67 Best TV Theme Songs

Best TV Theme Songs

Everybody loves TV shows, but where’s the love for TV theme songs? After all, theme songs are the vehicle by which you remember a show, the music that introduces you to the mood, and the way that musicians make a stamp on the TV world.

Are you embroiled in a debate about the best TV theme songs? Just want to take a tour through the small screen’s best musical entries? Take a read through the songs on this list!


1. Cheers – “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” by Gary Portnoy

Song year: 1982

“Where Everybody Knows Your Name” is the iconic theme song to the long-running sitcom Cheers. Its gentle piano melody and heartfelt lyrics capture the warm, welcoming atmosphere of the show's titular bar, where everyone is a friend and you're always at home.

2. One Tree Hill – “I Don’t Want to Be” by Gavin DeGraw

Song year: 2003

“I Don't Want to Be” by Gavin DeGraw is the opening theme song for the teen drama One Tree Hill. The song perfectly captures the essence of the show, which revolves around a group of teenagers in a small town in North Carolina. The show explores themes of love, friendship, family, and pursuing one's passions.

3. Arthur – “Believe in Yourself” by Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers

Song year: 1996

A feel-good anthem of hope and perseverance, “Believe in Yourself” urges listeners to stay positive and embrace their individuality. Ziggy Marley's reggae-inspired sound resonates perfectly with Arthur‘s message of self-belief and acceptance.

4. Blossom – “Blossom Theme” by Mike Post and Steve Geyer

Song year: 1990

The catchy, upbeat instrumental theme of the '90s sitcom Blossom perfectly captures the show's quirky, optimistic spirit. Its jazzy flourishes and bouncy melody, along with the adorable dance that star Miyam Biyalik performs during the title sequence, make it a memorable introduction to the coming-of-age series.

5. Friends – “I’ll Be There for You” by The Rembrandts

Song year: 1995

The ultimate feel-good anthem of friendship, “I'll Be There for You” is instantly recognizable as the theme of the iconic sitcom Friends. Its upbeat guitar riff and catchy chorus perfectly capture the show's sense of camaraderie and fun-loving spirit.

6. The Jeffersons – “Movin’ On Up” by Ja'net Dubois and Oren Waters

Song year: 1975

“Movin' On Up” is a rousing, amusing depiction of the social advancement that defined The Jeffersons (the titular family had initially appeared on All in the Family and moved from Queens to Manhattan at the beginning of the series).

7. The Big Bang Theory – “The History of Everything” by The Barenaked Ladies

Song year: 2007

The Big Bang Theory theme song is a fun, upbeat ode to science and reflection on the origins of the universe. With its clever lyrics and infectious melody, “The History of Everything” perfectly captures the show's nerdy charm and intellectual humor.

8. The Brady Bunch – “The Brady Bunch Theme” by Frank De Vol and Sherwood Schwartz

Song year: 1974

The Brady Bunch’s title tune captures the wholesome, family-friendly spirit of the genre- and decade-defining 70s sitcom. Its catchy melody and irrepressible sing-along lyrics have made the song synonymous with the show's goofy plots and wholesome values.

9. Full House – “Everywhere You Look” by Jesse Frederick

Song year: 1987

“Everywhere You Look” is the upbeat, catchy theme song to the beloved ensemble cast Full House. With its peppy guitar riffs and sing-along lyrics, this song perfectly captures the show's family-friendly humor and warm-hearted spirit.

10. The Mary Tyler Moore Show – “Love is All Around” by Sonny Curtis

Song year: 1970

The theme song to the groundbreaking Mary Tyler Moore Show is a classic ode to hope and optimism. “Love is All Around”’s upbeat energies embody the joy and wonder at new beginnings, just as Mary herself experiences in the series.

11. Scrubs – “Superman” by Lazlo Bane

Song year: 2000

Lazlo Bane’s upbeat rock tune “Superman” serves as the opening theme for the medical comedy-drama series Scrubs. Its simultaneous edginess and tenderness set the tone for the show's quirky humor and heartfelt moments.

