The 8 Best TV and Movie Dads of All Time


Dads can be slovenly or serious. They can be comical or clueless. Some of the most famous dads are the ones we’ve watched over the years on the big and little screens. Despite their very different personalities, there’s one trait that shines through for all of them: The dedication to go above and beyond for their kids. Have a look at our list of the best TV and movie dads, then—should a particular parenting approach sound familiar—check out our recommendation for a spot-on birthday or Father’s Day gifts that’s sure to make pops proud.

1. Homer Simpson, The Simpsons

So what if Homer Simpson’s favorite part about being a father is celebrating the holiday that commemorates being a father. His aw-shucks charm and simple approach to fatherhood is refreshing in an age of helicopter parenting and participation trophies.

Bart, for next Father’s Day, we suggest our Personalized Barware Crate, which is perfect for sipping a cold, frothy Duff Beer.

2. Tim Taylor, Home Improvement

Let this clip serve as a reminder that Tim Taylor is the gold standard for dad humor. His jokes may be ham-fisted, but that’s why they land so hard. And like any funny father, you’re often laughing AT Tim Taylor instead of with him. And he knows it. And that’s why it works.

Also, if he’s this accident prone, he could probably use a spare Pro-Tool Crate. We’re here to help, Tim. (Gorilla grunts!)

3. Bryan Mills, Taken

Nothing says “loyal parent” like becoming a transatlantic assassin on a mission to save your offspring. In Taken, Liam Neeson plays a retired CIA operative who uses DAD STRENGTH to destroy…well…everyone. Love knows no bounds.

Got an overprotective dad who gives the side eye to everyone within 50 feet of you? Help him display his “particular set of skills.”

4. Ricky Bobby, Talladega Nights

Ricky Bobby is a man who unequivocally supports his kids, even if those kids may have rotten manners and no qualms about ripping their own grandfather. He is a trusted source for unconditional love, lewd insults and a first-place finish on the podium.

And for the father who loves speed, left turns and the fact that “winners can do what they want,” we have a just the thing.

5. Daniel Hillard, Mrs. Doubtfire

Daniel Hillard is a father who loves his children so much, he’ll alter his life to become a female housekeeper just to spend some extra time by their sides. Every moment is precious! If your dad has some Mr. Mom in him, help him stir up some glory.

6. Phillip Banks, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Uncle Phil can always be counted on for some sage, stern wisdom injected with a little bit of humor. He brought Will into the fold like one of his own, and somehow loves his pedantic son Carlton too.

The tough, but fair father, like Phil, is no stranger to hard work. So he’ll enjoy taking on a new hobby—no shortcuts necessary.

7. Danny Tanner, Jesse Katsopolis and Joey Gladstone, Full House

Danny Tanner may be the actual dad, but this ensemble of father figures each carry their own weight in raising three daughters in San Francisco. Jesse, the rockstar uncle, and Joey, the fun-loving comedian, constantly fumble through fatherhood alongside Tanner. Not sure they’d have gotten by without something like this.

Got an uncle or family friend who helped pitch in to help you become the shining star you are? Show your appreciation with barbecue gear.

8. Ron Swanson, Parks and Recreation
After years of unsuccessful relationships, Ron Swanson somehow comes into his own as a stepdad. He may not be the likeliest candidate, but the girls appreciate his solemn, straight-faced humor, as evidenced in this clip.

Wondering if Ron Swanson made the list because he happens to have created this crate featuring a personalized camp axe or this crate that’s all about crafting wood and sipping whiskey? We can’t slip anything past you. Still, they make great gifts for dads who are all about getting outdoors and using their hands to build stuff.