The GetUp Crew

The GetUp Crew

The GetUp Crew

LOS ANGELES - CIRCA 1977: The cast of the TV sitcom 'The Jeffersons' (L-R Berlinda Tolbert, Sherman Hemsley, Isabel Sanford, Franklin Cover, Roxie Roker and Marla Gibbs (seated)) circa 1977 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Some TV theme songs are iconic. The way you can tell if they’re iconic is, if it’s decades later and you know every word. If decades later that song is still used in some way shape or form in commercials or just sung at parties, it’s iconic. What are the best TV theme songs of all time? Let’s find out.

Best TV Theme Songs

How did Rolling Stone came up with its list of the best TV theme songs of all time? They put together a list of TV theme songs throughout history then broke it down by looking for diversity in terms of style of music, style of show, and era. Then, according to Rolling Stone: “1)How great is it as a song? 2)How well does it prepare you for the show that follows, in terms of mood and/or an explanation of the premise?”

Are TV theme songs a thing of the past?

Some people may argue that there really isn’t a need for theme songs anymore. This article in Looper made some valid points like: they don’t serve the same purpose of setting up the show, people have zero attention span at this point, and it takes time away from valuable storytelling. I don’t know about you, but when there’s an option to “skip intro,” I usually do. The only exceptions are when it’s the first episode, and the final episode. I feel like I have to experience the whole show front to back before I end it.

What follows is a list of the 100 Greatest TV Theme Songs of All Time according to Rolling Stone. Do we agree? Right away there is a glaring omission from the top 10 and that would be GOLDEN GIRLS! Other than that, this list looks pretty respectable. You can carry this debate over to the Getup Crew Facebook page.

  • #20 All in the Family

    Gotta love Edith’s screaming/screeching/singing in this song.

  • #19 The Sopranos

    Even if you don’t watch the show, you know this the second it comes on.

  • #18 The Simpsons

    Gotta love the Simpsons! And the iconic shot of the family on the couch at the end of the theme song is perfection.

  • #17 The Muppet Show

    Just try not to sing along. I dare you!

  • #16 The Rockford Files

  • #15 Mission Impossible

    An unforgettable song.

  • #14 The Wire

    The theme song for The Wire is “Way Down in the Hole.” It was written by the singer-songwriter Tom Waits and was included on his 1987 album Franks Wild Years.

  • #13 Cheers

    When you’re from Boston you automatically know this. And I’m sure you are screaming “Norm” in your head.

  • #12 Hawaii 5-0

    The Hawaii Five-O theme song is an instrumental composed by Morton Stevens. It was the theme music for the show that aired from 1968 to 1980.


  • #11 Game of Thrones

    The Game of Thrones theme song It was composed by Ramin Djawadi in 2011. This was after series creator DAvid Benieoff and D.B. Weiss approached him about doing the theme song.

  • #10 Too Many Cooks

    Too Many Cooks is a surreal black comedy short that originally aired as a special during Adult Swim’s “infomercials” block on October 28, 2014.

  • #9 The O.C.

    The O.C. theme song is “California,” a song by American rock band Phantom Planet. It was released as a single from their second album The Guest in 2002.

  • #8 Friends

    The Friends theme song, “I’ll be there for you,” was by pop rock duo The Rembrants. The NBC sitcom aired from 1994 to 2004.

  • #7 The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

    The Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song was by DJ Jazzy Jeff, and the show’s star Will Smith. Will wrote the lyrics after reading the scripts from the pilot episode. He then presented the song to Quincy Jones and who immediately loved it and accepted it as the theme song.


  • #6 The Twilight Zone

    The original theme song to The Twilight Zone was written by Bernard Herrmann. He was an Academy Award-winning composer who frequently collaborated with Alfred Hitchcock.

  • #5 Mister Rogers Neighborhood

    The Mister Rogers Neighborhood theme song was such a great opener to the show. From the moment he changed into his sweater and sneakers, kids were in!

  • #4 Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

    Crazy Ex-Girlfriend actually had three theme songs.  They created  a new theme for each season of the CW comedy, about from Rebecca’s (Rachel Bloom) evolution.

  • #3 Sanford and Son

    The Sanford and Son Theme song is called The Streetbeater.  The theme for the 70’s show was composed by Quincy Jones.

  • #2 Tie The Brady Bunch

    The Brady Bunch theme song was originally sung by the Peppermint Trolley Company from California. They sang the for the pilot episode and season 1, and later the vocals were sung by studio musicians. Then in Seasons 2 – 5, the song was sung by the Brady kids.

  • #2 Tie Gilligan's Island


    The Gilligan’s Island producer ,Sherwood Schwartz, had his pilot episodes rejected twice. Before resubmitting a reworked pilot, he decided to use a new theme song. He worked with composer George Wyle to develop a folk song that told the back story of the castaways, and hired The Wellingtons to sing it. The song was a hit.
  • #1 The Jeffersons

    The Jeffersons theme song, “Moving on up,” was written and sung by Ja’Net DuBois. She played neighbor Willona Woods on the show Good Times.


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