Stuck on Repeat: The 12 Songs That Have Invaded Every Movie and TV Show (And Need a Vacation)

From "Hallelujah" to "Eye of the Tiger," these earworms have worn out their welcome. Here's to fresher soundtracks (and maybe some peace and quiet).


Music is a powerful tool in storytelling, setting the mood, and enhancing emotions in movies and TV shows. However, sometimes certain songs become so frequent that they start to lose their impact.

You know the feeling –  a pivotal moment unfolds, and then bam! There it is, that same song you’ve heard in a dozen trailers and a hundred montages. It’s enough to make you want to unplug your ears and reach for the silence button. 

So, let’s dive into the dreaded territory of overused songs in film and television series. These are the once-beloved tracks that have been mercilessly milked to the point of curdling (think catchy cheese gone horribly wrong). 

“Riptide” by Vance Joy 

Top 13 Overused Songs In Movies and TV Shows

This breezy Aussie anthem became synonymous with carefree road trips and sun-drenched adventures. But after soundtracking countless coming-of-age films and travel commercials, “Riptide” has lost its charm. Now, it just feels like a reminder that you haven’t booked that vacation yet. 

“Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye feat. Kimbra 

Top 13 Overused Songs In Movies and TV Shows

This melancholic breakup anthem was once a powerful exploration of heartbreak. Now, it’s the soundtrack to every montage of tear-stained selfies and slamming doors.  Does every scene involving a fight need the same musical backdrop? We can only hope not. 

“Can’t Stop the Feeling!” by Justin Timberlake

Top 13 Overused Songs In Movies and TV Shows

This infectious earworm had a good run, soundtracking weddings, graduation parties, and, apparently, every single feel-good montage ever made. We get it, Justin, the world is our dance floor, but enough is enough.

This song has morphed from a happy bop to a guaranteed trigger for movie-induced eye rolls. 

“Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Top 13 Overused Songs In Movies and TV Shows

Another classic rock song that has been used in various movies and TV shows to evoke a sense of nostalgia or southern charm. However, its overuse has made it feel predictable and uninspired.

“Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen 

Top 13 Overused Songs In Movies and TV Shows

This hauntingly beautiful song has transcended genres and generations. However, its presence in film and television has become overwhelming.  From weddings to funerals to inspirational moments, “Hallelujah” is there.

The song’s power is undeniable, but its overuse dilutes its emotional impact.  Maybe it’s time to give other Cohen classics a chance to shine on the silver screen.

“A Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay 

Top 13 Overused Songs In Movies and TV Shows

This Coldplay ballad became a go-to for sentimental moments and heartfelt confessions.  The song itself is pleasant enough, but its repetitive use in film and television has dulled its impact. 

Maybe it’s time to explore a wider range of emotions in our soundtracks, or at least find a new Coldplay song to overuse. 

“Titanium” by David Guetta feat. Sia 

This song’s powerful vocals and driving beat made it a popular choice for scenes of overcoming challenges.  However, its overuse has rendered it predictable. 

The minute the opening piano chords hit, you know exactly what kind of scene you’re about to witness.  Can we find a new anthem for overcoming adversity, please?

“What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong

Top 13 Overused Songs In Movies and TV Shows

This timeless classic is a beautiful celebration of life.  However, its frequent use in feel-good montages and heartwarming endings has become predictable.  Let’s be honest, the world isn’t always wonderful, and sometimes, a scene calls for something a bit more nuanced. 

“We Are the Champions” by Queen 

Top 13 Overused Songs In Movies and TV Shows

This rock anthem is practically a guarantee at sporting events and victory celebrations. But its overuse in movies and TV shows, particularly for underdog victories, has made it predictable. Finding a new way to celebrate triumph would be a breath of fresh air. 

“I’m Shipping Up to Boston” by Dropkick Murphys

Top 13 Overused Songs In Movies and TV Shows

This energetic song has been used in numerous action movies and TV shows, often to convey a sense of excitement or intensity. However, its overuse has made it feel clichéd and predictable.

“Happy” by Pharrell Williams

Top 13 Overused Songs In Movies and TV Shows

Originally a feel-good hit, “Happy” has been overused in movies and commercials, to the point where it has lost some of its uplifting appeal.

“Let It Go” from Frozen

Top 13 Overused Songs In Movies and TV Shows

While “Let It Go” was a massive hit when it first came out, its frequent use in children’s movies and TV shows has made it feel overplayed and tired.

While these songs are undeniably great, their overuse in movies and TV shows has made them feel somewhat boring and predictable. Filmmakers and TV producers should strive to use music more creatively and avoid relying on these overused tracks to evoke emotions or set the mood.

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Wills Alexander
Welcome to my professional canvas! I'm Wills Alexander, a dedicated writer with a fervor for crafting compelling stories that captivate, inform, and inspire. I am the architect of words, an alchemist who transforms ideas into narratives that resonate. With a passion for storytelling, I embark on a journey with every piece, blending creativity with precision to deliver content that leaves a lasting impression.


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