Five TV father figures we love and respect

Men of the hour


By Gwen Ong

Five TV father figures we love and respect

While fiction is sometimes regarded as just great writing, the characters and stories we get acquainted with can leave a deep mark in us. A strong father figure on television personifies positive personalities we see in the man of our lives. This Father’s Day, we look up to the wise and sometimes clueless TV dads.

The selfless dad

TV dads father figure Danny Tanner Full House

Danny Tanner from Full House

The story of a widowed father raising his three daughters pulled at our heartstrings throughout the eight seasons of Full House. He’s a caring dad who is always ready to lift their spirits and wipe away their tears with a bad dad joke or two. Now as Season 2 of Fuller House is in the pipeline, we expect more fatherly moments to warm up the screen.


The disciplinarian dad

TV dads father figure Philips Banks Fresh Prince of Bel Air

Philip Banks from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

A patriarch like no other. When he casts his death stare, you know you only have 10 seconds to get out of the room before all hell breaks loose. That is the power of Uncle Phil—as he’s affectionately known, as he puts up with the antics of Will and Carlton. He may be strict but he can be goofy too while exercising his parental love.


The ‘tough-love’ dad

TV dads father figure Red Forman That 70s Show

Red Forman from That 70’s Show

While he’s not exactly the most ideal dad around – what, with frequently calling his son a dumb**s? – Red does show his tender side on the quiet. As a traditional family man, we can identify his values as that of a protective dad who means well and hides away any sensitivity to assert his authority.


The goofy dad

TV dads father figure Phil Dunphy Modern Family

Phil Dunphy from Modern Family

He’s a warm and well-meaning dad who tries a tad too hard to be the cool parent. And, most of the time, he fails embarrassingly! It’s cringeworthy yet endearing to hear him dish out his “Phil’s-osophy” and puns—confident and clueless just like a real-life dad.  


The no-nonsense dad

TV dads father figure Louis Huang Fresh Off the Boat

Louis Huang from Fresh Off the Boat

He’s the kind of dad that will whip your tush into shape and encourage you to embrace all the ups and downs of life in his own way even if it doesn’t even make much sense. His parental fear rears its ugly head sometimes but you can overlook this tiny flaw, it’s all done for your own good. 


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