In honor of National Husband Appreciation Day this Saturday, April 15, we decided to pay homage to some of the amazing TV husbands who make us laugh, cry, think, yearn and sometimes even swoon. What do they all have in common? They truly love their spouses, they're funny, supportive and romantic. Some are great dads, as well as awesome husbands, and they teach us valuable lessons. Plus, they're all pretty darn cute!
Here's to a dozen guys from TV shows—present and past—who set the husband bar high and who, along with their counterparts, epitomize #relationshipgoals.
WATCH: The Most Expensive TV Shows of All Time
1. Jack Pearson from This Is Us
Has there ever been a better TV husband than Jack (played by Milo Ventimiglia)? Yes, he has some faults—he drinks too much, he gets jealous—but this guy really loves his wife Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and they are a team. He is encouraging, he is proud of her and their kids, he genuinely tries to improve himself and his marriage and he says "I love you." A lot. He’s also an engaged dad who always knows the right thing to do. When his daughter Kate gets bullied at a pool for being chubby he lends her his goofy frog tee shirt, telling her it has magical powers and that she’s a princess. When the family gets stuck in a motel on Thanksgiving, he makes it an adventure by creating the character “Pilgrim Rick,” and roasting hot dogs on the furnace. Even when he and Rebecca fight, he says things like “Our love story is just getting started.” And he’s hot. So far at least—he is a keeper.
2. Phil Dunphy from Modern Family
Sure he is dorky—but Phil (played by Ty Burrell) is also funny, sweet and that rarest of qualities—sincere. He also truly loves his kids and his wife Claire (Julie Bowen) and endeavors to keep their romance alive by giving her presents like a bench where they first kissed and a viewfinder with photos from their honeynoom. He even created an alter ego, “Clive Bixby”—a slick turtleneck-wearing conference goer—in order to role play with Claire and pretend they were meeting for the first time at a hotel bar. Best of all? He makes Claire laugh. His double entendres and puns are comic genius and his struggle to be cool while failing miserably makes him all the more lovable. “I’m hip, I surf the web. I text. LOL...Laugh out loud. WTF...Why the face.” Oh Phil, we love you.
3. Andre “Dre” Johnson from Black-ish
As part of a two-parent working family, Andre (played by Anthony Anderson) struggles to balance his work, marriage and parenting and aims to be great at all three. Remember when he brought cupcakes to his twins' class and thinks he’s a cupcake god? But he also agonizes over how to maintain and honor his family’s cultural heritage while also assimilating. At the end of the day, though, it’s really all about his love for his wife Rainbow aka “Bow” (Tracee Ellis Ross) an anesthesiologist. He knows how to push her buttons but also how to make her laugh and feel needed. And, she loves how he says Happy Valentimes instead of Valentines. Cute.
4. Ed Mackenzie from Big Little Lies
Ed (played by Adam Scott) raises the bar for second husbands everywhere by calmly putting up with the craziness of his wife Madeline (Reese Witherspoon), her ex-husband and their petulant teenage daughter, all while helping to parent their own precocious daughter Chloe. He’s patient. He listens, he gives compliments, pours her glasses of chardonnay, dances to songs by The Temptations in his living room, cooks dinner, rides his bike, sticks up for his wife and is game to wear an Elvis costume and enter a singing contest at his kids’ school fundraiser. Madeline only seems to realize how lucky she is to have him in the season finale. But we knew it all along. Bonus: Scott also played Ben Wyatt, the lovable husband of Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) in Parks and Recreation.
5. Henry McCord from Madam Secretary
Some guys are intimidated by their more powerful wives. Not Henry (played by Tim Daly). He is super supportive of his uber- important spouse who is, um, Secretary of State. He gives advice without “mansplaining,” is a shoulder for her to cry on, takes on his share of housework and parenting duties without complaint, is good at his job as a theology professor. He also earns cool points for his secret job at the NSA, plus he finds plenty of time to be romantic. Phew. He’s also pretty cute.
