Playlist of the Month: TV Tunes Scene Stealers

It’s the final day of Back To TV Week, and we’re ending it by really going back to TV with some of the most iconic scenes on the small screen over the years. We know that music can make or break any soundtrack either in TV and movies or even in real life. But when it’s in entertainment, the choice of song can elevate a scene a million times more and evoke emotion that would have never been brought out otherwise. This month’s playlist features a lot – A LOT – of our favorite scenes from TV shows with the perfect background music, mainly because we’re TV nerds and there are just so many to choose from. Here are our top picks – did any of yours make the list?

Sia – Breathe Me

{Six Feet Under}

You’ve probably heard this countless times already, but Six Feet Under has the best series finale in the history of television, and this final montage is why. I swear I binged the whole show just to get to this scene, and it was worth it. If you don’t know, Six Feet Under centers on a family who runs a funeral home, and each episode focuses on at least one death. In this final scene from the series finale, each of the main characters’ lives are flashed before our eyes, showing us highlights from when the final episode ends in present day to years later when each of them are old and grey, leading up to their deaths. The beautiful montage of life and death is perfectly set to Sia’s emotional Breathe Me, and the scene may leave you in mourning, but equally satisfied with the reality of mortality.

Snow Patrol – Chasing Cars

{Grey’s Anatomy}

Remember 80 seasons ago when Katherine Heigl was still on Grey’s? And she fell in love with a patient? And then he died? And she had ghost sex with him? Ok, well the death scene was emotionally draining, even for stone cold Cristina Yang, and Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars pulled the tears out even further. It was also this episode that Chasing Cars became the unofficial theme song for Grey’s, and used in several more episodes after that including the infamous musical episode. And in a full circle sort of scene, a cover of Chasing Cars by The Wind and the Wave was played in the background as Meredith watches Derek being taken out of his coma and takes his final breath. WOOF.

Tony Lucca – Devil Town

{Friday Night Lights}

Tony Lucca, of Mickey Mouse Club and The Voice fame, is the voice behind this haunting song, which, like Chasing Cars for Grey’s, became the unofficial theme song for FNL. It was used both in the beginning of season one (as seen in this clip) as the Panthers prepared for their first game without Street, and at the end of season one after they win state. It was used yet again in the series finale when the school board decides to keep the Dillon Panthers and merge the East Dillon Lions into their team, just before the Lions have their own run at the state champs. Yet again, all full circle, and yet again all the goosebumps and tears.

Chris Brown – Forever

{The Office}

As a self-professed Jam shipper, the Niagara episode in which Jim and Pam finally tie the knot was v important to me. And this scene was everything I could’ve asked for and more. It perfectly encapsulates why I loved the show in the first place – comedy, camaraderie, romance and tears all in one. First of all, the idea to have a flash mob was conceived by Michael, who saw a (real) viral video on YouTube of a wedding party dancing to Chris Brown’s Forever. He rallied the entire Scranton crew to participate which was even more delightful, but the newlyweds let it go and didn’t let it ruin their big day. Why? Well Jim was his usual romantic self and devised a plan to marry Pam secretly on the Maid of the Mist in Niagara Falls. Cue the tears.

Jim: I bought those tickets the day I saw that YouTube video. I knew we’d need a backup plan. The boat was actually Plan C, the church was Plan B, and Plan A was marrying her a long, long time ago. Pretty much the day I met her.

Aaliyah – Try Again

{The Mindy Project}

Do you remember where you were when you first saw Danny Castellano bust out impressive moves during a Secret Santa dance to Mindy Lahiri to Aaliyah’s classic tune Try Again? Because I do. Fact: Chris Messina truly knows how to dance, and the person who choreographed this scene actually worked with Aaliyah for the Try Again music video. The authenticity + one of the first memorable Danny x Mindy moments makes for an unforgettable scene. And let us not forget when he went all out Diamond Dan for a private strip tease to Lenny Kravitz’s American Woman. Oh also, during S3, episode 15, when Danny’s mom aka Carla Tortelli accidentally tells him Mindy is pregnant, and he looks for her all over New York to the tune of Beyonce’s XO. It was perfect in every way, especially with the heartbeat in the backbeat of the track, encapsulating the life *growing inside of her*.

Imogen Heap – Hallelujah

{The OC}

If you are an older millenial like us, you know this scene already. You know how iconic this is. Especially since Jeff Buckley’s version was used in the season one finale when it seemed like the gang was all parting ways. But in this scene, Marissa was the one who parted ways for good. RIP.

Nina Simone – I Shall Be Released

{Scandal}

Shondaland does music right, and on Scandal, they perfect the use of soul & R&B songs usually from the 1970s and 80s. In what is maybe Scandal’s best episode, titled The Lawn Chair, the Ferguson-inspired storyline features Courtney B. Vance refusing to remove himself from sitting over his son’s body, which was left on the street after a police officer shot him to death. As if the episode wasn’t emotional enough, Nina Simone’s I Shall Be Released pushes it over the edge, and if you’re not in tears by the final shot, you have no soul. {click here for the video}

U2 – With Or Without You

{Friends}

Nothing made us sadder during the run of Friends than when Ross and Rachel were on a break – and that still holds today, even though our feelings about some of the Friends characters are in flux (do I love Ross? or do I absolutely hate Ross? I’m basically Rachel). With Or Without You has passed into cliche sad song territory – think Everybody Hurts – and yet when you’re in the middle of heartbreak it’s like “Bono was right, I CAN’T live with or without you.”

Our Friends honorable mention goes to Groovy Kind Of Love at Monica and Chandler’s wedding. It felt like a left-field choice for them, which led to 12-year-old me developing a head canon that it was “their song” and they used to dance around to it in the kitchen or whatever.

Somewhere Over The Rainbow – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

{E.R.}

Sometimes I still get sad when I remember that Mark Greene died on E.R., but at least the show gave him a beautiful sendoff. Not so much the brain cancer (although it was E.R., at least they didn’t have him get stabbed by a madman), but the gorgeous scene where he slips into the next world … which is also an E.R..

Fun (?) fact, this episode aired when we were in high school. My mom had cancer at the time and this scene had me weeping because of little Rachel and whoever the baby was. Watching it as an adult, I can safely say that it would have had that effect no matter what my life circumstances were because of the damn ukulele and because this rendition wasn’t yet ubiquitous in commercials and stuff.

I’d Like To Buy The World A Coke

{Mad Men}

 

Mad Men did a great job evoking the 1960s with music – props to their clearances/legal department, and a big shoutout to the genius who thought of Megan singing Zou Bisou. But viewers had to wait for the end of the series for the most iconic musical moment of all, where it’s implied that a blissed-out Don Draper created one of the most successful ad campaigns of all time, I Want To Buy The World A Cokie. It also signifies the shift, both culturally and in the ad world, from the 1960s to the 1970s.

We still miss this show a lot, just so you know.

Hard Times Come Again No More – Brett Dennen

{Parenthood}

Where my music history nerds at? You’ll remember that this one was written by the hot pop composer of the 1850s, Stephen Foster, but it was given new life in the 2010s when this cover played in the season 2 finale of Parenthood, an emotional roller coaster following Amber’s accident, Kristina’s pregnancy and Julia’s adoption disappointment.

My other Parenthood choices, if you’re cool with crying all over yourself, are that final scene with Forever Young and when Amber and Sarah sing the Circle Game, a song Joni Mitchell wrote so that people would cry more (and then Amber calls Sarah her hero, and then later we found out that it was really Mae Whitman calling Lauren Graham her hero, and we’re really fine, I swear).

Make Your Own Kind Of Music – Mama Cass

{Lost}

Optimistic and life-affirming and bleak and cheerful and disturbing and confusing: this scene was Lost in three minutes. I’ll never hear this song the same way again.

Motown Philly – Boyz II Men

{Full House}

Was the best musical moment of Full House when the Beach Boys would inexplicably show up, invite the Tanners on stage, and the crowd would react with glee for this random nerdy family as though it meant something to them? Or possibly when Jesse crooned Forever to Becky at their wedding? Or is it when the girls ruined their Ace of Base cover and we all learned a thing or two about how important it is to practice? Maybe that Lollypops and Gummybears song from the telethon episode?

Friends, it is none of these. The best musical moment is when Stephanie did a pretty good dance to Motown Philly. No arguments. It is.

