Father's Day

15 Great TV Episodes To Watch With Dad On Father’s Day

These TV dads know how to make us laugh.

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A fun trip down TV sitcom lane can help us celebrate the awesome dads in our lives. Not just on Father’s Day, of course, but that’s certainly a day to shower the dads in your family with lots of love and appreciation. And between watching funny sitcoms like Malcom in the Middle and Friends and emotional dramas like This Is Us, there are some really great TV episodes to watch on Father’s Day. Or, hey, any day of the year.

What’s great about the following list of sitcoms is that they don’t just show one type of dad. Once upon a time, there was just the traditionally masculine, suit-and-tie-briefcase-toting type. However, television has been able to embody various kinds of dads we can actually relate to in our real lives.

Now, of course, Father’s Day is more than just being a couch potato. But who are we to argue about what dad wants on his special day? If he wants to lay around and watch television with a cold beer, mismatched socks, and a faded college sports shirt, so be it. Most of the time, dad just wants to know he is appreciated. Whether that’s through a gift (other than socks and a new tie), a good old-fashioned hunting trip, or yes, even an intervention. Yes, these are all from TV episodes! So sit back, relax, and enjoy with dad.

Black-ish: “Daddy’s Day”

This episode is all about dads taking matters of appreciation into their own hands. Season 2, Episode 4 is all about Daddy’s Day. After all, that’s all Dre Johnson (played by Anthony Anderson) wanted from his self-absorbed family of six. Instead of waiting for his kudos, Dre and his friends invent their own holiday to celebrate, well, them! There are plenty of touching daddy moments in Black-ish, including Zoey’s graduation.

“What you saw on that screen was what I went through with my children, and what Kenya went through with his children, and our wives,” Anderson told USA Today in an April 2022 interview about the show’s legacy, which ended in 2022. “About the trappings of our success being the only African American families living in our respective neighborhoods.”

Watch Black-ish on Hulu and ABC.

Malcolm in the Middle: “Rollerskates”

In Season 1, Episode 13 of Malcolm In The Middle, Hal finally finds something he is pretty good at and that’s rollerskating. Hal, played by Bryan Cranston, is the father of Francis, Reese, Dewey, Jamie, and of course, Malcolm. In the episode, Hal teaches Malcolm to rollerskate so he can beat Reese’s team. Not only is it a great father-son bonding moment, but it’s also a great time for Hal to show off his skate skills and his blue sparkly outfit! The series ended in 2006 after a six-year run, but the father-son bonds between Cranston and Frankie Muniz, who played Malcolm, remained strong.

“Bryan reaches out to me every two weeks and he has for 15 years,” Muniz said during an appearance on Steve-O's Wild Ride! podcast. “Like literally reaches out, ‘Just checking on you, hope you're well, what are you up to?’ He's literally a Hollywood god and he calls me. He's the best.”

Watch Malcolm In The Middle on Hulu.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: “The Gang Gives Frank an Intervention”

Danny DeVito and Rob McElhenney are quite the pair! Frank doesn’t get the “Best Dad” award, but what we can appreciate is his awful authenticity. In Season 5, Episode 4, titled “The Gang Gives Frank an Intervention,” Frank embarrasses himself at the funeral of a deceased relative when he becomes drunk and tries to hit on Aunt Donna. His friends and kids step in for a much-needed intervention, which includes a therapist and a gun. But in the end, everyone still ends up drinking wine out of a can. Go figure!

Watch It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia on Hulu.

This Is Us: “The Trip”

Get your tissues for this one. In 2017, the guy cast of NBC’s This Is Us ranked this scene as the #1 saddest scene in Season 3. In the episode “The Trip,” Jack has a great bonding moment with his adopted son, Randall, when Randall’s karate instructor has Jack do push-ups with him on his back, a gesture to represent his support for him. And here’s the tear-jerker, even when the instructor says Jack can stop doing the push-ups, he continues, proving to Randall that he will never stop fighting for him — we love to see it.

Watch This Is Us on Hulu.

Family Matters: “Father’s Time”

Fans of the ‘90s sitcom Family Matters fans will appreciate this semi-bonding episode between Carl (played by Reginald Vel Johnson) and Steve Urkel (played by Jaleel White). In it, Carl and Steve got back in time in Steve’s time machine. While in the past, Carl leaves an envelope to his past self to invest in stocks, which results in him becoming a billionaire in his alternative future. However, although he has all the money in the world, he does not have those he loves to share it with. This is a great episode about the priceless value of family.

Watch Family Matters on Hulu.

The Simpsons: “And Maggie Makes Three"

One of the few and rare times you’ll see Homer Simpson as a loving, adorable father. In Season 6, Episode 13, Homer tells the story of Maggie’s birth when Bart and Lisa ask why there are no pictures of her in the family album. YouTuber Metal Scan compiled scenes of Homer’s best moments as a dad and this episode was part of the list. “The very last one still hits home for me every single time,” one YouTuber commented about it. In the end, the Simpsons patriarch may be obnoxious, and good role modeling is questionable. But there are moments when he proves to be a loving parent.

Watch The Simpsons on Disney+, Hulu, and FOX.

