Over our lifetimes we will learn a lot from TV and movies. From how to kiss and defend yourself against others to how to take down and blow up a Death Star, they play a pretty large role in our lives. Father figures in TV and movies, offering the most iconic of advice, have a lot to answer for. They do their best to be the best dad they can possibly be, to bring up their children to be somewhat respectable adults. It is easy to consider the best and worst of these dads but just how many could we consider to be cool?
Now when we say cool dad we don’t mean a guy that will have you tucked up in bed by 10, kick a ball around a field with you every Sunday and make you eat all of your greens. To top this list you need to be the kind of dad you want your friends to meet, a total bad ass with a catalogue of quotes better than anything that Shakespeare could ever write! We are after the kind of guy whose wit would cut you like a razor, the kind of dad who would not only pay for your first pint but he’d get in the next 7 and stumble home with you.
As we are on the countdown to the one day of the year that we are supposed to celebrate our fathers, we are going to countdown the 30 coolest dads in TV and movie history. From here to paternity we think that we have the ultimate list of Daddy Cools. So sit back, relax and let’s pay homage to the coolest dads that both the big and small screen have to offer…
(This article contains some spoilers)
The 30 Coolest Dads in TV and Movie History
30. Frank Reynolds
Possibly the biological father to roommate Charlie and legal father to twins Dennis and Dee, Frank Reynolds is a bit of a twisted bastard! A paranoid and delusion character with several failed suicide attempts, Frank is a key member of The Gang and landlord of Paddy’s Pub. Frank gets major cool points on the coolest dads list for trying to convince the others that some of the stories he tells are his when he is really quoting parts from the movie Rambo.
29. Jack Torrance
“Here’s Johnny!” Let’s be honest Jack Torrance is a pretty crappy dad/husband/person. He takes his family to a remote hotel so he can get over his writers block only to become possessed by the hotel, wreak havoc and try to kill his wife with an axe. What makes Jack cool? Aside from the countless creepy quotes we’ve grown to love, err Jack Nicholson of course!
28. Mr Mom
“I understand that you little guys start out with your woobies and you think they’re great… and they are, they are terrific. But pretty soon, a woobie isn’t enough. You’re out on the street trying to score an electric blanket, or maybe a quilt. And the next thing you know, you’re strung out on bedspreads Ken. That’s serious.” Need we say more? This is some seriously cool dad advice!
27. Dr Evil
What makes Dr Evil cool? There really isn’t much about him that would frickin’ argue the fact really! Born to a 15 year old prostitute and a Belgian boulangerie owner Dr Evil has hatched some of the greatest world domination schemes ever including “Preparation H” and “The Alan Parson’s Project”. The man’s put downs are second to none: “ You’re semi-evil. You’re quasi-evil. You’re the margarine of evil. You’re the Diet Coke of evil. Just one calorie, not evil enough.”
26. Ray Kinsella
A farmer who builds his own baseball field in his back garden and becomes friends with James Earl Jones in the process?! How is this guy not at the top the list of coolest dads ever?
25. Joseph “Coop” Cooper
Joseph “Coop” Cooper may not be a great dad, he leaves his children on earth while he travels to search for a new home for Earth’s population. But his idealistic personality and drive to explore the unknown rub off onto his children helping them to become pretty amazing people. He is also his daughter’s ghost… we didn’t really know what to make of that, it’s kinda cool but also a little creepy!
24. Al Bundy
For 10 years Al Bundy was the poster child for the working-class 80/90s father. The guy who named his son after a brand of beer, Al was a down on his luck dad stuck with the ‘Bundy curse’. He had his bad points but Al would always come through when his family needed him and often displayed wit and resilience in times of crisis.
23. Bryan Mills
The ultimate bad ass dad who has a bit of a guilty pleasure for revenge! Bryan will stop at nothing to ensure that his family are safe from harm as he travels across continents to save them both before his wives death in the third Taken movie. Bryan’s kill count across the Taken trilogy would’ve helped him to score quite highly on this list of coolest dads but we have to ask… what kind of man manages to lose his daughter and his wife on two separate occasions? That’s just not very good parenting!
22. Atticus Finch
A character that not only made the Top 10 Best Characters in Fiction since 1900 but a man who was voted The Greatest Hero in all of American Cinema beating out Indiana Jones, Rocky and James Bond. Atticus Finch is a pretty cool guy, father and a good damn lawyer.
