The Best Usher Needle Drops in Movies and TV, Ranked


Usher Raymond IV, usually credited as Usher, is a musician, actor, and dancer who has been a huge presence in the music industry since the early 90s. His career began after releasing his debut self-titled album in 1994, which reached the top 20s on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Since then, he’s released eight studio albums and has one scheduled for upcoming release in 2024. Usher has also appeared in several movies and TV shows, adding over 15 films to his credits. Some of his most popular roles were in She’s All That, Bad Hair, and the series Moesha.


Usher is also scheduled to perform at the 2024 Super Bowl halftime show, an impressive feat for the 45-year-old music icon. His songs and performances helped to define a generation of R&B fans, and many of the best moments in TV and movies featuring needle drops of Usher songs are when people are celebrating, or out dancing and having fun. His music is perfect for that kind of vibe. Here are some of Usher’s best needle drops in movies and TV shows, ranked.


10 “U Got It Bad” — The Sweetest Thing (2002)

The Sweetest Thing

Release Date
April 12, 2002

Director
Roger Kumble

Cast
Cameron Diaz, Christina Applegate, Selma Blair, Thomas Jane, Frank Grillo, Jason Bateman

Rating
R

The Sweetest Thing is an early 2000s romantic comedy with a star-studded cast featuring Cameron Diaz, Thomas Jane, Christina Applegate, and Selma Blair. The movie follows Christina Walters (Diaz) as she navigates life as a single, career-focused woman nearing her 30s. She’s gained a reputation for being afraid of commitment, even though she’s really suffering from a fear of having her heart broken again. This leads Christina to swear off dating until she meets the man of her dreams one night at a club. What ensues is chaos and a lot of laughter as Christina and her friends set off on a road trip to find him.

The Usher Needle Drop

Usher’s “U Got It Bad” played during promotional items for the film, including one of the trailers. The song is also featured on the movie’s soundtrack beside artists like Macy Gray, Jamiroquai, and Electric Light Orchestra. While the song is a small part of the movie’s surprising cult following, it remains one of the top ten Usher needle drops due to how it relates to Christina’s struggles with dating.

9 “Love In This Club” — Magic Mike’s Last Dance (2023)

Magic Mike's Last Dance

Magic Mike’s Last Dance

Release Date
February 10, 2023

Director
Steven Soderbergh

Cast
Channing Tatum, Salma Hayek Pinault, Caitlin Gerard, Nancy Carroll

Rating
R

Another movie featuring one of Usher’s songs is Magic Mike’s Last Dance, the last film in the Magic Mike trilogy, and stars Channing Tatum in his iconic role as stripper Mike Lane, who left his career behind to start a furniture business in Miami. Unfortunately, the pandemic forces him to close the shop and leaves Mike with no choice but to start bartending. He then meets Max, a wealthy mogul played by Salma Hayek, who offers him a large sum of money to travel to London with her for a job. There, he ends up choreographing a strip dance for the Rattigan Theatre and falls in love with Max during the production.

The Usher Needle Drop

“Love In This Club” by Usher is heard in Magic Mike’s Last Dance during the scene with Mike, Max, her daughter Zadie, and the show’s cast. While everyone celebrates the show’s success, Mike and Max share a kiss before he confesses his feelings for her. It’s a great finale to the movie and a resolution to Mike and Max’s relationship.

8 “OMG” — Honey 2 (2011)

Honey 2

Honey 2

Release Date
June 23, 2011

Director
Bille Woodruff

Cast
Seychelle Gabriel, Katerina Graham, Randy Wayne, Brandon Molale, Gerry Bednob, Tyler Nelson

Rating
PG-13

Honey 2 is the sequel to 2003’s dance drama film Honey, starring Jessica Alba. In this sequel, seventeen-year-old Maria gets released from juvenile detention and wants to turn her life around. She has a love for street dance, which leads her to join the HD dance crew and push them to audition for the TV dance competition show. These dance battles force Maria to face her ex-boyfriend, Luis, and his crew called The 718. Maria’s journey helps her find love and happiness, and reignites her love of dance.

The Usher Needle Drop

Usher’s “OMG” is featured during the second dance-off at Battle Zone. This high-energy song is the perfect addition to this scene and helps to shine a light on the HD crew’s talents. Some of the other songs at the dance battle featured alongside “OMG” include “Fireworks” by Chris Mann and “Dream” by Chrissy DePauw. Usher’s “OMG” is a great fit for this dance movie, and its use in this important part of the film helps it earn a spot among his top needle drops.

7 “She Came to Give It to You” — Loosely Exactly Nicole (2016)

Loosely Exactly Nicole
MTV

Loosely Exactly Nicole is a comedy series starring Nicole Byer as herself, an aspiring actress trying to make it big in Hollywood. The show goes through the antics of her daily life with her best friends Devin and Veronica, who are also trying to survive in the real world. In season one, episode four titled “Mistress,” Nicole accompanies Veronica to her office party while Veronica is struggling with things in her new relationship.

Related: Best Usher Movies and TV Series, Ranked

The Usher Needle Drop

“She Came to Give It To You” plays during the scene where Nicole spends time with Jake, the CEO of Veronica’s office. Unfortunately for Nicole, she learns from Veronica that Jake is already married. This realization makes Nicole wonder what life would be like for her as a mistress. This hilarious and very Nicole-esque scene is perfectly complemented by “She Came to Give It To You,” helping the song to make this scene one of the best.

