Best TV Dads

Dad culture is a large part of what makes TV so popular. Some shows have become cult classics because they depict fathers that are confident, loving and strong. For these reasons, we’ve compiled the best dads on television (and a few moms too).

The “50 greatest tv dads of all time” is a list that ranks the best TV Dads. The list includes some of the most iconic TV Dads such as Homer Simpson, Peter Griffin and Walter White.

Vintage family portrait.

To honor Father’s Day, we’ve produced a list of the finest and worst fathers on television. While these fathers are entirely fictional, they have had a significant impact on how Americans see parenting. From the “aw shucks” 1950s dad to the fumbling idiot dad of the twenty-first century, we’ve got you covered. Did we leave a father off the list who you believe should have been included? Do you have a quarrel with the people that made the list? Make your voice known in the comments section.


The Best Dads on TV

The Andy Griffith Show’s Andy Taylor

Vintage Andy Taylor portrait.

Sheriff Taylor did an excellent job raising his kid Opie as a single father. Sheriff Andy taught his kid and the rest of America one crucial lesson in every episode: do the right thing. Andy not only taught young Opie valuable life skills, but he also spent a lot of time with him on fishing expeditions.

The Simpsons’ Homer Simpson

Home simpson illustration.

I initially included Homer on my list of the worst TV fathers because he epitomizes television’s now-ubiquitous image of the fumbling idiot father. But then I changed my mind. He is, without a doubt, a bad model of physical fitness. Sure, he strangulates Bart on a regular basis. But, in the end, the guy would do everything for his children. One of my favorite instances was when, unknown to Bart, Homer pretended to be a robot in order for Bart to win the Robot War tournament. Homer was bludgeoned and jabbed with sharp metal tools throughout the procedure. Ah, a father’s unfailing and amusing love.

King of the Hill, Hank Hill

Hank and Bobby support our team in ground illustration.

Hank Hill may only sell gas and propane accessories, but he’s Heimlich County’s finest freaking propane salesperson. Hank does an excellent job of instilling in his son Bobby the values of hard labor, devotion, friendship, and family loyalty, as well as the significance of Dallas Cowboys football and Texas pride, and, of course, the folly of political correctness. Sure, Bobby is uncomfortable, and Hank is sometimes afraid that Bobby is a sissy, but he’s always there for Bobby when he needs him.

My Three Sons by Steve Douglas

Steve Douglas standing with sons.

My Three Sons was one of numerous 1950s and 1960s dad comedy about a widower father raising his children. Steve Douglas was an aviation engineer raising three boys in the Midwest and then in Los Angeles, California. The program aired for a total of 12 years, during which time America saw Steve’s three boys move out, attend college, and marry. Raising well-adjusted and successful family men qualifies you as a fantastic father.

Leave It To Beaver by Ward Cleaver

Vintage family portrait.

Ward Cleaver is the archetypal 1950s father. Ward may have been romanticized, but it doesn’t negate the fact that men should be encouraged to be the type of parent he was. Ward Clever was a successful businessman who valued his work as much as his family. Even when he was angry, the guy kept his voice low. To his boys, he read Mark Twain. Ward would accept his mistakes and teach his boys a lesson when he gave terrible advise (such urging the Beaver to get into a fight with a lady).


The Cosby Show’s Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable

The cosby show family portrait.

Cliff Huxtable managed to raise five children while working as a successful doctor. In addition, he has collected the greatest sweater collection in the history of television fatherhood. Dr. Huxtable’s advise to his children was usually sound guidance with a wisecrack thrown in for good measure. Dr. Huxtable instilled in his children the belief that personal responsibility is the key to life success. Dr. Huxtable, for example, expected his dyslexic son, Theo, to succeed in life and not use his learning disability as an excuse. If only more fathers were like Dr. Huxtable, the world would be a better place.

Jim Anderson is the author of “Father Knows Best.”

Jim Anderson with family portrait.

Jim Anderson, the patriarch of this almost ideal 1950s family, worked as an insurance salesman and was a wonderful father at home. Jim always closed each story by instilling a valuable moral lesson in his children. The program is a little campy and doesn’t represent genuine family life, but Jim Anderson is a refreshing picture of an American parent at a time when all you see on TV are a bunch of dopey dads.

The Brady Bunch’s Mike Brady

The brady bunch show illustration.

Mike Brady, a widower (another widower! ), was confronted with the task of blending his three boys with the three daughters of another lady. He addressed the matter by being a strong disciplinarian as well as a sympathetic individual. He had a home office/studio so he could work from home part of the time, and even when he went to his regular job, he returned home about the time the kids got home from school. He was named “Father of the Year” on the program after Marcia wrote a newspaper article praising him. Mike is punished for ditching his man hairstyle for a curly perm and missing Greg’s high school graduation, despite being a fantastic father.

7th Heaven’s Eric Camden

Eric Camden portrait.

Eric Camden is the only one of the top TV fathers on our list that debuted in the previous 10 years. Eric was a father of seven children and a preacher at a local church, where he volunteered his time to aid churchgoers and troublesome teenagers. Each episode focused on a moral lesson that Eric’s family was forced to confront, either directly or indirectly. Alcoholism, premarital sex, and self-injury were all issues that were addressed on a regular basis. Eric was an excellent example of a parent attempting to keep his children on the right track in a culture that continuously encourages them to go the wrong road.

Happy Days by Howard Cunningham

Happy family portrait.

