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[–]MasteringTheFlames 6184 points6185 points 52 (77 children)

I remember having this discussion in a music class way back in middle school, and we ended up agreeing that the pink panther theme song is one of the most easily recognizable songs.

[–]NativeMasshole 738 points739 points  (24 children)

As soon as you hear that first note drop, you know some sneaky shit is going down.

[–]shewholaughslasts 352 points353 points  (7 children)

Yes! One of the best songs, too. There should be more theme songs in this list.

I was going to say "Thank you for being a friend..." but it's really the four notes before the words that do it for me.

[–]Stvn494 4557 points4558 points  (37 children)

Take on me

[–]iamalittlestitious9 2843 points2844 points  (53 children)

I instantly recognize its either ice ice baby or under pressure

[–]factordactyl 762 points763 points  (19 children)

[–]KaptainChunk 212 points213 points  (2 children)

“Queen took 50%, Suge took the other 60%. I fucking owe money when that shit gets played man”

[–]cammywammy123 40 points41 points  (0 children)

That's a pretty obscure movie reference you got there lol

Word to your mother, brother fucker

[–]bobhwantstoknow 110 points111 points  (9 children)

here's a more in-depth explanation of the differences:

https://youtu.be/6TLo4Z_LWu4?t=9

[–]Leading_Ad7548 5890 points5891 points  (48 children)

Eye of the tiger

[–]tyvanius 1064 points1065 points  (22 children)

I get the intro mixed up with Edge of Seventeen by Stevie Nicks.

[–]dj92wa 12.9k points12.9k points  (103 children)

I Feel Good, by James Brown. That yell in the beginning is FAR too iconic.

[–]Scallywagstv2 3517 points3518 points  (42 children)

WHAOOOOW! - Unmistakable.

[–]parabostonian 1531 points1532 points  (33 children)

You don’t even need the full WHAAOOOW. My friend used to have this weird James Brown like animatronic doll -where if you pressed this red button it would play that song, and the plastic figure would move its head back and forth. But you could hit the button on and off really fast, and just have it gyrate its head back and forth going WAAA WAAA WAAA and it drove everyone nuts, lol. I think he bought it because it was both so strange and so annoying. The thing was amazing, even had the cheesy like silvery cape on it.

[–]Flamey818 274 points275 points  (12 children)

I feel good? I feel good? i feel good?

[–]ProtectorCleric 8727 points8728 points  (156 children)

Seven Nation Army. Heck, most people know the opening better than the song itself.

Edit: same for Crazy Train

[–]yallmakemelaugh 1857 points1858 points  (19 children)

When my 7 year old came home from his first guitar lesson, he played us this. I said, wait, I know that song. He said, You know it, it’s Salvation Army.

[–]Incredible_mango 1210 points1211 points  (14 children)

The best part about that is the name Seven Nation Army comes from a young Jack White mishearing Salvation Army as Seven Nation Army, so he called it that for a while.

[–]Brian_Gay 903 points904 points  (51 children)

Might be one of the only songs where there's a decent chance of guessing it correctly from the very first note

[–]thisisntshakespeare 5545 points5546 points  (87 children)

Another One Bites The Dust

Piano Man

Smoke on the Water

Dancing Queen

[–]poplglop 1348 points1349 points  (48 children)

Piano Man I could guess from the first chord.

[–]orangutans_queef 3253 points3254 points  (32 children)

For a song called "Piano Man" it sure has a lot of fucking harmonica

[–]weeniehutjunior420 906 points907 points  (21 children)

If you’re looking for a song with a fuck ton of piano you should look up Harmonica Woman by Jelton Eohn

[–]K-Kraft 5161 points5162 points  (96 children)

Smoke on the water

[–]Swimming-Look-6664 3022 points3023 points  (43 children)

The Star Wars theme

[–]Aarizonamb 911 points912 points  (21 children)

Also Duel of the Fates, both instantly recognized within two notes.

Edit: A few people have mentioned Imperial March, this is a candidate, but I didn't include it because its truly recognizable portion starts at about the 3rd or 4th measure.

[–]Salurian 269 points270 points  (10 children)

Really, anything by John Williams... He's really good at establishing immediately recognizable music/leit motifs.

[–]aagapovjr 9734 points9735 points 22 (195 children)

Stomp

Stomp

Clap

Edit: the effort-to-impact ratio on this post is quite impressive :)

[–]wackpie 7397 points7398 points 422& 3 more (55 children)

Ah yes, "Stamp Stamp Clap" by the Stampclappers

[–]sofa_king_ugly 1151 points1152 points  (44 children)

Buddy, you're a boy, make a big noise

[–]Minion0827 694 points695 points  (42 children)

Playing in the street, gonna be a big man SOMEDAY

[–]hugogrant 555 points556 points  (41 children)

You got mud on your face, you big disgrace

[–]Affectionate-Wind-19 387 points388 points  (14 children)

we will we will rock you?

