finale was fantastic.

  8. Jackie says:

    What about reflecting light on gilmore girls used for luke and lorelais dance.

  9. Stacyj says:

    Holy crap. This list is perfection. It’s like you stepped into my brain! Just missing some Felicity/Ryan Adams and for Joey and Pacey, I always think of “this years love” by David Gray. I hope you do more flashback mix tapes!

  10. F.A says:

    What about chasing cars, that song they played in GA when Denny and then Derek died?

  11. Shelby says:

    Goodbye to You. Yes, absolutely, 100% I’ve watched “Tabula Rasa” roughly a million times (one of my favorites) sometimes just because of the scene where Michelle Branch performs. Between her haunting voice and the Willow/Tara breakup… Gets me every time!

  12. k says:

    Sheryl Crow “I shall believe ” Roswell , when future Max is dancing with Liz and disappears

  13. John036 says:

    “End of the Earth” by Lord Huron in the series finale of “Community” had me tear up.

  14. Delirious says:

    West Wing (“Two Cathedrals”): Brothers In Arms, by Dire Straits. As if the episode on its own isn’t powerful and emotional enough, the song just kills it. My to-go tv episode tune, without a doubt.

  15. Cathy C. says:

    Still can’t hear Sia’s “Breathe Me” without thinking of Six Feet Under’s finale. Snow Patrols “Chasing Cars” OTH – Nathan & Haley’s wedding day as well as Grey’s Anatomy – Denny dies. Zepplin’s “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” OTH-Nathan & Haley’s almost crash with Rachel & Cooper and the Limo going over the bridge into the water. THose are the three songs that instantly come to mind for me. I’ll stop there:)

  16. PL says:

    I’m pretty sure the album associated with Ingrid Michaelson’s Keep Breathing is wrong. She wrote that song specifically at the request of Grey’s producers, so it would not have existed on an album from 2000.

  17. Debby says:

    The OC title track pretty cool. Don’t wait by Duke Spirit is my favorite from GG.

  18. Ashley says:

    Roswell was another show that used music very well, even when they had to replace a bunch of it for the dvd release. Sarah McLachlan’s “Fear” was an excellent choice from ep 1.1 when Liz is shot & Max heals her.