There’s a funny thing about dads. Oftentimes, in the great one-two punch that is the mom and dad parenting duo, dad is the soft touch. The good cop in the good cop/bad cop routine. They're the soft, creamy filling between the two crunchy biscuits that are mom and… mom again, apparently.
Sure, that last analogy crumbled hopelessly around me, but the point is clear. Every parenting unit will differ wildly, of course, but we hear this over and over again. A lot of dads like to be the fun parent — the joker. When it’s time to take the children to the doctor, the dentist, or somewhere else unpleasant, they can’t get the time off work. But when they want to go to the splash park or the zoo? Dad’s right there like the most enthusiastic teacher on the field trip.
Being the fun parent isn’t as easy as it sounds, though. There’s a fine line between jokes and dad-jokes, after all. The key is that the former is actually funny. So many dads never learn this, but when they do get it right, it’s just magical.
Here come 20 of the most hilarious dads the web has to offer. This is solid gold.
20 The Dad Who Was No Match For That Scary Moth
Now, you know how it is. All too often, we tend to tar all dads with the ‘dad joke’ brush. While it’s true that some of them take the cheesy pun thing a little too far, we’ve got to appreciate those fathers who ascend far beyond that level. The dads who see the humour in every possible situation and seize it whenever they can.
That is the mark of a true comedic genius. A lot of the biggest stand-ups today specialise in what we call "observational humour." This is that unique knack for finding the hilarity in boring old everyday life. Nothing contrived, no cheap punchlines or joke set-ups (that’s quite easy, after all), you’re just finding the humor in a situation nobody else could. That’s what it’s all about. The most mundane aspects of our existence, the most harrowing experiences, can be hilarious if we’re creative enough.
Here’s some fantastic work from this dad, then. Your daughter’s being menaced by a marauding moth? You’ve got two options in that situation. You either dash right in there like the white knight, dadly insect-remover that you are, or you… well, do this.
This is a level of snark that I absolutely aspire to.
19 The Dad Who Knows The Truth About The Monsters
As I say, every parenting unit and mom and dad duo is different. There’s really no standard here anymore, with each family developing a unique setup and dynamic that’s entirely their own. This is the reason why, when children head over to their buddy’s house after school, they’re sometimes super surprised at what they’ve got going on over there.
The way I see it, this sort of variety is totally healthy. It’s welcome, really, to be introduced to different concepts and ways of living at a young age. For the parents, too, I’m sure it’s encouraging; it's relieving to know that they’re doing a pretty dang good job, too. They’re not the only ones with a house that looks like a tornado’s swept in through the front door. It’s a natural consequence of having children.
If there is a kind of constant you can draw, albeit a bit of a cheap cliché, it’s that (as we’ve discussed) a lot of dads like to be the good guy. They like to be there for the fun parenting duties, not so much the trips to the doctor. As such, mom is often not amused by the whole situation, being presented as a monster scarier than anything that’s lurking under the bed.
18 The Dad Who Teamed Up With Mom To Drop The Punchline
Following on from that last point, there’s often a sort of competition that brews between parents. The desire to be the fun one, the most-hugged one, the one that is more often picked to read the bedtime stories. To get this validation, parents will strive to outperform each other; trying to do the funniest voice for the characters or make their favourite meal when it’s their turn to cook.
The thing about all of this is that’s it’s a little backward. That’s really not the way we should be looking at this. It’s not parent vs parent. You’re on the same dang team.
It’s you versus that adorable, wonderful, life-affirming, priceless, exasperating, how-is-there-poop-on-the-ceiling little creature you made together. Don’t get drawn into the power plays. That’s exactly what they want.
As with so many things in life, it all works out so much better when we’re united, not divided. When we put our differences aside and realize what’s truly important. Just what that is can differ wildly, depending on our morals, our beliefs, ideals and such.
In the case of these two parents, it’s that beautiful moment when you both join forces and freak out your children forever in the most beautiful of ways. Dad orchestrated this whole thing. I’m sure of it.
17 The Dad Who Forever Ruined Chris Pratt For Us All
Over the course of researching for this piece, as you can imagine, I came across more than my fair share of dad jokes. I know that true creative minds are supposed to suffer for their art, but oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. The puns I’ve endured. The things I have seen. Nobody can imagine. Once you descend to the very depths of the dad-jokes well, that’s it. You can never go back.
On the plus side, it was totally worth it. I’m not a father yet, but my significant other and I are planning on it. I could not be more hyped, and I’ve been honing the power of my dad jokes in anticipation.
Now, to the untrained eye, you might think that there’s little difference between a dad-joke and a joke by a dad. In truth, though, there’s all the difference in the world.
Just look at this. take a darn good look, really drink it in. This is who you advance far beyond the bounds of a mere dad joke. Is this just a feeble pun to shake at? You’re darn right it isn’t. This is the most bizarre, brilliant curveball of a burn Chris Pratt has ever suffered.
