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Spartan Girl

They Suck: Worst TV Parents

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Here's a topic to discuss the horrendous parenting we've seen on TV shows.

 

There are literally tons of horrible parents on the Law and Order shows I could list, but I'll save them for the show threads.

 

If I had to pick one crappy TV mom, it would probably be Mitch "The Bitch" Larsen on the first two seasons of The Killing.  Yes it's terrible that her daughter was murdered, but that's no excuse for her neglect towards her surviving sons.  Accidentally leaving them in a running car with the garage door shut is bad enough, but then she goes and abandons them when they really need her because she can't deal with everything...and then she comes back and acts like everything is okay again?  Geez.  I'm glad the oldest son wasn't so forgiving.

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I think the worst TV parents are found on cartoons.
Dora's parents let her go off wherever, and Max and Ruby have a grandmother, but they don't live with her.

I used to see these when my nephew was a baby, and I'd crack up when Dora would climb into a boat or a plane that she just happened to find, and then she put on the seat belt or life preserver, "so we can be safe."

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Victor Newman (Young & The Restless) - He had his daughter arrested on her wedding day cause he didn't like who she was marrying. Constantly interfering in his daughter's love life. Found a girl that looked like his son's deceased daughter and used her to make the mother Sharon think she was delusional and there's so much more but I'll be typing forever lol.

 

Peter & Lois Griffin - Look how they treat their daughter Meg.

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Every parent ever depicted on Secret Life of the American Teenager. I mean, every last one of them are terrible from Ben's dad (forgot his actual name since the TwoP lot called him Sausage King) telling him to date Amy as replacement for him dead mom to Adrian's dad that threatened to leave her mom if she didn't go through with having a baby at 17 (!) years old to Grace's mom letting her brother taunt her about sex having killed their father toALL the parents laughing ay Grace getting almost mugged to whatever made that psychotic cunt Amy the most unlikeable protagonist of any show since Enterprise's Archer was griping about his sick dog.

Honorable mention to the Camdens of 7th Heaven.

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Betty Draper Francis.  Worst TV Mom ever. 

 

Don Draper.  Maybe not the worst, but only because he's a close second to Betty in the bad parenting department.

Edited by amaranta
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Yeah, it's good that those two got divorced and stepparents came into the picture. With Don and Betty together, those kids wouldn't have had a chance at all.

 

I was going to put up most of the parents on Friday Night Lights, simply because they seem to be mostly non-existent, but then I remembered Smash's mother and decided that they didn't screw up all the parents on that show. Plus, you guys have already narrowed in on some pretty crappy parents that probably trump them anyway.

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John and Mary Winchester on Supernatural.  First, Mary makes a deal with a demon which leads to Sam's life being ruined at the age of 6 months, then John drags Sam and Dean all over the country, either abandoning them for days on end in sleazy motels or forcing them to hunt monsters from a very young age.

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Neither Betty or Don are great parents, but Betty can be relied on to be there every day.  Don more than once seriously considered abandoning his children and only seems to have forged a bond with Sally.   I think personality wise Don comes off as nicer than Betty to the kids, but he's not there for them really.  Althought I think Betty is better than Don, she's also incredibly petty and can take out her frustrations on the kids.  So they kids have a mother who is reliable but difficult to deal with and a father who can be charismatic but can't be trusted to be there for them.  I think their step father is probably a better parent than either of them especially with the boys who Don doesn't seem that interested in.

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Nate's Dad on Gossip Girl made him Take the wrap literally heh pun totally intended, his mum found drugs that were actually his dad's and he said they must be his son's and they were all ready to send poor Nateybear off to rehab..then his dad gets charged with embezzlement and is all ready to hold his family ransom in another country to avoid extradition or some convoluted reason. though as spartan girl said, the worst of the worst parents that i can think of are some Law & Order SVU parents!

Edited by electraheartnataly
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All the parents in Rugrats, seriously they barely watch their kids.

Remember Charlotte who was always talking on the phone to her assistant Jonathan? No wonder Angelica was such an attention hog.