Bonus Tracks:

La Vie En Rose by Cristin Milioti/Tracy McConnell-Mosby (Edith Piaf cover) on How I Met Your Mother – we continue to be upset over the unfair treatment of fictional character Tracy Mosby.

Make It Home by Juliana Hatfield on My So-Called Life – I don’t care if it never made sense that a ghost/angel was suddenly around for one episode, this was important and we all know it.

Feels Like Home by Chantal Kreviazuk – This is a Pacey/Joey blog 100%, let’s be clear. This was a Dawson/Joey song, but this melodramatic fan video recasts it as Pacey/Joey… just like the whole show should have been. It’s important to note that I ran the Dawson’s Creek soundtrack into the ground in junior high.

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Graduation Caps On Fleek

When we graduated high school 12 years (!!!!) ago, we didn’t have the option – or maybe didn’t even know there was the option – to decorate the tops of our caps. By college, I think the trend was still out there, but people at my school didn’t delve into their arts & crafts side, despite being an arts school. But now that it’s graduation season again, I am constantly seeing more and more elaborately decorated caps that are more exciting than any commencement I’ve ever attended.

And of course, there’s a good chunk out there that were inspired by pop culture, so here are some of the best from the Class of 2016 and their graduation caps on fleek*.

*I’m too old to be saying that they’re not “on fleek” I take that back.

Where is the lie?

Queen B for those Queens, B.

OMG!!!! 🎓❤️💛💙🎓

A post shared by ☕️ Best Of Friends Podcast ☕️ (@bofpodcast) on

And of course the wise words of Michael Scott…

Some call it the Hamilton Effect (we do. we call it that.)

Show You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is one of those shows that you put on a pedestal and expect great things from because it has all the ingredients for your next new TV obsession. Interesting/unique plot? Check. Likable actress as the lead? Check. Tina Fey and 30 Rock crew on board? Check. But it’s very rare that shows like this not only meet your expectations but exceed them. Luckily, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt does just that.

When UKS came on Netflix at midnight Friday, I watched the first episode at 1am and had to physically stop myself from staying up all night to watch the rest of the short 13-episode season. It’s like sunshine crack and you can’t get enough of it. UKS soon was watched by thousands of other Netflix subscribers over the weekend and has gotten a lot of positive reviews from both critics and fans alike. If you’re not one of them, get on board, because this show certainly won’t let you down.

Basic Plot

Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper) was kidnapped when she was in 8th grade and taken by a doomsday cult leader, who had kept her and three other women in an underground bunker. The pilot takes place years later when Kimmy is 29, and she and the other “Indiana Mole Women” are rescued from the bunker. The show centers on Kimmy adjusting to life again as an adult in New York City.

Filling The Void

30 Rock ended a little over two years ago and we lost Parks and Recreation less than a month ago. While some of us are still in mourning for both of those shows, I’m happy to report that while Kimmy Schmidt will not be able to bring back Liz Lemon and Leslie Knope for good, it will help cure the pain. Kimmy is surprisingly positive and optimistic for having spend most of her formative years underground and secluded from the world, and she has the similar ‘Knope We Can’ attitude in life as Pawenee’s favorite political figure. She’s also like Kenneth the Page – actually she and Kenneth would probably get along rull well. Meanwhile, UKS itself has the same unique, “bizarre” tone as 30 Rock had, the same pacing the same joke after joke after joke storytelling style that is so clearly Tina Fey and nowhere else on television. Put those two together and you have a force to be reckoned with in Kimmy Schmidt.

Unbreakable Ellie Kemper

Like Friends and “The One…”, every episode title of UKS ends in an exclamation point. Kimmy Goes Outside! Kimmy Gets a Job! Kimmy Gets Venereal Disease! (JK about that last one) But the exclamation is totally and completely necessary because Kimmy lives life in an exclamation point. When one is rescued from a crazy cult (as one does), you can go in two directions. As Kimmy says, “You can either curl up in a ball or die” or “you can stand up and say, ‘We’re different! And you can’t break us!’ And Ellie Kemper is the perfect person to carry out the latter. Like Erin in The Office and Becca in Bridesmaids, Ellie in real life is just as lovable and quirky and has the ability to make you smile without even realizing it. Her natural excitement for life is shown through Kimmy’s own positive outlook on the new life she has. I don’t think Ellie is as naive as Kimmy, but she has a similar pureness to her. Kimmy is a girl who exclaims “What in the ham sandwich – I just got a job!” Ellie can pull that sort of ridiculous and childlike curse replacement without making it seem obnoxious, and it’s why she’s perfect as Kimmy.

Jane Krakowski Fabulousness

Jane of course has history with Tina, having played the egotistical yet affable Jenna Maroney on 30 Rock, a role that has earned her 4 Emmy nominations. As Jacqueline Voorhees in UKS, there might be more nominations in her future. While not quite as insane as Jenna, Jacqueline is a rich housewife with a son whom Kimmy is the nanny to. Despite the fact that Jenna and Jacqueline have a lot of similarities, Jane (a lot of Js going on) is proving she’s not just one dimensional as an actor. Although Kimmy is the main character, expect a great B story with Jacqueline, especially when it comes to her background.

30 Rock Realness

Speaking of which, UKS is just as offbeat as 30 Rock was. I mean it’s a show based on a girl who escaped a doomsday cult in a bunker. Not the type of show you will see on CBS’ Monday night lineup. And since Tina is still the brains behind the who shebang, it’s littered with her ‘odd’ sense of humor. There’s a new Sabor De Soledad in the Febreeze-like product Buh Breeze, and like Jenna Maroney’s impersonator-turned-husband Paul L’Astname, there are larger than life characters like Kimmy’s roommate Titus Andromedon and Tristafé the spiritcycle instructor. There’s a whole storyline where Titus and his other furry friends band together to go against a swindling costume shop owner. It looks ridiculous on screen, and only this type of show can make it as funny as it is. Speaking of Tituss, he played Da’Fwan, one of Angie Jordan’s crew on 30 Rock, and now he’s getting the role he deserves as Kimmy’s roommate/best friend. As an aspiring Broadway star (IRL, Tituss is actually a Broadway star), Tituss helps Kimmy back into the real world but also provides for some wacky stories.

90s/00s Refs Up The Whazoo

Because Kimmy has been literally living under a rock (of the earth) for 15 years, her brain is still stuck as a middle schooler, so all her pop culture and life references are from the 00s and before, that don’t make as much sense or are as relevant in 2015. And it’s amazing. Some things mentioned throughout the series include, but are not limited to:

  • American Girl
  • Light up sneakers
  • Moesha
  • “As If”
  • Tamagotchi
  • “Opposite Day”
  • Mavis Beacon
  • Frasier
  • The Breakfast Club

Cults

If you’re into like, learning about Scientology or the Illuminati or true crime or the Duggars, just watch this knowing it could be real and you’ll love it. The leader of the Mole Women cult is a guy named Richard Wayne Gary Wayne (classic Fey), and they’re actually dressed like they could be a Duggar. Naturally, they’re odd and have been taught weird things but also do normal activities like have secret santa, because, priorities.

Netflix to the Rescue

uks

Tina and her 30 Rock partner Robert Carlock originally had a deal with NBC, but the UKS pilot wasn’t picked up to series. Luckily, not only did the fine folks at Netflix pick it up, they picked it up for a second season. As you can imagine, this is good in a number of ways for UKS – not only have they already known their fate, they can undoubtedly be a little more risque on Netflix as opposed to network television, which is saying something, because Tina’s crew is the one that brought you hard-hitting comments on sexism and race couched in comedy, James Franco’s infatuation with his Japanese body pillow, Margaret Cho as Kim Jong-il who kidnaps a popular U.S. newsanchor, and a pornographic video game, among others. Netflix will be different. Better different.

 Theme Song

I’m not even going to link to it because when it first appears in the pilot it happens so naturally and it was one of those moments when a light bulb with heart eye emojis appeared over my head and I knew I was going to love the show. Plus when you binge watch, it gets stuck in your head.

