Dec 08 2008

The 10 Best 80s Cartoon Theme Songs

Published by at 9:00 am under Lists,Television

 gummibears.jpg

As a child of the 80s, I grew up with slap bracelets, pogo balls, and of course, the Nintendo Entertainment System.  Still, nothing kept my little heart ticking like cartoons.  I’m not too familiar with what’s popular now as far as cartoons go (Dora the Explorer?), but watching 1980s cartoons was the closest my pre-pubescent self got to an orgasm.  Aside from the slick animation and great stories, it was the theme songs that made cartoons so enjoyable.  Here are, in my opinion, the 10 best cartoon theme songs from the 1980s.  These aren’t in any particular order, but I’m sure some moron will comment that [insert 80s cartoon here] should be #1. 

1.  The Smurfs

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFvWHn-93n8

My girlfriend likes this song so much that she insists I play it whenever we smurf.

2. Inspector Gadget

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKeE3saeguY

Wowsers!  I can hardly type this sentence right now because I can’t sit still to this song.  If the DJ played this at a club, I’d dash over to the first girl I saw and ask her to dance, and with a little luck, inspect her gadget.  I’ve still never seen one in real life. *tear* 

3. Ducktales

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frGLMtGsotc

“Life is like a hurricane.”  This theme is one that everyone knows, and the tune is irresistibly catchy.  It’s the Herpes Simplex of cartoon theme songs.

4. Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2e5q6ubDlZE

It’s not nearly as catchy as the Ducktales theme, but the theme to Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers is pretty friggin good.  Plus Gadget is a total babe.

5. Alvin & The Chipmunks

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EkmnlmtNLo

From one set of chipmunks to another, this theme is terrific.  I love Alvin spelling out C-H-I-P-M-U-N-K in this song, blazing a trail for future emcees like Snoop D-O-double-G, U-S-H-E-R-R-A-Y-M-O-N-D, and countless others.

6. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qI0FbYe3lRE

Kick. Ass. It’s impressive enough to create a jingle consisting of “teenage mutant ninja turtles” that doesn’t suck, but this theme song is actually really good.  I especially like the like the line, “Donatello does machines.”  Is that a reference to the Sybian?  Do you know what I’m talking about?  No?  Prude.

7. Muppet Babies

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ju75XsCO4o

What’s long and green and smells like Miss Piggy?

Kermit’s finger.

8. Jem

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgzZ2Ta0EpA

If I could have sex with one song, it’d be the theme song to Jem, and the part where the Misfits sing is where I’d stick my penis.

9. Gummi Bears

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRTSZZgCUik

Honestly, this may be the greatest cartoon theme song of all time.  If I knew this song would be played at my funeral, I’d die with a smile on my face.

10. M.A.S.K.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s50QwbbubQc

 No, not the movie with Cher and the deformed kid, silly.





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102 responses so far

  • http://www.acaiberrydrink.org/ J. Acai

    Ch-ch-ch-Chip ‘n Dale, Rescue Rangers!

    Great now this is going to be stuck in my head all day.

  • http://standtallandlead.blogspot.com Don

    What about The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers?

    No Guts, No Glory,
    No Pain, No Gain,
    All for one, One for All
    Riders on the range!

    All with a driving rock beat & guitar in stereo no less!

    I can still hear it today.

  • Lauren

    While alot of these bring back good memories… you much really be sexually frustrated or something.

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  • ericdano

    You forgot the Galaxy Rangers’ theme.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMpsAmWbSJg

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  • Madison

    @ Lauren

    Frustrated? At times. Please believe, I am a deviant.

    @ Don, ericdano

    Good call. Catchy tune, I’m just a bigger fan of the ten I listed. Totally just a matter of taste.

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  • cart00n

    Tunes I still remember

    Dr. Snuggles
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XISrziuQDII

    Thundercats
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-sOaUAgbB4

    I am probably a few years older than the poster since I have only heard 4 of the 10 tunes in the list before.

  • http://onebrownguy.com OneBrown

    Good list! I actually posted something very similar earlier this year. You nailed a bunch that I picked as my favs as well. I am shocked that you got M.A.S.K.!!! Nobody ever remembers M.A.S.K. Hell, I even remember having the toys. Anyways, here was my post from January…

    http://onebrownguy.com/80s-cartoons-that-rocked/

    Thanks!

  • Jeroen

    Also worth a mention: G.I. Joe!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YXQSrOCeKQ

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/Dwojy18 Woj

    I bet the guy who posted this article had fapped to a few naked cartoons when he discovered internet porn. (& Rule 34)

  • http://www.myspace.com/greylife Ryan

    Captain Planet, anyone?

    or

    The Wuzzles?

    These lists could go on forever.. I love it, thanks for rep’ing the 80’s.

