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  9. Top 10 Greatest Theme Songs Of All Time

Top 10 Greatest Theme Songs Of All Time

Guaranteed To Get Stuck In Your Head.


A man and a woman using a remote and eating popcorn.

 

It's nearly impossible to not sing along to your favorite TV show's opening song every time it's on, even if you're in a three-hour-long binge of the same series. From newer hits like Family Guy to classics such as The Flintstones, there's a long list of memorable theme songs out there. Read on to remember some of the classic bops that are sure to get stuck in your head! 

 


10. Friends | "I'll Be There for You" by The Rembrandts

 

This well-known theme song, "I'll Be There for You," captures the true essence of friendship for the American television sitcom Friends. This recognizable song was co-written by Friends producers David Crane and Marta Kauffman, Michael Skloff, Allee Willis, and both of The Rembrandts, Phil Solem and Danny Wilde.

 

Originally under one minute long, the original theme was later re-recorded to be a three-minute pop song that you just can't help but clap along to. There's been mixed reviews of the song in the past, though, as it was listed by Blender as one of the "50 Worst Songs Ever." Although, several publications—including Paste, Complex, and Observer—named it one of the best TV theme songs of all time. 

 

The music video features The Rembrandts performing the song in a studio joined by the cast members of Friends, reeling in over 9 million views on YouTube. In an interview with Buzzfeed, Danny Wilde and Phil Solem shared the story behind the memorable theme song as well as the iconic claps that were added in.

 

"We thought we were all done, and then, we went in to hear the final mix and the clapping was in there," said Solem. "I was like, Who thought of that? That's like the best part!" 

 


9. Full House | "Everywhere You Look" by Jesse Frederick

 

If you're looking for instant nostalgia, all you have to do is listen to Jesse Frederick's "Everywhere You Look" and you'll be sent back down memory lane from years of watching the '90s American sitcom Full House. 

 

The theme song for the series was co-written by Jesse Frederick and Bennett Salvay, and was specifically written for the show itself. With soothing lyrics and Jesse Frederick's comforting and raspy voice, this song conjures up the perfect anthem that makes you feel right at home in the Tanner house. 

 

Most recently, this timeless song was solidified as a classic when Carly Rae Jepsen released a rendition of the theme song for the show's reboot on Netflix, Fuller House. This popified version of the show's theme song did it justice and is surely making Jesse Frederick proud.

 

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Carly Rae Jepsen talked about her vision with the new version she created.

 

"You want to be true to the original. I was trying to mimic along the lines of what Butch Walker has done and make it work, and they were like, 'Just try it once the way you would do it.' And they were like, 'That's way better.' I learn that more and more as I take on new projects: If you try too hard to do something unnatural, it's never going to feel right. You have to let yourself let loose and be," said Jepsen.

 


8.  The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air | "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

 

All it took was two friends, 15 minutes, and a beat to create the iconic theme song for the well-known sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. DJ Jazzy Jeff, real name Jeff Townes, and The Fresh Prince, real name Will Smith, created the theme song for the show in 1996, making it undoubtedly their most popular song to date. 

 

Just about everyone who religiously watched the show knew every word, which was quite the accomplishment considering it was the longest TV theme song of the '90s. 

 

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Townes recalled the process of writing the theme song.

 

"One of the things Will used to always say is the hardest part to come up with for a song is the concept, but the concept behind The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was already laid out. I ended up just going in and programming some music, and he wrote something and laid it down. I did rough mix and sent it in, and in about three weeks it was on NBC. In my mind, it was just kind of like, 'Oh my God, so that's how it works? It's that easy?'" said Townes. 

 


7. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! | "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!" by Larry Marks

 

Overtime, there's been endless remixes of the original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! theme song. In fact, there's been 14 total iterations of it! But as fresh and fun as these remakes are, nothing beats the version that started it all: "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!" by Larry Marks.

 

Written by David Mook and Ben Raleigh, this classic song was composed in just one day, according to an interview on Noblemania with Rosie Marie and Nick Mook, widow and son of David Mook. With David writing the lyrics and Ben writing the music, the power duo were practically unstoppable in the creation of this iconic bop. 

 

David Mook took pride in his creation of the song with Raleigh. Growing up, the song was a large part of Nick Mook's life. 

 

"I remember him dancing around the living room, playing the bass guitar and singing it to me as a kid. I found it very funny and never took him seriously," said Nick Mook. "He used to sit in his underwear on Saturday mornings jamming with his bass guitar and amplifier, hitting the chords perfectly. Whenever the song came on, I'd yell from across the house for him to come and join in with me."

 


6. Gilligan's Island | "The Ballad of Gilligan's Isle" by Sherwood Schwartz and George Wyle

 

Thought to be one of the most recognized TV theme songs in television history, "The Ballad of Gilligan's Isle" by Sherwood Schwartz and George Wyle was created to set the premise of the hit American sitcom Gilligan's Island.

 

The original creator and producer of the show, Schwartz wrote the familiar theme song to sum up the entire premise of the series. Decades ago, the pilot episode of the sitcom actually featured an entirely different calypso-style theme song written by John Williams. Williams composed music for many famous films such as Jaws, Superman, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

 

From Mary Ann and Ginger being referred to as "two secretaries," the professor as a "high-school teacher," and the "six-hour ride" being cut in half to a "three-hour tour," there were many significant differences between the pilot and the final product. Many thought the original intro to the show sounded forced and phony, making the switch to the Schwartz and Wyle version worthwhile.