Best Of C+S 2014: Pop Culture Moments That Make Me Cry

Happy 2015, everybody! The start of a brand new year is always a happy, hopeful thing – but as you get older, the passing of time can also make you a little blue. As you get older, you are also more and more likely to spend New Year’s day holed up in bed, watching Netflix and eating whatever your go-to hangover foods are. This didn’t used to happen to us. Anyway, these are all of the pop culture moments that make us cry, on a scale from one to five Crying Dawsons, in case your plans for the day include a lot of media content and a little crying.


Some pop culture moments are engineered to make you cry. Any time they show you an old man who is alone, or a beloved dog bravely facing his mortality, you know they’re trying to make you bawl.

Others aren’t supposed to be sad, but for some reason they grab onto your feelings and twist them until your eyes water. For instance: any time a child sings and it’s very beautiful.

Then there are those moments that were meant to be sad, but came out hilarious instead. I present for your approval:

This is the rare tearjerker scene that makes us weep – because we’re laughing so hard. So with Dawson Leery as our patron saint of pop culture crying, we’re listing those moments in entertainment that brought us to tears. Our scale stretches from one Crying Dawson (your eyes are lightly watering, but there’s no real tearstorm) to five Crying Dawsons (or as we like to call it, a Full Leery). And disclaimer: there will be spoilers ahead. Consider yourself warned.

One Crying Dawson1 crying dawson

  • The final, heartrending scenes of The Notebook. And I’m only putting it here because zero crying Dawsons wasn’t an option. I’m a monster, I know.
  • The end of Bridesmaids where Maya gives one last glance back at Kristen before she gets in the limo with her new husband. There’s an unspoken understanding between two best friends that just gets me.
  • Any time an actor/actress that is announcing Emmy/Oscar/Golden Globe nominations at the asscrack of dawn, only to announce their own name as one of the nominees.
  • Cyrus realizing he was the reason his hubs got killed on Scandal. You brought it on yourself dude.
  • When Little Michael Scott wants to grow up and have 100 kids so he can have 100 friends and no one can say no to being his friend.
  • The end of City Lights (taking it way back to the 1930s here!), when the blind girl sees the tramp for the first time.
  • When Mary is sort of mean to Martha in A Secret Garden but it’s because she doesn’t know how to play or love and her parents are dead and she lives in a creepy house in the middle of nowhere.
  • The “Love Is A Dream” sketch with Phil Hartman and Jan Hooks, serving the one-two punch of old people thinking about their youth, and people who died before their time.
  • When the now-elderly Peaches take a team picture and sing their song one last time in A League Of Their Own.
  • In The Great Gatsby, both the book and film adaptations, when Daisy delivers the “beautiful fool” line. Gut punch.

Two Crying Dawsons2 crying dawsons

  • When Papouli taught us about Greek dance, the love of family, and brief character arcs on Full House.
  • The look on Louis’ face when his daughter plays the violin duet with the neighbor on Louie.
  • The episode of The Simpsons where Homer gets the crayon lodged in his brain removed and suddenly becomes smart. At the end Lisa reads a letter he wrote her from before he got dumb again and it was the first time anyone in her family understood her.
  • Also, after Maggie is born and Homer goes back to work at the plant, he covers the mean plaque from Burns “Don’t Forget, You’re Here Forever” with her pictures so that it now reads “Do it for her.”
  • When Brian Williams reported on the NBC Nightly News that his daughter Allison Williams had been cast in the live version of Peter Pan. No matter what you think about the casting decision itself, you have no soul if you don’t get emotional watching him be so proud of his daughter.
  • Mr. Feeny dismissing class one final time.
  • Jen Lindley’s final conversation with Jack. And TBH, I might have cried more when Jack and Dougie declared their commitment to each other on the beach.
  • When Will believes his father isn’t going to leave him again on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air but Pops lets him down again, and Will breaks down in the arms of Uncle Phil asking why his dad doesn’t want him.
  • The voiceover at the end of The Time Travelers episode of How I Met Your Mother, when Future Ted says that he wants 45 extra days with The Mother… probably because at that point I had a pretty good idea of what that darn show was going to do to us.
  • Leslie saying goodbye to Ann on Parks and Rec. Uteruses before duderuses.
  • When Mel Gibson is getting ready to leave in The Patriot, and his mute daughter runs after him screaming “I’ll say anything!” Doubly so now that she’s passed away.

Three Crying Dawsons

3 crying dawsons

  • The final moments of that old dog in Homeward Bound.
  • The Muppets (2012), just in general. It made both of us cry and neither of us knows why.
  • Jessie singing When Somebody Loved Me in Toy Story 2.
  • The little girl singing Desperado in In America.
  • I was in a hotel a few months ago and came across a documentary on like the Travel Channel or something that was about the new Diagon Alley attraction in Harry Potter World at Universal Studios Orlando, and the planning, construction and attention to detail that went into it before they opened the doors. Before opening it to the public, a select group of young HP fans were let into the park as a sneak peak and the look of awe was astounding. I can’t imagine being a kid, being obsessed with the books & movies and finally being in Diagon Alley for real.
  • In what is one of my favorite dances over all the seasons of So You Think You Can Dance, golden child Travis Wall choreographed an emotional contemporary (and Emmy nominated) piece to Coldplay’s Fix You, a dance based on his own experience of helping his mom through her bout with cancer. While Fix You is always a tearjerker, add on the brilliant dancing by Robert Roldan and Allison Holker and you have a piece of pure art that will leave you breathless.
  • Speaking of SYTYCD, season 11’s Ricky Ubeda was one of those winners who actually deserved the victory, thanks to his combination of talent and personality. But during Hollywood week, it was his solo that made me (and a lot of other viewers) single him out from the crowd, thanks to vulnerability and emotion he brought to the dance.
  • Lily telling Marshall his dad died on How I Met Your Mother.
  • The final scene in Friends when they all walk out of Monica & Chandler’s to go to Central Perk and there’s one final sweep of the empty apartment with swelling music in the background.

Four Crying Dawsons

4 Crying Dawsons

  • Carrie Underwood singing. Pretty much singing anything. Especially if it’s live. I’ve seen her in concert three times and every single time I was brought to tears. She sings with such passion and conviction. And if she’s singing any kind of religious song, you know she’s channeling the big JC, making her voice even more powerful for some reason.
  • The scene in both the book and movie version of The Fault in our Stars where Hazel is giving the ‘eulogy’ for Gus in the church.
  • The Normal Heart. All of it.
  • Friday Night Lights – pretty much the entire show. However, I’ll pinpoint one that stands out, which is when Coach throws Matt Saracen into the shower, but QB1 breaks down, insisting that his loved ones always abandon him. And to continue this Zach Gilford lovefest, the entire episode of The Son is heartwrenching, but I won’t ruin it for you if you haven’t seen it.
  • Call it the Jason Katims effect because Parenthood also makes me cry during every episode, no matter what. Again, it’s hard to pick just one, so the scene where Kristina tells the family that she has cancer – a scene so powerful with no words at all. This current season hasn’t been lucky for Zeek, and because of personal reasons, I’ve found his storyline extremely upsetting. Also Mae Whitman crying. Legit the best crier in the biz.
  • The series finale of Gilmore Girls in which Rory assures Lorelai that she’s “already given her everything she needs” before she goes on the road following Senator Barack Obama. In fact the final like 20 minutes of that show including Rory’s speech under the tent make me cry so hard that I’ve only watched the finale approx thrice, as opposed to like the 30 times for all the other episodes.
  • The finale of I ❤ Nick Carter where he and Lauren get married. Legit stayed up til 4am watching it and it was totally worth it. His family sucks but good thing they have the rest of BSB and other friends and family – that’s what got me.
  • Jim Halpert learning he and Pam are having a baby after she injures herself at the company picnic. The whole office singing Seasons of Love to Michael on his last episode. The ‘Forever’ flash mob at Jim & Pam’s wedding and them getting married on the Maid of the Mist and Jim cutting off his tie. The entire series finale. I had a hard time saying goodbye to The Office.
  • The first 5-ish minutes of Up.
  • When Mary and Edith realize that they’re the only ones left after Sybil dies.
  • I was never big into Buffy, but that scene where Buffy tells Dawn that their mom has died, and you’re watching it through the window of her classroom? Nope.
  • DOBBY. RIP.