That ‘70s Show: "Hunting"

In Season 2, Episode 13, the guys go hunting and the ladies play poker. The best part of the episode is how Fez snags his dinner with a whistle and a stick. In another fatherly episode, “The Battle of Evermore,” Red Foreman, played by Kurtwood Smith, and Eric, portrayed by Topher Grace, are involuntarily signed up for a father-son charity event by Kitty, played by Debra Jo Rupp. Kitty hoped the event would help mend their relationship after Red sets out to ruin his son’s life after getting engaged to Donna. But instead, it makes it worse, especially when they learn they’re facing off against Eric's arch-nemesis Mitch Miller and his father.

Watch That ‘70s Show on Peacock.

Dennis the Menace: “Father's Day for Mr. Wilson”

In Season 2, Episode 37, after spending some time with his dad, played by late actor Herbert Anderson, on Father’s Day, Dennis decides to spread the love to his neighbor Mr. Wilson as well. But as usual, with Dennis’ shenanigans, things don’t go as planned and he ends up bringing more chaos than care to his neighbor. But it’s the thought that matters right? In the end, Dennis helps Mr. Wilson out of a lawsuit concerning his dog Fremont, so all was well. Over the years, the ‘60s sitcom has been rebooted over the years into an animated series and three movies.

Watch classic episodes of Dennis the Menace on Max.

The Cosby Show: “Father’s Day”

Let’s face it, some kids are just not the best gift-givers, especially to their parents. And that seems to be the case with the Huxtables bunch. In this classic episode of The Cosby Show, Cliff is not too excited to see the gifts his kids got him for Father’s Day because, well, they’re never good. But for this particular Father’s Day, the Cosby kids made sure to put a little more extra thought into getting their dad something unique and special and the extra thought worked... well, sort of.

Watch The Cosby Show on Amazon Prime.

SNL: “Father’s Day”

Nothing says Father’s Day like your best friend dating your dad! That’s one of a few skits the 2020 Saturday Night Live’s Father’s Day special includes. The show compiled some of its best dad skits into an 18-minute-laugh fest. The special features classic SNL sketches like “Get Off The Shed” featuring Will Ferrell. Another classic SNL Father’s Day special is the 2004 clip titled “Fathers and Sons,” in which Peter and his father, Gerry, played by Donald Trump, try to make their special relationship better. But it turns out their neighbors have a better relationship than they could ever have!

Watch SNL on Peacock.

Superman: The Animated Series: “Father’s Day”

If your dad is a kid at heart and happens to be a Krypton fan, then he will appreciate this Superman cartoon. In this episode, Clark Kent (aka Superman) spends Father’s Day with his parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent. But those plans take a turn for the worse when the god Kalibak comes to Earth to destroy Superman, in an attempt to please his own father and prove to him that he is a worthy warrior. It seems some kids will do anything to please their parents but traveling across the universe to take out Earth’s mightiest superhero, in the DC universe, may be a bit of an overkill.

Watch Superman: The Animated Series on Max.

Friends: “The One With Two Parts: Part II”

Even first-time dads get the jitters. In Season 1, Episode 17, Ross Geller, played by David Schwimmer, is getting ready to be a dad. He and his first wife, Carol, are expecting their first child together. But he is afraid he will be a terrible one. He even has a dream he used his son like a football. So he seeks advice from his own dad. This is a great episode for first-time dads and about that priceless father-son bond, once you stop thinking about your kid as a football.

Watch Friends on Max.

Fraiser: “Our Father Whose Art Ain’t Heaven”

It’s those random occasions where your parents want to thank you- instead. But what happens when you don’t like the gift? In Season 4, Episode 8 of Fraiser, Martin wants to repay his sons for always stepping up to take care of him. So to show his gratitude, he buys a piece of expensive art for Fraiser, which Fraiser hangs up, even though he doesn’t really like it. When Fraiser finally spills the beans to his dad, the whole episode ends in a pent-up, emotional tear fest between Martin, Fraiser, and Niles expressing their built-up stress.

Watch Fraiser on Hulu and Paramount+.

Seinfeld: “Serenity Now”

The next time your dad can’t get something working instead of cursing, teach him to say “Serenity Now.” That was the phrase of the day in the classic Season 9 episode of Seinfeld. Frank Costanza’s doctor advises him to keep calm to alleviate his high blood pressure. He’s instructed to say “serenity now” anytime he feels stressed and to keep his blood pressure down. But instead of saying it, he yells it at the top of his lungs! The phrase quickly catches on to the rest of the characters and the outcome is hilarious!

Watch episodes of Seinfeld on Netflix.

Modern Family: “A Tale of Three Cities”

Welcome to the Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker world! In the 2016, Season 8 premiere everyone is in different spots for different reasons. The Dunphys are in New York, Jay and Gloria attend a wedding in Mexico, and Mitchell and Cameron are in Missouri for a funeral. But everyone returns home just in time for Father's Day, only to face their usual messy lives. Nonetheless, there are also some, pretty cool bright moments like Haley’s new entrepreneurial career path and Gloria's, played by Sofia Vergara, hot sauce business.

Watch Modern Family on Peacock.

Happy watching!

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