A sitcom’s theme song used to be as iconic as the show itself. Who doesn’t know what sitcom has “Where everybody knows your name” as part of its theme? Even those of us who have never watched Cheers would recognize that theme song anywhere. Here are a few more of our favorite sitcom theme songs.
1. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Theme
Long before this theme became a meme (heh, we rhymed), we were challenging each other on the playground to see who could recite as many lyrics as possible before either forgetting one or screwing up. Knowing all the words to this theme made you the coolest kid in the pack.
2. Saved By the Bell Theme
The first of the two theme songs for this show was nowhere near as good as its second. While the first theme sounded more like a poor man’s Bon Jovi, the second was less showy and became the theme we now know and love (and one of the only good things about the show’s follow-up, The New Class).
3. The Nanny Theme
The theme song to The Nanny was a delightful contrast to Fran Drescher’s nasally voice and insufferable laugh. It was so out-of-place for a ‘90s show, which was why we loved it so much, sounding more like The Andrews Sisters’ “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and less like Family Ties.
4. Married...with Children Theme
Well, they had the “marriage” down, but the “love” part always seemed kind of misplaced. Toleration, maybe, but love? You can’t get more early ‘90s than Married...with Children, and it was one of the only shows to have someone as impressive as Ol’ Blue Eyes Frank Sinatra performing their theme song (“Love and Marriage”).
5. Full House Theme
With its umpteenth time in syndication, we wanted to strangle ourselves when we heard the open chorus of singers that start off this theme, but growing up with it, it felt as welcoming as the Tanner family, of whom we always secretly wanted to be a part.
6. Happy Days Theme
You can tell older Happy Days from newer Happy Days by its theme song. The show started off with “Rock Around the Clock” playing on its jukebox, which then evolved into the “Happy Days” with which we’re better familiar and which perfectly encompasses that nostalgic “things were much simpler back then” kind of feeling.
7. All in the Family Theme
The appeal of this theme, and of the show to which it belongs in general, is how much it reminded folks of their own folks. You could easily imagine (and some of you didn’t have to) your parents sitting down at the piano after dinner and belting out this little gem together, off-key and off-colored as they were. Jean Stapleton’s shrill “singing voice,” if you can call it that, had you laughing before the show even started.
8. Charles in Charge Theme
Shandi Sinnamon, the singer who performed this theme that made us all want a Charles of our own, had a voice that sounded like it should have gone farther than just television, and it did - she not only performed “He’s a Dream” from the Flashdance soundtrack, but she also performed several songs for ‘90s films and television and has worked as a background singer for such performers as Todd Rundgren and Bernadette Peters.