6 Most Iconic Movies and TV Shows that Used Songs from The National

6 Most Iconic Movies and TV Shows that Used Songs from The National

The National is a rock band from Cincinnati and was formed in Brooklyn. The five-member band has produced some of the most iconic rock music in current times. Their most famous songs include About Today, I Need My Girl, Bloodbuzz Ohio, etc. Even though some of the songs were released over a decade ago, the lyrics and music are still cherished by many. 

The National is a famous indie and alternative rock back and their popularity has steadily increased over the last decade or so. Fans of The National’s music could recognize the tunes of their favorite band behind any TV show or movie. And all they need is a TV plan like any of the Spectrum select package to tune in and enjoy the music. Their songs were used as a background score for some of the most iconic TV shows and movies and here are some of them.

#1: Dexter: New Blood

“I Should Live in Salt” is one of the most famous songs from The National. The theme of the song is guilt, as in many other songs from the band. So, it was the perfect choice for Dexter: New Blood. The sequel to the first series is about Dexter’s new life away from his crime-filled story in Miami. As he welcomes his son back into his new life, it gets difficult to hide who he truly is. The song appears in the final episode “Sins of the Father” and is all about the main character being willing to face the music of his past actions. 

#2: Grey’s Anatomy

Shonda Rhimes might have created the most incredible medical drama with Grey’s Anatomy. The main characters truly make you fall in love with them. And The National’s “About Today” was perfect for episode 15 of season 4 of Grey’s Anatomy. The episode is titled “Losing my Mind” and this is when Dr. Wyatt forces Meredith to continue therapy. We also see Cristina deal with her issues and the song only tells us to take life one day at a time. 

#3: Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights is one of the best sports shows and talks about small conflicts all throughout the show. It follows the everyday struggles of the players and how the small conflicts potentially turned into bigger fights. That is why The National’s “Start a War” is perfectly used in the show. The high school football team struggles on and off the field and the smaller squabbles ignite into larger ones. So, the song narrates leaving the small battles alone. Because if they don’t, they can start a war that no one can control. 

#4: Game of Thrones

“The Rains of Castamere” is one of the most popular songs from Game of Thrones. The song rolls in the credits of the Battle of Blackwater episode. And it is all about Tyrion Lannister’s amazing victory at King’s Landing that he achieved by outsmarting Stannis Baratheon’s army. The song talks about a lion and how no matter what happens, it will still have long claws. It signifies that even though Tyrion was a dwarf that no one took seriously, he was still a Lannister and a lion.  

Even though alternate rock doesn’t fit the theme of the show, the producers were successful in making this song the perfect fit. The song is originally an instrumental but the version used in Game of Thrones is a cover sung by The National. 

#5: Warrior

Warrior also uses “About Today” but the context here is completely different from Grey’s Anatomy. The Warrior was full of hard-hitting action but also talks about family and broken bonds. The protagonist gets training from his estranged father as a martial arts fighter. In competition, he is up against his brother. The song’s narration is about bad choices and a ruined relationship and it fits perfectly in this absurd family feud. 

#6: Warm Bodies

There is nothing ‘normal’ about the love story and romance in Warm Bodies. The eerie movie might not make you feel all fuzzy on the inside because the lead is a zombie in love with a human. This apocalyptic movie might have its quirks but the romance is not all that bad. “Runaway” is the perfect song for the movie because it might be the most romantic song by the band. The narrator pledges that they won’t abandon the relationship no matter how bad things get. And it is the perfect image of the main character’s strange relationship. 


Songs always tell a story and to fit them so perfectly in a certain context is nothing but a work of art. Some other shows that included the band’s songs are Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl, 90210, etc. The National’s music is perfect for underscores because it talks about love, grief, family, and regret.

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