Ever hear a really good theme song and just wish it was longer? The show creators have heard your cries. Oftentimes if a show becomes really popular, the creators will produce a full length version of the song. This is different from a Real Song Theme Tune
in that a verse is not taken from a real song to use for the show, but rather verses are added to turn the theme song into a real song.
Since opening sequences need to be relatively short to leave time for the show and advertisements, the song is usually only heard online or made available for purchase from iTunes. However, it may be used to open the pilot episode or other special episodes.
Anime and Manga
- Tide hired Savoir Adore to cover the Men Without Hats song Pop Goes the World for their detergent commercial. However, they had him rerecord the whole song rather than simply the short portion they used on TV.
- Generally all anime themes have versions that are as long as regular songs. They may or may not ever be played on TV.
- In the final episode of Ojamajo Doremi, Watashi No Tsubasa was extended to two minutes, although the actual song lasted three minutes. This version was also sung by Mahou Dou!
- The extended version of the Excel♥Saga Theme Tune (complete with Talkie Bits: "Is tying each other up love?") gets played in one of the clip show episodes.
- Additional verses of the Pokémon song are available.
- 4 Kids actually made full versions of many of their songs for the Pokemon English dub and even released OSTs, which is surprising considering this is more rarely seen with dubs than with Japanese originals. Covers of the extended themes also often appear in the English dubs of the movies.
- The Barenaked Ladies made an extended version of The Big Bang Theory's theme
- Friends, "I'll be There For You" by The Rembrandts. They were told in plain terms "You're not releasing your album until you turn that thing into a full-length song."
- Rob Paravonian of the Pachelbel Rant pointed out "I'll be there for you" was obviously extended long after it was written without due care or attention. Everyone knows "Nobody told you life was gonna be this way..." but in the extension there's the line "your mother warned you there'd be days like these".
- All in the Family's iconic theme had extended lyrics with a few more verses, but it was never played in the show itself - it was, however, covered by Sammy Davis Jr.
- Quincy Jones' Sanford and Son theme, "The Streetbeater", was extended to three minutes and included on Jones' 1973 album You've Got It Bad, Girl.
- Psych eventually tacked on some verses to its Theme Tune and used them in the ending credits and sometimes in the opening credits. Not sure if it's long enough to be considered a "real" song though, as it's still one verse and one chorus.
- There is officially a longer version but it's only performed live.
- The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson has its theme song extended to a nearly three minute long full version.
- Angel has this. The extended version of the theme tune is amply called "The Sanctuary, Extended Remix" and is featured on the original soundtrack, "Live Fast, Die Never".
- Cheers. The Trope Codifier. "Where Everybody Knows Your Name" has several verses. It was finally played in its full length in the 200th episode celebration.
- The Cheers spin-off Frasier continues this trope. Most people are familiar with the "tossed salad and scrambled eggs" theme, but few know that it was made into a song over four minutes long.
- Going for Gold. A rare (it would be foolish to assume unique) quiz show example.
- Bob James recorded a full-length version of his instrumental Taxi theme, "Angela", for his 1979 album Touchdown.
- Doctor Who has a number of full versions of its theme song, mainly the versions used in the 60s, 70s and 80s which tend to be around 2 and a half minutes. However, since the 2005 revival, there has only been one 'full' version on the Series 1 and 2 soundtrack which is a 2 minute mix between the 2005 and 2006 ending versions of the theme. Series 4 hasn't even got a version longer than 1 minute...
- The full version had been used on any number of occasions. The first episode continued its theme song into the first scene, after the Title Sequence ended, and faded out. The7th Doctor's opening was longer than usual, necessitating actual use of the extension, as did the 1996 TV movie. The remixes of the theme song over the years tend to do a good job keeping this bit consistent.
- The 1996 TV movie opening credits had the usual extension section come before the main theme.
- The new version composed of the 11th Doctor Re Tool got an extended version featuring the "Middle Eight" on its soundtrack album.
- Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers debuted the extended version of its theme song in season 2 after Simon Cowell (yes, that one) commissioned it for the UK.
- And the extended version of that theme made its debut in season 3.
- The Mary Tyler Moore Show had a pop song version that included both variations of the title theme as the first two verses, and a third verse that was not used in the show.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation, since the theme is essentially a short version of the one from Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
- Star Trek: Enterprise's theme is basically a truncated version of Diane Warren's Faith of the Heart/Where My Heart Will Take Me.
