Top 11 TV Show Intros – Nostalgia Critic

Did your favorite show make the list? Find out as the Nostalgia Critic counts down the Top 11 TV Show Intros!

About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.

337 comments

  1. Nice list. There would have been Mystery Science Theatre 3000 intro (one of them) there somewhere in mine.
    Only intro I tried to always sing along to 😀

    • In the not to distant future, way down in deep thirteen, Dr. Forester and T.V.’s Frank were hatching an evil scheme. They hired a temp by the name of Mike, just a regular joe they didn’t like. Their experiment needed a new test case, so they conked him on the noggin and they shot him into space. GET! ME!! DOOWN!!! We’ll send him cheesy movies, the worst we can find. (lalala) He’ll have to sit and watch them all and we’ll monitor his mind (lalala). Now keep in mind, Mike can’t control when the movies begin or end (lalala) So he’ll try to keep his sanity with the help of his robot friends. RIBOT ROLLCALL! Cambot! Gypsy! Tom Servo! Crooooow! If you’re wondering how he eats and breaths and other science facts (lalala) , just repeat to yourself it’s just a show, I should really just relax. FOR MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000!!! How was that Paganarh?

  2. Gabriel Prichard

    We need to have Arthur and the Knights of Justice intro on here it is literally the most epic intro I have ever seen.

  3. Monsieur Safior

    This list is great but honestly the TMNT opening is really overattes, espicilly when you compare with the french version.

  4. It’s a fingerprint. The Johnny Quest background is a fingerprint. 🙂

  5. For everyone who was hoping for some Batman: The Animated Series, have the Arabic version:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwPgckH1v_M
    It’s the complete opposite in tone of the original opening, yet pretty catchy.

    A little disappointed to see Doug’s tastes lean so heavily towards children’s shows and 90s shows. I would have maybe put some A-Team, Knight Rider or Night Court in there. But thanks for bringing Jack of All Trades to our attention!

  6. 11 – Yes, I remember that!
    10 – That must have been what they put most of their budget into.
    9 – The #1 mindfuck!
    8 – Turn that into a WTR!
    7 – I only watched Spider-Man…which you hate.
    6 – That’s why you’re the Nostalgia Critic!
    5 – So it’s a tie, then?
    4 – So these lists do overlap then.
    3 – Indifferent, just like MLP.
    2 – A pity “The Twilight Zone” is infinitely better.
    1 – Yet another mindfuck!

  7. Shame on you for not mentioning the 90s version of The Outer Limits opening. It was just as good as the original.

  8. Was wondering will there be SWAT KATS on the list.

  9. Really Nostalgia Critic? You rank the X-Men intro at #7?

  10. I personally loved Mega XLR and Swat Kats theme. but I get why they weren’t on your list.

  11. This list is awesome., I’m a freaking huge tales from the crypt and beetlejuice fan., thank you Doug for putting my two favorite intros at #1 and#2., honestly I thought he was gonna put the intro to animanics because he was a huge fan of that series.., but I was totally caught off guard., anyway thanks again., it been too long since he done a top 11 list but it was worth it.,,.

  12. Wait, WAIT! No Batman TAS in the list? Man, Doug, I’m dissapointed 🙁

  13. Haha, that Furry Road joke made me LOL. Yes, X-Men and Fresh Prince made it! 😀

    I don’t think that I would be interested in Tyger’s stuff.

  14. A better name would be “top 11 90s cartoon intros” since you only make token nods to other content and you miss a LOT. Are you seriously saying that ANY of these are better than the brilliant intro to Dexter (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ej8-Rqo-VT4) that turns everyday moments into scenes of oddly intimate violence? Or malcolm in the middle’s high-intensity match cuts that connect the small-scale craziness of malcom’s life to top-tier insanity ripped straight from B-movies and newsreels? Or Raising Hope’s adorable baby book? or the poetry in motion that is Orange is the New Black’s intro? or hell, even intros to modern cartoon classics like Avatar: the Last Airbender, Gravity Falls, and Adventure Time? These intros you’re showing are fun and have high energy, but they’re far from the best. Hell, most of them barely even hold up to the xfiles.

    • Just adding to my previous point, how in the HELL is twin peaks not on here? that’s widely regarded to be one of the greatest intros ever – so great that almost every show since has emulated it in some way.

    • Dude, first: you need to use capital letters.
      Second: most of those shows are too recent to be nostalgic to someone like THE NOSTALGIA CRITIC.

  15. The Ruby Spears Mega Man show had a good intro. Sure, the rest of the show was hilariously terrible puns, but damn if that intro didn’t have some cool imagery!

  16. Beetlejuice and Tales From the Crypt in the top 3!?! Yeah, I don’t think so. Beetlejuice can certainly earn its spot in the top 10, but not the top 2. And Tales From the Crypt!?! WTF? Top 15 maybe, if you stretch it, but nowhere near the top 5. I’ll agree that everything else deserves the top 10 in one spot or another.

    I guess I can’t really argue since it is just one guy’s list. At least Doug likes it.

    • Well then, what would YOUR top 11 intros list look like?

      • After kicking out Tales From the Crypt I’d put in Silverhawks and SWAT Kats. If I could I’d insert the opening for M.A.S.K. because of its song. I could listen to that all day long and never tire of it. Sadly, the M.A.S.K. opening can’t be included because I believe it includes actual clips from the show. It’s been a while since I saw the intro so I’m not sure.
        As much as I’d like to I’d never be able to put them in any order that would satisfy either myself or the vast majority so I’d have to leave them out of order.

        • Ok. What is Silverhawks?

