From "The Simpsons" To "SpongeBob SquarePants", Here Are 29 Of The Best Cartoon Theme Tunes Ranked

    "I would RUN to the TV when I heard this."

    Ahhhh, cartoons!! Whether you grew up watching them, you still watch them of your own volition, or you're forced to watch them as a parent, there's no denying that there are some ICONIC 'toon series out there.

    Recently, we spent wayyyy too long reminiscing about classic cartoon theme songs, and debating which are the best ones. So, being the BuzzFeed writers and producers we are, we decided to turn that discussion into a ranking of the 29 best cartoon theme songs ever! Here's what we came up...

    Quick note on the criteria for this list... Obviously we couldn't include every cartoon ever, so we just stuck to animated ones, i.e not shows like The Teletubbies or Bear in the Big Blue House. We've also only included theme songs with lyrics (not purely instrumental themes like Recess) and songs which feature at the start of a cartoon, not songs from episodes like "Library Card" from Arthur. Enjoy!!

    29. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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    Sepi: What a show! I love the slight rock sound of this theme. It developed significantly over the years, but I prefer this one to some of the newer versions for sure. 6/10

    Sam: It's not for me, I'm afraid. I think I've misremembered this theme song as much better than it is, eek! 1/10

    Tori: It was the '80s. It served its purpose. 4/10

    Total: 11/30

    28. Bananas in Pyjamas

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    Sepi: Okay, it's not up there in terms of the greatest cartoon theme songs per se, but is it one I would sing at the top of my lungs when I was younger? Yes. So it's decent. Seven-year-old Sepi would approve. 6/10

    Sam: I feel like there's a version of Hell in which poor unfortunate souls are strapped to a cold stone slab and made to listen to this constantly. That being said, I guess it's catchy enough. 3/10

    Tori: This wasn't a creepy little fever dream??? 2/10

    Total: 11/30

    27. The Flintstones

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    Sepi: The Flintstones though! I could recognise this a mile off; it's not in my top 5, but it's a bit of a tune for sure. 5/10

    Sam: This gets points for being a decent tune and a pioneer of cartoon theme tunes, but it's pretty dated by modern standards. I, too, enjoy having a "gay ol' time" though. 4/10

    Tori: I never realised there are more lyrics than just, "Flintstones, meet The Flintstones". And maybe this is of-the-time, but did they use the same vocalists as The Jetsons theme song? 3/10

    Total: 12/30

    26. Dragon Ball Z

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    Sepi: I rate this intro so much! It's definitely different to the other theme tunes on this list – it has a sort of rock riff which I really like. I still get chills hearing this even now! 8/10

    Sam: I've heard of Dragon Ball Z, of course, but I'm afraid I don't know it like that. I'm going off of my first ever listen... 0/10

    Tori: I can respect this for what it was, but the song has always sounded more like background music in a video game to me, rather than the main theme of a huge childhood anime. 4/10

    Total: 12/30

    25. Dora The Explorer

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    Sepi: Okay, this is pretty iconic, I have to admit it – Dora is coming through with a catchy banger! It's not my ultimate favourite, but it's a tune for sure. 7/10

    Sam: It's cute, but it's definitely the kind of simplistic tune I could imagine would become suuuuuuper grating over time. 3/10

    Tori: I wouldn't want to be stuck listening to this for hours on a loop, but it would be super fake of me to act like the "come on, vamanos" doesn't get me a little hype every time. 6/10

    Total: 16/30

    24. Bob The Builder

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    Sepi: I can't help but bop my head to this! It's definitely a decent theme song, but there are others on this list that can top it. 6/10

    Sam: Okay, this is a FAT tune. If I ever have kids and they love this show, I don't think I'd be mad about listening to this over and over. 9/10

    Tori: As a child, I grew to HATE this show and this song because whenever I was sick and had to miss school (which was often) it was always on. I'll mosh extra aggressively to it now, but that's it. 2/10

    Total: 17/30

    23. Corneil & Bernie (Watch My Chops)

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    Sepi: Oh my goodness, this brings back memories! I loved this show a lot. The intro sequence is pretty great and still gives me the giggles. 7/10

