#814 Cheesy theme songs from '80s sitcoms

TV theme songs are a dying breed.

Networks flash zooming logos or three-second jingles in place of the overextended 60-second song explaining how Gilligan and crew ended up on the island or what Will Smith is doing in Bel Air. And sure, maybe they get a few more commercials in or maybe we’d fast-forward through them anyway, but there was something special about curling up on the couch under a ratty, old blanket and listening to these classics, week after week. Let’s count down seven of the greatest:

5. Growing Pains. With old scrolling photos of all the main characters and beautifully cheesy crooning about how, as long as we got each other, we’ve got the world spinning right in our hands, the Growing Pains theme song was the sitcom equivalent of taking a stroll up Grandma’s Staircase.

4. The Golden Girls. My brother-in-law Dee summarizes this theme song in three words: old ladies hugging. Including side-hugs, shoulder squeezes, and group huddles, how many do you count?

3. The Facts of Life. This Diff’rent Strokes spinoff stars housekeeper Edna Garrett making a lateral career move into a housemother of an all-girls school. The Facts of Life told us bluntly that you take the good, you take the bad, you take ’em both, and there you have, the facts of life … the facts of life.

2. Perfect Strangers. Watch as Balki Bartokomous shirks his sheep shepherding shtick in Mypos and sails over to the US with an ‘America or Burst’ crate to live with his distant cousin Larry in Chicago. Gotta love his mom’s tearful hankie-wave and the classic Dance of Joy. These two really are standing tall on the wings of their dreams. Nothing’s gonna stop them now.

1. Who’s the Boss? St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Tony Micelli busts up his shoulder in one heart-wrenching slide into home plate. So he’s forced to leave Brooklyn in his big, blue van and ends up taking the road that’s hidden to score a brand new life around the bend. At the end of the trail is Angela, Mona, Jonathan, and a lucrative man-maiding gig.

Cornball theme songs from the 80’s were chock full of soaring crescendos and hokey lyrics about family values laid neat and tidy over fairytale plotlines and streaming images of group hugs and wacky hijinx. There was something so warm, comforting, and dependable about plopping down on the couch each week for that half-hour of good times with good pals.

So, to cheesy TV theme songs from the 80s we say: Thank you for being a friend.


17 thoughts on “#814 Cheesy theme songs from '80s sitcoms

    1. Now you’re talking! I loved Family Ties and still remember watching the final episode. One of the best!

      The only show on the above list I watched was the facts of life for a couple years. Jo was such a cool character!

  1. The only one on the list that I’ve watched is Growing Pains. I was addicted to that show! I did love the idea of the old pictures of everyone.

  2. The only TV shows I’ve watched from the ’80s are the cartoons like Thunder Cats and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I wasn’t around in the ’80s, so I haven’t heard of any of those sitcoms. There is so much to learn from the ’80s. Or so I’ve heard.

    1. I’m sure some of them are still showing on rerun, maybe you could catch one even if its just for the theme song. I was mostly a 90’s kid, but I remember some 80’s shows.

  3. Did you see The Good Wife on Sunday, in which the character Will was singing the theme from Growing Pains to his partner in the law firm? Cheesy and wonderful.

  4. 80s sitcoms were great, with and without their theme songs…but for other great theme songs, let’s not forget FullHouse “Everywhere you look!”
    Oh, and I know it’s not a sitcom, but Degrassi Jr High had a fantastic theme song that I still know off by heart.
    Oh, and thank you for reminding me of “Perfect Strangers”. When I was a kid, I thought that show was so funny, I’d have tears running down my cheeks!

  5. I was born in ’69 so I was a child when all these great sitcoms were on. Could you do some from the 70’s like Good Times and The Jeffersons? One of my favourite shows/theme songs was Benson. Even tho it didnt have words, the tune just made me happy!

  6. more like 90’s sitcoms for me fresh prince in philly, full house, boy meets world, step by step

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