Cartoon Dads, Good and Bad

A ranking of the best (and worst) animated fathers

By: Megan Hoff


Cartoon dads are very much a part of our popular culture. “The Simpsons” is on its 30th season, and new shows like “Bojack Horseman” and “Rick and Morty” have also become wildly popular. One thing that these shows have in common (besides being hilariously inappropriate) is that they all feature dads. Some of them are doing their best, while others are horrible parents. Here’s a definitive ranking, from worst cartoon dad to best.



6. Peter Griffin

The leading man of “Family Guy” isn’t really much of a family guy. He’s an alcoholic and rather abusive to his children, both physically and verbally. He’s just a bad dude. Also, his voice is annoying (this is a totally objective observation). Impulsive and brash, he doesn’t think things through. Though it may be for laughs, his lack of parental expertise is more of a joke than anything. 0/10 on the good-dad-o-meter.


5. Butterscotch Horseman

Bojack Horseman’s father was an even worse person (er, horseman) than Bojack. Also an abusive alcoholic, Butterscotch first met Bojack’s mother, Beatrice, when he was an aspiring writer. He wanted to write “the next great American novel,” which is code for, “I’m an alcoholic asshole.” Later on, he cheated on Bojack’s mom, who wasn’t any better of a parent. They both resented each other, and Butterscotch claims that the only reason he stayed with Beatrice is that she got pregnant and wouldn’t have an abortion. Their constant fighting and Butterscotch’s myriad egotistical, vitriol-ridden rants only fed into Bojack’s mistreatment and, later, his own messed-up life. 1/10.


4. Jerry Smith

Morty’s dad is one of the most neglectful fathers in the cartoon universe. He lets Rick, his alcoholic father-in-law, whisk away his child all the time. He’s oblivious and worthless (he once had sex with a hologram version of his wife and didn’t notice). He would be a better dad if he just paid more attention to his surroundings, which is a pretty low bar he can’t even meet. 3/10.


3. King Zog

An old, fat, selfish king, Zog is the stereotypical egotistical ruler of yore. He yells a lot at his daughter, Bean. His wife, Queen Dagmar, was turned to stone, and he misses her very much. This puts a strain on his relationship with Bean, probably because she reminds him of her mother. While all the yelling isn’t great, he ultimately wants what’s best for Bean. This dad gets a 6/10.


2. Homer Simpson

Wikipedia best sums up Homer’s character: “Homer embodies many American working-class stereotypes: he is crude, obese, incompetent, lazy, clumsy, dim-witted, hot-tempered, childish and addicted to beer, junk food and watching television.” He often overlooks Lisa, gets angry with Bart, and sometimes appears to forget about Maggie altogether, but he is loyal to his family and would do anything for them. He may not be the brightest bulb, but he tries his best; his effort shows his great love for his kids. Lazy and stupid, maybe, but Homer Simpson is a pretty good father, as far as animated ones go. He gets a solid 7.5/10.


1. Bob Belcher

Bob of “Bob’s Burgers” is one of the most resilient fathers out there. Faced with countless mishaps, he always finds a way through. He has a lot of patience, which is a parenting essential. Though he may get annoyed with his children, he rarely yells at them (but sometimes he threatens to fire them), and he is always there to support them in the end. Bob comes out as the top cartoon dad because he’s a patient, caring, and supportive father who tries his best to keep his restaurant and family afloat, making him a 10/10 dad.

Wake Mag