Skip To Content
  • Viral badge

People Are Sharing The Movie And TV Parents Who Are Actually Kind Of Awful, And I Have To Say, I Agree

Luca's mom was the absolute worst.

Recently, we asked people to nominate kind of messed-up parents in kids/teen TV shows and movies, and whew, were there some I never even thought about! Here are some TV/movie parents that are actually awful!

1. Mrs. Benson in iCarly

Spencer: "you chipped Freddie?" Mrs. Benson: "I chipped him because I love him!"

"In general, Dan Schneider show parents are, at best, ineffectual and, at worst, negligent — if they even appear. ... Marissa Benson didn’t believe in boundaries when ensuring Freddie’s safety and physical wellbeing."


2. All of the parents in Rugrats

while Stu and Drew argue, Chuckie and Tommy wander off

"I absolutely adore Rugrats, but the parents on that show were neglectful as shit. They were always huddled together in one room while their toddlers just roamed free. Awful, awful parenting."


3. Finn's parents (but especially his dad) in Adventure Time

Finn begs his dad to wait/stop, but his dad leaves anyways, and Finn's arm is torn off while trying to keep him there
Cartoon Network

"Finn's parents from Adventure Time were so bad. Finn's dad, Martin, was the worst! He is selfish, lazy, and only cares about his son if he could be manipulated. He had no issues abandoning his child when Finn's arm was getting ripped off. Finn's mom, or what's left of her, was a kind and caring person, but she was so controlling."


4. Both parents, but especially Jack, in Danny Phantom

Jazz says her parents ambushed her, suffocated her with smoke, and pulled her from Spike before his breakthrough, asking what they have to say for themselves

"Jack Fenton is the bumbling dad trope come to life. He may come up with clever inventions, but he’s yet to come across common sense, such as putting a handle on the inside of a door to a sealed room. Maddie treats him as a kid more often than she has to do ... with Danny and Jazz combined."


5. Dora's parents in Dora the Explorer

Dora with her parents
Nick Jr.

"Dora’s parents. [They] literally let her run everywhere without adult supervision."


"And they leave her to watch the twins when she’s like 4 years old."


6. Luca's parents (but especially his mom) in Luca

Luca's mom tells him he's staying with Uncle Ugo for the rest of the reason and that if she has to send him to the bottom of the ocean to keep him safe, she will

"I love Luca, but his parents (specifically the mom) made me so mad. I mean, instead of talking to him about her reasons for being concerned, she instantly went and tried to send him off with a family member he had never seen to a place he had never been. That’s not a loving parent; that’s one seeking control. And then when she went around the town kicking all the children and pouring water on them because she couldn’t recognize her own child? IDK, I just couldn’t stand her in the movie."


7. Sam's parents in Sixteen Candles

Sam asks if her mom has anything else to say to her, and her mom asks what Sam wants her to say, then tells her she'll be late for school and leaves — Sam says "I can't believe this, they fucking forgot my birthday"
Universal Pictures

"They forgot her birthday. I’m not talking about presents or a party. They didn’t even acknowledge the day. (Yes, the father remembered at the last minute.) It may not be the WORST thing, but [it's] still pretty bad."


8. Judy's parents in Zootopia

Judy's dad explains to her that you should settle and be complacent rather than trying new things

"How about Judy Hopps’s parents constantly trying to talk her out of her dream of becoming a police officer? They were afraid for her safety because she was a bunny, and they only encouraged her to settle even when she got the job. They were only satisfied once she had given up and come home to work on their family carrot farm and she was miserable."


9. Alyssa's father in It Takes Two

Roger tells Alyssa that Clarice is going to be her new mother, and Alyssa faints
Warner Bros.

"The dude literally meets a woman and gets engaged all while his daughter is away at some out-of-state piano recital (that he couldn’t even be bothered to attend or pick her up from), then doesn’t believe his daughter when she tells him the woman is evil! He totally sprang a new relationship and a major life change on his kid with no concern for how she would feel."


