Sometimes, a tune previously a theme of a [[{{Leitmotif}} specific character]], setting or otherwise, will become so popular and [[SignatureSong synonymous]] with the series itself that it becomes the accepted ThemeTune of the series. At this point, the theme will increasingly become prominent in anything related to the source, and, if there is already a theme for it, that theme may be replaced with the popular one.

This is a kind of RecurringRiff that becomes a straight up theme. If there is already a theme in place that is not as remembered as the Bootstrapped Theme, it can become a form of TitleConfusion or IAmNotShazam.

If you're wondering about the name, "bootstrapping" refers to an old Baron Munchausen story in which the titular character pulls himself and his horse out of a swamp by literally [[ItRunsOnNonsensoleum pulling himself up by his own bootstraps]] (or his own hair, it depends on the version). You can read more about it at TheOtherWiki [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bootstrapping here]]. Thus, these are songs that have taken center stage through their own merits, not because any creator really wanted it to be thus.

This term is also used in fields such as statistics (as a sampling method, more at TheOtherWiki [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bootstrapping_%28statistics%29 here]]) and computer processing (where it's usually abbreviated to "booting up" or the like).

Compare BootstrappedLeitmotif, where the RecurringRiff becomes a {{Leitmotif}} rather than a ThemeTune. See also Level1MusicRepresents, where the {{Leitmotif}} is derived from the music of a video game's first stage.

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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Advertising]]
* Non-media example: The {{Amiga}} is often associated with the red and white checkered sphere from its first public demonstration, but its actual logo was a rainbow-colored check mark. The sphere would end up becoming the official logo.
* The current AT&T commercial jingle uses a snippet of {{Carmen}}'s "Toreador". [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l61LjTwME7w Skip to the last 3 seconds of the commercial, and see what I mean.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/{{Berserk}}''. "[[Music/SusumuHirasawa HAIIIIIII YAI FOOOOOOR-CES!!!]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWfrDG0nmlk HAIIIIIII YAI FOOOOOOR-CES!!!]]" This particular chorus from the song "Forces" was just a image song used in some battle sequences and in the previews for the next episode, but it's the most iconic song in ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'' and when you hear that chorus, you seriously just want to [[FollowTheBouncingBall sing along.]] It was also the theme to the trailer, so it's quite likely the first exposure many people would have had to the series.
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann''. "Do the impossible, see the invisible. Row, row, fight da powa!"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Creator/WarnerBros had a theme for their logo, but it never caught on as the 20th Century Fox theme did. Now they have "As Time Goes By" from ''Film/{{Casablanca}}''.
** The original theme had a short comeback in the early 1980s, when Warners ditched the 1970s abstract logo and brought back the shield. It was also the Warner Home Video theme for a while.
** Warner Animation used the last four notes of the ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' theme ("Those are the facts!"), but switched to the last notes of [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes "Merrily We Roll Along"]] in 2009.
* ''Film/{{Casablanca}}'' itself is an example, too. The filmmakers wrote a song, specifically to be featured in the movie, which they were absolutely certain would become wildly popular, top all the charts, and become synonymous with the film. And that song was... "Knock on Wood." Seriously.
** Likewise, the studio had high hopes for "Count Your Blessings Instead Of Sheep" as the BreakawayPopHit from ''Holiday Inn''. It actually ''was'' a bit of a breakout hit at the time, but nowhere near as big as "White Christmas" (though it's well-documented that Irving Berlin himself recognised the latter's hit potential from the start).
* From 1993-1998, [[Creator/MetroGoldwynMayer MGM]][=/=][[Creator/UnitedArtists UA]] Home Video's fanfare was based on the opening logo from ''Film/TheWizardOfOz''.
* The main theme from ''Franchise/StarWars'' was actually Luke's theme. John Williams originally wanted to write a new main theme for the prequel trilogy, but Luke's theme was so well-associated with the franchise that they kept it during the opening crawl (and maybe once or twice in the underscore of ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'').
** To a lesser degree, what started out as Obi-Wan's theme in the original movie became the generic [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcZ9kQ1h-ZY Force theme]] in each of the later movies (''Film/RevengeOfTheSith'' kind of switched back and forth with the associations).