Five Crying Dawsons

5 crying dawsons

  • The Quarterback episode of Glee where Finn (Cory Monteith) dies. I literally went through almost an entire box of tissues during that and I’m not even a huge Glee fan. The pain on everyone’s face was real, and watching Lea Michele sing – forget it.
  • The end of The Best Man Holiday – what in the fuck was that all about?! I paid $15 to see Taye Diggs and his fellow HBM co-stars possibly take their clothes off and it turned out that I needed extra sleeves because my tears and snot were all over the shirt I went in with.
  • Right before Leslie and Ben get married, when she’s talking with Ron in the hallway. I’m a wedding crier anyway, but jeez.
  • In Little Women, when Jo is going through the trunk in the attic after Beth has died (note: Beth’s death gets knocked down to 4 Crying Dawsons because of the weird brogue Claire Danes starts speaking in).
  • Everything that happens after Sara Crewe goes to live in the attic in A Little Princess. This is the second Frances Hodgson Burnett appearance on this list so I hope wherever she is, she’s proud of her vast legacy of children’s tears.
  • The funeral scene in Philadelphia, when they show the home movies of Beckett as a kid with his mom.
  • Good Will Hunting: 4 words – “It’s not your fault.”
  • My Girl: 6 words – “He can’t see without his glasses!”
  • Dead Poets Society: 4 words – “O Captain! My Captain!”

O Come Let Us Adore… Holiday-Themed Sitcom Episodes

ATTENTION: IT IS DECEMBER. IT IS THE LAST MONTH OF 2014. WHAT HOW HUH.

Ok now that I’ve made you feel like you’ve done nothing this year, it’s time to introduce you to our special holiday playlists of the month, because we like spreading joy here at Cookies + Sangria.

If you are a frequent reader of our blog, you know that we usually have a Playlist of the Month featuring our favorite songs based on the given theme. For December, we decided to give our gifts to you early (yay!) and have THREE ‘playlists’ that are all holiday themed. Today we’re kicking it off with some of our favorite holiday sitcom episodes. If you’re like us, you enjoy watching stuff like this to get into the spirit, so break out the egg nog (or just like, wine or something) and kick back with some of the best Christmasukkah crap TV has to offer!

Molly’s Picks

Parks and Recreation – Citizen Knope
{Season 4, Episode 1}

Guaranteed to bring on my annual Yuletide happy-cry, in this episode Leslie learns that as much love and dedication as she has for her friends and community, they have for her. Leslie always gives almost obsessively perfect presents, but after her rough suspension she receives the best gifts a gal could ask for: the love of her friends, a gingerbread facsimile of her workplace, and a campaign staff.

Seinfeld – The Strike
{Season 9, Episode 10}

Yes, my family has celebrated Festivus. The Feats of Strength were a real bummer because my brothers are both 6’5, but I think the Airing Of Grievances hurt more. If you don’t know what those things mean, you need to watch this episode.

The Office – Christmas Party
{Season 2, Episode 10}

Remember those sweet, early ‘will they/won’t they’ days of Jim and Pam’s relationship? When a Christmas gift exchange turns into a forced Yankee Swap, Jim’s gift to Pam is in jeopardy. She ultimately gets the teapot he bought her, but not before Jim removes the note he wrote her … then gives it to her like 7 years later.

Guys. I really miss this show sometimes.

Friends – The One With The Routine
{Season 6, Episode 10}

Do you guys remember Millennium Fever? Survivalists were freaking out about Y2K and everyone else was under heavy pressure to have the best New Year’s ever. When Monica and Ross land a spot on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, they decide to bust out their childhood dance routine.

Surest sign you were a tweenaged Friends fanatic in the late 90s: you watched the episode (taped on VHS, naturally) over and over until you had that routine down. Guilty.

30 Rock – Ludachristmas
{Season 2, Episode 9}

This one had me at the title. What can I say, I love a good portmanteau. But the episode itself seriously delivered. Jack’s mom (Elaine Stritch) is in town, as is Liz’s family (including her brother, whose brain injury makes him believe that it is perpetually 1985). The TGS Christmas party is ruined when Kenneth takes it upon himself to teach everyone the Real Meaning Of Christmas, and saved when Tracy decides to ignore his alcohol monitoring bracelet.

The Simpsons – The Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire
{Season 1, Episode 1}

I was a big Simpsons fan as a little kid, and this is probably my favorite of their Christmas episodes. Homer gets a job as a mall Santa, but still comes up short on Christmas Eve. He and Bart hit the racetrack, and come home with the best present of all – Santa’s Little Helper, the losing greyhound they bet on.

Traci’s Picks

The Office – A Benihana Christmas
{Season 3, Episode 11}

This isn’t just one of my favorite Christmas episodes, it’s one of my favorite episodes of The Office – ever. There is so much going on in this episode that I don’t even know which storyline is my favorite. So let’s break it down. First we have Michael, whose realtor girlfriend, Carol (and Steve’s IRL wife) breaks up with him, leading him into a spiral of depression. To help him with the pain, he goes out to lunch at Japanese restaurant Benihana with some of the guys in the office. Michael and Andy pick up two of the waitresses (Kulap!) and bring them back to the office for the annual Christmas party. Except Michael can’t remember which Asian waitress was the one he was hoping to hook up with, and after a heart to heart with Jim, Michael realizes he really likes someone else and invites them to go to Jamaica with him (spoiler alert, it’s Jan). Speaking of the party, there are actually two dueling parties between Angela’s Party Planning Committee and Pam and Karen’s margarita-karaoke party. This is important because it’s the first time Pam and Karen are actually getting along despite the fact there’s the whole Jim love triangle. Eventually the two parties merge, and all is fine. Oh and as a Christmas present to Jim, Pam has been playing an elaborate trick on Dwight which involves the CIA. This episode is The Office at its finest. It has the perfect mix of humor, heart, and plot progression that will fit in a special hour-long episode. Ugh, I miss this show.

Friends – The One With The Holiday Armadillo
{Season 7, Episode 10}

This is obviously one of the more iconic moments of Friends – even though it’s from one of the much-debated later seasons. Ross wants to teach Ben about Haunukkah, since he’s half Jewish, but all Ben wants to do is talk about that Santa dude. Ross gives in, but it’s too late into the season that all the Christmas-related costumes are sold out, so he settles for an armadillo – the Holiday Armadillo to be exact (who is Santa’s representative for all the southern states. Annnnnd Mexico!) But because Ben has uncles who love him a lot and want to help out, Joey and Chandler dress up too, and the result looks like the Easter Bunny’s funeral.

Full House – Our Very First Christmas Show
{Season 2, Episode 9}

When I was a kid, I always thought Corduroy and his story was just the coolest. The fact that this bear came to life and gets to wander around a department store at night when it was closed just seemed so intriguing to me. Basically, any plot that involves people (or inanimate objects coming to life, I guess) being stuck in a place where they’re not usually supposed to be is great to me. In the first Christmas episode from Full House, the fam is on its way to Colorado for the holidays, but a blizzard forces the plane to land in a rando small airport and they have to spend the Christmas Eve in the baggage claim waiting room. Jesse’s dad tries to get Jesse to kiss Becky under the mistletoe, Deej is mad that their gifts have gone missing, Steph is upset because she doesn’t think Santa will find her in the stupid airport, and Joey doesn’t get a real storyline because this is Full House. Eventually some guy Steph was afraid of on the plane turns out to be the real Santa, and they all get their presents. It’s full of cheese, but what else do you expect from this show?

Parks and Recreation – Ron and Diane
{Season 5, Episode 9}

Because Leslie Knope is the greatest, she dresses up in this elf/santa’s workshop worker costume to tell Ron he is nominated for an award from the Indiana Fine Woodworking Association for a chair he recently built. Ron invites Diane to the ceremony and Leslie invites herself, and therefore meets Diane for the first time (cameo appearance from Tammy 2). Meanwhile, the rest of the gang are planning their annual Jerry Dinner – every time Jerry does something stupid, they put a dollar in the box, and at the end of the year, they use the money to treat themselves to a dinner. But on their way to spend the $500, Tom, Donna, April and Andy pass by Jerry’s house only to find out that the Gengriches, including Christie Brinkley, are having a big Christmas party without them. Ann, who is a guest at the party, won’t let them in, but they finally apologize and end up giving the Jerry Dinner money to Jerry to help pay for his hospital bills after his fart attack.

