When it comes to theme songs, few pop culture characters have it as good as superheroes. Practically everyone can hum the classic John Williams Superman theme – and some composers like Danny Elfman have practically built their careers around creating memorable superhero scores for Batman, Spider-Man, and the Hulk.
That being said, not every superhero theme song can evoke dramatic feelings. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though – as sometimes the cheesiest superhero themes with the silliest lyrics can be the most memorable. Here are just 10 cheesy superhero theme songs comic book fans just might catch themselves singing in the shower.
10 Fantastic Four (1994)
Back in the 1990s, Marvel released several animated series of its characters, including Spider-Man, the X-Men, Iron Man, Hulk, and Fantastic Four. While the Fantastic Four received a major makeover by its second season, its original season was noticeably more “cartoony” in appearance and theme when it first debuted.
One of the best examples was in the show’s opening song, which told viewers all about the FF’s origin, as the lead singer belts out, “On an outer space adventure/They got hit by cosmic rays/And the four were changed forever/In some most fantastic ways!” Later, the singer assures the audience they “don’t need no more!” because “it’s ungrammatical!” Weird as this opening was, it was surprisingly catchy, although fans were probably relieved when season two dropped it for an instrumental opening.
9 Teen Titans (2003)
Japanese pock rock duo Puffy AmiYumi sang the hilarious “Teen Titans Theme Song” for the fan favorite 2003 animated series Teen Titans, telling readers, “When there’s evil on the attack/You can rest knowing they got your back/’Cause when the world needs heroes on patrol/Teen Titans, go!” At one point, the show switched to a Japanese version of the lyrics, which proved even catchier.
8 Spectacular Spider-Man (2008)
Los Angeles quartet band The Tender Box had an unusual origin, being a group of Mexican-American musicians whose songs were inspired by British rock music from the 1980s. Things got even stranger when they sang the theme song for the popular Spectacular Spider-Man animated series from 2008.
While not as well known as some of Spider-Man’s other themes, the lyrics definitely gave a feel for Spidey’s crime fighting life, as The Tender Box sang, “Living on the edge,/Fighting crime,/Spinning webs,/Swinging from the highest ledge,/He can leap above our heads.” It’s only unfortunate the series lasted just two seasons. Maybe the theme would have taken off more if the show had lasted longer.
7 Captain America (1966)
Back in the late 1960s, Marvel came out with some of its first animated series with The Marvel Super Heroes. While the animation was crude, the series more than made up for its shortcomings with variety (Captain America, Hulk, Sub-Mariner, Thor, and Iron Man all had cartoon segments), and the cheesy themes each hero had.
Captain America’s theme has been lampooned in modern times, primarily by the animated webseries How It Should Have Ended (HISHE). It’s first couple lines, “When Captain America throws his mighty shield,/All those who choose to oppose his shield must yield!” are particularly memorable. And honestly, any theme song that’s still known after over 50 years deserves some respect!
6 Marvel’s The Superhero Squad (2006)
Alternately loved and reviled by comic book fans, The Super Hero Squad cartoon was a lighthearted parody of Marvel’s superheroes that portrayed Spider-Man, the Avengers, and multiple villains as diminutive kid-friendly versions of themselves (Silver Surfer was literally a zoned-out surfer dude).
The theme song reflected this goofy feel, letting the (usually) younger audience know that, “Wolverine and Hulk are fierce/Doctor Doom ends up in tears/When Iron Man joins the fight/Falcon searches from the sky.” Fans probably didn’t know whether to cringe or sing along.
5 Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993)
Japan’s various Super Sentai series had their own rock themes for the original superhero teams that would be recycled into the U.S.’s long-running Power Rangers franchise. While many Americans didn’t know what to make of these colorfully clad martial arts heroes when they debuted in the United States, most found the theme song, “Go Go Power Rangers,” composed by musician Ron Wasserman, invigorating.
With its signature guitar solos, the theme grabbed audiences from the first few notes. Although the TV theme just featured the main chorus, “Go Go Power Rangers/Go Go Power Rangers/Go Go Power Rangers/You Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers,” the full theme song had multiple verses that audiences got to hear in the first Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie (1995) and several heavy metal covers.
4 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987)
For a team of mutated turtles that sprang from a black-and-white indie comic book, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) have certainly had a long line of animated cartoons. The TMNT have been rebooted and revamped so many times that some of the more modern animated series establish that each cartoon exists in its own universe with its own continuity!
Despite that, most people remember the theme song from the 1987 television series as the most iconic. Even today, adults who grew up in that era all remember the opening lyrics, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Heroes in the half shell/Turtle Power!”
3 Mighty Mouse (1946)
Now here’s a throwback! Composer Marshall Barer probably never knew how catchy listeners would find his theme song when Mighty Mouse debuted way back in 1946. Almost 75 years later, people can still recall the first few lyrics, “Mister Trouble never hangs around/When he hears this mighty sound/’Here I come to save the day!’”
Comedian Andy Kaufman made the Mighty Mouse Theme part of his routine, inexplicably lip syncing to Mighty Mouse’s main line, which audiences found hilarious. Well, it is catchy!
2 Jem & The Holograms (1985)
Well-known superhero theme songs tend to favor male heroes over females (although exceptions, such as She-Ra: Princess of Power and Wonder Woman do exist). Another cheesy-but-catchy theme song was the opening from Jem and the Holograms, an animated musical television series from the mid-1980s. The series had more in common with Japan’s “magical girl” genre than American-style heroics, as it followed a group of girls who moonlighted as a rock band with the aid of advanced holographic technology, but proved popular with its audience.
The show actually had two catchy openings – the original “Jem” theme “Truly Outrageous” (“Jem/Jem is excitement/Ooh! Jem!”) and the more “pop” version “Jem Girls” (“Me and my friends are Jem girls/Jem! Jem is my name!/Exciting adventure, fashion and fame/Once you’re a Jem girl, you’re never the same”). In 2015, Universal Pictures tried released an updated live action Jem and the Holograms film that bombed at the box office. Clearly, Jem was meant to stay a beloved product of the 1980s.
1 Spider-Man (1967)
Easily the most memorable song on this list, the theme song from the 1967 Spider-Man animated series is almost as well-known as its title character. Originally composed by Paul Francis Webster and Robert “Bob” Harris, the song has been covered by The Ramones and Michael Bublé. Practically every live action Spider-Man movie has referenced the song in some way, and the theme was even incorporated into the opening of Spider-Man: Homecoming.
After listening to the song a few times, it’s easy to see why it took off. The lyrics are both simple and fun, “Spider-Man! Spider-Man!/Does whatever a spider can!” and the music can easily be adapted into dramatic and lighthearted versions without losing its memorable beat. Superman and Batman may have epic themes, but only Spider-Man’s song could be both cheesy and epic all at once!
Superhero TV shows are often accompanied by theme songs that are cheesy yet catchy! Here's the top 10 cheesiest superhero theme songs w/ lyrics!