** Even in the original movie, however, the Force theme was not exclusively associated with Obi-Wan. In fact, its two most prominent uses in the film are probably for the binary sunset and for the throne room ceremony, neither of which directly involves Obi-Wan.
*** According to Music/JohnWilliams in the ''Making of Star Wars Book'':
---->'''Sunset:''' "George asked for Ben's theme there once he had heard it. I had originally scored that scene with Luke's theme, but when he heard the other, he said 'Could you put Ben's theme in there?' He liked it for some reason or other better for that scene. It is contemplative and reflective, and it works really very well. I think I have to say in the end he was very right."\\
'''Throne Room:''' "The entrance to the throne room has a big fanfare as they come in, and Ben's theme is used in a kind of parade way. In this sense it represents the triumph of the values of the Old Republic."
* In ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'', you have to mention that Jack Sparrow's theme and "He's A Pirate," both of which became the extremely recognizable parts of the series - the first within it, the second outside of it.
** It's starting to supplant the ''Indiana Jones'' theme as the quintessential adventure theme. It was used in a commercial for a History channel special or some such about ''Ancient Greece,'' and ''Series/TopGear'' used it for a car-verses-ice kayak race.
** "He's a Pirate" was already an example of this. The number of people out there who love this piece of music, but think that it is Jack Sparrow's theme, is astonishingly high. Thing is, it isn't Jack Sparrow's theme... its ''Will Turner's'' theme.
* What is recognized as the "''Film/HarryPotter'' theme" is actually called "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhL2HRAVKZs Hedwig's Theme]]".
** Creator/AlexandreDesplat, who scored Parts 1 and 2 of ''Deathly Hallows'', has stated that he decided to associate the theme with the innocence of the early installments, which (to his own regret) meant that it couldn't be used very much. The music is heard and then cuts off abruptly when [[spoiler:Hedwig dies, giving it the double association of the death of Hedwig herself and the end of Harry's innocence]]. In ''Hallows, Part 2'', it is played when Harry returns to Hogwarts and when Hogwarts is saved from Snape's reign.
* "Pure Imagination" from ''Film/WillyWonkaAndTheChocolateFactory''. While the Oompa-Loompa melody (which turns up four times!) is arguably even catchier and rivals it for popularity, "Pure Imagination" sums up both Willy Wonka's character and the atmosphere of the story so well -- and has become so beloved over the years -- that it was incorporated into the [[Theatre/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory otherwise all-new stage musical adaptation]] of the [[Literature/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory source novel]] in 2013, serving as TheElevenOClockNumber. So it's effectively become the theme song of the story itself, not just one adaptation thereof.
* Although Franchise/{{Batman}}'s theme in Film/TheDarkKnightSaga didn't fully develop until ''Film/TheDarkKnight'', the track "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZst_2xJHAI Molossus]]" from ''Film/BatmanBegins'' seems to have become the main theme of the Nolan movies. It was heavily featured in the trailers for TDK, and the movie itself uses the five-note brass motif in key scenes.
* From ''[[Film/TwentyEightDaysLater 28 Days Later]]'', "In the House, In a Heartbeat," which is used once in the climax of the movie, is frequently treated as the movie's theme. ''Film/TwentyEightWeeksLater'' carries on with this and runs the song into the ground.
* ''Film/{{Rocky}}'' composer Bill Conti had already written a quieter, sadder sounding piano theme for Rocky's character in the contemplative moments of the movie. Director John Avidson then asked Conti to write something inspiring for the training montage. Conti just started off with the fanfare that opens the movie, took the sad theme he had already written and added a beat and some lyrics and it became "Gonna Fly Now" which became Rocky's theme.
* Many consider "The Rainbow Connection" from ''Music/TheMuppetMovie'' to be the theme for the Muppets as a whole. It was even played on the organ at the beginning of [[TearJerker Jim Henson's memorial service]].
* Although the cast and crew hated the song, "Talk to the Animals," when they made the film ''Film/DoctorDolittle'', it is now inseparable with the title character.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Madagascar}}'', SachaBaronCohen's improvising the words for a cover of "I Like to Move It," changed the song from an one off joke for his character to the de facto theme song of the film series.
