7 thoughts on “Five Times TV Shows Worked Their Theme Songs Into the Episodes Themselves

  1. Still the Beaver had the parents sing “The Toy Parade” to their kids. Ron Howard whistled the Andy Griffith theme to end a parody sketch (which is as close as they came I think.)

    Also Charles in Charge played the theme as a curtain call.

  2. Off the top of my head this happened twice with two TV cartoons (and likely more). The original 1987-1996 run of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” had an endless barrage of 4th wall jokes, even during the last three so-called “serious” seasons that you could argue the 4th wall didn’t exist. At least once or twice, the Turtles reference their own theme song (Donatello even asks if a character paid attention to it). A more recent example was “Spectacular Spider-Man,” which ran from 2008-2009 across two networks. In the 9th episode of the second season, “Probable Cause,” the villain Ox (voiced by Danny Trejo) hums the show’s theme song in an elevator with his cohorts; he even comments that “it’s catchy.”

  3. This doesn’t quite count, but I loved that the original Battlestar Galactica theme was the “national anthem” in the remake.

  4. I seem to remember an episode of BONANZA where Pa Cartwright sang the theme song with the rarely heard lyrics. While around a campfire of course.

  5. To piggy back off of what Matthew Johnson said, in the 5th episode of 2000’s “X-Men: Evolution,” titled “Speed & Spyke,” the final scene takes place at a pool party and the music playing during this sequence is a remix of the theme song to the original “X-Men” cartoon from 1992. And of course, we have the 2002 “SPIDER-MAN” film using the character’s TV show theme from the 1960’s as an in-universe song that a subway musician comes up with.

  6. I seem to remember an episode of BONANZA where Pa Cartwright sang the theme song with the rarely heard lyrics. While around a campfire of course.

    I’ve been planning to use that in a bit in the future regarding cool stuff that was cut from episodes!

  7. The Nanny had a few references to the theme song throughout its run, with Fran discussing how she was “working in a bridal shop in Flushing, Queens, til her boyfriend kicked her out in one of those crushing scenes.” I think there’s also a couple of references to how “she had style, she had flair, she was there, that’s how she became the Nanny.”

    One notable example is the season two episode “Strange Bedfellows” when Fran’s friend Mona – played by Tyne Daly – is retiring from being a nanny, and SHE quotes the beginning of the theme song as her own career origin story.

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