top of page

TV Theme Songs: Diff'rent Strokes

"Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale" of a time when television shows began with awesome TV Theme Songs. "Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name" and sometimes you want to go back to when TV Theme songs were special. "Here's a story... of a lovely" time when TV Theme Songs served to identify, distinguish and set the stage for the television program that followed. "You take the good, take the bad, take them both and there you have" what unfortunately has become a lost artform. "Believe it or not", sadly it seems no effort or pride is taken in the TV Theme Song ever since Seinfeld proved a short synth-bass riff could be used instead. “Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!” This regular feature may not "make all our dreams come true", but it will remember some of the best TV Theme Songs from years past (with a focus on the '80s decade). "Come aboard, we're expecting you."

This time we will cover the theme song for Diff'rent Strokes. "Now, the world don't move to the beat of just one drum. What might be right for you, may not be right for some. A man is born, he's a man of means. Then along come two, they got nothing but their jeans. But they got, Diff'rent Strokes. It takes Diff'rent Strokes. It takes Diff'rent Strokes to move the world." Diff'rent Strokes debuted in November of 1978 and ran eight seasons and 189 episodes crossing over into the early '80s ending in 1986. This was another of the incredible sitcoms that Norman Lear brought to television and quickly became one of my personal favorites. Diff'rent Strokes made Gary Coleman into a pop culture icon and his catchphrase "What'cha talkin' 'bout, Willis?" is one of the most memorable in television history. In my opinion, the show also had one of the great theme songs in television history as well. "It Takes Diff'rent Strokes" was co-written by Alan Thicke, his then-wife Gloria Loring and show producer Al Burton. Alan Thicke is probably best remembered as the father, "Jason Seaver", from Growing Pains from 1985-1992, but he also previously co-wrote some TV game show theme songs including Wheel of Fortune (in 1975) and The Joker's Wild (in 1972). Gloria Loring may be best remembered as “Liz Chandler” on Days of Our Lives from 1980 to 1986 and for her hit 1985 duet "Friends and Lovers". The song is upbeat and catchy featuring an outstanding internal rhyme scheme. Thicke and Loring along with two other singers perform the theme song. Here is the season 5 opening for Diff'rent Strokes featuring the theme song "It Takes Diff'rent Strokes" performed by Alan Thicke, Linda Harmon, Gloria Loring and Gene Morford...

Since Facts of Life was a spin-off of Diff'rent Strokes, the same group came back to co-write the iconic theme song to Facts of Life as well with Loring providing vocals on that one. They co-wrote two of the most memorable '80s sitcom theme songs and then Thicke went on to star in Growing Pains but surprisingly was not asked to write the theme song for that one.

"Everybody's got a special kind of story. Everybody finds a way to shine. It don't matter that you got not a lot. So what? They'll have theirs, you'll have yours, and I'll have mine. And together we'll be fine! 'Cuz it takes Diff'rent Strokes to move the world, yes it does. It takes Diff'rent Strokes to move the world."

Hope you enjoyed tuning in for another "episode" of TV Theme Songs!


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page