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TV Earworms: The Theme Songs That Burrow In, Never Let Go

By Sarah Carlson | Lists | November 25, 2011 |

By Sarah Carlson | Lists | November 25, 2011 |

The ridicule Rebecca Black received this spring once her music video for “Friday” went viral wasn’t earned entirely because the song, and her singing, are so bad. No, it’s because “Friday” is an earworm, a song that burrows into your brain and won’t leave. There are plenty of bad songs out there, but not all of them stay with you so well, popping up thanks to a simple trigger. “Friday” still starts playing in my head on days like, well, today (Black Friday — ha!), when I think, “I’m so glad it’s Friday … Friday, gotta get down on Friday AAAHHHHHH NO stop!” That’s why we can’t stand you, Rebecca. You brought the song to our ears. And it won’t leave.

In terms of earworm TV theme songs, my list of the catchiest — and therefore deadliest — is short. Sure, we all can sing the “Full House” theme and hate ourselves for it. Or we cringe when we hear Paula Cole’s “I Don’t Want to Wait,” used on “Dawson’s Creek.” But neither of those or the countless other songs that have graced TV airwaves quite compare to these. If you are familiar with either of them, all it takes is hearing the show’s title for the tune to quickly be playing on repeat in your head.

I give you two Disney animated shows from the late 1980s:

“Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears” (1985-1990)

“DuckTales” (1987-1990)

There. That’s it. I don’t think either of those can be topped in the earworm territory. In fact, I challenge you to top those. Are there any other theme songs nearly as addictive?

Sarah Carlson will have gone crazy by day’s end from having these songs on repeat in her head. Good thing tomorrow is Saturday, and Sunday comes afterward.

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