* ''OliverAndCompany'': "Why Should I worry" was originally just the IAmSong for the character Dodger, but is easily the most iconic song from the movie.
* ''Disney/{{Pinocchio}}'' has "When You Wish Upon A Star". It's notable for not being a Bootstrapped Theme for a character or a series, but for an entire [[Creator/{{Disney}} company]].
* One of the biggest hit records of all time was Percy Faith's lush rendition of the "Theme from ''A Summer Place''", which held the #1 spot on the ''Billboard'' chart for nine straight weeks in 1960. However, while the tune was introduced in the score to the 1959 movie ''A Summer Place'' (for which it was composed by MaxSteiner), it's not actually the main theme, just a secondary love theme for two of its characters.
* The ''Film/SilentHill'' movies use "Promise (Reprise)" as an impromptu theme. It originated in one scene from the second video game, but is used repeatedly in both movies and also opens the trailers to both. Ironically, the game series has an actual theme song titled "Silent Hill," but only the opening of this song is ever heard in the movies - over the studio logo to the first film, before the movie proper even starts.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The famous ''Series/MissionImpossible'' theme was originally written by Lalo Schifrin for a chase scene at the end of the pilot. Creator[=/=]producer Bruce Geller zeroed in on it as exactly the sort of thing he wanted for the opening credits.
* The Final ''Series/{{Jeopardy}}'' music (a piece titled "Think!") overshadowed the actual theme tune to the Art Fleming version, and became the main theme when the show was brought back with Alex Trebek.
* Bob James' instrumental ''Series/{{Taxi}}'' theme, "Angela", was originally written for a single scene involving a character of that name in the first-season episode "Blind Date". But the producers liked the piece so much they decided to make it the title theme for the whole series.
* The first season of ''Series/TheTwilightZone'' used a different theme tune, which was composed by by BernardHerrmann. For the second season on, the now-familiar theme was produced by splicing together two cues by Marius Constant named "Etrange 3" and "Milieu 2," written for the show but not intended to be used as theme music.
* ''Series/{{Lexx}}'''s Brunnen-G battle hymn became the show's most popular piece of music, and was used in the opening credits starting with Season 3.
* In ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'', the motif that was originally Dylan Hunt's theme (by series composer Matthew [=McCauley=]) became the main title theme from the second season on, replacing the first-season theme, "The March of the High Guard" (by Alex Lifeson of Rush).
* The "Requiem for the Line" from ''Series/BabylonFive'' originally appeared in flashbacks to a key moment of the backstory in the first season. It was bootstrapped into the title sequence for the third season.
* ''Series/EightIsEnough'' had a instrumental theme tune in the first two seasons. On the second season episode "Who's On First" eldest son David sings a song with lyrics called "Eight Is Enough" at a school talent show. It became the show's theme song the following season.
* Johnny Pearson's "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIxeOvClzR4 Heavy Action]]" is now widely thought of as the ''MondayNightFootball'' theme, but it was originally composed for a Creator/{{BBC}} sports series (''Superstars''), and even on ''MNF'' itself it was originally just used as background music for halftime highlights, not becoming the opening theme until several years later.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' has no real theme song. However, "Carry on Wayward Son" by Kansas has frequently been used for recap montages. Between that and the fact that it sums up the two main characters pretty damn well, it's become something of a unofficial theme for the show.
* ''Series/MurphyBrown'' used many, ''many'' classic 60's rock tunes during its runs as the opening theme as a CouchGag, but "Rescue Me" is always played as its theme during awards shows.
* ''Series/RedDwarf'''s closing theme was retooled for its opening theme from Series 3 onwards. The original opening theme continued to be used as incidental music.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* The Union Underground recorded [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUMWkSvwSYE "Across the Nation"]] to be Test's theme; however, Wrestling/{{WWE}} decided to use it as the theme for its ''MondayNightRaw'' program instead. This required a bit of editing, as the original version featured a prominent "TEST!" chant in the bridge.
* Mick Foley continued to use Mankind's "Wreck" theme well after he stopped the Mankind gimmick. It has basically become the Mick Foley theme altogether.
* Teddy Long has used Rodney Mack's "Mack Militant" theme long after he managed Mack and even after Mack left the company. Because of this, it is more associated with him than Mack.