12. Seinfeld – “Seinfeld Theme” by Jonathan Wolff

Song year: 1989

The iconic bass slap and quirky melody of the “Seinfeld Theme” perfectly capture the offbeat humor and everyday absurdity of the classic sitcom. Although it rarely appears in its entirety throughout the series, the very first twangs of the bass have created a Pavlovian smile for millions of viewers.

13. The Office – “The Office Theme” by James Ferguson

Song year: 2005

The next entry on our list is one of the most iconic theme songs of the twenty-first century. James Ferguson’s simple, catchy piano riff embodies the quirky, over-the-top humor of the TV series, and its thrilling melodic tune never fails to endow beauty to the central characters.

14. Parks and Recreation – “Parks and Recreation Theme” by Gaby Moreno and Vincent Jones

Song year: 2009

The jazzy, upbeat tune of the Parks and Recreation theme is, like the show itself, a fitting successor to the mockumentary style that The Office pioneered. Its peppy horns represent the optimistic and quirky spirit of the sitcom.

15. Pretty Little Liars – “Secret” by the Pierces

Song year: 2007

The eerie, ever-so-playful theme of Pretty Little Liars is “Secret.” The tune evokes a mysterious, suspenseful atmosphere that sets up the viewer for the convoluted Gothic twists that undergird the series. The song opens with an eerie singsong melody that culminates in a chilling final line.

16. The Sopranos – “Woke Up This Morning” by Alabama 3

Song year: 1997

The Sopranos has been acclaimed as one of the greatest sitcoms of all time, and the iconic opening, “Woke Up This Morning,” matches this sentiment. The bluesy song helps ease the viewer into the show's complex characters and intense storylines.

17. Big Love – “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys

Song year: 1996

Big Love’’s theme song perfectly complements the madcap, polygamy-riven plot of the HBO series. Inverting the classic Americana love song with images from the show’s Mormon fundamentalist protagonists, “God Only Knows” underscores the show's exploration of love, family, and faith.

18. Family Guy – “Family Guy Theme Song” by Walter Murphy

Song year: 1999

Although it seems to be a work of pure absurdism, Family Guy’s zany theme song acutely parodies the family-values sitcoms of the 1990s, from Full House to Family Matters. Although the tune sings the praises of traditionalism, the cartoon form and over-the-top style put the cherry on top of the satire.

19. Gilmore Girls – “Where You Lead” by Carole King

Song year: 1971

The folksy, upbeat Carole King tune “Where You Lead” celebrates the close bond between two people, embodied in the narrator’s promise to go exactly where the other person goes. In the case of Gilmore Girls, it represents the timeless bond between mother and daughter.

20. Westworld – “Westworld Main Title” by Ramin Djawadi

Song year: 2015

The next theme song on our list is that of the HBO sci-fi drama/mystery box thriller Westworld.  Ramin Djawadi's haunting and epic theme, which draws on both orchestral and electronic elements, captures the Wild West-meets-futuristic vibe of the sci-fi western series.

21. The Politician – “Chicago” by Sufjan Stevens

Song year: 2005

Ryan Murphy’s Netflix series The Politician might be middling in terms of narrative quality, but the Ben Platt-led series has one of the best theme songs among digital releases. Sufjan Stevens’ “Chicago” adds a melodic, haunting, sacral energy to the TV series vibe.

22. The West Wing – “Main Title Theme” by W. G. Snuffy Walden

Song year: 2000

The stirring theme of The West Wing is perfect for the show, inflaming a sense of epic patriotic flair that complements the political drama series’ tune. The West Wing’s theme belongs on this list because it captures the idealism, passion, and drama of the show's fictional White House staff.

23. Beverly Hillbillies – “The Ballad of Jed Clampett” by Paul Henning

Song year: 1962

The twangy “Ballad of Jed Clampett” tells a story that sets up the TV series: it narrates the tale of the hillbilly family who strike it rich and move to Beverly Hills. Setting up the madcap antics and absurd fish-out-of-water storyline, “The Ballad of Jed Clampett” offers everything you need from a TV theme.

