15 '90s Theme Songs We Still Love

Video: Via YouTube.
With a few exceptions — thank you, Orange Is the New Black and Regina Spektor — they just don't make TV theme songs like they used to. The genre seems to have hit its peak in the 1990s, when hip-hop stars and soul legends had a hand in creating some of the most addictive ear candy we've ever heard. Heck, we turned on some shows just to watch the opening credits.
Don't get us wrong. The '70s and '80s gave us some memorably wholesome tunes, and The O.C. and '00s shows ushered in emo and indie artists, but there's just no competing with Aretha Franklin. Other theme songs from the era, meanwhile, are just so ridiculously delightful that they send us straight back to childhood.
Advertisement
Behold, our best-loved theme songs from the decade. In the interest of variety, we've omitted themes from Friends, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Saved by the Bell, and Dawson's Creek — not because they aren't awesome (we all still know all the words, right?), but because they're already so burned into your brain that they seem too obvious. Where's the fun in that?
1 of 15
Charmed, (1998-2006)

Loved the song, not all that interested in the show. Love Spit Love's cover of "How Soon Is Now?" by the Smiths soundtracked the opening credits, before ultimately being replaced by an instrumental version of the song.
2 of 15
All That, (1994-2005)

We have TLC to thank for this chill tune. Man, we miss this show.
Advertisement
3 of 15
Martin, (1992-97)

We're not the only ones who break out into a full-on dance every single time we're introduced to a guy named Martin, right?
4 of 15
The Heights, (1992)

Leading man Jamie Walters sang "How Do You Talk To An Angel," which went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Alas, the song was more memorable than the show itself.
5 of 15
California Dreams, (1992-96)

"Surf dudes with attitudes..." You can't make a show about a garage band populated by ridiculously attractive teens without a "groovy" theme song.
6 of 15
Hey Dude, (1989-91)

Totally tacky and twangy, but we still adore it.
7 of 15
City Guys, (1997-2001)

"Roll with the City Guys" was a crucial component of our Saturday morning soundtrack. "C-I-T-Y, you can see why."
Advertisement
8 of 15
In Living Color, (1990-94)

Heavy D. (may he rest in peace) on the mic and Fly Girl Jennifer Lopez on the dance floor. Perfection.
9 of 15
Clarissa Explains It All, (1991-94)

This is arguably the most instrumental of the theme songs on our list, but it's still "way cool."
10 of 15
Hangin' With Mr. Cooper, (1992-97)

A painful reminder that we need more En Vogue in our life. Where art thou?
11 of 15
Salute Your Shorts, (1991-92)

Camp Anawanna, we hold you in our hearts. And, when we think about you, it makes us wanna — never mind.
12 of 15
A Different World, (1987-93)

Originally performed by Phoebe Snow, this soulful theme was handed over to Aretha Franklin from seasons two to five. Boyz II Men contributed a more hip-hop-flavored version for the show's final season.
Advertisement
13 of 15
Kenan & Kel, (1996-2000)

After graduating from All That, Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell weren't about to settle for a lesser-than-TLC theme song. Behold, "Aw, Here It Goes" by Coolio.
14 of 15
Pokémon, (1997-ongoing)

This one goes out to all the youngsters out there. In case you were wondering, this little ditty is called "Gotta Catch 'Em All" by Jason Paige.
15 of 15
Living Single, (1993-98)

Series star Queen Latifah wrote and performed this catchy theme, a.k.a. your post-breakup night out anthem.
Advertisement

More from Music

Watch

R29 Original Series