It’s one of the most important relationships we’ll ever have, but that doesn’t always mean it’s a smooth ride. These are the best father and son dynamics we’ve seen and might learn something from…
If there’s one relationship you know is going to give the heartstrings a good old tug when you see it on screen, it’s an emotional father-son bond.
Whether that’s a regular biological relationship or a substitute one, it doesn’t really matter – that level of emotion is guaranteed to make us definitely pretend we’re absolutely not crying at a fictional family.
Because while blood might make you related, it’s love that makes you family.
Here are five of our favourite father-son relationships that will make any man weep. Brace yourselves – it’s about to get real…
Ronnie Pike and Ronald Pike Snr (Bulletproof)
The two main characters in Sky One’s new buddy-cop show Bulletproof prove that your parents really can mess you up good and proper. Played by Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters, the two officers Bishop and Pike have radically different relationships with their dads.
While Bishop’s bond with his dad is non-existent having grown up in foster homes, Pike has a father who just won’t let go.
And when that father also sets an impossibly high standard by being the first ever black police commissioner? Plus, isn’t a massive fan of your beat partner and best mate?
Well, you know you’ve got problems.
Pike holds his dad in such high esteem that he spends his entire life trying to live up to his expectations.
But when secrets are exposed showing Pike Snr in a questionable light, their relationship starts to show cracks.
At its core, Bulletproof’s storyline is embedded in relationships (admittedly among the criminal underworld) and the dynamic between Pike, Pike Snr and Bishop consists of heartache and betrayal – making it the most interesting and moving one on TV at the moment.
Gavin and Mick (Gavin & Stacey)
The sitcom that showed us that family goes far beyond genetics, Gavin & Stacey’s bunch of odd-bod characters never failed to make us laugh and get all emosh at the same time.
From Gavin and Smithy’s brilliantly funny friendship to their sincere chats with Mick, those male-bonding moments were guaranteed to bring a tear to the eye.
Mostly because Gavin’s dad Mick was as much of a father to Smithy as he was his biological son.
When Smithy found out Nessa was pregnant, it was Mick’s words of wisdom that stayed with him (“It’s going to be a helluva journey, ain’t that right, Mick?”). Basically, he’s the dad everyone wants, including us.
Randyll and Dickon Tarly (Game Of Thrones)
Sure, Randyll may not be the first man to spring to mind when you think of #1 Dad – he did threaten his son Samwell with a painful death if he didn’t give up his place in the family and join the Night’s Watch, after all.
But when it comes to his other son, Dickon, the bond appeared to be a fair bit stronger.
Their relationship was so tight that when his father refused to surrender and bend the knee to Daenerys, left with the unappealing option of being barbecued by dragon flames, Dickon decided to stand right beside him and submit to the burn, too.
Because that’s what you do when you love your dad, right?
Of particular note was the moment Randyll gave his son a proud smile when he decided to get cooked alive with him. That’s some gut-wrenching TV, people.
And also, we felt for poor old Samwell. Emotions from different directions on this one.
Uncle Phil and Will (The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air)
Reasons we loved The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air… 1) For having one of the catchiest theme tunes on TV (because if you can’t rap it word for word, did you even have a childhood?). And 2) for its standout secondary characters, including irascible Uncle Phil.
While he was better known for his hilarious furious outbursts, it was the dynamic of Will and his Uncle Phil’s relationship we loved most in the show.
From comforting Will when his father left to busting him out of jail when Will and Carlton got themselves arrested, Uncle Phil was guaranteed to always be there when you needed him.
Because while Lou might have been Will’s biological father, Uncle Phil was his dad.
If you didn’t cry at that moment when Will asked, “How come he don’t want me, man?” and Uncle Phil wrapped his arms around him and let him weep in silence, then you are a bonafide monster, my friend.
Martin and Frasier Crane (Frasier)
As different as chalk and cheese, down-to-earth Marty was the polar opposite of his two pretentious sons, Niles and Frasier.
They may not have always seen eye-to-eye (remember the mother of all put-downs in the steakhouse?), but living together at that age had its ups and downs. Regardless, the mutual affection was always there.
Take the effort and expense Frasier went to when Marty’s favourite chair broke (which is honestly probably the star of the show). Despite loathing it, Frasier understood how important that “goddamn hideous chair” was to his father, so he replaced it anyway.
And while he wasn’t exactly forthcoming with his emotions, you knew that Marty loved Frasier just as much. In the very last episode, Marty finally said a sincere thank you to Frasier for letting him move in. Excuse me, there’s a rogue bit of fluff in my eye…
Embrace the multifaceted nature of father and son relationships in Bulletproof, airs Tuesday 15 May on Sky One