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Neither Betty or Don are great parents, but Betty can be relied on to be there every day.  Don more than once seriously considered abandoning his children and only seems to have forged a bond with Sally.   I think personality wise Don comes off as nicer than Betty to the kids, but he's not there for them really.  Althought I think Betty is better than Don, she's also incredibly petty and can take out her frustrations on the kids.  So they kids have a mother who is reliable but difficult to deal with and a father who can be charismatic but can't be trusted to be there for them.  I think their step father is probably a better parent than either of them especially with the boys who Don doesn't seem that interested in.

 

I don't equate reliability with presence.  An abusive parent who is home every day is still an abusive parent.

 

As I said previously, Don's no prize as a parent himself.  His failings mostly relate to neglect.  I think he's only beginning to bond with Sally because she's almost an adult, becoming someone he can relate to and therefore not as intimidating.  Once the boys are older, and if they let him in, he'll be more comfortable with them as well.  Don Draper just can't with kids, at least not his own.

 

Another nominee for Worst TV Parents: Adam and Kristina Braverman.  Helicopter parents to the nth degree with no sense of boundaries and no ability to provide correction and/or direction when it comes their special snowflake Max.  Max actually has been saddled with three disabilities: autism, his father, and his mother.  (Oh look!  He just shoved and pushed Aunt Sarah, almost putting her on the floor... poor Max!  He must be so frustrated!  Let us hope he won't get that frustrated around the baby! *insert hand wringing and concern eyes here*)

 

On a lot of sitcoms, bad parenting often seems to be played for laughs.  Frank and Marie Barone, for example.  I mean, just awful!  But it's sitcom land, so I usually assume I'm meant to watch with a wink and a nod (very *special* episodes excluded.)

 

 

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OMG.  Isn't this the thread for Sarah Linden -- speaking of The Killing???  I'm soooo happy that the kid is now away and safe from Linden and hit it big in  The Way Way Back!!!

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I have this thing with my son where I ask him this question:  Who would you rather have as a Mom; Hyacinth (Bucket/Bouquet) or Eddie (Monsoon)?  He just groans and rolls his eyes.  I know that KUA and Ab Fab are sitcoms and so these two ladies are being played for laughs (as amaranta noted), but OMG they are both bad.  And from the Reality Show world, MJ's mom on Shahs of Sunset is just THE WORST.  She is so critical toward her daughter that she just makes me cringe.  Disgusting woman.

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Emily Gilmore who repeatedly treats her daughter like crap, tries to destroy her relationship with Luke because he doesn't fit into "her" world, constantly puts down her daughter who worked her butt off to move from a maid at an inn to running the place, bought her own house, and started her own inn. None of that matters to Emily because she wants Lorelai to live the life Emily wants her to live. Lorelai's wants and happiness doesn't matter. Had no problems forgetting all about Rory committing a crime but never forgives or forgets a single thing Lorelai has ever done. Her and Richard's constant praising and treating Christopher, Rory's father, like he's some kind of God despite the fact he never did a single thing to raise his child while putting down and treating the one person who actual raised the perfect grandchild they love so much like crap. They also have no problem under-minding Lorelai's authority as a parent. 

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I have this thing with my son where I ask him this question:  Who would you rather have as a Mom; Hyacinth (Bucket/Bouquet) or Eddie (Monsoon)?

 

I would choose Hyacinth, myself; to her, Sheridan can do no wrong and she denies him nothing. She has a huge blind spot about his sexuality, but I'm guessing he thinks she's figured it out already so there's no need for an awkward "coming out" announcement. Eddie is just selfish and negligent.

 

I watched The Goldbergs only once and was appalled by Beverly's behavior to Erica prepping for SAT's. First she pushes Erica to exhaustion with studying; then, when she finds out Erica wants to go to Stanford far away from her, she tries to make Erica fail. Of course, she sees the light before the end of the half hour, but it was still put me off the show. (Murray, by contrast, was great, starring in Adam's homemade sci-fi movie even though Adam's interests weren't his.)

