Ten Memorable TV Theme Songs

Writing and creativity are two very important aspects of a successful television show.  As is the cast.  But storylines and characters are not the only facets that excite someone like me.

A TV series’ theme song is a lot like hype music.  Simply hearing the opening tunes of certain television shows sends shivers down my spine, in a good way, whether I am remembering an older series that I enjoyed as a child, or getting ready to watch programs I follow nowadays.  And sometimes, theme songs are just catchy.

So today, I’m sharing ten theme songs that bring back fond memories or intensify my excitement to watch a new episode.  Heck, some of these are listed because I just can’t help myself from singing along or dancing every time I hear them.

Crime Story

If I’m in a piano bar, I will request the artist play “Runaway” every single time…

Miami Vice

With Miami Vice, it wasn’t just the theme song.  The series’ soundtrack featured a ton of songs that I still love to hear today… especially “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins.

The Greatest American Hero

Ah, the memories of Ralph.  I watched House, the horror movie from the ‘80s, not the TV show—although I watched that too—just because William Katt was in it.  Maybe I expected him to fly around in a red leotard and cape?


Hearing this music still gives me chills.  I’m so glad the TNT reboot kept the opening theme.

Hawaii Five-0

Just like Dallas, I am so very glad CBS kept the original theme music for the 5-0 reboot. I fast forward through the opening credits of so many TV shows, but not this one.


Man, what a staple of the ‘90s, huh?

The Sopranos

“You woke up this morning, got yourself a gun…” My guy never watched The Sopranos.  We need to have a marathon.  He doesn’t know what he missed!

RIP Mr. Gandolfini.


“Little boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky tacky, little boxes on the hillside, little boxes all the same.”  I particularly loved how the style of the “Little Boxes” song changed, depending on the episode’s and/or season’s theme.  This is one catchy song…

Pretty Little Liars

“Got a secret, can you keep it?”  So very fitting for our Pretty Little Liars

The Walking Dead

It’s just an instrumental, but The Walking Dead theme music fits the series perfectly.  I’ve even recognized bits and pieces of it playing in other TV shows… and you know when it does, the “stuff” is going to hit the fan.

Your turn.  What are some of your favorite TV theme songs?  I’d love to hear from you!

20 Replies to “Ten Memorable TV Theme Songs”

  1. The one that really made me smile (my eyes stinging with tears) was The Sopranos. Gosh. I’ve mourned James Gandolfini like a family member.

    I’ve had added the theme from That 70s Show. And….the theme from Happy Days. Which really dates me, I’m sure.

    1. Mr. Gandolfini’s passing was just so sad, Catie. I know he was a talented actor, and I have seen him in a ton of movies, but he will always be Tony Soprano to me.

      Happy Days doesn’t date you! Or maybe it dates me too? LOL

  2. The odd thing is I just put Crime Story into the DVD rotation this coming weekend replacing AHS. I liked Little Boxes, and the Friends theme never hit me until I saw the video with the cast taking over the song from the musicians. Not to date myself TV night when I was a kid was ushered in with the theme from I Love Lucy and Ernie Kovacs.

  3. I can’t believe Buffy didn’t make your top ten! LOL. I actually like the melancholy theme song to Angel, too. Then there’s Cheers. I think you picked some great ones, and my favorite of your picks is Hawaii Five-O

    1. Buffy would have definitely made the list if it had been just a little bit longer… 🙂 I can’t remember the Angel theme. I’ll have to look it up. And Cheers was a great one. I thought about using it too. Great minds…

      Thanks for stopping by, Lauralynn!

  4. Great subject! Even growing up in the 80s, I didn’t know the themes for Miami Vice and Dallas. I agree that Hawaii Five-O is one of the best TV themes ever. Big Bang Theory has a good opening song. I actually enjoyed the opening theme for Lipstick Jungle (Bitter Sweet – The Bomb).

    From my childhood, Welcome Back, Kotter was memorable; Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was fun; The Addams Family is a classic; and the variations of The Cosby Show theme were interesting. But the best theme song ever in my book is…The Muppet Show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJ9yAV8uQ7g

    1. Hey, Julie! I watched Lipstick Jungle, but I don’t remember the intro. I’ll have to Google it… and I thought about using The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The intro and the Carlton Dance are classics today. 🙂

  5. I loved Greatest American Hero! The theme songs from my favorite shows always bring back the joy of watching them.

    I have to second the motion for Buffy and Angel on the list. And add in X-Files. 😀

    1. Hey, Emma! Crime Story is an older ’80s series that wasn’t on the air for long. But if you like police procedurals, I highly recommend you check it out…. even if only for the theme song. 🙂

    2. Wonderful review. I love so many of Henmygwai’s short stories, ‘The Killers’ in particular. The 1946 film was a great piece of noir, but I had no idea, until now, that another film version even existed. Thanks Andrew, I’m off to hunt down a copy of Don Siegel’s interpretation.

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