With Valentines Day right around the corner, it is only fitting that we talk about the concept of love.
Not just any love, but the love that one receives from a parent.
While the holiday is often linked with romance (reminding me of how lonely I am), parental love is an important type of love in its own right. Our parents are the people that have been with us since literally since the beginning, and they are a dependable source of emotional support. However, not all parents are created equal; as the world of TV clearly shows us. For every supportive parent character we see, there is always another parent or two that simply should not be tasked with overseeing the emotional and mental development of a child.
That is why we are going to take a look at five of the worst parents to ever hit the small screen (with one honorable mention):
Honorable Mention: Everyone (South Park)
The town of South Park is one giant example of failure in parenting. The children of South Park are all vulgar, violent, and incredibly mean-spirited, and it should be apparent that the parents of this town are somewhat to blame for this. In fact, there are various examples of them acting even more childish than their own children. As for who's the worst of the bunch, that would have to be Butters' parents; who not only ground him every chance they get, but even tried to sell him to Paris Hilton of all people. Kyle's mom also desires a mention because, well, you know.
5. Hal and Lois (Malcolm in the Middle)
Much like South Park, you can't look at the children's actions without placing some blame on the parents. While Hal and Lois are arguably the funniest characters on the show, they are by no means good parents. When Lois is not trying to solve problems by screaming like a One Direction fan, she is practicing parenting tactics that put every military drill instructor to shame. While Hal is seen as the "nicer" of the two, he is by no means better; as his meek and submissive demeanor enables Lois' insane idea of parenting. Even the show has dedicated several episodes to how objectively terrible Hal and Lois are as parents.
4. Mr. Krabs (SpongeBob)
We all know that Mr. Krabs is as unethical as any businessman you will find on TV. He is not much better as a father, either. This is very apparent in episodes centered around his daughter Pearl's birthday. When a man is so cheap that he won't even put effort into his own daughter's birthday celebration, you know you're dealing with a detestable character. The one of the only times he shows interest in Pearl is when he uses her to take advantage of Plankton's fear of whales, which nearly drives Plankton to the point of suicide (I really wish I was making that up).
3. Mr. and Mrs. Turner (Fairly Odd Parents)
You know you suck at parenting when two mythical creatures have to do the job for you. The Turners have shown little to no care for their own son from the very beginning. I mean, they didn't even bother getting him different clothes when he was born (they were expecting a daughter). On top of that, the fact that they are oblivious to how horrible Vicky is to Timmy is actually really disturbing. They can't blame Dinkleburg for their incompetence.
2. Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler (Stranger Things)
How can a series that has one of the most caring mother characters of all time in Joyce Byers also have these two oblivious idiots? Both of their two oldest children have had other people spend the night with them on multiple occasions (not to mention getting involved in a government cover-up with supernatural elements), and they never catch on. It is a miracle that their infant daughter hasn't sneaked out of the house by now. Plus, do we really need to recall Mrs. Wheeler being seduced by Mr. Every-80's-D-Bag-Ever (AKA: Billy)? Oh well, Ted doesn't care about anything anyway.
1. Homer Simpson (The Simpsons)
Above all other things, being a good parent requires effort. Does Homer Simpson look like someone that would put effort into anything (aside from eating donuts)? Homer is just about the last character in TV that you would consider a good father figure. When he's not giving his children terrible life advice, he's strangling his son. I personally call BS on the supposed future where Lisa becomes President; there's no way someone like that could arise from Homer's parenting.