Top 10 Worst TV Parents

Script written by Tanina Drvar. Dysfunctional families have always made for great viewing, but sometimes TV takes bad parenting to whole new heights. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 worst TV parents. For this list, we’re looking at all parents to grace the small screen, and are choosing those we think messed up their kids the most – and if they didn’t, it was a fluke. Special thanks to our users Tarnim80, Jenny Rae Daykin, cmoehrle, joseluis28ful, Andrew A. Dennison, Christopher Bennett, CuriousUserX90, Imiri David, Andrew A. Dennison, Rachel Isakowitz, Badum Dzing and Jess Isabel Hardie for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Tanina Drvar.

Top 10 Worst TV Parents


Dysfunctional families have always made for great viewing, but sometimes TV takes bad parenting to whole new heights. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we're counting down our picks for the top 10 worst TV parents.

For this list, we're looking at all parents to grace the small screen, and are choosing those we think messed up their kids the most - and if they didn't, it was a fluke.

#10: Tobias & Lindsay Fünke
“Arrested Development” (2003-06; 2013)

Tobias and Lindsay Fünke have taken parental absenteeism and turned it into an art form. They're both so self-involved, when their daughter Maeby purposely flunked out of high school to get their attention, not only did they not notice; they actually moved out of town, thinking she was away at boarding school. The Fünkes' extremely laid-back approach to parenting has led Maeby to become seriously independent, rebelling any way she can and masterminding various cons. But alas, Tobias and Lindsay are way too self-absorbed to even notice. And they spent so much money trying to conceive, too.

#9: J.R. & Sue Ellen Ewing
“Dallas” (1978-91)

This oil baron and his former beauty queen of a wife spend far too much time scheming and plotting to pay much attention to their offspring, John Ross Ewing III. There were also affairs aplenty, as J.R.'s “business trips” were often racy liaisons - even while he had a pregnant wife at home. That left Sue Ellen with nothing to do but start drinking heavily - again, while pregnant. While little J.R. was luckily born defect-free, his life was far from drama-free, as his parents' infidelity and stakes in the family oil business kept them occupied and embroiled in scandal. Seems like oil is thicker than blood down in Texas.

#8: Don & Betty Draper
“Mad Men” (2007-15)

In the mad world of 1960s suburbia, Don and Betty Draper are too wrapped up in their own lives and adult drama to pay much attention to their children. A far cry from June Cleaver, stay-at-home mom Betty seems bored and unhappy with her life, often taking her frustrations out on daughter Sally… That is, when she isn't totally ignoring her. Don, on the other hand, is rarely home. Too busy working, drinking, or womanizing, this adman generally seems more than satisfied to the child rearing to someone else.

#7: Al & Peggy Bundy
“Married… with Children” (1987-97)

As far as TV parents go, the Bundys are pretty terrible. Lazy, cheap and dissatisfied with the way his life turned out, papa bear Al spends most of his time parked in front of the TV or visiting the local nudie bar. Big haired, obnoxious Peg on the other hand is too busy spending all of Al's money on stuff they can't afford, rather than y'know buying groceries. As a result, there's never any food in the house. She also refuses to clean or cook, and is famous for her total lack of attention towards her children.

#6: Peter Griffin
“Family Guy” (1999-2003; 2005-)

Let's be honest: neither Griffin parent is exactly Parent of the Year material. But, Peter gets the nod over Lois for the way he treats his kids - especially his only daughter, Meg. He farts on her, pranks her, insults her and even shoots her at one point. He isn't much nicer to the rest of the family, though, exerting his superiority over his older son Chris and barely interacting with his youngest, Stewie. Peter is basically an overgrown child who thinks only about himself, often putting his kids in dangerous situations. Luckily the two-dimensional world is a little more forgiving than the real world.

#5: Frank Gallagher
“Shameless” [UK] (2004-13)

He's unemployed. He's a drunk. He bullies his kids. Frank Gallagher is the shameless patriarch of the Gallagher clan, which includes eight children in total with two different women - which, all things considered, is not that bad. A single parent, he's rarely around to care for his brood, preferring to expend his energy getting smashed at the Jockey, running up a serious bar tab in the process. Instead of contributing to the household expenses, he spends his unemployment benefits on booze, leaving his kids to pick up the pieces.

#4: Walter & Skyler White
“Breaking Bad” (2008-13)

High-school chemistry teacher/meth cook and drug kingpin Walter White is far from a model father. While his motivations to get into the drug business are somewhat understandable at first, he soon realizes this world is far more dangerous than he bargained for. Slowly growing more ruthless as the series progresses, Walt ends up dragging his wife Skyler into his world of illegal activities, to the point where the couple's kids are taken away from them. While the Whites do usually treat their children relatively well, bringing Albuquerque's underworld to your doorstep is probably not the best parenting move.

#3: Livia Soprano
“The Sopranos” (1999-2007)

Livia Soprano's take on motherhood and babies: “Babies are like animals; they're no different than dogs.” This abusive, manipulative and vengeful woman doesn't have a maternal bone in her body, taking pleasure in making the lives of those around her miserable - especially her three children. As if this wasn't enough to send her kids running for the psychiatrist's couch, Livia conspires with her brother Junior to have Tony killed for putting her in a nursing home. This is one mom who did not relax with age.

#2: Vernon Schillinger
“Oz” (1997-2003)

Prisoner #92S110, Vern Schillinger isn't only a bad father; he's a pretty rotten human being. Raised by his white supremacist dad Heinrich, Vern is proof that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, as he leads the Aryan Brotherhood in Oz. Extremely racist, cruel and sadistic, Vern has no problem raping fellow inmates. While he does show remorse for how his two drug-addicted sons turned out, he fixes it so his eldest will OD on smack and turns his other son into a kidnapper and murderer-for-hire. Way to spread the love dad!

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Evelyn Harper
“Two and a Half Men” (2003-15)
- Jon & Kate Gosselin
“Jon & Kate Plus 8” (2007-11; 2014-)
- Rowan 'Eli' Pope
“Scandal” (2012-)
- Fry's Parents
Futurama (1999-2013)

#1: Craster
“Game of Thrones” (2011-)

This series is no stranger to poor parenting. Case in point: Tywin Lannister, who'll do anything to secure the Lannister family legacy. But no father in Westeros is more despicable than Craster, the wildling ally to the Night's Watch who lives with his brood of wives - 19 to be exact - beyond the wall. Where does he find all these wives? Well, most - if not all - of them are his own daughters, whom he weds once they've reached an “appropriate age” and fathers their children. To ensure his manhood goes unchallenged, he also sacrifices any sons his incestuous harem produces to the White Walkers. Worst. Father. Ever.

Do you agree with our list? Who do you think are TV's worst parents? For more entertaining top 10s published daily, join WatchMojo.com.
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