It’s always a dicey proposition when you revisit the entertainments of your youth.  As a child of the 80s, there are a few touchstones that will always resonate with me.  He-Man’s transformation chant, the first notes of the A-team fanfare, and that awful “Oh, Yeah” song that Ferris Bueller and Tom Cruise partied to are all forever emblazoned on my pop-culture consciousness.  But nothing, not even Nichelle Nichols in a crimson micro-dress, takes me back to the proverbial ‘Day’ like the distinctive “La LA lala LA laaah” of the Smurfs theme.  Hearing it, I am once again 11 and annoyed at being outvoted 3-to-1 on Saturday mornings…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always “misquoted”) has now officially stuck that song in your head, asking: What moments in pop culture immediately transport you back to your youth?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. There were very few cartoons that my Dad would watch with me when I was growing up. One was He-Man and the other was the old Mighty Hercules.
    Their theme songs really stuck with me.

    I had a nice moment with my dad about 6 years ago when the original He-Man episodes came out on DVD. I picked up the first boxed set and we watched a few classic Beast Man episodes together.

  2. SmarkingOut Adam on

    The 90’s X-Men cartoon theme, though I suppose I was in high school. I can still do most of the lines in the first 8 episodes because I had taped them and watched them over and over.

  3. I put my entire MP3 collection on random the other day and, after a few songs, of all things, “Grim Grinning Ghosts” the theme song to the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World jumped into the mix. “When hinges creak in doorless chambers” monologue and everything.

    I was immediately transported back to Orlando and could almost smell the popcorn and funnel cakes in Liberty Square.

  4. Anything by John Williams…It seemed like his scores and theme songs dominated every summer movie season of my youth.Starting w/ Jaws and Star Wars, through Raiders, ET & Superman, his music was everywhere!
    And amazingly still is!

  5. The things that give me that same feeling I had when I was a kid are varied enough that I doubt I could list each and every one here.

    The opening theme from “Star Wars” still gives me the same happy feeling it did as a kid and makes me want to start swinging my arms and making the lightsaber noise. The themes of “He-Man”, “She-Ra”, “Thundercats”, “GI Joe” and various other cartoons make me instantly smile. Certain 80’s cartoon characters still make me blush because they were my earliest crushes (I still wish to meet a real-life Kimber). I still cry when Optimus Prime dies in the original animated Transformers movie.

    Just the other day I watched a couple episodes of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and felt instantly like I was 13 again. Well, to be honest, it felt like I had two personalities: Present day me that wanted to groan at how bad it was, and 13 year old me who was so madly in lust with Kimberly and wanted to steal Tommy’s green ranger powers.

  6. The theme song to “Superfriends” still gets me to this day. I loved that show when I was a kid and hearing the theme song always makes me excited.

  7. Grade School = The Jem theme, even if the Misfits’ singing is way screechier than it ever was in the show proper. And I’m surprised because it’s a show that still largely holds up today.

    Middle School = Ron Wasserman’s X-Men theme. It’s a crime the movies didn’t use it. There’s still moments reading the comics that I hear it, too.

    High School = MST3k theme. The show that shaped my worldview, for good or ill.

  8. Mine happened unexpectedly. I went to a WWE live show and I hadn’t been to one since Wrestlemania 20 in my early high school days. It took me back to the hey day of the Attitude Era and when I used to be really into wrestling.

  9. I’m gonna go young here, aren’t I? Enh. The song that I seem to hear all the time that just drives me into memories is the original Pokemon theme song. Especially that first guitar riff before the lyrics. And for some reason it’s a popular ringtone around here.

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