Created By: Twentington on August 2, 2011
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ChangedTheThemeTune

A show changes its Theme Tune at some point

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Not sure if this would be a People Sit on Chairs trope. Doesn't seem like it would to me.

A self-explanatory trope. This is exactly what it says on the tin: a show changes its Theme Tune at some point within its run. This does not refer to rearrangements, but rather outright replacements of the theme.

Live-Action TV

  • Wheel of Fortune used an Alan Thicke tune called "Big Wheels" until 1983, when it was ousted for "Changing Keys", composed by show creator Merv Griffin. "Changing Keys" was re-orchestrated several times (with Merv having little to no hand in the last two remixes) until the theme was finally retired in 2000 for an unnamed theme by Steve Kaplan. And that theme was retired in 2006 for the current tune, "Happy Wheels" by Frankie Blue and John Hoke.
  • The Joker's Wild started out with Jean-Jacques Perry and Gershon Kingsley's "The Savers". Over time, they used a Jimmy Hart Version composed by Alan Thicke, a re-orchestration of "The Savers" by Hal Hidey, a new theme composed by Hidey, and even briefly used another Perry and Kingsley tune. What's more, they also stole the theme from Break the Bank for a tournament of champions.
  • The Drew Carey Show. Drew's own "Moon Over Parma", "Five O'Clock World" by the Vogues and "Cleveland Rocks" by the Presidents of the United States of America.
  • The Unit. First "Fired Up", then a different tune by the same guy (perhaps because "Fired Up" was adapted from a Marine Corps cadence and therefore not a good choice for an Army-based show).
  • In season 4, Big Love changed from "God Only Knows" by The Beach Boys to "Home" by Engineers.
Community Feedback Replies: 23
  • August 2, 2011
    madelinemary
    Boy Meets World had several different theme songs depending on the season.
  • August 2, 2011
    blueranger
    • The Charmed theme song is "How Soon Is Now" by Love Spit Love but on the season 8 DVD it is changed to an instrumental theme (due to licensing issues).
    • Each season of the S Club 7 TV series had a different song as its opening theme. Miami 7 had "Bring It All Back", LA 7 had "Reach", Hollywood 7 had "You" and Viva S Club had "Alive".
  • August 2, 2011
    depizan
    Simon & Simon had one theme song for it's first season (complete with lyrics over the end credits) and a different tune for all subsequent seasons.
  • August 2, 2011
    CaveCat
  • August 2, 2011
    LeeM
    Do we not have this one already?

    • The original V changed its theme tune a number of times during its run. Sounded like an act of desperation to this troper.
    • Auf Wiedersehen Pet deliberately changed its opening and closing themes for each new series or special.
    • Space: 1999 got a new composer as part of a general makeover when Fred Frieberger took over as producer in season two.
    • The Avengers originally had a theme tune by Johnny Dankworth. It also underwent a complete makeover when production was switched from videotape to film, simultaneous with Diana Rigg's arrival, resulting in the more familiar Laurie Johnson theme.
  • August 2, 2011
    Psychobabble6
  • August 3, 2011
    NetMonster
    The change of Monk's theme tune is notable as it was implicitly referenced in-show, at a Painting The Fourth Wall monemt.
  • August 3, 2011
    AFP
    Pretty sure we have this one, I just can't think of what it's called. In any case, Babylon 5 made a point of doing this every season, to reflect the changing theme of the show.
  • August 3, 2011
    randomsurfer
    I remember seeing this on ykttw before but I don't know whether or not it ever got launched.
  • August 3, 2011
    Twentington
    Checked around. We don't have this already.
  • August 3, 2011
    HandsomeRob
    Static Shock went through three different theme songs, the last one being sung by Little Romeo (I think)
  • August 3, 2011
    JoeG
    • Happy Days used "Rock Around the Clock" as its theme tune in its first season, then changed over to a song especially written for the show.
    • Gilligans Island always used the same lyrics in its theme song, but for the Pilot Episode it the song was sung in Calypso style, while in subsequent episodes it was a sea shanty.
  • August 3, 2011
    jimlapbap
    • Chuck went through several incarnations before settling on "Short Skirt Long Jacket."
    • White Collar has a new theme for season 3.
    • Farscape changed theirs between seasons 2 and 3 (I think?). It has a similar texture, but the theme is definitely different. It's most obvious in the chanting.
  • August 3, 2011
    jimlapbap
    • The Cosby Show teeters the line of new theme and rearrangement for Season 5 with the orchestral version. It's probably an arrangement because a fragment of the theme is there in two or three places (but much less than the other 7 seasons' intros, which generally followed a 12-bar blues progression).
  • August 3, 2011
    jbrecken
    Actually, Gilligan's Island didn't always use the same lyrics. Originally, it just had "and the rest" instead of "the Professor and Mary Ann."
  • August 3, 2011
    LeeM
    • A lot of people may have forgotten (unless they bought the DVDs, but The Flintstones originally had a different title sequence with an instrumental theme tune.
  • August 3, 2011
    StGermain
    Sanctuary changed to a more upbeat opening theme at the beginning of Season 3.
  • August 3, 2011
    lukebn
    I think it is People Sit On Chairs. It's just a thing that happens, it's not a deliberate artistic element of the show.
  • August 4, 2011
    benjamminsam
    @lukebn I see what you're saying, I think that it just has to be tightened up a little bit. If a show completely changes its theme song, that's one thing, but retooling an existing one by adding a few new instruments and cranking the tempo up a few clicks shouldn't really count.

    For instance, I liked the Wheel Of Fortune example because Griffin's "Changing Keys" was iconic. But Jeopardy's "new" themes every 8 years or so probably shouldn't count because they have the same basic melody or are at least easily identifiable as a new iteration of the same song.

    Just my two cents, anyone else (dis)agree?
  • August 4, 2011
    terrafox
    • Scooby Doo: The later seasons did away with its iconic "Where Are You?" theme song in its entirety. Many fans assert that this change coincided with an overall drop in the show's quality as it preceeded the introduction of The Original Scrappy by one season.

    I also suggest the alternative title Replaced The Theme Tune as "Changed" is subjective. Even with an on-page explanation, it still invites, "What measure is sufficient to qualify as a change?" as a track, remixed such that it is no longer recognizable next to the original could go either way. Also, it is not a "Chairs" as there are a large number of works that don't change their theme tune through their full run.
  • August 4, 2011
    Twentington
    @Benjamminsam: The trope is clearly about outright changing to a completely different song, not just re-tooling it. The Jeopardy! example falls under Rearrange The Song. (However, the 1964 and 1978 versions of the show used different themes — but I'm not sure if those should count since they're different runs.)

    Another example: Lingo used a short, looped "game show"-y music in seasons 1 and 2, and a completely different rock theme from Season 3 onward.
  • August 4, 2011
    Jonti
    Red Dwarf changed its closing theme for a single episode, Gunmen of the Apocolypse in Series 6.
  • August 4, 2011
    Sailor11sedna
    Sailor Moon, after two seasons, changed the singer of the opening song, then, two seasons later, changed the whole song. Actually, it seems common in mainstream amine. Naruto, Bleach, the dub of Gash Bell (same tune, strangely enough).
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