* John Cena's "You Can't See Me" continued to be his theme after he abandoned the rap gimmick. The song was originally used to promote Cena's rap album on which it appears.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* Not quite a ThemeTune, but worth mentioning: the Act One finale of the musical ''Strike Up The Band'', Jim and Joan (the principal couple) quarrel and split (until they reconcile in the second act), and her musical denunciation of him included four strangely lyrical bars. Although it was common in musicals of the 1920s for the Act One finale to include reprises of earlier numbers, with or without new lyrics, these four bars were not a reprise of any number in the version of ''Strike Up The Band'' which played Philadelphia in 1927. This version of the show failed to reach New York, but a few years later, a revised version of the show ran successfully on Broadway. In this version, Jim and Joan's love duet was a new song called "Soon," which George and Ira Gershwin developed out of those four bars mentioned above.
* Creator/CirqueDuSoleil's ''Amaluna'' doesn't have an official theme, but the melody of the opening number, "All Come Together", is a prominent {{recurring riff}}.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The Gusty Garden Galaxy theme has become more or less the main theme for the ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy'' series. Portions of it appeared in other areas of the first game (Purple Coin levels, the end credits). By the time of ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy2's'' announcement, it was used in the trailer-specific composition, and made a few more appearances in the game itself. By ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Wii U/3DS'', the theme was used as Rosalina's theme in her debut trailer.
* Sector Z in ''VideoGame/StarFox'' has started to content with [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oIA_4JfJkc Corneria]] as the series' iconic theme. It's been used in ''VideoGame/StarFoxAdventures'' ([[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvRKSLloiS0 here]]), ''VideoGame/StarfoxAssault'' ([[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eG4q5muQf5M here]]) and even ''Star Fox 64 3D'' ([[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Go0FGxLkOVs here]]) - which shows how the theme has slowly taken over the franchise - even though it began as a throwaway score for a cutscene in the second Starfox game.
* While the overall Sonic series and the classic titles are know for [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7GpTdXZATs this theme]], Thanks to ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'''s EvenBetterSequel status and its remake's NewbieBoom, Live and Learn, the main theme of the game, is arguably the theme of "Modern Sonic", either the series or the character. It was used in his ''Brawl'' introduction video, several promos for the 20th anniversary, and as his power up theme when fighting Shadow in ''Generations''.
* The Heavy's theme in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2's'' Meet the Team series is simply known as the "[=TF2=] Theme" because it is so iconic and does a good job in representing ''Team Fortress 2'' as a crazy, hilarious, 1960s setting game.
* The Castle Lololo theme from ''VideoGame/{{Kirby}}'' has somehow become bootstrapped to Dyna Blade, as was the case in ''Kirby Air Ride'' and ''Kirby Super Star Ultra''. The Milky Way Wishes theme has also bootstrapped itself to Green Greens ([[Level1MusicRepresents aka the main theme of the Kirby series]]) starting with ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Melee''. Also thanks to ''Smash Bros.'', the music that plays during the Gourmet Race mini-game in Kirby's Super Star ended up as Kirby's action theme.
* The Hell March of ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer: Red Alert'' became the series's theme. Speaking of [=CnC=], we also have "Act on Instinct" (the most known music of ''Tiberian Dawn''), and ''Renegade'' had "Got a Present for Ya," which was presented as "Havoc's theme".
* The intro music to the first maze of ''VideoGame/PacMan'' is only played when you hit Start, but since it's the very first thing you hear when you play it, it's currently an icon of the entire series. ''20th Anniversary Pac-Man World'', in fact, plays a remix of this theme as soon as you enter a maze.
* ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER}}'' has "Eight Melodies (Queen Mary's Lullaby)", which also made remixed appearances in each subsequent game as well as, again, being part of one of the ''MOTHER'' remixes for ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros''.
* ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'': ''VideoGame/SuperMetroid'' had a couple different boss battle themes that played for multiple bosses. The one that just happened to play during encounters with Ridley (along with Torizo, Draygon, and the escape sequences) has been permanently branded as the "Theme of Ridley". Being the most recognizable recurring boss of the series, each new Metroid game brings with it a new remix of the theme whenever he appears. Funnily enough, ''Metroid Fusion'' had two different remixes of this theme, the second of which was used as an escape theme. ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Brawl'' also had two remixes of this same track for two different versions of Ridley. In a similar fashion, the ''Zero Mission'' remake makes Kraid's boss theme the other main boss theme from ''Super Metroid'' (which was used for Kraid, Phantoon, and Crocomire), effectively making it his {{Leitmotif}}.
* ''VideoGame/MegaManClassic''
** The title theme from ''VideoGame/MegaMan2'' has more or less become the title character's theme tune, being reused by several games in the main series & also as his theme when he appears in crossovers such as ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom''. A (barely) less popular version is the ''VideoGame/MegaMan3'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVsVw7Y7SSA title theme]]. '' Anniversary Collection'' uses both of them for its intro.
*** The Wily Stage 1 theme from ''Mega Man 2'' is also quite iconic, and has accompained the Blue Bomber a few times. To hammer the above point as well, his debut trailer ''Videogame/SuperSmashBros Wii U/3DS'', they use both the ''Mega Man 2'' title and Wily Stage 1 themes.
** ''VideoGame/MegaManZero'' has ''Clover'', the theme song from the second MMZ game, particularly the fast-paced version that serves as the BGM for the intro stage. It's strange, because before he got his series, back in the ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' series he actually got a completely new {{leitmotif}} for every game (except in X5 and X6) he was in, though the one from X1 reappears in Z1's intro stage.
** ''VideoGame/MegaManLegends'' "Mega Man Trigger" has also gotten this treatment. The ''Flutter vs. the Gesellschaft'' battle theme from the first game has been remixed for [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDxPbCDDTLk every]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcdusZWK608 single]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COegVP-pQIw cameo]] of the Legends characters in ''VideoGame/NamcoXCapcom'', ''VideoGame/TatsunokoVsCapcom'' and ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3''.
* The "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZAXwQ_Kyco Orc War Room]]" theme from ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}} II'' plays in the game's main menu, and is thus considered its main theme. Some fans even think of it as the entire series' motif.
* The main theme to ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpires'' started as an [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXcenhhd6bI&feature=related&fmt=18 ordinary soundtrack in the first game.]]
* Most people outside Russia think of Korobeiniki as the ''VideoGame/{{Tetris}}'' theme... unless you grew up playing it on the NES, in which case you probably think of Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy''
** Officially, the theme song of the series is "Final Fantasy" (It's also known as "Prologue," because that's what it was called in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV''). Unofficially, while it is recognizable, it shares the title of "theme of the series" with three other pieces: the "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Mwm87FfeXE Prelude]]" or "Crystal Theme," the "Chocobo Theme", and probably most of all, the "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHx5hCVN26E Victory Fanfare]]".
** ''FinalFantasyVII'': "Let the Battles Begin!", "Fight On!", "J-E-N-O-V-A", and "One-Winged Angel" are the best known songs from the game.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'': [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ye7BGnlTZmQ Melodies of Life]] (at least the instrumental version) was largely Garnet's theme, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4IbLYofsrk as she hums it throughout the game]]. But ask anyone what song they associate with the game, it's pretty much just that.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'': Yuna's theme, based upon Suteki Da Ne, is probably the most associated with the game in general. Although Hymn of the Fayth may also serve as a Bootstrapped Leitmotif for the game. (Tidus's theme seems to have become the bootstrapped leitmotif for the blitzball players and storyline section dealing with the sport.)
** Though ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' does have its own quite well-known theme, it's just as often assosiated with its main battle theme: "Blinded By Light".
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' has a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVlE8u6Hhp8 well-known theme song]], but a lot of people in the west associate it with the encounter/recruitment theme known as "Together, We Ride", due to [[MarthDebutedInSmashBros Marth's late debut]]. Oddly enough, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haKyby-eKIs the song used in]] ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' contains the theme proper in its latter half, though the "Together, We Ride" part definitely overshadows it.
* "Theme of Adol" from the ''VideoGame/{{Ys}}'' series, although there is at least one game in which it doesn't appear (''The Ark of Napishtim''). Also, "Feena" from ''I and II'', and the RecurringRiff that appears several times in both ''IV'' and ''VI''.
