Married with Children... All Things Episodic

The first MWC DVD releases from season three onwards contained a replacement theme music. Read more about the DVDs here.

Full information below, but this is a video compilation of all the actors' credits (incl. syndication shots) from the entire 11-year run. The full length Love and Marriage is heard here:

"Love and Marriage" was written by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen, and sung by Frank Sinatra. Lyrics can be found at the bottom of this page.


The standard opening credit sequence is as follows:
Buckingham Fountain springs into action and the first note of "Love and Marriage" begins. Then, if it is seasons 1, 2 or 3, two shots of Chicago will be seen. These shots are from National Lampoon's Vacation - you can see the Griswold station wagon driving, from a birdseye view. Then the blue MARRIED word leaps out onto a black screen and proceeds to be covered in dark green slime. Moments later, WITH CHILDREN stamps onto the screen with a "prison cell clank", forming the MWC logo. Seasons 4-11 just have the shot of Buckingham Fountain and then straight in to the MWC logo.

The actors are then introduced, credited in this order: starring Ed O'Neill, Katey Sagal, David Garrison (seasons 1-4 only), Amanda Bearse, Christina Applegate, David Faustino, and Ted McGinley (seasons 6-11 only).
Then an outside shot of the Bundy house while some of the production crew credits are displayed.

Then the couch sequence: (see pics below) Al, sitting on the couch, gives out money to Bud, then Kelly, then Peggy sits next to him and Al gives money to her. Then the dog leaps up from behind and Al gives him money. (This is probably what sticks in people's minds most - the fact that Al spends money on everyone, including the dog.)
The opening credits end with a bang with the EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/S stamp, and that gets slimed too. The only episode that slime doesn't happen is (the first spinoff attempt) "Top of the Heap" (0525)
The total time of the opening credits is 1 minute, 11 seconds.

For seasons 1-3, the WITH CHILDREN stamp appears just after Sinatra sings "Love" for the second time.
In seasons 4-10, the stamp appears before Sinatra starts singing, and the two shots of Chicago have been eliminated.
*In the recent Mill Creek DVD releases of the show, the original music has been put back, BUT IT IS RIPPED FROM SEASON 1, so the 'clang' of the MWC logo doesn't happen where it should from seasons 4 onwards. (Happens after the logo, over the actor credits.)*

In season 11, a much shorter sequence is used: The MARRIED title pops up earlier, therefore the actors' credits are sooner, more crew credits are seen over the shot of the Bundy house and there is no couch sequence at all, with the EXECUTIVE PRODUCER stamp appearing over a shot of Buckingham Fountain dying back down.
The total time for these credits is approximately 35 seconds.

Throughout the eleven seasons, the credits have changed as the show progressed and the actors grew older:

In season one, the opening credits consisted of solely the actors' names in the style of the WITH CHILDREN stamp.
The Bundy house is a weird brown colour.
The first of four couch sequences can be seen, consisting of a very young Bundy family, including Al in a red shirt, Peg in a pinkish outfit, Kelly with short bleached hair and Bud looking... well, young.

season one and two

Season two had the exact same credits, except that the Bundy house is now the 'real' color it should be.

Season three saw a brand new set of credits:
The actors now have screen shots accompanying their names:
Al motionless on the couch, holding a remote control with his other hand in his pants; Peggy tossing salad and smoking in a pink top; Steve at the Bundy's door holding an icepack to his head and a baseball in the other hand; Marcy at the Bundy's kitchen table finding a cigarette in her salad; Kelly sneaking in through the door in a red outfit, then smiling at the camera; Bud (with a mullet) reading a magazine called "Boudoir" and nodding his head enthusiastically.
And a brand new couch sequence: Al again gives out money to the family in the same order; just a new shooting of this sequence as the actors are now nearly two years older.

season three

Season four saw yet another brand new set of credits:
The screen shots of Chicago are gone, and the MARRIED logo appears sooner in the music.
Al is again sitting on the couch, this time he actually puts his hand into his pants; Peggy again in the kitchen tossing a salad and smoking, this time in a blue top; Steve at his front door (the house number is 9674, which actually belonged to the Bundys from season 4 up to episode 513) ducking to miss being hit by a flying newspaper (Steve is eliminated after episode 415); Marcy again at the Bundy kitchen table finding a cigarette in her salad; Kelly on the couch painting her nails; Bud on the phone only to have its cord fall out.
And a brand new couch sequence again. The same sequence, just updated. Bud is wearing a striped yellow shirt, Kelly an orange top and Peg wearing her outfit from "Hot Off The Grill" (401). Strangely, "Hot off the Grill" (the first episode of season four) uses season three's credits.

