From the classically handsome, humble Farmer to the rough, rowdy biker, Hannah rounds out the top ten Dads to grace the small screen. Warning: Spoilers.
- Hal – Malcolm in the Middle
With his relaxed and sometimes bumbling parenting skills, Hal proves that parenting doesn’t have to be boring, and for simply managing to keep his five boisterous and occasionally downright stupid boys alive he takes out our number ten spot. Choosing love over money, Hal surprisingly comes from a wealthy family but works hard to support his large and constantly growing family who live in an average American suburb of an average American town. Happy to take the backseat to his outspoken and bossy wife, Hal parents in a way that is sometimes so subtle you don’t notice the discipline and life lessons he slips in to conversations with any of his five, soon to be six, sons.
- Paul Hennessy – 8 Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter
Choosing to work from home in order to spend more time with his family, Paul Hennessey becomes his own brand of ‘Mr Mom’. With his embarrassing parenting style and over protective nature, especially in regards to his two teenage daughters, Paul takes our number nine spot for the creative and universal list of dating rules around which the series is centred. The unexpected death of actor John Ritter left a gaping hole in the show, illustrating how important he was to the family, and his children.
The Eight Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter:
1) Use your hands on my daughter and you’ll lose them after.
2) You make her cry, I make you cry.
3) Safe sex is a myth. Anything you try will be hazardous to your health.
4) Bring her home late, there’s no next date.
5) Only delivery men honk. Dates right the doorbell. Once.
6) No complaining while you’re waiting for her. If you’re bored, change my oil.
7) If your pants hang off your hips I’ll gladly secure them with my staple gun.
8) Dates must be in crowded public places. You want romance? Read a book.
- Bobby Singer – Supernatural
He may not be their biological father, but the relationship Bobby Singer has with main characters, brothers Sam and Dean Winchester, nets him the number eight spot. Stepping up when the pair are left without a father, Bobby is a confidant and role model that always has the boy’s best interests at heart. Gruff and cranky Bobby is an unlikely father figure who becomes the person Sam and Dean need him to be and is quick to remind them, ‘Family don’t end with blood, boy.’
- Ross Geller – Friends
Geeky palaeontologist Ross Geller becomes a father in one of the most traditional ways possible; he’s a happily married man with a baby on the way. Until his happy little bubble bursts and Ross becomes the ex husband of a now lesbian and has to learn how to co-parent his son with a same sex couple. After learning how to father his son along side two mum’s you’d think Ross would get a break with his second child, a beautiful baby girl. However, Ross again finds himself in a difficult position when he becomes a father to ex flame Rachel and has to learn how to juggle another tricky daddy situation. Ross takes out our number seven spot for continuing to be a father to his children, even when it wasn’t easy.
- Jackson ‘Jax’ Teller – Sons of Anarchy
It’s not every day that a drug running, gun smuggling porn king come vice president turn president of a motorcycle gang makes any top ten list other than America’s most wanted, but don’t let Jackson Teller’s credentials fool you. The rugged blonde biker always puts the club first, that is, until he becomes a father. Faced with an addict ex, his young son being kidnapped and smuggled into Ireland and his two children being in a building that was set to explode, Jax does his best to juggle his life as a member of a MC and father his two boys. His dedication to providing his children with a life much different than his own and always having the best intentions at heart when it comes to his kids is what grabs him the number six spot.
- Jonathan Kent – Smallville
Not everybody who finds a small boy and a spaceship in the middle of a cornfield after a meteor shower would respond with paternal instincts, but desperate to become a father, Jonathan, along with his wife, take the boy in and raise their own little superhero. Faced with the unique challenges of raising an alien with super powers, Jonathan lets nothing about his son’s abilities faze him, and becomes a rock and constant reminder that Clark, also known as Superman, can be anything he wants. The classically handsome farmer rounds out the top five for making the ultimate sacrifice and dying in an attempt to protect his son’s secret.
- Burt Hummel – Glee
The epitome of a ‘man’s man’, Burt Hummel takes out the number four spot for his incredible way of handling the fact that his son, Kurt, is a whole different type of ‘man’s man’. He faces his son coming out with the perfect mixture of honesty and love and then goes on to becoming his biggest advocate, speaking out and defending Kurt when he feels his son is being discriminated against due to his sexuality. ‘I’ve known since you were three. All you wanted for your birthday was a pair of sensible heels. I guess I’m not totally in love with the idea, but, if that’s who you are, there’s nothing I can do about it. And I love you just as much, ok?’ – Burt Hummel.
- Sandy Cohen – The O.C.
Shaggy haired surfer Sandy Cohen is a lawyer that chooses to use his powers for good, not evil and when presented with a rough around the edges teenage criminal he does much more than just defend the boy in court, and ends up bringing him home to his sprawling California cliff top abode to live in the pool house. His relaxed and laid back approach to parenting his biological son Seth, and Ryan, who the family eventually adopt, doesn’t hide the high expectations he has for both boys and his ability to love and gently rib them both makes him our number three dad, for showing the world that it doesn’t matter if you make them yourself or find them in a jail cell, family is family.
- Keith Mars – Veronica Mars
Gun totting detective Keith Mars finds himself suddenly a single father to a firecracker of a teenage daughter after his career and marriage spiral out of control and he is left alone and unemployed. Rising to the challenge, Keith opens his own PI agency and does his best to raise feisty Veronica single-handedly. He’s cheesier than homemade pizza and much to Veronica’s distain often asks ‘Whose your Daddy?’ But Veronica always comes first, and he puts everything on the line to protect her, even losing out at regaining his top dog position at the station due to her not so typical teenage antics. Keith comes across as one proud papa and his witty banter and devotion to his daughter bring him into the number two spot.
- Phillip Banks – Fresh Prince of Bell Air
Snappily dressed and quick to red-faced rage, Phillip ‘Uncle Phil’ Banks, is best known for his stern yet humorous parenting style and undeniable love of food. While his unique approach to parenting his four biological children is enough to warrant him an honourable mention, it is the relationship he forms with Will that earns him the spot of best dad on the box. Initially reluctant to take in the wayward teen, Uncle Phil becomes the father William never had. With his stern style he attempts to help Will realise his full potential and along the way builds a beautiful and unique relationship that culminates in an on screen moment where Will, upset that his biological father has just abandoned him again, is wordlessly comforted by his Uncle. Phillip Banks proves that biology isn’t everything, and it isn’t DNA that makes a daddy.