Great Bonds Between Dads And Daughters In TV And Film

There will always be a very special bond between Daddys and their little girls. In the world of television and film, there have been plenty of memorable father/daughter relationships. Some hero Dads need to rescue their daughters from dire situations. Some are planning their child’s dream wedding. Others are just trying to create a meaningful bond with their offspring.

The relationship has been explored since the very first films began hitting theaters. Below is a list, in no particular order, of the very best father and daughter relationships that have ever graced either the big or small screen.

Atticus And Scout Finch – To Kill A Mockingbird

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Courtesy of Universal Pictures
Courtesy of Universal Pictures

One of the oldest bonds between a father and daughter in film is also one of the most fondly remembered. Widower Atticus is the father to son, Jem and daughter, Scout. Of the two, Scout is the more precocious and she constantly peppers her dad with questions.

And Atticus has wonderful answers for her queries. Over the course of a sometimes tragic story, the lawyer teaches his daughter a number of lessons. The films became a symbol of forgiveness, empathy, and understanding.

George And Annie Banks – Father Of The Bride

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Courtesy of Touchstone Pictures
Courtesy of Touchstone Pictures

George Banks has always had a very special bond with his daughter Annie. His world changes drastically when she comes back from a study abroad program with a new fiancee in tow.

George has to not only pay for and help plan for the wedding, but he also has to come to the realization that Annie is no longer his little girl. Eventually, George becomes accepting of his future son in law, learns to relax, and throws Annie the wedding of a lifetime.

The next film features a father with a very specific set of skills.

Bryan And Kim Mills – Taken

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Courtesy of 20th Century Fox
Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Bryan and Kim Mills have a different kind of relationship than the other duos on this list. Bryan has spent his life as a CIA Field Agent, was divorced from Kim’s mother and largely absent from his daughter’s life.

When Kim, however, is abducted by a trafficking ring, he utilizes his very specific set of skills to save her life. Their bond is again strengthened in Taken 2, when ex-wife, Lenore, is abducted and Kim aids her father in the rescue.

Ray And Tamera Campbell – Sister, Sister

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Courtesy of Warner Brothers
Courtesy of Warner Brothers

In the hit show Sister, Sister, Ray is a widower who is raising his adopted daughter, Tamera on his own. Tamera surprisingly learns that she has a twin sister named Tia raised on the opposite side of town. Eventually, Tia moves into Ray’s house along with her mother, Lisa.

Interestingly enough, Ray tends to bond with Tia more than Tamera due to shared interests. In the long run, Ray, who is conservative but caring, becomes an excellent father to both girls.

Dan And Darlene Connor – Roseanne

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Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

Fathers can bond with their daughters for a number of different reasons. For Dan and Darlene Connor, that reason is their shared sense of humor. While Dan is also the father to daughter, Becky and son, DJ, Darlene is clearly the child that is most like him.

Dan was a goofy dad who was always up for some family hijinks. This meshed well with Darlene who was more of an artist than a scholar and had a love for pranks and sports.

Frank And Sam Fisher – Hearts Beat Loud

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Courtesy of Burn Later Productions
Courtesy of Burn Later Productions

We are introduced to Frank and Sam Fisher at a very trying time in their life. Sam is about to leave widower Frank alone in Brooklyn as she goes off to college on the West Coast.

Frank and Sam share a bond through music which they often play together. The duo write a number of songs that go viral and may save Frank’s struggling record shop. In the end, though, Frank wants what best for his daughter and Sam takes off to study pre-med.

The daughters in the next film turn their father away from a life in crime.

Gru And Margo, Edith And Agnes – Despicable Me

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Courtesy of Illumination Entertainment
Courtesy of Illumination Entertainment

Gru’s relationship with his adopted daughters does not start off on a high note.The supervillain adopts the girls so that they can aid him in his various schemes. Their small hands and overall cuteness help Gru get into all types of trouble.

The girls eventually begin to thaw Gru’s icy heart and he comes to care for them. At the end of the first of three movies, the former villain turns into a good guy and focuses on giving his little girls the best life possible.

Nick And Blossom Russo – Blossom

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NBC
NBC

Nick Russo, a single father who recently left his wife, really has his plate full with his three children. His oldest son Tony is a recovering drug addict and his middle child Joey is a bit of a jock.

Nick spends the show trying to find a way to connect with his youngest child, an intelligent girl named Blossom. Nick must both navigate the loss of his wife while helping his daughter to tackle her teenage years. Over time the duo develops a strong bond despite their unusual family life.

Ned And Arya Stark – Game Of Thrones

Sky Atlantic Game Of Thrones Season 8 Premiere
Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Sky Atlantic UK
Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Sky Atlantic UK

The first nine years of Arya Stark’s life are carefree as she lives in the castle of Winterfell. Once her father becomes Hand of the King however, life changes dramatically. Ned clearly understands that his youngest daughter would rather be a warrior than the next Lady of Winterfell.

The Lord of Winterfell supports Arya’s interests by having her take “dancing lessons” with the First Sword of Bravos. Those lessons learned soon become extremely valuable when Ned is executed and Arya must fight for the continuation of civilization.

The next show has been rebooted as the former kids now have children of their own.

Danny And DJ, Stephanie, And Michelle Tanner – Full House

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Courtesy of ABC
Courtesy of ABC

Danny Tanner is yet another father from this list who has been thrown into a seemingly impossible situation. After the tragic death of his wife, he raises his three young daughters with the help of his best friend Joey and brother in law, Jesse.

