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Top 10 Worst TV Cartoon Parents

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Joey Turner
Every child deserves a parent… but even in cartoons, not every parent deserves a child. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Worst Television Cartoon Parents. For this list, we’re looking at some of the most neglectful, abusive, controlling, and just plain idiotic parents on the small screen -and the negative influence they’ve had on their children. We’re limiting it to cases where BOTH parents are horrible at their jobs, since we’ve already done lists for both cartoon moms and dads.
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Every child deserves a parent… but even in cartoons, not every parent deserves a child. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Worst Television Cartoon Parents.


For this list, we’re looking at some of the most neglectful, abusive, controlling, and just plain idiotic parents on the small screen -and the negative influence they’ve had on their children. We’re limiting it to cases where BOTH parents are horrible at their jobs, since we’ve already done lists for both cartoon moms and dads.


#10: Jerry & Beth Smith

“Rick and Morty” (2013-)




These two are already a mess as a couple. Unfortunately, that plays a part in their parenting skills as well. Beth barely has a maternal bone in her body. While she does care about her kids, she acts incredibly cold and distant from them. Jerry cares very much for his children, although he’s an insecure, selfish coward who rarely –if at all- takes responsibility for his own shortcomings. A majority of these dysfunctions can be traced back to Beth’s father, Rick –whose toxic, sociopathic tendencies manipulate Beth, make Jerry look even MORE pitiful, and trap the kids in the middle of the family’s chaos.





#9: Nicole & Richard Watterson

“The Amazing World of Gumball” (2011-)




Nicole and Richard have a very touching love story… however, their parenting skills leave a lot to be desired. While Richard means well, he’s dimwitted, lazy, and acts more like an oversized child than an adult. Nicole cares very much for her family, but she can be overly competitive –thanks to pressure from her OWN terrible parents – and has a violent temper when pushed too far. Neither one is a perfect role model, as they’ll frequently compete with their children for who is the best or who has it worse. In fact, their kids – especially Gumball – cause mass destruction and chaos on an almost-daily basis. So directly or indirectly, THEY’RE responsible for all the madness.





#8: Yancy Fry, Sr. & Sherri Fry

“Futurama” (1999-2003; 2008-13)




When Fry was cryogenically frozen and awoken in the future, he left behind a rather dysfunctional family – a jealous older brother, and two less-than-perfect parents. His dad, Yancy Senior, was a war veteran and a conspiracy nut – usually unsupportive of Fry, and generally too hard on him at times. Fry’s mom, Sherri, paid more attention to her sports games than her son… even during the day he was born. What’s sad is that once Fry disappeared… these two barely even looked for him. Despite how they treated him, they really DID love him, and if Fry could see them one more time, he’d make the most of it.



#7: Harold & Gladys

“The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy” (2001-08)




We all know Billy has mental issues… but you ever wonder where he got them? Harold is a dimwitted, jobless man who shares his son’s looks and single-digit IQ. He had a more intelligent side in the early seasons, but his brain power only went south from there. He’s also afraid of Santa Claus… and his own wife. Speaking of which, Gladys is a loving, overprotective mother and wife… but she is completely off her rocker, and easily resorts to violence when crossed. She also has a deep hatred of Grim after one bad experience. Sad to say, but Billy inherited the worst from these two – Harold’s stupidity, and Gladys’ mental instability.





#6: Stan & Francine Smith

“American Dad!” (2005-)




An extreme CIA Agent and a nagging housewife –sounds like the perfect recipe for disaster in parenting. Stan tries to mold Steve into his ideal son –usually by berating his geeky lifestyle- while constantly butting heads with Hayley because of their opposing political views. Francine started out more accepting of her children, but she tries desperately to keep Steve as her momma’s boy no matter what it takes… and would only grow to be as selfish and mean as her husband. Together, they try to raise their kids by what’s right for THEM, not by what’s good for Steve and Hayley. It wouldn’t surprise us if their controlling attitude drove one of them away… again.





#5: Dr. Heinz & Mrs. Charlene Doofenshmirtz

“Phineas and Ferb” (2007-15)




Heinz Doofenshmirtz hopes to one day rule the Tri-State Area… but a lot of his evilness MAY stem from how poor his childhood was –thanks in part to his parents. For starters, they show more favoritism towards his younger brother – and their dog. Along with that, they never let poor Heinz do any normal kid activities, disowning him at one point, and they didn’t even show up the day he was born – yeah, we’re not sure how that works either. While it’s mostly for laughs, after a certain point, it just becomes depressing. Thankfully, he didn’t inherit their neglectful parenting, and actually TRIES to be a good father for his own daughter, Vanessa, whom he shares custody of with his ex-wife, Charlene.



#4: Stephen & Linda Stotch

“South Park” (1997-)




Let’s be real, the parents of South Park would take up more than HALF this list –a majority of them are either more childish than their kids, complete idiots, or both. So for now, we’ll settle for the parents that are all that, AND needlessly cruel – Butters’ parents. Stephen says he does what’s best for his son… and yet he grounds Butters for the pettiest reasons. Linda acts nicer to Butters, but one mental breakdown could lead her to nearly killing her only child. The fact that they can punish their son for literally anything doesn’t help with his anxiety… but it DOES make it more cathartic when he finally fights back.



#3: Robert “Big Bob” & Miriam Pataki

“Hey Arnold!” (1996-2004)





We all know Helga can be abrasive, rude, and a little dramatic, but most of the blame comes from her home life – more specifically, her family. Miriam mostly mopes around the house, usually passed out after drinking one too many alcoholic “smoothies.” Big Bob is a self-serving, short-tempered salesman who cares more about his beeper empire than his wife – only giving attention to Helga when a contest is on the line. Both parents show favoritism towards their oldest, overachieving, “perfect” daughter, Olga – so much so that they’ll forget Helga’s name… or that she even exists. That kind of neglect left Helga feeling alone and unloved… until a certain football head came around.



#2: Peter & Lois Griffin

“Family Guy” (1999-2003; 2005-)





We doubt these two know anything about “good old-fashioned values” considering what horrible parents they are. Lois usually tries to be a decent mother… but most of the time, she acts uncaring – and often cruel – towards her own children. She’ll even act better than them despite her OWN misdeeds – it’s no wonder Stewie’s tried to kill her in the past. Peter is even worse – he’ll take advantage of his kids, physically and mentally abusing them – especially Meg, and even admits that he hates being around them. While the early days have Lois and Peter TRYING to be good parents, now it feels like they couldn’t care less what happens to their children.





#1: Mr. & Mrs. Turner

“The Fairly OddParents” (2001-)




You ever wonder why Timmy Turner needs fairy godparents? Because his REAL parents are barely ever there when he needs them. Both Mr. and Mrs. Turner are complete nitwits –with Mrs. Turner slightly more intelligent than her husband – and the show doesn’t even attempt to hide it. While they say they love Timmy, the two show favoritism towards others ABOVE their own son, and they barely try to spend time with him – unless it’s inconvenient to him. Worst of all, they leave the house every day to go somewhere stupid, handing Timmy over to the world’s worst babysitter – who physically and mentally abuses him regularly, and they’re completely oblivious… or don’t even care.

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