So powerful was this joke, it’s changed the poster’s perception of reality forever, as that last line proves.
16 The Dad Who's Really, Really Passionate About Returning His Home Depot Lawnmower
I’ve always nursed this belief that working in retail is not for mere mortals. Only the most powerful, courageous, and enthusiastic of us are equipped for this role. Personally, I’d never dare assume to count myself among the worthy.
I have several friends who do and have stepped behind that counter/in front of that fitting room/etc, and like everybody else, I’ve heard things. Frightening things.
If some of these noble retails workers would write their memoirs, they’d certainly make for incredible reading.
Now, retail worker or not, we’ve all suffered embarrassing incidents with strangers. Maybe it was a moment of road-rage on the highway, or you fell foul of somebody online, or a first date went south quickly, or… you see where I’m going with this. it happens to everybody.
Strangers are bad enough, but it’s always those closest to you who can humiliate you the most. They know what makes you tick, all of your triggers and insecurities, and they aren’t afraid to use them.
So what if you combined both of these factors together? The general difficulties of working in retail, and the apparent superpower of our families to embarrass us? The result would look something like this, I think. This situation is as hilarious as it is tragic, and you’ve got to respect that.
15 The Dad Who Went To A '60s Party... By Himself
Now, we all know the sorts of issues children tend to have with their parents. Frequent complaints include: they’re too pushy, too bossy, won’t instantly buy me everything I want just because, tries to make me eat healthy… those are some of the big ones.
The thing about all of these issues is that they tend to alleviate somewhat as you get older. Certain things are more childhood-specific. And let’s not forget the biggest one of all: embarrassment.
Certain parents, as we all know, go out of their way to troll their children. They mock (and sometimes re-enact) their selfie poses on social media, share all kinds of uncomfortable home truths and such. As far as that goes, I suppose it’s something that’s never going to change. All we can do, I guess, is make the best of it.
To that end, let’s half-fill that glass of ours and stop and appreciate. It takes quite some self-confidence for a dad to share a snarky selfie of himself wearing a tiara, and you’ve got to begrudgingly respect that. And how about this dad, sporting his sixties getup at a 60th birthday party? That’s either embarrassing or super inspiring, depending on how you want to look at it.
Either way, it’s also undeniably dang funny.
14 The Dad Who's Got Way Too Much Time (And Snarkiness) On His Hands At Christmas
Remember what I was saying about dads, and how they seem to have this childlike ability to find the humour in everything? Some may disapprove, and find this inapt or embarrassing, but really, it’s quite inspiring.
I imagine this is what it’s like trying to make a movie with Jim Carrey. You’ve got a particular scene to shoot, and he’ll ruin the take six times in a row with a different brilliant ad-lib joke each time. Again, this is potentially super frustrating, but at the same time… kudos to him for it.
A fun-loving attitude is something to celebrate, in my eyes. In this often-bleak old world of ours, there’s just not enough of that going around. That sort of thing needs to be nurtured, softly packed in bubble wrap and protected.
At the same time, though, let’s not take the whole concept too far. There’s a time and a place for this sort of talk. There’s a time when you have to say, “Come on, now, Jim, we’ve been shooting for five hours now. Let’s try and at least get one quick scene finished.”
I admire the time commitment, I really do, but dang it, dad. Just what exactly are you trying to pull here?
13 The Dad Who Totally Understands, But Does NOT Like Tomatoes On His Big Mac
You know, there are lots of things we rely on our parents for. It’s kind of part of the whole job description. Relationship advice, career advice, chauffeur duties, chef duties, all these sorts of thing. It’s a tough gig, whichever way you slice it. It’s not for just anybody, after all.
Remember what mom and dad told you about their questionable relationship of yours back in the day? It’s a shame you only saw it four years after they did, but still. They sniffed that out like a bloodhound, and we really should have heeded their wise words.
When it comes to wise words, though, that’s a tough thing to consider. Where do you draw the line, as a parent? You’ve got to pass on that Yoda-like wisdom where you can, but you want to be honest and true as well. Somewhere in the middle of all of that, you risk being super hypocritical.
What if your child knows the whole story of how you dropped out of school, but you’re being super judgmental towards them for considering doing the same? That’s a bit of a grey area, I guess, but there’s still a way of getting your message across without compromising your ethics.
12 The Dad Whose Cheese Grater Pun-Game Was Completely On Point
So, yes. As we’ve thoroughly established by now, the dad joke is often seen as the last vestige of humour. It’s not all about super-cheap puns and “hello, Hungry, I’m dad,” but… well, it is a lot of the time. This reputation is what all dad humourists have to contend with.
