This Father’s Day, we’re taking a break from design to ponder why so many famous, fictional dads are either wise and wonderful—or really dumb. Think you know pop culture? Take our quiz.
Somehow, fathers have locked down the reputation for being the wise and insightful parent (if you don’t believe this is a thing, just check out the Father’s Day greeting card assortment at a store near you). Hollywood has always loved a smart and sympathetic father figure—think Mufasa, Atticus Finch. (Of course, this doesn’t explain Thanos or Darth Vader.) But TV is overpopulated with bumbling and hapless fathers, dads who are never in on the joke—from Phil Dunphy to Homer Simpson (most of the sage, if sometimes clueless, TV dads—from sitcoms most of you won’t remember, like Father Knows Best—are long gone.
In honor of Father’s Day, we tried to wrap our heads around this dichotomy of cads vs. dear old dads, and this is what we found out:
- Most fictional fathers are more complex than we give credit for.
- The wisest dads have been known to spout stupid things.
- Even the dopiest dads sneak in a good line every now and again.
With that, we’d like to share some fatherly pearls of wisdom written for some (mostly) awesome characters in (mostly) recent memory—and wish a happy day to all the dads out there who like to keep us guessing!
Who said it?
1. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.
A. Han Solo, Star Wars
B. Charles Ingalls, Little House on the Prairie
C. Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird
2. That’s the main thing … the goal that every individual is shooting for … It’s kinda the prize of the game: to be happy.
A. Forrest Gump, Forrest Gump
B. Andy Taylor, The Andy Griffith Show
C. Chief Martin Brody, Jaws
3. A wrong decision is better than indecision.
A. Walter White, Breaking Bad
B. Howard Cunningham, Happy Days
C. Tony Soprano, The Sopranos
4. The most amazing things that can happen to a human being will happen to you if you just lower your expectations.
A. Phil Dunphy, Modern Family
B. Frank Gallagher, Shameless
C. Don Draper, Mad Men
5. It’s so simple to be wise… just think of something stupid to say and then don’t say it.
A. Homer Simpson, The Simpsons
B. Dre Johnson, Black-ish
C. Jay Pritchett, Modern Family
6. A wise king never seeks out war, but he must always be ready for it.
A. King T’Challa, Black Panther
B. Odin, Thor
C. Ned Stark, Game of Thrones
7. Well, that’s the thing about life, it’s the surprises, the little things, that sneak up on you and grab hold of you.
A. George Banks, Father of the Bride
B. George McFly, Back to the Future
C. George Bailey, It’s a Wonderful Life
8. Alone, we can only move buckets. But if we work together, we can drain rivers.
A. John Walton Sr., The Waltons
B. Mike Brady, The Brady Bunch
C. Danny Tanner, Full House
9. There’s nothing you can get from a book that you can’t get from a television faster.
A. Frank Reynolds, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
B. Harry Wormwood, Matilda
C. Archie Bunker, All in the Family
10. I’m only brave when I have to be.Being brave doesn’t mean you go looking for trouble.
A. Herman Munster, The Munsters
B. Bryan Mills, Taken
C. Mufasa, The Lion King
11. A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.
A.Jack Byrnes, Meet the Parents
C. Clark Griswold, National Lampoon’s Vacation
D. Vito Corleone, The Godfather
1. Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird
2. Andy Taylor, The Andy Griffith Show
3. Tony Soprano, The Sopranos
4. Phil Dunphy, Modern Family
5. Homer Simpson, The Simpsons
6. Odin, Thor
7. George Banks, Father of the Bride
8. Mike Brady, The Brady Bunch
9. Harry Wormwood, Matilda
10. Mufasa, The Lion King
11. Vito Corleone, The Godfather
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