10 Best TV Themes of the 80s

by Cole Pepper
August 2, 2013

Is there any better way to waste time than by playing “Name that Tune” to TV themes? Answer: no, no there isn’t. That has inspired me to compile the following list of the 10 Best TV themes of the 1980s. Note that this is not a list of the 10 best TV shows of the 80s (although many of these selections could make that list) and the only thing a show needed to do to qualify was to run at least one episode between January 1, 1980 and December 31, 1989.

10. CHiPs-Even without the early 80s splendor that is Erik Estrada, the CHiPs theme is a top 10 pick.

9. Family Ties-I love a TV theme that can stand alone as a song. If someone whistles this song, you’ll immediately conjure images of Alex P. Keaton and family.

8. Greatest American Hero-Has that special AM Gold quality. Ironically awesome or awesomely ironic? You make the call.

7. Simon and Simon-As you’ll see later on the list, I apparently have a weak spot for twangy guitar theme songs.

6. Dallas-Certainly iconic.

5. Magnum P.I.-The Ferrari. The Chopper. The mustache. The theme song.

4. Moonlighting-It’s tough to beat Al Jarreau singing your theme song. Great show, too.

3. Knight Rider-If you can’t recognize this song within 2 seconds of it starting, you weren’t alive in America in the 80s.

2. The A-Team-How many shows can parody one of the main characters other roles in the intro sequence? Just one. This one.

1. The Fall Guy-An upset? No way. The lyrics are genius and tell you all you need to know about Lee Majors’ character’s life.

I would have put the Wonder Years in, but because the song was an already established hit, I DQed Fred Savage and company. But if you insist…

Do you disagree? Let me know in the comments. Enjoy!

3 thoughts on “10 Best TV Themes of the 80s”

  1. The lack of 2 things disturb me:
    1. No Silver Spoons
    2. Diversity. Not an old, old wooden ship, but the lack of “urban” representation like Diff’rent Strokes and What’s Happening Now.

    Otherwise a through and accurate representation of the awesomest time for TV theme songs. I say we do 70’s next week.

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