15 TV Theme Songs That Take Us Way Back

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The theme song is unfortunately a dying art these days, with only a select few shows dedicating their extra time to a musical intro. 

In days gone by, the theme song used to be the bread and butter of TV, telling the audience what the tone of your show was, and giving them an extra 30 seconds to race to the TV so they didn't miss anything. Today, you're lucky if you even get a 'previously on' reel. We were feeling nostalgic this week at TV Fanatic, so we dragged out a few of the 'oldie but a goodie' theme songs from the past.

Take a look at some of our favorites that take us back! 

1. One Tree Hill

This theme song became the anthem to so many high school students, and to this day you probably can't hear it without thinking "Brooke and Lucas SO should have ended up together." There was also that great season where every episode had a new cover when the theme played. Awesome.

2. Friends

Even if you've never seen a single episode of Friends, you bet your ass that when that *clap*clap*clap*clap* part comes up, you are at the ready. Friends was a cultural monster, and their theme song played a huge part of that.

3. Cheers

Where everybody knows your name. That says it all, doesn't it? The theme song for Cheers was so memorable, it became the tagline for the bar that served as the setting for one of the most popular and successful comedies of all time. Hard to top that!

4. True Blood

This one is from the not so distant past, but the True Blood opening was a creepy homage to both southern tradition and blood and guts. For such a sensual show, the theme certainly played around with some strange elements, but it was no less effective for it. True Blood wins a spot in the lineup for straight up ick factor.

5. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

Admit it, you know every word. If anyone even starts to hum this song at a party, at least fifteen drunken idiots start shouting it from the rooftops. That's when you know you've reached the top. Will Smith truly created a masterpiece with this one.

6. Veronica Mars

There's nothing too flashy about the Veronica Mars theme song at first look, but after you've spent three days straight marthoning the first two seasons? It starts to take on a surreal deeper meaning. Don't even get me started on how they altered the song for the college years. I just can't.

7. The OC

California, here we come. For fans of the mid-2000s Fox teen drama, enough said.

8. Alias

The kickass beat of this theme was made ten times more awesome by the addition of every costume Sydney Bristow had ever worn. From the blue rubber dress to the geisha getup, Sydney really knew how to comit to a cover.

9. Lizzie McGuire

Oh, Lizzie. Half the fun of watching this show was wondering what bizarre hairstyles would appear next. They really loved their crimping irons in the early 2000s, didn't they? Like any good teen sitcom, Lizzie McGuire's theme song was silly, sappy, and had a cartoon cameo from Lizzie's pushy alter ego. Good times.

10. How I Met Your Mother

For staying on the air 9 full seasons, it's amazing that the intro for How I Met Your Mother barely ever changed. There were only three deviations from the original version: The rock band version, the Barney version, and the very strange Russian doppelganger version.

11. Are You Afraid of the Dark

I still get chills even thinking about this theme song. The creepy music, the rocking boat, and way too many giggling clowns for my tatse. It was the perfect way to psyche yourself up for a super scary tale every week.

12. Gilmore Girls

Hands down, the girliest, cheesiest, catchiest theme song of them all. Sometimes you can't stand it, and sometimes you have to belt it out with a brownie-batter-smeared spatula in your hand, like a true Gilmore Girl.

13. Full House

What theme song collection would be complete without the ever popular Full House? Now that they've got a revival show coming up, we wonder if they'll mix it up, or keep the original theme song... Either way, this one makes the history books!

14. Night Court

Night Court was a pleasant, albeit pointless comedy of the '80s and early '90s that lasted nearly a decade despite being overshadowed by The Cosby Show, Cheers and Seinfeld, but fans will remember its funky intro like it was yesterday ...

15. Law & Order

We understand if you got sick of Law & Order after about the 17th season ... but admit it, the theme song is a pretty sick synthesized beat, and was long a calling card for one of TV's most successful franchises and its (too) many spinoffs.

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One Tree Hill, Friends, True Blood, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Veronica Mars, How I Met Your Mother, Gilmore Girls
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One Tree Hill Quotes

Remember tonight, for it is the beginning of always. A promise, like a reward for persisting through life so long alone. A belief in each other and the possibility of love. A decision to ignore simply rise above the pain in the past. A covenant, which at once binds two souls and yet severs prior ties. The celebration of the chance taken and the challenge that lies ahead. For two will always be stronger than one. Like a team braced against the tempests of the world. And love will always be the guiding force in our lives. For tonight is mere formality. Only an announcement to the world of feelings long held, promises made long ago in the sacred space in our hearts.


Anna: First they put away the dealers,keep our kids safe and off the street. Then they put away the prostitutes, keep married men cloistered at home. Then they shooed away the bums, then they beat and bashed the queers, turned away asylum-seekers, fed us suspicions and fears. We didn't raise our voice, we didn't make a fuss. It's funny there was no one left to notice when they came for us.
Peyton: Anna, it's not about who I am, okay. It's about who they are. They are people who hate, and they divide, and they feed off of people who don't fight back. Yeah I could laugh this off, but what about the girl who can't? Who's gonna help her? Silence only makes them stronger.