The Big Bang Theory‘s theme song, titled “The History of Everything,” became iconic along with the show, but it also resulted in a lawsuit. It’s pretty rare nowadays for a TV show to have a theme song with lyrics, and actually pretty rare for a show to have an opening credits sequence at all, as more and more shows – such as Supernatural and The Good Place – have gone to using a quick screen with the title on it.
In that way, The Big Bang Theory‘s theme song is a bit of a blast from TV past, which might be one reason it proved so popular with fans. “The History of Everything” was written and performed by the Canadian band Barenaked Ladies, which hit it big in the U.S. back in the late 1990s with their album Stunt. That album featured huge pop hits “One Week” and “It’s All Been Done.” Their follow-up album Maroon also did pretty well, bolstered by the hit single “Pinch Me.”
However, while “The History of Everything” proved to be another success for the group, one now former member isn’t exactly pleased with what occurred. Here’s why The Big Bang Theory theme song led to a lawsuit.
The Big Bang Theory’s Theme Song Resulted In A Lawsuit
The Big Bang Theory premiered, theme song already included, in September 2007. In 2009, Steven Page, co-founder of Barenaked Ladies along with Ed Robertson, left the band to pursue a solo career. By 2015 though, Page had filed a lawsuit against Robertson, claiming that he had been promised 20 percent of the profits generated by the song, and had yet to receive a dime. He also claimed that Robertson was keeping all the money for himself. When filing the lawsuit, Page said he wasn’t sure exactly how much money he was owed, but he believed the theme to have earned over $1 million, making 20 percent quite a good chunk of cash.
In 2016, the lawsuit was stayed in favor of Robertson, pending the result of a related bit of litigation. However, there’s no evidence publicly available either way as to whether the case ever got settled for good. That said, the fact that Page reunited with Barenaked Ladies for a one-off performance in 2018 suggests that either the suit was dropped or settled out of court somehow. Page didn’t rejoin the band permanently, but he and Robertson appear to be back on good terms. Barenaked Ladies recorded a new acoustic version of The Big Bang Theory theme ahead of 2019’s series finale, although Page didn’t participate.