Your Nostalgia Is Killing You: The 30 Worst TV Theme Songs Of All Time

By 08.29.11

Oh, bless your nostalgic hearts: That 10 year old inside of you will never allow you to recognize it, but the theme song to “Family Ties” and “Boy Meets World” was crap. Pure crap. Maybe you’re old enough to understand objectively that the “Friends” theme song was not very good, but it doesn’t even compare to how awful say, the theme to “Small Wonder” was. Sure, you brain will allow you to recognize how awful Ace of Base and Air Supply were, but the firing neurons just won’t make the logical leap it’s supposed to make when you hear the “Perfect Strangers” or “Family Matters” theme song. There’s too much of your childhood tied up into those shows; too many glowing memories to allow your brain to recognize how hideous the soaring synthesizers were, or the ridiculousness of the commercially-processed funk was. ALAN THICKE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND!

That was some seriously awful music, but you can’t hear it. Because, as Don Draper astutely noted in a presentation once, nostalgia is the most powerful drug of all. It’s so blinding that when you heard they were remaking Short Circuit and rued the raping of your childhood, you weren’t even able to recognize that it was, in fact, the original Short Circuit that raped your childhood with cheese, stupidity, and a cheap talking robot with emotions.

It’s time to recognize. Some of this list is going to make you angry. Maybe very angry. You’re probably going to want to call me names. That’s just your nostalgia talking. You’re not thinking right. But it’s time to rip off the band aid and peer into the oozing sore your nostalgia has drilled into your hippocampus. The first step is admitting that these songs are awful, gloriously awful, and then — and only then — can we begin the healing process.

But don’t worry — in your brain, Candace Cameron and Topanga will always be hot.


Gimme a Break


Facts of Life


Diff’rent Strokes


Silver Spoons


Family Ties


Growing Pains


Laverne and Shirley


Sabrina the Teenage Witch


Charles in Charge


Gilligan’s Island


The Brady Bunch


Family Matters


Full House


The Cosby Show


Boy Meets World


Miami Vice


Who’s the Boss


Perfect Strangers


Small Wonder


Hogan’s Family


CHiPs


Saved by the Bell


Night Court


The Love Boat


Fantasy Island


Falcon Crest


One Day at a Time


The Partridge Family


Fat Albert


Mork & Mindy

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