Needle Drop

What is a needle drop in film and TV?

When an existing song is used in a movie or show

If you're a fan of James Gunn or Edgar Wright, you likely love needle drops. This is when a pre-existing song plays in a movie or show - either as background music or in-scene music.

A (very, very incomplete) list of notable needle drops includes when:

  • Come and Get Your Love plays in Guardians of the Galaxy
  • I Want It That Way plays in Magic Mike XXL
  • The Chain plays in Our Flag Means Death
  • Where Is My Mind plays in Fight Club
  • Johnny B. Goode plays in Back to the Future

If hearing those songs makes you think of the scene(s) they have played over, then the needle drop has done its job.


My favorite needle drop is Day-O in Beetlejuice. It makes me laugh every time

Related Slang


Updated May 3, 2022

Needle drop definition by

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