  • steve

    what? no tailspin theme song? i still have that on my ipod for working out. i realize it came out in 1990…but still

  • homeland

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only one that got mixed up with M.A.S.K. I still remember my disappointment when my mom came home with a movie rental. I was so excited, as I didn’t know they made a MASK movie. I than was excited it was live action, until 20 minutes in I realized there was not going to be any flying cars…=(

    Btw thanks, totally forgot about muppet babies!

  • http://paulwoods.ca Paul

    Hey, Transformers was 80’s wasn’t it! That theme song stuck even more then duck tales!
    Paul

  • w00ty

    What about the Mysterious Cities of Gold! So good!

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=LbVNZ-cghz0

  • Madison

    @ Woj

    No, standard Internet porn works just fine for me. I prefer flesh to cartoons, thanks. Have fun with girls getting raped by tentacles or whatever the hell you’re into.

  • http://none La

    dude,

    you forgot david the gnome and adventures of the little koala.

    reader..

  • awesome

    wait… what about thundercats? And… HeMan? And… Astroboy? Those are down right catchy from the first time you hear them.

  • V

    Come on, where’s Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors?!?! The best easily… :)

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  • In Westlake

    No Animaniacs? “There’s baloney in our pants”? C’mon.

  • http://www.myspace.com/imlegend Joey

    Haha, awesome post. My band and I actually did a cover of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme for fun. Check it out on our Myspace. http://www.myspace.com/imlegend

  • Mike

    I’d swap any two of those (except The Gummi Bears!) for “Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors”, and “Pole Position” – very catchy tunes

  • Gustavo Campos

    Ohhh c’mon it’s missing pole position!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj55mHD2Pes

  • inthefresh

    +1 for the galaxy rangers!

  • Joe Polidan

    Inspector Gadget SHOULD BE NUMBER 1 BRAUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • kickme

    Come on guys you know what the real greastes intro is dont you?
    Its The bots master!!!

  • http://dlk.tumblr.com danielgrafik

    There can be only one… Eeerrrr, number one… Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors!!! (everything that was good and bad about the 80s, in one epic intro):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOWaEfgGJA0

  • https://ajass.com Ajass

    Where’s Thundercats, Gobots, Transformers, and He-Man!?

  • Skywarp

    No Transformers? Decepticons, attack!

    Gummi Bears is the best, though.

  • E®IC
  • Rodney

    Ditto with the Gummi Bears and Talespin, tracks on the MP3.

    Dont forget Ulysses 31 to go with Mysterious Cities of Gold.

    And, for those who want an entire Album of great animations tunes, look for Evergreen Nights, Lisa Lougheed.

    The Raccoons.

    Run with us, weve got everything you need,
    run with us, we are free.

    Yes Daisy, the full 4 minute version does exist.

  • the doctor

    dance your cares away
    worries for another day
    let the music play

    down at fraggle rock

  • Jimbo

    Great list!

    When I was a kid in the 80s, I absolutely had to make the beginning of a show/cartoon to hear the theme song.

    If i didnt catch the theme, i’d get pretty dissapointed LOL… catchy theme songs are a thing of the past now.

  • Chris

    Starzinger, He-man and Thundercats

    Remove Smurfs, Jem and Baby Muppets and your close.

  • http://www.tugsays.com Tug

    I was about to put you on blast for not putting TaleSpin on this list.
    But I checked on IMDb and apparently it came out in 1990…
    So yeah. I guess we’re okay? :]

  • Adam

    Darkwing Duck deserves a mention, even though it was an early 90’s show!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgtSBTGSIaw

  • Jon

    What about Fraggle Rock…absolutely classic

  • Angelica

    “These aren’t in any particular order, but I’m sure some moron will comment that [insert 80s cartoon here] should be #1. ”

    I think there were quite a few morons from the comments!

  • Madison

    @ Tug

    Yeah, I dig Talespin, but it was a 90s show. Had to check on all of these; didn’t want to post something from outside the decade. We’re cool.

    @ Angelica

    Indeed. Happens every time, without fail.

    Thanks for reading!

  • fatima

    Great list. Were it mine, I would have to add Darkwing Duck! And the second Jem theme, too.

    Ah, but the Gummi Bears theme has me hunting for dvds. I loved that show. Playing that clip i realised that I still remembered every word of the song! It always put a smile on my face.

  • http://www.babblestorm.co.uk Ross

    Everyone reading this article must remember Trap Door as well!

    I was just about to say Bucky O Hare, but that was 1991. But still worth a mention to all of those who remember :)

  • Amanda

    CAPTAIN PLANET!?

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  • Sleepy in NYC

    What about Visionaries?

    I agree on Transformers, Gummie Bears, Inspector Gadget. Let’s face it, Saturday morning cartoons is not the same anymore. Breakfast doesnt have that extra kick to it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKmys-Tys90

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  • http://www.rtest.ws Rich

    DuckTales should be #1

    I don’t think Mask is in the top 10.
    I think Transformers should be on this list.

