Forgotten ’90s Kid Show Themes That Are Actually Awesome

...Like, better than most real songs.

By Frank Donovan

Do you wish it were still the ’90s? One—you’re not alone. Two—you can stop building that time machine, because starting tonight a whole bunch of shows you grew up with are coming back to TV on a new nighttime block on TeenNick called The Splat. We’re talkin’ Doug, Rugrats, Ren and Stimpy, and Salute Your Shorts, among many other faves we thought we’d never see on actual broadcast TV again. Eeeee!

In honor of The Splat making our dreams come true, we’ve compiled a list of ’90s kid show opening themes that are actually really good songs. These may or may not appear on our party playlists…

  • Proud Family

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    It was only appropriate for it to be a family affair in the studio when Destiny’s Child and lil’ sis Solange recorded the Proud Family theme song. Even when we were too old to watch the show, we stuck around and sang along to this feel-good intro.

  • All That

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    TLC lent this ground-breaking show immediate cred by recording the theme song (fire) and appearing as musical guests twice in the first season (double fire). Check out this behind the scenes vid we dug up of the trio filming the opening.

  • Cousin Skeeter

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    Lots to unpack: Penned by Missy Elliott, this opening theme is an alternate take of 702’s “Steelo,” which sample’s The Police’s “Voices Inside My Head.”

  • Kenan and Kel

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    Aww here it goes! Just when we got Coolio’s opening theme to Kenan and Kel out of our heads—the beloved show is coming back to TV this week! Here’s Kel recently doing his own rendition.

  • Ducktales

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    Disney wasn’t happy with Minnesota family band The Jets’ rendition of the Ducktales theme, so they instead hired songwriter-producer Jeff Pescetto who sang the original demo for the track. Jump to the 9-minute mark to watch Pescetto do his thing.

  • Pepper Ann

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    A feminist icon for ’90s tweens, Pepper Ann made it cool to be weird, and the show’s theme song accordingly RULED. Fun fact: the song was recorded by Katherine Wilhoite, who also voiced the title character.

  • Sister Sister

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    You may remember the opening sequence to Sister Sister went through several iterations, but all of them got us belting the tune. *I ain’t ever gonna let you gOoooOoo*

  • The Ren and Stimpy Show

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    Believe it or not, the Ren and Stimpy soundtrack introduced kids to classical composers, including Tchaikovsky, Debussy, and Beethoven. But it was a band called Der Screamin’ Lederhosen (made up of musicians who also worked on the show’s production) that recorded this intro instrumental.

  • Saved by the Bell

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    Thank you, Scott Gale, for composing this kick-ass song that made ’90s adolescents really excited to go to cut class one day.

  • Roundhouse

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    Sung by the ensemble cast, the Roundhouse song had us jumping and wailing….and wanting to be part of an ensemble cast.

  • Breaker High

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    Life is a wave that comforts me and carries me across the sea of hope / And hope is a thing that we can all have today

    This gorgeous theme made us forgive the show for giving us unreasonable expectations that we’d go to high school on a cruise ship with Ryan Gosling.

  • The Adventures of Pete and Pete

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    There was nothing conventional about Pete and Pete, including the fact that the show had its own house band, Polaris. As a result, the series had a genuinely great original indie rock score and possibly our fave TV theme song: “Hey Sandy.”