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. The Simpsons. You just had to leave out The Simpsons…

    The show…whatever. We are talking intros.

    It convinces you to pay attention to what Bart writes on the chalkboard, what notes Lisa plays, and of course…the couch gag. Not to mention the bulk of the cast making an appearance and the theme song that everyone can recognize two doors down and across the block.

  2. Umm excuse me, where the f*** is Gargoyles?

  3. No anime intros? Dang. Maybe you could do that as a separate editorial someday.

    • Honestly, Japanese animation is just better than American animation. So to make a list without a barrier like that wouldn’t have a mixture of great intros.

  4. Super dude extraordinaire…

  5. Much credit, Doug, for not only including Thundercats but also putting it so high on the list. THe combination of speed, movement, and detail in the animation is absolutely stunning. Amazing that it’s now 30 years old.

    For what its worth, a lot of the animators who worked on that went onto be a part of a little animation studio you might have heard of- called Studio Ghibli.

  6. Three Degrees of Bacon

    Are you going to do a top 11 anime openings then? Because you set up for it? And I tried thinking up my own list, and I was like, “No, that’s anime. That’s anime too.” The first ones that came to my mind? Zoids: Chaotic Century. This one is just clips from the show, so you would have discounted it anyway. (At least, the American release does that. The Japanese does a completely different opening). But let me paint a picture for you. A computer screen lights up with one word: ALERT. Then we see a military base blow up, and from the smoking ruins a mecha saber-toothed tiger emerges, though still shrouded by shadow. We then flash to various scenes of giant robot animals fighting. All the while we get a sick guitar solo and just one word being shouted: ZOIDS! Two words if you count “Ohh…..” building up to shouting “Zoids!”

    My second pick, again disqualified for anime, is Digimon. I know this isn’t your thing, and you probably won’t think too highly, seeing as you’ve heard it gutted in the “Digirap” opening for Digimon: the Movie. But just the image of 7 kids falling into letters composed of terrain… it rocks.

  7. Did you also here that you can record TV shows and cartoons on DVD recorders with Verizon DVR cable anymore?

  8. I watched all of these (except Outer Limits) and was surprised you even named some of these like Jack of All Trades. I’m surprised that even though you mentioned the later TMNT intro, you didn’t say anything abou the Red Sky episodes intro.

    However, Tales from the Crypt needs to be jettisoned in favor of some other, better, choices (and an Honorable Mentions list to boot).

    Also, when you talked about the quality of the Twilight Zone visuals, all I could think was the Movie version disproves that.

  9. We all have our own ranking system but I can’t otherwise argue with this list. I will point to one of my favorites, however, Starcom: The US Space Force!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNwT-OJtnYA

    Only one line of dialog, and the rest uses visuals and music to point out the heroes and villains in a way that makes you excited for the show. The show itself was a bit toned down but it had some good moments, but I just love that intro. And as someone who has an intro review article series it’s nice to see someone else pointing out the power of the intro.

  10. Much props for not only including the Thundercats intro, but also putting it so high on the list. The sense of movement, the speed, the detail of animation- all top notch. I haven’t seen anything like it outside of some anime. And of course the theme song will rock your balls off.

    By the way- the animators behind the intro? In the 80s, their studio got shut down and some of them got absorbed into a then-new animation company- just some little no name group called Studio Ghibli.

  11. Kinda disappointed Danny Phantom isn’t on here but to each their own.
    One thing i’ve noticed is no one talks about the Tales of the Crypt animated show. Ever. never once heard anyone say it before. Heck, JonTron even called the Goosebumps TV show (or was it are you afraid of the dark?) a tales of the Crypt for kids, when the animated Show was basically that. I never even knew there was a live actions Tales of the Crypt til I was older. I havent seen the animated show recently, and it could very well have sucked immensely, but it still bothers me

  12. What about the new version of the outer limits? I saw that version my whole life. Even the episode where the girl who play the Pink Power Ranger, Kimberly and also plays Phoebe from the series Charmed, is possessed by an symbiotic alien that made of… something similar to human sex hormones.

  13. #10 Jack of All Trades was a syndicated show and too damn good to last.

  14. Gotta say, after seeing it in the intro I was fully expecting to see “Perfect Strangers” intro in the top 11. Its soooo good.

  15. fireinmysockets

    Quite a good list, but if I must say, I’m somewhat dissappointed that one of the most obvious choices isn’t on here somewhere. That being the Simpsons intro. One of the most iconic intros to ever exist.

  16. DeTroutSpinners

    This was a great choice for a list, and the choices themselves were really well explained and justified, but I’m a little disappointed that – aside from Twilight Zone/Outer Limits which were still appropriate for all ages – all of the shows listed were mostly aimed at children, or were family friendly like Fresh Prince. I understand you’re the Nostalgia Critic but you’ve looked at more adult stuff before, so I’d have liked to see the list actually called Nostalgic TV Show Intros, then you could do a follow-up that cast the net wider.

