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    Top 10 Iconic TV Show Theme Songs Of All Time

    Television has given us some unforgettable moments, and back when we brought ourselves to the TV instead of turning on those TVs in front of us, the opening song before the shows pulled us right back into the world we took a little break from. How these songs have taken a designated place in our hearts that now every time we hear even the faintest melody, it’s back to nostalgia train. 

    These songs didn’t just set the mood right, they became the anthem of our comfort watches. Whether it’s the comforting chords of ‘Friends’ or the epic orchestration of ‘Game of Thrones,’ now these tunes are like old friends that transport us back to our favorite shows with just a few notes. In the sea of 100s, we’ve brought you the gleaming 10, you can scroll down, feel the nostalgia touching your heartstrings and let us know if we got your favorite theme song right.   

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    1. Friends (1994) – ‘I’ll Be There for You’ 

    No iconic show list can start without this timeless masterpiece. Could we be any more excited about the tune we anticipated to hear all day at work? ‘I’ll Be There for You’ by The Rembrandts is synonymous with everyone’s favorite sitcom ‘Friends,’ capturing the essence of the show just right with its beat and words. Released in 1994, along with the show’s pilot, this infectious tune topped the charts and became an anthem for a generation and the one after that. Composed by Michael Skloff and Allee Willis, the song’s catchy hooks and upbeat tempo perfectly in sync with the characters made it an instant classic. 

    The Rembrandts’ contribution to the show’s opening sequence is a stroke of genius, with its buzzed guitar riffs and sing-along lyrics. It’s hard to resist clapping along to the iconic intro and imagining yourself hanging out with Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Joey, and Phoebe on your comfy couch after a long day at work. ‘I’ll Be There for You’ remains a timeless classic that continues to bring the fans into this world even long after the show’s finale.

    2. Game of Thrones (2011) – ‘Main Title’

    Winter finally came, and with that warning came the hauntingly beautiful main theme of the epic show ‘Game of Thrones.’ Composed by the immensely talented Ramin Djawadi, this epic orchestral piece sets the stage for the intricate and dramatic world of Westeros. After gracing the small screens in 2011, ‘Game of Thrones’ soon became a cultural phenomenon, and its theme song played a pivotal role in setting that stage of grandeur and intensity.

    None of us GOT fans can forget the tune that introduced us to all the seven kingdoms of Westeros. A strong melody with no words to infuse the intrigue, this one definitely became iconic with the first episode. Djawadi’s composition for the show blends medieval influences with modern instrumentation, featuring a powerful string section that evokes a sense of foreboding and majesty. However, he was specifically asked to not use the piano as it was too soft of an instrument to match the brutal and crude flashes of the show. The theme’s gradual build-up mirrors the political game and epic battles of Westeroes that unfold throughout the series. 

    3. ‘Gilmore Girls’ (2000) – ‘Where You Lead’ 

    If there’s one TV show that can take over the word comfort and never have a debate about it, it’s Gilmore Girls’, and a large chunk of its credit goes to Carol King’s ‘Where You Lead’. We are still taken back to that Stars Hallow Townsquare passing by the Luke’s every time this track plays. With the 2000 debut of our favorite small-town girls, this song does what none of the others could have, capture the essence of Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, the iconic mother-and-daughter duo at the heart of the show. Carole King’s soulful rendition of this opening track is like that cozy blanket you finally take out on the first day of fall. 

    Carole originally recorded ‘Where You Lead’ in 1971 as a solo track, but it gained new life when it became the theme song for ‘Gilmore Girls.’ The song’s lyrical and instrumental symphony is just on another level. This iconic theme song itself has a separate fanbase and we see the reason. 

    4. Outlander (2014) – ‘The Skye Boat Song’ 

    If you have watched all the seasons of ‘Outlander and haven’t felt the strong urge to marvel at the rib-crashing corset and a heavy brown skirt, just to be the lass mentioned in the theme song, we’d say you’re a liar. Nothing transcends time like the hauntingly beautiful ‘The Skye Boat Song,’ of ‘Outlander.’ Composed by Bear McCreary and featuring vocals by Raya Yarbrough, this Celtic-inspired melody perfectly encapsulates the romanticism and adventure of the hit historical drama series with a little dash of time travel. McCreary’s arrangement of ‘The Skye Boat Song’ infuses the show’s opening credits with a sense of longing and mystery, echoing our loss in the time leading lady Claire’s emotional and physical odyssey through the Scottish Highlands.

    The theme’s evocative use of traditional instruments like the violin, bagpipes, and bodhrán transports viewers to another era. Now after almost 10 years of loving this song, it transports us to different periods of our lives as well. McCreary’s adaptation of the folk song retains its timeless quality. It’s an iconic tune and the debate, if there is any, ends there.  

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    5. Vikings (2013) – ‘If I Had A Heart’ By Fever Ray

    Preparing for battle with ‘If I Had a Heart,’ the atmospheric theme song of ‘Vikings.’ Created by Fever Ray, the solo project of Swedish musician Karin Dreijer, this haunting track perfectly blends the gritty and brutal world of Norse warriors. Premiering in 2013, the show ‘Vikings’ follows the exploits of legendary Viking leader, Ragnar Lothbrok and his brethren as they raid, conquer, and explore new lands. Fever Ray’s ethereal vocals and minimalist beats create a sense of that primal energy, reflecting the show’s themes of power and destiny.