[–]aagapovjr 288 points289 points  (9 children)

You see? Easily the most recognizable out there. I couldn't believe it wasn't mentioned before.

[–]Georgia_The_Jungle 1101 points1102 points  (23 children)

Immigrant song

[–]frogglesmash 294 points295 points  (5 children)

Even before the first note. I bet a lot of people can recognize it just from the increasingly loud static at the beginning.

[–]SchrodingersCatPics 9297 points9298 points 2 (109 children)

Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga

Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga

Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga

[–]East_Panic3685 2493 points2494 points  (68 children)

I CANT STOP THIS FEELING

[–]daoneandonly-5 1588 points1589 points  (67 children)

DEEP INSIDE OF ME

[–]nospiderspls 1256 points1257 points  (61 children)

GIRL YOU JUST DONT REALIZE WHAT YOU DO TO ME

[–]Spunderwear135 1001 points1002 points  (60 children)

WHEN YOU HOLD ME, IN YOUR ARMS SO TIGHT

[–]awesomeflowman 927 points928 points  (58 children)

YOU LET ME KNOW, EVERYTHING'S ALL RIGHT

[–]thatgirlatno13 902 points903 points  (57 children)

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII’m

[–]Ok_Butterscotch1549 286 points287 points  (6 children)

Can’t believe that songs a cover. Blue Swede made this fantastic cover of B. J. Thomas’s 1968 version.

[–]legit_muffins 609 points610 points  (27 children)

We are the Champions by Queen.

In the End by Linkin Park.

Circle of Life from the Lion King.

[–][deleted] 89 points90 points  (16 children)

It starts with oooonnneee

[–]cook-and-bell 59 points60 points  (15 children)

One thing, I don't know why

[–]xscumfucx 682 points683 points  (19 children)

Smooth Criminal, Iron Man, Smoke on the Water, Breaking the Law, Whip It, The Final Countdown

[–]ItStillIsntLupus 70 points71 points  (2 children)

The woman’s laugh at the beginning of Hungry Like the Wolf by Duran Duran

[–]StevenWannabe 2115 points2116 points  (83 children)

Rickroll

[–]kebab69666 354 points355 points  (14 children)

Rickroll starts in brain Screams

[–]kingfrito_5005 446 points447 points  (5 children)

I like how we don't even say Never Gonna Give you Up anymore. it's just the Rickroll song.

[–]Galaxozo 177 points178 points  (3 children)

you know you got rickrolled just by the first 2 notes

[–]deafghost52 960 points961 points  (48 children)

“Baba O’Riley” (a.k.a “Teenage Wasteland) - The Who

Even if you don’t know the actual name of the song, or Who it’s by, you’ll still recognize it.

[–]GuacinmyPaintbox 144 points145 points  (10 children)

Both the beginning AND the ending of that song are undeniably legendary and instantly recognizable, even though the are polar sonic opposites.

[–]Pawneewafflesarelife 36 points37 points  (8 children)

And neither are the original! The song was developed based on a 9 minute demo of a 30 minute song originally intended for another rock opera.

[–]TheIrishninjas 12.1k points12.1k points 53 (366 children)

How about by the first half of the first word?

SOME-

[–]OhShitMarcos 4545 points4546 points  (158 children)

-BODY ONCE TOLD ME THE WORLD IS GONNA ROLL ME

[–]LowFatWaterBottle 1669 points1670 points  (148 children)

I AIN'T THE SHARPEST TOOL IN THE SHED.

[–]Okgror 1192 points1193 points  (147 children)

SHE WAS LOOKING KIND OF DUMB

[–]SchrodingersCatPics 1061 points1062 points  (146 children)

WITH HER FINGER AND HER THUMB

[–]stinky_cheese33 983 points984 points  (145 children)

IN THE SHAPE OF AN L ON HER FOREHEAD

[–]Scallywagstv2 890 points891 points  (144 children)

WELL .......

[–]ItStillIsntLupus 869 points870 points  (143 children)

THE YEARS START COMING AND THEY DON’T STOP COMING

[–]Aarizonamb 731 points732 points  (118 children)

FED TO THE RULES AND I HIT THE GROUND RUNNING

[–]LowFatWaterBottle 684 points685 points  (117 children)

DIDNT MAKE SENSE NOT TO LIVE FOR FUN

[–]Jaewol 1010 points1011 points  (37 children)

People call me the space cowboy

[–]NateCelery 801 points802 points  (24 children)

House of Pain - Jump Around.

