Cartoons have given us some of the best openings over the years – be it because of their catchy music or their raw popularity, theme songs have become a mainstay of pop culture. Some of these songs have even transcended the medium they originated from, making appearances in music made by renowned musicians.
In this list, we’ll be taking a look at the top 5 catchiest, most easily recognisable, and all-around best cartoon theme songs of all time.
Number 5 – Cowboy Bebop
We begin our list with one of the most stylish anime shows of all time, the ever-popular Cowboy Bebop. While the show is mostly remembered for its cool visuals and its suave protagonist, Spike, most fans would agree that music plays a pivotal role in the show’s popularity.
Tank! Is the perfect theme song for the show, as it exposes the tone and style of Cowboy Bebop perfectly. It also helps that the visuals accompanying the music look amazing, giving viewers a glimpse into the characteristics of each of the show’s main characters.
Number 4 – Teen Titans
In the early 2000s, DC was still riding on the coattails of the excellent Batman: The Animated Series. Along with some shows like a new Justice League and Batman Beyond, there was a show that strongly resonated with younger audiences, and that show was Teen Titans.
The opening theme, performed by Japanese rock duo Puffy AmiYumi, serves as an introduction in the style of classic superhero themes of the 70s – with a modern, J-rock coat of paint over it. The song proved so popular that the duo got their own Cartoon Network show, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi.
Number 3 – SpongeBob Squarepants
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?
This question has resonated in everyone’s minds for a little over two decades ago. A modern-day sea shanty, the SpongeBob Squarepants theme song has become almost as popular as the titular yellow sponge.
Performed by Painty the Pirate and written by show’s creators Stephen Hillenburg and Derek Drymon, the song has a peculiar story to go along with it. Drymon has gone on record saying that Hillenburg’s idea was to make the most annoying song possible so that parents would always know when SpongeBob was on because they’d hear a pirate yelling to their kids.
This is definitely one of the best cartoon theme songs of all time.
Number 2 – Spider-Man
In the 60s, superheroes were nowhere as popular as they are in today’s era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s total domination over the box office. However, we did get some of the most memorable theme songs from that era, including the Batman theme. However, when it came to cartoons, none rivalled the energy of the Spider-Man animated series opening theme.
The lyrics of the song detailed how Peter Parker could do whatever a spider can and had some seriously catchy music that is still associated with the character to this day. A snippet from the 60s Spider-Man theme can be heard in the main theme of the Spider-Man: Homecoming film.
Number 1 – The Simpsons
Composed by Danny Elfman, The Simpsons theme song is one of the most easily recognizable tunes in TV history. The animated family has been on TV for over 30 years now, becoming one of the longest-running shows in history.
The theme song captures the zany energy of the show to a T, and it also shows viewers how the citizens of Springfield usually go around their daily lives. While the opening sequence was upgraded to a more HD-friendly version in recent years, it still retains its iconic theme, and that’s a tune that might survive even long after the show’s unlikely cancellation.