How I Met Your Mother – How Lily Stole Christmas
{Season 2, Episode 11}

Lily finds an old message on their answering machine that Ted left for Marshall after Lily left him to go off to San Francisco. He called her a grinch (bitch) and urged Marshall to get over her. Ted tells her that in all fairness she was being a huge grinch during that time, and refuses to apologize, which makes Lily furious. She takes away “Lily’s Winter Wonderland”, in which she decorates the entire apartment full of snow and Christmas items, and it’s Marshall’s favorite part about the holidays, especially this year since he’s busy studying for the bar exam. There are a lot of episodes in HIMYM focusing on Marshall/Lily and Ted/Marshall/Barney, but there are a few which get to focus on Lily/Ted, and this is one of them. Throughout college, it was Mashall, Lily, and Ted as a trio, and sometimes it’s hard to remember that with the Marshall/Lily ship, so seeing them fight and ultimately reconcile in this episode is certainly a Christmas miracle.

Saved By The Bell – A Home For Christmas
{Season 3, Episode 24}

Boy, do I love/hate a teen show which tries to incorporate adult subject matter. We briefly talked about how this show handled drunk driving and drugs during our SBTB Week a few months ago,  and this is no different. Most of the gang has jobs at the mall, and Zack lit’rally runs into this blonde girl and hits on her but he turns around for one second and she’s gone. Separately, Zack and Screech run into a man in the bathroom who they realize is homeless. Turns out, the blonde, Laura, not only works with Kelly at a department store, but is the homeless man’s daughter, and they’ve been living in their car after he lost his job. Zack’s mom offers to let them stay at their house until they find a place to stay. At the same time, the crew is putting up A Christmas Carol, which IRONICALLY mirrors a similar story between Laura and Kelly and their mean scroogey boss Mr. Moody. The episode ends with everyone singing Silent Night around a piano, and S2G, if I watched this episode as an adult I would hate it, but because I watched it so many times as a kid, the corny factor doesn’t even bother me. God bless us every one (esp Zack Morris).

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Pop Culture Moments That Make Me Cry

Some pop culture moments are engineered to make you cry. Any time they show you an old man who is alone, or a beloved dog bravely facing his mortality, you know they’re trying to make you bawl.

Others aren’t supposed to be sad, but for some reason they grab onto your feelings and twist them until your eyes water. For instance: any time a child sings and it’s very beautiful.

Then there are those moments that were meant to be sad, but came out hilarious instead. I present for your approval:

This is the rare tearjerker scene that makes us weep – because we’re laughing so hard. So with Dawson Leery as our patron saint of pop culture crying, we’re listing those moments in entertainment that brought us to tears. Our scale stretches from one Crying Dawson (your eyes are lightly watering, but there’s no real tearstorm) to five Crying Dawsons (or as we like to call it, a Full Leery). And disclaimer: there will be spoilers ahead. Consider yourself warned.

One Crying Dawson1 crying dawson

  • The final, heartrending scenes of The Notebook. And I’m only putting it here because zero crying Dawsons wasn’t an option. I’m a monster, I know.
  • The end of Bridesmaids where Maya gives one last glance back at Kristen before she gets in the limo with her new husband. There’s an unspoken understanding between two best friends that just gets me.
  • Any time an actor/actress that is announcing Emmy/Oscar/Golden Globe nominations at the asscrack of dawn, only to announce their own name as one of the nominees.
  • Cyrus realizing he was the reason his hubs got killed on Scandal. You brought it on yourself dude.
  • When Little Michael Scott wants to grow up and have 100 kids so he can have 100 friends and no one can say no to being his friend.
  • The end of City Lights (taking it way back to the 1930s here!), when the blind girl sees the tramp for the first time.
  • When Mary is sort of mean to Martha in A Secret Garden but it’s because she doesn’t know how to play or love and her parents are dead and she lives in a creepy house in the middle of nowhere.
  • The “Love Is A Dream” sketch with Phil Hartman and Jan Hooks, serving the one-two punch of old people thinking about their youth, and people who died before their time.
  • When the now-elderly Peaches take a team picture and sing their song one last time in A League Of Their Own.
  • In The Great Gatsby, both the book and film adaptations, when Daisy delivers the “beautiful fool” line. Gut punch.

Two Crying Dawsons2 crying dawsons

  • When Papouli taught us about Greek dance, the love of family, and brief character arcs on Full House.
  • The look on Louis’ face when his daughter plays the violin duet with the neighbor on Louie.
  • The episode of The Simpsons where Homer gets the crayon lodged in his brain removed and suddenly becomes smart. At the end Lisa reads a letter he wrote her from before he got dumb again and it was the first time anyone in her family understood her.
  • Also, after Maggie is born and Homer goes back to work at the plant, he covers the mean plaque from Burns “Don’t Forget, You’re Here Forever” with her pictures so that it now reads “Do it for her.”
  • When Brian Williams reported on the NBC Nightly News that his daughter Allison Williams had been cast in the live version of Peter Pan. No matter what you think about the casting decision itself, you have no soul if you don’t get emotional watching him be so proud of his daughter.
  • Mr. Feeny dismissing class one final time.
  • Jen Lindley’s final conversation with Jack. And TBH, I might have cried more when Jack and Dougie declared their commitment to each other on the beach.
  • When Will believes his father isn’t going to leave him again on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air but Pops lets him down again, and Will breaks down in the arms of Uncle Phil asking why his dad doesn’t want him.
  • The voiceover at the end of The Time Travelers episode of How I Met Your Mother, when Future Ted says that he wants 45 extra days with The Mother… probably because at that point I had a pretty good idea of what that darn show was going to do to us.
  • Leslie saying goodbye to Ann on Parks and Rec. Uteruses before duderuses.
  • When Mel Gibson is getting ready to leave in The Patriot, and his mute daughter runs after him screaming “I’ll say anything!” Doubly so now that she’s passed away.

Three Crying Dawsons

3 crying dawsons

  • The final moments of that old dog in Homeward Bound.
  • The Muppets (2012), just in general. It made both of us cry and neither of us knows why.
  • Jessie singing When Somebody Loved Me in Toy Story 2.
  • The little girl singing Desperado in In America.
  • I was in a hotel a few months ago and came across a documentary on like the Travel Channel or something that was about the new Diagon Alley attraction in Harry Potter World at Universal Studios Orlando, and the planning, construction and attention to detail that went into it before they opened the doors. Before opening it to the public, a select group of young HP fans were let into the park as a sneak peak and the look of awe was astounding. I can’t imagine being a kid, being obsessed with the books & movies and finally being in Diagon Alley for real.
  •  In what is one of my favorite dances over all the seasons of So You Think You Can Dance, golden child Travis Wall choreographed an emotional contemporary (and Emmy nominated) piece to Coldplay’s Fix You, a dance based on his own experience of helping his mom through her bout with cancer. While Fix You is always a tearjerker, add on the brilliant dancing by Robert Roldan and Allison Holker and you have a piece of pure art that will leave you breathless.
  • Speaking of SYTYCD, season 11’s Ricky Ubeda was one of those winners who actually deserved the victory, thanks to his combination of talent and personality. But during Hollywood week, it was his solo that made me (and a lot of other viewers) single him out from the crowd, thanks to vulnerability and emotion he brought to the dance.
  • Lily telling Marshall his dad died on How I Met Your Mother.
  • The final scene in Friends when they all walk out of Monica & Chandler’s to go to Central Perk and there’s one final sweep of the empty apartment with swelling music in the background.