21. Big Daddy
Growing up our dads taught us how to ride a bike, kick a ball and change a light bulb. How different would it have been to grow up with Damon MacCready as your Big Daddy? Instead of riding a bike you would be taught to become a deadly assassin, instead of kicking a ball you would be taught to become a deadly assassin and instead of changing a light bulb you would be taught to become a deadly assassin!
20. Walter White
What isn’t cool about Heisenberg? A former chemistry teacher who gets into producing drugs to ensure that his family’s financial stability is strong well after his death. Over time he becomes recognisable as the kingpin figure in the local drug trade. Move over Hansel and Gretel, this is the type of fairy-tale that children should have read to them before bed!
19. Tim “The Toolman” Taylor
“Does everybody know what time it is?” The highly accident prone Tim “The Toolman” Taylor brought the world “more power” throughout the 90s. He introduced the television world to Pamela Anderson, before she went off to run along the coast in a red swimsuit. Everyone may love Al, but Tim will always be the favourite in the 8ball office.
18. George Mcfly
How can nerdy George Mcfly make a list of TV and movies coolest dads and score higher than Walter White and Bryan Mills, we hear you ask? Well aside from the fact that he needed his son to be his wingman and that his future wife fancied his son before she liked him… OK maybe we are starting to question his involvement on this list, but he knocked out Biff which is pretty cool in our eyes!
17. Stan Smith
A CIA Operative with a talking fish, an alien and a slight obsession for Mr Pibb, Stan is an American Patriot who will do anything to protect the country he loves. Though Stan likes to be considered the strong, masculine man of the house, his emotions and sensitivity still manifest from time to time. He is usually found taking extreme measures to get what he wants and to provide life lessons for his family. In one particular episode he takes it upon himself to teach his son Steve how to defend himself against bullies. To do this Stan becomes Steve’s fulltime bully and relentlessly tortures his son until he learns how to “man up”.
16. Clark Griswold
Clark is the kind of dad who always wants the best for his family. He will go to unreasonable expenses to achieve it which will usually result in his patience being tested and pushed to the limit leading to his memorable tirades which have become a staple in all of the National Lampoon movies. All of this aside Clark gets an A for effort when it comes to being a dad… even if he score a C+ for the finished project!
15. Homer Simpson
Former astronaut, boxer, Mr Plow, body guard and d’oh-nut loving father of three, Homer is easily one of the coolest dads in Springfield. Although in all honesty, in a town that consists of Clancy Wiggum, Ned Flanders and Kirk Van Houten there really isn’t that much competition! A man with few talents he is the ‘Fun Dad’ that has an impact on all three of his children. What makes Homer a cool dad? Not a lot to be honest, but what were Maggie, the coolest baby to ever grace our screens, first words? “Daddy” of course!
14. Gil Buckman
If we ever needed a cowboy we would know who to call! Gil Buckman makes the list for his sharp one liners and the fact that when his family needed him he was there, even if this meant becoming a cowboy for the day and making small intestine balloons for the children.
13. Big Chris
A big guy in a bad place simply trying to set a good example for his son while chasing up the debts of ‘Hatchet’ Harry Lonsdale, Big Chris simply is the man! We honestly can’t think of a better way to put it. A character played by THE Vinnie Jones (try saying his name without his famous accent), he hates people swearing in front of little Chris and usually acts violently to those who do. That has to be a pretty good example of great parenting right there.
12. Darth Vader
*Heavy breathing* “Luke, I am your father!” Probably five of the most iconic words in movie history and the biggest movie spoiler/secret of all time. Ranked the third greatest movie villain of all time, behind the man eating Hannibal Lecter and the mother loving Norman Bates, Darth Vader makes the list of coolest dads due to his fight between light and dark, his kick ass armour and his pretty awesome fight scenes. Now we know that chopping off your son’s hand and interrogating your daughter won’t make Darth father of the year but any guy voiced by James Earl Jones HAS to make the list!
11. Don Vito Corleone
Head of the most powerful mafia family in New York City, Don Vito Corleone built his fortune from scratch. He is known as a generous man who lives by a strict moral code of loyalty to his friends and family. A character that is not played by one but two of the coolest men to ever grace the big screen, Robert De Niro and Marlon Brando. PUB QUIZ AMMO: Don Vito Corleone is the only character portrayed by two different actors to be awarded an Oscar on both occasions.
10. Tony Soprano
A strong believer in tradition and a spokesman for the values of hard work Tony Soprano tries to set a good example to his two children is his own way. A dedicated father, he was always seen at the children’s sporting events and recitals. Tony was a protective family man, trust us you would not want to be introduced to the family as the boyfriend of his only daughter Meadow.
