From oh god no to so bad it's good: The most ridiculous dance scenes in movies, ranked.

Hollywood loves a dance scene.

A good dance scene (or one so bad it’s good) can see a film welcomed into pop culture history: Be honest, you’ve tried the Dirty Dancing lift. You’ve probably hurt yourself in the process, but that’s beside the point.

Dance scenes are rarely… actually great; many are tongue-in-cheek or so bad they’re good. But no matter if you’re watching an awkward John Heder with a perm or genuinely bloody good movies from Patrick Swayze, precisely all dance scenes are ridiculous.

That’s why we love them.

Stretch out your hammies and grab your dancing shoes as we rank the eight most ridiculous dance scenes in movies, ever.

8. The Twist Contest, Pulp Fiction.

The Twist is iconic for good reason. Decades after Grease and Saturday Night Fever, it reminded us that John Travolta could… or at the very least, used to, be able to dance.

7. Detention Dance, The Breakfast Club.

A group of misfits without much in common find themselves stuck in detention together, so they dance. A tale as old as time.

6. ‘Bet On It’, High School Musical.

There are few things more ridiculous than Zac Efron as an angsty teen running/dancing/staring at his reflection in a pond on a golf course. The scene gets worse the more times you watch it but also somehow… better?

It will always remain the absolute highlight of High School Musical 2, ‘Gotta Go My Own Way’ be damned.

5. Final show, Center Stage.

This end-of-year showcase at Center Stage‘s prestigious ballet academy features Cooper riding a motorcycle on stage, a tearaway tutu, men in leather pants and a soundtrack including Michael Jackson and Jamiroquai.

Everything about this is ridiculous, but especially the moment Jody’s hair goes from tight, ballet bun to… flowing locks, all with the light flick of her head.

4. ‘Jump (For My Love)’, Love Actually.

If this were up to me, this would be number one. It’s my favourite scene in a movie ever, and yes, I know I’m basic.

But this is a democratic process and I respect democracy, even when I don’t agree with the results.

This entire premise is ridiculous, but it’s pure joy. Prime Minister Hugh Grant’s just told US President Billy Bob Thornton to shove it, and British radio thank him with The Pointer Sisters. So far, so good.

But then… the contemplating foot tap, the butt wiggle, the backwards stairs, the… move that looks a bit like a cat about to throw up. I could write a thesis on this scene.

Watch the doorway shuffle without smiling, I dare you.

hugh grant love actually
Image: Giphy.

3. 'Lay All Your Love On Me', Mamma Mia!

Mamma Mia! (and the equally as great Mamma Mia! 2 Here We Go Again), is perhaps the greatest definition of ridiculousness that we have.

It's set on a Greek island, set to the music of a Swedish pop band, starring Meryl Streep and a singing James Bond. It just shouldn't work, but it does. It works so well.

Basically any scene could've made this list, but 'Lay All Your Love On Me' made the cut for one reason, and one reason only: Men dangerously semi-dancing, semi-jumping in flippers.

mamma mia gif
HOW. Image: Giphy.

An honourable mention goes to Tanya's beach performance of 'Does Your Mother Know'. That was also... weird.

2. Napoleon Dynamite.

You guys, Napoleon danced his damn heart out in front of all the mean kids who bullied him, received a standing ovation and helped Pedro be elected president.

The power. The confidence. The INSPIRATION.

Also, my work wife Gemma told me she learned the entire dance which I am writing down now as a reminder that I need her to... show me, when we're finally reunited.


1. '(I've Had) The Time of My Life', Dirty Dancing.

Obviously. The reference in this article's second paragraph, and just your general knowledge of life, should have given this away as number one.

Dirty Dancing's final scene is the perfect example of actually-good ridiculousness.

It's the perfect summation of everything the film has been working towards: Baby finds her confidence, Johnny becomes more caring, and THAT LIFT. It's just...

Image: Giphy.
dirty dancing lift
PERFECTION. Image: Giphy.

What ridiculous dance scene would you add to this list? Let us know in a comment.

Feature images: Vestron Pictures/Universal Pictures/Miramax.