Four Crying Dawsons

4 Crying Dawsons

  • Carrie Underwood singing. Pretty much singing anything. Especially if it’s live. I’ve seen her in concert three times and every single time I was brought to tears. She sings with such passion and conviction. And if she’s singing any kind of religious song, you know she’s channeling the big JC, making her voice even more powerful for some reason.
  • The scene in both the book and movie version of The Fault in our Stars where Hazel is giving the ‘eulogy’ for Gus in the church.
  • The Normal Heart. All of it.
  • Friday Night Lights – pretty much the entire show. However, I’ll pinpoint one that stands out, which is when Coach throws Matt Saracen into the shower, but QB1 breaks down, insisting that his loved ones always abandon him. And to continue this Zach Gilford lovefest, the entire episode of The Son is heartwrenching, but I won’t ruin it for you if you haven’t seen it.
  • Call it the Jason Katims effect because Parenthood also makes me cry during every episode, no matter what. Again, it’s hard to pick just one, so the scene where Kristina tells the family that she has cancer – a scene so powerful with no words at all. This current season hasn’t been lucky for Zeek, and because of personal reasons, I’ve found his storyline extremely upsetting. Also Mae Whitman crying. Legit the best crier in the biz.
  • The series finale of Gilmore Girls in which Rory assures Lorelai that she’s “already given her everything she needs” before she goes on the road following Senator Barack Obama. In fact the final like 20 minutes of that show including Rory’s speech under the tent make me cry so hard that I’ve only watched the finale approx thrice, as opposed to like the 30 times for all the other episodes.
  • The finale of I ❤ Nick Carter where he and Lauren get married. Legit stayed up til 4am watching it and it was totally worth it. His family sucks but good thing they have the rest of BSB and other friends and family – that’s what got me.
  •  Jim Halpert learning he and Pam are having a baby after she injures herself at the company picnic. The whole office singing Seasons of Love to Michael on his last episode. The ‘Forever’ flash mob at Jim & Pam’s wedding and them getting married on the Maid of the Mist and Jim cutting off his tie. The entire series finale. I had a hard time saying goodbye to The Office.
  • The first 5-ish minutes of Up.
  • When Mary and Edith realize that they’re the only ones left after Sybil dies.
  • I was never big into Buffy, but that scene where Buffy tells Dawn that their mom has died, and you’re watching it through the window of her classroom? Nope.
  • DOBBY. RIP.

Five Crying Dawsons

5 crying dawsons

  • The Quarterback episode of Glee where Finn (Cory Monteith) dies. I literally went through almost an entire box of tissues during that and I’m not even a huge Glee fan. The pain on everyone’s face was real, and watching Lea Michele sing – forget it.
  • The end of The Best Man Holiday – what in the fuck was that all about?! I paid $15 to see Taye Diggs and his fellow HBM co-stars possibly take their clothes off and it turned out that I needed extra sleeves because my tears and snot were all over the shirt I went in with.
  • Right before Leslie and Ben get married, when she’s talking with Ron in the hallway. I’m a wedding crier anyway, but jeez.
  • In Little Women, when Jo is going through the trunk in the attic after Beth has died (note: Beth’s death gets knocked down to 4 Crying Dawsons because of the weird brogue Claire Danes starts speaking in).
  • Everything that happens after Sara Crewe goes to live in the attic in A Little Princess. This is the second Frances Hodgson Burnett appearance on this list so I hope wherever she is, she’s proud of her vast legacy of children’s tears.
  • The funeral scene in Philadelphia, when they show the home movies of Beckett as a kid with his mom.
  • Good Will Hunting: 4 words – “It’s not your fault.”
  • My Girl: 6 words – “He can’t see without his glasses!”
  • Dead Poets Society: 4 words – “O Captain! My Captain!”

Best Halloween Costumes By Fictional People

I don’t think I’ve ever been one to be all gung-ho about Halloween. Even as a kid, I don’t remember particularly being as excited about dressing up and getting free candy from strangers like my peers. I mean I did it, but I feel like more people were excited about it than I was. In recent years, I’ve opted to go a “lazy” route, in that I either use clothes that I already have or only spend under like $30 to throw together a costume. And they’re usually pop culture inspired. For instance, I went as Liz Lemon one year and even made a fake name tag and Sabor de Soledad bag that I carried around with me.

liz lemon

One year I went as a “Friday Night Lights/Dillon Panthers Rally Girl” and just wore the State Champs shirt I owned and wore a yellow ribbon in my hair. This year I paid $15 to buy orange scrubs off Amazon to be Brook Soso from Orange is the New Black, but I also now get catalogs from the scrubs company. Sorry to break it to them, but I’m not even close to being qualified as a doctor or nurse, unless you count 11 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy as something. Anyways, my point is that for those of you who are ‘meh’ about Halloween like I am, it might be easiest to get inspiration from the Halloween eps on TV. Luckily, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best costumes worn by our favorite characters on TV, and maybe you’ll be gung ho about Halloween once and for all.

The Office

Jim Halpert as Dave

I always sympathized with Jim since he never wanted to dress up, but made a little effort. This might be my favorite one of his costumes. Andy, dressed as one of the Cats from Cats in full garb, asks Jim what he’s supposed to be, and Jim simply points to his name tag and says, “I’m Dave.”

Facebook

“Yes, I am the popular social networking site called Book Face.”

3 Hole Punch version of Jim

You can have him either way – as plain white Jim or 3 hole punch. Paper jokes for paper folks.

Michael Scott with Paper Mache Michael Scott

Because why wouldn’t you have a paper mache version of yourself sitting on your shoulder as a “costume”?

Macgruber

One of the things I love about Michael Scott is that he tries so hard to be cool and hip, but he’s always just a step behind. It’s endearing. He dressed up as SNL’s MacGuyver-esque character MacGruber one year. Unless you’re a hardcore SNL fan, you might not even know who he is (or that Will Forte brought his alter ego to the big screen). But Michael Scott didn’t care, and just assumed everyone would know who he was. Bless.

 Community

Troy Barnes as a sexy vampire

It doesn’t matter if he’s Dracula or not – he’s a sexy vampire. Lawd help me.

Eddie Murphy

Ben Chang as Peggy Fleming

How dare you think Chang is Michelle Kwan. Or Kristi Yamaguchi. RACIST!!

New Girl

Jessica Day as a Zombie

To make ends meet, Jess is forced to take on odd jobs, including one as a zombie in a haunted house. However this particular outfit has Schmidt likening her to a Zombie Woody Allen. “These brains are terrible, and in such small portions.”

 How I Met Your Mother

Marshall Eriksen and Lily Aldrin as (Gay) Jack Sparrow and Green Parrot

Since college, Marshall, Lily and Ted had been dressing up in some sort of theme costume together – salt and pepper and cumin, Lady and the Tramp and their bowl of spaghetti, Lewis and Clark and their canoe. They go all out. With Ted going  as Hanging chad (see next slide), Marshall and Lily decide to go for the gold with this Pirates of the Caribbean costume and ended up getting first place. Spoiler alert?

Naomi as the Slutty Pumpkin and Ted Mosby as Hanging Chad

The Slutty Pumpkin/Hanging Chad romance is a long-running story throughout HIMYM. In the beginning of the series, we find out that Ted meets a girl dressed in a slutty pumpkin costume, but Lily accidentally throws out the Kit Kat wrapper that she wrote her phone number on. So every year, Ted dresses in the same costume (Hanging Chad, topical at the time) hoping she’ll come back. A few seasons later she does, and it turns out to be Katie Holmes. And kids, as you know – she is not the Mother.

Barney Stinson as a Fighter Pilot

Just play Danger Zone while watching this gif. It’s pretty self explanatory. Flightsuit up!

 Friends

Ross Geller as Spudnik

You know that Russian satellite Sputnik? Well I’m a potato which is a spud and I have my antennas.

Ugh. Ross is so underrated.

Happy Endings

Penny Hartz and Max Blum as mom and baby

“I wanna be your wing baby”, Max says to BFF Penny. However they run into a problem when they both start talking to men they’re interested in. Hilarity ensues. Sigh. Miss you show.

 Modern Family

Hayley Dunphy as Sexy Mother Teresa

Modern Family has set a precedent for really good Halloween episodes, and it usually involves Clare being really into it and Haley dressing up as something sexy. This is no different.

The Mindy Project

Mindy Lahiri as Lil Wayne on the Prairie

I appreciate that Mindy Lahiri made an effort to be creative in that she had a string of ideas whcih involved a mashup of characters, including Tinkerbell Tailor Soldier Spy and Dirty Harry Potter. But my favorite is Lil Wayne on the Prairie. Mainly because she looks badass with those dreads and grill.

 Morgan Tookers as a Urinal

Morgan Tookers – American treasure.

 30 Rock

Paul as Natalie Portman (Black Swan) and Jenna Maroney as  former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver and Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann

If you haven’t seen this before, I feel like there’s really no explanation for it. You just need to see if for yourself.

 Parks and Recreation

Ann Perkins as Lolo Jones and Leslie Knope as Rosie the Riveter

Olympian Lolo Jones made her debut the summer before this episode aired, and Rashida kept getting comparisons to her, so clearly the brilliant writers decided to add it on the show. Leslie/Amy as Rosie is a natural choice, no?

