Theme Song

The Animaniacs Theme is, as its title suggests, the song that opens every episode of Animaniacs (with the exception of episodes 65 and 83). The song describes the set-up of the Yakko, Wakko, and Dot's madcap adventures and also introduces several of the other major characters on the show.

The theme was composed by Richard Stone and the lyrics by creator Tom Ruegger. The main title was directed by Rich Arons and animated by Tokyo Movie Shinsha.

The theme has been translated in twenty-one languages.


The Warners:
It's time for Animaniacs!
And we're zany to the max!
So just sit back and relax.
You'll laugh 'til you collapse.
We're Animaniacs!
Yakko and Wakko:
Come join the Warner Brothers...
And the Warner Sister, Dot!
The Warners:
Just for fun we run
Around the Warner movie lot.
They lock us in the tower
Whenever we get caught.
But we break loose
And then vamoose
And now you know the plot.
We're Animaniacs!
Dot is cute and Yakko yaks,
Wakko packs away the snacks
While Bill Clinton plays the sax. (Season 1)
We've got wisecracks by the stacks. (Season 2)
We pay tons of income tax. (Seasons 3-5)
We're Animaniacs!
Meet Pinky and the Brain
Who want to rule the universe. (Seasons 1-2)
Meet Ralph and Dr. Scratchansniff,
Say hi to Hello Nurse. (Seasons 3-5)
Goodfeathers flock together,
Slappy whacks them with her purse.
Buttons chases Mindy,
While Rita sings a verse.
The writers flipped,
We have no script!
Why bother to rehearse?
We're Animaniacs!
We have pay-or-play contracts!
We're zany to the max!
There's baloney in our slacks!
We're Animani-
Totally insane-y!
[variable line; see the following section]
Those are the facts!

Variable Line

This line is the third to last line in the theme song. It is always different depending on the show number. They are in the order that they first appeared on the show. In season 2, the variable verse in all the episodes was "here's the show's name-y".

  • Dot: Here's the show's name-y (Episodes 1, 4, 7, 69)
  • Warners: Pinky and The Brain-y (Episode 2)
  • Dot: Come back, Shane-y[1] (Episode 3)
  • Dot: The rain in Spain-y[2] (Episode 5)
  • Warners: Cockamamie (Episode 6)
  • Dot: Shirley MacLaine-y (unknown episodes)
  • Warners: How urbane-y (unknown episodes)
  • Yakko: Citizen Kane-y (unknown episodes)
  • Yakko: Andromeda Strain-y (unknown episodes)
  • Wakko: Where's Lon Chaney? (unknown episodes)
  • Yakko: Eisenhower Mamie (unknown episodes)
  • Yakko: Miss Cellan-y (unknown episodes)
  • Wakko: Chicken Chow Meiny (unknown episodes)
  • Yakko: Dana Delany (unknown episodes)
  • Warners: Hydroplane-y (unknown episodes)
  • Warners: Money down the drain-y (unknown episodes)
  • Dot: No pain, no gain-y (unknown episodes)
  • Wakko: Penny Lane-y (unknown episodes)
  • Yakko: Uhhhhhhhhhh... (unknown episodes)
  • Warners: Here's the Flame-y (unknown episodes)
  • Dot: Tarzan and Jane-y (unknown episodes)
  • Warners: Novocainey (unknown episodes)
  • Warners: Meet Mark Twain-y (unknown episodes)
  • Yakko: Presidential campaign-y (unknown episodes)
  • Wakko: Hunchback of Notre Dame-y (unknown episodes)
  • Warners: Bowling lane-y (unknown episodes)
  • Yakko: Bangor, Maine-y (unknown episodes)
  • Warners: Frasier Crane-y (unknown episodes)
  • Warners: Mister Haney (unknown episodes)
  • Dot: Quiche lorraine-y (unknown episodes)
  • Yakko: Lake Champlain-y (unknown episodes)
  • Dot: High octane-y (unknown episodes)
  • Warners: Public domain-y (unknown episodes)
  • Yakko: Candy cane-y (unknown episodes)
  • Dot: Nickelaney (Nickelodeon/Nicktoons airings only)


