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Theme Tune Extended

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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 popular enough, the creators will be able to produce a full length version of their theme tune. This is different from a Real Song Theme Tune in that this is a song that was originally created for the series, rather than a preexisting one. As such, this trope refers to songs that were written with the series in mind since the beginning, meaning that a longer version may not have even existed until further down the line, as opposed to a real song that was trimmed down for the purposes of the show.

Since opening sequences need to be relatively short to leave time for advertisements and the show itself, being restricted to anywhere from fifteen seconds to a minute, you can expect to only hear this extended song online or on a official soundtrack. However, it may be heard as part of the pilot or other special episodes.

When it comes to extended versions of television series' theme songs on soundtracks, this trope occurs a lot in Japan.

Contrast Truncated Theme Tune, where the opening theme as usually seen gets cut down into a shorter song for syndication.



  • Tide hired Savoir Adore to cover the Men Without Hats song Pop Goes the World for one of their commercials. However, they had him rerecord the whole song rather than simply the short portion they used on TV.
  • Tommy McAnairey: A two-minute song adapted from the ads called "Carbon Monoxide is Lethal as Hell" was released for Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week in 2015.

Anime and Manga

  • 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: The Original Series's first-season English dub theme are available. 4Kids Entertainment 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 GO-GO Tamagotchi! version of the song of the same name was extended to almost four minutes. Listen to it here.
  • Ulysses 31 has an extended opening, but it was only included on a French vinyl release despite being entirely in English.
  • This actually happens a lot in anime. Over the decades, many anime theme songs (even Title Theme Tunes) have had full versions released as promotional singles.
    • A major exception would be anime produced and animated by the NHK, with the exception of Nintama Rantarou.


  • "Navras" by Juno Reactor and Don Davis, the credits theme to The Matrix: Revolutions, is an extended techno remix of "Neodammerung", the Neo vs. Smith battle theme. The credits end before the song does.
  • The Moonwalker version of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" is 9 minutes long and has an extra pair of lines in the second verse.
  • When Michael Feinstein recorded a Cover Album of children's songs in The '90s, he chose "Pure Imagination", which is effectively the theme song from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, to serve as the title track. Because the song is rather short as is (one verse and a chorus that gets two go-rounds), original lyricist Leslie Bricusse wrote a second verse and chorus to extend it. Interestingly, while there have been quite a few cover versions of this song since then, the vast majority of them do not use this extended version.
  • Played for Laughs via Breaking the Fourth Wall in Kimmy vs. The Reverend, the interactive finale to Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. It will start with the theme song used on the show, but if you try to skip it on the Netflix interface, an offended Walter Bankston will stop you right there, aghast that you'd try and skip his masterpiece, and make you watch the extended version.
  • Flashdance's Title Theme Tune by Irene Cara has a 7-minute version with additional lyrics, released as a 12" single.

