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The top 5 cartoon theme songs from the '90s

The ’90s were a boon to the creativity that we see from millennial filmmakers and storytellers. Looking back on that era is always good for some nostalgia, and it’s also a reminder of where the roots of many of today’s best shows and movies lie. Cartoons of the ’90s seem to be particularly influential on this generation of storytellers, because many of us were kids at the time. Needless to say, the theme songs to these shows have a special place in our hearts, and instantly take us back to simpler times.

Here are my picks for the top 5 cartoon theme songs from the ’90s.


Image Credit: ABC

5. Recess (1997–2001)
Kids of the ’90s can’t help but instantly recognize the Recess theme song when it comes on. The show was a hit on ABC’s “One Saturday Morning,” back when that was actually a thing, and it spawned a movie that sold out everywhere when it was released. The theme song effortlessly takes you back to those sleepy Saturday mornings watching T.J. and the gang get up to some shenanigans.


Image Credit: Nickelodeon

4. Rugrats (1990–2006)
It was one of the longest running series of the ’90s, and Rugrats bled deep into the 2000s during its run. While the show itself changed over the years, its theme song remains one of the best we heard throughout our childhoods. The Rugrats theme is childish in construction but powerful with nostalgia.

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Image Credit: ABC

Image Credit: ABC

3. Doug (1991–1999)
It’s so subtle, yet so catchy. The theme song for Doug is about as understated as the show itself, which makes for a perfect pairing. Doug was a staple series of ’90s youth television, and it’s hard to believe that the show lasted less than ten years. It lives on long after that, thanks in part to its perfect doo-wop inspired theme song.

Image Credit: Warner Bros

Image Credit: Warner Bros

2. Animaniacs (1993–1998)
Animaniacs has a wildly underrated theme song for a criminally underrated show. While we look at The Simpsons and South Park as examples of “adult” cartoons, Animaniacs is a quintessential example of a show for kids that had plenty to offer adults, too. It’s the model that Pixar operates on today: The show itself is for kids, but there are plenty of adult zingers clean enough for inclusion. That was all captured in the brilliant theme song for the show.

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

1. The Simpsons (1989–Present)
Is there a more iconic theme song not only for cartoons, but for the ’90s in general? The Simpsons was groundbreaking, pioneering television that paved the way for the likes of South Park, Family Guy, Beavis & Butt-Head, and many more successful shows. The theme song has been around for longer than many millennials have been alive, and it will probably live on long after we’re all gone.

Josh Hill is an editor for FanSided.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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