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At the end of "There's Something about Mary" (1998) the characters sing "Build me up, Buttercup" which seems to be fairly unrelated to the film and at the time unique.

Was TSaM the first film to employ a "Cast Song" for the credits? If not what was? I'd also be curious about what other films have used this for credits.

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Would Grease (1978) count? That ends with a whole cast song 'We Go Together' - but it is a musical so may not count. The song does not relate to the story in any specific way. –  iandotkelly Feb 7 '12 at 14:27
    
Musicals kind of defeat the purpose of the question. TSaM wasn't a musical, and singing a pop song at the end seemed thoroughly unrelated to the movie as a whole. In a similar vein, the end credits of Mamma Mia would not be appropriate. The recent Horron Hears a Who remake, might. –  Andrei Freeman Feb 8 '12 at 0:59
    
I guess the Blues Brothers won't count either since it's some kind of musical, too. But there it even was the whole crew and not only the actors. –  Napoleon Wilson Feb 12 '12 at 11:33
    
A fair number of Animes have opening/ending themes sung by one or more of the VAs in the cast (that may be thematically connected, but otherwise not related). What about those? –  Clockwork-Muse Feb 13 '12 at 21:20

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The earliest I found is from 1994's Floundering

During the Floundering (credits, the cast sings along in a rendition of "Nothing Funny 'Bout Peace, Love and Understanding," as the camera pans through the crowd.

This sort of thing is less incongruous with light comedies. There's Something About Mary (1998) is the first non-musical comedy I found with a cast singalong is probably the main influence for some later similar films.

Some later end credits cast songs:

  • Balls of Fury (2007) features a cast sing-along of Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me"

  • Slumdog Millionaire (2008): "Several of the cast perform a traditional Bollywood song and dance number set in a train station over the end credits."

  • "Frothy and crowd-pleasing, "You Again" (2010) concludes, as all such movies do, with a cast sing-along during the end credits. Most of the time it feels forced, but not here. The clearly great time being had by all as they take to the stage is infectious."

Of course, musicals such as Grease (1978) have had cast songs during the credits and may also be an influence.

Some other noteworthy earlier credits songs:

  • Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997) has Austin singing "BBC1" in a band during the credits.

  • Some episodes of The Muppets TV show ended with cast singalongs, for example from 1976: "Harry Belafonte: The cast sing the song "Turn the World Around" while the end credits roll. Spike Milligan: The cast sing the song "It's a Small World" while the end credits sing. Guest Spike Milligan tells them to keep quiet as he's trying to sleep."

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Vaguely related: Shakespearean comedies are often produced with a slightly unrelated song-and-dance at the end. Have been for centuries. It might have started the trope. –  vastra360 Mar 11 at 23:27
    
@vastra360: Do you have any examples? –  Hugo Mar 12 at 8:22
    
Production history is much harder to cite for plays than for movies, especially before newspapers were preserved. I know that it's a common practice at the Globe. –  vastra360 Mar 12 at 15:29

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