* ''VideoGame/FatalFury'' has "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFXuF3dF1m4 Kiss for Geese]]". It doesn't matter what game he's in, guaranteed, Geese Howard ''will'' have a variation of this music track coming with him, with the only exception being the ''VideoGame/SNKVsCapcom'' series.
* ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters'':
** "Esaka?" Originally used as the Japan Team's theme in ''KOF '96'', it was brought back two years later in ''KOF '98'' for the first "Dream Match" title. Following this, it received a number of remixes for ''KOF '99'', ''KOF 2002'' and ''KOF 2003'', used as the theme for the multiple clones of the series' hero, Kyo Kusanagi.
** "Psycho Soldier" technically predates the KOF series (Being used as the main theme for the arcade game of the same name), but is far more recognized as the recurring theme of the Psycho Soldier Team within KOF, having remixes in '' '94'', '' '96'', '' '97'', and ''2002''.
* The first ''VideoGame/ArtOfFighting'' had the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d086Bs0m_4c theme for Ryuhaku Todoh]], the very first opponent that's fought. The song has essentially become synonymous with both the series and the characters, especially main character Ryo Sakazaki. Any time Ryo shows up, you can be almost guaranteed that this song will tag along either via remix or via a new theme very heavily inspired by it; "Kamikirimushi" from '96 and "Fight to the Limit" from 2001 being the only real exceptions.
* The title ThemeTune to the first ''VideoGame/TwistedMetal'' is "Twisted Theme", but the more common RecurringRiff in the game is that of "Asphalt Assault".
* The ''VideoGame/WildArms'' series has "Into the Wilderness", the intro theme of [[VideoGame/WildArms1 the first game]]. It has been remixed and sampled several times throughout the series since.
* Lucca's Theme from ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' became the battle victory music in ''VideoGame/ChronoCross''. There are rumors that the tune was intended as ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'''s battle victory theme, but was repurposed as Lucca's Theme when CT's battle victory theme was phased out along with some other musical ideas left on the cutting room floor.
* ''VideoGame/ShinSuperRobotWars'': "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brPfmHUuhuY Everywhere You Go]]", theme of [[AscendedFanboy Ryusei Date]] has become the theme song of Banpresto, ''the company that makes the games''. Whenever you see their logo, expect the first few notes to play.
* "Velvet Room," originally an incidental piece in ''Megami Ibunroku VideoGame/{{Persona}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Persona 2}}'', was elevated to this status by its use as "The Poem For Everyone's Souls" in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'', to the point it even became that game's FinalBattle theme.
** Reach Out for the Truth, the main battle theme for VideoGame/{{Persona 4}} is a wierd case of both this and BootstrappedLietmotif. The song is often seen as the main theme for the game it appears in, but it became the battle theme for Yu in VideoGame/{{Persona 4 Arena}}
* ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom'':
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsfhADiaP5E "I Wanna Take You For a Ride"]], the character select screen music from ''VideoGame/MarvelvsCapcom2'', a game infamous for its SoundtrackDissonance. This song is the only piece of music that's fondly remembered among fans. It was sampled for a song called "Take U 4 Ryde" by Talib Kweli and Oh No for the ''Marvel vs. Capcom 2'' mixtape and the latest ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zr4TIZ0bD3Q trailer]] has a remix of the song playing at the end of the trailer.
** Wwhile character themes shuffle around quite a bit, a few fighters were able to keep their [[{{Leitmotif}} iconic music]]. Most notably, there's Franchise/SpiderMan, whose [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXgt8DgIjhc theme]] from ''Marvel Super Heroes'' has followed him into ''every'' subsequent ''Vs.'' appearance (''[=MSHvs.SF=]'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rbqHHjjNIY ver.]], ''[=MvC=]'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGkR0UpvsUk ver.]], ''[=MvC3=]'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKKFjNVZkHU ver.]]). Ditto for CaptainAmerica. ([[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlqXrv7lVJc [=MSH=]]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUv1ELA7XTI [=MSHvSF=]]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bEMWL_8SlU [=MvC=]]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCiifu6dV2s [=MvC3=]]]).
