Stranger Things has set itself apart as one of the best shows on television. Part of its appeal is its ability to tap into the 1980s, which, as most people know, was also the golden age of television theme songs. Even now, the theme song remains a key element of many TV series.
It is, in fact, a key aspect of the nostalgia that many people feel for many shows of the past. The users of Reddit have been particularly illuminating, shedding light on some of the best theme songs to have graced the small screen.
Stream On Disney+
There’s no question that DuckTales is one of the most beloved Disney animated series. For many millennials, it holds a cherished place in their memory, and a lot of this can be ascribed to the very catchy theme song.
It has a particular relevance to nightsscatlet, who writes: “I made my husband a shirt using a vintage DuckTales shirt. Every time he wears it at least 10 people sing the theme song to him.” It has just the right mix of 1980s nostalgia and Disney catchiness to make it an instant earworm, and even those who aren’t terribly familiar with the show recognize the song.
The Golden Girls (1985-1992)
Stream On Hulu
The Golden Girls is often seen as one of the best sitcoms in the history of the genre. In addition to showcasing the profound power of female friendship, it is also a series that explored some of the most important topics of the 1980s and early 1990s. To top it off, the theme song was incredibly catchy, putting into words the show’s general ethos.
Seanhoofs says simply: “Golden Girls theme is pretty unbeatable.” It is the type of theme song that has come to be so firmly associated with its series that it’s impossible not to think of the two together.
The Muppet Show (1976-1981)
Stream On Disney+
The Muppets are beloved icons, and they have been in numerous movies and TV shows. Arguably one of the best of these was The Muppet Show, which managed to make the variety show into something new and infectiously enjoyable. Its theme song is everything that makes the show itself such a delight, with joy in every movement and beat.
As theHip puts it simply, saying it’s “a great one.” Watching the Muppets themselves perform and sing is itself a source of joy, and it does a great deal to explain why these characters remain so beloved among audiences.
Gilligan’s Island (1964-1967)
Stream On Roku
The 1960s was a strange decade for the sitcom, and it produced some unusual premises for a sitcom. Of these, Gilligan’s Island was one of the more bizarre, focusing as it did on a group of castaways on a desert island.
Even those who haven’t watched the show very much, however, are sure to recognize the theme song, with its catchy tune and neat distillation of the show’s essential set up. Blue-shirt69 exclaims: “Gilligan's island, hands down!” The theme song has significant nostalgia value, and it is evocative of that particular period in television history.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987-1996)
Stream On Prime Video
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is often seen as one of the best animated series. It’s easy to see why, as it is filled with all of the things that made the 1980s such a golden age for Saturday morning cartoons.
Among other things, it also has a very catchy theme song, one which does a very good job of letting the viewer know just what kind of show they are about to watch. Petulant_platypus identifies it as one of the best theme songs. As with many other theme songs, many love it for the nostalgia value alone.
Adventures Of The Gummi Bears (1985-1991)
Stream on Disney+
For much of the 1980s, Disney excelled at providing strong Saturday morning cartoon entertainment. With series like The Gummi Bears, they cemented their place in the memories of many older millennials.
As rich1051414 puts it: “Gummi bears. I watched the show one time when I was 3 years old, and that theme song somehow still manages to earworm me as a 37 year old man.” It is, to be sure, more than a little silly, but that’s precisely part of its appeal. It allows the viewer to simply take pleasure in being a child again.
Stream On Hulu
Cheers is indisputably one of the greatest sitcoms of the 1980s. It takes the conventions of the traditional sitcom and manages to elevate them into the former of popular art. The show’s genius is evident from the first moment that the theme song plays, as it so nicely articulates what the series will be about and how it will approach its characters.
DogoCola1229 puts it this way: “The Cheers theme was always a banger.” More than anything else, perhaps, it truly did make viewers feel as if they were entering the warm and welcoming atmosphere of the bar.
The Jeffersons (1975-1985)
Stream On Pluto TV
Like many of the other sitcoms created by Norman Lear, The Jeffersons managed to blend uproarious comedy with a social conscience. Focusing on a middle-class African American couple and their various neighbors and friends, it offers a fascinating portrait of America in the 1970s and 1980s.
Like many of the other great sitcoms of the period, it also featured a catchy theme song, and this one earned its place in the pantheon of greats, as ArtSchurple points out. It somehow manages to be both very catchy and also very apt for the focus of the show as a whole.
Stream On Hulu
Often considered one of the best medical dramas of all time, M*A*S*H is one of those series that manages to be very funny, deeply philosophical, and wrenchingly tragic, sometimes all within the same episode. Focusing on a mobile surgery hospital during the Korean War, it managed to address many pressing issues of the 1970s, particularly involving Vietnam.
And, while its theme song was wordless (unlike its movie counterpart), it has still become intrinsically connected to the show. Stabbymcbackstab sums it up nicely: “I'm always a little in awe at how perfect the song is for the mood of the show. A comedy based on such trying circumstances. The show really was a diamond. The theme song brought it all together.” There is, indeed, something more than a little plaintive about the music itself, which helps to blend seamlessly into the show.
The Andy Griffith Show (1960-1968)
Stream On FuboTV
The Andy Griffith Show is a series very much of its time. Full of small-town charm and simple values, it offered viewers of the 1960s a comforting portrait of the country they were living in.
Part of the show’s charm stems from its theme song which, though wordless, is nevertheless immediately recognizable for its signature whistle. TheHip articulates it this way: “Absolutely this is the best. I whistle it all the time.” Even now, many years after the series left the air, its influence continues to be felt and heard.
NEXT: 10 Best TV Show Theme Songs, According To RankerSource:gamerant.com