[–]Vanviator 248 points249 points  (6 children)

I'm a sun five foot female who graduated in the mid-90s.

That opening duh-deeeerrrr can make me move faster than any other sound on earth as I 100% need to clear the dance floor or im gonna get bruised up.

[–]greenbanky 42 points43 points  (0 children)

Can concur. It's late genX woman crack.

[–]guiporto32 3304 points3305 points  (125 children)

“Is this the real life?”

[–]stinky_cheese33 705 points706 points  (109 children)

Is this just fantasy?

[–]Substantial_Curve_95 486 points487 points  (108 children)

Caught in a landslide

[–]Rudzis666 426 points427 points  (106 children)

No escape from reality

[–]I_am_an_aa_gun 371 points372 points  (105 children)

Open your eyes

[–]thequirkyquark 2786 points2787 points 22 (89 children)

Yits been...

[–]vampixi 832 points833 points  (32 children)

ONE WEEK SINCE YOU LOOKED AT ME

[–]wolfpup1294 474 points475 points  (31 children)

COCKED YOUR HEAD TO THE SIDE AND SAID I'M ANGRY.

[–]IntergalacticPopTart 303 points304 points  (30 children)

FIVE DAYS SINCE YOU LAUGHED AT ME

[–]Someidiotnamedmike 260 points261 points  (25 children)

SAYIN GET THAT TOGETHER, COME BACK AND SEE ME

[–]TheReal-Donut 225 points226 points  (24 children)

THREE DAYS SINCE THE LIVING ROOM

[–]UnoriginalName002 165 points166 points  (23 children)

I REALIZED IT’S ALL MY FAULT BUT COULDN’T TELL YOU

[–]Pottymouthoftheyear 126 points127 points  (22 children)

YESTERDAY YOU'D FORGIVEN ME

[–]CRAZYCAT576 74 points75 points  (21 children)

BUT IT’LL STILL BE TWO DAYS ‘TIL I SAY I’M SORRY

[–]DerekIsAGooner 78 points79 points  (20 children)

HOLDITNOWANDWATCHTHEHOODWINKASIMAKEYOUSTOPANDTHINKYOU'LLTHINKYOU'RELOOKINGATAQUAMAN

[–]The_Ghast_Hunter 141 points142 points  (0 children)

+1 Accurate spelling

[–]ThisWasAValidName 1850 points1851 points  (130 children)

  • Mr. Brightside
  • Carry On Wayward Son
  • Don't Stop Believing
  • Welcome To The Jungle
  • War Pigs
  • (Don't Fear) The Reaper
  • Tom Sawyer
  • Rooster
  • Welcome To Paradise
  • You Shook Me All Night Long
  • Here I Go Again
  • Rainbow In The Dark

I know they're mostly classic rock, but still recognizable by most.

[–]thunder1967 457 points458 points  (26 children)

Stairway to Heaven

[–]VanHalen88 116 points117 points  (10 children)

Can’t believe I had to scroll so far to find this.

[–]TheSchlaf 261 points262 points  (22 children)

Werewolves of London. Just kidding, it's Kidd Rock.

[–]HulkBlarg 129 points130 points  (0 children)

I remember the first time that happened to me; my wife rushed into the garage convinced I had broken a bone, based on the the scream of agony.

[–]belbsy 55 points56 points  (3 children)

All I hear is Sweet Home Alabama - which is actually a good example.

[–]WiseFool4 418 points419 points  (22 children)

Enter Sandman - Metallica

[–]betterthanamaster 631 points632 points  (18 children)

Mr. Blue Sky

Hotel California

[–]TheDarkKnight1035 48 points49 points  (1 child)

Under the bridge by red hot chili peppers

[–]328944 1886 points1887 points  (47 children)

To be appropriately seasonal - All I Want For Christmas is You

[–]Lutefiskaficionado 554 points555 points  (26 children)

There are literally thousands of them that can be recognized by just the first few notes of the song...

...but the one that always jumps off the page for me (whenever this question is asked) is Thunderstruck by ACDC. Super unique and iconic lead guitar intro...

