While we admire and respect our real-life fathers, here are 10 iconic pop culture dads we wish we had.
Homer Simpson (The Simpsons)
He may be goofy, lazy (d’oh!) and a bit daft, but Homer Simpson is such a lovable dad who doesn’t take himself seriously. Quite possibly the most chilled out character we know who loves his kids as much as his donuts.
Sandy Cohen (The O.C.)
Smart and funny with a great moral compass, no list of 10 pop culture dads is complete without Sandy Cohen. He adopted Ryan Atwood when he had nowhere to live, in doing so, he gave his socially awkward biological son, Seth, a companion, and in doing so, gave us one of the best TV bromances of all time. Gotta love Sandy!
Bryan Mills (Taken & Taken 2)
To what lengths a father will go to protect his children is a question that Bryan Mills can definitely answer. In a bid to save his daughter from forced prostitution, Mills pledges to take on an entire mafia and has no qualms about finding them and killing them to get her back.
Ted Mosby (How I Met Your Mother)
Longwinded as he may be (nine seasons!), you gotta give it to Ted Mosby for being an open and honest dad. He readily talks to his children about his life despite all the embarrassments and pains he’s experienced, and seems to be more of a friend to them.
Chris Gardner (The Pursuit of Happyness)
Life isn’t always a bed of roses, and Chris Gardner (who exists in real life by the way), knows just that. Going through marital troubles, struggling to make ends meet and having to raise a toddler son while living on the streets would have made most men give up. But Gardner persevered and turned his life around eventually, becoming a successful entrepreneur and more importantly, a role model for his son.
Mufasa (The Lion King)
Mufasa is a great leader and father who, despite his imposing stature, instills in his son Simba proper values such as wisdom, respect and humility. He also admits that adults have fears, and that these fears do not make one weak or a coward. Alas, Mufasa dies due to a betrayal but his wise words did not fall on deaf ears, as Simba follows in his footsteps to take his place as king of the jungle.
Jonathan Kent (Man of Steel)
Jonathan Kent is the finest example of a self-sacrificing foster dad. Besides keeping foster child Clarke Kent’s superpowers a secret, the elder Kent willingly gives up his life in a tornado even though Clarke could have exposed his powers to save him and was on the verge of doing just that.
Marlin (Finding Nemo)
Paranoid as he may be, Marlin shows that a father’s resolve can be unstoppable. When his son Nemo goes missing in the vast ocean, Marlin seeks all kinds of help to search for him and in the process realizes that he must let go and allow his child to live his own life. The sequel to this popular Pixar film will be hitting cinemas in 2016 and we can’t wait to see what happens next! Hopefully Marlin gets to Nemo before he ends up on a plate as a $15 hors d’oeurve.
Darth Vader (Star Wars)
Yes, he turned bad, got his wife killed, tortured his daughter and sliced off his son’s hand. But if you think about it, it was Darth Vader aka Anakin Skywalker who brought balance to the force at the very end with his dying breath. With Star Wars Episode 7 already filming, we’ll see how his son Luke Skywalker fares as a father himself.
Odin (Thor & Thor: The Dark World)
Spare the rod and spoil the child, they say. Well, Odin served his son, Thor, a slice of humble pie by banishing him from the kingdom to Earth when he got cocky. Like all dads, Odin had compassion deep down and gave Thor some reprieve by restoring his powers and allowing the use of the mythical Mjolnir once Thor had become a person of worth.