The 10 Worst TV Senior Citizens
When it comes to TV shows, there is always room for a loving grandparent figure to provide support. A quick Google search will show dozens of lists featuring the best senior citizens on TV. But what about the worst? We’ve compiled a list of senior citizens who go against the grain and aren’t sorry about it. WARNING: Spoilers ahead.
1. Abe Simpson, The Simpsons
Abe Simpson has been 83 years old for 24 years, and shows no signs of going anywhere. His character is perfectly preserved in the world of The Simpsons, where he is known for being a senile grandfather who constantly falls asleep and is not so great with the grandkids. He might be closer to Lisa and Bart if he hadn’t tried to bury the dog when it was still alive, but then again he’s pretty distant from his own son. The distance between Homer and Abe widened during Homer’s childhood, when his father discouraged his dreams of becoming President, tried to send him to Vietnam, and lied to Homer about his mother being dead. Needless to say, Abe goes largely ignored in the Simpson family, but luckily he’s oblivious to being shunned.
Abe quote: “They say the greatest tragedy is when a father outlives his son. I have never fully understood why. Frankly, I can see an upside to it!”
2. Lucille Bluth, Arrested Development
Lucille is the mother of Michael, Lindsey, Gob, and Buster Bluth, which is a crime in itself. While it’s easy to criticize her children for being shallow, irresponsible, and dysfunctional, compared to Lucille the young Bluths are model citizens. Lucille has no qualms over telling daughter Lindsey that she is fat, or signing Buster up for the army against his will. When she’s not having an affair with her husband’s twin brother, Lucille spends her days drinking hard liquor and avoiding eye contact with wait staff.
Lucille quote: “I’ve never cared for Gob.”
3. Tywin Lannister, Game of Thrones
When Tywin Lannister is ultimately murdered by his own child, Game of Thrones viewers couldn’t summon up any real tears. In season 1, Tywin comes off as arrogant and stuffy. As the seasons progress, it becomes clear that he is much worse. Tywin openly despises his son Tyrion for being born a dwarf, and even expresses disgust with his other children for not being perfect. Instead of supporting his children through their difficulties, Tywin prefers to remind them that they are not to disgrace the Lannister name. Preferring to wield power from behind the scenes, his hobbies include hatching plots to murder our favorite characters, and forcing his children to marry people they detest. Tywin hits his low point when his youngest son is wrongfully accused of murder, and Tywin plans to let him hang for the good of the Lannister name.
Tyrion Lannister: When have you ever done something that wasn’t in your interest but solely for the benefit of the family?
Tywin Lannister: The day that you were born. I wanted to carry you into the sea and let the waves wash you away. Instead, I let you live. And I brought you as my son. Because you’re a Lannister.
4. Rowan Pope, Scandal
We first meet Rowan Pope as the head of a CIA operative group, B16. He’s introduced as a threatening, villainous figure until the end of season two when the audience realizes he’s Olivia Pope’s father. So we must have misinterpreted his cruelty and manipulation, right? Wrong. Rowan has put so much of himself into his job of “protecting the Republic,” he shows no uncertainty in killing his daughter’s friends, or even attempting to have his own daughter killed when she threatens national security. “Can you just be, I don’t know, nice for a minute? To me? Can you be a dad?” Olivia asks. It’s a shame Olivia doesn’t have her mom around for support, but it turns out Mrs. Pope was a terrorist who Rowan has been keeping in an underground prison for 20 years. But no family is perfect.
Rowan quote: “You’re not rare, you’re not special, your story is no different than a thousand other stories in this town…Do you have to be so mediocre?”
5. Zeke Braverman, Parenthood
When we first meet Zeke Braverman in season 1 of Parenthood, he is a hurricane. He is the worst kind of father figure: completely set in his ways with an inability to listen to anyone else. In between telling his kids that he loves them, he also lets them know that no one’s opinions matter more than his own. His stubbornness and pride are so profound, the family works to make him think he’s in charge of repairing the roof of the guest house even when he’s damaging it nearly beyond repair. Zeke is a catalyst for almost every character. He cheats on his wife, he makes fun of his son-in-law for being a stay-at-home dad, and he denies the validity of his grandson’s Asperger’s diagnosis. Most scenes with Zeke feature him yelling over his children’s protests as he stampedes through an argument to get his own way. Thankfully, by season 2 he calms down a bit.