24. Gilligan’s Island – “The Ballad of Gilligan's Isle” by Sherwood Schwartz and George Wyle

Song year: 1964

The next ballad on our list is Schwartz’s and Wyle’s “Ballad of Gilligan’s Isle,” which introduces the quirky castaway characters of the titular sitcom. Despite its goofiness, the setup is much needed–after all, it’s a little challenging to get into Gilligan's Island’s antics if you don’t know why they’re on the island, to begin with!

25. Sanford and Son – “The Streetbeater” by Quincy Jones

Song year: 1973

Quincy Jones’ “The Streetbeater” is the perfect tune to set the tone for the classic sitcom Sanford and Son, which follows the exploits of a father and son duo running a junk business in a Los Angeles neighborhood. Most noteworthy is the horn hook, which will have you whistling the rest of the day after you hear it.

26. The O.C. – “California” by Phantom Planet

Song year: 2002

Following up on the success of Gavin McGraw’s theme for One Tree Hill, the upbeat indie-punk hit “California” aims to capture lightning twice with the immortal-rock-theme-song niche. Although the theme didn’t reach the heights of “I Don’t Wanna Be,” “California” still evokes the laid-back vibe and oceanic scenery of Southern California.

27. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Theme Song” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince

Song year: 1992

Our next song is inscribed in every Millenial’s heart and belongs to the genre of theme songs that summarize the story of the show. The iconic and infectious theme song to The Fresh Prince introduces the fish-out-of-water premise of the sitcom, where a street-smart teenager moves in with his wealthy relatives in Bel Air.

28. Righteous Gemstones – “Grande Messe des Morts, Op. 5, Requiem: Rex Tremendae” by Hector Berlioz

Song year: 1837

Perhaps the most ornate song on this list is the theme for The Righteous Gemstones. The song samples from the first thirty seconds of the “Rex tremendae” by nineteenth-century composer Hector Berlioz. In the context of Danny McBride’s absurd Evangelical satire, the song sets up the context of ostentatious devotion.

29. The Good Lord Bird – “Come on Children, Let's Sing” by Mahalia Jackson

Song year: 1967

The soulful and powerful “Come on Children, Let's Sing” by Mahalia Jackson captures the struggle and resilience of enslaved people in the historical drama series The Good Lord Bird, following abolitionist hero John Brown. The song is just one of the dozens of stellar musical samples in the miniseries.

30. Married with Children – “Love and Marriage” by Frank Sinatra

Song year: 1955

Frank Sinatra’s “Love and Marriage” serves as the opening theme for the irreverent sitcom Married with Children, poking fun at the idealized image of married life–a perfect reflection of the series’ main character, Archie Bunker.

31. Reba – “I’m a Survivor” by Reba McIntire

Song year: 2001

Reba McIntire used one of her own songs for her self-titled sitcom, to very good effect. The powerful and uplifting country anthem, which tells a story of overcoming adversity and standing strong, was actually changed a few times over the course of the series to add a more modern flair.

Interestingly, it also alters the lyrics from Reba’s original song to more closely reflect the premise of the series.

32. Futurama – “Futurama Theme Song” by Christopher Tyng

Song year: 1999

Christopher Tyng’s theme song perfectly captures the wacky spirit of the beloved Matt Groening animated series. Its fast-paced beats and upbeat melody are sure to get you grooving, not to mention prepare you for the explosively colorful visuals of the series.

33. M.A.S.H. – “Suicide is Painless” by The Ron Hicklin Singers

Song year: 1970

This hauntingly beautiful song appeared both in the film version and the TV series M.A.S.H. Its melancholic melody and poignant lyrics perfectly capture the pain and tragedy of war, which aligns perfectly with the TV series’ grim depiction of the Korean War.

34. CHiPs – “CHiPs theme” by John Parker

CHiPs - “CHiPs theme” by John Parker

Song year: 1977

CHiPs depicts the action-packed adventures of California Highway Patrollers, and the upbeat, jazzy tune perfectly aligns the series with the history of cheesy and fun 70s police procedural series. In addition to demonstrating some remarkable shots, the tune is also perfect to bump along with.