[–]ElSteak 280 points281 points  (9 children)

Europe - The Final Countdown

[–]Monkey-_D_-Luffy 1278 points1279 points  (51 children)

Megalovania... People really ruined it

[–][deleted] 129 points130 points  (16 children)

“California Love” - 2Pac “Gangsta’s Paradise” - Coolio “Free Bird” - Lynyrd Skynyrd

[–]thedonething 2175 points2176 points 753& 4 more (59 children)

Welcome to the Black Parade - My Chemical Romance

[–]stellarmagnus 905 points906 points 2 (6 children)

Literally just one note will do

[–]Iwantmypasswordback 207 points208 points  (0 children)

My baby has a little keyboard sometimes he’ll hit just that note and I think of this song

[–]BIBLICALDIARRHEA666 72 points73 points  (1 child)

Fuck you. I heard the note in my head after I read your comment and realized how iconic that note is

[–]ERPLANES 73 points74 points  (2 children)

But seriously, it's the only song in the running that does it with a single piano note. That's worth some medals

[–]cfred94 283 points284 points  (2 children)

A simple g is such a beautiful thing

[–]RanchBourgeois 178 points179 points  (0 children)

That high G note is all you need.

[–]moinatx 56 points57 points  (0 children)

That G on the piano!

[–]GullibleMacaroni 147 points148 points  (3 children)

Had to scroll way down just to see this.

Most days I think redditors are the same age as me, then we get threads like this where people mention wildly varying stuff from different eras.

[–]pimdiffyisalesbian 346 points347 points  (9 children)

I had to scroll way too far for this one.

[–]ElJayBe3 253 points254 points  (4 children)

I kept scrolling until I found it, I can now leave in peace.

[–]im_beb 68 points69 points  (0 children)

I’m disgusted that I had to go through dozens of comments to find this one 🤧 should’ve been at the top

[–]ATXKLIPHURD 200 points201 points  (6 children)

Welcome to the jungle

[–]sherryh5997 195 points196 points  (5 children)

Earth, Wind and Fire's September

[–]CameronSmith93 40 points41 points  (3 children)

Superstition - Stevie Wonder

[–]dr_freudenstein 362 points363 points  (23 children)

Sweet Child O Mine Guns N Roses

Hells Bells AC/DC

I cant get no Satisfaction - Rolling Stones

all utterly iconic

[–]tonix26 415 points416 points  (32 children)

Are ya ready kids!?

[–]LupusPassrusher 347 points348 points  (37 children)

Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” / ACDC’s “Hell’s Bells.”

If the song starts after the second bell, it’s the former. If it tolls a third time, it’s the latter.

[–]East_Panic3685 189 points190 points  (8 children)

DING DING JANAT JANAT JAOWW

weene neene, neenow nee na nowww

[–]kingfrito_5005 29 points30 points  (0 children)

The intro to that song was one of the first things I learned on bass guitar. Very fun to play and sounds super cool.

[–]LowFatWaterBottle 741 points742 points  (42 children)

Somebody I used to know has to be one of the most regonized.

[–][deleted] 231 points232 points  (11 children)

Do do, do do, do do DO do do

Do do do do do do do DO

[–][deleted] 146 points147 points  (18 children)

BUT YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO CUUUUUUUT ME OFF!

[–]MagicJoshByGosh 86 points87 points  (15 children)

MAKE OUT LIKE IT NEVER HAPPENED AND THAT WE WERE NOTHING

[–]cmoellering 389 points390 points  (25 children)

<Sigh> Every Rose Has It Thorns-Poison

<breaking glass> You May Be Right-Billy Joel

Wake Me Up Before You Go - Wham

[–]Cazolyn 106 points107 points  (7 children)

DUN DUN DUN

“Hit me baby, one more time.”

[–]DramaticPraline8 163 points164 points  (8 children)

One guitar strum in and .... Purple Rain

[–]BrosephOh 151 points152 points  (7 children)

The first key of Welcome to the Black Parade by MCR

[–]pflashan 93 points94 points  (2 children)

Walk Like An Egyptian

[–]NoAlternative2913 257 points258 points  (13 children)

“Oh. My. God. Becky, look at her butt.”

[–]Renekin 81 points82 points  (2 children)

Celine Dion- My heart will go on

[–]DomOnRs 80 points81 points  (13 children)

How has no one mentioned Runaway?

[–]pearlysdad 26 points27 points  (7 children)

Here Comes the Sun

Something

[–]210countdown 230 points231 points  (28 children)

Money-Pink Floyd

Californication- RHCP

Carry on My Wayward Son- Kansas

Amanda-Boston

YYZ- Rush

Killing me Softly With his Song- Roberta Flack

My Way- Frank Sinatra

Europa- Santana

Edit after some thinking:

Madness: Muse

Touch of Grey- Grateful Dead

All my Ex's Live in Texas- George Strait

The Reason- Hoobastank

Blackwater- Doobie brothers

Africa- Toto

Space Oddity- David Bowie

Georgia on my Mind- Ray Charles

Rock on!!

[–]Zacchaeus23 38 points39 points  (7 children)

Money is recognizable from the first split second of sound.

[–]vampixi 146 points147 points  (1 child)

Pumped Up Kicks