Best TV Theme Songs

While we may be entering the platinum age of television, I feel like it's been almost two decades since the iridium age of television theme songs.

Some of my personal favorites include:

Golden Girls - I too have had people travel down that road and back again. Their hearts were true, sniffle sniffle.
Fresh Prince - Unlike Aunt Viv, my love for this theme song has never inexplicably changed.
Cheers - Although it made me unreasonably melancholy.
Saved By The Bell - Kelly Kapowwwwwwwski.
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  • ksa1001ksa1001 Plano, TX
    edited February 2015
    The Greatest American Hero - Number one hands down
    Family Ties
    The Jeffersons
    Diff'rent Strokes
    The Facts of Life
    The Fresh Prince of Bel Air (just fun)
    Taxi (the great Bob James)
    Sanford & Son (Quincy Jones)
    and Miami Vice!! (thanks Tara)
  • Although it's only instrumental...nothing beats Twin Peaks' theme for me.
  • TaraC73TaraC73 Manchester NH
    Two words: MIAMI VICE!!
  • ElisaElisa Los Angeles
    X-Files, American Horror Story, The Returned, Buffy, the Little Rascals and fresh Prince
  • TaraC73 said:

    Two words: MIAMI VICE!!

    Wow, forgot about that one!
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Gilligan's Island is the greatest theme song of all time if you're judging by lyrics.

    If we're opening it up to Instrumental tracks, then there is only one that stands above them all.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Honorable mention:
  • Great topic! I was just thinking about this yesterday with all of the sitcoms.

    While we may be entering the platinum age of television, I feel like it's been almost two decades since the iridium age of television theme songs.

    Golden Girls - I too have had people travel down that road and back again. Their hearts were true, sniffle sniffle.

    I swear to God, about twice a year I will bust into this theme song just walking through Target or something like that. I still know all of the lyrics after all these years. I also do this with the Facts of Life and Out of This World theme (a show where all I can remember about it is that the girl's name was Eve and she stopped time by touching the tips of her fingers).

    Fresh Prince always has to be represented in these conversations. Great, great theme.
    I also really like the Buffy theme (good call @Elisa). I've actually seen two bands play it live (The Breeders and Nerf Herder).
    @ksa1001 Love the Diff'rent Strokes pick. It's probably my all time favorite.
    The Young Ones
    Psych (particularly the Spanish version)
    Fraggle Rock
    Saved by the Bell
    Laverne and Shirley
    Threes Company

    ...and a couple that probably don't count because they're pre-existing songs
    Suits (Greenback Boogie by Ima Robot)
    House (Teardrop by Massive Attack (sidenote, Jose Gonzales does a very cool cover of this as well)
    Bosom Buddies (My Life by Billy Joel)
  • TaraC73TaraC73 Manchester NH
    Fraggle rock is awesome :)

    Thought of another one... Don't cruicfy me - Beverly hills 90210.
  • TaraC73 said:

    Fraggle rock is awesome :)



    Thought of another one... Don't cruicfy me - Beverly hills 90210.

    No crucifiction at all, or I suppose we would both need to be crucified. 90210 was a classic. I thought about it, but it just missed the cut for me.
  • Although it's only instrumental...nothing beats Twin Peaks' theme for me.

    I really hope Badalamenti returns for the 2016 reboot.

    Besides TP, mine are:

    The Sopranos
    Game of Thrones
    The Munsters
    Mad Men
    Night Court
    All in the Family
  • It's a pretty big stretch to make this at all relevant, but Bruce McCulloch rules and I just love this tune (it has appeared on many a mix tape of mine over the years):




  • ...and a couple that probably don't count because they're pre-existing songs
    Suits (Greenback Boogie by Ima Robot)
    House (Teardrop by Massive Attack (sidenote, Jose Gonzales does a very cool cover of this as well)
    Bosom Buddies (My Life by Billy Joel)

    The Golden Girls song was actually first recorded by Andrew Gold in the 70s, so I don't have a problem with pre-existing songs.
  • I did not know that. Thanks for the factoid.

    I figured that the distinction wouldn't matter much, but some people are sticklers so I split them out just in case.
  • Ah! I left out what might be my all-time favorite - The Twilight Zone!
  • @AntManBee

    NIGHT COURT!!! Forgot all about that one.

    @A.Ron.Hubbard

    Knight Rider, another forgotten classic, that began this gem

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=ekSh0lDCAEc#t=01m06s

    Another old favorite, Too Close for Comfort (Monroe!)
  • ElisaElisa Los Angeles
    Yes forgot Sopranos, Game of Thrones, The Munsters and ofc Gilligan's Island.
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    My favourites have al been mentioned, I think. Laverne and Shirley is tops for me.
  • Non lyric themes I forgot: Game of Thrones
    A Team
    Sanford and Son

    And I forgot one that, if I hear it once ill song it for a fortnight: Charles in Charge.
  • hypergenesbhypergenesb Atlanta
    edited February 2015
    When I was just a little tike, nothing got me more excited than the Six Million Dollar Man theme. Better, stronger, faster.


  • In recent memory, a few theme songs that stand out:

    The Shield: Quick, tight and to the point. Kinda like the show.
    Transparent: Something quite beautiful about it. It stuck with me.
    Deadwood: The music is perfect for this show.
    The Wire - Early seasons: Again, perfect for the show.
  • ksa1001ksa1001 Plano, TX
    edited February 2015
    @hypergenesb I LOVED The Shield, but HATED the theme song with a passion! OMG it sounds like my grandmother yelling at me over corner store music.

    Great to know people remember/watched it though, I don't hear it brought up nearly enough in general.
  • In recent memory, a few theme songs that stand out:


    The Wire - Early seasons: Again, perfect for the show.

    I forgot about this. I heard an interview with Tom Waits a few years ago and he was asked about this. He said he was honored to have this song featured as The Wire's theme song. I thought that was pretty cool.
  • TravisTravis CA
    edited February 2015
    Way Down in the Hole is the theme from the Wire? That's sweet! (yet even further evidence that I have to finally get around to watching it)

    Frank's Wild Years is such a ridiculously good record. Really, that whole batch of Tom Waits records (Swordfishtrombones, Frank's Wild Years, and Rain Dogs) is one of the best runs for an artist that I can think of.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    What about Justified? It always gets me pumped up to see the episode, and I never FF through it. That's pretty strong.
  • What about Justified? It always gets me pumped up to see the episode, and I never FF through it. That's pretty strong.

    I used to really hate the theme. I thought it was kind of corny, over the top, and not particularly good rap. But now I enjoy it. However, it's not in my pantheon. It's no "Mad Men."
  • Perfect Strangers - Standing Tall!!!
  • I'm a sucker for Violin and Piano so:

    Fringe
    Haven
    Hannibal

    Vikings(because it sounds like a Tool song to me)
    X-Files(it still gives me a weird feeling after 20 years)
    The Shield(like @hypergenesb said. Short and strait)

    There should be a 20 second max on theme songs or I will always FF through it
  • I always thought the X-Files theme would have been really interesting if someone had covered it kind of in the style of Bossonova era Pixies.
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