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With how joyous ABBA’s music can make people, it’s no wonder that both Mamma Mia! movies were so successful. Even today, the cultural relevance of both films, but especially the sequel, is so prominent. Sure, the first one was an adaptation of the Broadway jukebox musical. But the second really created so much more world-building and gave the world a singing and dancing Lily James. Truly, both are treasures. And with July 17 being the Unofficial Mamma Mia! Day, here are seven great moments from the movies. 

Lily James, Cher, and Amanda Seyfried at the premiere of 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again' on July 16, 2018.
Lily James, Cher, and Amanda Seyfried at the premiere of ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’ on July 16, 2018 | Ian West/PA Wire

Fans are living for ‘Mamma Mia!’ thanks to a line from the first movie

In case you’re wondering why July 17 is deemed as Mamma Mia! Day by fans, all you need to do is look to the first movie, at the first musical number. Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is talking to her friends about finding her mother’s diaries with her sexual exploits in them, and one of the dates that Donna writes in the diary is July 17.

Naturally, fans have run with it on Twitter, and what better time to relive one of the best musicals of all time, then now?

1. ‘Honey, Honey’

Starting off this list is the song that started this day, “Honey, Honey.” Sophie’s supposed to get married and found her mom’s diaries, which leads to her knowing who her three prospective fathers are. It’s such a fun, upbeat song that sets up the movie and introduces all of the main characters. Iconic, truly. 

2. ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’

The first big duet in the first movie, this song is a fan-favorite. The audience already met Sky (Dominic Cooper) by this point, but this song really highlights his and Sophie’s chemistry. They’re silly, but utterly in love. And the harmonies are the equivalence of a chef’s kiss. 

3. “SOS”

Even though Donna (Meryl Streep) has a connection with all three of the men that Sophie invited to her wedding, there’s no denying the bond she has with Sam (Pierce Brosnan). This song is not only a well-known ABBA song, but it’s an emotional conversation the two needed to have. It’s full of tension and longing and it’s oh-so-good. 

4. ‘Angel Eyes’

Now, moving onto the sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, “Angel Eyes” is an underrated banger. Rosie (Julie Walters) and Tanya (Christine Baranski) are trying to lift Sophie’s spirits about her (maybe) failing relationship with Sky. Rosie is also going through a bit of leftover heartbreak, as well, thanks to her split with Bill. Cheeky and comedic, this performance is a good time.

5. ‘Mamma Mia’ (sequel version)

Next we have the titular song, “Mamma Mia!” which is sung in both films. Streep sings it in the first movie and James sings it with her Dynamites in the second film. This version is full of sorrow because Donna just realized Sam was engaged the whole time they were together. It starts off slow and different than the original song, but quickly goes into the version we all know and love. Truly a revelation. 

6. ‘Dancing Queen’ (sequel)

This is yet another song that was done in both films, but this one is bigger than the first. Mostly because Bill (Stellan Skarsgård) and Harry (Colin Firth) come in on boats with a ton of guests. It’s a big number and really captures the amazing joy this song brings. 

7. ‘Super Trooper’ (sequel)


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“Super Trooper” is the last on this list and also the third one here that is a reprise from the first movie. Not only does this version have Cher (!) but it beautifully combines both versions of the cast, present and past. It’s also one of the only numbers in the movie that has Streep, since Donna passed away in the present version of the story. 

It’s literally the biggest celebration and so fun to watch. It captures the essence of what Mamma Mia! is all about.