 

Homer Simpson is pretty bad as a father in every way.

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I would choose Hyacinth, myself; to her, Sheridan can do no wrong and she denies him nothing. She has a huge blind spot about his sexuality, but I'm guessing he thinks she's figured it out already so there's no need for an awkward "coming out" announcement. Eddie is just selfish and negligent.

 

I watched The Goldbergs only once and was appalled by Beverly's behavior to Erica prepping for SAT's. First she pushes Erica to exhaustion with studying; then, when she finds out Erica wants to go to Stanford far away from her, she tries to make Erica fail. Of course, she sees the light before the end of the half hour, but it was still put me off the show. (Murray, by contrast, was great, starring in Adam's homemade sci-fi movie even though Adam's interests weren't his.)

 

Homer Simpson is pretty bad as a father in every way.

While the likes of Homer Simpson and Beverly Goldberg certainly are bad parents, I personally wouldn't waste any outrage on them, since they're BOTH cartoon characters (even if only one of them is literally that).  I mean there's no mystery that Beverly is like that, the moment we hear Narrator Adam refer to her as "Smother".

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Every single parent on Pretty Little Liars. How all of them have managed to miss their daughter's being stalked for 1-3 years (I'm iffy on the show's actual timeline) is both bizzare/hilarious. A special mention goes to Byron and Ella (aka Piper from Charmed) for letting their daughter date her teacher/stalker rather than, you know, sending said teacher/stalker to jail.

Edited by SparedTurkey
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I think the worst cartoon parents would have to go to Butter's parents on South Park.  Those controlling, abusive assholes are the reason why the poor kid can barely function.

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While the likes of Homer Simpson and Beverly Goldberg certainly are bad parents, I personally wouldn't waste any outrage on them, since they're BOTH cartoon characters (even if only one of them is literally that). I mean there's no mystery that Beverly is like that, the moment we hear Narrator Adam refer to her as "Smother".

Exactly. The show makes it clear that these are horribly selfish people and those around them point this out.

The opposite of this would be, as one example, Victor Newman whose direct and indirect actions hurt all his family and he still gets them and half the town kissing his ass.

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The Seavers on Growing Pains (how's that for showing my age?) were lousy parents in that they never, ever gave horrible Mike the smackdown he so richly deserved for being so cruel to Carol. Yes, siblings can be jerky and can tease mercilessly, but you have to draw a line somewhere. Mike made the most horrible remarks about Carol's looks, her weight, basically everything about her. That they stood idly by while Mike blithely showered Carol with verbal abuse just appalled me. I admit a lot of my opinion is colored by the fact that poor Tracey Gold developed an eating disorder while on the show, and the fact that Kirk Cameron is just a shitty human being, representing everything that's wrong with modern Christianity.

 

If I were a parent and my kid was being mean to his/her sibling? Oh, you can bet dollars to donuts I'd make them so miserable they'd never, ever do it again.

Edited by Wiendish Fitch
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So you are raising a serial killer...  Dexter's adopted Dad makes the choice to redirect Dexter's murderous ways to killing criminals that have escaped justice.  Norma Bates just sticks her fingers in her and sings la-la-la to pretend its not happening when she's not being creepily co-dependent with her son.

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Game of Thrones: I don't know if Ned & Catelyn Stark would be considered helicopter parents, but they sure as Seven Hells didn't prepare their kids for real life.

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Lori and Rick Grimes Walking Dead - zombieapocalypse and they never seemed to know where Carl was.

 

Athena/Sharon and Helo Battlestar Galactica - how many times did they lose that daughter of theirs?

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Lori and Rick Grimes Walking Dead - zombieapocalypse and they never seemed to know where Carl was.

 

 

 

Amen.  That drove me completely nuts.  I was so happy when she finally died.

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Athena/Sharon and Helo Battlestar Galactica - how many times did they lose that daughter of theirs?

From memory, only once. Boomer kidnapped her.