35. Hawaii Five-O – “Hawaii Five-O Theme Song” by Morton Stevens

Song year: 1968

The Hawaii Five-O theme song is one of the most iconic songs in the history of television. With powerful opening drums and a soaring horn theme, this show introduces viewers to the exciting action and adventure awaiting them in the tropical series.

36. I Love Lucy – “I Love Lucy Theme” by Eliot Daniels

Song year: 1951

I Love Lucy was a trailblazer in the history of American TV comedy, and its theme song is just as iconic. Its classy orchestral intro is a great way to settle into the vintage vibes of the series.

37. Dallas – “Dallas Theme Song” by Jerrold Immel

Song year: 1981

The opening theme to the popular 80s soap opera Dallas is a soaring instrumental composed by Jerrold Immel, featuring sweeping strings and horns that capture the drama and intrigue of the show's larger-than-life characters and their scandalous lives.

38. The Transformers – “Transformers Theme Song” by Ford Kinder and Anne Bryant

Song year: 1984

Though Transformers is now a global phenomenon, the action-packed franchise began with the energetic 80s cartoon The Transformers. Most memorable of all is its energetic and catchy theme song complete with robotic sound effects and lyrics that celebrate the heroic Autobots and their battle against the evil Decepticons.

39. Star Trek – “Star Trek Theme” by Alexander Courage

Song year: 1966

Next on our list is another sci-fi theme song, the theme to the original Star Trek series. In addition to the soaring orchestral music that enwraps the viewer in a thrilling journey to the stars.

The narration captures the spirit of exploration and adventure that defines the beloved sci-fi franchise.

40. Frasier – “Tossed Salad and Scrambled Eggs” by Bruce Miller

Song year: 1993

“Tossed Salad and Scrambled Eggs” is the quirky and whimsical theme song for the hit 90s sitcom Frasier, a spinoff to earlier listmaker Cheers.The jazzy introduction perfectly encapsulates the protagonists’ pretentious tastes and the program’s DaDa randomness.

41. The Simpsons – “The Simpsons Main Title Theme” by Danny Elfman

Song year: 1990

Is there a better theme song for an animated series than The Simpsons? If so, we’re hard-pressed to find it. The upbeat, hummable melody matches with the animated opening sequence that introduces viewers to the show's zany characters and iconic setting of Springfield.

41. Diff’rent Strokes – “It Takes Diff'rent Strokes” by Al Burton, Alan Thicke, and Gloria Loring

Song year: 1978

Not to be confused with the Sly and the Family Stones song of a similar name, the theme song to Diff’rent Strokes features lyrics that set up the show’s themes–the meeting of, unlike people in harmony and mutual respect. Who’d have thought that this list would help you philosophize?

42. The Fall Guy – “Unknown Stuntman” by Lee Majors

Song year: 1982

“Unknown Stuntman” is the rockin' theme song to the action-packed 80s TV series The Fall Guy, sung by star Lee Majors himself. The song celebrates the show's high-flying stunts and daring escapades, being narrated from the perspective of the stuntman who helps movie stars seem as daring and adventurous as they appear on the screen.

43. Greatest American Hero – “Believe It or Not” by Joey Scarbury

Song year: 1981

The infectiously upbeat theme song to the cult classic superhero comedy Greatest American Hero is one of the most memorable tunes in TV history. The song, which was performed by Joey Scarburty, was memorably lampooned via an answering machine message in Seinfeld.

44. Get Smart – “Get Smart Theme Song” by Irving Szathmary

Song year: 1965

It’s hard to believe that a song without lyrics could be memorable and catchy, but Get Smart proves that it’s possible. The catchy and whimsical theme opens the spy spoof with a jazzy tune. The song also appeared in the 2009 Get Smart film adaptation.

45. Cops – “Bad Boys” by Inner Circle

Song year: 1993

“Bad Boys” is the gritty and intense theme song to the long-running reality show Cops, written and performed by reggae band Inner Circle and capturing the adrenaline-pumping action of the show's police chases and arrests.

