There are some great TV show theme songs out there. Some of them were written exclusively for the show they introduce. Some already existed and are such perfect fits that it’s hard to believe they were created for any other reason.
We’re about to rank the best TV show theme songs. These tunes are just too good to skip! Let’s see how many of your TV show theme song favorites make it onto the list.
15. The Drew Carey Show
The Drew Carey Show theme song is a 1997 cover done by The Presidents of the United States of America. The original was released in 1979 by Ian Hunter. The song, named Cleveland Rocks, is seen as a de facto anthem in Cleveland, Ohio. Its a really good tune, I can see why the city latched on to it.
The theme song for Firefly was written for the series by director Joss Whedon. It’s a perfect fit for the show both musically and lyrically. If you haven’t seen Firefly yet, you owe it to yourself! It’s not just one of the best sci-fi TV shows ever, but one of the best one-season TV shows ever made.
13. Afro Samurai
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The Afro Samurai theme is yet another fantastic piece of soundtrack work from The Rza aka Robert Diggs.
He’s no stranger to producing music for projects involving Japanese martial arts, having scored movies like Jim Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai and Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill: Volume 1.
It’s a good sign when The Rza’s name is attached to something, as he seems to have a good instinct for recognizing quality.
The Futurama theme song was written by Christopher Tyng and closely resembles a 1967 song called Psyche Rock by Pierre Henry. It is played on the tubular bells and has been remixed for specific episodes multiple times.
Some of these remixes use samples from other songs, and there were even two beatbox versions performed by Billy West and John Dimaggio.
Originally there was going to be a different version of the song for each episode. The idea was scrapped when they realized that the sound did not transmit well through most people’s TV sets.
11. True Detective: Season One
True Detective‘s first season’s theme song was, like the show itself, the best out of the three seasons. The mood and lyrics perfectly forebode the grim episodes ahead.
The song is called Far From Any Road and was written by the Handsome Brothers. You don’t need the really cool visuals of the shows intro to enjoy this tune. It stands solidly on its own.
10. Better Call Saul
The band Little Barrie submitted over around 30 different riffs to Better Call Saul’s music supervisor for the show’s intro. The showrunners ultimately made a wise choice because this is a really cool 12-seconds of music.
9. Trailer Park Boys
The Trailer Park Boys theme is a song by Blain Morris called The Breeze. It was heavily influenced by the piano from Tony Bennett’s “I Left My Heart In San Fransisco”. The ironically idyllic lilting piano notes play in perfect contrast to the impoverished, dysfunctional setting of the show.
8. The Venture Bros
The Venture Bros satirizes 60s shows like Johnny Quest, so of course its theme song would be influenced by soundtrack music of the decade. It has the sound of a modernized version of a 60s spy-action theme.
7. Bojack Horseman
The Bojack Horseman theme was written by Patrick Carney (the drummer for the Black Keys) and his uncle Ralph Carney. Patrick Carney layered some tracks and sent the recordings to his uncle who added the saxophone and filled out the rest of its sound. The result speaks for itself.
6. The Simpsons
The Simpsons has one of the most iconic intros in TV history and one of the most recognizable theme songs in existence. Danny Elfman composed the piece and has said that it was the most popular of his career.
5. Batman: The Animated Series
Danny Elfman turned down scoring the opening music of this series so the job went to Shirley Walker. Elfman writes some great Batman music, but we’re lucky we got to hear what Walker had to offer. The Animated Series score ranks among the best Batman themes ever.
4. King of the Hill
The King of the Hill intro music is from a song called Banditos by The Refreshments. This song is as Americana as the show and lets you know exactly what you’re in for.
3. The Pink Panther Show
There’s no better music for sleuthing than The Pink Panther theme song. It was originally written for the 1963 film but was also used for this 1969 cartoon.
2. The X-Files
When the eerie whistle and haunting synthesizer of The X-Files intro kick in, you know you have a fun hour ahead of you. This song precisely sets the tone for a show full supernatural and extraterrestrial conspiracies.
1. Mission: Impossible
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The Mission: Impossible theme has been emblematic of the spy genre for over half a century. It went on to influence countless musical themes of anything having to do with spy stuff.