9. Henry Jones Sr.
Professor Henry Walton Jones Sr. is one of the coolest dads on this list for two reasons. Number one: he is played by Sean Connery and number two: he is the father of Indiana Jones. The man is so cool we added a third… he saves Indy from a gruesome fate by making him let go of the Holy Grail, something that Henry Sr. had been searching for his whole life.
8. Vince McMahon
There’s no chance in hell that Vince McMahon wouldn’t make the list of coolest dads in TV and movie history. The billion dollar king of the WWE who walks with a swagger rivalled by none. He took on the rattlesnake Stone Cold in the 90s and initiated the Vince McMahon Kiss My Ass club. You’d better do as this 70 year old bad ass says otherwise you could be the next guy to face The Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match at Wrestlemania (Shane O’ Mac we’re looking at you!) Or you may hear the two words all superstars dread to hear, “YOOOOUUUU’RRREEEE FFFIIIIRRRREEEEDDDD!”
7. Randy Marsh
The man of the house at 260 Avenidas de los Mexicanos, South Park, Randy Marsh is the biggest dingbat in South Park. Originally a geologist, Randy has taken on many security roles in the town including the mall over Black Friday and at the local Blockbuster. What makes Randy a cool dad? Aside from his Nobel Prize, world records and time spent in a teen boyband, he is regularly seen as a hero in the eyes of his friends and fellow townsfolk. He may have his quirks and embarrassing and awkward moments but how many dads on this list can speak a little Mongolian?
6. Harry Stamper
How many guys on the list of coolest dads in TV and movie history can actually say that they almost single handily saved the world from extinction? This is a guy who allowed the love of his daughter’s life to live and look after her while he took his place to die on an asteroid that was just minutes from blowing up. Father of the year? More like father of a lifetime!
5. Uncle Phil
Father to Hillary, Carlton, Ashley, Nicky and father figure to Will, Phillip Banks (aka Uncle Phil) makes the list due to his love for his bizarre family and his lovable appearance but take no prisoners attitude. He is very much the boss of the family, well when Vivian isn’t around, and will do what he can to ensure that his family is safe. Even if that includes a trip to the Playboy mansion to talk The Hef out of printing model shots of eldest daughter Hillary.
4. Mr Incredible
Not just a dad but a super dad, Bob Parr was one of the most successful heroes of his time securing him the title of Mr. Incredible. Along with his super family, including his wife Elastigirl, Bob manages to save the world from the evil Syndrome. He is by far the strongest dad on the list and an all-round classic hero. To date, he is the only Pixar hero to actually kill their victim and in the Operation Kronos database he was given a threat rating of 9.1, the highest of any of the supers. This helps to bump up his bad ass rating on this list.
3. Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark
The honourable Lord of Winterfell, Ned is father to six children including bastard son Jon Snow. His death in the first season/novel of George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones caused shock worldwide, although anyone that has ever seen Sean Bean in movies and television would never bet on him to make it to the final curtain. Close friends of the king at that time, Robert Baratheon, Ned portrays inner strength, respect and smarts but finds himself in many personal battles during his time at Kings Landing causing him to lose his head… literally.
He may have the shortest air time of all of the dads on this list but you have to admit Mufasa is a pretty cool dad! He teaches Simba right from wrong while also kicking some hyena butt when Simba gets lost in the Elephant Bone Yard. His death scene is one of the most heroic scenes in not just Disney but cinema history! After saving his son from a stampede he is betrayed by his brother Scar and thrown back into the chasm… James Earl Jones’ “Noooooo” haunts the staff at 8ball HQ still today.
1. John Matrix
If you were to look up badassitude in a dictionary John Matrix would be staring right into your soul. He is the ultimate bad ass cool dad who is definitely the spawn of Chuck Norris and a pretty pissed off bear. He has the highest kill count of all of the dad’s on the list, throws a man off a cliff, takes down an army with a machine gun under one arm and rips a car seat out of a car with his bare hands! How could John Matrix not top the list of cool dads?!
So there you have it, it’s been a long ride but we have reached the end of our list of the 30 coolest dads in TV and movie history! If you think that we have missed any or a dad on the list needs to move higher let us know in the comments or hit us up on our Facebook wall or get in touch on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #8ballCoolDads. If you are stuck for inspiration for a gift for Father’s Day don’t forget to check out our top Gifts For Fathers Day: 10 Tees For Dear Old Dad.