The job wasn’t always easy as his children were all very different. The talk show hosting, vacuuming fanatic dad, however, finds a way to connect with all of his kids in a way that makes them feel special.

Sam And Lucy Dawson – I Am Sam

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New Line Cinema
New Line Cinema

The relationship between Sam and Lucy Dawson is unlike any other previously seen on film. Sam is a mentally disabled man who dotes on the daughter he conceived with a homeless women who abandoned the family.

Lucy eventually surpasses Sam in life skills and fights to stay with the father who loves her so fiercely. The movie chronicles their fight to stay together. Eventually, a perfect compromise is made as Lucy stays with her father and the family is helped by the involvement of a surrogate foster mother named Randy.

Jay Pritchett And Claire Dunphy – Modern Family

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TNT/TBS broadcast / Getty Images
TNT/TBS broadcast / Getty Images

Jay Pritchett raised his children, Claire and Mitchell, in a curmudgeonly, but loving way. While he struggles to bond with Mitchell, it’s clear that Claire takes after him. He is a bit overprotective of her and this is best seen in his rocky relationship with Claire’s adoring husband Phil.

Claire takes after her father both in negative and positive ways. While both may be high-strung, Type A, workaholics, they are also fiercely loyal to their families and protective of their children.

Roger And Rianne Murtaugh – Lethal Weapon

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Courtesy of Warner Brothers
Courtesy of Warner Brothers

Roger Murtaugh is a police officer who is eager to retire and spend time with his 3 children. Of the kids, he may have the closest relationship with Rianne. Unfortunately for overprotective Roger, Rianne is popular and beautiful, something his partner Riggs is more than willing to tease him about.

The bond is threatened when Rianne is kidnapped by a heroin trafficking cartel. In the end, Murtaugh and Riggs are able to rescue Rianne and save the day. In subsequent sequels, Roger must deal with his daughter becoming engaged to another cop from the force.

The next movie features a hard drinking, heavy cursing father figure.

Morris Buttermaker And Amanda Wurlitzer – The Bad News Bears

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Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

This next one is a bit of a cheat. Morris Buttermaker was not Amanda Wurlitzer’s father of even her step father (just a guy who once dated her mother). He was however, a surrogate father who was more than willing to use Amanda’s baseball skills to his credit.

The baseball coach uses the young girl’s crazy competitiveness to his benefit and she becomes his star pitcher. Over time, however, Buttermaker realizes that Amanda is looking for something out of him too and while he doesn’t reconcile with her mother, he tries to become a better man.

Tony And Samantha Micelli – Who’s The Boss

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ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images
ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images

Widower and former baseball player Tony Micelli chose to move on to a different sort of occupation by becoming Angela Bower’s live-in housekeeper in Fairfield, CT. He didn’t come alone, though, he brought along his spunky daughter, Samantha.

As a single parent, Tony treated Samantha’s well being as his number one priority. The duo may now live in a fancy well to do neighborhood, but their Brooklyn roots are always evident. As Tony and Angela deal with a potential romance, the bond between Tony and Samantha never wavers.

Ollie And Gertie Trinke – Jersey Girl

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Miramax Films
Miramax Films

A number of fathers on this list are widowers and each of them dealt with their newfound situation differently. Ollie Trinke lost his wife on the same day his daughter was born. The father has a total meltdown and eventually moves back home with his father.

The loss of everything, though, helps Ollie to realize what an amazing thing his has in Gertie. Thanks to a significant assist from his father, Bart, Ollie realizes that nothing in the world matters more to him than his relationship with his daughter.

Monty And Sierra, Lauryn, And China James – Daddy’s Little Girls

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Lionsgate
Lionsgate

Monty James is a hard-working mechanic who works to support his three little girls, Sierra, Lauryn and China. Shockingly for Monty, though, his formerly disinterested ex-wife, Jennifer, reenters the pictures and attempts to regain custody of the kids.

The mechanic who has deep bonds with all of his children does not necessarily have the funds to fight a custody case in court. The movie has a happy ending as Jennifer is arrested for selling drugs and Monty regains full custody of his children.

Bill And Sheryl Yoast – Remember The Titans

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Photo by Buena Vista/Getty Images
Photo by Buena Vista/Getty Images

Bill Yoast was undergoing a troubling time. The wildly successful football coach had been demoted as his football team had become desegregated. Yoast may have had some opportunities to undercut his replacement, Herman Boone, but his nine year old daugher, Sheryl, would hear nothing of it.

Throughout the film, Sheryl grounds Bill and helps him to remember what really matters. Our kids often appeal to the very best of what is inside of us and Sheryl helps her father to recapture his passion.

Matt And Alex And Scottie King – The Descendants

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Fox Searchlight Pictures
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Lawyer Nick King is dealing with multiple gut punches. Not only is his wife in a coma, he has also just discovered that she was also cheating on him. As he deals with the realization that his wife won’t survive, he fights to be the best father he can.

It’s not easy as Alex has battled drug issues and Scottie has been lashing out by bullying her classmates. Their journey ends with Elizabeth succumbing to her injuries. In the final scene of the movie, Nick and the girls watch a movie snuggling under a blanket their mother had knit for them.

Homer And Lisa – The Simpsons

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Fox
Fox

Homer and Lisa Simpson represent the ultimate odd couple. Homer is uneducated, boorish and politically incorrect. Lisa is smart, sophisticated and determined. These differences make their incredible bond all that much more endearing.

Lisa serves as her father’s moral center. Whether he realizes it at the time or not, so many of Homer’s decisions are made wondering how his daughter would feel about them. At the end of the day, Lisa adores her father and she means the world to him.