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

Entertainment Features
08.29.11 118 Comments

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


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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