  • Brian

    !!! Great List !!!

    I would have found a way to slide in “Darkwing Duck” but that may not have come out until the 90s!

    Gummi Bears is indeed the best!! I still remember all the words!

    I actually won a fridge magnet once for knowing the lyrics to that song! I guess useless knowledge isn’t always so useless! LOL!

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  • Nadia

    Thank GOD you put Jem on there! It was one of my favourite cartoons when I was growing up! Except no one agrees with me that it’s a good theme song.

    Gummi Bears was also one of my favourites. But listening to it now, the guy singing it sounds like Josh Groban.

    I’m surprised that Darkwing Duck and Talespin aren’t up there, though!

  • hello

    and where’s the pink panther?

  • andrew

    What about Darkwing Duck!!??

  • VJ

    DARKWING DUCK and TINY TOONS, BABY!

    though you nailed duck tales, teenage mutant ninja turtles, and chip ‘n’ dale.

    and has anybody heard recent cartoon theme songs? they suck nowadays! f*** you, spongebob!

  • hej

    I can’t believe you don’t have shirt tales…..

    Shirt T-t-t-taaaaales!!!!!!

    Best lost classic cartoon ever.

  • Civikminded

    I agree with Gustavo Camposon. Its an epic disgrace that Pole Position wasnt on this list. After Ducktales its my favorite of all times.

  • abner

    no transformers = fail.

  • http://www.monsterjobs.org MonsterJobs

    What about Fraggle Rock?

  • daetymstories

    Where is the Fraggle Rock theme song?

  • http://melodicinsomniac.com megan

    I know a lot of people are bashing you for not including this or that, but I just wanted to say thank you for taking me back to my childhood for a few sweet moments. The funny thing is that while I don’t remember watching a bunch of those shows, somehow I was able to sing along fairly accurately to all of their theme songs. Cool!

  • totter

    Lone Star

    “In a distant time… and far away place, the planet New Texas floats deep in space.
    Sky of three suns, land of precious ore, the Carium Rush brought outlaws by the score!”

  • Trish

    You forgot Captain Planet! :P I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed. :P

  • SynthetiThespis

    Dinosaucers!

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  • Oakenshield

    No Voltron?

    Fail.

  • souljaboi

    “My girlfriend likes this song so much that she insists I play it whenever we smurf.”

    I think she is just traumatized that you are 30 years older then her.

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  • coffio

    The 80’s was arguably the worst decade in TV cartoon history. Not one of these heaving piles of art has had any longevity. Why? Because it was all network homogenized crap. The growth of Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network was fed by allowing animators do what they do best.The main title songs of 80’s cartoons are a perfect example of how bad it was. It is like making a list of the best 4 door american cars from the 70’s. To equate them with orgasms makes me feel sorry for anyone that has an intimate relation with you. Slick animation and great stories? Unbelievable.

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  • exile

    Second Rodney’s call of Ulyses 31:
    http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=fgJ4qYP44Rk
    listen to that synth! wait for the breakdown at 1:30.

    also, Battle of the Planets:
    http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=FoO5H_UKCrw
    still gives me goosebumps!

    and, of course, the most criminal oversight:
    http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=zspGKUk9mE0

    you cannot listen to that without having it stuck in your head for days. i lived in japan for 2 years teaching english and during one of the kids classes i took, while everyone was colouring one of the kids started humming the astro boy theme song (it’s the same tune in japanese). one of the other kids joined in with them, without even looking up or seemingly realising they were doing it, and then one after another other kids started joining in, heads still down and engrossed in their crayons. i just sat there watching them, goosebumps on my arms and a huge smile on my face. i couldn’t take it anymore and started singing along with them, and after a stunned second the entire class burst into song, finishing with a huge cheer and falling on the floor laughing. its one of my fondest memories of my stay there.

  • Elizabeth

    I love all of those! Except I have no idea what M.A.S.K. is. And yes, commentors, Fraggle Rock’s theme song is totally awesome, but it’s not a cartoon. These are the best 80’s CARTOON theme songs.

  • Madison

    @ Oakenshield

    There’s no Voltron because the theme song sucked. The show was great, but there was nothing memorabe about the theme song.

    @ souljaboi

    I don’t really give a sht when commenters try to come after me, but at least be funny. Or make sense. My girlfriend is traumatized that I am 30 years older than her, so she insists I play the Smurfs theme when we bang? That’s your joke, dude. It’s not funny, it makes no sense whatsoever, but you took the time to post it and show everyone what a moron you are. There is no connection between my comment and your joke, so please, enlighten me.

    @ coffio

    Thanks for the history lesson. Unlike yourself, lots of us can enjoy catchy theme songs from the 80s instead of harboring bittnerness and resentment caked under layers of self-loathing. Get a grip.

