1. Tyrion Lannister (Game of Thrones)
The dad: Tywin Lannister
The issue: Tywin believes that Tyrion’s birth defect brings shame to the Lannister name. Oh, and his wife died during childbirth, which shouldn’t be Tyrion’s fault but he’s an easy target.
How it’s resolved: Read the books, or keep watching Game of Thrones.
2. Meredith Grey (Grey’s Anatomy)
The dad: Thatcher Grey
The issue: He’s an alcoholic with a mean streak. He also blames Meredith for his wife’s untimely death during routine surgery.
How it’s resolved: Thatcher goes to rehab and returns a new man. He apologizes to Meredith (and his other daughter, Lexie) for years of bad behavior.
3. Jeff Winger (Community)
The dad: William Winger
The issue: William hasn’t been around much. Or at all.
How it’s resolved: The father and son finally reunite on Thanksgiving Day. Jeff gets to bond with his half-brother over what a lousy dad they have.
4. Kate Austen (Lost)
The dad: Wayne Janssen
The issue: Kate’s creepy, abusive stepfather turns out to be her biological father. Gross.
How it’s resolved: She kills him, shortly before learning the truth about her parentage. The dad who raised her is forced to call the cops, but he’s kind enough to give her a head start.
5. Logan Echolls (Veronica Mars)
The dad: Aaron Echolls
The issue: Aaron is an abusive father with an all-around violent streak. Oh, he also slept with Logan’s girlfriend, then murdered her to keep her quiet.
How it’s resolved: Aaron ends up on trial. He’s eventually set free, but Duncan Kane has him killed.
6. Elena Gilbert (The Vampire Diaries)
The dad: John Gilbert
The issue: The man Elena thought was her uncle is actually her dad. More to the point, he works with Elena’s evil doppelganger to kill a bunch of vampires, including Elena’s boyfriend.
How it’s resolved: He dies to save Elena from becoming a vampire. If he could only see her now…
7. Sally Draper (Mad Men)
The dad: Don Draper
The issue: It was the ’60s, when dads weren’t especially attentive, but Don is particularly bad at being around. Oh, and thanks to really bad timing, Sally now knows her father’s an adulterer.
How it’s resolved: That remains to be seen. So far, Sally’s just sulking a lot.
8. Chandler Bing (Friends)
The dad: Charles Bing/Helena Handbasket
The issue: He left their family to be with the house boy. And he’s a very popular drag queen, which Chandler is embarrassed about.
How it’s resolved: Chandler invites his dad (however belatedly) to his wedding as a peace offering.
9. Connor (Angel)
The dad: Angel
The issue: Connor’s been raised by a vampire hunter with a vendetta against Angel, so when he returns from the demon dimension, he immediately tries to kill his dad.
How it’s resolved: Angel has Connor’s memories reset. While Connor eventually learns the truth, he forgives his dad and they fight together when the apocalypse comes.
10. Rick Castle (Castle)
The dad: Jackson Hunt
The issue: Another absent father. He only returns when one of his enemies kidnaps Castle’s daughter and he has to help get her back.
How it’s resolved: The father and son team work together to save Alexis. But father is never seen again. Hmm.
11. Aria Montgomery (Pretty Little Liars)
The dad: Byron Montgomery
The issue: Let’s see — Aria caught her dad cheating on her mom, and he asked her to keep the secret. He also doesn’t approve of Aria dating her teacher, which is fair.
How it’s resolved: Things have been better since Byron divorced Aria’s mom. Although his girlfriend did try to kill Aria. Baby steps.
12. Olivia Benson (Law & Order: SVU)
The dad: Joseph Hollister
The issue: He raped Olivia’s mother.
How it’s resolved: It won’t be. Ever.
13. Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
The dad: Hank Summers
The issue: Total absent parent. And worse, Buffy is convinced it’s her fault.
How it’s resolved: Buffy grows up and cares less that her dad sucks. I mean, the guy doesn’t even show up for Joyce’s funeral. What a dick.
14. Barney Stinson (How I Met Your Mother)
The dad: Jerome Whittaker
The issue: Barney doesn’t even know his dad’s identity until well into adulthood. His commitment issues might be tied to that. (They are.)
How it’s resolved: Barney eventually meets his real dad (not Bob Barker) and after a couple failed attempts, the two are able to bond as adults.
15. Ephram Brown (Everwood)
The dad: Dr. Andy Brown
The issue: Ephram was always closer with his mom, who died tragically. Then his dad uproots his kids and forces them to move to a small town in Colorado, away from the lives they’ve known.
How it’s resolved: I mean, that’s kind of the central conflict of the series. Just watch.
16. Dexter Morgan (Dexter)
The dad: Harry Morgan
The issue: Harry didn’t tell Dexter to kill, but he did give his son a code that sort of made Dex’s sociopathy OK. And Dexter’s still trying to do right by him.
How it’s resolved: Well, Dexter still talks to his dad, even though Harry is long dead, so…
- Robert L. Dear was identified as the suspected gunman in a fatal shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs. ›
- World leaders will meet in Paris starting Monday to discuss a potential global climate change agreement. Here's what you need to know. ›
- And how well do you know what happened in the news this week? Take our quiz. ›