Not all heroes wear capes — and not all father figures actually go by “Dad.”
Below, you’ll find a list of 12 remarkable father figures, all of whom have stepped up to provide the love, guidance and lame jokes you’d expect from dear ol’ Dad, even when the characters they’re mentoring aren’t their biological kids. (Of course, some of the surrogate dads on our list — like All American‘s Billy Baker — do have children of their own, too.)
Would The Good Doctor‘s Shaun have accomplished so much without Aaron Glassman advocating for him? Where would The Blacklist‘s Liz be without the reliable wisdom of Harold Cooper? And did you ever expect The Walking Dead‘s Daryl Dixon to make a list like this? (We didn’t, either.)
It’s worth noting that all of the substitute dads below hail from shows currently still airing, including The Conners, Riverdale, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and more.
Which current characters would make your list of the best TV father figures? Scroll through the list below to see our picks, then drop a comment with more small-screen “dads” that deserve recognition.