- Red Dwarf. Everyone knows the 'cold outside, no kind of atmosphere' verse, and the 'shipwrecked and comatose' verse. There are at least two others.
- The seasons 2-5 arrangement of 3-2-1 Contact's opening theme had a rare extended edit with a short guitar solo before the lyrics start. The Ending Theme (short version here) also had an extended version. The first season's alternate ending theme was an extended version of the teaser trailer theme.
- The extended version of Square One TV's credits theme was used for the full-credits run at the end of each Friday episode, and included a guitar solo and an industrial-style drum break.
- The full version of Victorious' theme song, "Make It Shine", is over three minutes long.
- Nearly every Tokusatsu has an extended theme tune. Generally, what you hear at the opening is only one verse, though they may use othre verses during an episode as a Theme Music Power-Up. There are rare exceptions however.
- They Might Be Giants' theme tune to Malcolm in the Middle, "Boss of Me". It was originally written as it appears in the opening credits (with one verse and a chorus), but they expanded it into a full three minute song for a soundtrack album.
- The theme song to the short-lived NBC soap opera The Yellow Rose (1983-84) was a shortened version of "The Yellow Rose" by Johnny Lee and Lane Brody.
- The Office's Instrumental Theme Tune actually has a full version extended to a little over two minutes long
- Round the Twist's opening theme "Have You Ever Felt Like This" has a full version with extra verses. This airs at the end of each episode, and is consequently easily missed by anyone who switches off early, but also pretty easily found.
- BBC News 24's iconic countdown theme usually lasts 60 seconds (or 90 if you're lucky), but they went out of their way to create a three-minute version.
- The theme to The Dukes of Hazzard, "Good Ol' Boy" by Waylon Jennings, has a two-minute version with a solo section. The last stanza to this version also has different lyrics.
- The extended radio version of "Believe It or Not," the theme to The Greatest American Hero, is only a bit longer—the TV version has two verses and attendant choruses already, but the radio version adds a bridge and a reprise of the chorus. It went to #2 on the Billboard charts during the summer after the show's half-length first season and helped boost ratings for the show's second season.
- "Welcome Back" by John Sebastian from Welcome Back, Kotter is arguably the most successful example, since it became a #1 pop hit in the US in 1976. Really, it wasn't extended all that much though: Sebastian added a second verse and a harmonica solo.
- Sonic 3D games generally have this for their final battles. While the title screen and intro will play a short version, the boss fight and credits will play the whole thing.
- The original soundtrack to Sonic 3 & Knuckles features arrangements of the stage themes with extra segments not heard in-game.
- Several OS Ts have been released for titles in the series, a lot of which have extensions of themes and even level or character BGM.
- Stage F-B in R-Type Final uses an extended version of the game's title theme.
- Some Bemani songs have full-length versions that were released on original soundtracks. Dance Dance Revolution: 5th Mix's "long version" songs included extended mixes of "Dynamite Rave" and "B 4 U".
- In the forgotten arcade version of Bionic Commando, the iconic "Bionic March" has a second movement not heard in the NES version.
- In P.N.03, Vanessa's theme, initially appearing as a 10-second clip during the Attract Mode and opening cutscene, is used in full 2-minute form during the final mission.
- Atomic Betty had a whole music video for its extended song.
- Danny Phantom has two examples:
- The main theme that plays as Theme Tune, and the secondary theme that plays over the Episode Title Card. The secondary theme has lyrics as well but to my knowledge, they've never been played on the show.
- "Remember" by Ember McLain has an extended version that they cut from the show because it was, quite honestly, a little dark for a kids' show.
- The Phineas and Ferb theme, Today Is Gonna Be A Great Day. Only the first set of verses is used for the actual theme while the full song was released on Radio Disney. The second set of verses was occasionally sung in a season 2 episode of the show.
- The Trap Door used an extended theme in its Musical Episode.
- The CatDog theme had an extended version that was shown as a music video on Nick, but for some reason, this version was not featured on either of the Nicktoon albums. (And don't bother searching for the music video on YouTube; it's not there.)
- The soundtrack album to The Disney Afternoon contained extended versions of songs from the four shows on the block at the time (Gummi Bears, DuckTales, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, and TaleSpin) and even the Disney Afternoon theme itself for that matter.