        • Silverhawks was my SHIT growing up! My favorite character was the Copper Kidd. I used to be part of a Silverhawks/Thundercats fan forum while Steve Perry (one of the writers from the original show) would pop in to tell us about his efforts to reboot Silverhawks. Unfortunately he was murdered before the reboot could get off the ground. If her hadn’t been killed I think the reboot would have been awesome. Man, I miss him. He was such a nice person, laid back, and easy to talk to.

  17. No honourable mention for the Silverhawks opening? I am always torn which was more awesome, that one of Thundercats. They deserve to get mentioned in tandem.

  18. Where is King Arthur and the Knights of Justice? That show’s opening was a million times better than Thundercats, and it didn’t set you up for disappointment, either.

    • Just saw the King Arthur intro. Sorry,but from an animation standpoint, it’s not even *close* to Thundercats.

      The incredible sense of fluid but quick motion in the Thundercats intro is something I’ve never seen paralleled in american animation.

  19. Critic, can you make a top 11 anime intros

  20. I always put this own and you never answer it.

  21. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Ultra Man great intros!

  22. should of been a top 12 just so you could add Silver Hawks cartoon. that was a kickass intro and show. one of the 80s lost gems.

  23. I’m surprised you didn’t put Batman animated series’ intro. But then again I’m sure it would be too obvious. And maybe it’s my european background, but I always found Peewee too random. And finally, I have to see that japanese x-men intro. We never got that intro back in Portugal.

  24. No offence, Doug, but so many of your picks seem to be based on how much an show’s intro would cater to an ADHD child. “Oh, look at how many things this throws at you! Look at that choppy editing which ensures you can’t actually see any of it! Look at all the weird crazy imagery I don’t know what they are! Look at all the stuff!” This is especially true about the Beetlejuice intro, which is just a collection of randomness thrown together ahead of a frankly pretty dull, uneventful show despite its premise. Hell, why not go with the Cartoon Network Mask show at that point?

    Yeah, yeah – personal preference list, fine. I’m just not sure how you could include the Real Adventures of Johnny Quest yet not include the SWAT Kats intro. TNMT I get – it’s the famous show which makes the intro, rather than the intro making the show, but I can say just the same about the SWAT Kats Season 2 intro. Or indeed the X-Men Intro.

    • sophronia_chaos

      Maybe because Doug has ADD and dyslexia. I’m being serious. I don’t know if he’s formally diagnosed, but he’s brought both up in several videos, including how he had trouble focusing in school to the point where it really affected his grades. Your comment makes it sound like there’s something wrong with appealing to ADD/ADHD kids, which is kinda messed up.

  25. 11. I haven’t watched the original Johnny Quest show, but I do remember watching the one from the 90s, because of this intro.
    10. I haven’t watched Jack of All Trades, but I remember seeing it advertised all the time on my local WB channel every morning before I went to school, and I did look pretty interesting.
    9. Oh yeah, how can you NOT put the intro of Pee-wee’s Playhouse on this list?
    8. I’ve heard of Bucky O’Hare, but I never watched the show, and it’s mostly because he looks a lot like that green bunny looking character from the original Marvel Star Wars comics. Also, nice Chris Rock impression.
    7. This intro makes me so glad that Fox Kids and Saban Entertainment (who both later gave us Power Rangers) made the X-Men series, and instantly made me a fan. I also like the fact that they show the names of the characters so I wouldn’t have to ask “What’s that guys name again?”
    6. I’m so happy I got interested in watching Fresh Prince every night before watching Simpsons reruns back in the 90s.
    5. I haven’t watched The Outer Limits, but you would always see me rush toward the TV whenever the intro to The Twilight Show starts playing.
    4. The original theme to the Ninja Turtles can never be outdated. You can find videos on YouTube of this song being played over clips from the 2014 Ninja Turtles movie, and it is awesome. Good, I still love this intro as much as I had when I was in pre-school.
    3. I never watched any of the Thundercats shows, but I agree that the intro to this show looks spectacular.
    2. I had never watched a full episode of Tales from the Crypt, but I would always give myself a chance to at least watch the intro, and this was during a point when my fasination of scary looking imagery was going up, and this was before the Goosebumps TV series (which also has a cool opening).
    1. I don’t remember much of watching the Beetlejuice animated series, but I remember in kindergarten always watching the intro to it every morning before I go on the bus to school.

  26. Also, a suggestion: When featuring footage with music attached to it, please do one of two things:

    1. Simply mute the music of the clip and talk over it.

    2. Mute the clips themselves, then play the music uninterrupted in the background.

    The way you have the intro clips cut right now, you keep playing different short motifs of each tune over themselves, which turns into a cacophony.

  27. This list is missing Batman TAS/Batman Beyond/Justice League (DCAU in general was pretty great) and the absolutely amazing Men In Black TAS opening.

  28. I’ve always said that the way you can tell if you’ll like a show is by how enjoyable the intro to it is.

    Obviously, this isn’t ALWAYS the case (I’m look at you, 4Kids intro to One Piece!), but as a general rule it’s usually true.

    Also, I think there should have been some special mentions for other shows that didn’t quite make the list but were still fantastic. To name one, “Are You Afraid Of The Dark?”

  29. Some have been mentioned, but just because I feel like mentioning them as well, I would’ve included:

    Batman Beyond
    Get Smart (seriously, how did THIS not make it on there?)
    Inspector Gadget
    Earthworm Jim
    G.I. Joe (again, HOW?)
    M.A.S.H.

  30. I don’t know if it’s old enough to be officially nostalgic yet, but the show “Everwood” had I think the best and most under appreciated theme song/ opening of all its contemporaries. I still get a giddy feeling every time I hear it. It was sad but also hopeful, exciting but also calm; just awesome.

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