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10 Awkward Karaoke Scenes in Movies

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Karaoke is a two-way street. Though it may seem like the most mortifying experience to stumble through a rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” it’s equally painful to be in the audience for. This week Portlandia will tackling this ancient art in a karaoke-themed episode, and we can only hope Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein don’t fall victim to the slew of awkward musical moments that we’ve seen a number of times over.

There’s a small sect of actors and actresses who have succumbed to the awkward karaoke scene on the big screen. It’s pretty much an art in itself: how do you (a) sing poorly enough and (b) make enough triumphant fist pumps to make everyone watching as uncomfortable as possible? Perhaps we can learn a thing our two from these awkward karaoke movie moments.

10. House Bunny, “Like A Virgin”

Even without the evil, blonde sorority pranking these easy targets, the ladies of Zeta Alpha Zeta are hopeless when it comes to being cool and singing a decent karaoke jam worth a damn. “Like a Virgin” is already a bold choice, but these ladies just couldn’t cut it either way. Sashay away, Emma Stone.


9. How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, “You’re So Vain”

There’s nothing worse than losing your cool on stage during a high-end dinner event. Oh wait! Yes, there is. That would be doing so while you’re dressed to the nines in a slim gown and screaming a Carly Simon classic through champagne-soaked vocal chords. Oh yeah, and your boss and your fake boyfriend’s boss are witnessing the whole thing.


8. The Cable Guy, “Somebody To Love”

Jim Carrey’s famous karaoke scene in The Cable Guy is both one of the most riveting and awkward examples of karaoke on the big screen. On the one hand, Carrey is spectacular as he throws his limbs and body all over the floor to entertain his guests, and kudos to his commitment to the bit! But that didn’t stop some of us from giggling awkwardly as he started flailing and flaunting his vocal shakes like the love child of Grace Slick and Peabo Bryson.


7. I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, “I Will Survive”

“Everyone’s a goddamn singer.” Nancy, you couldn’t be more right, but you’re probably saying that because Jennifer Love Hewitt’s karaoke rendition totally sounds like it was doctored. But you can’t have an awkward karaoke moment without all of the bad acting that comes from the performer’s friends.


6. Only God Forgives, “You’re My Dream”

There are many aspects of the final karaoke scene in Only God Forgives that are unnerving. The stoic audience watching in silence, the variation of a creepy jack in the box melody, and…oh yeah, the fact that we just saw a battered Ryan Gosling lose his hands by the blade of a samurai sword.

5. Lost In Translation, “More Than This”

Scarlett Johansson knows how to work a stage, and her pink wig only works in her favor during her sassy rendition of “Brass in Pocket.” We just wish Bill Murray brought at least some pep to his step when he was passed the mic. Granted, Bill’s flat performance is perfectly in keeping with character’s state of mind. As a karaoke moment, it was awkward as hell.


4. Boys Don’t Cry, “The Bluest Eyes In Texas”

This right here is supposed to be a romantic interaction between Chloe Sevigny’s Lana and Hilary Swank’s Brandon, but all we hear are the gravely tones of these lost karaoke souls. These ladies need Whoopi to come in and transform these soft-mannered nuns into showboating Vegas headliners.


3. When Harry Met Sally, “Surrey with the Fringe on Top”

You gotta give it up for Harry and Sally for putting on a show in the middle of an electronics store, but we wouldn’t want to be a fly on the wall during this moment. We don’t blame Meg Ryan for latching onto the lyrics for dear life, especially since she wasn’t the one who picked the song. Hopefully she remembered this for the future.


2. My Best Friends Wedding, “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself”

Cameron Diaz taught Julia Roberts and Dermot Mulroney a valuable lesson about karaoke etiquette: if someone doesn’t want to get up in front of an entire bar and belt a tune, there might be reason for that. Not everyone can be the radiant star of the stage. If you try and force them, you come out with a trainwreck from which you simply cannot tear your eyes away, no matter how badly you wish you could avoid witnessing the destruction.


1. 40-Year-Old Virgin, “The First Time”

In a deleted scene from The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Steve Carell gets up on stage to sing his karaoke jam…which is from the Broadway musical Zorba the Greek. Here’s the thing about singing Broadway during karaoke — don’t do it! Unless you have the sparkling pipes of Adele Dazeem.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…