Laura Kadner
June 18, 2014 12:23 pm

Talent shows are a revelation. You get to see friends and strangers doing strange, impressive, and/or hilarious things. Whether you discover Betty from Bunk 2 is secretly a baton-twirling master or that Jughead from English class can sing like an angel. Talent shows teach us to be brave and put ourselves out there and if everybody laughs at you, who cares! They didn’t put their awesome butt on the line and give it one hundred percent. They gave no percents!

In addition to being one of my favorite things in real life, whenever a TV or movie features a talent show, I’m totally on board. It forces my favorite actors and actresses to show off their secret talents. Here are some of my favorite talent show acts from TV and film:

Donnie Darko

You’ll never doubt your commitment to Sparklemotion after seeing these young ladies give it their all. Just look at that ferocity and intensity splashed all over their faces!

Wet Hot American Summer

We can’t even be totally sure what this kid’s talent is, but we do know is that it created an indoor hurricane, encouraged a declaration of love, and saved the campers from getting crushed by a falling satellite.

Mean Girls

They do it every year, and that’s because it jingle bell rocks. Special points to Amy Poehler for trying to get in on the action and to LiLo for saving the day with her mad vocal skills.

Spring Breakdown

Amy Poehler can’t keep away from a good talent show! Add Parker Posey, Amber Tamblyn, and Rachel Dratch to the mix and you’ve got Wilson Phillips talent show gold!

Easy A

Not strictly from a talent show, but close enough. Emma belts it out for the big game wearing lingerie and a boa. Totally high school appropriate!

About a Boy

Hopefully if everybody laughs at you, you’ll have Hugh Grant and a guitar to save your act. And make a bigger fool of himself than you to steal your headline.

Little Rascals

Waldo is so freakin’ smooth. He really sells this number and makes it sparkle alongside Darla, who makes a minor though very important contribution.

Napoleon Dynamite

When the high school election is really just a talent show in disguise, you better have Napoleon’s moves to win the day for you!

Waiting for Guffman

Aren’t auditions basically talent shows? Like Amy, Parker Posey also finds it tough to keep from blasting those pipes of hers. It just goes to show you that talent even hides in the tiniest of towns.

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