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Last updated on December 12th, 2022 at 09:00 pm
There was a time when TV show theme songs were as popular and well-known as any song by a mainstream band. People often knew every word to a popular theme even if they weren’t interested in the show it was from. Learn about the very best on our list of the best TV show theme songs.
“Happy Days” from Happy Days
“Happy Days,” recorded in 1974 by Norman Gimbal and Charles Fox, served as the closing theme for the show’s first two seasons and as the opening for the show’s tenth through eleventh seasons.
50s throwback Happy Days was nominated for sixteen Emmys and won one of them. Henry Winkler’s portrayal of the Fonz helped make it one of the biggest hits in the history of American television.
This TV show theme song and the character of the Fonz both become enduring symbols of American popular culture. “Happy Days” set the bar for evergreen theme songs
“I Found a Way” from Drake and Josh
Nickelodeon star Drake Bell released “I Found a Way” in 2003. This song is widely considered one of the best TV show theme songs from the early 2000s. The upbeat alternative rock track with pop elements focuses on the power of the relationship between the show’s main characters.
The title characters in Drake and Josh are two stepbrothers who constantly argue as they band together against Drake’s younger sister, Megan (Miranda Cosgrove), who is typically plotting some scheme under their parents’ noses. The show aired on Nickelodeon for four seasons and was a consistent front-runner for the Kids’ Choice Awards.
“Meet the Flintstones” from The Flintstones
Yabba dabba doo! This 37-second theme served as the introduction to Hanna-Barbara’s legendary animated sitcom. The theme debuted on the episode “Meet the Flintstones” from the its third season.
The B-52s rerecorded the song for the franchise’s feature picture version, which received many accolades. The song establishes the show’s premise and its principal cast in the town of Bedrock.
The Flintstones is widely regarded as one of the best-animated series of all time, second perhaps only to The Simpsons.
“The Big Bang Theory” from The Big Bang Theory
Everything started with a colossal explosion. The Barenaked Ladies’ upbeat, catchy TV show theme song for the popular sitcom about nerds is impossible to forget. It takes listeners on a whirlwind tour of the universe’s history, naming important people and events that paved the way for today’s society.
The Big Bang Theory began on CBS in 2007 and lasted twelve seasons. Its cast was made up of medical professionals, physicists, and engineers.
“Everywhere You Look” from Full House
The sad lyrics to “Everywhere You Look” were part of many Millennials’ childhoods, particularly when it aired on Nick at Night. Full House aired for eight seasons in the 1990s. Carly Rae Jepsen rerecorded the song when it was brought back to life for the Fuller House. It was written by Jesse Frederick and Bennett Salvay.
Full House was one of the last sitcoms to air on television in the 20th century. Its main character was a widower named Danny Tanner, played by Bob Saget, who brought up his three daughters in San Francisco with his brother-in-law and best friend. Saget passed away recently.
Everyone who saw Full House as a child will never forget the show. Its theme song is significantly better than the critics originally gave it credit for.
“I’ll Be There for You” from Friends
Where would a list of sitcoms be without the inclusion of Friends? Since its debut on television in 1994, the show has been prefaced by The Rembrandt’s massive hit.
One of the most popular TV shows ever, Friends aired for ten seasons. The lively melody and astoundingly memorable chorus of “I’ll Be There for You” is an integral part of its phenomenon.
“The Facts of Life” from The Facts of Life
Differ’nt Strokes spawned a spinoff called The Facts of Life, which aired for eight seasons. The story centers on Edna Garret (Charlotte Rae), a housemother at the all-female Eastland School and a diverse group of pupils at the institution. “The facts of life” were taught to both the show’s characters and the audience due to the sitcom’s focus on the day-to-day concerns and the challenges of being a teenager.
Despite going through several iterations throughout its run, the show’s theme was consistently positive, self-assured, and empowering to the many women worldwide who grew up with it. As a result of the show’s commitment to accurately depicting the challenges of being a teenager, it was nominated for and won several awards.
“The Brady Bunch” from The Brady Family
The theme song to The Brady Bunch tells the story of a charming lady who marries a man named Brady. The piece is brief yet catchy, and its title card design has been the subject of numerous parodies. Since its premiere, the theme has seen several revisions, culminating in it being performed by all six of the Brady children and focusing on the distinctive dynamics of their family.
The Brady Bunch was one of the shorter-lived sitcoms of the 1970s, lasting only five seasons. It followed a family that was brought together by the marriage of a widower and a widow and their three children, all of whom were boys. Although The Brady Bunch was abruptly canceled before its time, the show had several successful film comebacks and spinoffs.
“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
This is a tale worth telling! Will Smith’s opening theme for Fresh Prince, which he composed about his titular character, was so catchy that viewers couldn’t help but sing along with it throughout all six seasons of the show. The hip-hop tune was an anomaly in the sitcom genre, and Fresh Prince made a statement about the popularity and lasting strength of black television at the same time that it smashed records for the genre.
“Where Everybody Knows Your Name” from Cheers
The opening theme that Gary Portnoy composed for Emmy-award winning television show Cheers is often considered one of the best television themes of all time. The somewhat gloomy lyrics depict a solitary spot where one may forget about debts, work, and the stress of life with a friendly community.
Released in 1982, the theme is still relatable to people of today’s generation who are having trouble making ends meet. It is a testament to the show’s popularity.
“Stranger Things” from Stranger Things
There is nothing quite like a synthesizer to bring back memories of the 1980s. The creators of Stranger Things, Matt and Ross Duffer, created a period-appropriate electronic feel for one of the best TV show theme songs.
“Kim Possible” from Kim Possible
Because Christina Milian had previously worked as the host of Movie Surfers, Disney Channel approached her in 2002 and requested her to sing the TV show theme song for their new animated series Kim Possible. Milian accepted the offer without hesitation.
However, she had no notion the song would take on a life of its own. It still follows her around to this day.
“One Tree Hill” from One Tree Hill
The synergy that existed between independent musician Gavin DeGraw and One Tree Hill was nothing short of miraculous. His “I Don’t Want to Be,” from the WB’s teen drama series that began in 2003 and lasted for nine seasons, is easily one of the best dark horse TV show theme songs.
“The Pink Panther “from The Pink Panther (1969)
Da-dun da-dun! The Pink Panther was the name given to two different things, although they were both related. The first was the film franchise in which Peter Sellers played the French Inspector Jacques Clouseau’s role. The other was an animated series about a pink panther that appeared at the film’s beginning.
The “Pink Panther Theme” was an instrumental composition by Harry Mancini and was produced for the first film in the series but ended up being used as the theme for the cartoon. The theme for the film was nominated for an Academy Award and won three Grammy Awards for the best TV show theme song.
“Scooby-Dobby Doo” from Scooby Doo
Scooby-Doo has lasted longer than practically any other cartoon in the history of animation. The first episode debuted in 1969, and the show is still airing.
There have been many shifts for the show, not just in the animation style but also in the cast of characters, with Shaggy and Scooby-Doo being the only two that have remained consistent throughout these changes.
The Scooby-Doo theme is a tune that everyone ought to be familiar with. It has remained mostly unchanged for the last five and a half decades.
Larry Marks did the initial performance of the TV show theme song, and even though it was rerecorded later, the lyrics and tempo remained pretty much the same.