    Sam: I used to adore this show, and I remember liking the theme tune a lot too. Upon listening to it again, I've retained it pretty well, which I guess means it's memorable. Unfortunately, I don't think it's ~quite~ as good as I remember. 6.5/10

    Tori: Something about the song just doesn't hit the way it used to. Still made me smile though! 4/10

    Total: 17.5/30

    22. Clifford the Big Red Dog

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    Sepi: Clifford! Omg! I loved this show growing up, it really has a soft spot in my heart. However, theme tune-wise, it's quite forgettable to me – I'm sorry! 5/10

    Sam: Awww, this is super nostalgic for me! My youngest sister loved this show. I do love a theme tune that tells a story, and this song has a chill catchy sound to it, but it's far from my fav. A solid good-tier theme song. 7/10

    Tori: Super chill, super comforting, and I do love the exposition... However, I definitely forgot this song existed! Sorry. 5.5/10

    Total: 17.5/30

    21. Scooby-Doo

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    Sepi: The way I still sing this intro with my chest whenever I hear it. If I'm honest, I don't know how I still know all the lyrics to it... It's definitely up there for me! 7.5/10

    Sam: Yeah, I mean, it's a classic, but is it a good song? I think not. I prefer the updated Simple Plan version (sorry). 2/10

    Tori: Gorgeous, gorgeous ~ghouls~ respect what this song has done for humankind. 8/10

    Total: 17.5/30

    20. Doug

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    Sepi: Doug was my "safe space" cartoon growing up. The theme song is nothing extravagant, however, I think it's a really special one. I really would smile so hard as a kid when this came on TV, and I still smile watching it now. 9.5/10

    Sam: It's okay, but it doesn't really float my boat. Sorry Sepi!! 3/10

    Tori: This is up there with ultimate nostalgic theme songs – it's just so catchy! 7/10

    Total: 19.5/30

    19. Postman Pat

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    Sepi: I rate this theme song, you know! I don't know why, but it gets me in the feels a bit. I'm reminded of the simpler times when I was a kid! 7/10

    Sam: I am reliably informed by my mother that I loved Postman Pat when I was really young. So for that reason, and the fact that this is a sweet enough theme song, I'm going to be quite generous. 7/10

    Tori: Wow, this was pulled from the deepest part of my mind! It's such a sweet little nugget of pure wholesomeness. One day, I'll make tiny me proud by having my own black and white cat! 6/10

    Total: 20/30

    18. Rugrats

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    Sepi: I've probably watched every single episode of Rugrats, and I'm not even kidding when I say that. I have to admit the theme song was never one of my favourites, but it's incredibly memorable. 5/10

    Sam: Okay, this song is our first and last exception to the "no instrumental theme tunes" rule. I think it's clear why this is the only one that made the cut. 7/10

    Tori: If you've ever seen me spaced out, just know that these xylophone dun-dun-dun-duns are what's playing in my head. Every time. 8.5/10

    Total: 20.5/30

    17. CatDog

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    Sepi: CatDog was a cartoon I didn't really watch that much of growing up, but I do somehow remember the theme song. It's quite a decent one! 6/10

    Sam: I only watched this show a handful of times, but WHAT A THEME SONG! Honestly, this one often pops into my head out of nowhere cos it's that catchy. 8.5/10

    Tori: Like Sam, at the most random of times, I'll get this song stuck in my head. So, it had an impact. But yeah, nah. I was never a huge fan of the show — it freaked me out a bit, to be honest.  7/10

    Total: 21.5/30

    16. Hey Arnold!

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    Sepi: I just want to constantly do jazz hands when I listen to this! I rate it so highly. Like, if you don't enjoy the Hey Arnold! intro, I feel for you. 9.5/10

    Sam: I remember LOVING this show, and feeling super excited whenever it came on TV, but I don't recall the theme song whatsoever. Listening to it now, it just doesn't hit for me. 4/10

    Tori: "MOVE IT, FOOTBALL HEAD!" I'm so happy Queen Helga Pataki made time out of her busy schedule to give us such a great intro song. All jokes aside, I love jazz, New York, and Hey Arnold! 8/10

