Theme Tune Roll Call
"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).
Lists of all the characters not in musical form are called Dramatis Personae.
- 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 SuperS. 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.
- The long version of the first K-On! opening theme "Cagayake!GIRLS", never broadcast but available on CD when the show was in production, has a roll call of the main characters in the bridge. (Yui, Mugi, Mio, and Ritsu, in that order.)
- The theme song to the English dub of Adventures of the Little Koala.
- 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 ---
- 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)
- Not to mention Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
- 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.
- The 1970s kids' show Zoom had one, preserved in the show's later 1999-2005 incarnation.
- 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
- The theme song of Colombian Soap Opera Las Juanas mixes this with Expository Theme Tune begginning with a brief explanation of the plot, before doing a role call with the names and personalities of the titular characters.
- Zoobilee Zoo
- Down to Earth
- Family Reunion
- Life with Derek
- The Puzzle Place
- Jack's Big Music Show
- Yo Gabba Gabba!
- "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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Muppet Babies has one in which the characters describe themselves, without saying their names.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: both series.
- Captain Planet is an example of an Opening Narration doing this.
- The Jetsons
- He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, another Opening Narration example ("Only three others share this secret - our friends the Sorceress, Man-At-Arms, and Orko.").
- Naturally, its successor She Ra Princess of Power also did this.
- Warner Bros Animation's comedy shows must have loved this trope; they did it with Tiny Toon Adventures, Taz-Mania, Animaniacs, Road Rovers, and both of the regular themes for Histeria!
- The Winnie the Pooh featurettes
- The X-Men Animated Adaptation had one of these with no lyrics.
- Until That Guy With The Glasses added some, hah!
- The Latin American dub, however, had a narrator telling each character's adapted-to-spanish name as they came on screen.
- The theme song for My Little Pony's G3 and G3.5 cartoons was one of these. It became the subject of much ridicule (well, moreso than usual) when several characters in the G4 cartoon My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic shared names with the G3/G3.5 ponies, but had wildly different personalities (the linked video contrasts Rainbow Dash and Rainbow Dash, for example).
- My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic has one too, though not by name (except in the Theme Tune Extended and in one toy commercial [dead link]).
- And once again subverted in My Little Pony: Pony Life, where they are described by their personalities and attributes instead of their elements; Fluttershy being sweet, Rainbow Dash being fast, Rarity being posh, Applejack being fun, and Pinkie Pie being cute... all except Twilight, who is still described as being "magic".
- There's one for Dethklok in the opening of Metalocalypse.
- The ending theme to The Powerpuff Girls.
- This applied to Avatar: The Last Airbender's Three Amigos in the Opening Narration in the first season only but not afterwards, as the opening never changed as more characters were added.
- The Wild Thornberrys
- The Superhero Squad Show. "Wolverine and Hulk are fierce, Doctor Doom ends up in tears/when Iron Man joins the fight! Falcon darts in from the sky, Silver Surfer by his side, Thor's hammer has thunder's mi-iiiiight..."
- Defenders of the Earth
- The Alvin Show from the early '60s.
- COPS (the cartoon about future cops fighting future criminals) had a roll call end credits sequence.
- A Pup Named Scooby-Doo
- Avengers Earths Mightiest Heroes has a theme song containing subtle references to the four presumably most popular Avengers. Deleted lyrics reference four more superheroes, who also became Avengers during the first season.
- Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! lists off the names of the 5 titular monkeys and Chiro.
- Zula Patrol
- Transformers Cybertron
- Aqua Teen Hunger Force
- The Nutshack
- D'Myna Leauges
- Station Zero
- Steven Universe has one with the show's core cast.
- Kuu Kuu Harajuku
- Shirt Tales
- Little Clowns Of Happytown
- Stunt Dawgs
- Galaxy High
- Hero Elementary
- Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!
- Da Möb
- Hero 108
- The Save-Ums!
- Animal Mechanicals
- Pet Alien
- 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.
- Bob the Builder
- Da Jammies
- The Season 6 theme song of Totally Spies! does this.
- The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show
- Chip and Potato
- Kung Fu Dino Posse
- Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum
- Go, Diego, Go!
- Dinosaur Train
- Seven Little Monsters
- Word World
- Little Charmers
- Parodied here.
- Parodied with the Saturday Morning Watchmen Opening.
- On Taxi Jim is on a blind date with Marcia Wallace from The Bob Newhart Show, and sings her the lyrics he's made up for the show's theme: "Here comes Bob and Carol/His wife Emily really likes him/He's got five members in his group..."
- For the record, this version leaves out a lot of the roster at the time.