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"Geez, not only do you ignore the original song, but you rewrite it, and you get it to tell me what I'm about to watch right now! Well, what are you gonna do next? Tell me the names of all the characters that are in the show?!"

An Expository Theme Tune for a series that includes a rundown of the main characters, usually with a line or two about each one's role in the show. Especially common in kids' shows. Note that not all examples contain the characters names in the lyrics. Some examples have songs that only describe them. May also occur in Opening Narrations, and even in shows that have instrumentals (e.g., 1990s X-Men).

Examples of Theme Tune Roll Call include:


Anime

  • Sailor Moon's dub theme song
    • But it was only accurate for the first season. Pluto isn't mentioned once she shows up in R, nor are Any of the Outer Senshi in S, or Chibi Moon in either S or Super S. Not a very good roll call if you forget half the heroes.
    • It probably sounds worse on American DVDs of the third season. The English versions include the American theme song synced with a Japanese opening, causing a part meant to show off the new Sailor Senshi to have singers exclaiming the Inner Senshi's names for no apparent reason.
  • The 4Kids One Piece dub Theme Tune Rap. They didn't make it any longer, so each addition to the cast made the song more cluttered.
    • The eleventh Japanese theme, Share the World, has a variation of this, in which each Straw Hat gets a title card with their name at the start. Also in the background is Gratuitous English writing describing them.
  • The theme song to the English dub of Hamtaro.
  • The opening to Ronin Warriors, American version.
  • The second series of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman calls the five heroes in numbered order by their civilian names.
  • The original ending theme to Getter Robo, Gattai Getter Robo had this.

Comic Books

  • The Nextwave comic book actually had a theme song that gave a short blurb about each team member and the Big Bad. "Give us the Nextwave roll call!"

 MONICA - Is gonna microwave your ---

TABBY - Is gonna steal all your stuff

AARON - Is gonna organize your sock drawer

ELSA - Is gonna speak with an accent

THE CAPTAIN - His name is The Captain

Film

  • Animal House has about 18 characters named in its theme song.

Live Action TV

  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 ("Robot Roll Call!")
  • Imagination Movers
  • Fraggle Rock: ("We're Gobo, Mokey, Wembley, Boober, Red!")
  • The Fresh Beat Band: "On guitar... Kiki! On keyboards... Shout! On drums... Mirena! And the real MC... Twist in the house!"
  • The Mickey Mouse Club (all three versions)
  • Gilligan's Island ("...with Gilligan, the Skipper too, the Millionaire, and his wife...")
    • Note that it originally left off the Professor and Mary Ann, who were referred to as "and the rest", until Bob Denver (Gilligan) forced the studio to change it.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine has examples of this, but technically not as intros:
    • The earliest series, between episodes, had the main theme play over a montage of characters with names on boards beside them.
    • More recent series have the song 'Engine Roll Call' - although not an intro, it plays at the end of every episode.
  • The 1970s kids' show Zoom had one, preserved in the show's later 1999-2005 incarnation.
  • Animorphs
  • Ozzie and Harriet ("Here's Ozzie! Here's Harriet!")
  • Space Cases -- originally aired as the closing theme in the first season but moved to opening theme in the second season and in syndication.
  • Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp
  • 1970s kids' show New Zoo Revue

Theatre

  • "It's A Typical Day," the opening number of the musical Li'l Abner, has all the best-known denizens of Dogpatch introduce themselves.
  • Spoofed in the opening number of The Drowsy Chaperone, "Fancy Dress," where all the main characters and their motivations are revealed in song, even a character who only shows up for one scene at the very end of the show.
  • The Corny Collins Council gets one in "The Nicest Kids in Town" from Hairspray.

Video Games

Web Comics

  • Happens in The Non-Adventures of Wonderella here. Not an intro, though.
  • Andy Weir did once write a cast song for his webcomic Casey and Andy, which was then performed by the band Moosebutter. Albeit only two minutes long, it mentions every character who had appeared in the comic so far, and even one who didn't yet at that point: The Conquistador.

Web Original

  • In Teen Girl Squad: "Cheerleader! So and So! What's Her Face! The Ugly One!"
    • Though not actually used anywhere else, Strong Bad envisions such a song in the Strong Bad Email "theme song", which mentions Strong Bad, Strong Sad, Strong Mad, The Cheat, and Homestar Runner. In his own words:

  Strong Bad: I'm sure viewership would triple if I had one of those crappy cartoon theme songs that bludgeons you over the head with the blunt end of the show's premise.

  • In Monster High Season 2 the theme song has changed into a mix of Theme Tune Rap and this
  • I Made America opens each episode by listing the Founding Fathers kidnapped from the past and brought to 2012 Chicago: "Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison, Washington, and John Adams!"

Western Animation

Parodies

Notes

  1. For the record, this version leaves out a lot of the roster at the time.
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