30 ‘90s Cartoons With Theme Songs That You Still Remember


There was no greater thrill on a Saturday morning than hearing the opening chords of your favorite animated series. There are so many unforgettable cartoon theme songs of the '90s that you'd watch the series just to be greeted by those dulcet tones. Even now, you could flock to YouTube to relive that simpler time... but you don't have to. Because, for your own nostalgic purposes, I've rounded up some iconic '90s cartoon themes, some of which practically upstaged the rest of the whole damn series.

From the songs that spelled out an entire series to the tunes that showed you an entire world, it's all here. And not only did they accurately define a story or atmosphere, but these quality themes that have such a high re-listen rate all seemed to coincide within that era. Perhaps it was because so many '80s New Waves greats had settled down enough to try their hand at composing (we hear you Mark Mothersbaugh and Danny Elfman) and we '90s kids got to reap the musical benefits. Either way, I'm incredibly grateful for it.

So, without further delay, scroll down for a list of some of the most memorable cartoon theme songs from our childhood.

1. 'Pepper Ann'

babyemopenguins on YouTube

My father once lauded this as the best-but-most-annoying theme song of all time. The vocals are grating, and there's a whole spoken word interlude. It's amazing.

2. 'Duck Tales'

87pedro on YouTube

This is the only vintage theme song I have downloaded on my iPhone, it is that good.

3. 'Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers'

AnimDailies on YouTube

Similar and lesser to Duck Tales, but that "Ch-ch-ch-chip and Dale" is key.

4. 'Hey Arnold'

mohdarushad on YouTube

Damn near iconic, it has a good jazzy vibe, and you can't escape those choruses of "Hey Arnold!" Like, you know what show you're watching.

5. 'Sonic the Hedgehog'

gmechfan on YouTube

He's the fastest thing alive! And we'll never forget!

6. 'Pokémon'

ThePokemonNetwork on YouTube

During that one month everyone was obsessed with "Pokemon Go," I ended up finding 500 ways to creatively repurpose this theme song.

7. 'Batman: The Animated Series'

Vaelfor on YouTube

Really I'm just remembering Elfman's original theme from the Tim Burton films, but, nevertheless, a great song.

8. 'Earthworm Jim'

Sjahut on YouTube

An absurdist show with a perfectly epic theme.

9. 'Tiny Toon Adventures'

Give Me My 80s Cartoons on YouTube

Looney Tunes but with a modern twist! It... literally describes both the show and its theme.

10. 'Rugrats'

KingMapleSeed on YouTube

Please. Like you couldn't hum this theme from memory at any given moment.

11. 'The Powerpuff Girls'

U4iA on YouTube

Not only do you know the music, but you can easily recite the girls' original story.

12. 'Dexter’s Laboratory'

Cartoon Network on YouTube

The music perfectly captures Dexter's constant struggle with the destructive DeeDee.

13. 'Animaniacs'

RiddleBoxLette95 on YouTube

We can join the Warner brothers (and the Warner sister Dot) in singing along.

14. 'Doug'

Mad Warren on YouTube

It's understated, yeah, but it also hasn't left your mind since 1991.

15. 'The Ren & Stimpy Show'

Nick Animation on YouTube

It's no "Happy Happy, Joy, Joy" or "Log," and yet the lyricless "Dog Pound Hop" still stands out.

16. 'Daria'

Paulina Calderón on YouTube

It's an expert use of "la la la la-las."

17. 'Recess'

NostalgicDaze on YouTube

It almost sounds like a military march.

18. 'The Angry Beavers'

Nick Animation on YouTube

Those horns, tho.

19. 'Rocko’s Modern Life'

Nick Animation on YouTube

You get the full O-Town tour in under a minute.

20. 'Freakazoid'

HACKBO3b on YouTube

They really burn that "Freakazoid" into your brain.

21. 'Darkwing Duck'

Lina Derpina on YouTube

Anything besides "let's get dangerous" is maybe a bit hazy, although I can't forget Darkwing Duck if only for that line.

22. 'TaleSpin'

Steve Stan on YouTube

There's definitely a solid jungle beat behind all this.

23. 'Spongebob SquarePants'

Nick Animation on YouTube

OK, SpongeBob isn't technically off the air yet, so this one feels like a cop out. However, it's a song that is eternally ready for a sing-along.

24. 'Rocket Power'

Nick Animation on YouTube

Bleh, I could really do without Rocket Power and its theme song. At the same time, I won't be forgetting either anytime soon.

25. 'CatDog'

Nick Animation on YouTube

What was the idea behind this one? Something fast and... kinda country.

26. 'Captain Planet'

CharcoalShadow on YouTube

OK, but I still don't understand how "Heart" is an element.

27. 'Sailor Moon'

sailormoontransform on YouTube

The whole reason I caption so many pictures with "fighting evil by moonlight, winning love by daylight."

28. 'Johnny Bravo'

Ronaldv002 on YouTube

It's lightening fast and peppered by Johnny's "hoo ha hoos" and bursts of narcissism.

29. 'Muppet Babies'

Give Me My 80s Cartoons on YouTube

OK, most of the show aired in the '80s. Yet this song was a huge part of baby Mary Grace's life circa '91, '92.

30. 'Arthur'

DCPFAN on YouTube

It's always a wonderful kind of day with this aardvark and his anthropomorphic friends.

Sorry not sorry for all the songs you now won't be able to get out of your head, guys.