    Total: 21.5/30

    15. The Magic School Bus

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    Sepi: I LOVED The Magic School Bus growing up, I even had the PC game! I always wanted Ms. Frizzle to be my teacher. The intro is really cute. 7.5/10

    Sam: Another one I don't remember, but I like it! Very jazzy. 6/10

    Tori: Ugh, this song is just so upbeat and fun! Plus, I wanted to BE Ms. Frizzle growing up, and that's still true. 8/10

    Total: 21.5/30

    14. Sailor Moon

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    Sepi: Once an icon, always an icon. Sailor Moon was such a great show to me growing up! 7/10

    Sam: SOMEHOW, Sailor Moon passed me by as a kid, which makes NO sense because I was a gay boy who loved hair and clothes and makeup. Anyhow, this theme tune is a little bland to me now, but I do appreciate the *pure gay* of it. Also, without this series, I imagine we wouldn't have had shows in the UK like W.I.T.C.H. or Trollz, which I was obsessed with, so... 5/10

    Tori: LOVING THIS SONG IS WHAT HAVING CULTURE IS. It's the way I would have my mum rent as many tapes of this show as possible from Blockbuster as a child to fawn over the song, the outfits, and the hair. 10/10

    Total: 22/30

    13. 64 Zoo Lane

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    Sepi: This theme song has a special place in my heart! I always laugh whenever I hear it, because people used to point at me when the song went, "and the last one's Georgina, she's incredibly taaaalllll" hahaha. 6.5/10

    Sam: Did this show make it to the US? It's honestly fab, and the theme song is lovely! It's giving Matilda The Musical vibes, and I'm 100% here for it. 8/10

    Tori: Can confirm this show made it to The States! The song is still so so comforting – it's like a lullaby for me. 8.5/10

    Total: 23/30

    12. Yvon of the Yukon

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    Sepi: Omg, I totally forgot about this show, but I did watch it growing up! What a throwback. I agree with Tori, it has a "yo-ho" vibe and I rate the vocals. 7/10

    Sam: Many people might not know this one, but this is another theme song that gives a lot of helpful exposition. I think it's funny and catchy, and I used to love singing along to it as a kid. "Deeeeeeeefrosted for you and for meeee!" 9/10

    Tori: Niche, but I love a "yo-ho" type beat and the vocals are immaculate! 7/10

    Total: 23/30

    11. As Told By Ginger

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    Sepi: Oh, this show, this show! As Told By Ginger is so underrated. I find Macy Gray's voice delightful, and I always found this theme song a great source of comfort somehow. In my top five, easy. 9/10

    Sam: I mean, Macy is a queen, but I don't remember this show. For me, there's no nostalgic allure here, but I do like the song! But isn't this the cartoon where that girl sings that song about seals? Cos that's a tune... 7/10

    Tori: I never knew the words to this song as kid (and I still don't), but I remember that as soon as I heard it I would bolt to the TV ready for the cartoon angst. 7.5/10

    Total: 23.5/30

    10. The Simpsons

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    Sepi: I was ~very~ invested in The Simpsons growing up. I would go over to my cousin's house and play Hit & Run till goodness knows what hour! The theme tune went hard then, and it still goes hard now. 8.5/10

    Sam: It's just genius. Every time I see it – and I've seen plenty already – I notice something new. Probably because they change it so often! That's going above and beyond, people. The Simpsons just hits different. 9/10

    Tori: I'm sorry... I didn't grow up with The Simpsons. Honestly, there's a chance I've only seen the movie and never an actual episode. Subjectively, this song means nothing to me, but objectively... 7/10

    Total: 24.5/30

    9. Cow and Chicken

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    Sepi: I don't know why this cartoon intro still makes me belly-laugh! I have to admit, the bass line is incredibly smooth on this, which really carries the song. 7.5/10

    Sam: HOW HAVE I NEVER HEARD OF THIS SHOW BEFORE?!?! I listened to this theme song for the first time writing this, and I was moved... MOVED TO FITS OF LAUGHTER. Utterly absurd, stupid AF. This is my new favourite thing. 10/10

    Tori: There's still something so un-chic about this show to me, but the theme is so simplistic and silly... You know what? It's camp. 7/10

