Theme Music Abandonment
Theme tunes are a very important component to Films, TV shows and Videogames. Many iconic works are easily identifiable with their themes. Sometimes to change stuff up, a work's familiar theme music is missing from its latest franchise entry. This is often polarizing. Why it's done can usually be blamed on either creative or legal reasons. The appearance of this trope can make many people decry the work as Ruined Forever. Compare with Theme Music Withholding.
open/close all folders
It's somewhat common for the final episode of an anime to not include the opening theme:
- The long running radio and television program Our Miss Brooks concluded with a cinematic series finale. The movie dispenses with the usual series theme, opening with a fanfare and a cheery new tune.
- A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge is the only Elm Street film not to feature Charles Bernstein's theme.
- Batman Forever
- Never Say Never Again, as a third-party remake of Thunderball, was forced by law to not include the James Bond theme, and thusly the original title track  could not be used for this reason.
- Basil Poledouris' RoboCop theme is absent in RoboCop 2, but returns in RoboCop 3.
- Django Strikes Again never features Franco Migliacci's theme at any point, it would turn up as a cover in the Japanese remake/homage Sukiyaki Western Django.
- Halloween III: Season of the Witch: Was an attempt at a different storyline and is the only entry in the series not to use the theme.
- The two Peter Cushing Doctor Who films.
- All the X-Men films have completely different themes, which is unusual for superhero films. This is finally averted with X-Men: Days of Future Past, for which John Ottman remixes his much-liked title music from X2: X-Men United.
- The Superman reboot had some people nervous that this might happen. It did. Thankfully, for the most part, the new theme song was rather well received.
- Richard Lester's The Three Musketeers (1973) and The Four Musketeers, although they were produced simultaneously and are two halves of the same story, have completely different scores written by two different composers. The sequel thus lacks the first movie's very distinctive main themes.
- Both Mac Gyver Lost Treasure Of Atlantis and Mac Gyver Trail To Doomsday TV-movies are missing the classic MacGyver theme.
Live Action TV
- Law & Order: UK
- Starting with season three, Happy Days dispensed with Bill Haley And His Comets' "Rock around the Clock" in favor of an original song called "Happy Days" by Pratt & Mc Clain which had previously been played over the closing credits and which had become a hit in its own right. (Haley likely had no cause to complain, as the use of his song on "Happy Days" had helped return it to the Billboard charts in 1974, 20 years after it was first recorded.)
- Due to copyright and licensing issues, this trope occasionally occurs with DVD releases of TV series when a theme song has to be removed and replaced with generic music (most notably the DVD releases of Married... with Children, for which the studio were unable to obtain the rights for "Love and Marriage", and had to substitute a lame generic piece of music. Public domain releases of shows such as Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction have also run into this.
- John Sullivan wrote the theme music for Only Fools and Horses when he wrote the first series, but the BBC decided to go with a different theme composed by Ronnie Hazelhurst. Sullivan disliked the new theme, and before the second series aired he persuaded the producers to use his own compostions instead.
- The local Montreal radio show "Daybreak" recently got rid of its theme music.
- Metal Gear Solid 4 dropped the classic Metal Gear Solid theme tune due to legal reasons.
- Final Fantasy XIII switched out the series' iconic victory fanfare for an original piece, and also completely dropped the Prelude and the Prologue, featured in the series since the first game.
- New Super Mario Bros. U uses the classic Super Mario Bros. often enough, but completely abandons the NSMB theme song used in the previous three games.
- Happens in Dynasty Warriors: Gundam, where remixes of well known and popular themes from the animes appear in the original Japanese releases of the games, but not the Western localizations. This is due to the licensing fees for using those songs in the West, which would be astronomical for a game appealing to a niche market. Fans have not been happy about this, especially since many of the removed songs are considered iconic of their respective series, such as Rhythm Emotion and Burning Finger.
- Only a brief fragment of The Legend of Zelda's iconic theme was used in its most famous entry, Ocarina of Timenote . The 3DS remake included the full theme in a new portion of the end credits.