10. Mia's mother from The Princess Diaries

Mia: "For 15 years, you couldn't find a spare minute to tell me that my father is a royal?", her mom: "I thought I was doing the right thing"
Buena Vista Pictures

"Mia's mom never thought to tell her that her grandma was the queen of Genovia? And that she was a princess who'd one day become the queen?"


"She is SUCH a bad mother! She didn’t tell her anything about her dad and didn’t tell her about the BOMB her grandmother was gonna drop when she was in town!"


11. Charlie's grandparents (but especially Grandpa Joe) in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Grandpa Joe dancing despite being "bedridden"
Paramount Pictures

"Seriously, you're telling me that not ONE of them was able to get a job or help out around the house? We all know Grandpa Joe was dancin' like his life depended on it once he realized he was going to the factory, but he didn't appear to be doing shit while Charlie's mother toiled over a hot stove."


12. Anna and Elsa's parents in Frozen

Anna's father saying Elsa can learn to control it, and until then they'll close the gates and isolate Elsa and Anna

"The parents in Frozen! Lock Elsa up, keep Anna stuck in a castle with no visitors? Then go off and get yourself killed?"


13. Both parents in The Parent Trap

Hallie's mom tells her she belongs to her dad and Annie belongs to her, and Hallie says that arrangement sucks
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

"How messed up is The Parent Trap? Okay sure, they got divorced and each took a kid ... but to hide the existence of their sibling is messed up! They each had a picture of their missing parent but never knew of their sister?! Why didn't their parents just tell them they had a sister?!"


14. The parents (but especially Wayne) in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

Wayne tells Diane he shrunk the kids and the Thompson kids, and they're in the backyard because he threw them out with the trash
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

"I know he wasn't actually there when it happened, but I'd say that anyone who has to say the words, 'Honey, I shrunk the kids' is at least pretty darn negligent. They were small enough to ride ants!"


15. Megan's parents in But I'm a Cheerleader

Megan's dad says they think she's being influenced by (then trains off) and her mom says they think she's a lesbian
Lions Gate Films

"All of the kids in that movie were sent to a conversion therapy boot camp. And plenty of them were told by their parents that if they came back still having 'untoward' feelings toward people of the same sex, they would be disowned. ... [Megan's] parents plotted to send her there with her cheerleading squad and boyfriend! WTF?"


16. The mom in Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead

Zach tells his mom she's shirking all parental responsibility, and the mom says that she's sure everything will be taken care of
Warner Bros.

"She left her five kids alone with someone they'd never even met for three months to go galavanting around Australia! And the babysitter died like 10 minutes into the movie, meaning the mom never once checked in with her to see how the kids were doing, but took the word of a teenager that everything was fine."


17. Tori's parents (but especially her mom) on Victorious

laughing at a text, Tori's mom says it's just from Gary, Tori's father's friend on the police force — Tori asks what he said, and her mom says "nothing" and that she'll delete it

"The mom on Victorious was literally having some sort of affair with her husband's partner from work."


"In Victorious, when Tori’s parents made it obvious that they like Tori way more than Trina, and then left Tori (a 16-year-old who couldn’t drive!) to take care of her sister after wisdom teeth surgery and literally ran away from Trina."


18. Ash's mom (and all the other parents) in Pokémon

Ash and his mom
TV Tokyo

"Parents in Pokémon: Letting their 10-year-old kids wander all over the giant Pokémon world all by themselves? WTF?"


19. And finally, Sōsuke's mom in Ponyo

the mom driving with Ponyo through water

"How does nobody talk about how neglectful the mother is in Ponyo?! I couldn't get past the first act of the film where it just showcases how bad she is. The very first scene in the film is the kid playing right next to the open ocean where he could drown at any moment ... and this seems to be the norm for him as he's on his own for a while. ... Then there's a few scenes showing how the mother is bad at driving. She ignores safety rules, nearly crashes into other people, [and] drives like a wild woman with one hand!"


What other kid/teen TV and movie parents are really just the worst? Let us know in the comments!

TV and Movies

Get all the best moments in pop culture & entertainment delivered to your inbox.

Newsletter signup form