Even without the songs, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend would still be one of the best comedies on TV: a sharply insightful, wickedly subversive, riotously funny rom-com that is fully aware it’s a rom-com. But the show’s original songs — all 150-some of them! — have elevated it into something wholly unique and unmatched anywhere on TV.
With Crazy Ex taking its final bow with Friday’s series finale (The CW, 8/7c) — no, we’re not anywhere close to being ready to say goodbye yet — we’re honoring four seasons of musical comedy genius by ranking the very best Crazy Ex songs from the entire series. To be clear, there are many, many worthy songs that it pained us to leave off this list. (Sincere apologies to the likes of “Maybe This Dream,” “F—kton of Cats” and, um, “Period Sex.”) But these are the absolute cream of the crop, the essential songs in the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend canon. And what’s great is, even if you’ve never seen the show, you can enjoy these songs as one-off musical comedy sketches. They’re that good!
So grab a Rebetzel’s Pretzel and join us as we waltz, tap and Soul Train our way down West Covina’s memory lane and look back on the very best Crazy Ex-Girlfriend songs from all four seasons. Hey, if we keep singing, the show can’t really end, right?
24. “No One Else Is Singing My Song” (Season 4, Episode 1)
Rebecca started out the final season in prison, and sang this mournful ballad about how alone she felt — not knowing that Nathaniel and Josh were feeling the exact same way. (And singing about it, too.) It’s one of the least overtly comical songs in the Crazy Ex songbook, but it packs a huge emotional punch, especially when the whole cast touches hands in a 12-way split-screen. (Even the creepy grocery guy.)
23. “I Could if I Wanted To” (Season 1, Episode 16)
Whoop-dee-frickin’-doo. Back when Greg was still an alcohol-soaked sourpuss — and looked a lot different than he does now — he delivered this Weezer-y anthem for cynical jerks everywhere, boasting about all the great stuff he could do in life if he actually gave two s—ts about anything. Like it, don’t like it, whatever… not like he cares.
22. “Santa Ana Winds” (Season 2, Episode 11)
This insanely catchy doo-wop ditty is a perfect example of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend finding laughs in a highly specific subject: the gusty Santa Ana winds that plague southern California each year. Here, a Frankie Valli-style vocalist — bravo, Eric Michael Roy — sings of the fierce winds of change blowing through Rebecca’s life, which bring with them “whimsy and forest fires.” Good luck getting this one out of your head.
21. “I’m the Villain in My Own Story” (Season 1, Episode 14)
Here, Rebecca goes the Disney route for a tune where she realizes maybe she’s not the beautiful princess in her love triangle with Josh and Valencia… maybe she’s the cackling witch. The music on this one would slide right into the soundtrack of any Disney cartoon, it has fantastically self-aware lyrics that touch on one of the series’ major themes… and Rachel Bloom’s evil witch voice is just impeccable.
20. “First Penis I Saw” (Season 3, Episode 7)
Donna Lynne Champlin has given us more than a few memorable tunes as Rebecca’s trusty pal Paula, but none can top this upbeat, ABBA-esque tribute to her first real boyfriend… and, well, his distinctive genitalia. (You never forget your first, right?) Bonus points for Paula and her bandmates singing into cucumbers and eggplants in the “Suggestive Vegetables” aisle.
19. “A Boy Band Made Up of Four Joshes” (Season 1, Episode 3)
Along with playing lovable dummy Josh Chan, Vincent Rodriguez III is one hell of a dancer, and he gets to show off all kinds of moves in this charming boy-band number, where he — well, four of him, really — reassure a smitten Rebecca that she can let all of her childhood traumas go. (They are licensed mental health professionals, after all.) It’s sneaky emotional, too; that moment where Rebecca hugs her younger self and dances with her gets us every time.
18. “We Tapped That Ass” (Season 2, Episode 4)
Josh and Greg team up for this snappy tap-dance number where they exchange notes about their, uh, intimate encounters with Rebecca. The lyrics are jam-packed with naughty wordplay (“On the ottoman, you took a lot of men…”) and double-entendres that we’re surprised made it past the CW censors. They even finish on her chest… of drawers, you sickos.
