Perfect parents like June Cleaver, Marion Cunningham, Bill Cosby and Mike Brady are sweet, but nothing keeps our attention like a TV show with good old-fashioned family drama. And what do almost all dysfunctional people have in common? Parents who made them that way.
1. Al and Peg Bundy of 'Married with Children'
The Bundys probably shouldn’t have gotten married, let alone had children. Lazy, cheap and not-so-loving Al showed little to no affection towards his wife, payed no attention to his kids, never attempted to hold back his sarcasm and did we mention he named his son after the one thing he cares about most—beer? To be fair, Peg’s no winner either. Notoriously lazy herself, she’d rather go shopping for things her hubby can’t afford than take care of her kids. Still, deep down, we suspect this crazy, messed-up family loved each other in spite of their many, many flaws, and there’s something to be said for that.
2. Archie Bunker of 'All in the Family'
Oh, Archie. As a World War II vet and a New Yorker, Archie was expected to be the strong-minded, opinionated head of the household. But imagine growing up with a dad, or worse—father-in-law— who was grumpy, bigoted and volatile all the time? Most of Gloria’s energy went into being a mediator between her surly dad and her hippie husband, Michael. But no matter how hard she tried, Michael would always be nothing but a “meathead” to Archie.
3. Endora of 'Bewitched'
You thought your mother-in-law was a witch? Take your typical meddling mom and give her magical powers, and you’ve got one nightmare of a situation. Endora’s disdain for mere mortals was no secret and on top of her butting in where she wasn’t welcome, she loved to throw in insults any chance she got. She couldn’t even be bothered to remember Darrin’s name.
4. Red Forman of 'That ‘70s Show'
While some dads affectionately call their sons “buddy,” or “pal,” Red refered to Eric as “dumbass.” Red takes tough love to a whole new level. In fact, Eric couldn’t have been that big of a wimp, or he never would have survived in that household. Red’s idea of giving fatherly advice was threatening bodily harm.
5. Roseanne Conner of 'Roseanne'
Roseanne wasn’t a bad mom, exactly, but the loud, bossy, in-your-face matriarch was no easy lady to live with. She drank, she swore, and she was brutally honest. Roseanne is every teenage daughter’s worst nightmare, so it’s no surprise she was always fighting with Becky and Darlene. Although we won't be handing her any mom-of-the-year awards, we have to respect Roseanne for always keeping it real.
6. Frank and Estelle Costanza of 'Seinfeld'
George Costanza suffered from a serious inferiority complex, and even he knew his parents were to blame. While they continued to support him as an adult, Estelle made it nearly impossible for him to have a normal dating life. Dear old dad wasn't even concerned when George Steinbrenner came over to tell him his son was dead. (He wasn’t really dead in the end, but still.) No wonder the Seinfelds couldn’t stand to be around this irritating duo.
7. Livia Soprano of ‘The Sopranos’
Tony Soprano was no star father himself, but let’s just look at where he came from before we judge. Tony’s mom, Livia, didn’t have a maternal bone in her body. In fact, she said babies were “animals… no different from dogs.” But her lowest moment as a mother was when she tried to get her brother-in-law to kill her own son. To be fair, when Tony found out about this, his reaction was to plot a way to murder his mother. The apple truly doesn’t fall far from the tree.
8. J.R. and Sue Ellen Ewing of 'Dallas'
A pageant judge and a beauty queen, J.R. and Sue Ellen seemed like the perfect Texas couple, but they didn’t exactly live happily ever after. J.R. proved to be a money-obsessed womanizer, and Sue Ellen developed a drinking problem. Their son, John Ross Ewing III, eventually became just a pawn in their constant fighting, as J.R. temporarily won Sue Ellen back just to get his son’s voting shares in the oil business. The poor kid didn’t stand a chance growing up in that family.
9. Peter Griffin of 'Family Guy'
As utterly unintelligent, crude and lazy as Peter Griffin is (he has both a baby and a dog who are smarter than he is), the only one of his kids he is an especially terrible dad to is Meg. He insults her, farts on her, pranks her and even shoots her. Not exactly your model father-daughter relationship.
10. Jack and Judy Geller of 'Friends'
Ross and Monica Geller always got along extremely well. In fact, they’re the ultimate siblings-turned-friends most parents dream about. But instead of being grateful for this, their mom and dad always managed to bring out the worst in them, feeding into a sibling rivalry with their obvious favoring of Ross. Not only did Judy assume Monica would never get married, but she made fun of her every time she was around. When their house was flooded, only all of Monica’s belongings got ruined. And although Jack meant well, giving Monica his Porsche to make up for this, his constant inappropriate comments made him the ultimate cringe-worthy father figure.