- Space Ghost Coast to Coast uses an extended theme for the episode "Sharrock" (it's a tribute episode for Sonny Sharrock, who composed the theme).
- Even House of Mouse gets one.
- "Run with Us", the ending theme to The Raccoons, was originally a Single Stanza Song, then two verses, before Lisa Lougheed's full-length version was released as a single and on her Evergreen Nights album in 1987.
- The hair-metal rearrangement by Lion of the Transformers theme in Transformers: The Movie had a short version for the opening, and a full-length version for the credits.
- The original Thomas the Tank Engine theme was longer than the 30-second snippets that actually aired, and other short incidental pieces were actually derived from the original full version. The full version of the modern theme is used for the "Engine Roll Call" at the end of every episode since it's introduction.
- Some of the engine Leitmotifs were also given extensions, either as background music for special appearances (eg. Henry's theme in "The Flying Kipper") or as remixes with lyrics for music videos (eg. "Toby" and "James the Really Splendid Engine").
- "Arabian Nights" from Disney's Aladdin had several deleted verses and reprises that were reinstated in the sequels and the Screen-to-Stage Adaptation.
- "Linus and Lucy", better known as the Peanuts theme, has two other parts that sound nothing like the familiar lick we all know and love. They are occasionally used in the specials separate from the main theme, but there's nothing that points out they're part of "Linus and Lucy" unless you know they are. Listen to the full theme here.
- A 2-minute version of the opening theme for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is included as a sing-along on The Friendship Express DVD. Parts of it have also been used for the game Discover the Difference, the Twilight Sparkle Animated Storyteller toy, and The Friendship Express's trailer.
- There's a 2 minute long version of the Ending Theme for The Powerpuff Girls.
- Mike Batt's theme for The Dreamstone "Better Than A Dream" is three minutes long (a full verse and two choruses are heard in a scene in the pilot episode). Though snippets of "The War Song For The Urpneys" are used extensively in the show itself, the official soundtrack is the only way to hear all the vocals for the original five minute version.
- Mike Batt's theme tune to The Wombles was written as a single 4-line verse, then expanded to a full song for subsequent single and album releases. Batt set this up deliberately when he was approached by production company FilmFair, accepting the music production rights to the show and characters in place of his usual Ł200 writing fee.
- Though not the franchise theme, "The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers" from Winnie the Pooh was given a second verse and a bridge in audio books. This was used in some later media like The Tigger Movie.
- Daria had an extended version of its theme that was featured in the game Daria's Inferno.
- The Family Guy album Live In Vegas opens with an extended version of the theme song.
- There's an extended version of Iggy Pop's theme song for Space Goofs that runs just under four minutes. The song is called "Monster Men", by the way.
- Subverted by Cybersix. There is supposedly a full version of the song, but the production consortium (of companies spread across various continents) refuse to release it because of licensing issues.
- The original Fireman Sam theme has a rare three minute long extended version complete with an electric guitar solo.
- Bob the Builder made an extended pop remix of the theme tune, it made it to no 1 in the UK charts.
- Shaun the Sheep also released an extended version of Vic Reeve's "Life's A Treat".
- A slightly extended version of the Recess theme exists; it's usually used as a piece for school bands to play. A different arrangement of the extended theme plays in the film, Recess: School's Out.
- The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes has a longer version of its opening song, but it never got released, maybe not even recorded. Lyrics for the deleted second verse have become available to read online, though.
- A longer version of the Adventure Time ending song appears on the menu of at least one of the DVDs.
- Extended versions of both the intro theme ("Dog Pound Hop") and the credits theme ("Big House Blues") to The Ren & Stimpy Show were released on the You Eediot! studio album.
- If national anthems can be considered "theme songs" for countries, then many of them fall under this:
- America's "Star Spangled Banner" originated with four verses. (A fifth was added during the Civil War.) The full song is hardly ever performed; many Americans don't know there are other verses.
- Supposedly this was used to help detect spies on the battlefield during WWII: Randomly ask the 'American' to sing the second verse, and anyone that even knew there was one, let alone could sing it, was most likely a spy that studied way too hard to blend in.
- There were multiple attempts in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to add verses to the de-facto Swedish national anthem, Du gamla, du fria, that actually mentions Sweden (It Makes Sense in Context). Their lack of success makes it rather hard to find examples of someone singing the added verses.