The 7 Worst Animated Parents Ever

The 7 Worst Animated Parents Ever

Fictional parents can teach all sorts of valuable life lessons, but some animated mothers and fathers need a visit from child services. Redditor Dwaynedanger2 recently headed to the subreddit r/Cartoons with a lengthy accounting of animated parents and prompted a simple discussion: “Who Are the Worst Parents on This List?” Some, like Stu and Didi Pickles from The Rugrats, were pardoned from judgment, as users questioned their inclusion on a list that has certifiably negligent parents. Others, however, couldn’t escape their parental war crimes, and were rightfully flogged in the comments. 

Here’s our ranking of the worst animated parents and their offenses based on the responses…

Homer Simpson, ‘The Simpsons’

Sure, Homer physically abuses his son from time to time, but at least it’s clear that the violence is satirizing this kind of relationship. And for the most part, Homer is a loving father whose biggest crime is being a dolt.

Mr. and Mrs. Turner, ‘The Fairly OddParents’

The entire premise of The Fairly OddParents hinges on the fact that Timmy Turner’s parents are negligent and regularly leave him under the care of a callous babysitter. Without this, there would be no need for Timmy’s fairy godparents to make his every wish come true (as long as everyone abides by Da Rules). The neglect doesn’t end with Timmy’s magical surrogate parents either, because his biological parents never even question what their son does all day.

Big Bob and Miriam Pataki, ‘Hey Arnold!’

Helga Pataki is the perfect example of bad eggs being a product of their upbringing. Big Bob is a workaholic who favors her booksmart older sister, and Miriam is apathetic and likes the bottle more than anything else. With parents like that, Helga’s constant lashing out makes total sense — if she’s not getting attention from her parents, she’s dead set on finding it from somewhere else.

Mr. and Mrs. Doofenshmirtz, ‘Phineas and Ferb’

Heinz Doofenshmirtz, the bumbling scientist at odds with Phineas and Ferb, is another antagonistic character with a horrific backstory. His parents forced him to be a lawn gnome, abandoned him to be raised by ocelots and somehow defied logic so much that neither were present for his birth.

Jerry and Beth Smith, ‘Rick and Morty’

Jerry and Beth’s parenting skills are mismatched and incompatible at best. Jerry desperately wants to be patriarch of the family but is plagued by the fact that he will always pale in comparison to his breadwinner wife. Beth, in a misguided attempt to bring her son out of his shell, has Morty go on all sorts of misadventures that she knows are unsafe. There’s also the fact that Beth regrets getting pregnant with Morty, adding another layer to the time she didn’t hesitate to potentially watch him die.

Peter and Lois Griffin, ‘Family Guy’

Peter once shot Meg for simply saying “hi” and Lois once slept with Meg’s boyfriend, so their inclusion here is far from surprising. Whereas some shows may try to make a point with parental abuse, there is very little rhyme or reason as to the way the Griffins treat Meg, other than being a running gag at her expense.

Stephen and Linda Scotch, ‘South Park’

Stephen and Linda Scotch exist in South Park almost exclusively to physically, sexually and emotionally torment Butters. In addition to grounding him for things that are wholly out of his control, their abusive parental rap sheet includes sending him to conversion therapy after suspecting he’s bi-curious (despite Stephen actively sleeping with men), demanding he eat human remains, and of course, attempted filicide. To make matters worse, they know they’re awful parents — they just don’t care.

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