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Do you sometimes, at the end of the day, tag your spouse in, check yourself out, and watch Grey’s Anatomy with a glass of wine bigger than the torso of some small dogs? Does it make you feel a tad bit guilty?

Well it shouldn’t! Seriously this is literally my life every Thursday and ya know what? No guilt to be had!

Real-life parents have a rough time what with juggling work, chores, school-related bake sales, and just generally trying to keep the children alive and not screaming. It’s exhausting, isn’t it?

TV and movie parents have a MUCH easier time of it, so when you consider just how abysmal they are at the absolute bare minimum, well…

You deserve that wine, is what I’m saying. So go grab a glass and check out:

The Five Worst Fictional Parents

(That aren’t Joan Crawford or Norman Bates’ mom…)


Everyone’s favorite childhood show about a group of babies getting into hijinks and shenanigans is pretty scary to watch in retrospect as an adult. The parents are often not around, the kids are outside by themselves in public settings ALL THE TIME, and Tommy’s dad is – sort of? – an inventor, but in a way that sets up a central theme of the show being that he’s broke and bad at it.

The parents in Rugrats aren’t EVIL, and the love their children for sure, but they’re just so ABSENT MINDED. There’s even an episode where Tommy and Chuckie are left in a store because their dads took DOLLS home instead of their actual children. I’ll admit that sometimes I’m a bit out of it, but how do you not notice when you’re clipping them into their carseats?! Safety first, people, c’mon!!


Admit it, it was kind of refreshing seeing a show where the parental protagonist is a woman taking charge, right?

Nancy Botwin loses her husband tragically and instead of melting down, she grabs the reigns of her family and pushes forward! You go, girl!

Of course, she starts a drug empire, burns down a county, kills a few people, and then has a baby with a Mexican drug kingpin which she then uses as leverage to not get murdered herself.

A+ for effort, Nancy, but like an F- for execution.

Big Love

For a polygamist family, the Henricksons are starkly uninvolved with their kids’ lives. A central theme – whether intentional or not – seems to be that even with 4 parents, the kids are very rarely in the company of an adult. Or, if they are, that mysterious adult watching them is always off-camera and never identified.

Specifically, even though there are multiple small children in the family, oftentimes you’ll go several episodes without seeing them in the company of the adults. Where did they go? Do they have jobs? Perhaps they fight crime? And because at least 1 set of grandparents are actively trying to kill Bill, I don’t think they’re the ones watching the babies, either.


Luka is a dreamy doctor, there’s no denying that, and once he sets his sights on Abby, well, it’s not long before they have a baby. A baby which he often leaves to be cared for exclusively by his girlfriend, the aforementioned Abby. You remember Abby, yeah? She’s the nurse-turned-doctor with the bipolar mother and brother, and because of said relatives, she had an abortion when married to her first husband because she was afraid the baby would get a mental illness, too.

Also, at some point, Luka’s dad gets sick, so he leaves Abby with the newborn for several months while he goes back to Eastern Europe to do Eastern European things. He also quit his job right before this, leaving Abby to not only raise the newborn by herself, but also survive financially on her own.

Spoiler: Abby never murders him, inexplicably.

Game of Thrones

Well there’s about a million bad parents on this show, aren’t there? Is it Cersei Lannister? What about Robert Baratheon? Who could be the WORST parent in GoT?

Oh it’s Danerys, hands-down.

Though her children are dragons and not human kids, we can draw some parallels; dragons fly around at top speed, destroying everything in their path, much like a toddler on sugar. In addition, they’re stubborn, only eat what and when they want to, and make all manner of loud, ridiculous noises for no reason.

So Dany locks 2 of her kids in a dungeon, and the third she lets fly around, burning and eating whatever he comes across.

Say what you want about Joffrey, but I don’t remember him literally setting people on fire and eating them.

Honorable Mentions:


Hear me out here – it has nothing to do with her politics, how she raises her kids, or anything to do with their lives really. Roseanne is hilarious, it was before, and it still is now, and it’s a great slice of how a lot of Midwestern average Americans lived and still do live today.

BUT for her to convince her family that their older sister isn’t a different person, and that their father was dead, for 21 years? That’s psychopathic.

Note: Her politics do suck, though. She’s a straight loon.

Batman(‘s parents)

Like, they didn’t ASK to get shot, but come on – you basically own ChicaGotham, you’re rich beyond all reason, and you leave the theater in your jewelry by walking down a dark alley at night? With your kid? And then you try to stop the mugger from stealing something you can replace with your pocket change?

I mean, a lot of parents do psychological damage to their kids, but the Waynes take the gold. Ooph.

At least you’re not them!

See? You’re not so bad after all, are you?

Sure, you went out last weekend with your friends, but you didn’t abandon your family for several months to go to Europe, did you?

And sure, your kids are kind of wild, but they’re not burning down playground equipment with their breath while your other two kids are locked in the basement…right?

Relax and luxuriate in the fact that at the end of the day, you’re a pretty good parent.

Oh! And also you should probably go check on your kids or knock on some wood; they’ve been kinda quiet for a while…

Sound off in the comments below:

Who do YOU think is the worst fictional parent from this list?

Or is there someone even worse?

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