    @ megan

    Glad you enjoyed the article. Thanks for reading!

  • http://www.myspace.com/bobothechimp757 BoBoTheChimp

    Where the hell is the Thundercats theme song???

  • http://jupiterjenny.deviantart.com/ jenn

    OMG!! I want the Gummi Bears song at my funeral to– suddenly dieing doesn’t seem so bad!

    Thanks for the lack of Voltron or Transformers- I LOVED both shows but their opening song doesn’t stick in my head.

    And as far as the 80’s cartoons being the best– coffio – they were. Sure Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network come up with some decent stuff..but its mostly all the same. Same formula, same art styles, same mission to sell products. And you really thinking they are really all that different from the ‘crap’ back then? There isn’t a damn item out there that you can’t buy with a spongebob on it. And everyone is so afraid of their cartoon offending someone or of being to violent..cartoons are NEUTERED compared to what they were. I mean you can’t even find a bugs bunny, GI joe, an old Transformers cartoon on tv anymore. The only place were animators can have the freedom of which you speak in on Adultswim.

  • TF-Fan

    What TF not good enough for you? It is the best after all, that crappy alvin and chipmuncks slag is enough to rot your brain. X( bad list dude

  • CHICHI

    wtf No Fraggle Rock?!?!

  • Myke

    You missed Thundercats and Adventures of Willy Dog. And Dogtanian!

  • Jon

    Awesome list. I sing the Gummi Bears song to my niece as a lullaby.

  • http://www.cmarlow.com Chris

    It’s a crime that Thundercats is not on this list! but there’s some seriously awesome choices on here. Ducktales being my favourite.

  • Nathan

    THUNDERCATS?!

  • http://www.twitter.com/chrissonjeow ChrisSonjeow

    Epic List – You and I must be the same age cause this is the exact same list I would have created. Great work!

    Muppet babies with Starwars and Indy – I completely forgot about those cuts.

    And yes, Gadget was totally hot.

  • http://www.twitter.com/chrissonjeow ChrisSonjeow

    One more thing…I’m going directly to Ebay to see if I can get my hands on some M.A.S.K toys… when I saw the red sports car’s gullwing doors and engines light up – I almost died.

    Does anyone remember the cartoon/toys that had little magnets on their feet – I know I can google it, but this damn post has me all nostalgic now.

  • fabi

    saber riders theme is totally missing!!

  • bob

    THE RACCOONS!?

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  • idaiki

    Great job going through all the theme songs and picking these out of the pile of junk that also was around at the time, (cough my little pony).

    on a side note:
    I do have to dissagree about Voltron there wasn’t a lot but just that quick 10 seconds of music was all it took to get me running in the direction of the TV.

    Thanks again, Now I am off to the web to find a source for some of the great memories and share them will my little one.

  • Niki

    makes me happy but at the same time it makes me want to cry too! i loved all these cartoons when i was a kid, and now that i have kids of my own, and i see the crap they watch… makes me want to call up the disney channel and demand they put retro cartoons on! way before political correctness, and ‘not trying to offend anyone’ back when cartoons were awesome to watch by everyone in the family! i wish these cartoons would come back.

  • Tim

    @Westlake +1 for Animaniacs!

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  • Denver

    what the….. How did you arrive at this list of 10? Except for Gummi Bears (to a degree), I don’t agree with the rest. Japanese animated cartoons featured brilliant theme songs in English. For me, the top two 80s cartoon theme songs were the theme songs of The Mysterious Cities of Gold and Grimm Fairy Tales Classics. These songs are independently beautiful and though I’m near 30 now, I still love those tunes!

  • zero zero

    Wait, where’s transformers and GI Joe, those are two cult classics.

  • Aye

    this UK site has a rundown on a lot of the shows mentioned here plus a few that may not have been aired in the US. hope u like

    http://www.80scartoons.co.uk/

    also for the Fraggle Rock lovers, dl the theme tune here (right ckick on the mp3 link and click ‘save link as’). you’ll find a few more theme tunes here as well with a bit of searching (including the full version of Run With Us from The Racoons which is surprisingly rockin’)

    http://beemp3.com/download.php?file=4859915&song=Fraggle+Rock

    nice list Madison

  • Dar

    Way to ruin a nostalgic list with your crass pervert humor.

  • Madison

    @ Dar

    Lighten up. It’s my list, I can do whatever I like with it.

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  • Darrelcd

    ok you really forgot one…. FRAGGLE ROCK.. have it as a ring tone and it still gets stuck in my head.

  • Amber

    Yeah……………these bring back so many great memories. Nostalgia is kicking my ass right now cause I am really about to cry LOL :-( :-) THE 80’S ROCKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • frances caeiro

    the best:) Brings back soooo many memories

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