I’ll quite happily admit that I watch too much TV, I don’t know what exactly constitutes the ‘right amount’ of TV but I know I definitely watch more than that. I also listen to a whole lot of music which is where this niche list developed from. I suppose it would seem like a testament to my own preferences, however I am staying un-biased in my rankings, looking at each theme tune as its own ‘track’ if you like, as well as it’s relevance to the show. There’s a few which cropped up for me which I never realised were performed by these artists, but that’s the beauty of this super specific top ten. Here we go.
Talking Heads ‘Once in a Lifetime’- Numb3ers
So I’m starting my list with a track with technically isn’t a theme tune but a song used in place of a theme. Talking Heads’ ‘Once In a Lifetime’ is a classic indie track which was used on the pilot episode of mathematical based crime show ‘Numb3rs’. I felt like this one needed to be included on the list because it was such an unusual choice of song in comparison to the show itself. On my first watch I was surprised but pleased to hear such a classic song playing over cheesy numbers based graphics. The show decided to change their theme tune following on from the pilot to a monologue by one of the main characters. Still, It was nice while it lasted.
Lillix cover The Romantics ‘What I like about you’- What I like About You
One of the most underrated teeney-bopper TV shows of the early 2000’s. Pre-breakdown Amanda Bynes (Holly)moves in with her big sister Valerie and wreaks havoc on her up-market New York Lifestyle. This girl-punk version of the aptly named ‘What I like About You’ is upbeat and fun, much like the show itself and was very sisters doing it for themselves. Plus the song and the theme tune had the same name which is always a bonus in my eyes.
Ozzy Osbourne Dog the Bounty Hunter Theme – Dog the Bounty Hunter
This essentially fits into my list because I’m all about rock music being used for a TV theme tune. This show was beyond bad-ass and the choice of Ozzy Osbourne to perform the title tack is just as bad-ass.
Gavin Degraw ‘I Don’t Want To Be’- One Tree Hill
‘I don’t Want to be’ from Gavin’s debut album Chariot became the theme tune of early 2000’s drama series ‘One Tree Hill’. Full of angst, romance, drama and non stop bangers, One Tree Hill had everything. As seen in the video Gavin and his band featured in an episode of the show to perform the track, one of many bands who graced the shows various venues. This track started on my list at number 10 but as I’ve been writing its moved up a few places. As a stand alone song it’s genuinely good and the show it’s self had such a heavy musical presence, it’s earned its right to be higher up in this list.
Hilary Duff- My Super Sweet 16
Spoilt kids spunking their parent’s money on lavish 16th birthday parties, as if turning 16 is the be all and end off of life itself. MTV really provides us with the best of the worst. The premise of the show is no way near as hilarious and pretentious as the families we follow throughout each episode. I chose this theme because it was performed by Hilary Duff, who at the time of the show first being aired, was one of Disney’s sweetest and most loved actresses and at only around 18 years old herself, it was an incredibly fitting choice. The other thing to point out is the song itself is actually over 5 minutes long! Who knew.
Christina Milian ‘Call me, Beep Me’- Kim Possible
I’ll admit that I never actually watched Kim Possible, I do however know that it was an incredibly popular cartoon, especially amongst my generation. Kim was a kick ass cheerleader who also made a habit of saving the world, her theme tune was just as kick ass as her. Performed by Christina Milian the sassy sexy pop star, the track in all honesty is catchy as hell. Created for the show, the story in the song reflects that of the show its self, it’s also is making me want to go and binge watch the whole series.
The Rembrandts ‘I’ll Be There For You’- Friends
To be honest, no TV based list is complete without Friends at this point. It’s become a bit of an institution; relatable, quotable, watchable and basically everyone over the age of 15 has seen at least one episode. If you’re like me you’ll have seen every episode, many times, again, I watch too much TV. Narrowly missing out on the top three, purely because the top three have way more relevance to the shows they were made for. Friends made this song a massive hit, with the characters featuring in the band’s music video, from the guitar intro to the four claps during the first verse, I’d quite confidentially say a solid 60% of the population would recognise the tune. That being said, I don’t think many would be able to recite much from after the first chorus, I know I can’t.
Bowling for Soup – Phineas and Ferb
Another on this list which has been moved around a whole lot, originally being my number one. I re-considered after deciding this list needed to be un-biased. Phineas and Ferb was a classic cartoon, it was hilarious but not in a stupid way, it had wit and well thought out plot lines. Lasting for 8 years, Phineas and Ferb had the longest summer holiday’s known to mankind. The theme tune was performed by Bowling For Soup best known for their song ‘High School Never Ends’. I think they missed a trick by not calling the title track ‘Summer Holidays never end’ but I digress. The theme tune’s lyrics were perfectly timed with the opening sequence and told us of the adventures the brothers were set to go on. It’s a banger basically, truly pop-punk and perfectly fitting for the show.
Barenaked Ladies -The Big Bang Theory
I don’t think anyone expected The Big Bang Theory to be as massive as it is today, 11 years on and nearly 12 seasons deep it’s safe to say it’s popular. A group of nerds and a hot girl is essentially what the show equates to but it’s a winning combo, up the nerds! The theme tune, composed and performed by Barenaked Ladies solely for the show, tells the story of the actual big bang, in the fastest and catchiest way imaginable. Second on my list because the song exists for the sole purpose of being a theme tune and also the fact the brains behind it have been a famous group for around two decades.
Will Smith- Fresh Prince of Bel Air
Ding ding we have a winner! Performed by Will Smith himself, the star of the show and written alongside his best friend, fellow DJ and co-star DJ Jazzy Jeff. As theme tunes go, this one really is genius, it explains the story behind the show meaning anyone can jump into any episode and know what’s going on. Its memorable, upbeat and has easy enough lyrics that makes it a bit of an earworm which gets stuck in your head all day. I’ve even been out to nightclubs and heard this played towards the end of the night when everyone’s drunk enough to belt out the rap tune like it’s the best song anyone has ever heard, then we all go home and watch the show the next day. Genius.