    The reason I’m slightly sad? Because the Sopranos intro is absolutely amazing and needs to be included in every list about great intro. True, the music wasn’t composed for the show, but it gives such an effortless and memorable representation of what the show’s about. A clearly shady dude driving lawfully from New York, looking back at its grandeur, and into the cosmopolitan surface of Newark then the industrial district, the poor areas, and finally his suburb. It ends with him parking at home with a gun used as part of the title font. It’s perfect and should have been on here.

  17. Re: 8:03.

    …do you bite your thumb at me, sir?

  18. 1 word. Daredevil.

    • Indeed, it is an excellent intro. Since it airs on Netflix and not a regular TV network I don’t think Doug would have wanted to include it.
      If I was going for Netflix intros I’d personally have to rate Bojack Horseman just a tad higher because of it’s great music. To each ‘is own though.

  19. Great choices, Doug. One I also love is either of the intros to the 2000s series The Batman. While the show’s quality is debatable (I personally really liked it), either of the intros was badass. The first was cooler with more of a serious tone, whereas the second one went for a more light-hearted feel like the 60s Batman intro. Even if you don’t watch the series, the intros are certainly worth checking out.

  20. With Fresh Prince and Ninja Turtles you have two shows that have the same actor in them. Did you know that?

  21. Real thoughts on the AVGN movie

  22. Many of these shows weren’t that popular outside the USA. Also making a list out of not only animated, but all shows kind of limits the number of cartoon shows that could fit here, but I was expecting Sonic Satam, Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs here. At least one of them.

    Sonic Satam actually has it all – catchy inspiring theme, action sequences made specifically for the intro, which introduce you to the world and tell you the premise of the show without being in your face with narration and offering great animation quality!

  23. No ed edd n eddy, johnny bravo or dexters lab makes me 🙁

  24. Though I know I should be wary
    Still I venture someplace scary
    Ghostly horrors I turn loose
    Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!

    I always wondered why they would choose to market a kids’ show based on a decidedly not-kids’ movie. Not that it was the first or last time. Remember the Robocop cartoon?

  25. Ninja Turtles would have been my number one.

    However, I am also super glad to see Beetle Juice on the list.

  26. sophronia_chaos

    If I’d made this list…well, it would have been more 90s since I’m only 26, but Magic School Bus would have been on there. Probably low, since the animation was kind of meh, but still. Images of the bus as a submarine, a spacecraft, and a raft on lava were not only awesome but got you hyped for the show. Also, Little Richard.

    Also, BILL BILL BILL BILL BILL BILL BILL BILL

    …sorry.

    • Yeah, the reason why Magic Schoolbus didn’t make it here is probably because of the sup-par animation. And yet…It got me excited to watch the program i.e. stuff more science facts in my oblivious child head than I was learning in school. When the Intro came on I would bounce up and down on the sofa the entire way through. There might have been singing involved, too.

      Ah, the memories. Thanks for mentioning that little piece of awesomeness.

  27. Not to sound like a jerk (and I mean this makes sense) but your “top anything” generally seems to be directly from your childhood and never seems to be aware that modern shows probably have some better intros… my opinion, that is.

  28. I gotta admit but this top 11 show intro’s was kind of a let down. However, it wasn’t that bad but most of it wasn’t that good. It’s because I know it’s your list but you said that you were going to put the intro of shows that your fanbase or other people wanted in this intro. However, most of them you picked on your own and I kind of find it a bit biased. However, maybe you picked them that most of the people put them on your facebook post. Also, I have another problem but I might give this a pass. It’s because you didn’t even bother with anime to begin with. It felt like you were also being biased with that but I don’t think you weren’t. You did put Cowboy Bebop on your top 20 or 22 favorite tv shows while back. I guess I’ll cut you a break on that one. However, Beetle Juice completely got me because it’s been years since I haven’t seen that show. That show years later made me felt like a kid again and that get’s my vote. I give this review a 4 or 5/10 because of what I said but it’s not that bad though. Anyways, I hope I’ll see a Nostalgia Critic episode that isn’t this biased a bit but it’s not that bad. Keep up the good work.

  29. I called three openings on this list at the beginning and there they were. 2 others I remembered Doug really liked but think of at the time. The rest of this list was relatively new to me, but I enjoyed this nonetheless.
    Kinda bummed he never put either of the Swat Kats openings, but whatever. To me, that show will always be my #1, *starts playing the guitar riff from opening 2*

    • You , me and a lot of others expected Swat Kats on the list. Maybe Doug is allergic to cats or he got so hyped from all the others that he completely forgot about it.

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