August 10, 2022

It has been nearly 15 years since Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie brought their live comedy act to TV audiences. And although HBO’s Flight of the Conchords only ran for two seasons, it certainly gave us an expansive array of comedic gems during that time. Telling the story of a naïve musical duo from New Zealand navigating their new big city life in New York with the help of their zany manager, it has plenty of scope for laugh-out-loud moments. However, many of these come courtesy of their hilariously unique songwriting efforts. With musical numbers spawned from having hurt feelings to wanting to raise awareness of canine epilepsy, they add that extra sparkle to every episode. But with so many to choose from, how do you even begin to whittle it down? Well, we’ve given it a good go.

Here are 10 of the most standout numbers that will not only make you laugh till you hurt but will also get stuck in your head for repetitive humming sessions.

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Epileptic Dogs (Season 2, Episode 6)

With a chorus urging us to “think about the epileptic dogs,” this song is a perfect addition to an even more perfect episode. While running in the park, both guys become enamored with a woman looking for her lost dog – her lost dog with canine epilepsy that is. Dueling to win her heart, they go about trying to raise awareness and do more for the affliction. And along with Bret developing a vaccine (of which his only success comes from him having no signs of epilepsy after taking it) comes the hit anthem, “Epileptic Dogs.”

This one is chock-full of classic lines, such as “Come on and make a donation to save a shaky Dalmatian” and “Send lots of money to stop these dogs from actin’ funny.” However, their debut performance of it at a charity concert goes terribly wrong. Breaking out into a remix version featuring strobe lights, the dogs are sent into epileptic seizures. It turns out they weren’t just “dancing,” as Bret thought.

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Foux du Fafa (Season 1, Episode 8)

Don’t we all want to break out in French song after eyeing up croissants in a bakery? Well, it certainly made Bret and Jemaine want to anyway. “Foux du Fafa” is the questionable “French” song making use of all things stereotypically French. Baguette, Camembert, and even Gerard Depardieu all get a mention in this catchy number. Taking a fancy to the women that work in the bakery, Jemaine’s attempt to impress by ordering in French turns into a full-blown ‘60s style music video. We see the guys treat the ladies to a bike ride, a picnic, and a bit of dancing. While this song definitely hits comedy gold, you might also find yourself singing “Foux du Fafa” for quite some time.

Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros (Season 1, Episode 3)

It’s the rap battle we’ve been waiting for. Cue the Hiphopopotamus and Rhymenoceros (in other words, Jemaine and Bret). Nestled in the episode entitled “Mugging,” about, well, a mugging, this track features the Hiphopopotamus rapping that his “lyrics are bottomless,” only to be followed by awkward silence and a dance break. It also features the Rhymenoceros questioning why other rappers “diss” him. “Is it because I rap about reality, like me and my grandma having a cup of tea?” he wonders. So, if this rapping showdown isn’t enough to deter muggers, what is?

You Don’t Have to Be a Prostitute (Season 2, Episode 2)

After being plunged into poverty as a result of Bret’s $2.79 spending spree on a new cup, Jemaine goes to desperate measures to get them out of it. Inspired by The Police’s 1978 hit, “Roxanne,” this little number sees Bret pleading with Jemaine to say no to being “a man hoe.” But, standing on the street corner in skimpy shorts, Jemaine chimes in with “male prostitution seems to be my only option.” This song is one of several comedic takes on gender role reversal throughout the series and perfectly sums up their unique humor.

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I’m Not Crying (Season 1, Episode 1)

The pilot episode of Flight of the Conchords gave us several great numbers. Songs like “The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room” and “Robots” could have easily made the list, but “I’m Not Crying” just slightly edges past the others. Having recently been broken up with, Jemaine breaks into song to make it clear he’s not crying. Lines like, “It’s just been raining on my face” and “I’ve just been cutting onions” build to a climactic ending which sees Jemaine and Bret singing in unison as the rain pours down on them. Feeling like a homage to 10cc’s ultimate denial song, “I’m Not in Love,” this one will have you crying with laughter.

Hurt Feelings (Season 2, Episode 3)

Taking an everyday situation and turning it into an epic song is just another day at the office for Bret and Jemaine. “Hurt Feelings” is the anthem the guys belt out to show that rappers do indeed get hurt feelings. This song teaches us, in side-splittingly funny fashion, that rappers still feel the pain of their moms forgetting their birthdays or their friends not complimenting the casserole that was made for them. So, the next time you’re armed with an insult for a rapper, perhaps play this song in your before you say anything.

Business Time (Season 1, Episode 5)

Running into an ex-girlfriend that he’s still not over sends Jemaine into fantasies of settling down with her, leading him to break into the ultimate bedroom anthem, “Business Time.” After a collection of lyrics about the before “business” routine, such as brushing teeth and recycling, we see Jemaine clumsily undressing while trying to turn it all into a “sexy dance.” With Bret adding some backup vocals to the proceedings, the song only gets better. Although the business only lasts for two minutes, Jemaine points out to his unimpressed partner that “two minutes in heaven is better than one minute in heaven.”

A Kiss is Not a Contract (Season 1, Episode 8)

In an episode that sees another hilarious gender role reversal, “A Kiss is Not a Contract” is the musical offering in response to Bret feeling the pressure to go all the way with a pushy woman. With lyrics such as “A kiss is not a contract, but it’s very nice” and “Just because you’ve been exploring my mouth doesn’t mean you get to take an expedition further south,” Bret’s sweet nature is perfectly summed up in song. Although done in true Flight of the Conchords form, this is certainly one of their more topically relevant songwriting efforts. Add in the guys spinning on a bed of flowers and a whistling solo by Bret and what more could you ask for?

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Carol Brown (Season 2, Episode 5)

A highlight of the episode “Unnatural Love,” this song sees Jemaine reminisce about all his failed relationships, after his most recent one with the enemy, i.e., an Australian, turns tricky. During this number, we find out all the ways that lovers have left him. Joan broke it off over the phone, Liza got amnesia and forgot who he was, Fran turned out to be a man, and the song’s namesake, Carol Brown, simply took a bus out of town. But as well as the laugh-out-loud lyrics, this music video sees one of the best moments in the series – a choir of all his ex-girlfriends harmonizing on all his faults, leading Jemaine to retaliate with “shut up girlfriends from the past.”

Inner City Pressure (Season 1, Episode 2)

Although the musical hits in the series may not quite reach the level of all-time greatest songs, it doesn’t mean they aren’t award-worthy. “Inner City Pressure” actually earned an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics. Not bad for a song that stems from being broke, and, in turn, eating food found on the street. A parody of Pet Shop Boys’ “West End Girls,” this synth-pop song gives us some classic lyrics, like “You know you’re not in high finance, considering second-hand underpants” and “You want to sit down, but you’ve sold your chair, so you, you just stand there.” This is our first real glimpse into the fact that this band is definitely not hitting the big time any time soon.

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