Top 10 Annoyingly Catchy Broadway Songs
VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton
WRITTEN BY: Taryn Crankshaw
These Broadway songs are so catchy that they're kind of annoying. For this list, we'll be looking at the most memorable showtunes that we just can't get out of our heads, no matter how hard we try. Our countdown includes "Avenue Q," "Rent," "Annie," and more!
Top 10 Annoyingly Catchy Broadway Songs
Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Annoyingly Catchy Broadway Songs.
For this list, we’ll be looking at the most memorable showtunes that we just can’t get out of our heads, no matter how hard we try.
Which Broadway song do you accidentally find yourself humming? Let us know in the comments!
#10: “My New Philosophy”
“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” (1999)
Although the musical "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown" first debuted in the late ‘60s, this catchy little number didn't appear until the show was revived in 1999. Popularized further by Kristin Chenoweth after her Tony performance, "My New Philosophy" will stick in your head like tape to paper. During the tune, “Peanuts” character Sally goes on and on about her perspectives on life after a bad grade pushes her to her breaking point. While it's a musical comedy staple, it can be overdone and overplayed in the wrong hands. However, Chenoweth won her first Tony Award for the role, so maybe Sally’s on to something.
#9: “Turkey Lurkey Time”
“Promises, Promises” (1968)
Time to grab a plate and pull up a seat because! From the musical "Promises, Promises," this act has a song and dance that’s sure to build up your appetite. Often mistaken for a tune about Thanksgiving, the number actually takes place during an office Christmas party. The fast-paced, high energy, and rather strange ode to the poultry dish was crafted by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Not only are the lyrics a bit of a head scratcher, but the choreography takes things up several notches. Maybe it’s the beat, or the way the words just roll off the tongue, but it’s impossible not to sing along. Word to the wise though: "Turkey Lurkey'' at your own discretion, because those moves are no joke.
#8: “I Hope I Get It”
“A Chorus Line” (1975)
Featuring the most famous kick-line in musical theater, "A Chorus Line" is a love letter to artists. In "I Hope I Get It," a group of dancers prepare for the audition of their lives. After listening to the Marvin Hamlisch composed tune just once, you’ll have a hard time getting it out of your head. And the live version lasts a while, so there’s plenty to jam along to. From the repetitive chanting to the infectious melody, it's no wonder this number has become one of Broadway's most exciting and memorable opening numbers ever.
#7: “It Sucks to Be Me”
“Avenue Q” (2003)
Let's face it. Adulthood is downright scary, and nothing depicts that better than Broadway's "Avenue Q." The comedic musical puppet show chronicles the lives of residents living in a fictional New York City neighborhood as they navigate the challenges of being grown-ups. During the first act number, "It Sucks to Me," they compare how hard their lives are. After a few verses, the song's point is made, leaving fans to think: "Okay, we get it!". Of course, it’s innocently trying to point out how everyone has problems in their lives, but that doesn't make it any less repetitive – or catchy.
#6: “La Vie Bohème”
Picture this: you're sitting down for dinner at a New York City restaurant when a group of singing bohemian artists take over the joint. This is essentially the setup for "Rent's" act-one showstopper, “La Vie Bohème.” Led by the character of Mark Cohen, the rag-tag bunch put on an impromptu performance, with nearly every cultural reference known to man. The lyrics are a mouthful and leave little room for breathing, but you'll find you're bobbing along once you memorize the words. However, for the sake of safety, maybe leave any table dancing to the professionals.
#5: “Cell Block Tango”
One of the most popular selections from "Chicago," "Cell Block Tango," is broody, dark and provocative. Performed by the "Murderesses of Cook County Jail," the song documents how and why each lady committed the deadly act that led them here. Despite its violent imagery, it’s incredibly compelling and addictive. It's hard not to hit the replay button as soon as the last line finishes. Is there anyone who can resist singing along to every masterful lyric? While we don't condone violence, we do love a good show tune that isn't afraid to get a little risqué.
“The Music Man” (1957)
A true head spinner, "Shipoopi" is notoriously one of the musical theater's most relentless tunes. From its dizzying melody to its shrill sound, the song is pretty irksome all-around. And the troubling lyrics don't help its case. The opening line features a problematic reference about women kissing on the first date, which is already an automatic red flag. Thankfully, the lyrics underwent a makeover for the 2022 Broadway revival with Sutton Foster and Hugh Jackman. But no matter how it's sung, this number still hits a nerve, and leaves us wondering what "Shipoopi" even means.
#3: “You Can't Stop the Beat”
The closing number of the smash-hit musical "Hairspray," "You Can Stop The Beat," is truly infectious. As Tracy Turnblad and her pals move and groove to the upbeat and uplifting lyrics, it's nearly impossible to resist the urge to join them. It's so catchy that it even gets Tracy's mortal enemies, the Von Tussles, to get in on the action. Of course, it's all fun and games until the song is the only thing you can think about. Still, that’s a small price to pay considering the tune can instantly boost any listener's mood.
Even if you're not a musical theater fan, chances are you know "Tomorrow" from "Annie." Since the show debuted in the late 1970s, the song has become an anthem of optimism and hope. The tune’s overly sweet energy also makes it an easy target, so it’s been parodied in everything from the film "Dave" to "Saturday Night Live." Thanks to its super catchy melody and lyrics, it's also been known to cause a severe case of earworm in listeners. You can "bet your bottom dollar" that you’ll wake up singing this one tomorrow.
#1: “Omigod You Guys”
“Legally Blonde” (2007)
Full of glee, sass and a sprinkling of joy, "Legally Blonde’s” opening number is about as catchy as they come. "Omigod You Guys" kicks off the stage adaptation of the 2000s rom-com classic, and is equal parts perfect and infectious. It features a pre-Harvard Elle Woods and her Delta Nu sorority sisters preparing for her big day with her beau, Warren. Part of the song's charm is that it's unapologetically fun and doesn't take itself too seriously. Even though it gets stuck in our heads for days on end, we can’t help but love it.