[Update: We’ve added an additional popular theme song to the list!]
Here at Screen Rant, we focus most of our energy on covering news from the film world. But we’re also big fans of the small screen, and with the resurgence in genuinely great television shows over the past decade or so, I figured it’s about time we celebrated an aspect that is too often overlooked: the theme song.
I’ve compiled a list of what I believe are the catchiest TV theme songs in recent memory. Like any good list-maker, I had to operate under a set of parameters; without rules, this list would balloon to monstrous proportions. So what qualifications do these songs need to have in order to make this list?
- The theme song must be for a show that first aired in the year 2000 or after.
- The song can’t be one that was already entrenched in popular culture (Bon Jovi’s “Dead or Alive” for Deadliest Catch, or any song by The Who for the various CSI shows).
- Webster’s dictionary defines “catchy” as “easily retained in the memory.” For the purposes of this post, my definition of “catchy” is the viewer can learn all of the words (or can hum the whole tune) within the first few listens of each song.
Now that the criteria are established, let’s get to it!
J.J. Abrams’ spy show gave Jennifer Garner some of the best work of her career. This techno-fused theme, jolting in and out of sync, perfectly captures the constantly shifting identity of Sydney Bristow.
9. Veronica Mars
The opening credits of the first two seasons of Veronica Mars (RIP) featured this great track by The Dandy Warhols, titled “We Used to be Friends.” Unfortunately, this upbeat version was replaced by a darker and more somber remix for the show’s third and final season.
8. The Big Bang Theory
“The History of Everything” was created by Canadian rockers The Barenaked Ladies for Chuck Lorre’s CBS sitcom about lovable nerds and their awkward social relationships. The lyrics here are without question the most educational of any on this list, mirroring the nature of the show’s main characters by teaching the audience something and entertaining us at the same time.
7. Parks and Recreation
Even though this show is only in its second season, this song has become one of my favorite TV themes thanks to its bouncy composition and mesmerizing melody. I don’t know about you, but this one gets stuck in my head for days at a time – especially after seeing this Star Wars-themed parody, “Jabba the Hutt.”