    The decision to feature ‘If I Had a Heart’ as the show’s theme was a stroke of genius. The hauntingly mythical visuals along with Ray’s mythical folk voice. 

    Related: Top 5 Viking Shows On Netflix That Capture The ‘Raid And Conquer’ Mood 

    6. Peaky Blinders (2013) – ‘Red Right Hand’ 

    Take a walk through the shadowy world of 1920s Birmingham with ‘Red Right Hand,’ as the soundtrack in your head. Written and performed by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, this track sets the stage for the intense and gripping drama that we feast on in the series. Shifting the world a little with its premier in 2013, ‘Peaky Blinders is the kind of mafia drama that will make you forget about those books you got from Booktok. ‘Red Right Hand’ goes like a smooth sailing ship with gritty and dark themes of the show’s narrative. Nick Cave’s deep, gravelly voice lends an air of menace and loss, perfectly complementing the show’s story and visuals.

    The song’s title refers to a line from John Milton’s epic poem ‘Paradise Lost,’ another layer of literary depth in the creation of this iconic bop.  As the series progresses, ‘Red Right Hand’ evolves alongside the characters, becoming synonymous with the Shelby family’s ruthlessness. And if all these reasons are not enough to make it iconic for you, doesn’t it take you to a time you’ve only read books about?  

    7. Stranger Things (2016) – ‘Theme Song’

    Into the nostalgic world of the Upside Down, the iconic theme of the iconic show ‘Stranger Things,’ is not going to be put off this list. Composed by Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein of the electronic band Survive, this simple mysterious melody associated with the adventures of our favorite fugitive kids just hits the spot. After its pilot in 2016, the Netflix Orignal show quickly became a cultural phenomenon, blending supernatural thrills with 1980s nostalgia. Dixon and Stein’s synth-driven score evokes memories of classic sci-fi and horror films. 

    The theme’s pulsating synths and eerie effect mirror the mysteries lurking beneath the surface of Hawkins, Indiana. The use of analog synthesizers gives the music an authentic vintage feel, transporting viewers back to a bygone era of VHS tapes and arcade games. ‘Stranger Things’ owes much of its atmospheric charm to the evocative music created by Dixon and Stein. 

    8. The Big Bang Theory (2007) – ‘The Big Bang Theory Theme’ 

    Another iconic sitcom with an iconic theme song that takes you back to much simpler times. The 2007 show ‘The Big Bang Theory’ had no business having a banger as its theme song. Mastered by Canadian rock band Barenaked Ladies the upbeat and quirky theme song manages to capture the essence of the show’s high IQ charm

    The lyrics playfully explain scientific concepts while making sure to shed a little light on the characters’ unique personalities and dynamics. The song’s infectious melody and sing-along quality set the tone for each episode and got us settled into our couches. Released alongside the show’s pilot the theme song quickly became synonymous with the show’s awesomeness so much so that Barenaked Ladies’ contribution to the series earned the band a permanent place in television history.

    9. The Simpsons (1989) – ‘The Simpsons Theme’

    D’oh! Who could forget the theme song of ‘The Simpsons? Composed by the prolific Danny Elfman, this whimsical tune has been the opening jam for the iconic animated sitcom since its debut in 1989. Elfman’s creative masterpiece manages to sparkle back the zany spirit of Springfield and its colorful residents, setting the stage for the satirical daily life of the Simpson family.

    Released alongside the show’s premiere, ‘The Simpsons Theme’ became an instant classic, earning the show and itself widespread acclaim for its catchy melody and clever orchestration. Elfman’s fusion of jazz, rock, and symphonic elements is the perfect blend for the show’s certain type of humor and those on-the-mark pop culture references. This theme song holds the distinction of being one of the longest-running and most recognizable TV show intros. 

    Related: ‘The Simpsons’: 10 Predictions That Surprisingly Came True

    10. ‘True Blood’ – ‘Bad Things’ 

    Bad Things’ by Jace Everett is the hauntingly seductive theme song for 2008’s supernatural drama series True Blood’. It perfectly sets the tone for the dark, mysterious, and often sensual world taken over by vampires, werewolves, and other folk of night residing in Bon Temps, Louisiana.

     Everett’s deep, bluesy voice paired with the song’s daring lyrics creates an irresistible atmosphere that mirrors the show’s themes of danger, desire, and the allure of the unknown. ‘Bad Things’ is a title track dripping with the essence of ‘True Blood’s Gothic Southern aesthetic, with those perfectly placed layers of intrigue and sensuality. Released as part of Jace Everett’s self-titled album in 2005, ‘Bad Things’ got its taste of fame with its association with ‘True Blood’. 

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    Akshita Singh
    Akshita Singh
    Akshita Singh is a Senior Content Writer at First Curiosity. She has been churning out content for 2 years. She's an avid reader and writer, fascinated by the works of Sylvia Plath, Franz Kafka, and Charles Bukowski. Akshita is also a poet herself, having written two poetry books titled ‘Made By Misery’ and ‘Deathbed’. Apart from goth literature, another thing that she enjoys is the real and fictional stories of Hollywood. She loves cinema and admires all works of art, be they delivered by actors or directors. So, keeping up with celebrity life comes as basic nature to her, something she loves knowing and informing others.

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