Top 10 Best songs Featured in Series Finales
Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best Songs Featured in Series Finales.
For this list, we’ll be looking at series finales and the most memorable and fitting songs from those episodes. And a quick warning here. Since the episodes discussed are all series finales, there will be spoilers.
Which finale song will you always remember? Tell us in the comments.
#10: “Heaven” by The Walkmen
“How I Met Your Mother” (2005-14)
While the love story that brought Ted Mosby together with the eventual mother of his children was epic, his relationship with Robin might have been the truly great love story of the nine seasons of "How I Met Your Mother". The writers seem to be hinting at that as well, as they sent the show off with a song and one last grand, happy-cry worthy Ted romantic gesture. As he rushes to Robin's apartment, eventually standing on the street with the blue French horn, "Heaven" by The Walkmen plays. It’s a song whose lyrics seem to speak to what he and Robin had and still have: “Our children will always hear/Romantic tales of distant years...Stick with me, oh you're my best friend” - and despite what fans may have thought, there’s no denying this song works for this conclusion.
#9: “With or Without You” by U2
“The Americans” (2013-18)
Set in the 1980s, “The Americans” tells the story of Elizabeth and Philip Jennings. To the outside world, they’re a typical American family, with two kids, a suburban home, and their own travel agency. But they’re actually Russian spies embedded in America. The show used period music throughout its run, so the use of U2’s “With or Without You” in the series finale wasn’t out of the ordinary. However, in this case, the song spoke to more than just an era. The lyrics of the iconic 80s track also got to the heart of the scene as Elizabeth and Philip left their son behind on their journey back to Russia. And then watched as their daughter got off the train to stay behind as well.
#8: “You Got the Love (Now Voyager Mix)” by The Source feat. Candi Staton
“Sex and the City” (1998-2004)
After years of searching, and all the ups and down, it looked like each of the women on “Sex and the City” had found the love they needed. With the men in their lives, themselves, and maybe most importantly, each other. After all they’d been through, the one thing that they always had was their friendship. Making “You Got the Love” a fitting send off to the next chapter in their lives. Especially as they walk out of the restaurant together as the lyrics “you've got the love I need to see me through” echo over the scene.
#7: “End of the Line” by Traveling Wilburys
“Parks and Recreation” (2009-15)
The final season of “Parks and Recreation” aired in 2015, but jumped ahead a couple years, taking place in 2017. And in the final episode of the series, we jump ahead even further getting glimpses of characters in 2022, 2025, 2035, and 2048. But in the final scene of the final show, we come back to 2017 as the gang fix a swing and take a group photo. And as we get to the end of the line for the show and for the characters in this chapter of their lives, “End of the Line” by the Traveling Wilburys takes us out. A catchy song and a fitting sentiment.
#6: “All the Faces” by Creed Bratton
“The Office” (2005-13)
The finale episode of “The Office” ends with the gang sitting around the Dunder Mifflin office all together one last time. The scene has a very ‘around the campfire’ vibe to it, with couples hugging and someone playing the guitar. That someone being Creed, who plays an original song he wrote called “All the Faces.” Or maybe it was written by William Charles Schneider. Either way, it’s a great acoustic song that plays perfectly with the reminiscing, flashbacks and all of the happy crying going on (cast and audience alike).
#5: “I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony)” from “Hilltop” TV Ad
“Mad Men” (2007-15)
It’s only fitting that a show centered on the world of a Madison Avenue advertising agency from 1960 to 1970 would end with one of the most iconic commercial songs of all time. The series finale finds our hero, Don Draper, at a spiritual retreat, meditating and working through his issues. He eventually confesses to all his sins, and as the episode ends, Draper sits in meditation. And with a new, clear-headed mindfulness, we see a smile appear on his face as inspiration strikes, leading into the famous “Buy the World a Coke” commercial from 1971.
#4: “Life Is a Song” by Patrick Park
“The O.C.” (2003-07)
As many shows do, “The O.C.” ended with a montage of moments showing us what happened to the main characters going forward. College, a wedding, careers, it’s all there. But finding a song to perfectly encapsulate it all isn’t always easy. However, whoever was in charge of selecting the song that would send off Seth, Sandy, Ryan, Kirsten, and Summer did a great job. “Life is a Song” by Patrick Park speaks to life and moving forward. And as we fade to black, the thoughtful lyrics “Always forget how strange it is just to be alive at all” ring true in our ears.
#3: "Breathe Me" by Sia
“Six Feet Under” (2001-05)
While many shows end by giving us a look at where the characters end up a few years in the future, “Six Feet Under” takes this idea to its inevitable conclusion. Every episode of “Six Feet Under began with a death. And so, to close out the story of the Fisher family, as Claire heads off to begin her life in a new city, we flash forward - witnessing key moments and the deaths of each of the main characters. Rolling Stone magazine called “Breathe Me” by Sia “delicate and haunting.” It’s an apt description and was exactly the tone needed for this final, unforgettable montage.
#2: “Don't Stop Believin'” by Journey
“The Sopranos” (1999-2007)
Journey’s “Don't Stop Believin'” was a top 10 hit back in 1981, but in 2007, the song saw a huge uptick in popularity and digital downloads. What happened to reinvigorate the song with the public over 25 years after its initial release? Two words… “The Sopranos”. It was on June 10th, 2007 that the show about a New Jersey mafia boss aired its final episode, which includes one of the most talked about and controversial endings in the history of television. As Tony Soprano waits for his family to show up for dinner, he drops in some change and selects “Don't Stop Believin'” from the jukebox at the table. The song plays as people arrive. And then, as his daughter walks in…
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
"Ripple" by Grateful Dead, “Freaks and Geeks” (1999-2000)
This Tune Ends the Show as Lindsay Sneaks off to Go to Grateful Dead Concerts
“I've Got Dreams to Remember” by Otis Redding, “The Leftovers” (2014-17)
A Dance to Remember
“If I Go, I'm Goin” by Gregory Alan Isakov, “The Haunting of Hill House” (2018)
This Beautiful Song Is the Backdrop to the Fear, the Love, & the Family
“Way Down in the Hole” by The Blind Boys of Alabama, “The Wire” (2002-08)
The Version from Season One Plays Over the Series’ Ending Montage
#1: "Baby Blue" by Badfinger
“Breaking Bad” (2008-13)
“Baby Blue” is a love song written by the lead singer of Badfinger for a woman he met, and dated, during one of their tours of the United States. It might seem like an odd fit to have a love song be the final sounds of a television series about a high school teacher turned meth kingpin. But, as Thomas Golubić, the music supervisor on “Breaking Bad”, told Rolling Stone, “This is a love-affair story of Walt and his love of science.” Although, when show creator Vince Gilligan first picked the track to end the series, even Golubić wasn’t convinced. They tried pitching other “blue” songs (a reference to Walter White’s blue meth) but Gilligan stuck to his guns and, of course, he was right.