 Tom Haverford as T Pain

Again, Tom as T-Pain is a natural fit. I feel like Tom thinks he’s T-Pain 24/7 and Halloween is an excuse to just dress up like him.

Man Crush Monday: John Krasinski

I think it’s only appropriate that today’s Man Crush Monday goes out to one of the loves of my life, John Krasinski – this, on the day of his 35th birthday.

You probably know John as the only sane guy working at Dunder Mifflin in The Office. You may also know him as Emily Blunt’s husband, Hazel Krasinski’s father, or the dude who does the voiceovers for Esurance. To me, he is one of those people that always ends up on the short list of my ‘celebrity crushes’ (I definitely don’t have that written down somewhere) because of his charm, wit, and acting abilities. So to celebrate the anniversary of his birth, let’s go over just a few of the reasons why JKras is my Man Crush for this Monday and all Mondays to come.

He’s a Boston Boy

John was born and raised in Newton, Massachusetts, which is right on the outskirts of Boston. Being that Boston is like a second home to me, I feel like we have a connection – especially since he is proudly wearing all that Celtics/Red Sox garb making him even hotter. Also I have friends who are from Newtown and we may or may not have found out where he grew up/his parents’ house is and may or may not have done a drive by. It’s fine. Not at all creepy.

He’s An Ivy League Grad

While attending Newton South High School, John starred a play (which The Office co-star BJ Novak wrote) but it didn’t really make him want to become an actor. He was accepted to Brown University but was put on the wait list so decided to go to Costa Rica to teach English before heading off to college for the second semester. While at Brown, he helped coach a local youth basketball team. I mean smart and philanthropic? Are you real? So he went in as an English major and didn’t get the real acting bug until he was part of a staged reading for David Foster Wallace’s Brief Interviews With Hideous Men, which, full circle, he adapted for film and starred in directed in it in 2009. It was during that reading that he realized he could use his talents to become an actor and writer. He ended up graduated from Brown with honors in English as a playwright.

He’s Charming As All Hell

Salesman Jim Halpert was a charming motherfucker who was just too good to ever stay at Dunder Mifflin, but it all worked out since he got the girl in the end. But that charm and wit is not just Jim Halpert – it comes from John Krasinski. It’s hard to see anyone else in that role because JKras made it what it was. In fact I think both Adam Scott and John Cho were up for the role, so can you imagine how much more different Jim would be if they were cast. If you’ve seen any of his TV interviews, you know how personable he is, and this video is just one example. If you listen closely, you can hear women all over the world droppin their panties during the vid.

He Was Meant To Be Jim Halpert

After he decided to be an actor, John moved to New York City in hopes of being living the dream – being paid to act. He was waiting tables and not really getting any work and got to the point where he was ready to give up. He said he would go on one more audition, and if it didn’t work, it would be a sign that he needed to pick a new career path. That audition was for The Office and the rest is history. John has said that the show has changed his life in more ways than one, not only with all the professional success in his life, but if he had never moved out to Los Angeles to shoot the show, and if the show never took off the way it did, he would have never been able to meet his wife, the lovely Emily Blunt. He was meant to be Jim Halpert, just like Jenna Fischer was meant to be his Pam. ❤ ❤ OTP ❤ ❤

He’s the Most Adorable When He Breaks

With all the hilarious material the folks at The Office were given, it’s nearly impossible to not laugh during a scene. This is evident in all the bloopers from the nine seasons of the show, which I admittedly have watched way too many times. While John is a tall drink of a man, when he breaks, he kind of turns into a giggly little girl. It’s totes adorbs.

He Is Great At Physical Comedy

John wasn’t given a lot of physical comedy during The Office, but if you want to see his lanky self do some hilarious bits, watch License to Wed or Leatherheads. Or just watch him doing this amazing marionette bit over and over and over again.

He Is Great At Drama, Too

Because he’s most known for his role on The Office, people don’t automatically think of him as a dramatic actor. But that will change if you see him in one of my personal favorite movies, Away We Go. I originally saw this movie strictly for him, but I was delightfully surprised to see that it was actually a wonderful film. Plus you can’t go wrong when you share the screen with Maya Rudolph, Allison Janney and Chris Messina.

He Has The Greatest Wife

When your celebrity crush gets married, the only thing that will cure your shattered (delusional) dreams is if the person they’re marrying is equally as awesome. Luckily, John married the equally awesome Emily Blunt who is devastatingly beautiful and talented and funny. And when they’re together, it’s even better. Have you checked out their Ice Bucket Challenges?!

He’s The Greatest Dad

LIKE, CAN U NOT, KRASINSKIS? CAN U ACTUALLY NOT.

He Wins All The Lip Sync Battles


I AM NOT STOPPING WITH THE CAPS LOCK BECAUSE I SAVED THE BEST FOR LAST. YOU MAY HAVE SEEN EMMA STONE AND JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT CHALLENGE JIMMY FALLON IN A LIP SYNC BATTLE, BUT THE PERSON WHO STARTED IT ALL WAS JOHN KRASINSKI. AND WHEN THEY DID THIS FOR THE FIRST TIME I’M PRETTY SURE I LIT’RALLY SWOONED. I STILL SWOON. MAKE SURE YOU’RE SITTING DOWN BEFORE YOU WATCH THIS.

Playlist of the Month: Best Original Songs by Fictional Artists

Music has always been an important factor in movies and TV shows throughout the years, providing just a little something extra to create the exact emotions in a certain scene. And then there are the movies and TV shows that take music to a whole other level by creating made up bands and artists within the storyline. And sometimes they actually end up being really good. We’re not talking fake bands that cover songs, we’re talking the fictional artists with original music who could easily release their own songs and be chart toppers. Here are just a few of our favorites (and by few, we legit mean few. It was surprisingly hard to narrow down a list!)

Check the full playlist on Spotify!

Molly’s Picks

Join The Professionals from Ladies And Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains

Fictional Artist: The Stains

By all means, this should be one of those classic 80s films that’s played on a regular loop on TBS. Somehow – maybe because the universe isn’t just nor kind, maybe because TBS used their full rights-buying budget on The Breakfast Club and Coach Carter – it isn’t. Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains follows the rise of a girls’ punk band in the early 80s, and I am shamelessly including it on this list in the hopes that more people will see it.

Killer Tofu from Doug

Fictional Artist: The Beets

Millenials, can you feel me right now?

Obviously The Beets were supposed to lampoon The Beatles, but it also seems like they’re ripping on the early-mid 90s British rock bands that were popular at the time. I’m looking at you, Oasis.

That Thing You Do! From That Thing You Do!

Fictional Artist: The Wonders (Or, The Oneders)

Cheesy? Sure. But I loved this movie, and this is a perfectly formulated throwback rock/pop tune. That Thing You Do! came out when I was about 10, that age when music and bands take on a whole new life for you. This, La Bamba, and Selena were my Movies About Music trifecta circa 1997.

Big Bottom from This Is Spinal Tap

Fictional Artist: Spinal Tap

SO MUCH BASS. We couldn’t have a playlist of fictional bands without including Spinal Tap. Comedy fans and music lovers alike have elevated This Is Spinal Tap to cult classic status, and for good reason: they go to 11. I love how the different styles on the soundtrack trace the trajectory of the band – for instance,  America (so Simon and Garfunkel!), Listen To The Flower People (one of Spinal Tap’s early efforts), and the oddly classy Lick My Love Pump.

It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp from Hustle And Flow

Fictional Artists: DJay and Shug

In addition to being a great movie about the small-time hip hop scene, Hustle And Flow may mark the very last time that a movie, set in the present day at the time of release, featured a cassette tape as a prominent plot device.

Honorable Mentions: The Commitments (who only didn’t make the list because we’re focusing on original songs, and theirs were all covers); The nuns from Sister Act (whatever, I do what I want); Goodbye Lil Sebastian (Right, Parks fans?); Scotty Doesn’t Know from Eurotrip (see Sister Act); Forever (actually not good, and actually a Beach Boys cover, proving that not every record can be Pet Sounds); anything from Once (I couldn’t decide if it counted, since I wasn’t sure if I could divorce it from The Swell Season). This was a surprisingly hard list for me to narrow down, everyone.