    Total: 24.5/30

    8. Pinky and the Brain

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    Sepi: This theme song is GREAT! It's one that everyone can sing along to, but I personally prefer others. 7.5/10

    Sam: You wanna talk about quality theme tunes? This is the one right here. It has clever and riveting animation, stellar vocals, and an indelible hook. Anyone remember the time they changed it to include "Larry"? 10/10

    Tori: A hilariously sinister sing-along. Something about it awakens the theatre kid in me. 7.5/10

    Total: 25/30

    7. The Proud Family

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    Sepi: This theme song is EASILY my favourite. It was performed by Solange Knowles and Destiny's Child, which instantly makes it elite. I also have to shout out Joyce Wrice – who I adore by the way – who sang the new version for The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder. It's equally as amazing, everyone should go check it out! 10/10

    Sam: I never really watched this series, but the theme song is very sweet. I can hear the Destiny's Child and I'm into it. 6/10

    Tori: I mean, Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland are on this, so it's already major. The harmonies, the beat, the exposition, it holds up incredibly to this day. I personally wish they'd brought everyone back to do a remix or something for the reboot. 9/10

    Total: 25/30

    6. Kim Possible

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    Sepi: I rate this song SO MUCH... This is definitely in my top 5, easy. A true masterpiece. The way I still sing, "you can't stop me, cos I'm Kim Poss-i-ble!" Fun fact, Christina Milian sang this one. 8.5/10

    Sam: This theme song is a classic, and has a fabulous of-the-era pop sound. My ONLY criticism is, all most people know are those last nine words! To get a perfect score from me, a theme song needs to be ~iconic~ throughout. 8/10

    Tori: It's a bop, a banger, and a slay. The fact that this theme song isn't on every karaoke machine in the nation is a CRIME (against me, specifically). 9/10

    Total: 25.5/30

    5. SpongeBob SquarePants

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    Sam: There's something a little bit annoying about this theme tune, but at the same time, it's just fantastic. 8/10

    Tori: This song is on the party playlist... As are its remixes. There's just something so ubiquitous about this tune, like, you can't think of children's TV themes without mentioning it. The only thing better than the theme song for Spongebob, is the jellyfish club song from that one episode. 9/10

    Total: 26/30

    4. The Fairly OddParents

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    Sepi: I am a sucker for a jazzy theme song, and this one is up in my top five, for sure! I would RUN to the TV when I heard this. 8/10

    Sam: Now we're talking!! I won't hear a bad word about this theme song. The animation, the big band instrumental, the throwback vocal arrangement... It gets 10s across the board from me. 10/10

    Tori: I hope the composers knew they were creating HISTORY with this tune. Everything about this intro – from the obtuse to the guava juice – is ICONIC. 9/10

    Total: 27/30

    3. Mona The Vampire

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    Sepi: This was a staple cartoon for us Brits growing up! The theme song really does not escape your head... "Show us your fangs! Yay Mona!" 7/10

    Sam: Brilliant, incredible, amazing, show-stopping, spectacular, never the same, totally unique... I will randomly pull this up and listen to it at least ten times throughout the year. 12/10

    Tori: Holy throwback! One of the saddest things about growing up in two countries is that I would have "grab your cat, grab your cape" in my head, and no one in the US to share it with. A serious earworm to this day though! 9/10

    Total: 28/32

    2. Pokémon

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    Sepi: If you don't sing, "I wanna be the very best, like no one ever was" as soon as this theme song comes on, I don't think I can trust you. 8.5/10

    Sam: Honestly, stunning. It's super dramatic, it hypes you up, and it somehow tugs at your heartstrings too. The anime visuals combined with a '70s rock and roll sound – it's just perfect. 10/10

    Tori: This song has spanned literal generations. It has drama, instrumentals, emotion, and plot! There's nothing I can say to someone who doesn't love this BOP. 10/10

    Total: 28.5/30

    1. Arthur

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    Sepi: I still really admire this song so so much! What an absolute classic! *Hey, DW.* 9/10

    Sam: Perfect, no notes. Wouldn't change a thing 🥲🥲. 10/10

    Tori: I'm crying? 11/10

    Total: 30/31

    Do you agree with our ranking? Have we missed any vital theme songs out? Let us know in the comments below!