17. “Where’s the Bathroom?” (Season 1, Episode 8)
God bless Tovah Feldshuh. As Rebecca’s supremely judgy mom Naomi, the Broadway veteran unleashes a whirlwind of passive-aggression while visiting her daughter in this rapid-fire tune, demanding to know where the bathroom is while still dishing out backhanded compliments. (“You’re looking healthy/And by healthy, I mean chunky…”) She even judges Rebecca’s bathroom once she gets there! Anyone with a Jewish mother — or any mother, really — can relate.
16. “I Go to the Zoo” (Season 3, Episode 3)
We can’t stop giggling every time we think about this supremely goofy Drake-inspired slow jam about… Nathaniel’s love of going to the zoo? (Hey, it makes him feel better, alright?) The silky smooth beats are a strangely fitting accompaniment for Nathaniel’s ode to his beloved zoo animals. (“My favorite’s probably the cheetahs/But I ain’t f—king with no zebras.”) Just another hyper-specific, hyper-hysterical Crazy Ex tune that we’ll probably hum every time we go to the zoo from now on.
15. “The Sexy Getting Ready Song” (Season 1, Episode 1)
Right away, in the very first episode, Rachel Bloom let us know what to expect from Crazy Ex with this sultry, silly chronicle of all the plucking and scrubbing women do to get ready for a date. (The back-up singers are there to help Rebecca get into her shapewear, at least.) We couldn’t agree more with the rapper Nipsey Hussle (RIP), who has a cameo midway through: This is some “nasty-ass patriarchal bulls—t.”
14. “Let’s Have Intercourse” (Season 2, Episode 11)
Scott Michael Foster joined the Crazy Ex cast late as cocky corporate guy Nathaniel, but he made a great first impression with this Ed Sheeran-esque ballad in which he gets very specific about what he’d like to do with Rebecca. It’s not terribly romantic — he just wants to “see what [her] nipples look like,” really — but the admittedly gross lyrics make for a hilarious contrast with the lilting, sensitive-dude guitar. And the ballroom dancing’s not bad, either!
13. “Settle For Me” (Season 1, Episode 4)
A song for guys and gals everywhere hopelessly stuck in the friend zone, Greg tries to convince Rebecca to forget Josh and give him a shot with an elegant, old-school number complete with tuxedos and gowns. (“Like two percent milk or seitan beef, I almost taste the same!”) As with a lot of Crazy Ex songs, the buoyant music and snappy dancing help to mask the crushing sadness of the lyrics. So twirly!
12. “We’ll Never Have Problems Again” (Season 2, Episode 10)
Who’s ready to disco? This relentlessly peppy dance track is a hilarious examination of the comforting lies young lovers tell themselves about their future — “No more ups and downs/It’s just ups and ups and ups!” — and it also happens to be ridiculously catchy. Besides, any song that gives Heather an excuse to “Soul Train on outta here” is a keeper in our book.
11. “Friendtopia” (Season 2, Episode 6)
Most musical comedies would be happy with a note-perfect Spice Girls parody, but Crazy Ex had to take it several steps further: Rebecca’s cheerfully sinister girl-power jam is actually a full-on military manifesto, with her, Heather and Valencia plotting to take over the world. (“All agriculture will be diverted/Into making us rosé!”) You’ll never hear the term “squad goals” the same way again… and you better like watching Hocus Pocus.
10. “Remember That We Suffered” (Season 2, Episode 10)
In true Jewish mom fashion, this jaunty dirge is eager to remind listeners that the Jewish people have had a rough go of it for, oh, a few centuries now — so don’t enjoy yourself too much! It’s the perfect distillation of morbid Jewish humor, Tovah Feldshuh continues to be this show’s secret weapon — and bonus points for including the legendary Patti LuPone and her even more legendary voice.
9. “A Diagnosis” (Season 3, Episode 6)
One of the least comical Crazy Ex songs, but one of the most emotionally resonant, this triumphant showstopper sees Rebecca celebrating the fact that she’s been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder after years of struggling with her mental health. We’ve been struggling right along with her, so it’s cathartic to see her so full of hope here, and Rachel Bloom’s vocals positively soar. A beautiful tribute to a major turning point in Rebecca’s life.
