50 Fictional Fathers

For many people around the world, but not me, this Sunday is Fathers’ Day. This gives me an opportunity to do something I enjoy: make a list. Below is a list of 50 fictional fathers. It wasn’t an easy list to make. Initially I wanted to list 50 great dads, men like Atticus Finch and John Walton. But I couldn’t find 50 awesome fathers.

To pad out my list of 50 I had to include a few dodgy fathers (eg: Darth Vader, Homer Simpson). And this has given me something to think about.

If art mirrors society, where are all the good fathers?

Hollywood makes 600 movies a year and a million books are published every year. Finding good fictional fathers should be easy. But it’s not.

A few years ago I wrote an article entitled “Fatherless fiction.” In it I shared my observation that many great characters in literature, from Oliver Twist to Batman, grew up without knowing the love of a father. In many children’s stories the moms and dads are either absent or negligent. Parental abandonment is a common trope in children’s literature, and the absence of dads prompted me to write my own children’s story, The Big House.

So what? Why does it matter that good dads are missing from our stories? It matters a great deal!

Jesus came to reveal our good Father in heaven, but much of our world doesn’t know him. This ignorance is reflected in our stories. Jesus told stories about fathers, but we don’t.

I’m not here to complain. I’d rather celebrate the good fathers we do have, and I trust that’s what you’ll be doing this weekend.

But if you are a reader of books or a watcher of movies, I challenge you to name ten fictional fathers who remind us of our heavenly Father. If you can do 10, try and do 50. I couldn’t do it, but maybe you can. Then let me know who I missed below.

1. Darth Vader (Star Wars)
2. Vito Corleone (Puzo)
3. Atticus Finch (Lee)
4. Jack Ryan (Clancy)
5. Darryl Kerrigan (The Castle)
6. Bryan Mills (Taken)
7. Clark Griswold (National Lampoon)
8. John Quincy Archibald (John Q)
9. Jonathan Kent (Superman)
10. Daddy Warbucks (Annie)
11. Joseph Cooper (Interstellar)
12. Jay Pritchard (Modern Family)
13. Marlin (Finding Nemo)
14. Bob Parr (The Incredibles)
15. Daniel Hillard (Mrs Doubtfire)
16. George Banks (Father of the Bride)
17. Mufasa (Lion King)
18. Benjamin Martin (The Patriot)
19. Graham Hess (Signs)
20. Jean Valjean (Les Mis)
21. Phil Dunphy (Modern Family)
22. Cameron Poe (Con Air)
23. Harry Stamper (Armageddon)
24. “Man” (The Road)
25. Jackson Curtis (2012)
26. Big Chris (Lock Stock 2 Smoking Barrels)
27. Wayne Szalinski (Honey I Shrunk the Kids)
28. Ray Gaines (San Andreas)
29. Howard Cunningham (Happy Days)
30. King Triton (Little Mermaid)
31. William (Swiss Family Robinson)
32. Mr. Banks (Mary Poppins)
33. Tim the Toolman Taylor (Home Improvement)
34. Homer Simpson
35. Guido Orefice (Life is Beautiful)
36. Jack Byrnes (Meet the Parents)
37. Tevye (Fiddler on the Roof)
38. Hal Wilkerson (Malcolm in the Middle)
39. Marty Crane (Frasier)
40. Philip Banks (Fresh Prince of Bel-Air)
41. Frank Abagnale Sr (Catch Me If You Can)
42. Sam Baldwin (Sleepless in Seattle)
43. Brad Whitaker (Daddy’s Home)
44. Frank Barone (Everybody Loves Raymond)
45. Al Bundy (Married… With Children)
46. King Lear
47. Frank Costanza (Seinfeld)
48. Gil Buckman (Parenthood)
49. Ming the Merciless
50. John Walton (The Waltons)

So who’s your favorite fictional father? And who did I miss? tell me in the comments below.

Happy Father’s Day!


50 Fictional Fathers