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Top 10 Best Modern TV Dads

VO: Emily Brayton
Script written by Savannah Sher These dads make us wish they would adopt us. Everwood, Girl Meets World, Arrested Development, How I Met Your Mother, Glee, Blackish, Game of Thrones, The O.C, Luke Danes, Modern Family and Veronica Mars have some of the best dads in TV. They're super supportive and we really feel their love for their children.
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Top 10 Best Modern TV Dads


Who wouldn’t want to grow up under the same roof as these fathers?! Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best Modern TV Dads.

For this list, we’re looking at television fathers from the 2000s onwards who truly exemplify what it means to be an awesome parent. However, animated dads, like Bob Belcher, will not be considered.

#10: Cory Matthews
“Girl Meets World” (2014-17)

For those who grew up watching “Boy Meets World,” Alan Matthews was the gold standard when it came to TV dads. He may have been tough, but he was always there for his children – with either a helping hand or a hearty smile. Thus, it should come as no surprise that his son, Cory, turned into a great father as well. While most kids wouldn’t want their dad as their teacher, Cory manages to make things fun for his daughter Riley and her friends in “Girl Meets World”, educating them on the world and helping them deal with their problems. Clearly he picked up a thing or two from his equally nurturing father.

#9: Michael Richard Kyle, Sr.
“My Wife and Kids” (2001-05)

You’d be hard-pressed to find a TV dad who could lay down the law like Michael Kyle could. This fast-talking, no-nonsense pops often tricks his kids into thinking something horrible has happened only to reveal he’s been behind it the whole time. This is often used as a way to teach them a lesson and is referred to as a “Michael Kyle Signature Moment.” However, beneath all his tough talk, Michael’s just a big softy who loves his kids more than anything. Just don’t ask if you can miss curfew, because he’ll drop an “eh…nuh” on you real fast.

#8: Dr. Andrew ‘Andy’ Brown
“Everwood” (2002-06)

After his wife passes away, Dr. Andy Brown moves his 9-year-old daughter, Delia, and teenage son, Ephram, to the small Colorado town of Everwood. Dealing with the loss of a loved one is never easy. Doing it while trying to raise a couple of kids is even harder. However, Andy goes above and beyond the call of duty to make sure he has strong relationships with both of his children. Even when the town shuns their family at the beginning of Season 2, Andy sticks by his kids, never allowing them to feel lonely or unwanted. If that isn’t the sign of a good dad, we don’t know what is.

#7: Michael Bluth
“Arrested Development” (2003-06; 2013-)

While Michael is first and foremost a father to his son, George Michael, that’s hardly the only person he is tasked with looking after. Surrounded by incompetent family members whose selfishness is only outweighed by their inability to deal with problems on their own, Michael is constantly putting out fires set by the rest of his family. While he often threatens to run away – and sometimes does – he always ends up coming back. Sure, his son may lack the ability to catch a ball, but it’s not for lack of trying on Michael’s part. As a single father trying to raise a son amidst financial scandal, we like to think he does a pretty good job.

#6: Keith Mars
“Veronica Mars” (2004-07)

Keith Mars is smart, witty, and always there when his daughter needs him. Not only does he lay claim to some of the best “dad jokes” in TV history, he also performs the role of “rock” and “hard place” to perfection when dealing with would-be suitors looking to get it on with his daughter. If that weren’t already enough, Keith is also a brilliant detective - so much so that even after he gets kicked off the police force, many of his former employees still turn to him for advice. Ultimately, it’s the fact that he puts Veronica above all else that earns him a spot on this list.

#5: Marshall Eriksen
“How I Met Your Mother” (2005-14)

Men like Marshall are born to be fathers. For the better part of nine seasons, Marshall Eriksen was one of the best friends on television. He’s honest, trustworthy, and always around to lend a helping hand. So when he and Lily decide to have a child, it’s pretty clear that Marshall is going to be a fantastic father. He embodies all of the characteristics of a legendary pop: he leads by example, keeps an open mind, and always stops to appreciate the little things. Sure, he occasionally forgets himself and tosses his newborn child ten feet in the air… but hey, nobody’s perfect!

#4: Burt Hummel
“Glee” (2009-15)

A good parent will always go to bat for their child. When Burt Hummel made his first appearance on “Glee,” it was in stark contrast to his free-spirited, gay son, Kurt. Burt is a blue collar, football loving, beer-drinking dude and his son, well, isn’t. However, while Burt and his son may not have a lot in common, that doesn’t stop them from being the best of friends. Who could forget the scene where Burt defends Kurt after Finn makes a homophobic slur? If that scene doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, you might just be a robot. A good father has his son’s back, and that’s what makes Burt one of the best.

#3: Phil Dunphy
“Modern Family” (2009-)


Are you able to be a good father if you still act like a child? This is the question posed by the creators of “Modern Family” every time Phil Dunphy appears on screen. For all intents and purposes, he has the soul of a much younger man. However, while Phil’s parenting style may be unconventional, he is definitely a rad dad. Whether it’s concocting some ridiculous invention with Luke, protecting Haley from creepy male suitors, or attempting to help Alex with her insanely hard homework, Phil is always willing to give it his all. And unlike Cam & Mitchell, themselves awesome parents, Phil has to work with being the only dad in the house!

#2: Andre ‘Dre’ Johnson Sr.
“Black-ish” (2014-)

If the previous entries have taught us anything, it’s that the best TV dads are understanding, protective, and always good for a laugh. Andre Johnson is no different. In fact, he may just be the perfect mixture of all three. Whether he’s lecturing Junior on how to be a man, keeping Zoey’s ego in check, or trying to ensure that twins Jack and Diane don’t kill each other, Dre manages to juggle it all while making sure his kids understand how lucky they are to be growing up in the ‘burbs.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Luke Danes
“Gilmore Girls” (2000-07)

- Sandy Cohen
“The O.C.” (2003-07)

- Murray Christian Goldberg
“The Goldbergs” (2013-)

#1: Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark
“Game of Thrones” (2011-18)

Although he’s Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, Ned Stark’s most important roles in life are being a husband and father. Ned stands out as a great father for a number of reasons: he always defends his children, he is full of sage wisdom that he is only too keen to pass on to them, and he always does the right thing, no matter the cost. Whether he is allowing his daughter to practice sword fighting, mentoring his bastard son on the importance of duty, or protecting the realm from evildoers, Ned Stark is the TV dad we all wish we had.
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