46. Charles in Charge – “Charles in Charge Theme Song” by David Kurtz, Michael Jacobs, Al Burton, and Shandi Sinnamon

Song year: 1984

The high-energy theme song to the 80s Scott Baio sitcom Charles in Charge is nothing short of poppy fun. The lyrics, narrated by a young child, describe the show's premise: a college student becomes a live-in nanny for a family of three.

47. Step by Step – “Step by Step Theme” by Jesse Frederick and Bennett Salvay

Song year: 1991

This entry is another appearance by Jesse Frederick and Bennett Salvay, the wunderkinder of the 90s TV series. The lyrics, which center on renewal and second chances, perfectly reflect the premise of the show.

48. Family Matters – “As Days Go By” by Jesse Frederick, Bennett Salvay, and Scott Roeme and performed by Jesse Frederick

Song year: 1989

“As Days Go By” is the upbeat and catchy theme song to the beloved 90s sitcom Family Matters, the origin of legendary proto-Sheldon nerd Steve Urkel. It is also the second song written by Jesse Frederick and Bennett Salvay, cementing the composer’s immortality in 90s entertainment.

49. The A-Team – “The A-Team Theme Song” by Mike Post and Pete Carpenter

Song year: 1983

 The iconic, instantly recognizable theme to The A-Team is a rousing instrumental piece by Mike Post and Pete Carpenter, featuring driving drums, electric guitar, and horns that perfectly capture the action and adventure of the hit 80s action series. Post, we should note, appears several other times on this list!

50. Three’s Company – “Come and Knock on Our Door,” composed by Joe Raposo and performed by Ray Charles & Julia Rinker

Song year: 1977

“Come and Knock on Our Door” brings the appropriate bubbly quirkiness to the theme of the classic 70s sitcom Three's Company. The playful lyrics evoke the show's premise, which centers around three friends sharing an apartment.

51. Golden Girls – “Thank You for Being a Friend,” composed by Andrew Gold and performed by Cynthia Fee

Song year: 1985

The theme song to The Golden Girls is heartwarming and sentimental, not to mention a perfect complement to the story of four women in their older years. Nonetheless, the song also transcends this premise, functioning as a timeless ode to the power of friendship.

52. Batman: The Animated Series – “Batman: The Animated Series Theme Song” by Danny Elfman

Song year: 1991

Pivoting from live-action TV to animation, we come to the ominous and haunting theme of Batman: The Animated Series. The dark, brooding piece was initially inspired by the theme of the 1989 Batman film, but Danny Elfman adapted the brooding piece for the cartoon with dramatic strings, horns, and percussion.

53. Living Single – “We Are Living Single” by Queen Latifah

Song year: 1993

“We Are Living Single” is one of the few songs on this list performed by a star of the series–in this case, the inimitable Queen Latifah. The song features funky musical stylings and catchy hooks, which help bring the funky, vivacious cast of characters to life.

54. In Living Color – “In Living Color” by Heavy D and Eddie F

Song year: 1990

In Living Color is a groundbreaking 90s sketch comedy series, and its upbeat theme introduces the program perfectly. The song, a rap-infused tune by Heavy D and Eddie F, sets up the series’ funky flair.

55. 7th Heaven – “7th Heaven Theme Song” by Johnny Rivers, Jack Tempchin, and Steve Plunkett

Song year: 1996

The soft and mellow theme song to the family drama 7th Heaven had a few purposes: sounding good and introducing the Camden family. The gentle acoustic guitar succeeds in the former regard, and its length gives time for viewers to meet each of the many cast members!

56. Charlie’s Angels – “Charlie’s Angels Theme” by Jack Elliott and Allyn Ferguson

Song year: 1976

Charlie's Angels is a classic of cheesy 70s TV, and its groovy, funky instrumental theme lives up to this legacy. The catchy bassline, wah-wah guitar, and booming brass perfectly capture the show's sexy, action-packed premise, which focuses on three female detectives working for a mysterious millionaire, the titular Charlies.

