Twenty-five years ago this week, a little movie called Wayne’s World put a little town called Aurora on the map.
Along with it: some of the most memorable scenes in comedy history, including its most enduring — the head-banging singalong to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Cue a spirited discussion in our newsroom about the best sing-alongs in film, those iconic moments of Hollywood’s best belting it out like no one’s watching.
Except everyone’s watching. In no particular order, here they are: The 13 Best Sing-Alongs in Movie History.
Wayne’s World: “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Fun fact: the producers originally wanted to use a Guns N’ Roses song. But Wayne and Garth head-banged their way into our hearts, revitalizing a 17-year-old Queen hit for a new generation.
Almost Famous: “Tiny Dancer”
There’s no better scene in Almost Famous than this one, in which the simple act of singing an Elton John song after a rough night on the road begins to mend fractured relationships by reminding all involved that their love of music is what brought them together in the first place.
Empire Records: “Seems”
Work doesn’t seem like work if you’re with friends. This singalong does more than just open the film. Drawing straws (or M&Ms) for song choice establishes the characters as true friends who enjoy this workplace ritual (and each other’s company) every single day.
Tommy Boy: “Superstar”
You’ll notice a running theme throughout this list: just as in real life, the best singalongs tend to take place on the road. Tommy and Richard have their differences, but grow closer by belting out each song. More so when it’s a Carpenters’ ballad they both unabashedly love.
Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle: “Hold On”
The reason the car makes for a great stage is that it’s contained: no one can hear you except whoever’s riding shotgun, which means you can let it all out sans shame or embarrassment. That’s how Harold and Kumar work up the nerve to realize that a song like “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips is — no matter who you are — an incredibly fun one to get behind.
Magnolia: “Wise Up”
In the film’s climactic scene, each of the intertwined character arcs are all, for a moment, in perfect melancholic sync as the players sing along to Aimee Mann. It’s an intimate moment, and yet every character feels completely and utterly isolated.
Top Gun: “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’”
The best part about this sequence has to be all the times it must have failed in real life. Belting out a Righteous Brothers’ song to get a woman’s attention seems like it’d only work if you’re a handsome naval pilot. Or Tom Cruise.
Step Brothers: “Sweet Child of Mine”
Adam Scott’s character in Step Brothers expects perfection in every moment, even when that moment is an a cappella version of a Guns N’ Roses tune shared with his wife and kids. That son of his has some pipes, though.
Dumb and Dumber: “Mockingbird”
In a movie full of quotable lines, this simple out-of-tune rendition of an already annoying Carly Simon and James Taylor track stands out. For any fan of the movie, the song has become a go-to reference on any long road trip.
Anchorman: “Afternoon Delight”
Is there any better way to explain what love is than an impromptu rendition of a song about midday quickies with your closest work pals in perfect harmony? We think not.
Animal House: “Louie Louie”
Animal House taught us that a sing-along doesn’t have to be fancy, well-choreographed or even have coherent lyrics. Bonding is as simple as getting some friends together, putting on some music, having more than a few beers and doing your best to keep up.
Everybody Wants Some: “Rapper’s Delight”
Rap gave something unique to singalongs, and it’s displayed perfectly in 2016’s Everybody Wants Some!! Each emcee’s verse allows him to take turn as the frontman, deftly introducing some of the ensemble cast’s main characters in the space of a couple minutes.
Full Metal Jacket: “Mickey Mouse March”
This scene is about as dark as it gets, and yet it might be the best example of why singalongs are vital. The horrible events of the film come full-circle as the Marines, permanently changed by war, still find the humor to belt out “Mickey Mouse” as they march toward ever-grimmer fates.
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