On the plus side, it’s not always about that. Dads can be a fantastic source of comedy, as all kinds of stand-up comedians will tell you. How many of them build whole sets around snarky things their parents have said or done over the years? Their childhood experiences? Lots of them, that’s how many.
Regardless of all of that, though, the fact remains: dads need to do something pretty darn special to be funny.
Dad joke prejudice has become a meme in and of itself, these days. So, as I say, the key is seizing that opportunity. Flaunting your natural ability to be funny, and running with it.
Take this moment, for instance. It all kicked off with a run-of-the-mill cheese grater-throwing moment. This is nothing special, we’ve all been there. What really matters here is that this was the cause of not just one pun, but three. You’ve got to appreciate that kind of commitment.
11 The Dad Who Effortlessly Defeated All Three Of His Children Simultaneously
So, yes. Dads come in all kinds of different sizes, shapes, varieties, and flavours. As do their jokes. Some try a little too hard to be funny, and that’s where a lot of the problems stem from. It’s got to flow naturally, you see, because when you force it, it always shows. You know those customer service people who try so desperately to be all friendly and PR-y? it just reeks of phoniness, and we want no part in any of that.
It’s the same in all walks of life, really. The mark of a true professional, whether we’re talking artists, dancers, writers, gamers, or any field in between — it's that they make it look easy. If any of these people tried to talk you through the complex process beforehand, you might struggle to understand what they were talking about. Once you see it in motion, though, it’s just perfect.
So, here we see a master of his craft at work. You’re trying to be snarky about dad jokes? Good luck with that. There’s only one dad versus three of you, but your powers combined can barely put a scratch on him. There he is, concentrating on his dinner, but he can still take you all out at the same time with nary a beat.
10 The Dad Who Didn't Fall For Any Of Your Crapola
Oh. oh dear.
Here’s another thing we’ve probably all fallen victim to at some point in our lives. You know how it. You’ve concocted a joke, you think you’re some sort of Machiavellian mastermind. You've set your trap and realise just at the last moment how wrong this is going to go.
It’s like one of those tragic scenes in a wildlife documentary, where the insect notices the jumping spider diving towards it and… just for the briefest nanosecond, you see the 'oh crapola' sort of reaction. That’s what it looks like. That sense of impending doom.
This is also what happens when you try and challenge somebody who’s way out of your league.
There’s so much regret in this post right now, I can actually feel it emanating through my laptop screen.
The good news is, they went right ahead and uploaded the results of their backfiring joke anyway. The Internet is grateful.
Now, the old "changed 'no' to 'heck yes' in mom’s phone" thing has been memeing its way around the web for some time now. We all know that. Never has the whole thing achieved the kind of level of tragic beauty is has right here, though. That’s a smooth one-to-nothing for dad, for sure.
9 The Dad Who's Tired Of Your Griping And Has A Degree In Advanced Snarkology
Back when the celebrated The Dark Knight was released in 2008, it grabbed audiences around the world. A tense, dark, and distinctly ‘adult’ take on the superhero genre, it received critical acclaim.
There was just something special about the movie (which its sequels may or may not have lived up to, depending on who you ask). Only very special ones, after all, can leap that divide between good superhero movie and just plain good movie in general. That’s a rare thing, in my eyes.
This is a very similar concept. As we’ve seen over the course of these entries, only the very best can advance from good from a dad-joke to just a good joke in general. That is not easy to do, by any means, and it’s a true honour to bestow on any joke from a dad.
We’ve been getting a decent idea of what makes the cut already, and here’s another example. This is just poetry in motion. The execution is flawless, there’s nary a word wasted. So your daughter’s pretty lazy with her chores? You could call her out on it. Of course you could.
Some of us are a little more snarky than that. I give this one seven thumbs up.
8 The Dad Who Takes His Chicken Casserole Very, Very Seriously
Here’s another interesting twist on the formula. Of course, we’re talking about hilarious dads here. That’s the whole crux of the thing. Did anyone specify that they had to be intentionally funny, though? They did not.
Oftentimes in life, it’s the times that you’re inadvertently funny that are the best.
Sure, you can be super witty and dry, or whatever your preferred style of humour happens to be. Dark, surrealist, observational, whatever. I’m a huge fan of stand-up comedy, it’s all good as far as I’m concerned. That’s all totally fine, but it’s the pratfalls, the Freudian slips, the mistakes and misunderstandings that really go viral.
Sometimes, this is what it’s all about. Sometimes, you don’t need great comedy timing or a clever punchline. Just find yourself a dad who’s not so handy with modern technology, get him on social media, and you’re onto a winner for sure.
Sure, this quest for chicken casserole supplies didn’t end in chicken, dumplings, and such, but you’ve got to respect the guy’s tenacity. He had a hankering for chicken casserole, and he was not about to give up. he wasn’t afraid of hopping right on into social media, either, which is a stumbling block for a lot of parents in today’s tech-tastic world.