season four

Season five (and season 4 from episode 416 on) uses the exact same credits sequence, only without Steve. Because of this, each actor's credit is ever so slightly longer.

season five

Season six had a mixture of new and old shots. Al and Peggy's stay the same; Marcy is now seen with a different hairstyle and at the Bundy's front door only to have it shut in her face (she then looks through one of the door's windows); Kelly's stays the same; Bud's new credit is a shot of him pumping iron and kissing his bicep from "Wabbit Season" (0508); and the newly included Ted McGinley is sitting at the bar from "She's Having My Baby, part two" with the dancer's legs (her name is Cyndi Pass) seen.

season six

For the first episode of season 6 only, a different shot of Jefferson/Ted is used: he is again sitting at the bar, but this time pours the contents of the beer in his lap while staring up at the dancer.

season six episode 1

Season seven is almost the same:
The logo seems a bit darker. Episodes 701-703 have the same credits as season six. From 704 on, Jefferson's new credit shows him in a bar, with a tray spilling beer bottles. In episode 704, Jefferson becomes a topless bartender.

season seven

Season eight has almost all new actor credits:
The font of the names is slightly more skinny and yellower. Al is again on the couch, with his hand in his pants and channel surfing; Peggy comes down the stairs, in the same outfit she wore in "A Tisket, A Tasket, Can Peggy Make A Basket?" (801); Marcy again at the Bundy's door wearing a "Feminism Lives" t-shirt and holding a collection jar, only to have the door shut on her again; Kelly's credits is unchanged from previous seasons; Bud's shot is a new one of him filling in his beard with a Sharpie and looking in a hand mirror; and Jefferson is now sitting on one of the Bundys' chairs, shuffling a deck of cards.

season eight

Season nine saw new credits again:
Al is on the couch wearing a dressing gown and puts his hand in his... dressing gown belt, from "Just A Little Off The Top" (812); Peggy's is the same as season eight (Katey Sagal was pregant and absent the time these credits were done); Marcy's is a shot of her wearing a "Greener Cleaner Chicago" shirt, mouthing "in my America" from "Ride Scare" (825); Kelly now has short hair and has a freshly created credit where she comes through front door, mouthing "I got a job!" and bouncing happily; Bud is on the couch talking on the phone from "Sofa So Good" (815); and Jefferson at the front door blowing a party favour from "The D'Arcy Files" (820), only the frame does not freeze like at the end of that episode. From season 9 on, Jefferson's credit now says "And Ted McGinley as Jefferson D'Arcy", before it used to just say "Ted McGinley".

season nine

Season ten had entirely new credits (from 1004 on):
Al, on the couch, puts his hand relaxedly into his pants. Peggy is clapping her hands at the TV from "25 Years And What Do You Get?" (918); Marcy comes in through the Bundy's front door from "I Want My Psycho Dad part one" (913); Kelly is standing behind the couch in a red dress, with even shorter hair, from "Something Larry This Way Comes" (916); Bud is fondling a model leg in the shoe store from "Naughty But Niece" (904); and Jefferson opens the door and immediately closes it upon seeing Marcy, from "Sleepless In Chicago" (908).
And a brand new couch sequence, the last of the four:
Bud comes out of his new bedroom in the basement to tap Peggy on the shoulder for money, then Al, and he gets it; Kelly asks Al, then Peggy, for money, who gets it from Al and gives to Kelly, and she's elated; then Peggy herself wants money so Al gives it to her; then the new Bundy dog, Lucky, did exactly what Buck did (they're the same dog, after all!) and gets money from Al too. Katey Sagal was pregnant at the time of filming this sequence, so Peg is sitting the entire time.
For episodes 1001-1003, season nine's credits are used, as Lucky didn't replace Buck until the end of 1003.

season ten

Season eleven used almost the same shots and no couch sequence:
A shorter sequence overall: The fountain is already in action when the music starts and the MARRIED logo pops out earlier than in the last six seasons.
Al, Peggy, Marcy, Kelly and Jefferson's credits are all the same. The only new shot is Bud, sitting on the couch holding a magazine and looking flabbergasted, which is an outtake from "The Stepford Peg" (1101).
The couch sequence has been totally removed, with the credits ending at the 35-second mark with a shot of Buckingham Fountain going down.