Traci’s Picks

Male Prima Donna from The Office

Fictional Artists: Subtle Sexuality

Even if you were a fan of The Office, you still might not be familiar of the outstanding musical talent within the walls of Dunder Mifflin. Kelly Kapoor & Erin Hannon formed pop duo Subtle Sexuality during their out of office hours (read: a series of websisodes), and released to the viewing public in 2009. And it’s full of outlandish costumes and a lot of autotune and it’s wonderfully ridiculous. True story: This song used to be ringtone. If you liked this song, check out Subtle Sexuality’s second single, The Girl Next Door.

Every Minute, Every Hour from 2ge+her Again

Fictional Artists: 2ge+her

Guys, I’m not ashamed to say I was a total teenybopper when I was a teen. I totally drank the boy band kool-aid, even the fake boy band kool-aid that is 2ge+her. Like not even in an ironic way. I genuinely liked their music. And that was the brilliant part of the whole parody phenomenon – is that the songs were actually catchy. I mean, if I say U+Me = Us, I’m assuming most of you would be able to sing a little of it, because it was a memorable pop hit. Case in point: this song from the 2ge+her Again soundtrack, which incidentally was co-written by my boy Howie Dorough from the Backstreet Boys. It’s also one of the rare songs that doesn’t follow the parody formula (i.e. it’s not like Rub One Out or Say It, Don’t Spray It).

Pop! Goes My Heart from Music and Lyrics

Fictional Artists:  PoP!

What do you mean you’ve never seen this movie? For shame. It has Hugh Grant, Drew Barrymore, and Jason Street from Friday Night Lights, what more could you ask for? Probably a better plot and script, that’s what. I mean I didn’t think it was that bad of a movie, but cinephiles might disagree. Basically Hugh Grant plays a washed up former 80s pop star from a band called PoP! (which was inspired by Wham!). And his band mate is played by Scott Porter, who actually sings and dances IRL. Their hit song is Pop! Goes My Heart and this music video is awesomely 80s.

Don’t Put Dirt On My Grave Just Yet from Nashville

Fictional Artists: Juliette Barnes

TBH, I only started watching Nashville because of Connie Britton. I’ve continued watching it because the soap opera-ness of it gets you hooked. But one of the best parts of the show (thankfully) is the music. Because the show centers on country music stars in Nashville, most of the songs are original tunes that are written by the same songwriters who write for the real country music stars in Nashville. It was really hard for me to pick just one from the show, so Don’t Put Dirt… is just one of my faves. But then there’s also Boys and Buses, A Life That’s Good, He Ain’t Gonna Change, I Ain’t Leavin’ Without Your Love, and Joy Parade by a C+S favorite, Lennon and Maisy.

Let Me Be Your Star from Smash

Fictional Artists: Karen Cartwright & Ivy Lynn

Let Me Be Your Star was the big song at the end of the pilot for Smash, and I figured that if my goosebumps were any indication of how the rest of the series was going to be, the show would be a hit. Well, we all know how that went. Smash was pretty interesting for a while, and then Bollywood happened, someone got killed, etc. etc. However, there were some great original songs made for the fictional musical, including this one and another one of my favorites, Caught in the Storm.

Honorable Mentions: Say No More (Mon Amour) from Empire Records (Rex Manning Day, y’all),  California Dreams from California Dreams (I have this soundtrack, whatever), Friends Forever from Saved by the Bell (Zack Attack is forever in my heart).

TV Finales As Written By The How I Met Your Mother Writers

What a finale! During the last episode of How I Met Your Mother, we learned that Ted met The Mother at the train station after the wedding and stayed in New York, that Robin and Barney got divorced, that The Mother died of a nameless, convenient disease, that if you’re a career-focused lady your marriage will probably end but maybe in a decade your friend’s wife will die and he’ll hit you up, and that the writers must have liked Lily and Marshall the best. We also learned that the past nine years have been — in many Twitter users’ opinions anyway —  either a waste of time or a lie. Neither of us 100% hated the finale, but we sure didn’t love it, either.

The plus is, we now have a sitcom finale format that we can use to ruin the ending of any TV show that you ever came to love! Take a look:

Full House

Wait, we already knew the mother was dead the whole time, right?  It seemed like Danny would never find love – until Jesse and Rebecca get divorced. Then Danny gets with Becky, which is convenient because he was already keeping her and her children in his attic.

The purpose of the whole series was for Bob Saget to explain to his daughters why their cousins were becoming their step-siblings.

All of this is able to happen because Danny’s real love (Uncle Joey, natch) dies. Danny can finally go for Becky once that puppeteering, Popeye-impersonating cock-block is out of the way thanks to … I don’t know, cancer or something? Consumption? Some sort of vague, beautiful illness. It doesn’t matter.

I Love Lucy

Fred and Ethel get divorced. Ricky dies. Lucy confesses that she loved Fred all along. And the whole series was just a traumatizing story-session in which Lucy fishes for dating advice from Little Ricky.

Also Ricky Ricardo was really from Milwaukee. Because everything you thought was true was a lie.

Friends

The thing we were waiting for for years finally happened – Ross and Rachel got back together and tied the knot! Then, quicker than you can say “four divorces,” the marriage ended. Rachel didn’t hang out much anymore. Then Monica died. And Chandler married Rachel, which makes Emma and the twins some sort of cousin-siblings. And the whole series was just a way to explain to the twins why daddy’s trying to get with Auntie Rachel.

Joey gives his last “how YOU doin’.” To an accident-baby.

M.A.S.H.

How could you possibly improve on arguably the best TV finale of all time? Easy, using the HIMYM Series-Ruining Format. The good news is that the events that viewers spent years waiting for finally happened.  Klinger and Soon-Lee get married. And divorced. But it’s cool, she hooks up with Father Mulcahy. The war ends! Hawkeye boards a helicopter, and looks fondly down at  the goodbye message that B.J. wrote in the camp.

Then the helicopter crashes. Onto Sophie the Horse.  Because if you wait seasons and seasons for something to happen, the writers just might give it to you – but true to the HIMYM Series-Ruining Format, you can be sure that they’ll take it away by the end of the episode.

Seinfeld

Make the Seinfeld finale worse? Sure! The HIMYM writers are up to the challenge. When the gang’s plane makes a crash-landing, they see a man getting carjacked and fail to help him. Under the jurisdiction’s Good Samaritan Law, they are put on trial, and all of their old acquaintances come back as character references. Elaine gets reluctant about hanging out with her friends – maybe because she’s in a separate facility, maybe because bitches be crazy and have too many feelings to maintain friendships –  which makes things real weird between everyone. Then, she and Jerry get together and get married by a justice of the peace in the local jail! But they get divorced real quick. They are all found guilty.

And sentenced to death.

Roseanne

Everyone remembers the real Roseanne finale, right? We learned that Dan actually died of a heart attack at Darlene’s wedding. His survival – and everything that happened afterward, including winning the lottery – was a story created in Roseanne’s imagination to cope with the immeasurable sorrow that filled her days.

Actually, this one can stay just how it is.

St. Elsewhere

NEVER SHAKE A DOCTOR. NEVER.

The audience learns that the whole show took place in the imagination of a little boy who has autism, who gazes at a snow-globe containing the titular hospital. The boy drops the snow-globe as he – the kid you hadn’t even met until this episode but who was the key to the entire show – dies. You see the main characters, in miniature, all fall out of the tiny snow-globe hospital. Maybe some of them die too. Were any of them married? Cool. They divorce.

The Office

Remember the wedding between Dwight and Angela? Well, they hadn’t finished paying it off before they got divorced. Jim dies. Pam marries Dwight. I guess Kelly and Ryan can be the Lily and Marshall of this operation, and nothing bad really happens to them. Toby fathers some sort of baby.

Newhart

Dick and Joanna split up. Joanna takes up with George Utley.

THEN, Dick wakes up and we find out that the whole thing was a dream. His name is Bob, he does NOT live in Vermont, and he did NOT divorce Joanna. Really dodged a bullet there! We meet the woman that he actually married. She is wonderful.

She dies.

In the last frame, Bob has taken a train to Vermont in order to track down the woman of his (literal) dreams – Prudence Goddard.

 

Lost

The whole time, you thought you might have been in purgatory.

Actually, you were in hell.