Father’s Day is today, and while we’d love to regale you with tales of some of the greatest fathers to ever grace the television screen, wouldn’t it make more sense to discuss the absolute worst in order to really hammer home just how good you have it? No? Well, too bad. We already had plans to go that route, so there’s no sense in trying to stop us now. Besides, bad dads have made for some of the most riveting and often, but not always, hilarious TV in history. So count your lucky stars and be sure to call your pops when the time comes. You could most certainly have it worse.Stannis Baratheon, “Game of Thrones”
worst tv fathers, stannis baratheon game of thrones
When looking for bad fathers, simply go to the source. “Game of Thrones” has made a point of showcasing some of the most wretched, horrible excuses for human life there is, and many of them just happen to be someone’s dear old dad. From Tywin Lannister to Roose Bolton, it’s a wonder none of these men’s children lived long enough for them to even be considered fathers in the first place. If only we could say the same for Stannis Baratheon, the show’s most recent dad of the week. Fortunately for those reading this list, it doesn’t get much lower than burning your only daughter alive at the stake. But just to be safe, we’d better bump the comedy aspect up a few notches to get this list back on track.Frank Reynolds, “Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia”
worst tv fathers, frank reynolds it's always sunny in philadelphia
He may be a deadbeat dad, but…actually, that’s pretty much it. He MAY be a deadbeat dad. He may also just be a plain old deadbeat. You see, it was believed for the first two seasons of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” that Frank Reynolds was the biological father of Dennis and Dee , but as it turns out he’s more than likely Charlie’s dad instead. Of course, the selfish pig that he is, he’s spent the last eight seasons since avoiding the issue. We’re not exactly sure if he just doesn’t want to have to make up for lost time, or simply because he believes Charlie’s mother is a “giant whore,” but at any rate we can’t imagine any of The Gang would want to claim him as their flesh and blood even if it were the case.

Frank Gallagher, “Shameless”
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When you’re a single father of six and you give alcoholics a bad name, that’s certainly not going to win you any awards. Many consider Frank Gallagher of Showtime’s “Shameless” to be the lowest of the low, and no one could blame them for thinking that. His whole life essentially revolves around taking drugs, peeing himself, stumbling home, rinsing and repeating. Sure, by going out and getting loaded day in and day out he’s teaching his kids resilience and how to get through life on their own, but that would only be admirable if that was actually his intention.

Frank Costanza, “Seinfeld”
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Can we be frank? We’re starting to see a pattern here when is comes to TV fathers with a certain first name. Of course, of the list so far “Seinfeld” character Frank Costanza is probably one of the best of the worst, but that depends who you ask. His son George certainly wouldn’t think so considering just about every time the two meet ends in another repressed childhood memory resurfacing. If Frank Gallagher is the father who is never around and you hate him for it, then Frank Costanza is the father who is always around. And you might just hate him even more. If you don’t believe us, check out the average dinner in his presence.

Don Draper, “Mad Men”
worst tv fathers, don draper mad men
As far as deadbeat dads go, Don Draper is a classic. He’s constantly working and never helping his wife, but he still makes the time to cheat on her plenty. His daughter Sally even busted him in the process after he got divorced, remarried to someone else and cheated again. Of course, if the man has one saving grace, it’s that he’s come to terms with what a piece of scum he is, admitting in the finale “I broke all my vows. I scandalized my child. I took another man’s name and made nothing of it.” He may not be a class act, but at least he knows what makes one and just simply doesn’t bother to possess those qualities.

Peter Griffin, “Family Guy”
worst tv fathers, peter griffin family guy
There are many cartoon dads out there who possess the same two basic features: well-intentioned but stupid. Because of that first quality, it’s really hard to feature any of them on this list because we know that while they often screw things up for their families, their mistakes are made with their hearts in the right place. Unfortunately for “Family Guy,” whose line of moral decency went out the window long ago, Peter Griffin now lacks any real good nature. Everything he does is for blatantly selfish reasons, and he generally makes no effort to even pretend he cares about his children. We’re not saying he’s unfunny, he’s just a horrible father, husband and all-around person.

Vic Mackey, “The Shield”
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Vic Mackey spent his seven seasons of “The Shield” towing the line between cop and criminal, and for that he wound up paying the ultimate price. The family that he believed in his own twisted mind that he was doing this all for wound up resenting him, eventually deciding that witness relocation was a much better option than having such a horrible human being in their lives. He may not have been the worst father in the world where good intentions are concerned, but those intentions constantly put them in danger whether he wanted to believe it or not, and for that no one in their right mind could even consider him a decent dad.

Michael Bluth, “Arrested Development”
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There was a point in the series where Michael Bluth wouldn’t have even been considered as one of the dad’s on this list. But now that Season 4 has come and gone, we’ve seen his true colors. Much like Vic Mackey his intentions seemed pure, but his execution was anything but. Nothing illustrated this more than when we last saw him, having been punched in the face by his own son George Michael for attempting to steal his girlfriend away from him for no reason other than selfishness. It’s going to be a long, hard road for him to not only gain his son’s trust back, but ours as well.

Walter White, “Breaking Bad”
worst tv fathers, walter white breaking bad
You know that dad who just buys his kids whatever they want and thinks it’s an acceptable substitute for love and affection? That’s Walter White in a nutshell. While he initially only got into the business of cooking meth as a means to make ends meet for his family, hubris slowly and tragically got in his way. By the end, he started to believe money, power and respect were more important than family, as well as anything else for that matter. In the end, he found out just how wrong he was when his own family turned against him when he needed them most. No amount of cars was going to change that, no matter how funny the parody.

Cliff Huxtable, “The Cosby Show”
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Hindsight is 20/20. Even someone you may have considered to be the most genuine father figure on TV could turn out to be a…well, we all know what happened at this point. While the character of Dr. Huxtable most likely didn’t end up a disgraced comedian accused of roofying just about every women he came in contact with over the last 50 years, it pretty much felt that way. Perhaps comparing our actual fathers to the impossible standards of TV dads good or bad isn’t all that wise or important in the first place. This last entry couldn’t be more telling of that. Just be happy with the one you have and if you’re lucky enough to still have them around, do something special for them on the one day it’ll mean the world to them.



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