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Victoria and Conrad Grayson on "Revenge".  For millions of reasons.  No wonder their son Daniel turned out to be as horrible a human being as both of them are, and their daughter Charlotte is a junkie and both of them are attempted murderers.

 

But David Clarke is equally as bad.  Leaving a box for his daughter Amanda with tons of information about all of the people who were responsible for ruining both of their lives, but then leaving a note, too, telling her, "Just because I told you all of this, don't do anything about it."  Passive aggressively wanting her to do it, but making her feel guilty about it.  And then having escaped from prison ten years ago, not bothering to contact her while she was a foster child and juvenile delinquent to let her know he was alive. Plus, he apparently had millions of millions of dollars in the possession of Nolan, but didn't want him to let her know that she was rich till she was 18 and had spent years of horror in the system.  I would add Amanda's mother, except she's just insane.

Edited by Rick Kitchen
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Although they were not her parents but her guardians I always felt awful for the youngest girl on party of five.   No one ever paid attention to her.

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Yes, Tom87! I can't stand them!

Gemma, I don't have that kind of time to go into her. What gets me about Jax is he loves his kids so much yet brings more trauma into their lives after you know what. (I can't do spoilers on my phone.) Tara was trying to get out. Jax could care less about giving a shit about it for his kids. Asshole!

Edited by nicepebbles
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I caught a rerun of The Closer yesterday, where a boy disappears and is found dead in the swimming pool and his divorced parents spend the better part of the episode blaming and screaming at each other.  It turns out the that the dad killed him to get back at his ex-wife for taking all his money and alienating the boy from him.  IMHO both those parents were horrendous: not only the horrible dad, but also the mom for being more concerned with cleaning out her ex than the welfare of her child.  People that are so blinded by hate don't deserve to be parents.

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There are a TON of bad parents on Law and Order: SVU (there's a whole thread dedicated to them), but I have to call out the worst ones IMO: In the episode Raw, at the beginning of the episode, an adopted black child is murdered in a school yard by white supremacists (a few other children are injured, but I think he was the only one killed).  Fast forward to the end of the episode where we find out that his white parents purposely adopted him in order to take out a large insurance policy on him, and then offer him to the white supremacists to be killed.  When Olivia asks them if they hate black people that much, the wife gets insulted and says "We aren't racist!  We just really needed the money."  Oh, ok, god forbid someone thinks you're racist, its MUCH better to have everyone know you adopted a child in order to have him killed for cash.  Worst parents on SVU by far.

Edited by Princess Sparkle
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Every single parent on Pretty Little Liars. How all of them have managed to miss their daughter's being stalked for 1-3 years (I'm iffy on the show's actual timeline) is both bizzare/hilarious. A special mention goes to Byron and Ella (aka Piper from Charmed) for letting their daughter date her teacher/stalker rather than, you know, sending said teacher/stalker to jail.

This. If my kid was dating a teacher, he'd be toast.

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I really think the recent seasons of The Simpsons have turned Marge into a bad mother, or accurately an overly smothering one.  At least where Lisa is concerned.  Lisa could literally be President of the Universe, but Marge won't be happy unless she winds up as a housewife just like her.  Geez, the girl is only eight, quit worrying about if she's ever going to meet a boy for Christ's sake.

 

Plus she was infuriatingly narrow-minded about Lisa's choices to become a vegetarian and a Buddhist.  And she's is supposed to be the "good" Simpson.

Edited by Spartan Girl
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Every. Single. Adult. On. The. Vampire. Diaries. 

 

I watch this show with my mother for reasons and we are consistently baffled as to how these kids get away with not going to school, drinking underage, and leaving town so frequently without their parents giving a crap (the earlier seasons). When Jenna told Elena's real dad that Elena couldn't talk to him because she was off with Stefan for the weekend because she needed a "break" my mother had to pause the show to lecture me and let me know the very real consequences that would have occurred if I had ever done that as a teenager. No sane parent would let their underage daughter go off with her boyfriend alone for a day, let alone an entire weekend at a cabin in the woods without other adults around. No wonder these kids ran/run into so problems. Every parent in Mystic Falls, the ones that are still alive anyway, need some parenting classes. 