season eleven

Syndication credits

Syndicated episodes of Married with Children have these unusual opening credits:
The MWC logo is displayed very quickly on screen, then the two screen shots of Chicago are shown. Then the actor credits: Al's is the same as seasons 4-7; Peggy's is a new credit extracted from "Pilot" (101) of her on the couch, with Katey Sagal's name on the right instead of the usual left; Steve and Marcy's credits are both from season three; Kelly's is a new one with her blowing a whistle into the phone from "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (205); Bud's is also new one with him on the ski training machine from "Master the Possibilities" (216); and Jefferson's credits is the same as season nine - if he is even included at all.


The closing credits for MWC have almost always been the same.
The credits are always rolled over the still shot of Al and Peg on the couch (where the opening credits left off) except for season eleven, as there was no couch sequence. In season 11, the credits are displayed (they don't scroll) over a black screen. Season 4 had the couch still of Al & Peg from season three's credits.
There are some episodes where a different shot is used: 403 contained a still of the campsite; 412 and 413 an outside shot of the Bundy house covered in snow; The cast on the beach in 523; Al in his senior citizen's outfit in 719; Al driving through the desert in 817; The brick wall Al is hiding behind in 901; The Bundys and the Peases together in 909; Al and Henry watching TV with binoculars in 1024.
The text for the credits has always been yellow. Except for "Sue Casa, His Casa" (503), which for some reason had white text.

As for the music, it's always been the instrumental part of "Love and Marriage", and is approximately 30 seconds long. Except for a few random episodes that needed to have extra music injected into the credits as there was a long guest cast list or extra credits included (e.g. episodes 317 and 419). The spin-off pilot "Top of the Heap" (525) uses the MWC theme, but is played slightly slower than that of regular episodes.

There certain times when the regular theme music is replaced with something else: "Oldies But Young'Uns" (518) uses "Anna (Go With Him)" [Al's song he spent the episode searching for]; "It's A Bundyful Life" (both parts) uses "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas"; B.B. King playing his blues song in "Look Who's Barking" (513); "Take My Wife, Please" (807) has everybody continuing to dance and sing to YMCA; and "God Help Ye Merry Bundymen" (1113) has a medley of Deck the Halls and Jingle Bells for end credit music, with a still shot of the Bundys as they were at the end of the episode with "Happy Holidays" displayed in the corner.
And occasionally, there is no music whatsoever - an extra scene will sometimes take the place. This happens in episodes: 720 (Kelly alone in the courtroom); 721 (The Bundys in the movie theatre); 724 (Kelly on the phone to a car dealership); 814 (Bud and Kelly giving Al another present); 816 (Al and Jefferson fighting over an apple); 821 (Al revealing a refrigerator); 824 (Al and Peg watching the 3D credits roll by); 1016 (Bud still frozen in front of the TV); 1023 (Al and Marcy doing another take of their commercial); 1025 (in the studio with Calvin, sports stars & "Bruce Jenner"); and 1026 (Griff about to be electrocuted).
This paves the way for season eleven, in which the majority of episodes have an epilogue before the end credits.

Some of the closing credits scenes have been removed from the DVDs and replaced with a still image. This is because the theme music was replaced for the DVD release, and the "Love & Marriage" text was removed from the end credits. Even if it has been put back, the scenes are not always restored, making the episodes incomplete.

Four couch sequences:
the 4 couch sequences

Love and Marriage lyrics:

Love and marriage,
Love and marriage,
Go together like a horse and carriage
This, I tell you, brother,
You can't have one without the other.
Love and marriage,
Love and marriage,
It's an institute you can't disparage
Ask the local gentry,
And they will say it's elementary.
Try, try, try to separate them
It's an illusion.
Try, try, try and you will only come
to this conclusion
Love and marriage...
[cut - this is where it ends for MWC]
Love and marriage,
Go together like a horse and carriage
Dad was told by mother
You can't have one
You can't have none
You can't have one without the other.
(instrumental [closing credit music])
Try, try, try to separate them
It's an illusion
Try, try, try and you will only come
to this conclusion
Love and marriage
Love and marriage
Go together like a horse and carriage
Dad was told by mother
You can't have one
You can't have none
You can't have one without the ooooooooottttherrrr.