* The title theme for ''Videogame/CrashBandicoot3Warped'' was reused in several later titles in [[Franchise/CrashBandicoot the series]]. Marc Baril, composer for the later games, favored making a more original soundtrack, but even he couldn't resist [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5ra7Hk9l78 making a rendition of his own]].
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendaryStarfy'' has ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZ7f7xuJt5Q Lobber's Cave]]'', the first world featuring the titular old lobber man teaching Starfy to spin in means of attack. The theme got spun around in different styles for [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dc0ZACD_EbU&feature=youtu.be first]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk33vK3dFIU four]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRRicWOVtuo titles]].
* ''VideoGame/SilentHill2'' has "Theme of Laura", which is considered the theme for the game, if not the entire series, rather than just Laura herself. The opening theme to ''VideoGame/SilentHill1'' may also be considered the series theme, as the melody in the second half is reused in most of the subsequent games, and a version WithLyrics is used for the credits of ''VideoGame/SilentHill3''.
* ''VideoGame/HaloReach'' does not have a piece explicitly stated to be the main theme, but because the "Unreconciled" portion of "Tip of The Spear" is so awesome and contains a reprise of the original ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' theme, many consider it to be the main theme. Also, ''VideoGame/Halo3ODST'' also has no explicit main theme, but Orbital Drop Shock Trooper is widely considered to be the main theme, both because of its awesomeness and because of its title.
* "The Sun Rises" for ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}''. What was used as a final boss theme eventually became the game's theme, if its appearance in ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3'' as Amaterasu's theme is anything to go by.
* ''Franchise/StreetFighter''
** If you're a ''Street Fighter'' character who appeared in ''VideoGame/StreetFighterII'' or anything thereafter, your first theme will be linked to you forever, to the point that you're lucky if you get anything but arranged versions of it for all your future appearances even outside ''SF'' media. Ken's and Guile's themes in particular are strongly associated with the franchise. That's how dedicated the composers are to first impressions for your music.
** On a more trope-consistent basis, ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIV''s secondary theme, used in two versions for the (of course) second half of the opening and for the "Volcanic Rim" stage, has been adapted into main menu music for ''[[UpdatedRerelease Super SFIV]]'' and even rearranged '''four times over''' for ''VideoGame/StreetFighterXTekken'', whereas the original opening theme "Indestructible" has been all but abandoned.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'' has "Vigil" which plays over the main menu of [=ME1=], as well as at some of the more emotional moments of the series. Fans have a very compelling argument for saying it's the "real" Mass Effect theme.
* Officially speaking, ''VideoGame/DeadlyPremonition'' has two theme songs: "The Woods and the Goddess," which is the haunting melody from the title screen, and "Miss Stiletto Heels," the theme music from the bar, [[WordOfGod which, according to the composer, was meant to thematically represent the game.]] However, the song most closely associated with the game--and the song used to "represent" the game's UpdatedRerelease by its publisher, Rising Star Games--is "Life is Beautiful," the quirky, whistling-and-kazoo number played during the game's goofy comedic moments. [[WidgetSeries Not just because the music is iconic; it's just that kind of game.]]
* ''VideoGame/TheSims'' has had all kinds of music, but [[http://youtu.be/VoVygntuGKc the theme]] the University Expansion Pack in ''The Sims 2'' ended up becoming the theme to the entire franchise and some variation of it has appeared in every expansion pack and base game following it.
* The title them from ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'' (actually titled ''Nerevar Rising'') has become the de facto main theme of ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series, being played in various permutations in both ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]''.
* If the ''Franchise/{{Tekken}}'' series ever appears in a crossover, expect the theme that represents them to be the intro to ''Tekken Tag Tournament''. Aside from the ''Tag'' games, it appears as the Tekken Rival theme in ''VideoGame/StreetFighterXTekken'', the theme of Jin and Heihachi in ''VideoGame/NamcoXCapcom'' and the theme of Jin, Xiaoyu, Alisa and Heihachi in ''VideoGame/ProjectXZone''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novel]]
* ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' has "Pursuit ~ Cornered" from the first entry of the series. While each new game creates new versions for several themes, that one has becomes the most associated with the "Pursuit" themes, and even the entire series. It has returned a few times, in at least one instance as [[ThemeMusicPowerUp the theme for the very final confrontation]], and it was used as Phoenix Wright's SuperMode theme in ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', the song Sburban Jungle was [[http://mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=002037 initially]] only used as the installation theme for the game [[TheGamePlaysYou Sburb]]. It quickly more or less become the main theme of the comic, featuring in both the Act 3 and Act 4 closers.
