Pay close attention. What do these three statements have in common?
- What time did the man go to the dentist? Tooth hurt-y.
- What’s Forrest Gump’s password? 1forrest1
- 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.
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.
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.”
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?”
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.”
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.
|STATE||DAD NAME||TV SHOW|
|Alabama||George Jefferson||The Jeffersons|
|Alaska||David Nolan/Charming||Once Upon a Time|
|Arizona||Hal||Malcolm in the Middle|
|Arkansas||Jed "JD" Clampett||The Beverly Hillbillies|
|California||Danny Tanner||Full House|
|Colorado||Homer Simpson||The Simpsons|
|Connecticut||Jack Pearson||This is Us|
|Delaware||Tony Micelli||Who's the Boss?|
|Florida||Gomez Addams||The Addams Family|
|Georgia||Carl Winslow||Family Matters|
|Hawaii||Joe West||The Flash|
|Idaho||David Nolan/Charming||Once Upon a Time|
|Illinois||Homer Simpson||The Simpsons|
|Indiana||Gomez Addams||The Addams Family|
|Iowa||Jason Seaver||Growing Pains|
|Kansas||Joe West||The Flash|
|Kentucky||David Nolan/Charming||Once Upon a Time|
|Louisiana||George Jefferson||The Jeffersons|
|Maine||Richard Gilmore||Gilmore Girls|
|Maryland||Jack Pearson||This is Us|
|Massachusetts||Jack Pearson||This is Us|
|Michigan||Gomez Addams||The Addams Family|
|Mississippi||Carl Winslow||Family Matters|
|Missouri||Ward Cleaver||Leave it to Beaver|
|Montana||Steven Keaton||Family Ties|
|Nebraska||Eric Taylor||Friday Night Lights|
|New Hampshire||Ward Cleaver||Leave it to Beaver|
|New Jersey||Joe West||The Flash|
|New Mexico||Walter White||Breaking Bad|
|New York||Jack Pearson||This is Us|
|North Carolina||Philip Banks||The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air|
|North Dakota||Mike Brady||The Brady Bunch|
|Ohio||Steven Keaton||Family Ties|
|Oklahoma||Gomez Addams||The Addams Family|
|Oregon||Homer Simpson||The Simpsons|
|Pennsylvania||Jack Pearson||This is Us|
|Rhode Island||Jack Pearson||This is Us|
|South Carolina||David Nolan/Charming||Once Upon a Time|
|South Dakota||Charles Ingalls||Little House on the Prairie|
|Texas||Gomez Addams||The Addams Family|
|Vermont||Harold Weir||Freaks and Geeks|
|Virginia||Richard Gilmore||Gilmore Girls|
|Washington||Homer Simpson||The Simpsons|
|West Virginia||Dan Conner||Roseanne|
|Wisconsin||Reginald "Red" Forman||That '70s Show|
|Wyoming||Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor||Home Improvement|
|DC||Ned Stark||Game 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.