Every Single Time The Fray's "How To Save A Life" Made You Cry On TV


The Fray has been making you cry during your favorite dramatic TV show and movie scenes for over a decade, because their wistful melodies make for perfect soundtrack fodder. In 2005, the band released their debut album How To Save A Life, and the track of the same name found its way onto a 2006 Grey's Anatomy episode. Soon, ABC used the song to market Grey's Anatomy during commercials, and it became a must-listen hit, according to Hypable. But that's not the only show the song's been featured in. If you count up every time The Fray's "How To Save A Life" was used on TV, it adds up to eight episodes over six different shows.

Now that The Fray's second and self-titled album is hitting its 10-year anniversary on Feb. 3, it seems like an appropriate time to look back at one of the band's biggest songs — and all the ways TV adapted it for their melodramatic needs. Sure, it's not the only song of theirs to become a TV mainstay. Other hit Fray songs like "You Found Me," "Over My Head," and "Look After You" have also been television staples. But since TV really helped "How To Save A Life" propel the band to success, it's only fair to look at that song's impact specifically. Here are all the shows the tune has graced.

New Girl — Season 3, Episode 11 at 14:20

The song plays on the radio during a flashback of Nick suffering through law school before changing his life and working at the bar — instead of taking the bar.

Cold Case — Season 4, Episode 12 at 45:25

The song plays during the final moments of the episode where all the bad guys go to jail and the the bereaved family of a missing teenager gets closure.

One Tree Hill — Season 3, Episode 17 at 32:04

The tune plays over a montage of scenes like Nathan and Haley returning to their apartment, Dan thinking about what he's done to Keith, and the coach cleaning up the school after the students throw a party.

Conviction (2006) — Season 1, Episode 7 at 46:33


At the close of a tough court case, the lawyers get a drink and sort through the events of the day while the song plays.

Scrubs — Season 5, Episode 20 at 19:00

The song plays as a series of organ transplant patients die despite all the doctors' hard work.

Scrubs — Season 6, Episode 11 at 6:05

JD runs a montage of hospital hijinks in his head and says, "There's certainly been a lot of odd moments around here. And for some reason, whenever I think about them, The Fray is always playing." But after the song plays for a second, he clarifies he meant "She Is" by The Fray, not "How To Save A Life."

Grey's Anatomy — Season 2, Episode 22 at 33:24

This song rightfully plays during a montage of surgery scenes on the show. It's basically the theme song for Derek Shepherd's catchphrase, "It's a beautiful afternoon to save lives, people. Let's have some fun."

Grey's Anatomy — Season 7, Episode 18 at 32:40

During the musical episode, Grey's of course couldn't ignore the song it put on the map — especially when it fits so well into a doctor show. When Cristina is nervous to operate on Callie post-car crash, Owen starts singing the song to her to keep her calm. The rest of the cast joins in, and they do save her life.

"How To Save A Life" has had quite an impact on the TV-sphere. But without TV, it may not have gotten the recognition it did. You could say that Grey's Anatomy saved the life of "How To Save A Life."