8. “Love Kernels” (Season 2, Episode 1)
We all know Rebecca could live for days off a single compliment from her beloved Josh Chan, and she puts that poignant desperation into song here with a Lemonade-esque torch song. It’s probably Crazy Ex‘s most sweepingly ambitious music video, with plenty of costume changes — our favorite is a tie between “sexy fashion cactus” and “hamster slurping from a water bottle” — but of course, it openly acknowledges how wildly expensive it must be, too. (Hi, Broom Darryl.)
7. “It Was a S–t Show” (Season 2, Episode 4)
Greg’s farewell lament to Rebecca sheds light on a frustratingly familiar romantic situation: They liked each other a lot, but they knew full well they were just terrible together. (“Chernobyl, next to us, looks like a campfire/Hurricane Katrina was just bad weather…”) Like many great Crazy Ex songs, it’s hilarious and heart-wrenching, all at the same time — and man, Santino Fontana can sing, right?
6. “You Stupid Bitch” (Season 1, Episode 11)
Crazy Ex has had four different theme songs, one for each season (we’re partial to Season 2’s “I’m Just a Girl in Love,” for the record), but this ballad is truly Rebecca Bunch’s theme song. Deeply scathing and cleverly meta all at once, Rebecca harshly chides herself for all of her many mistakes… and not for the first time. (Her audience knows every word!) It’s a stunning depiction of the self-hating voice inside all of us, and probably Rachel Bloom’s best vocal performance of the series to boot.
5. “JAP Battle” (Season 1, Episode 13)
Yes, Rachel Bloom can rap, too: This hilarious hip-hop showdown between Rebecca and her sworn frenemy Audra Levine — a pair of Jewish-American princesses, you see — is a treasure trove of cutting insults (in Yiddish, of course) and references to tony New York hometowns. Guest star Rachel Grate proves herself a very worthy opponent as Audra, and the mean-mug faces that Darryl, Paula and Josh make as Rebecca’s backup crew are just priceless.
4. “Don’t Be a Lawyer” (Season 4, Episode 3)
Burl Moseley’s Jim has been a background player for most of Crazy Ex‘s run, but he hit it out of the park with this spotlight number: a sizzling ’90s R&B throwback jam about the perils of pursuing the legal profession. The vintage fashions and dance moves are perfectly on point, and the lyrics are quite persuasive, actually: “The job is inherently crappy/That’s why you’ve never met a lawyer who’s happy!”
3. “The Math of Love Triangles” (Season 2, Episode 3)
This is probably the pinnacle of the classic Crazy Ex formula: Start with a spot-on recreation of a classic song genre — the ditzy-girl tune, a la Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes — and add a brilliantly meta twist to it. Here, a dolled-up Rebecca wants to understand the elements of her love triangle with Josh and Greg, but keeps getting adorably confused by all the “man math,” and Rachel Bloom’s over-the-top breathy vocals make it all even funnier. Whee, a swing!
2. “Let’s Generalize About Men” (Season 3, Episode 1)
The genius of this Pointer Sisters-inspired toe-tapper is that it’s both a “yas, queen” girl-power anthem and a parody of those anthems, pointing out the flaws in painting all 3.6 billion men on this planet with the same broad brush. (“Let’s take one bad thing about one man/And apply it to all of them!”) It’s catchy enough that you could fool us into thinking it actually made the pop charts in the mid-’80s, and the twist ending, when Paula remembers that her sons are also men, is maybe the most brutally funny punchline of the whole series.
1. “West Covina” (Season 1, Episode 1)
Could Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s very best song also be its very first song? Yes, we believe it could. Rebecca’s dizzingly romantic ode to her new hometown — and the guy who just happens to live there — manages to set the tone for the entire series: delightfully clever (the visual gags at the start still make us giggle) and heartbreakingly earnest all at the same time. There’s a giddy, go-for-broke magic to it, and it all builds to a massive dance number featuring dozens of extras and one giant pretzel, as if to say, “You’ve never seen anything quite like this on TV before.” And they were right: We hadn’t… and we never will again.
Did your favorite Crazy Ex song not make our list? Sing it out in the comments below.