Top 10 Best TV Dads of All Time

When it comes to iconic television characters, few are as beloved as the quintessential TV dad. These are the men who have captured our hearts with their wisdom, humor, and love for their families. From classic sitcoms to dramas and everything in between, TV dads have been a staple of the medium for generations.

But what makes a great TV dad? It's not just about being a strong provider for the family, but also about being an emotional anchor and role model for their children. Whether it's the stern but caring presence of Cliff Huxtable from The Cosby Show or the lovable goofiness of Phil Dunphy from Modern Family, great TV dads come in all shapes and sizes.

Some TV dads are known for their hilarious one-liners and comedic timing, like Homer Simpson from The Simpsons or Dan Conner from Roseanne. Others are beloved for their emotional depth and ability to navigate difficult situations with grace and wisdom, like Jack Pearson from This Is Us or Eric Taylor from Friday Night Lights.

And let's not forget the iconic TV dads of yesteryear, like Andy Taylor from The Andy Griffith Show and Ward Cleaver from Leave It to Beaver. These characters helped set the standard for what it means to be a great TV dad, and their legacies continue to inspire and resonate with audiences today.

So, let's celebrate the best TV dads of all time and vote for the choices we think deserve to be at the top of the list. Whether you're a fan of classic sitcoms or modern dramas, this list is sure to showcase some of the most iconic and beloved TV dads in television history.
The Top Ten
1 Homer Simpson (Dan Castellaneta) Homer Jay Simpson is the main protagonist of the American animated television series The Simpsons as the patriarch of the eponymous family.

He's not too smart (his 8-year-old daughter is smarter than he is, for God's sake), but his heart is in the right place, and he's a sweet man.

2 Cliff Huxtable (Bill Cosby)

This Cosby Show dad inspired many of us, and his humorous way of parenting the girls and Theo made for one terrific show. The episode with Theo and the earring still sticks in my head. Heathcliff handled it brilliantly.

3 Philip Banks (James Avery)
4 Danny Tanner (Bob Saget)
5 Charles Ingalls (Michael Landon)

The Little House on the Prairie star was one of the best television dads ever. God rest his soul. This was the second of three major television roles for Landon (Little Joe in Bonanza and Jonathan in Highway to Heaven), and all three are favorites of mine. This is his only one as a dad, and his was five-star. How he dealt with troubling financial times in the late 19th century was admirable. He was, in many ways, the perfect father.

Dealing with Mary's blindness and his playful way with "Half-Pint" Laura, along with his taking in orphans and loving them like his own, Charles was the best! Strict but compassionate and always making the right decisions, even when they were not the easiest.

6 Peter Griffin (Seth MacFarlane) Peter Griffin is the main protagonist and titular character of the American animated sitcom Family Guy.
7 Randy Marsh (Trey Parker) Randy Marsh is a fictional character in the animated television series South Park. He is the son of Marvin and Grandma Marsh, the half-brother of Jimbo Kern, the husband of Sharon, and the father of Stan and Shelly. He first appeared in the Season One episode, "Volcano", and is voiced by Trey Parker... read more

Stupid, loyal, funny, and high, Randy Marsh is one of the best South Park characters! He always does something stupid and causes problems. He is the dumb one in the Marsh family.

8 Carl Winslow (Reginald VelJohnson)

He's iconic! How was he not on the list already?

9 Red Forman (Kurtwood Smith)

There is something very familiar about this dad. Kurtwood Smith had to, at least once an episode, give a new and different line reading to the almost infamous threat, "foot up your...". A tough and decent father, he was weary of his son's follies but never gave up on him.

If you don't put him in your remix, he'll put his foot in your ass!

10 Jason Seaver (Alan Thicke)

This Growing Pains dad is very underrated. A psychiatrist on the show, he was a wonderful giver of advice to Mike, Carol, and Ben. Then they had Chrissy, and we saw his skills with a baby. They even took in Leo DiCaprio as a stray teen! He became a stay-at-home dad when Maggie went to work at the newspaper, a very selfless man.

The Contenders
11 Bob Duncan (Eric Allan Kramer)
12 Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell)
13 Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith)

The Andy Griffith Show star was selfless and steady. I just love the relationship he had with little Ron Howard (Opie) and the love he gave him. Other dads should model Sheriff Taylor's decisions in the show. He was always on the side of justice and logic, providing Opie with more than enough love to make up for the loss of Opie's mom.

14 Paul Hennessy (John Ritter)
15 Cosmo (Daran Norris) Cosmo is Timmy fairy godfather. He's Wanda's husband and Poof's dad. Cosmo is very immature and stupid, but also very charming and a loving father, godfather and husband.
16 Philip Drummond (Conrad Bain)
17 Dan Conner (John Goodman)

The Roseanne star dad was a real guy - rugged, blue-collar, handy, and sometimes even unemployed. How he put up with Roseanne is beyond me, but he was a warm and sweet, though sometimes hostile, listener to Becky, Darlene, DJ, and the baby. His heart attack in the final season was a tear-jerker.

18 Dexter's Dad (Jeff Bennett)
19 Al Bundy (Ed O'Neill) Al Bundy is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the American television series Married... with Children, played by Ed O'Neill.
20 Stan Pines (Alex Hirsch) Stanley "Stan" Pines, also known as Grunkle Stan, is one of the main characters of the Disney animated series Gravity Falls, created and voiced by series creator Alex Hirsch.
21 Tim Taylor (Tim Allen)
22 Stan Smith (Seth MacFarlane)
23 George Lopez (George Lopez)
24 Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene)

The Bonanza dad is the best dad in television history, period. Adam, Hoss, and Little Joe had it made. This guy lost three wives to death, but he overcame those personal tragedies to become the richest man in the Nevada Territory. It was all done with his own sweat and perseverance, the Horatio Alger-like American Dream.

His tough but unwavering love for the three boys is the core of what made Bonanza the top-rated American television show of the 1960s and early 1970s.

25 Hugh Neutron (Mark DeCarlo)
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