Hollywood musicals combine two distinctive features: narrative and musical numbers, also referred to as “the real and the expressive” (Telotte 1980a, 4). These two equally important parts of any successful musical have to harmonize such that both seem appropriate in each scene and, ideally, supportive of each other. As musical numbers are traditionally seen as a “source of a tension” (ibid., 2) within the narrative, harmonization is not easy to achieve, and different directors as well as different sub-genres of the film musical have found different ways to deal with this tension. In this work, I will discuss two methods of integrating musical numbers into the plot of Hollywood musicals: the stage-worlds and the world-stages. While the former entails a certain kind of storyline, the latter refers to the setting of single numbers within the plot.