Zeke quote: “I am an irritional hardass with rage issues… don’t piss me off!”
6. Livia Soprano, The Sopranos
It may be surprising that an Italian mother would plot to kill her own son. But after a flashback of Livia Soprano threatening to stick a fork in Tony’s eye, maybe we’re not that surprised. Livia spends her adult life making everyone around her miserable for the poor childhood she suffered, even going as far as telling Tony’s wife that Tony will get tired of her on their wedding day. When Tony moves his mother in a comfortable nursing home, Livia is so resentful that she manipulates her brother-in-law into putting out a hit on Tony. When that doesn’t work, the unrepentant Livia tries to have another man kill Tony by telling him that Tony burned down his restaurant. Once again Tony lives, although she does bait him into publicly threatening her life, after which he breaks off all contact with her.
Livia quote: “[The kids] are not going anywhere! I’d rather smother them with a pillow than take them to Nevada!”
7. Creed, The Office
Creed is a force of comic relief in The Office, and the laughter often comes from disbelief that someone could be so morally bankrupt. Creed is perfectly comfortable talking about his illegal schemes to transfer his debt to a fictional person, or his talent to identify strains of marijuana at a glance. Creed is either lazy or senile enough not to know what his job title and duties are, but he is on Twitter. His street smarts come from his homeless past, which probably resulted in his ability to rattle off the names of prescription painkillers. When his co-worker decides she wants to lose weight, she proudly announces that Creed sold her a tapeworm that will eat all of the food in her belly. Creed confesses to the camera: “That wasn’t a tapeworm.”
Creed quote: “Oh, I steal things all the time. It’s just something I do. I stopped caring a long time ago.”
8. Frank Barone, Everybody Loves Raymond
Frank takes the stereotype of a cranky old man and takes it to the extreme. While his wife visits their son Raymond’s house to meddle in his life, Frank follows and takes a seat in the La-Z-Boy to keep up a running commentary. His communication skills extend to yelling about food, and teasing Raymond for being a “powderpuff.” For his wife’s birthday, he uses a metal detector to try to find a gift for her, knowing he’ll probably just end up with rocks. Frank enjoys watching the rest of the family interact and live through their drama only to chime in with a sarcastic insult or a surprised, “Holy crap!” Although his wife is an overbearing mother, the family loves her while they mostly tolerate Frank’s blatant disrespect for everyone but himself. Frank doesn’t seem to mind, as he takes his seat every episode and waits to stir up more trouble.
Frank quote: “I’m going to tell you about my marriage now, but we’ll need the garbage disposal.”
9.DeDe Pritchett, Modern Family
DeDe isn’t a regular on Modern Family, but when she shows up she makes her time count. The ex-wife of Jay and mother to Claire and Mitchell, DeDe has always been manipulative. Although she claims to be happier since divorcing Jay, that doesn’t stop her from getting drunk and making a rude toast during his wedding to Gloria. After mocking Gloria and ruining the wedding cake, she is dragged out of the reception only to physically attack Gloria the next time they meet. Unfortunately, the fight takes place at a children’s birthday party. As horrible as DeDe is to have as an ex-wife, she’s not much better as a mother. Although she’s close to her son Mitchell, she often criticizes his boyfriend’s weight, as well as her daughter Claire’s appearance. The irony is that she is a poet who tries to find peace in meditation, but she’s not quite there yet.
DeDe quote: “When I first met Gloria and Jay told me they were getting married; I thought it was a match made in heaven; Jay’s money and Gloria’s boobs.”
10. Gerard Argent, Teen Wolf
Gerard comes to town for his daughter’s funeral in season two, which is the first time Allison meets her werewolf-hunting grandfather. Although he appears to be a kindly grandpa figure, we quickly realize that he is ruthless in his convictions. When his daughter in law receives a werewolf bite and seems doomed to change, he convinces his son to either kill his wife, or let her do it herself. Gerard then takes advantage of Allison’s grief over her mother and molds her into an assassin by encouraging her to let go of her humanity and hunt her friends. Although he is a werewolf hunter to protect humans, what Gerard really wants is immortality – even if it means beating and killing teenagers to get what he wants.
Gerard quote: “When it comes to survival, I’d kill my own son!”