When a series has a main character that loves pop songs as much as she loves stage musicals, it’s no surprise that there are a lot of memorable musical scenes. When that show is New Girl, it’s even less surprising. Jessica Day loves to create a soundtrack to her own life, teach her students through song, and even cheer up her friends with a well-placed sentence set to music.
The team behind New Girl picked a lot of great music to be used in the background to really punch up a scene. These “musical scenes” aren’t of that variety, but instead, times when the characters of the show, like Jess, brought their own music to the table. Jess, after all, isn’t the only character to burst into song once in a while. Her tendency to use music to punctuate a moment rubs off on a lot of her roommates in 4D, and these are some of their best scenes.
10 Robby And Jess Cover Toto
Robby, despite asserting that he doesn’t “like music” in his first appearance in the show, proves himself to be a very accomplished musician by season six. He and Jess even team up to sing “Africa” around the campfire during one of the outings for their singles group.
Toto has a more extensive catalog, but Jess and Robby really have fun during their impromptu performance. It’s enough to make the audience wish they’d been able to see the two on their karaoke night date.
9 Jess Puts Schmidt To Sleep
Most of the time in New Girl, musical scenes are celebratory or festive, but this one is not. Jess literally puts Schmidt to sleep with her vocal work.
When Jess tries to help Schmidt and Cece with their wedding planning, it starts to stress her out. Schmidt even has her wearing a mounted camera on a helmet to communicate with him. In order to get Schmidt off her back, she focuses the camera on a decorative water fountain that’s meant to be soothing and sings Christina Aguilera’s “Genie In A Bottle.” It puts him right to sleep and gives her some peace.
8 Jess Is Elvis
In season two, just as Jess and Nick are trying to figure out if they’re friends or something more, Nick is dealt a blow. His father dies of a heart attack, leading the roommates to head to Chicago to help with the funeral arrangements.
When Nick freaks out just before the service, he ends up drunk at the venue with a man he picked up from the bar to be an Elvis impersonator. Jess, who knows Nick’s mother is set on an “Elvis themed” funeral, dons the Elvis costume herself, and leads the mourners in song. It’s a scene that shows the audience just how important Jess and Nick are to one another.
7 Schmidt’s Indian Dance Number
Schmidt might not burst into song for this scene, but Max Greenfield (and even Jake Johnson) does a great job. While getting ready to spend the rest of his life with Cece, he and Jess plan a perfectly choreographed dance number meant to remind Cece’s mother of her Bollywood days and demonstrate his love.
Though Schmidt might do a lot of bad things during the run of the show, he genuinely loves Cece and wants to embrace her culture, trying to bring elements of both of their backgrounds to their wedding. His dance is a great example of that.
6 Robby Gets Jess A Choir
Though Robby’s relationship doesn’t work out with Cece in season two or Jess in season six, he does have some great moments as a supporting player in the show’s ensemble. That’s especially true when his character is more fleshed out during his relationship with Jess. While Robby doesn’t sing in this particular episode, he does get Jess some much needed holiday cheer in the form of one of her favorite Christmas songs.
When Jess accidentally leaves herself out of a secret Santa gift exchange, her friends and Robby decide to make sure she isn’t forgotten. Reagan gives Jess fake snow, Nick brings her hot cocoa in the middle of the night, and Robby brings her Darlene Love singing with a backing choir. It’s one of the sweetest gestures from the group.
5 Jess And Bearclaw Create A Musical
When Jess and Cece have a little too much excitement during a night out, they end up staying the night at Bearclaw’s house. While Jess doesn’t have a one-night stand, she does end up staying up, completely inebriated, and crafting a musical with Bearclaw. Back at the loft, she and Bearclaw (with Genzlinger and May) even perform it for the group.
Given that this includes Zooey Deschanel and Josh Gad making up a musical about woodland creatures, the audience might have that it would be Broadway caliber stuff. Broadway, it is not, but entertaining, it definitely is.
4 The Guys Believe Jess Can Fly
This isn’t one of the most technically perfect musical scenes in the show. It’s not even a full song. It does, however, show us something about the guys of 4D – they were bursting into song long before Jess came into their lives.
After Nick encourages Jess to have a night out drinking with some teachers who don’t like her in the third season, she’s very hungover and running late for school. Nick asks the guys to do what they did for him when he almost missed a flight home. The trio then burst into the chorus of “I Believe I Can Fly,” complete with plenty of clapping and vocal runs. It’s cheesy and disarming, but it’s also pretty endearing.
3 The Worst Rendition Of “O Come, All Ye Faithful”
Considering the sheer number of holiday episodes of New Girl, it’s a little surprising there aren’t more holiday-themed songs performed. This one isn’t exactly well-executed, but it’s got great intentions.
When the group decides to hit as many holiday parties as possible in “Santa,” there is relationship drama for everyone. Dr. Sam makes an appearance, intent on getting back together with Jess. At first, she runs from him, afraid because of how she was hurt in the past, but eventually, she comes around. Her friends go with her to his hospital. When the group gets in trouble with security, they break out into the worst version of the classic carol “O Come, All Ye Faithful” in an effort to pretend to be carolers. It’s truly awful as they all sing at different tempos and no one knows all the words, but it makes the kids clap and gets Dr. Sam’s attention, so it’s a winner.
2 Jess Sings With Prince
During the third season of New Girl, fans are in for a treat. Not only does the season feature the bulk of the roller coaster that is Nick and Jess’ relationship, but it also features the biggest cameo the show has. Landing the time slot after the Superbowl, New Girl brings Prince in for the most-watched episode of the series.
The bulk of the episode takes place at a party thrown by Prince that Cece and Jess managed to get themselves invited to. While there’s a lot of hijinks, and a love confession from both Nick and Jess, the episode ends with Prince inviting Jess up on stage at his own party to sing with him. That’s probably the craziest musical moment Jess has ever experienced in her life.
1 Coach, Nick, & Schmidt Have The Time Of Their Lives
When Jess first moves into the loft in the pilot episode of the series, things are rough. She’s had a horrible breakup, and her way of coping is watching Dirty Dancing on repeat. That means her roommates listen to it on repeat until they convince her to get back out into the dating world.
Unfortunately for Jess, the guy she exchanges numbers with plans to stand her up, as Nick, Schmidt, and Coach discover while waiting in line for a party. Nick realizes they can’t leave Jess hanging, so he leaves, with his roommates soon following. Nick leads the guys to serenade Jess with Dirty Dancing’s signature song in a hilarious manner in the restaurant that cements that she’s really one of them.
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