10 of TV's Worst Dads

Your dad probably has his faults, but at least he didn't con you out of your internal organs.


Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

This Father's Day happened to coincide with the season finale of HBO's Game of Thrones. And while George R. R. Martin introduces us to any number of poor paternal role models, that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to TV's bad dads.

From murderers and terrorists to dads that will just plain drive you crazy, these fatherly figures left an indelible mark on their children—and on the TV audiences that loved to hate them.

If you want to see some more positive pops, make sure to check out our 10 most beloved TV dads.

Frank Costanza, Seinfeld

The inventor of Festivus was a quirky man who always made his voice heard... at the top of his lungs. He might seem like a walk in the park compared to these other dads, but he's a terrible father just based on the sheer amount of time he and George spent berating each other over the littlest things. Serenity now?

Peter Griffin, Family Guy

Peter Griffin may seem like a lovable oaf, but the man's antics have caused mass destruction in Quahog on numerous occasions. (Often involving a giant chicken.)

When he's not out causing mayhem, he can be found at home farting in Meg's face, avoiding Chris's hunger for fatherly attention, flat out ignoring Stewie's existence, and generally driving his family insane.

Anthony Cooper, Lost

While every father on this show is awful, they don't get any worse than Anthony Cooper.

Poor John Locke: Abandoned as a child, conned into giving up his kidney, then pushed out a window. All by dear old dad. Cooper even faked his death to avoid paying back a massive debt and conned Sawyer's family out of their savings—leading to their deaths.

Related content

Frank Gallagher, Shameless

A single parent of six, Frank Gallagher is the poster child for bad alcoholic fathers. He leaves his children—often for days at a time—to fend for themselves while he wastes his days in a drunken stupor.

Whenever he stumbles his way back or is brought home by the police, he does as much harm as good. Oh, and he also sleeps with his own son's girlfriend.

George Bluth, Sr., Arrested Development

Bad parenting sure can be funny. Like when the Bluth head of household relentlessly uses a one-armed man to execute elaborate life lessons for his kids.

"And that's why you don't..."

We're not sure if that's bad parenting, or just brilliant. But he also cheats on his wife, so we'll go with the former. After all, there's a reason why the show is called Arrested Development.

Nicholas Brody, Homeland

Like many bad fathers before him, Brody abandons his family to go on the lam. But that's just the start: Most absentee fathers aren't also former decorated soldiers turned sleeper agent jihadists bent on infiltrating Congress. Nick gets some bonus badness points for cheating on his wife with a CIA agent and getting branded a traitor by the U.S. government.

Lou Smith, Fresh Prince of Bel Air

In our 10 most beloved TV dads article, we praise Uncle Phil—possibly one of the best dads that isn't a dad. But the reason we (and Will) really love him is because of the no-good scoundrel that's Will's real dad.

In the episode in which we meet Lou (brilliantly portrayed by Ben Vereen), he shows up out of nowhere only to abandon Will all over again. On the plus side, this is probably the two minutes that launched Will Smith's legit acting career.

Frank Reynolds, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Frank Reynolds may legally be a father, but he did everything to avoid acting like one. In fact, he made a point of buying the gifts his children wanted for Christmas and keeping them for himself. If that wasn't bad enough, he forced his son into a sex ring and pretended to be engaged to his own daughter.

At least this is one TV dad that had a fitting end: His children hated him so much that his tombstone read: "He was a dick of a father."

Walter White, Breaking Bad

One of the worst dads on our list got that way for the best of reasons—or so he'd have you think.

While he started out as a mild-mannered chemistry teacher, by the end of Breaking Bad's five-season run, Walter is a drug kingpin living a double life, responsible for untold criminal activity and human cruelty. Sure, he makes a show of caring for his family, but in the end the only thing he cares for is himself.

Tywin Lannister, Game of Thrones

Speaking of fitting ends... as Lord of the House Lannister, Tywin is probably the most evil of these 10 dads. Sure, he's a brilliant military commander, and sure, his children are incredibly driven and successful. But this man brings a whole new meaning to "tough love."

Even Jaime and Cersei had a tough time with dear old dad, but that's nothing compared to what Tyrion endured. (Just ask his first wife.) All in all, Tywin's not exactly father of the year.

Up next