There are quite a few reasons why Keith Mars is the best father to ever grace the small screen, but here’s the top: He always, without question, put Veronica first whereas Veronica’s weak-willed mother, Lianne, skipped town and became an alcoholic once Keith accused the richest family in town of murdering their daughter and lost his job as sheriff. Instead of buckling under the same pressures Lianne was facing, Keith opened up shop in town as a private detective, moved him and Veronica to a small apartment nearby, and remained as strong as possible despite the fact that the most powerful people in the city wanted him gone. He had to, for Veronica’s sake.

Additionally, unlike many parents in teen shows, he’s very present, and never turns a blind eye to anything Veronica is up to. That always seems to be a plot device: Teens get into trouble, parents were too dumb to notice anything. Keith, however, isn’t dumb. In fact, he’s the only one who can outsmart Veronica, and that’s a pretty big feat considering how savvy and street smart she is. Nothing about his relationship with Veronica is cliché.

He’s also risked his life numerous times to protect Veronica; watching him fighting to the death to rescue her from a locked refrigerator surrounded by a wall of fire is enough to melt even the coldest of hearts. TG