1. Ignacio Suarez (Tony Plana, Ugly Betty)
Sweet, nurturing and fiercely protective, single dad Ignacio Suarez is always there to offer support to his daughters Betty and Hilda, and grandson Justin. There seems to be very little that a heart-to-heart with Ignacio and some of his signature enchiladas can’t fix.
2. Cliff Huxtable (Bill Cosby, The Cosby Show)
His taste in sweaters is debatable but his parenting skills are top notch. Despite a busy career, Cliff Huxtable always puts his family first while managing to strike the perfect balance between authority figure and jokester.
3. Keith Mars (Enrico Colantoni, Veronica Mars)
Here’s the kind of dad that daughters love and boyfriends fear. Keith Mars is loyal, loving, supportive and morally upright; he’s also a P.I. who will stop at nothing to ensure justice is served and protect his daughter Veronica (and not always in that order). Don’t even think of crossing him — he carries a gun and will run a background check on you.
4. Homer Simpson (The Simpsons; pictured, via IMDB.com)
Bumbling, impulsive and lazy, Homer Simpson isn’t exactly a model of fatherhood. And we love him anyways. Why? Because he’s human (well, for a cartoon); better still, Homer loves his family and prioritizes them whenever he can, even if it often ends in complete disaster.
5. Hank Moody (David Duchovny, Californication)
Walking train-wreck that he is, Hank Moody would never be given a Father of the Year award; still, there is something endearing about the fierce, unwavering love he shows for his daughter Becca and her mother Karen. Even though he almost always goes about things in the wrong way, we know his heart is in the right place.
6. Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman, Arrested Development)
Michael Bluth is the eye of reason amidst the tornado of carelessness, materialism, alcoholism and general dysfunction that is Arrested Development‘s Bluth family. Even when he’s forced to drive a car with “stairs,” Michael rolls with the punches and never fails at being a strong, caring father to his son, George Michael.
7. Burt Hummel (Mike O’Malley, Glee)
Baseball hat and plaid-wearing Burt Hummel won our hearts when he defended his gay son Kurt against a homophobic comment, clearly stating “I will not have this kind of poison in my house.” His continued love and support for Kurt gives us the warm and fuzzies.
8. Daniel Hillard / Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire (Robin Williams, Mrs. Doubtfire)
Nothing says “love” like dressing up in drag, putting on a questionable British accent and masquerading as an elderly housekeeper just to be closer to your kids.
9. Sam Dawson (Sean Penn, I Am Sam)
As a mentally challenged single dad, Sam Dawson proves that you don’t have to be “typical” to be a great dad. His battle to keep custody of his daughter Lucy pulls on our heartstrings and reminds us that, in the end, “all you need is love.”
10. Walter White (Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad)
When Walter White is diagnosed with cancer, he transforms from a nerdy science teacher to a drug kingpin; granted, not the usual reaction. Why does Walter do this? Strangely but sensibly (enough), it’s in order to ensure his family is provided for after he’s gone. Although Walt’s actions are beyond misguided, there’s something compelling about a dad who’s willing to risk it all for the future of his family.
Simone Paget is a freelance writer and the author of Skinny Dip, a cheeky blog about love, sex, relationships and everything in between. When she’s not writing her heart out, she loves wandering around her city, large cup of coffee in hand, in search of the next great story.