57. Mission Impossible – “Mission Impossible Main Title” by Lalo Schifrin

Song year: 1988

This iconic theme song is instantly recognizable with its fast-paced rhythm and brass-heavy melody. It perfectly captures the tension and excitement of the Mission Impossible franchise and is sure to get your heart racing. You can also catch it in the Mission Impossible film series!

58. Chico and the Man – “Chico and the Man Theme” by Jose Feliciano

Song year: 1974

Despite the tragic ending to Chico and The Man’s production history, the show’s theme songis the perfect match for the upbeat sitcom itself. With its upbeat Latin rhythms and fun, sing-along lyrics, it's hard not to smile when you hear it.

59. Hill Street Blues – “Hill Street Blues Theme Song” by Mike Post

Song year: 1981

Mike Post is back! Hill Street Blues’ melancholic title theme captures the somber police drama’s atmosphere. Its slow, mournful melody is accompanied by a simple piano and strings arrangement, which creates a haunting emotional atmosphere.

60. Welcome Back Kotter – “Welcome Back” by John Sebastian

Song year: 1975

The next entry on our list is the breakout TV series that made John Travolta a household name, Welcome Back Kotter. Its groovy theme song has catchy lyrics and a fun, disco-inspired melody, evoking Travolta’s later success in Saturday Night Fever.

61. Spider-Man – “Spider-Man” by Paul Francis Webster and Bob Harris

Song year: 1967

 This classic theme song, which has appeared in both Spider-Man media and as the “Spider-Pig” song in The Simpsons Movie,is as heroic and thrilling as the web-slinging superhero himself. Its upbeat rhythm and soaring melody perfectly capture the excitement and adventure of Spider-Man's world, though its vintage stylings ground the listener in the groovy 60s.

62. Malcolm in the Middle – “Boss of Me” by They Might Be Giants

Song year: 2000

Malcolm in the Middle is a defining show of the 2000s, and its punk energies perfectly match its theme song, performed by They Might Be Giants. Memorably, the song accompanies a collage of late-night TV clips, and the surging lyrics help energize the viewer for the protagonists’ antics.

63. Hannah Montana – “The Best of Both Worlds” by Miley Cyrus

Song year: 2006

This catchy pop song perfectly captures the duality of its protagonist's secret identity. From the first booming drum beats, the uplifting tune inspires the listener to leap into the air in excitement–as it has been doing to Millenials and Gen-Z cusps for years.

64. X-Files – “The X-Files” by Mark Snow

Song year: 1993

The eerie, haunting theme of The X-Files is the perfect complement to the show’s spooky subject matter. Somehow, the show captures the energy of being awake in the middle of the night, unable to sleep…and wondering about what might be out there.

65. Mad Men – “A Beautiful Mine” by RJD2

Song year: 2007

This atmospheric theme song perfectly captures the stylish sophistication of the acclaimed Matthew Weiner drama series. Its cool, retro-inspired melody and lush instrumentation evoke the glamor and excitement of the 1960s, meshing with imagery of an anonymous man tumbling past images of 60s commercialism.

66. 30 Rock – “30 Rock Theme Music” by Jeff Richmond

Song year: 2006

The 30 Rock theme song joins The Office and Parks and Recreation amidst the stellar theme song entries in 2010s NBC comedies (that’s a mouthful!). The theme was composed by star Tina Fey’s Husband, Jeff Richmond, and the subtle vocalizations emphasize the high-energy zaniness of the TV series.

67. Twin Peaks – “Falling” by Julee Cruise

Song year: 1989

The next song on our list is the moody, atmospheric introduction to the late-80s/early-90s TV series Twin Peaks. Fittingly for the groundbreaking program, “Falling” is hard to pin down. It both evokes the sweeping beauty of the titular town and the sinister moodiness beneath its roots.

Top TV Theme Songs, Final thoughts

Well, there you have it, dear reader! Although there are thousands upon thousands of TV themes out there, these represent just a sample of the best. Now, you just need to actually watch the episodes!

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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