Top 10 Best 90s TV Theme Songs

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Top 10 Best 90s TV Theme Songs

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Nancy Roberge-Renaud
These catchy tunes are impossible to forget! For this list, we'll be looking at the most memorable theme songs from our favorite 1990s TV series. Our countdown includes “That 70s Show”, "Friends", “SpongeBob SquarePants”, and more!
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Top 10 90s TV Theme Songs


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 90s TV Theme Songs.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most memorable theme songs from our favorite 1990s TV series. We’ll only be looking at shows that premiered in the 90s, so shows like “The Simpsons”, which ran for all of the 90s but only debuted in 1989, won’t be included.

Which theme song brings back the most memories for you? Let us know in the comments!

#10: “That 70s Show” (1998-2006)

Starting with the second season, the 1972 song “In The Street” by Big Star was shortened and covered by Cheap Trick for the purposes of the show, and the rest is history. The opening theme features the gang in a car, jamming their hearts out to the tune. “That 70s Show” was very popular in its time, and definitely had a hand in launching a number of careers for its actors. The theme song resonates with fans and casual viewers alike, and it’s easy to see why. It’s loud 70s rock, and insanely catchy! Viewers are bound to sing along and get hyped for the episode ahead!

#9: “The X-Files” (1993-2002; 2016-18)

This show premiered nearly 30 years ago (yes, 30!), and its theme song is still recognizable, even to those who weren’t old enough to watch it at the time (and to those who weren’t born yet!). It was even released as a single and remixed a number of times. The echoey opening bars were actually created by accident, by composer Mark Snow. In his frustrations in the process of composing, Snow accidently turned on an echo effect, which is what ultimately made it so evocative of mystery and sci-fi. While Mulder and Scully could never be forgotten, the theme song is what’s really left its mark in pop culture, and not just because it’s been memed to death. Okay, maybe that’s a part of it...

#8: “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" (1993-95)

Ah, Saturday mornings as a child in the 90s… There was nothing better. The selection of shows to watch at the breakfast table were endless. And with this selection came a whole lot of awesome theme songs. The opening notes of the “Power Rangers”, though, have to be among the esteemed favorites. As its electric guitar reached a crescendo, cheers for the crime fighters rang in: “Go, go, Power Rangers!”, and we once again found ourselves in the invigorating world of the iconic “teenagers with attitude”. The electric guitar was in widespread use in the 90s for theme songs, and this one never disappointed. Composer Ron Wasserman really knew what he was doing.

#7: “X-Men” (1992-97)

Here’s another 90s masterpiece, this one co-composed by the aforementioned Ron Wasserman. The “X-Men” theme song is yet another exciting intro to a superhero franchise. The 90s really rocked out with some of our favorite superheroes, including Spider-Man and Batman. And, despite the awesomeness of those two themes, the “X-Men” opening is arguably the most memorable of the three. Its masterful use of the synthesizer makes for an incredible and distinct intro, the perfect way to present the characters--not to mention how darn cool it makes them look! There are just some tunes that can never be topped, and this is definitely one of them.

#6: “Pinky and the Brain” (1995-98)

“Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?” Ten points to whoever replied with “The same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the world!” The exploits of “Pinky and the Brain'' were always entertaining, but if you happened to not know this, the theme song would definitely clear it up. It introduces the titular characters and their ongoing battle to take over the world, which is pretty much everything you need to know. According to creator Tom Ruegger, the characters were actually inspired by the unusual personalities of a pair of producers on his earlier show “Tiny Toon Adventures”. Eddie Fitzgerald and Tom Minton, we salute you! Narf!

#5: “Animaniacs” (1993-98)

The “Animaniacs” are another nostalgic throwback to the exciting world of 90s cartoons. Much like the previous entry, the theme song blatantly announces the premise of the show (they’re ani-maniacs!), and its characters--of which there are many, including Pinky and the Brain! There’s even a quick cameo of then-president Bill Clinton playing the saxophone, which is… let’s be honest, not the strangest thing we’ve seen in cartoons. The series followed directly after the success of “Tiny Toon Adventures”, with many of the same writers and producers moving over to this project. Oh, man, us 90s kids revelled in the younger versions of famous cartoons… anyone remember “Muppet Babies”? Let’s just head over to the next entry before we get carried away!

#4: “SpongeBob SquarePants” (1999- )

Does anyone not know who lives in a pineapple under the sea at this point? This may seem like it should fall outside of our list, however, “SpongeBob SquarePants” premiered in 1999. SpongeBob’s theme song is arguably one of the most upbeat and uplifting ones out there. Have you ever not sung along? Case in point. Apparently, the oil painting in the beginning of the title song was found by creator and animator Stephen Hillenburg in a thrift store, and dubbed “Painty the Pirate”. Hillenburg’s lips are those featured on the pirate, however they are not the ones singing. That honor went to voice actor Patrick Pinney.

#3: “Pokémon” (1997- )

Have you heard of this thing called “Pokémon”? Probably not; it’s a super tiny franchise... Even 90s kids don’t remember it... The enormous world of Pokémon became a lot more accessible to Americans with the premiere of the American televised version in 1997. Its theme song is incredibly nostalgic for many of us and, let’s face it, it’s also incredibly corny. But that’s what we love about it! The “Pocket Monsters” have really invaded pop culture since then, with multiple spin-offs, and one (at times, hazardous) mobile app. Nothing made its impact like the original theme song, though, and it will always have a place in the hearts of Pokemon masters.

#2: “Friends” (1994-2004)

You can’t clap four times in a row without thinking of this one. Arguably the biggest sitcom of the 90s, “Friends” created an earworm for decades to come. Fun fact: American rock band R.E.M. was asked for one of their songs to be used for the show but they declined. Warner Bros. had no choice but to turn to the only available band on Warner Bros. Records: The Rembrandts. Honestly, we’re glad they did. We couldn’t imagine the tune performed by anyone else! Not very long after, the band actually ended up adding verses and released the song as a single. Now, it’s completely impossible to forget it, and it’s easily one of the few show openings we never skip. It’s catchy as all heck!

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“South Park” (1997- )
Goin’ Down to South Park, Gonna Have Ourselves a Time…

“Family Guy” (1999- )
Those Good Old Fashioned Values!

“Dexter’s Laboratory” (1996-2003)
In It, “Lives The Smartest Boy You’ve Ever Seen!”

“The Magic School Bus” (1994-97)
It Was Never a Normal Field Trip With ‘The Frizz’

“The Powerpuff Girls” (1998-2005)
Sugar, Spice, Everything Nice… and Chemical X

#1: “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” (1990-96)

You all know this had to be number one. It’s nearly impossible to find someone who doesn’t know it by heart. The song is titled “Yo Home to Bel-Air”, and was written, composed, and produced by Quincy Jones, Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff. It explains the premise of the show in perhaps the most entertaining way possible; how Will went from West Philadelphia to living in a fancy Bel-Air mansion. Of course, we’ll never forget Uncle Phil, Aunt Viv and the gang, but the theme song is what has really stuck around all these years. We don’t know what makes it so darn catchy; the lyrics, the beat… What we do know is the story all about how Will’s life was flipped-turned upside down.
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