The Five Best and Five Worst TV Dads

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Yes, I realize that Father’s Day isn’t until June, but as I’m heading home to see my parents I’m feeling particularly sentimental. I wanted to come up with a list of the best and worst of TV dads over the years, and as there are SO many to choose from, it should be rather easy, right? Well, it actually made it quite hard to narrow down, but in the end I’m pretty satisfied with the ones I’ve chosen. Check them out below, and add in your own favorites in the comments if you like.


Coach Taylor

coach taylor

Eric Taylor would win “best husband” too, if we were doing that, but being such a great guy made him a fantastic father on Friday Night Lights. He was fiercely protective of his own daughter sure, but he was also a surrogate father to many members of his team, who didn’t have solid father figures of their own. For that, he’s probably my favorite on the list.

Cliff Huxtable


Like I was going to write this list and not include the ziggity biggidy boop bop de daddle, Bill Cosby’s Cliff Huxtable. He was probably the funniest, kindest TV dad ever up to that point when the Cosby Show aired, and he remains one of the best dads in TV history.

Richard Castle


Castle may have a dangerous line of work, but when he’s not solving crimes, he’s busy being a great dad. Single dads are pretty rare on TV, with single moms much more common, but it’s good to see the demographic represented so well by Castle here. And obviously the fact that he’s played by Nathan Fillion makes this Firefly fan a little biased.

Phil Dunphy


I think Phil is unfortunately the most overlooked character on Modern Family. He’s the butt of every joke and there’s no denying his goofiness and occasionally femininity. But he’s my favorite person on the show, mostly because of how great a dad he is. The recent episode when he fights to ensure Haley doesn’t date a scumbag was one of the best displays of fatherhood on TV in recent memory.

Tim Taylor



Well, it’s true that Tim Taylor may have almost killed his family by all sorts of household accidents, but he’s one of the best sitcom dads I grew up watching. His relationship with Jill and his boys just felt so authentic, and it really seemed like a household you’d want to be a part of.


Walter White

walter white

Walter may have started out cooking meth with noble intentions, earning the money to secure a future for his son who has MS, but we’re way past that now. Walter’s business constantly puts both his son and daughter in danger, yet he persists anyway. Will he children even survive until the end of the show?

Frank Reynolds


While it’s true that the entire gang of Always Sunny is made up of terrible people, you don’t get much worse than Frank. He’s not Dennis and Dee’s biological father, it turned out, and he’s done everything in his power to help shape them into the terrible people that they are.

Frank Gallagher


Well, I’ll be honest and say I don’t actively watch this show, but I know many people would complain if Gallagher was left off. The entire premise of Shameless revolves around what a scumbag low life father he is, between illegally living off disability and being drunk always. Always.

Frank Costanza


Alright, anyone starting to notice a pattern here? Apparently “Frank” is the go-to bad father name. Costanza might be the worst of the bunch, because he ended up being so bad he spawned George Costanza, one of the most awful people on the planet. I guess years of Festivus celebrations will do that.

Anthony Cooper


It wasn’t enough that Cooper buddied up to his long lost son John Locke to steal his kidney. He also turned out to be the con man that caused the deaths of Sawyers parents. It’s pretty hard to do more terrible stuff than that.



  1. chris

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