Movies And TV Shows That Paired The Music To The Moment With Perfection

Ashley Hunte
Various electronics and equipment for music making.
Unsplash | James Stamler

There are some scenes from movies and TV shows that just stick with you weeks, months, and even years after you first see them. Usually, it's because everything about that scene is just perfect, including the song choice that goes along with it.

The songs paired with these movie and TV moments are some of the best out there. Why? Because they're simply perfect!

Spoiler alert for everything mentioned!

The opening scene of Crazy Rich Asians (2018).

This movie opens up with a scene that perfectly captures the tone of what's to come, and is just made better by that cover of Money (That's What I Want) by Barrett Strong.

Promising Young Woman (2020) - "Toxic Scene."

An instrumental cover that somehow captures everything that's happened, as well as what's to come. Then again, a haunting rendition of an iconic pop song literally can't go wrong.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014) - Hanging Tree.

Unlike most of the entries in this list, this song was actually made for the movie. And it works so perfectly with the tones and themes of the scene where it's sung, and the movie as a whole.

The Umbrella Academy - "Run Boy Run" (Woodkid).

The song that plays in the scene where Five accidentally jumps himself into the future and can't get himself back is incredibly fitting. Don't you just love it when the lyrics match a scene?

Black Widow (2021) - Opening credits scene.

I guess one really good way to set the tone for a movie is to use a haunting cover of a popular song (that also happens to fit the mood). Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is no exception.

Gossip Girl - Thanksgiving dinner scene.

Gossip Girl has had plenty of trendy pop songs in it throughout its run, but nothing tops when Jason Derulo's "Whatcha Say" played during the Thanksgiving dinner scene. The truth really did come out...

Iron Man (2008) - "I am Iron Man."

In an era where we'd gotten used to super heroes keeping their identities a secret on screen, watching Tony Stark confidently stand in front of a press conference and say "I am Iron Man" was just cool.

Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" was literally the only song that could play at that moment, even if the song and the character aren't actually related.

Thor: Ragnarok (2017) - Opening scene.

Watching Thor kick Surtur's butt to Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" is probably the best way to open a super hero movie. It really pumps you up for the rest of what's to come.

Thor: Ragnarok (2017) - Final battle scene.

The song was so nice, they literally used it twice. I can't tell which time "Immigrant Song" plays is better between the beginning and end of the movie. They both fill you with the same sort of feeling, you know?

Breaking Bad - Final scene.

"Baby Blue" by Badfinger is pretty much the only song that could close out such a phenomenal show. I mean, the lyrics work on so many different levels. The show has plenty of examples of perfect song/scene pairings, but this is probably the best of the best.

Shaun of the Dead (2004) - "Don't Stop Me Now."

I'm not gonna lie, I don't remember most of this movie. I do, though, remember this scene with a lot of fondness. The fact that the classic Queen song is playing on a jukebox in the bar, the way all the movements match the beat. So cool.

Donnie Darko (2001) - Opening.

Though it might not be the most memorable Tears For Fears song to come out of this movie (not when that "Mad World" cover by Gary Jules exists), this scene set to "Head Over Heels" is still super solid.

Matilda (1996) - Making breakfast scene.

There's something really hopeful and magical about "Send Me On My Way" by Rusted Root playing in the background here. In fact, any time I hear this song, I just think about Matilda. And that's got to count for something, right?

Shrek (2001) - "Hallelujah."

Shrek has one of the most memorable soundtracks of the early 2000s ("All Star," anyone?). But the wistful scene where the film's trio goes their separate way, set to John Cale's cover of "Hallelujah," just hits you right in the feels.

Fun fact: while the movie uses John Cale's cover, the soundtrack version of the song is performed by Rufus Wainwright.

Shrek 2 (2004) - "Holding Out for a Hero."

Like its predecessor, Shrek 2 really knows how to pick music that fits the scene. In this case, the Bonnie Tyler classic (performed in-universe by Jennifer Saunders's Fairy Godmother character) literally belongs here.

Loki - Deviant versus the Minute Men.

I guess Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out for a Hero" is one of those pop hits that work in pretty much any situation. Even during a scene where one of the evil Lokis takes out a group of Minute Men.

Stranger Things 4 - "Running Up That Hill."

I think at this point, it's safe to say that this show (and this scene in particular) has completely revived the public's interest in Kate Bush's music. The way the song fits with Max's feelings and the tone of the scene feels like a true chef's kiss moment.

Euphoria - "I'm Tired."

Labyrinth did such a good job with the music for Euphoria. The scene where Rue envisions seeing her deceased father, set to "I'm Tired," is probably one of the most emotionally impactful moments this show has to offer.

Napoleon Dynamite (2004) - "The Promise."

Napoleon Dynamite is one of those movies that you can't really describe. You just have to go watch it yourself. And maybe then, you'll appreciate how well When in Rome's "The Promise" goes with this ending scene.

A Knight's Tale (2001) - Opening.

Take The Canterbury Tales and add modern music to it and you've got A Knight's Tale. Watching people cheer as Queen's "We Will Rock You" plays is really weird, and yet fits so well.