6 “Hot Thing” — The Internship (2013)

The Internship

The Internship

Release Date
June 7, 2013

Director
Shawn Levy

Cast
Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne, Aasif Mandvi, Max Minghella, Josh Brener

Rating
PG-13

The 2003 comedy The Internship stars Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn as two sales professionals, Nick and Billy, who are laid off after their company goes out of business. The duo decides to apply for an internship with Google, and somehow, they land the gig. It doesn’t take long for them to realize they’re surrounded by tech-savvy youngsters, leaving the two to band with the other outcasts to hopefully land a job at the end of the summer.

The Usher Needle Drop

Usher’s “Hot Thing” is featured in The Internship during a scene where Nick and Billy’s team decide to have a night out on the town. The group visits a strip club, where Marianna, Lyle’s crush, dances to the song. Their night out helps inspire the group to create smartphone software that prevents users from accessing their phones while drunk. This Usher song features A$AP Rocky and is an upbeat dance song, perfect for the group at the club. In the end, their night out ends up helping their team win the internship challenge.

5 “Climax” — A Teacher (2020)

A Teacher
FX

A Teacher is a drama miniseries from FX based on the 2013 film of the same name by Hannah Fidell. The show stars Kate Mara as Claire, an English teacher who pursues a relationship with one of her high school students, Eric. 32-year-old Claire is a new teacher at Westbrook High in Austin and has no idea that her life is about to be turned upside down after starting the job. The show follows the ins and outs of the relationship and the destruction it causes for the two and those associated with them.

The Usher Needle Drop

Usher’s “Climax” is featured in episode three of A Teacher. This episode follows as Eric persuades Claire to tutor him, even after he kisses her in episode two. Eric ends up attending the homecoming period with another student named Alison, where Claire questions him as to why he skipped the tutoring session. It’s somewhat surprising this R&B Usher song with a techno flare fits into this tense scene, yet it helps highlight the contrast within the scene.

4 “Bad Girl” — Transparent (2014)

transparent

Transparent

Release Date
September 26, 2014

Cast
Gaby Hoffmann, Jay Duplass, Melora Hardin

Main Genre
Comedy

Seasons
4

The Amazon Prime comedy series Transparent dives into topics like gender identity, family secrets, and emotional struggles. The show focuses on the Pfefferman family and their life after the father reveals he is a transgender woman named Maura. The show’s first season follows as family and friends navigate the changes and come to terms with their own identities. The following seasons dived deeper into Maura as an older adult transitioning and ended with Transparent: Musicale Finale.

The Usher Needle Drop

Season three, episode five, titled “Oh Holy Night,” follows three different characters who are dealing with issues or changes. Viewers see the Pfeffermans show up to support Sarah while Josh reaches out for help while grieving a friend’s death. “Bad Girl” by Usher is the last song played in the episode during the strip club scene and continues on into the credits. This episode is filled with tension and family conflict, brought to a much-needed conclusion by this Usher needle drop.

3 “Caught Up” — Superstore (2015)

superstore

Superstore

Release Date
2015-00-00

Cast
Ben Feldman, Lauren Ash, Colton Dunn, Mark McKinney

Main Genre
Comedy

Seasons
5

NBC’s Superstore is a series following the antics of employees working for a big-box retailer called Cloud 9. The show stars long-time employee Amy (played by America Ferrera), new hire Jonah, supervisor Glenn, and manager Dina. This crew has to try to make it through each shift with mean customers, outrageous company policies, and challenging situations. However, at the end of the day, the team feels like one big dysfunctional family.

Related: 14 Scenes With Some of the Best Needle Drops of All Time

The Usher Needle Drop

“Caught Up” by Usher is featured in season three, episode ten of Superstore, titled “High Volume Store.” In this episode, the store’s employees try to prevent a remodel from taking place while Glenn and Jerusha search for a surrogate. The song plays in the background in a scene with Brett working in the produce section. It’s one of the smaller, less noticeable Usher songs to appear on a TV show, but it fits well with the show’s energy and upbeat characters.

2 “Yeah!” — The Hangover (2009)

the hangover

The Hangover

Release Date
June 2, 2009

Cast
Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Heather Graham, Sasha Barrese

Director
Todd Phillips

Rating
R

The Hangover is a 2009 comedy starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis. The movie tells of the three as they travel to Las Vegas to throw a bachelor party for their friend Doug. After the first night, when the group takes shots on the hotel rooftop, they wake up with no memory of the evening and Doug missing. The friends must then try and figure out what happened to their friend and rescue him before his wedding in Los Angeles.

The Usher Needle Drop

This high-energy movie plays Usher’s “Yeah!” during the rooftop scene where the group takes shots of Jägermeister before partying into the night. They toast to their wolf-pack friendship and Doug’s relationship before the scene cuts to the sun rising. It’s truly a night they’ll never remember and one of the best uses of an Usher song as this is one of the most iconic scenes from the entire film.

1 “U Got It Bad” — Dave (2020)

Dave

Dave

Release Date
2020-04-00

Cast
Andrew Santino

Main Genre
Comedy

The FXX comedy series Dave stars Dave Burd, also known as Lil Dicky, in a fictionalized comedy based on his rapper persona. The show has three seasons as of 2023, though there is no official confirmation for Dave season 4 yet. Most episodes follow Lil Dicky as he transforms from an aspiring rapper to an internet sensation. He truly believes he’s the best rapper in the world and won’t let anything stand between him and achieving fame. The latest season of the show follows the rapper as he must deal with his paranoia while trying to maintain friendships with his newfound confidence.

The Usher Needle Drop

Season three, episode three of Dave, is titled “Hearsay” and features a guest appearance from Usher himself. His song “U Got It Bad” plays when Lil Dicky is confronting Killer Mike but instead notices his idol, Usher. He goes up to Usher, and the group ends up spending the rest of the night dancing together. This combination Usher needle drop and guest appearance, showing off his smooth dance moves, make this Usher’s best needle drop.



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