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10 Best Movies & TV Shows That Feature Music From Olivia Rodrigo

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Season 3 of the High School Musical series has come to an end, and while the show will return with a fourth season, audiences must say goodbye to Olivia Rodrigo’s character, Nini (per People).

This news is bittersweet as Rodrigo has been a wonderful asset to the cast, and it will be sad to see her go. But it means she’ll have more time to focus on her music career which has blown up in the past couple of years. Any singer knows they’ve made it when popular shows and movies begin featuring their music, and such is the case for Rodrigo.


10/10 Gossip Girl – Traitor & Brutal

The 2021 revival of gossip girl centers around a new group of teens and their teachers who use social media to tear each other down. gossip girl touches upon several sensitive topics, including a sexual assault case involving a famous singer and Julien’s father. Julien asks the artist to not come forward, and Rodrigo’s “Traitor” starts to play.

The show matches elements of the song to character movements and bursts of emotion. “Traitor” was a brilliant song choice, as the lyrics and desperate melody are able to convey the brevity of the situation. The show went on to feature “Brutal” in the season 1 finale, also a great song choice for the episode.

9/10 Devil In Ohio – Good 4 U

Devil In Ohio is a horror thriller about a girl who escapes a cult and the unknowing psychiatrist who takes her in. The first episode of this book-to-film miniseries opens with Mae trying to catch a ride to escape the area and the dreadful situation she’s in. During the pilot, one car zooms past her blasting “good 4 u” by Rodrigo.

The inclusion of this song offers a strange juxtaposition to the starting opening scene. Only a couple of lines from the song can be heard, but it seems purposeful that they thing the lines they did. “Good for you. You look happy and healthy. Not me, if you ever cared to ask” could be exactly what Mae is thinking about the driver that passes her. She’s not happy or healthy, but the driver simply doesn’t care.

8/10 Do Revenge – Brutal

Do Revenge is a Netflix teen movie starring Camila Mendes and Maya Hawke. It’s full of twists, turns, and several awesome pop culture references. The beginning of this film sees Drea (Mendes) backstabbed by her friends and boyfriend when a nude video of her is leaked online. “Brutal” plays over the stage as Camila breaks down in her room.

“Brutal” is the perfect song for Do Revenge. Rodrigo’s track is all about the horrors of life and how cruel people can be to one another. While Do Revenge is a very dramatized depiction of high school and the high life, Rodrigo’s song remains relevant to the overarching theme of the movie.

7/10 One Of Us Is Lying – Brutal & Good 4 U

Based on a book series by Karen M. McManus, One Of Us Is Lying follows four teens at Bayview High and the aftermath of an unlikable peer’s death in their presence.

The fifth episode opens on Rodrigo’s “Brutal” as Addy walks through the school hallway debuting a new haircut. In the sixth episode, “good 4 u” plays at Homecoming when the Bayview 4 decides to embrace the stars from their classmates and dance like they have no care in the world. Both songs are used well in the context of their respective scenes. The teen angst present in both her music and the show meshes together well.

6/10 HSMTMTS – Various Songs

When the High School Musical spin-off series was announced, there was much apprehension from fans. Today, it’s hard to imagine the world without this show, as it’s arguably what jump-started Rodrigo’s music career.

Rodrigo plays Nini in the show. Aware of her talent, the producers asked her to compose a few original songs for her character to perform. As a result, she wrote “All I Want,” “The Rose Song,” and co-wrote “Just A Moment” with Joshua Bassett, the actor who portrays Nini’s love interest. In a show filled to the brim with musical numbers, Rodrigo’s songs always stand out. The lyrics and composition are so brilliant, it’s no wonder Rodrigo has so many hits.

5/10 Driving Home 2 U Sour Film – Various

Driving Home 2 U is a musical documentary that gives fans a look at what went into Rodrigo’s songwriting process for her debut album. The film follows Rodrigo and her team as they stop several times during a trip from Utah to Los Angeles to perform her songs in obscure places. Her performance of “Traitor” in particular, is mesmerizing.

She takes time to play every musical instrument present in the song and loop it into a recording she then sings along to. Every performance in Driving Home 2 U does something special like this to intrigue fans who have heard these songs hundreds of times already.

4/10 Super Pumped – Brutal

Super Pumped is a biographical drama that explores the genesis of Uber and the deception that went into building the company into what it is today.

An executive at Apple asks Travis Kalanick why the percentage of female workers leaving the company is so high. Susan Fowler comes into frame, and as “Brutal” begins to play, she explains to audiences that the high attrition rate may have something to do with the constant sexual harassment they face within the company. The use of Rodrigo’s song here is to show how brutal the environment is as well as signify the badass nature of Susan’s character.

3/10 The Summer I Turned Pretty – Brutal & 1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back

Based on a book by Jenny Han, The Summer I Turned Pretty follows Belly as she and her family make their annual summer trip to Cousins. This particular summer consists of love, heartbreak, and everything in between. The pilot of this Prime Original series features both “Brutal” and “1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back.” The former plays when the guys get into a fight at the bonfire, while the latter plays toward the end of the episode as their chaotic first night in “Cousins” comes to a close.

“Brutal” has made a mark in pop culture, as it’s the most featured song in film and TV. According to PeopleDriving Home 2 U documentary on Disney+ revealed that “Brutal” was written on a whim in 24 hours just because Rodrigo wanted to include another upbeat track. There is no way she could have known that her impulse would create this generation’s fight song. As for “1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back,” it’s a beautiful song that deserves more credit than it gets.

2/10 Saturday Night Live – Driver’s License

Saturday Night Live is famous for its parodies and spoofs. After a month of Olivia’s first single topping the charts every day, the variety show featured it in a sketch.

A group of guys are at a bar when Regé-Jean Page puts on “Driver’s License” by Rodrigo. Rather than make fun of it, they embrace the emotion of the song in a wholesome and hilarious sketch. The episode aired on Olivia’s birthday. She expressed shock and thanks at the sketch on Twitter, calling it the “best birthday present ever.” When her music continued to grow in popularity, she was invited to the show as the musical guest in the penultimate episode of the season.

1/10 RuPaul’s Drag Race – Good 4 U

RuPaul’s Drag Race is a 26-time Emmy award-winning reality competition show. Several drag queens compete to win a hefty cash prize and earn recognition for their craft.

In this season 14 episode, DeJa, Jorgeous, and Daya go head-to-head for safety in a drag race lip sync battle to Rodrigo’s “good 4 U.” Only one person can move forward, so the stakes are high. This point in the episode is always stressful, for the viewers and the contestants. This song is perfect to release anger to, and the eventual winner of the challenge does just that. Daya states during a confessional that “the song is about being pissed off, so I could really tap into that.”

NEXT: 10 Best Movies And Shows To Feature Taylor Swift’s Music