Best & Worst TV Dad Moments of 2015 from Jane, Once, Thrones and More

TV Dads Best Worst

Let’s be honest: The days of Leave it to Beaver and The Brady Bunch are long gone; not every TV father deserves to start each morning by proudly sipping coffee from his “World’s Best Dad” mug.

For every Rogelio De La Vega (Jane the Virgin) who uses his connections to further his daughter’s career, there’s a Stannis Baratheon (Game of Thrones) who uses his connections to light his innocent young daughter on fire and make her mother watch. So, yeah, definitely no mug for Stannis.

With Father’s Day fast approaching, TVLine is looking back on the small-screen dads of the past calendar year, deciding whose parental kindness made us fall in love with them — and whose paternal blunders nearly had us calling Child Protective Services.

Browse our gallery of the best and worst TV dad moments below, then drop a comment: Who’s been your favorite/least favorite TV dad as of late?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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32 Comments
  1. Japril says:

    Jackson Avery from Greys Anatomy (season 11) should be in it … he may have only had have a few minutes with his son Samuel until he died after birth … but he will love him forever …

  2. LADY_in_MD says:

    I think Phil from Modern Family should also be a best dad this past season had some great Phil moments 😀

  3. jr says:

    Stannis is the worst, castle or joe west the best

  4. a says:

    Bones: hug monster Booth <3

  5. Mr. Tran K says:

    Joe Morton’s character on Scandal is by far the worst TV dad I’ve ever seen this year.

    • KathyNYC says:

      You obviously have not watched Stannis on Game of Thrones.

      • Mr. Tran K says:

        What’s your problem Kathy? I didn’t rule out Stannis from GoT which is my opinion not yours. Stop being a complainer and try not to lie.

        • A.M says:

          uuuhm overreact much! What exactly about Kathy’s comment offended you that you have to attack her…how about trying to put your point across without attacking someone who did nothing but simply respond to your comment!

  6. annaktee says:

    How dare you, Malcom Merlyn is a great dad! …. or something. I don’t know, I just reeeally love John Barrowman, okay?

  7. bj says:

    Castle and Joe West are my favourite TV Dads.

  8. Jalaine says:

    Stannis and Eli were definitely the most terrible ones!

  9. Tilly says:

    Would add Nashville’s Avery Barkley protecting baby Cadence from her mommy’s postpartum snow-globe throwing to the list of best Daddy moments. Teddy on the other hand should seriously be on the worst list.

  10. msemmyjones says:

    Joe and Barry’s relationship IS official. No need for Barry to marry Iris just to make it so. Barry was adopted by Joe (or at the very least fostered) at age 11. That is a very legal, very legitimate, VERY OFFICIAL relationship.

  11. misery chick says:

    Biggest DAD moment for me was on Mad Men when Don showed Sally & Bobby where (and therefore HOW) he grew up.
    So much said with no words. Kiernan Shipka and Jon Hamm’s eyes still give me chills…and tears.

  12. DarkDefender says:

    I liked Castle’s “everything you do matters” speech to Alexis in the ALT universe/dream. Castle is at his best when he gives Alexis fatherly advice.. not to mention he has an RHD in childcare.

  13. Aha says:

    Lucious Lyon is the worst TV dad of the year.

  14. c-mo says:

    Much as I love Richard Castle and his relationship with Alexis, I loved even more that you selected Zeek Braverman to lead the pack. Zeek might not have been a perfect father/grandfather but he was pretty darned close!

  15. A.M says:

    Stannis takes the cup for worst dad ever! I actually don’t see Malcolm as a bad dad…well seeing as sarah is alive how about we strike that whole incident. I just love Malcolm’s character and I feel on some disturbed level he loves his daughter .
    Joe & Barry…best TV dad/son relationship ever. Even Iris takes a back seat to that rship.

  16. Riana says:

    I’m surprised Mikael didn’t make the list, though maybe his interactions with Freya saved him.

  17. Joey says:

    Its so odd to contrast show!Stannis with book!Stannis, who not only left Shireen at Castle Black before he headed south, but also told his men that if he died, they should keep fighting in order to crown her Queen of Westeros.

  18. Cate53 says:

    How can you have a list of Best TV dads and NOT include Burt Hummel from Glee. Best TV dad hand down! Every time he was standing up for Kurt I loved him more and more.

  19. tvfirsthand says:

    What about Booth from Bones and Tom Branson from Downton Abbey? Those are two really good fathers who were neglected.

  20. Ally Oop says:

    I know this moment wasn’t from 2015 but it occurred in the last year so I still am giving it a mention: that scene in Longmire when Branch (possibly) got shot by his own father after he discovered his father killed Walt’s wife.

    • Gma says:

      I agree. That last scene and “I might be too old to make a new fortune but I’m not too old to make a new son” still resonates with me. I’m not sure I got the words correct, but the idea is there. Shame on A&E.

  21. robandco says:

    How dare you include Danny Castellano as best dad? The guys has been behaving as a pig to Mindy all season. Since she told him she was pregnant every episode has been the same, with him proving he is not a good person for Mindy and then her changing him to be as she want. Mindy might be an insufferable crazy woman, yet she and her unborn child deserves better.

  22. brandydanforth81 says:

    Rogelio !

  23. Mike Heck definitely. Not only this moment with Axl on his 21st birthday but also the episode with Sue’s College Tour was great!!