In today's TV climate, several shows don't even bother with theme songs (Lost
, for example). Or the songs are barely a blip on the screen (Grey's Anatomy
). That wasn't the case 20 years ago.
If you're a child of the 80s, there's something nostaligic about the decade's TV theme songs. But there's also something really hokey about them too. Here's our list of the corniest 80's TV theme songs:
10. Facts of Life
This song is really stupid, but you have to admit that the guys here on Scrubs
nail it to the point where it's hard to say whether or not it should even make the list. No, it's still sucky.
Worst Line: "You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life."
9. Full House
The song is pretty standard as far as 80's themes go, but the goings ons during the song are pretty representative of how dumb the show was. The theme actually sounds like something Randy Newman
wrote, sang, and nearly shot himself when he heard it.
Worst Line: "Everywhere you look, there's a face of somebody who needs you."
8. Golden Girls
These silver haired foxes were the closest of friends, even when their intentionally misaligned, sitcom personalities drove each other nuts, and that's what the song is all about. There's something funny about that famous line: "If you threw a party, invited everyone you knew, you would see the biggest gift would be from me, and the card attached would say, 'Thank you for being a friend.'" Why does it have to be the biggest gift? Doesn't the sentiment written in the card express more than the size of the package? Those materialistic seniors . . .
Worst line: Again, "If you threw a party, invited everyone you knew, you would see the biggest gift would be from me, and the card attached would say, 'Thank you for being a friend.'"
7. Growing Pains
The song is not that bad, but it's just so darned optimistic to the point of nausea. There is not a line in there that isn't a testament to how awesome this couple is. "We got the world spinning right in our hands?" They're talking about the strength of their love, but that line sounds like their love could be a gateway to world domination.
Worst Line: "We got each other, sharing the laughter and love."
6. Who's the Boss
The song is terrible on it's own, but who can forget that image of Tony Danza
spitting in his hand to shake the hand of the woman who would hire him as her nanny? Yes, a tattooed guy from Brooklyn who spits in his hand. That's the guy one wants to entrust with the responsibility of watching one's children. It's not a believable concept, but looking closely at the name of the supervising producer, Bud Wiser, it becomes clear how a show with a theme song this bad sounded like a good idea.
Worst Line: "There were times we lost a dream or two. Found a trail, and at the end was you." Gag!
5. Perfect Strangers
The thing that makes this song so bad is the loftiness of it all. "Standing tall on the wings of my dreams? This flaming heart?" Really? I thought the show was about a couple of long-lost cousins moving into a crappy apartment in Chicago.
Worst Moment: Balki and Larry trying in vain to walk through the wind, like it's a tornado baring right down on them. I mean, Chicago is the windy city and all, but come on!
4. Family Ties
This is arguably the best show on the list, but the song gives a whole new meaning to the word hokey. While "Growing Pains" hammered the point home that love can conquer all, this one goes right past that to the point of codependency. Also, there's some lousy grammar in that there song. Consider the line "There ain't no nothin' we can't love each other through." That's an English teacher's nightmare: the coveted quadruple negative!
Worst Line: "It's like I started breathing on the night we kissed, and I can't remember what I ever did before." That codependency is so thick, Corky with his glasses couldn't even see through them (You have to be a real fan of the show to catch that reference).
3. Charles in Charge
He was in charge of our days and our nights, our wrongs and our rights, and in the mid to late 1980s, he was clearly in charge of sucking. Watching the clip from the theme song, you'll be sure to remember the grumpiness of Mr. Powell, the annoyingness of the nerdy sister, and the unbridled, sheer 1980's hotness of Nicole Eggert
. There's nothing hot about the song, unless it's likened to a flaming hemorrhoid, and come to think of it, this little ditty sounds like a hemorrhoid set to music.
Worst Line: "I want Charles in charge of me." It kind of sounds perverted, maybe even S & M-ish.
2. Small Wonder
If this were to be a worst show ever list, "Small Wonder" would be number one, without question. If there were a most annoying character and/or neighbor list, Harriet from "Small Wonder" would also lock in a number-one spot with no close second. Furthermore, if one were to compile a worst special effects on a sitcom list, the effects team responsible for those scenes where the pint-sized robot Vicki lifted someone in the air with one hand would leave all others in the dust. As far as the theme song goes, its crappy Christmas carol vibe sucks just about as much as the show, Harriet, and the effects. Well, maybe not as bad as Harriet, but give it a listen because it's pretty darn lousy.
Worst Line: "She's fantastic, made of plastic, microchips here and there."
1. Hogan Family
It seems like so many 1980's sitcoms were all about how wonderful white, suburban families are, but consider this line: "In the heart of every family, there's a love that's waiting there for you, through the years." That lyric is enough to make an orphan get all self-conscious, sad, depressed, and he/she may even run away and sniff white out. Did you ever think of that, you self-righteous Hogan bunch? Also, that has got to be the corniest game of touch football ever caught on film.
Worst Line: Go ahead and read that craptastic lyric again and try to say it's not the dumbest thing you've ever read: "In the heart of every family, there's a love that's waiting there for you, through the years." See, even worse the second time around, right? Surely that alone bumps it right up to number one.
Story by Matthew Swanson
Starpulse contributing writer