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You Take the Good, You Take the Bad, You Take ‘Em Both and There You Have… Miami Vice

Flavor Wire has a post up about the best 1980s TV theme songs. Some that made the cut: 21 Jump Street, Hill Street Blues, Roseanne. The list is fairly decent, but there are a handful missing the cut, in our humble opinion. For example:


Also of note:


Golden Girls was not listed, as it was the impetus for the list itself — the passing of Andrew Gold, who penned the tune.

What else do you nerds think should be on this list? Any nods for Knight Rider out there?

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  1. SeggyGetsHyphy says:

    Understood, it started in the 70s, but for me one of the most memorable theme songs of the 80s was the M*A*S*H theme. As far as animation goes, nothing screams 80s like the Thundercats theme, with wailing hair metal guitar solos and the repetition of the name of the show that was so ever present in all 80s cartoon pop culture.

  2. MacLeod says:

    I love that Rosanne and Cheers made the list. Memorable theme songs from Canada would have included The Littlest Hobo, Beachcombers, and, although a cartoon, The Raccoons.

  3. MisterGooey says:


  4. @sybarite_ says:

    For some reason, the Hardcastle and McCormick theme still sticks with me
    Airwolf is great too and I’m going to cheat and say Battlestar Galactica 1980. Yes a bastardized spinoff, but it’s technically an 80’s theme song. The orchestration is majestic and sweeping. =)

  5. Luanne says:

    “Joanie Loves Chachi” and “Angie” had the greatest theme songs ever. EVER!

  6. jb says:

    huh? no “The equalizer”, fail.

  7. Jennifer says:

    How are Family Ties and Perfect Strangers not on this list? I am glad they mentioned George Costanza’s answering machine in regards to Greatest American Hero.

  8. Jackie says:

    I actually have the theme to The Greatest American Hero on 45 (remember those?). I find myself randomly singing it to this day. Should I also mention that I have the theme to The Dukes of Hazzard on 45? Ah, to have been a child in the 80’s.

  9. Geof says:

    Oh man, where are MacGyver, The A-Team, Knight Rider, Fraggle Rock, Doctor Who, and The Muppet Show?

  10. Alex says:

    Their list is evident that they are choosing mostly for the shows rather than divorcing the themes from the shows and choosing. Pee-Wee was great, but the theme is forgettable, and the choice of number one pretty much sums up my point because no one really remembers that theme song these days.

    I didn’t grow up in the 80’s and I still remember: Golden Girls, Alf, Growing Pains, Facts of Life, Transformers, Cheers, Miami Vice, A Team, Macguyver, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Roseanne because of their theme songs and I only ever watched maybe half of those shows.

  11. Jen K says:

    Family Ties!!! What would we do, baby, without us?

  12. Adam Lister says:

    Good list, but Perfect Strangers really needs to be on there. STAAANDIN TALLLLLL on the WIIIINGS of my DREAM!

  13. the heat says:

    I got your god-damn Knight Rider nod. Knight Rider crushes, Crushes, I say, the rest of those suggestions (except maybe Cheers).
    They should have had Transformers in there, too.

  14. J-rod says:

    Airwolf? Automan? Street Hawk? Knight Rider? Magnum? A-Team surely?

    We didn’t get all of those listed over here in Britain so there would be a slight difference.

    What I miss in the 21st century is the voiceover. They were as classic as the music.

    “In 1972 a crack commando unit…”
    “Knight Rider, a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist…”
    “This briefing is from file A56 dash 7W. Classified Top Secret. Subject is Airwolf!”

  15. Brian says:

    One of my favorite moments of band practice ever was the day we all accidentally started jamming our way through the Night Court theme, and got kinda far into it before we realized what we were playing.

  16. Baldr says:

    Oh geez. Seeing Andrew Koenig in the Growing Pains video sent a pang right through me. R.I.P.

  17. Jeremy says:

    Two words, Air Wolf

  18. Lewis B. says:

    Punky Brewster, Different Strokes, Benson, the iconic Jeffersons theme. Alf, Mork and Mindy, Chips, Webster, the Muppet Show, Magnum P.I.. Aaah, memories 🙂

  19. vampje says:

    oh wow, i totally forgot leo was on growing pains.

    cripes, was that brad pitt in the montage?

    also, where is the mcgyver theme song?

  20. patty says:

    Seriously? No A-Team? No Buck Rogers? THE LOVE BOAT???

  21. alan says:

    There are a lot of odd choices in that list. I couldn’t hum you the Roseanne theme to save my life, and the even though the tune to “It’s the Gary Shandling Show,” theme is memorable, there’s no way I could get the words right.