CRITIC'S CUT: The Most Iconic TV Theme Songs

BWW TV World is thrilled to present our weekly Critic's Cut: slicing the best (and the worst) moments of pop culture into ten little digestible pieces.

Critic's Cut now runs every Monday, presenting television's 'Best Of' moments, characters, shows, and more!

This week's edition is a compilation of the most iconic - and straight up awesome - television theme songs. Listen or watch them all below!

10) The Simpsons
It's cheeky and over-the-top and that's what makes it great. It's undergone minor variations throughout the years (mainly on specials or a switch-up in what Bart scrawls on the chalkboard), which is also great. Undoubtedly the pinnacle of fine animated theme songs.
(Courtesy of adamkear)

9) The Addams Family
Yeah, they're spooky and kooky. What is it about this one that makes it a staple in every kid's music class? The snapping? Probably the snapping.
(Courtesy of RetroTimeTV)

8) Gilligan's Island - "The Ballad of Gilligan's Isle"
Well, the opening theme certainly gives you the entire backstory of the show. So that's a plus. This one seems to have stood the test of time simply because it was, well, fun.
(Courtesy of BlastFromTheePast)

7) M*A*S*H - "Suicide Is Painless"
The film made use of the lyrics by Robert Altman's 14-year-old son (really) but the television show just made use of the music. And really, that's all you need.
(Courtesy of eastest566)

6) Friends - "I'll Be There for You"
Okay, full disclosure: I've never found Friends to be particularly charming or funny. At all, really. But does this opener not make you wish that you had friends? Anyone? Anyone? Just me?
(Courtesy of jeanelle micallef)

5) Murder, She Wrote
Oh, god. Angela Lansbury riding a bike and jogging to the most elderly, jaunty tune ever. It's perfect. Without a doubt, this theme captures the lovable absurdity of Jessica Fletcher as not only the ultimate, grandmaster-grandmother sleuth, but the upbeat, offbeat tone of the show.<

Note: Click the image to head on over to YouTube - embedding has been disabled on the video.
(Courtesy of Slacktoo2010)

4) Happy Days
A simpler time? No doubt. Happy Days' theme song unabashedly captured the entire aura of the show, and continues to reign as one of television's most recognizable opening tunes.
(Courtesy of AZ14142)

3) All in the Family - "Those Were the Days"
Who would have guessed Archie Bunker was so crotchety based off of the opening theme? Try and prove that this isn't one of the most heart-warming and catchy introductory tunes in TV history. Do it.
(Courtesy of BlastFromTheePast)

2) The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
It hardly matters if you couldn't stand Carlton or Will (I personally can't,) or even watched the show. EVERYONE knows this theme. And I'm only mildly ashamed to say I know the entire thing.
(Courtesy of Vissor)

1) Cheers - "Where Everybody Knows Your Name"
Does this not comfort you?! Does this not make you want to head to your local sports bar and try to spark conversations with all of the people that don't want to talk to you? Listen and reminisce, listen and reminisce.
(Courtesy of Tiktook)


More From This Author

Tyler Peterson Tyler is one of BroadwayWorld's lead News Desk Editors, covering breaking Broadway and theatre news daily. He studied Public Relations and Creative Writing at Loyola University Chicago while working part-time for BWW on evenings, weekends, and occasionally during classes. He has also been involved in the Chicago theatre industry, working in media relations and publicity with Margie Korshak, Inc.