6. Cam Tucker and Mitchell Pritchett from Modern Family
It’s impossible to choose just one of the spouses from this hilarious and loving same sex couple. “I’m sort of like Costco” Cam (played by Eric Stonestreet) once said. “I’m big, I’m not fancy and I dare you to not like me.” The repartee and manipulations between impulsive, but sensitive Cam and practical, responsible Mitchell (played by Jessie Tyler Ferguson) can be a bit much at times but they are both good guys with hearts of gold who would do anything for each other—and for their adopted daughter Lily. When trying to outdo each other with the most romantic marriage proposal and mishaps ensue, they end up simply saying “Yes!” to each other while changing a tire. Sweet.
7. Eric Taylor from Friday Night Lights
The sexy, caring high school football coach (played by Kyle Chandler) and his stunning counselor/principal wife Tami (Connie Britton) set off-the-charts relationship goals for couples everywhere. They dispensed wise advice, engaged in witty banter, did nice things for each other, were great parents, made sacrifices (like moving across the country for each other, giving up jobs, etc.) and all the while kept the flame of passion burning. “Marriage,” Eric once said, “most of all requires compromise.” Preach, Coach Taylor!
8. Marshall Eriksen from How I Met Your Mother
College sweethearts Marshall (played by Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) are so quirky and cute it’s almost annoying. Marshall may be a bit immature but there’s something endearing about his boyish charm. Plus, he manned up and helped Lily get through a major credit card debt. This duo shares wacky traditions, (like watching Predator on Valentine's Day) cutesy nicknames, adorable Halloween costumes, offbeat fetishes and they have both put their careers on the back burner for the other one at various times. The clincher? When Marshall confessed, “The main reason I love you is that you’re my best friend, Lily.” Awww!
9. Jim Halpert from The Office
As the cute boy next door (er... the next desk over), Jim (played by John Krasinski) stole our hearts from the get go. He’s that sweet guy you can confide in who starts out as your best friend, but then one day you realize you’re in love with him, like Pam Beesly (Jenna Fisher) did. It didn’t hurt that he bought her cute gifts and they bonded by playing fun pranks together on their office mates. When he finally declared his love for her before she married someone else, we breathed a collective sigh of relief. He also epitomized the meaning of “We’re in this together” on their wedding day, when after Pam accidentally rips her veil, he cuts his tie. That’s solidarity!
10. Adam Braverman from Parenthood
Okay, so Adam (played by Peter Krausse) is not perfect (there was that time when he kissed his secretary). But who is? This is a guy who nursed his wife Kristina (Monica Potter) through cancer, buying her a wig when she had to shave her head, getting her pot for her nausea. He also tells her she’s beautiful and takes her on surprise vacations. He talks about sex in a honest way, makes fun of himself and makes everyone smile with his wacky dance moves. He even dresses up in a pirate costume to play with his autistic son. What’s not to like?
11. Sandy Cohen from The O.C.
First of all, Sandy (played by Peter Gallagher) was pretty hot for an “older” guy, (That hair! Those blue eyes! Those eyebrows! ) plus he cooked, surfed, sang, cracked jokes, was super smart and he gave great motivational speeches, especially to his son Seth (Adam Brody). He was also supportive of his wife Kirsten (Kelly Rowan) through her dad’s death and a drinking problem, affectionate and even took in a troubled kid. Hmm, maybe he was too perfect? Nah.
12. Matthew Crawley from Downton Abbey
Ok, so he wasn’t a husband for very long (less that two years) but dreamy, sensible Matthew (played by Dan Stevens) was a real catch. For years he was the only person who could make stubborn, condescending Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) wilt like a flower in a heat wave. Plus, he was a valiant war hero, smart, charming, romantic and best of all he didn’t put up with her crap. When she took too long to answer his first proposal he blew her off, which of course made us, (I mean her) only want him more. Their eight year long friendship/battle/romance endured war wounds, engagements to other people, and more, but in the end these two were soul mates. "I will love you until the last breath leaves my body,” Matthew tells Mary on their wedding day. And with that awesome Brittish accent. Sigh.