 


5. SpongeBob SquarePants | "SpongeBob SquarePants" by Stephen Hillenburg

 

Are you ready, kids? If you couldn't help but scream "Aye-aye, Captain!" after that, you've probably seen the unforgettable American animated series SpongeBob SquarePants. Running since 1999, this Emmy-award winning television series is the longest-running Nickelodeon show of all time. 

 

Steve Hillenburg, the creator of the show, is a prime example of following your passions, as he worked as a marine biologist before returning to school to study experimental animation. As a former marine biology teacher, Hillenburg's love for the creatures of the sea inspired him to create teaching tools for his students; these characters would later become the stars of the show. 

 

The theme song was composed by Mark Harrison and Blaise Smith, but the lyrics were created by Hillenburg and the series' creative director, Derek Drymon. In the series' anthem, the iconic Painty the Pirate, also known as Captain, was voiced by Patrick Cullen Pinney, who sang the entire theme song itself.

 

In an interview with Boston.com, Hillenburg shared his feelings of the show hitting its 10th anniversary back in 2009.

 

"I never imagined working on the show to this date and this long. It never was possible to conceive that. I really figured we might get a season and a cult following, and that might be it," said Hillenburg.

 


4. Family Guy | "Family Guy Theme Song" by Walter Murphy

 

 

The witty-humoured and parody-filled animated series, Family Guy, has been entertaining its large fan base since 1999. With its detailed animation and original music, this hit series was created by Seth MacFarlane for the Fox Broadcasting Company.

 

The catchy theme song, featuring voices from all of the starring characters, was composed by both MacFarlane and composer Walter Murphy. The album, Family Guy: Live in Vegas, features the theme song as the only piece from the series, as the rest of the songs were composed solely for the album itself. 

 

MacFarlane, who voices several roles on Family Guy, spoke to TIME in an interview about the series. When asked if the idea of showmanship is an important underpinning of his type of humor, MacFarlane responded:

 

"Yeah, I think so. There's an element of showmanship in old television at its best that's been lost today. Where you really see it in the most emblematic sense is with the absence of of opening titles. They don't do it anymore. Certainly in Family Guy and American Dad, we actually had to fight to have an opening title song," said MacFarlane. "The fear from the network is that somebody somewhere is going to change the channel, and as a result, they are just terrified of the idea of a main title that people might be bored by. What they don't realize is that it's the opposite. It's a drum roll. It's something familiar and exciting that tells you, All right, you're about to see a great show. Everybody knows the Gilligan's Island theme. Everybody knows the Cheers theme."

 


3. The Addams Family | "The Addams Family" by Vic Mizzy

 

If you ever can't think of words that rhyme with spooky, The Addams Family theme song has got your back. This unforgettable theme song was written and composed by Vic Mizzy, a well-known Hollywood film and TV composer.

 

The popular series ran for 30 minutes at a time and aired for two seasons from 1964 to 1966. With its catchy finger snaps and unforgettable rhyming words, this opening theme song is almost guaranteed to get stuck in your head.

 

In a 2008 interview on CBS' Sunday Morning show, Mizzy shared that because he owned the publishing rights to the theme song, it made for an effortless payday. 

 

"I sat down; I went 'buh-buh-buh-bump [snap-snap], buh-buh-buh-bump,'" said Mizzy. "That's why I'm living in Bel-Air: Two finger snaps and you live in Bel-Air."

 


2. The Flintstones | "Meet the Flintstones" by The B-52's

 

The theme song to everyone's favorite Stone Age family, The Flintstones, is just as iconic as the 1960s animated television series itself. Composed in 1961 by Hoyt Curtin, Joseph Barbera, and William Hanna, the opening song is one of the most memorable theme songs, with its catchy lyrics: "Flintstones, meet the Flintstones, they're the modern Stone Age family."

 

The show first aired in 1960, and after 166 episodes, it closed out the series in 1966 after making its way into the hearts and home of countless families. 

 

The main creator of the show, Joseph Barbera, died in 2006, but he was remembered for creating countless memorable characters and shows, including Tom and Jerry, Yogi Bear, The Jetsons, The Smurfs, and of course, The Flintstones. In an interview with Television Academy, Barbera shared how he'd want to be remembered.

 

"I just hope they remember I was the creator of some very warm and loving, funny characters that made everybody happy and smile," said Barbera.

 


1. The Golden Girls | "Thank You For Being a Friend" by Cynthia Fee

 

Written by Andrew Gold, "Thank You For Being a Friend" is one of the most heart-warming, catchy theme songs of all time. After releasing the song in the late '70s, the song later became the theme for the NBC sitcom, The Golden Girls, where a jingle singer, Cynthia Fee, sang it for the TV version.

 

The song focuses on the ever-lasting gratitude that comes with having a true friend, and with lyrics about a friendship lasting until old age, the song fits perfectly with the narrative of the show. All it took for Gold to write this classic song was an hour and his musical partner, Brock Walsh, to motivate him into writing this memorable tune. 

 

Jim Colucci, author of Golden Girls Forever: An Unauthorized Look Behind The Lanai, shared that the producers originally wanted a different theme song for the show in an interview with Fox News.

 

"They approached the publishing company for Bette Midler's song, 'Friends,'  but it was too expensive. Eventually of the producers remembered Andrew Gold's song, 'Thank You For Being A Friend.' They licensed it and hired a session singer named Cynthia Fee. Even though the recording session was slated to last for an hour, she did it in one or two takes — maybe 20 or 30 minutes — and planned on never thinking of it again. The irony is that thanks to unions, every time your song gets played, you get paid. So this job she did on a random weekday in 1985 has put her kids through college," said Colucci.