Edited by PinkSprinkles
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Victor and Ida, Lois' parents on Malcolm in the Middle. No wonder Lois turned out to be such a control freak: with parents like hers, she didn't have a chance!

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I freely admit Homer Simpson is no prize but at least he tries as a father. And seems to recognize and regret his failings. His biggest handicap is his lack of intelligence. But he's never hesitated to work a horrible job to provide for his family or tell his kids he loves them or apologize when he knows he's wrong.

 

Peter & Lois Griffin on the other hand are are just all around terrible people.

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Mr. Dressup. Kept a 5year old and his pet carpet sample in a tree.

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Imma have to go with Lucious Lyon on this one:

 

- Throwing your gay son in the trash, just be an overall homophobic shit and heaping that on the kid's head all his life

- Ignoring your brilliant oldest son who has a mental illness, allowing him to lie for you, reneging publicly on an agreement you made with him, thereby exacerbating his illness

- showing marked favoritism to your youngest child, providing no boundaries, paying his way out of trouble so he doesn't learn that actions have consequences, trying to appease President Obama because said dumb youngest child insulted the President.

- driving a wedge between your children and their mother (the woman you allowed to take the fall for you and then promptly abandoned)

 

Yeah, he's a peach

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I have this thing with my son where I ask him this question:  Who would you rather have as a Mom; Hyacinth (Bucket/Bouquet) or Eddie (Monsoon)?  He just groans and rolls his eyes.  I know that KUA and Ab Fab are sitcoms and so these two ladies are being played for laughs (as amaranta noted), but OMG they are both bad.  And from the Reality Show world, MJ's mom on Shahs of Sunset is just THE WORST.  She is so critical toward her daughter that she just makes me cringe.  Disgusting woman.

Jeez, what a choice!  But I'd take Eddie over Hyacinth any day.  At least she occasionally took Saffie exotic places.  (And then lost her to white slavers or whatever, but still . . .)

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On a lot of sitcoms, bad parenting often seems to be played for laughs.  Frank and Marie Barone, for example.  I mean, just awful!  But it's sitcom land, so I usually assume I'm meant to watch with a wink and a nod (very *special* episodes excluded.)

amaranta's right, Marie was played for laughs (Everyone Loves Raymond).  She was horrendous, though.  Not so much for how she treated Debra (the daughter-in-law) which was awful enough, but how she constantly belittled her other son.  She's vile.

 

Leonard's mom (Big Bang Theory) should at least get an honorable mention.

 

However, I'd go with Mulva's nomination of the Winchesters (Supernatural).  It really doesn't get worse than that.

 

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Jack and Andie's dad on Dawson's Creek. He abandons his family when his favorite son dies, leaving his children to take care of their mentally impaired mother. I don't remember if he reconciled with them later on in the series but he was still a dick.

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Eve on Days of Our Lives slept with her daughter's boyfriend on more than one occasion. The boy's a freshman in college. That is exponentially icky.

I thought Brooke Logan was the only one in soapdom that did this, lol :p
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I freely admit Homer Simpson is no prize but at least he tries as a father. And seems to recognize and regret his failings. His biggest handicap is his lack of intelligence. But he's never hesitated to work a horrible job to provide for his family or tell his kids he loves them or apologize when he knows he's wrong.

Peter & Lois Griffin on the other hand are are just all around terrible people.

One of the standout episodes for me is the one where the kids asked why there were no pictures of Maggie in the house. Homer had quit the power plant job just as Marge got pregnant a third time and he has to beg the boss to get hired again . Mr. Burns being the classy guy that he is places a motivational sign in Homer's office: "Don't forget, you're here forever"

The last shot of the episode shows Homer's office filled with the missing pictures of Maggie, and around post poster to say "Do It for Her."

Like you said, Homer is a clod, but a usually well-meaning clod.

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