10 Awful TV Theme Songs You Can't Get Out of Your Head - Mania.com

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10 Awful TV Theme Songs You Can't Get Out of Your Head

You may loathe them, but you can't escape them

By Rob Vaux     March 12, 2010

10 Awful TV Theme Songs You Can't Get Out of Your Head
© Mania/Bob Trate


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.

3. Firefly

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. 
Ah, TV. Here are some articles a young growing TV lover might enjoy. From 2008, 10 Worst 80's Shows That Need to be Remade. You'll notice in that one, somebody at ABC must have been listening to us. If you do love TV as much as we do, here is 8 Annoying TV Characters.
Of course, to be pleasing on the eyes, we also have the dirty dozen; the 12 Hottest Women of Genre TV.

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Showing items 1 - 10 of 56
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redslayer 3/12/2010 12:34:36 AM

What about the theme from the Fall Guy!  That should be here, is one of the worst

MrJawbreakingEquilibrium 3/12/2010 1:04:44 AM

I was going to suggest an article similar to this about the worst songs from movies after hearing Beyond Thunderdome the other day for the first time in many, many years.  God, what a horrible song.

MrJawbreakingEquilibrium 3/12/2010 1:07:23 AM

And the Firefly song was awesome.  I don't care what anybody says and it fits with the premise of the show perfectly.

SarcasticCaveman 3/12/2010 1:32:48 AM

Agreed, MrJawbreaking, on the Firefly theme...pretty f*ckin' great, IMO.  I'm proud to say that I wouldn't know the Walker, Texas Ranger song if I heard it...never watched the show...for such a badass (nod to the Chuck Norris facts), he's been doing pussy work for the last couple decades.  Anyway, with Firefly needing to be off this list, what should take it's place...I'd like to nominate Dawson's Creek...annoying as hell, and hard to get out of your head when even Cartman goes around singing it.  I know it's not genre, but having never watched Walker, Texas Ranger or TJ Hooker, I have no idea how those are considered genre as the term applies to this site.

flinshadytoo 3/12/2010 1:43:33 AM

 How can you possibly diss the wonder woman theme it's pure 70s class, satin tights & rights, great stuff, they don't write 'em like that no more (thank god! lol) I remember most of these as a kid, used to love knight rider theme, they ruined it when it was updated. But streethawk had the coolest synth theme, tangerine dream preformed it & I even got the 7" vinyl. how about whiz kids that was a synth version of beethoven I think, used love that too.  & finally the enterprise song was soooooooo bad it was good, raise you lighter in the air and wave it around good. 

flinshadytoo 3/12/2010 1:44:48 AM

 Meant performed not preformed although they might of!

invisioner 3/12/2010 1:47:11 AM

 No Voyagers? No Quark? Those sucked more than the shows did!

Or how about the Hardy Boys?

TayDor 3/12/2010 3:31:31 AM

Oh come on....the Knight Rider theme was the coolest ever back then.  And Greatest American Hero had a theme that fit the casual nature of the show.

If you're going to dis the Knight Rider theme, then throw in Miami Vice. 


Article writers throw out the word "genre" like they're getting royalties everytime they type it.  Do they even know what genre they are talking about?  Walker, Texas Ranger isn't really part of the Sci-fi "genre."  Kung Fu is closer to Sci-fi with its more mystical content.

spiderhero 3/12/2010 4:23:36 AM

Wow, I never hear the Texas Ranger theme having not watched a single episode despite my cousin being a thug in one episode. I'm from Texas and that song makes me want to puck & burn my flag.

Knight Rider is one of my favorite themes ever so I  must take issue there.

Spider-Man...ouch. OUCH!

Never heard of Small Wonder before...could have lived happy if it stayed that way.

Darkknight2280 3/12/2010 4:29:14 AM

Im right there with you on that TayDor...Maybe Rob has a person vendetta oput on these tv shows. Maybe he was abused as a child while these TV shows played in the backround (well maybe not firefly..lol) LMFAO j/k  but seriously most of these are great themes...cept Walker;s theme should be #1 cause its horrible. Having said that i await the fury that is Chucks roundhouse kick to my face.

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