Live-Action TV

  • 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 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, 5-7 Part 1, and 8-10 haven't even got a version longer than 1 minute, and Series 7 Part 2 only has the opening theme.
    • Both the full themes and much of the Ending Themes include a bridge section in a major chord, known to fans as the "Middle Eight".
    • 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. The opening in the Sylvester McCoy years was longer than usual, necessitating use of the "Middle Eight", 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 Middle 8 section come before the main theme.
    • The first version used in Matt Smith's tenure got an extended version featuring the "Middle Eight" on the Series 5 soundtrack album. So did the one for Peter Capaldi's on the Series 8 soundtrack. The series 5 theme was only ever played in full at the end of "The Beast Below" as the next time trailer at the end was the only one in the entire Steven Moffat era to use the main theme.
    • Although never intended for use on TV, Jon Pertwee recorded "I Am the Doctor", an extended version of the theme with newly written spoken lyrics, as a single in the early 1970s.
  • 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.
  • Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego was an extended theme consisting of both verses used in the show (the first one being swapped out after Czechoslovakia became "Czech and Slovakia", which is how it's sung in the extended version) as well as some beatboxing from Rockapella and an extra verse not heard in the show.
  • 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.
  • Eric Idle recorded an extended version of the title theme to One Foot in the Grave, which consisted of three verses and an electric guitar sequence of all things. A slightly truncated version of the extended theme is used in the One Foot In The Algrave special.
  • The Love Boat theme had an opening fanfare that was only heard when the guest star roll was extra long.
  • Sesame Street used an extended instrumental version of the classic theme for its Friday credits run. The bridge section originally had lyrics, but they were never actually used on the show. Unless you count Gladys Knight's version from this 1988 pledge drive special, but that was never an official episode.
  • "Mal's Song" by Escape Key is a fan-made extended version of the Firefly theme.
  • The A-Team has a 3-minute version of its Season 1-4 theme.
  • An extended version of Mike Post's theme to The Rockford Files was issued as a single and hit the Billboard Top 10 in 1975.
  • Thanks to the memetic YouTube clip of the 1988 Crystal Light National Aerobic Championship, a full-length version of the theme tune by Ty Parr was released on iTunes.
  • ER had an extended version of its theme found only on the soundtrack album (and a Blooper Reel montage of Anthony Edwards attempting to surf on the Season 8 DVD). From this version it is evident that the part heard on the show is really just the countermelody of the full theme - the actual lead melody (never used on TV) gives it an 80s feel that would have sounded quite out of place even by the time the show launched in 1994.
  • Growing Pains had two extended versions of its theme song, "As Long As We Got Each Other". The first was 3 1/2 minutes and sung by BJ Thomas solo, on his 1985 album Throwing Rocks at the Moon. The second was a 4 1/2 minute duet between Thomas and Dusty Springfield, released on the former's 1989 album Midnight Minute and as a 45 RPM single under the name Steve Dorff and Friends.
  • Return of The Saint has a extended version of it's signature theme tune, as well as a extended version of it's alternative European theme song "Taking It Easy" by Oliver Onions.

Video Games

  • 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 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 OSTs 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. DanceDanceRevolution: 5th Mix's "long version" songs included extended mixes of "Dynamite Rave" and "B4U".
  • 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.
  • When the NES version of Athena was released in Japan, it included a promotional cassette that included, among other things, a version of the theme from Psycho Soldier (an arcade game from the 1980s in which the song was sung [with vocals] in-game) with additional verses.
  • As with the anime example, games that have vocal things often get promotional singles with additional lyrics.
  • In the NES version of Metroid, the Escape Sequence music has a third section that didn't exist in the original Famicom Disk System version and sounds somewhat out-of-place compared to the rest of the song. The rearrangements of the piece in Metroid: Zero Mission and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, however, were based on the FDS version.
  • In Super Mario Bros. 2, the character select and overworld themes were extended slightly from the original Doki Doki Panic versions.
  • Rigid Force Alpha has an Extended Soundtrack on Bandcamp that includes full-length versions of the main theme and other Dreamtime-composed pieces, though not any of Michael Chait's compositions.

Web Original

Western Animation

Real Life

  • If national anthems can be considered "theme songs" for countries, then many of them fall under this. Comes with the additional rub that most people are probably unaware that their nation's anthem does fall under this trope:
    • America's "Star Spangled Banner" originated with four verses, with a fifth added during the Civil War. The full song is hardly ever performed; many Americans don't even 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.
    • Whether sung in English or French, only two verses of "O Canada" are usually ever sung, but there are several other verses. In addition, at certain events you occasionally hear a special, federally sanctioned "mash-up" version of "O Canada" performed that combines the French and English lyrics.
    • "God Save the King" has several more verses than the one usually performed.


Video Example(s):


Bluey Extended theme

The number one voted episode of Blueyfest premiered with a special extension of the theme song

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / ThemeTuneExtended

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