Chuck

the years: 2007-2012
the seasons: 5
the episodes: 91

the creators: Josh Schwartz & Chris Fedak
the top directors: Robert Duncan McNeill (21 episodes) & Allan Kroeker (8 eps.)
the top writers: Zev Borow (42 episodes), Matthew Lau (23 episodes) & Chris Fedak (16 eps.)

the cast:

  • Zachary Levi as Chuck Bartowski
  • Yvonne Strahovski as Sarah Walker
  • Adam Baldwin as John Casey
  • Joshua Gomez as Morgan Grimes
  • Sarah Lancaster as Ellie Bartowski
  • Ryan McPartlin as Devon Woodcomb

 

A few words of warning before this list gets underway. First, *SPOILERS* and TONS of them! Most of them will be in the videos, but a few are in my words, so careful! Second, I loved this show, almost everything about it, which means I’m going to be fangirling a lot, and I mean a lot… pretty much exclusively about Chuck and Sarah’s relationship (I’m emotionally invested). Other than those two things…

Enjoy!

 

 

The Top 15 Songs:

15. “Ice Cream” — New Young Pony Club

the episode: “Chuck Versus the Zoom” (S.5, Ep.1)
the album: New Young Pony Club
the year: 2007

This was a great “welcome back” moment the writers and producers made happen in the first episode of season five. NYPC’s “Ice Cream” is a bit out there and seemed to fit perfectly with the scene. The mixture of sex appeal, hilarity, and music is all here forever stamping its legacy in my mind. I can proudly say this is the first of many Chuck songs on my iPhone.


 

14. “Furr” — Blitzen Trapper

the episode: “Chuck Versus the DeLorean” (S.2, Ep.10)
the album: Furr
the year: 2008

For some reason “Furr” fits the personality of Sarah’s dad perfectly. A rather sad scene as we know Sarah is saying goodbye to her father, but in a way it is the only way he can truly see what she contributes to the world. Blitzen Trapper’s melody is slow and earthy, calm and steady, the quintessential way to end a Chuck episode.


 

13. “Skinny Love” — Bon Iver

the episode: “Chuck Versus the Break-Up” (S.2, Ep.3)
the album: For Emma, Forever Ago
the year: 2007

Through my fruitful career of watching Chuck I became mystified of the dense song library the show runners were able to generate. “Skinny Love” was around the first time I realized the show’s contemporary nature on a pop-culture level, which I guarantee would not have worked if there was major inconsistencies. Bon Iver was fortunate enough to mark an important moment both in and out of the show.


 

12. “Don’t Give Up On Us Now” — MENEW

the episode: “Chuck Versus the Subway” (S.3, Ep.18)
the album: Wide Awake Hello
the year: 2012

Like most of the artists on this list, I’d never heard of MENEW before Chuck. Truth be told I still don’t know too much about them, but I sure do like this song of theirs. Here, “Don’t Give Up On Us Now” is used at the end of the episode in a hopeful manner, attempting to inspire the audience after a major let down (see #11) and get them ready for a roller-coaster season finale.


 

11. “One October Song” — Nico Stai

the episode: “Chuck Versus the Subway” (S.3, Ep.18)
the album: PARK los ANGELES
the year: 2006

Nico Stai yelling “Oh no!” is a beautiful thing. The Chuck series struck gold when they stumbled upon Mr. Stai and his voice. You could put his songs behind any emotional scene and probably get away with it, but all involved got it right when they matched “One October Song” to the death of Chuck’s father. A sad moment and the loss of a fan-favorite character sure, but this song’s pretty great!


 

10. “I’m A Pilot” — Fanfarlo

the episode: “Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger” (S.4, Ep.24)
the album: Reservoir
the year: 2009

Even if Chuck was picked up for a fifth season only three days before this episode aired, did anybody really think Sarah was going to die? Actually, the thought’s not all that crazy considering what they end up doing to her in season five. Anyways… this song plays over some rather large events (i.e. Chuck returns with the antidote/Chuck quits the spy business/Chuck saves Sarah), plus the song’s uplifting.


 

9. “Signs” — Bloc Party

the episode: “Chuck Versus the Lethal Weapon” (S.2, Ep.16)
the album: Intimacy
the year: 2008

I overlooked this song at first, which is odd considering the scene’s importance combined with how much I like the song. Chuck lays everything out in the open, his feeling for Sarah and his intentions. “Signs” adds to the emotional weight of the already hefty scene, generating much applause from all my standing emotions. I’ve got to say, Strahovski is an absolute delight in those silent moments. I live for the looks she makes that Chuck never sees.


