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'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend': 14 Pop Culture References You Might Have Missed In Rachel Bloom's Musical Numbers

Did you realise these were parodies?

16/01/2017 17:34

Since its debut in 2015, US sitcom ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ has won itself a loyal army of fans thank to its irreverent and fast-paced humour, strong performances from its cast and its unusual way of turning a traditional rom-com on its head.

What really sets it apart, though, is its hilarious, ridiculous and yes, occasionally even quite touching, musical numbers.

On occasion, the show’s musical offerings are blatant parodies of songs we already know and love, but even its most die-hard fans might not realise just how many scenes pay homage to existing numbers from the world of pop, musical theatre and film.

How many of these did you spot..?

  • Katy Perry - 'I Kissed A Girl' / 'Feeling Kinda Naughty'
    Vevo/The CW
    Rebecca's first encounter with Valencia features several references to Katy Perry's debut music video, even ending with her planting a smacker on Josh's girlfriend's lips.

    As you may recall, she's not impressed.

    Full song here.
  • Backstreet Boys - 'I Want It That Way' / 'A Boy Band Made Up Of Four Joshes'
    Vevo/The CW
    This fantasy sequence makes reference to several 90s boybands, with Rebecca reflecting on how she never got to watch her favourite group in concert as a kid.

    Those all-white outfits are unmistakably Backstreet Boys, though, while the lyrics are reminiscent of the band's soppier numbers. Apart from the references to being a team of mental health professionals, that is.

    Full song here.
  • Ciara - 'Love Sex Magic' / 'Sex With A Stranger'
    Vevo/The CW
    When Rebecca recruits Tinder to distract her from Josh, she tries to woo the sexy stranger with this track, which alludes to one of the steamiest music videos of the 21st century.

    We don't remember Ciara asking Justin Timberlake to "please not be a murderer", though.

    Full song here.
  • Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers / 'Settle For Me'
    The CW/MGM/Rex/Shutterstock
    Greg's plea to Rebecca to give up on Josh and date him instead was packed full of references to old Hollywood, but their "twirly" dance sequence was clearly a throwback to Fred and Ginger.

    Full song here.
  • Fifth Harmony - 'Worth It' / 'Put Yourself First'
    The CW
    We can't work out whether the fact the girls are ever-so-slightly out of time with one another is intentional shade at Fifth Harmony, but we enjoy it all the same.

    This number also references controversial photographer Terry Richardson, a lookalike of whom is seen sporting a 'Male Gaze' sweatshirt in the photo-shoot sequence.

    Full song here.
  • Shakira - 'Whenever, Wherever' / 'Group Hang'
    The CW/YouTube
    'Group Hang' deals with the "enemy of romance", after Rebecca's meal with Josh at a MexiCaliTalian restaurant is cut short by the arrival of his friends.

    While Rebecca contemplates whether the waiting staff were upset at the restaurant's "bastardisation" of their culture, it should be noted that this song parodies Shakira, who is actually Colombian, not Mexican.

    Full song here.
  • 'The Music Man' / 'Cold Showers'
    Warner Bros/The CW
    One of the most blatant parodies in 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend', 'Cold Showers' contains numerous references to 'The Music Man'.

    Just as Harold Hill tries to play on the townspeople's fears, Rebecca manages to convince the citizens of West Covina that if they don't fix their cold showers, "next thing you know your kids'll be on crack".

    Full song here.
  • 'Les Misérables' / 'Flooded With Justice'
    Universal/The CW
    But the 'Music Man' parody was just paving the way for this rousing homage to 'Les Mis', complete with triangle formations, waving flags and plenty of 'Do You Hear The People Sing'-esque harmonising.

    Full song here.
  • Disney / 'I'm The Villain In My Own Story'
    Disney/The CW
    Rebecca's haggard appearance in this number alludes to the evil queen's make-under in 'Snow White', while she also makes reference to Jasmine and Jafar from 'Aladdin'.

    Disney fans may also note the musical similarities to 'I'm The Villain In My Own Story' to 'Poor Unfortunate Souls', Ursula's villainous solo in 'The Little Mermaid'.

    Full song here.
  • 'Gypsy' / 'After Everything I've Done For You (That You Didn't Ask For)'
    The CW/BBC
    Paula's solo in the season one finale mirrors 'Rose's Turn', the closing number of 'Gypsy', right down to the bitterness in the lyrics and glittering letters behind her as she brings it home.

    Full song here.
  • Beyoncé - 'Lemonade' / 'Love Kernels'
    The CW/TIDAL
    Upping her game in the first episode of season two, Rachel Bloom parodies Beyoncé's famous visual album, 'Lemonade', with the slow-jam, 'Love Kernels'.

    Full song here.
  • Marilyn Monroe - 'Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend' / 'The Math Of Love Triangles'
    The CW/Rex/Shutterstock/20th Century Fox
    Another of the more obvious parodies, Rebecca does her best Marilyn as she contemplates the future of her love life (which, sadly, does not look to include diamonds).

    Full song here.
  • Toni Basil - 'Mickey' / 'Makey Makeover'
    The CW/YouTube
    An '80s-esque makeover needs a big 80s song, right? And what could be more quintessentially 80s than Toni Basil's cheerleading anthem, 'Mickey'?

    Full song here.
  • Bruno Mars - 'Uptown Funk' / 'Feeling Maternal'
    YouTube/The CW
    'Uptown Funk' is one of the biggest tracks of the past few years, so it was only a matter of time before Rachel Bloom put her own spin on it.

    What we weren't expecting was that the subject matter would be switched to Rebecca's maternal feelings, though, but that's the beauty of 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend'.

    Full song here.

’Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ is now streaming on Netflix in the UK.

Broadway Musicals Based On Movies
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