These days, most of my TV watching happens after my kids go to bed. At that hour, I prefer light entertainment, but, sadly, sitcoms as I knew them are a thing of the past. Modern-day comedies are all trying too hard to be edgy, with darker and more twisted characters than I remember from the shows of my childhood. And today’s shows are way too hip to have a live studio audience, a laugh track, or even an opening theme song.
The evenings in my ’80s childhood were all about prime-time sitcoms, replete with every element that feels outdated and corny to us now. I’d curl up with my family at 8 p.m. for that magic hour when my favorite shows would come on. As soon as the theme song rolled, a wave of comfort would wash over me, and I would sink deeper into the couch, excited to connect again with the characters on my favorite shows—characters who felt like family.
When it comes to ’80s sitcoms, the theme songs were everything. To this day, if I hear the theme song from one of my favorite ’80s shows, I’m likely to well up with tears, no matter where I am.
Here are some of the ones that are guaranteed to do the trick:
3. Who’s the Boss?
4. Golden Girls
5. Punky Brewster
6. Laverne & Shirley
7. Family Ties
Sure, ’80s sitcoms may have lacked a certain depth. Sometimes they were even downright nonsensical and stupid. But the theme songs had a way of making you believe you were watching something with true heart and integrity or, at the very least, gave you something to sing along to. And no matter how much anyone makes fun of or critiques the sitcoms of the ’80s, we will always have a special place for them in our hearts.