Some TV theme songs are welcome additions to our inner monologues: as familiar and reliable as an old pair of slippers. Others, however, are memorable for all the wrong reasons, and worse: once implanted in our skulls, they drive us to brink of madness and beyond. For every Twilight Zone or Incredible Hulk theme (which, as one Mania staffer put it, "I want them to play at my funeral"), there are dozens of others which… well, which sound like these 10. Take a listen for yourself, if you dare.
Note: We stuck solely to themes from genre shows or those with genre trappings. Otherwise, the mighty army of crappy sit-com theme songs would’ve overwhelmed our defenses, ravaged our possessions and abscond with all our beer.
10. Walker, Texas Ranger
We know we’re risking the wrath of Chuck Norris and his unstoppable Fists of Pain™, but there are some things the man really shouldn't do. Like sing the theme song to his wildly successful reactionary cop show which put countless hordes of punks, hippies and no-goodnik mad scientists in their place.
9. TJ Hooker
Few who witness it will ever forget the sight of William Shatner sucking in his prodigious gut as he flops unceremoniously onto the hood of a speeding car… especially after the annoyingly catchy opening credits crawls into your head and lays eggs in your brain.
8. Knight Rider
An admittedly controversial choice, this techno-heavy rendition of the seminal David Hasselhoff show earns a spot thanks to its inescapable ‘80s-ness and the gravitas-laden voiceover admonishing us to take the talking car really, really seriously.
7. Spider-Man From the Electric Company
Gen-Xers need to reach deep into their memories for this one: Not the eternally groovy theme from the 1960s cartoon show ("spins a web, any size/catches thieves just like flies"), but the intro to Spidey's segment on the ‘70s PBS kids' show. Granted, we learned valuable lessons during that segment, like how to read and what Morgan Freeman looks like ensnared in a web, but it's counterbalanced to the damage our fragile young psyches suffered by having to listen to this beforehand.
6. Land of the Lost
As if the horrible Will Ferrell remake weren't bad enough, fans of the cult classic Sid and Marty Krofft kids show from the 1970s had to sit through this distressingly banjo-heavy introduction. By the time it's done, you're praying for Grumpy to devour you whole just to get the sound of it out of your mind.
5. Small Wonder
Those of you who missed this syndicated 1980s show--featuring a little girl robot adopted by a wacky suburban family who has to keep her existence a secret--avoided one of the breathtaking low points in all of television. Not only does the little girl stand as the single most annoying robot of all time (in a category which includes Twiki, K-9 and those computers from Read All About It), but… well… give a listen.
4. The Greatest American Hero
"Believe or not, I'm walking on air/I never thought I could feel so free-EEEEEEE!!!"
Please clearly mark your postal bombs before sending them. Thanks.
Fans of Joss Whedon's cult series really have suffered for their love. The constant schedule changes… the abrupt cancellation… the theatrical film that nobody saw… and oh yeah, the theme song they had to either defend as vehemently as the rest of the series or pass off with a, "don't worry, it gets a lot better."
2. Star Trek: Enterprise
Why would you follow up the indelible themes of Alexander Courage and Jerry Goldsmith with a Rod Stewart sound-alike folk-rock abortion? Oh right, because you want to strangle the golden goose which has served as a studio tent pole for over 40 years. Way to go, Paramount.
1. Wonder Woman
The 1970s Wonder Woman TV show embodied a delicate balancing act between the sheer exquisite perfection of Lynda Carter and the unspeakable awfulness of absolutely everything else. That includes the wock-a-chicka disco theme song--perfect for the story of a Greek Amazon who fights Nazis, yes?--which may contain the single goofiest lyrics ever, ever, ever. "In your satin tights, fighting for your rights?" Everybody out of the pool. NOW.
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