** Considering that the game of Sburb is the source of all the conflict in the series in the first place, it's still pretty appropriate. The comic was almost outright called ''Sburb''.
** The song itself is actually largely unused, it's mostly the RecurringRiff that is so popular. At this point finding a new song without the riff is becoming difficult.
*** Defied later; the riff only appears for a brief 6 seconds instead of featuring heavily in the End of Act 5 song, Cascade.
** [[http://homestuck.bandcamp.com/track/upward-movement-dave-owns-2 Upward Movement]], ostensibly one of Dave Strider's {{Leitmotif}}s, has also seen a fair amount of reuse in the same way, most prominently as the base "foundation" and most recurring riff in [[http://homestuck.bandcamp.com/track/descend the Act 4 closing animation's theme]]; it helps that it very much ties in with one of the series' ArcWords, "ascend".
** [[http://homestuck.bandcamp.com/track/homestuck-anthem Homestuck Anthem]], a song that was specifically supposed to be a theme tune, has managed to turn the tide lately and gain more widespread recognition.
** [[http://homestuck.bandcamp.com/track/chorale-for-jaspers-2 Chorale for Jaspers]] was originally Jaspers' {{Leitmotif}}, but it has since been bootstrapped into becoming one of Rose's themes. This is most prominent in [[http://homestuck.bandcamp.com/track/at-the-price-of-oblivion At The Price Of Oblivion]].
** Likewise, [[http://homestuck.bandcamp.com/track/doctor-2 Doctor]] was originally a theme for LOWAS, which stayed valid when its remix [[http://homestuck.bandcamp.com/track/savior-of-the-waking-world Savior of the Waking World]] was used for John's ascension, but after [[http://homestuck.bandcamp.com/track/savior-of-the-dreaming-dead Savior of the Dreaming Dead]] was used for [[spoiler:Jade's]], it sort of became a theme for ascensions.
** A RecurringRiff that is featured at the end of Eternity's Shylock and Descend, as well as being featured at the start of Umbral Ultimatum is shaping up to be an important theme for chaotic events to come.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''[[GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse Global Guardians]]'' referee Terry Barchfeld used Aaron Copeland's "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NjssV8UuVA Fanfare for the Common Man]]" as background music for a Rousing Speech scene that took place right before the heroes charged off to attack the BigBad's secret lair. Within two months two more of the referees had used it in their games, and within a year it had become the official theme song for the entire ''GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'' as a whole.
* "The Review Must Go On", originally a song from the musical review of ''MoulinRouge'', became WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic's theme song after Doug rebooted the series.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Possibly the best example of this is "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgoPl35n_AY Linus and Lucy"]] of ''{{Peanuts}}/Charlie Brown'', which went from character theme to theme of the whole series. Complicated by the fact that there was already a tune, also composed by Music/VinceGuaraldi, called "Charlie Brown Theme", which is damn near impossible to find since everyone calls "Linus and Lucy" the Charlie Brown Theme anyway. Listen to possibly the only video example of it on [=YouTube=] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxStEiRopJE here.]]
** The first "Charlie Brown theme" is played during the credits of "It's Christmastime, Charlie Brown".
* "When You Wish Upon A Star" was just the opening theme to ''Disney/{{Pinocchio}}'', but now it is nothing short of THE song associated with all Disney theatrical productions, eventually becoming the song that plays with the logo before all its films.
* Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse" is associated with Creator/CartoonNetwork's on-air look from 1997 to 2004.
** It has also been [[StandardSnippet featured in countless cartoons]] from the dawn of talkies to modern times, including several [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Merrie Melodies]] and WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes shorts, ''RenAndStimpy'', and even alluded to in JamesHorner's theme for ''Film/HoneyIShrunkTheKids''.
[[/folder]]

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