The following characters appear in the main title: Yakko Warner, Wakko Warner, Dot Warner, Dr. Scratchansniff, Ralph the Guard, President Bill Clinton, Albert Einstein, Thaddeus Plotz, Dracula, Ludwig von Beethoven, Bob Hope, Pinky, the Brain, Bobby, Squit, Pesto, Slappy Squirrel, Mindy, Buttons, Runt, Rita, Skippy Squirrel, Chicken Boo, Hello Nurse, Newt, Minerva Mink, Marita, Flavio, The Mime

The three people in the "xylophone" line next to Bob Hope appear to be the Three Stooges: Larry Fine, Curly Howard, and Moe Howard. (Look for Moe's hair as the giveaway).

One of the "writers" looks like William Shakespeare.

Other versions

  • The Animaniacs Game Pack has its own version of the theme song with different words describing the game.
  • There is also a song on the "Yakko's World" album that is the same tune titled "Travelin' maniacs".
  • An extended version of the theme was used for episode 82 (the third season finale) with an instrumental break and montage of clips from the show. This version was reused again for episodes 84, 94, and 99. It was also released on the Animaniacs soundtrack.
  • When the show was aired in reruns on Nickelodeon and Nicktoons, the song was cut down to less than half of its original length, and the variable lines at the end were all replaced with the newly-made line "Nickelaney", which was dubbed over the previously made line "Shirly MacLaine-y, with the Nickelodeon logo being placed inside the crystal ball. Also, in order to keep the song in one key, the first verse was pitch-shifted by two semitones and edited with the end. This is very noticeable as not only the music is pitch shifted to a B-flat, but the lead vocals sound much higher in tone.


Meet Pinky and the Brain
Who want to rule the universe.
There's Skippy and there's Slappy
And say hi to Hello Nurse.
  • Tom Ruegger's son and the voice of Skippy, Nathan Ruegger came up with the line "While Bill Clinton plays the sax."
  • The members of the head xylophone include Mr. Director, Ludwig van Beethoven from "Roll Over, Beethoven", Dracula from "Draculee, Dracula", Thaddeus Plotz, Dr. Scratchansniff, Albert Einstein from "Cookies for Einstein" and Ralph.
  • Rob Paulsen tweeted the original sheet music for the song on August 1, 2013. One of the unused lyrics that was to replace "While Bill Clinton plays the sax" was "It's a show that's made by hacks." Another line that has cropped up in the extended version of the theme is "We pay tons of income tax."
  • Ska-punk band Less Than Jake covered the track as "Channel 3" on their 2010 EP, "TV/EP". They used their own variant line, "covers are lame-y".


"Animaniacs" is translated into other languages as follows:

  • Arabic- الضاحكون
  • Bulgarian- Аниманиаци
  • Catalan- Animaníaco (possibly)
  • Chinese- 狂欢三宝
  • Croatian- Animanijaci
  • Czech- Animaci
  • Danish- De Animaniacs
  • Dutch- Animaniacs
  • English- Animaniacs
  • Finnish- Animaaniset
  • French- Les Animaniacs
  • Greek- Ανιμανιακς
  • German- Animaniacs
  • Hebrew- אנימניאקס
  • Hungarian- Animánia
  • Italian- Animaniacs
  • Japanese- アニマニアックス
  • Korean- 애니매니악스
  • Latin America- Animanía or Animaniacs
  • Portuguese- Os Animaníacs
  • Polish- Animaniacy
  • Romanian- Animaniacii
  • Russian- Озорные Анимашки
  • Spanish- Animaníacs
  • Ukrainian- Мультиманія


  1. References the 1953 Western movie Shane. Shane, played by Alan Ladd, leaves town at the end of the film after killing several men. A young boy who has come to idolize Shane yells after him, "Come back, Shane!"
  2. References a song from the Lerner & Lowe musical My Fair Lady.

See also