Mr. Cunningham (or “Mr. C,” as the Fonz affectionately referred to him) was not only the father of Richie and Joanie Cunningham, but also a father figure to the Fonz, Ralph Malph, and Potsie. In his home, he always made the rules. He was never a friend to his children, but always a kind authoritative figure. Mr. C was a fantastic father in general, despite not losing any sleep when his son Chuck went missing in the second season.


The Worst Dads on TV

The Sopranos’ Tony Soprano

Tony Soprano portrait.

Tony was able to support his family as a “trash man,” but he was a terrible parent in other ways. It’s difficult to be raised by a professional criminal who kills people without remorse, even your partner. Tony had an acrimonious connection with his children and had strayed on his wife. As a consequence, his children had severe emotional problems.

Al Bundy is a married man with two children.

Al Bundy giving pose by capture the moment.

Al Bundy have no redeeming characteristics. He was a loser who hoped he could return to his glory days as a high school football standout. He doled out criticism to his family with uncaring flair while sitting on the sofa with his hand in his trousers. He was caught in a dead end job as a shoe salesperson, where he couldn’t even perform well. He was in debt up to his ears. His connection with his children was strained, and his treatment of women, especially his wife, was appalling. Watch Married with Children if you want to learn how not to be a guy.

All in the Bunker Family by Archie Bunker

Archie Bunker portrait.

Because of Archie Bunker, the most prejudiced old guy in television history, All in the Family was a highly lauded sitcom that shattered barriers in terms of race, religion, and gender. Archie spent the most of his time in his living room recliner, screaming racist epithets and referring to his son-in-law as “Meathead.” While Archie became more sympathetic as the story continued, he remained a racist idiot.

Seinfeld’s Frank Costanza

Frank Costanza portrait.

George Costanza was a neurotic shell of a man for a reason: his father, Frank Costanza. Frank Costanza was a brash, neurotic, and obnoxious character. Frank constantly managed to make George’s life more difficult in some manner. Frank Costanza shouts at George Steinbrenner, George’s employer and the owner of the Yankees, for selling Jay Buhner in the episode when Steinbrenner arrives to notify George’s parents of George’s supposed death. Dad, I appreciate it. Although Frank Costanza earns kudos for establishing Festivus, those merits are offset by his development of “the bro.”

Family Guy’s Peter Griffin

Peter Griffin family guy illustration.

Peter Griffin is a terrible parent. He makes fun of Chris, ignores Stewie, and treats Meg with contempt. His decision to sell Meg to pay off a debt at the local pharmacy shop exemplifies his failure as a father. A parent who sells his daughter into slavery is deserving of a baseball bat to the face. Of course, it would be funny if this happened to Peter. And it’ll almost certainly feature a weird TV comedy flashback.

John Locke’s Father Is Missing

Man bending down John Locke in office.

John Locke had some major parental difficulties prior to the catastrophe of Oceanic Flight 815. His father first abandoned him when he was a youngster. He eventually sees him as an adult, but instead of embraces and cries of delight, John’s father connives him out of a kidney and then abandons him once again. Later, John Locke and his father cross paths again, and this time Locke is welcomed with a push out an eight-story window. Locke gets crippled as a result. But wait, there’s more! There’s nothing like being stranded on a remote island to sort out your daddy problems!


King of Queens Arthur Spooner

A play pf king of queens.

Jerry Stiller reprises his role as an obnoxious father on this list. He portrays a father on King of Queens who is eerily similar to his Seinfeld role, but with less shouting. Despite this, he still loses his cool and makes things tough for his daughter, Carrie. He stays with Carrie and her husband Doug for free, but he never seems thankful for the opportunity. Doug and Carrie seldom get time to themselves, and when they do, Arthur makes them feel bad about it.

Arrested Development’s Gob Bluth

Gob Bluth using exercise machine at outside.

Gob (pronounced like Job from the Bible) is a part-time magician and beauty pageant judge. He used to be a male dancer and was a member of the “Hot Cops.” Gob unwittingly fathered Steve Holt during one of his numerous one-night relationships in high school. Steve is a senior in high school when Gob discovers that he is Steve’s father. Gob is unsure how to handle his newfound responsibilities, while Steve is certain that his long-lost father scoots about town on a Segway.

24–Jack Bauer

Jack Bauer giving a pose with carrying pistol.

In many respects, having a terrorist fighting tough ass for a father would be fantastic. However, his dedication to his career has a significant negative impact on his family. Bauer’s goal is to rescue American lives, but this puts his family’s life in jeopardy. His own life is always in jeopardy; he’s seldom at home, his wife Teri is murdered, his daughter Kim is abducted multiple times, and her connection with her father is obviously tense.

Raymond Barone is a well-known actor who is well-liked by the general public.

Raymond cast photo.

Ray is a kind and entertaining person, but he clearly fits the “incompetent man-child” caricature that is now popular on the radio. He has trouble communicating and prefers to make a joke rather than take things seriously. He can’t approach his mother since he’s still tethered to her apron strings. While he works from home, he spends little time with his children and wife, preferring instead to watch television. When he does have time with his children, he chooses to spend it with his twin boys rather than his daughter. He doesn’t know how to connect to her since she’s a female, so he gives her presents or lets his wife deal with her issues.



The “best tv dads of the ’90s” is a question that many people are asking. The article will list the top 5 TV Dads from the 1990s.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Americas favorite TV dad?

A: The TV dad that is the most popular in America would be Phil Dunphy from Modern Family.

Who is the best cartoon dad?

A: That is a difficult question to answer.

Who is the best dad?

A: Your dad is the best dad.

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