Top TV Dads in Each State

What does your state’s favorite TV dad say about you?

Pay close attention. What do these three statements have in common?

  1. What time did the man go to the dentist? Tooth hurt-y.
  2. What’s Forrest Gump’s password? 1forrest1
  3. Why do chicken coops have only two doors? Because if they had four, they would be chicken sedans.

You’ve guessed it—they’re all dad jokes. Over the years, we’ve laughed, we’ve cried, and we’ve certainly cringed with all the dads who have graced our television screens.

But which dads have managed to stick out and find a place in our hearts? We’ve collected data across the country to find every state’s most popular TV dad.

state's favorite tv dad

Two dads to rule them all

The two most popular Dads in our country couldn’t be more different, but it’s diversity that makes America so special, after all.

On one hand you’ve got the compassionate, dog-saving Jack Pearson from This Is Us, and on the other hand, you’ve got the lazy, donut-loving Homer Simpson from The Simpsons.

Homer Simpson

At least four states (Colorado, Illinois, Oregon, and Pennsylvania) agree Homer is a better dad than you might think.

Sure, Homer accidentally worked for an international terrorist (Hank Scorpio), and he tried to jump over the Springfield gorge on a skateboard once, but he’s secretly a great dad. Take this as proof, and try not to tear up a little.

Our favorite Homer Simpson moment

When Bart gets his first girlfriend and corresponding first broken heart, Homer and Marge have this legendary exchange:

Marge: “Have you noticed any change in Bart?”

Homer: “New glasses?”

Marge: “No. He looks like something might be disturbing him.”

Homer: “Probably misses his old glasses.”

Jack Pearson

Though he’s got his demons, Jack Pearson is the kind of dad worthy of admiration. He puts his children before anything else, but at the same time we know he isn’t a perfect person, what with his drinking problem and all. Those from Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island would likely agree.

It’s the combination of Jack’s fatherly compassion mixed with relatability that makes him such a beloved figure across America. Plus he also saved the family dog from a fire, which is pretty cool.

Our favorite Jack Pearson moment

I’m getting weepy before even writing this. When Jack’s adopted son Randall is going through an identity crisis, Jack lovingly responds with the following:

“You’re adopted, and we don’t talk about that enough. ‘Cause to me, you are every part my son.” (to Randall)

A surprisingly ghoulish classic dad

Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Texas must have a thing for goth dads, and you know what? We really can’t blame them.

Of all the classic TV dads we’ve enjoyed over the years—we’re talking about dads like George Jefferson from The Jefferson, Steven Keaton from Family Ties, and Carl Winslow from Family Matters—it turns out Gomez Addams from The Addams Family is the most popular. Go figure.

You’ll remember Gomez Addams as the type of dad who empowered his children, no matter how peculiar their hobbies might be (looking at you, Wednesday!). You’ll probably also remember his undying devotion to his beloved Morticia—and his great moustache.

Our favorite Gomez Addams moment

The amount of #RelationshipGoals moments Gomez and Morticia share together is simply astounding. A good dad treats his partner with the deepest respect, and Gomez did so with flying colors (and a little macabre humor).

Gomez: “Has anyone ever told you, you have the softest brown eyes?”

Morticia: “No. Besides, my eyes are blue.”

Gomez: “No wonder nobody ever told you!”

Familiar dads are comfortable dads

We always tend to gravitate toward the familiar, and our relationships with TV dads is no different. In fact, we found the same development with every state’s favorite 80’s movie—we all like things that hit close to home.

California and Danny Tanner

With so many depictions of southern California living in shows like Saved by the Bell, I Love Lucy, and The French Prince of Bel-Air, northern California needed someone to represent them. Danny Tanner wasn’t the hero San Francisco asked for, but he’s the hero they deserve.

He may not be as cool as Uncle Jesse or do Donald Duck impressions like “Uncle” Joey, but Danny Tanner offers a lot of love to his three daughters.

Favorite Danny Tanner moment

The sheer volume of cheesy, cringy, and undeniably sweet Danny Tanner moments is pretty incredible. I think we can sum it up in 10 words:

“Am I the raddest, baddest dad a kid ever had?”

(Yes.)

Nebraska and Coach Eric Taylor

Okay, okay, okay, so Friday Night Lights definitely doesn’t take place in Nebraska, but want to know what does take place in Nebraska? Football.

Coach Taylor may not be from Nebraska, but he certainly embodies the football-loving spirit of the state. Nebraska might as well change its state slogan to “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.”

Favorite Coach Taylor moment

We’re not going to frame this quote at all; we’re just going to let it land:

“Every man at some point in his life is gonna lose a battle. He’s gonna fight, and he’s gonna lose. But what makes him a man is that, in the midst of that battle, he does not lose himself.”

(Goosebumps.)

Our methodology

First we compiled list of famous TV dads—thanks IMDB!  We put each dad into Google Trends to see the top-ranking states in terms of search for each title over the past 12 months.

STATEDAD NAMETV SHOW
AlabamaGeorge JeffersonThe Jeffersons
AlaskaDavid Nolan/CharmingOnce Upon a Time
ArizonaHalMalcolm in the Middle
ArkansasJed "JD" ClampettThe Beverly Hillbillies
CaliforniaDanny TannerFull House
ColoradoHomer SimpsonThe Simpsons
ConnecticutJack PearsonThis is Us
DelawareTony MicelliWho's the Boss?
FloridaGomez AddamsThe Addams Family
GeorgiaCarl WinslowFamily Matters
HawaiiJoe WestThe Flash
IdahoDavid Nolan/CharmingOnce Upon a Time
IllinoisHomer SimpsonThe Simpsons
IndianaGomez AddamsThe Addams Family
IowaJason SeaverGrowing Pains
KansasJoe WestThe Flash
KentuckyDavid Nolan/CharmingOnce Upon a Time
LouisianaGeorge JeffersonThe Jeffersons
MaineRichard GilmoreGilmore Girls
MarylandJack PearsonThis is Us
MassachusettsJack PearsonThis is Us
MichiganGomez AddamsThe Addams Family
MinnesotaAdam BravermanParenthood
MississippiCarl WinslowFamily Matters
MissouriWard CleaverLeave it to Beaver
MontanaSteven KeatonFamily Ties
NebraskaEric TaylorFriday Night Lights
NevadaBen CartwrightBonanza
New HampshireWard CleaverLeave it to Beaver
New JerseyJoe WestThe Flash
New MexicoWalter WhiteBreaking Bad
New YorkJack PearsonThis is Us
North CarolinaPhilip BanksThe Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
North DakotaMike BradyThe Brady Bunch
OhioSteven KeatonFamily Ties
OklahomaGomez AddamsThe Addams Family
OregonHomer SimpsonThe Simpsons
PennsylvaniaJack PearsonThis is Us
Rhode IslandJack PearsonThis is Us
South CarolinaDavid Nolan/CharmingOnce Upon a Time
South DakotaCharles IngallsLittle House on the Prairie
TennesseeAndy BrownEverwood
TexasGomez AddamsThe Addams Family
UtahFred AndrewsRiverdale
VermontHarold WeirFreaks and Geeks
VirginiaRichard GilmoreGilmore Girls
WashingtonHomer SimpsonThe Simpsons
West VirginiaDan ConnerRoseanne
WisconsinReginald "Red" FormanThat '70s Show
WyomingTim "The Tool Man" TaylorHome Improvement
DCNed StarkGame of Thrones

Are we missing any dads?

Are there any TV dads you feel strongly about who didn’t make the cut? Defend your dad of choice in the comments below.

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