BEST: Chris Gardner (Will Smith), “The Pursuit of Happyness”
Real life father and son team Will and Jaden Smith take us through an emotional rollercoaster as Chris Gardner (Will Smith), a struggling and homeless salesman, takes custody of his son after his wife leaves him.
From ripping Matilda’s library books to purposefully selling bad cars, it’s a wonder how he and Matilda are actually related. At least he had the good sense by the end to sign the adoption papers so she could live with the infinitely better Miss Honey.
Although Marlin was overly protective of Nemo, he traversed the entire ocean, survived the insides of a whale, escaped from a hungry angler fish, and swam through a jungle of jellyfish to find his son again. Don’t tell me you didn’t tear up Marlin and Nemo were reunited!
WORST: Peter Griffin (Seth MacFarlane), “Family Guy”
From getting into a fight with a large chicken and destroying the town of Quahog to verbally abusing his family while drunk, Peter Griffin is not the kind of father — or person — you’d want in your life.
BEST: Rogelio de la Vega (Jaime Camil), “Jane the Virgin”
Telenovela star and loving father to Jane Villanueva, Rogelio de la Vega is an unforgettable presence. Although Rogelio doesn’t find out until years later that he actually has a daughter, the hilariously narcissistic but caring father does his best to become a part of the family.
WORST: Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), “The Shining”
Going on a rampage after your wife and son while stuck inside a creepy hotel? Yeah, no thanks.
BEST: Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell), “Modern Family”
Who can forget Phil Dunphy’s “Phil’s-Osophy” book — filled with life lessons — that he gives to his daughter Haley (Sarah Hyland) before she goes to college? Gems include: “If you get pulled over for speeding, tell the policeman your spouse has diarrhea,” and “When life gives you lemonade, make lemons. Life’ll be all like, ‘What?!’”
WORST: Homer Simpson (Dan Castellaneta), "The Simpsons"
Even though Homer probably has a good heart underneath, it's hard to ignore how drunk, dumb, violent, and lazy he can get.
BEST: Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando), “The Godfather”
“A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man.” Say what you will about the Corleone family business, but the Don created it all to support his family.
WORST: Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), “The Godfather”
Though Michael starts out with good intentions by wanting to legitimize the Corleone family, he ultimately falls in too deep. The family business ends up destroying his relationship with Kay Adams and later causing the death of his daughter.
BEST: Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams), “Mrs. Doubtfire”
You’ve got to hand it someone who’s willing to dress up as a matronly nanny so he can get to know his kids better and, in the process, become a better father.
WORST: Darth Vader, “Star Wars”
Darth Vader may have sacrificed his life at the end, but he did kill plenty of people, cut off Luke's hand, kidnap Leia, and destroy her home planet. Yikes.
WORST: Walter White (Bryan Cranston), “Breaking Bad”
Even though he started out with good intentions, Walter eventually becomes a ruthless drug lord and grows more and more distant from his family.
BEST: Furious Styles (Laurence Fishburne), “Boyz n the Hood”
Furious is determined that his son is raised with strong values and goes down the right path in life. He teaches Tre valuable lessons about gentrification, violence, sex, and drugs as he grows up to be a young man.