My Father, the Toon: the Top 5 Animated Sitcom Dads

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Just because a father is composed by artists and voiced by an actor doesn’t necessarily make him any less of a father. In fact, some of the most revered fathers in television history come from the world of animation.

At their core, these characters are really no different than Archie Bunker, Al Bundy, or Cliff Huxtable, except that they can all withstand an anvil to the head. The fact that they’re cartoons also amplifies what they’re able to get away with, and how forgiving we’ll be when they abuse their kids, endanger their family’s lives, drink themselves into a stupor, and even put their own balls in the microwave.

5 Bob Belcher

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Bob is the newest of this TV dad bunch, but he’s quickly earning his place among the greats. The owner of his own burger joint by day, Bob does what any caring and financially savvy father would – he exploits his children for cheap labor. At any given time, his daughters will man the grill while his son dances outside dressed in a burger suit. That’s just sound entrepreneurship, and even sounder parenting.

Fatherly Quote:
Tina: “My crotch is itchy.”
Bob: “Ok. Are you telling me as my daughter or as my grill cook?”
Tina: “Umm…”
Bob: “Because my grill cook would never tell me that.”

4 Peter Griffin

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At some point, Peter Griffin has offended everyone on the planet, and he isn’t exactly in the running for father of the year. He’s tried to breastfeed Stewie. He stopped talking to Chris when he found out he’s well hung. And Meg, oh poor Meg. He’s hit her with a baseball bat, kneed her in the head, trapped her in the car with his fart, made her shave his back, rode a razor scooter in circles around her while naked, and tells her to shut up roughly once an episode.

Fatherly Quote:
Peter Griffin – “Lois, when I’m through with them, our kids will be so smart, they’ll be able to program their own VCRs without spilling piping hot gravy all over myself.”

3 Hank Hill

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On one of the most subversively funny animated sitcoms ever, Hank Hill was the all-American glue that held the show together. It wasn’t all lawns, beer, and propane, either – Hank was constantly teaching, or at least trying to teach, his son important life lessons. Now sure, they didn’t usually take, and Bobby wasn’t exactly the son Hank wanted him to be (as evidenced by the amount of times Hank said “The boy just isn’t right.”), but Hank loved his boy, because hey, at least he wasn’t secretly sired by John Redcorn.

Fatherly Quote:
Hank Hill – “Bobby, if you weren’t my son, I’d hug you.”

2 Randy Marsh

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Geologist. Gamer. Dance coach. Marijuana advocate. Gourmet chef. Weird porn addict. Overzealous fan. Randy Marsh is all of these things, and so much more. Over the course of “South Park’s” 16 seasons, Stan’s dad has been part of many of the most outrageous episodes, establishing him as easily the show’s most hilarious adult character. And whether he’s teaching Stan the importance of not “getting served” or he’s drunkenly fist fighting other Little League dads, Randy Marsh is always there for his boy.

Fatherly Quote:
Randy Marsh – “I’m gonna go kick Mr. Harrison’s ass! … This Mr. Harrison is, he’s a white guy, right?”

1 Homer Simpson

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Don’t even bother trying to argue, Homer Simpson is yellow-hands down the greatest cartoon dad ever. In fact, the argument could be made that he’s the greatest TV dad ever. He drinks too much, he’s unqualified for his job, and he sleeps through most of his children’s most important life events. So yeah, he’s a lot like your dad, but funnier. And if he’s taught us anything, it’s that when it comes to disciplining children, there’s nothing quite like a good, old-fashioned, two-handed choke.

Fatherly Quote:
Homer Simpson – “It’s ok, kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is: never try.”

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