 

8. “Bye Bye Bye” — Plants and Animals

the episode: “Chuck Versus the Other Guy” (S.3, Ep.13)
the album: Parc Avenue
the year: 2008

The use of “Bye Bye Bye” marked a turning point in the entire series, and no surprise, it has to do with Chuck and Sarah’s relationship. What had been an up and down roller-coaster ride comes to a halt with the two finally sealing the deal. For most of the songs on this list separating them from their scene is no problem – I can enjoy the music without any thoughts of spies or Strahovski – but in the case of this Plants and Animals tune it’s a package deal. Though it is a nice walk down memory lane every time it comes on in the shuffle.


 

7. “Miss Friday” — Nico Stai

the episode: “Chuck Versus Phase Three” (S.4, Ep.9)
the album: Dead Pony
the year: 2008

“More Nico Stai,” you say? Gladly. This time Stai’s music tones to a different actor doing some teary acting. “Miss Friday” plays as Sarah frantically tries to bring Chuck’s unconscious mind back to reality. The lyrics, “you gotta wake wake up get out o’ your head” cleverly take on literal meaning here, though further analyzing will only leave you disappointed. This scene is a rare commodity in that it specifically illustrates Sarah’s true feelings for Chuck.


 

6. “Fake Empire” — The National

the episode: “Chuck Versus the Break-Up” (S.2, Ep.3)
the album: Boxer
the year: 2007

Ever since the end of Warrior The National’s “About Today” has played in my head on constant repeat. The National excels at getting inside the minds of their listeners, sometimes depressing, most of the time making them think about sad things. Not always the case for this indie rock band, but I’m usually on board regardless. The scene holds a semi-important rating, but the song does it for me.


 

5. “Creature Fear” — Bon Iver

the episode: “Chuck Versus the Colonel” (S.2, Ep.21)
the album: For Emma, Forever Ago
the year: 2007

Bon Iver again. Though the song’s quite enchanting, this one’s more about the moment. A moment we all waited two seasons to come (by the way, season two is always when the relationships happen), Chuck and Sarah’s first mutually conscious and personal kiss… in a classless motel room. Still counts though. However, the moment like the song is short-lived as Chuck tries to catalyze things and Morgan somehow ends up ruining it.


 

4. “Christmas TV” — Slow Club

the episode: “Chuck Versus the Ring” (S.2, Ep.22)
the album: Christmas, Thanks For Nothing
the year: 2009

Even though Slow Club plays into the whole Him & Her indie band stereotype with pristine fashion, I’m still a fan. The song’s touching, the scene’s touching, the combination is handsy (but in that really rare good way). I don’t know how “Christmas TV” works with a wedding, but luckily ignorance is a hobby of mine. I love when this song gets to its “Just come on home” riff, both singers play back at one another mirrors the heavy eye contact the characters in the scene are giving.


 

3. “Feeling Good” — Nina Simone

the episode: “Chuck Versus the Honeymooners” (S.3, Ep.14)
the album: I Put A Spell On You
the year: 1965

Sure this song represents the new loving journey Chuck and Sarah will go down, and sure it may represent the commitment they hold for one another, but really I just love the song. Nina Simone is a goddess, a talented angelic goddess. “Feeling Good” may be the base of the iceberg, but I would strongly recommend everything to the tip.


 

2. “Rivers and Roads” — The Head and the Heart

the episode: “Chuck Versus the Goodbye” (S.5, Ep.13)
the album: The Head and The Heart
the year: 2011

Thanks to Chuck I’ve found a go to favorite song for the moment. Picked as the final song of the series finale, The Head and The Heart should consider it at the very least a small honor. “Rivers and Roads” is my mellow slapp in the car for most, if not all occasions. Listen to it outside the scene (the best part’s cut out). You’d think with my affection for this song and the scene’s utmost importance “Rivers and Roads” would be #1 on this list, but I’m still up in the air on how they ended my beloved show.


 

1. Kettering” — The Antlers

the episode: “Chuck Versus the Other Guy” (S.3, Ep.13)
the album: Hospice
the year: 2009

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