7 The Dad Who Brought Mom Some Super-Romantic Asparagus For Valentine's Day
As I’d tell Casserole Supplies Dad from the last entry, it’s not important whether you succeed or fail. I mean, obviously, you want to reach for those stars and actually manage to grab them, but you can’t get too hung up on that. What really matters is that you gave it the old college try.
After all, what would Shia LaBeouf say? I’ll tell you what he’d say: JUST DO IT! That’s what he’d say. Don’t be afraid to try, is the message, and it’s one we hear all the time. The older we get, the more we realise that it’s not failing and screwing up that you regret the most, but the chances you didn’t take, the times you didn’t dare even try.
With that in mind, try this post on for size. Sure, you could take this whole thing at face value. You could look at this and say that this dad messed up and brought asparagus for mom for Valentine’s Day instead of daffodils. You could. Instead, though, let’s take the time to appreciate that he headed out and picked up some flowers. It sounds as though he was going specifically for daffodils, too. Maybe they’re mom’s favourite, I cannot confirm.
It’s the thought that counts, friends.
6 The Dad Who Devised The Funniest Life Hack Of All Time
Here’s another typical dad-ly trait we haven’t really discussed yet: they sure do like to fix things. There’s something about making something with your own two hands that seems to captivate dads. I couldn’t tell you what it is, but there’s a certain pride there. It doesn’t matter if they’ve just assembled a couple of IKEA flat packs or re-affixed the chain of an old bicycle... they’re happy.
As a general rule, the whole DIY thing seems to appeal to dads.
It’s like that old idyllic image of dad’s/grandpa’s garage, his safe little haven where he can fix, alter, tinker with, and otherwise build things all of his own.
Now, this may not apply to my own dad, but I’m sure many of you have fond memories of dad getting is MacGyver on. Maybe you’re one of these dads who can knock out treehouses and go-karts and all sorts of other good-old fashioned things like that.
Even if you’re not the whittling type (that is still a thing, though), there's still plenty of scope to be creative. Nobody comes up with convenient homespun life-hacks quite like a dad. You see this? What kind of uniquely gifted mind could come up with this sort of thing? Fantastic work.
5 The Dad Who Sent A Real-Life Howler To His Child's School
Ah, yes. Now we’re talking, friends. This is exactly the kind of parent I’m going to be.
As Homer Simpson once said, one of the main perks of parenthood is that you can teach your children to “hate the things you hate.” I don’t often come to this guy for life advice, for obvious reasons, but this is right on the money. Well, in that the reverse is also true. Many aspiring parents and parents-to-be talk about the things that they’re going to raise their children on. Passions in all sorts of areas, from Harry Potter to Pokémon. If you were completely committed to becoming a Pokémon master and catchin’ ‘em all as a child, then it’s a safe bet that you’ll want your own offspring to be, too.
I don’t know about you, but I’m sensing another Potterhead dad in our midst, here. As I’m sure you know, a howler is a magical letter sent to the students of Hogwarts by their parents or guardians. These are only reserved for the worst behaviour on the child’s part, and, when opened, will scream at them in their parents’ voices, magically magnified many times over.
In real life, I’m sure that concept’s just as worrying as it in Harry Potter.
4 The Dad Who Will NOT Let The Freezing Temperatures Bring Him Down
Speaking of our wise, courageous, inspiring fathers, there are certain things we expect of them. You know the sort of thing. We’ve touched on quite a few of these over the course of this piece. They’ll be super protective, cast an appraising eye over those we choose to date, drive us here, there, and everywhere until we can drive ourselves… all of those sorts of things.
In my experience, he’ll also run a lucrative side-business in getting rid of any bugs that get into your arachnophobic sister’s bedroom. As I say, the parental unit will differ enormously from family to family, so we can’t really make any definitive assumptions. Every taco-making father is different.
No two fathers are the same.
According to the stereotypical image, though, he’ll be keen to pass on his wisdom. This is a man we’ve learned from, been inspired by and maybe (depending on how he’s done with this dadding thing) even served as a role model. So let’s make sure that we’re learning the right life lessons.
See this, right here? This is a dad who will not give in, will not be swayed, and will laugh at adversity. These are valuable life lessons, after all.
3 The Dad Who Made Beautifully Trollish Pancakes
You know, we’ve got to be careful here. It’s all well and good to hype up the snarking skills of dads, their dang funny jokes and everything else, but let’s just make one thing clear: where there are dads, there are children.
If you thought dads were some of the quirkiest and most unpredictable creatures on the planet… well, they are, but children are right up there, too. As all parents out there will know, it’s probably the toughest gig there is. It’s a thankless, endlessly rewarding, dang difficult, life-affirmingly amazing job, all at once.
It’s the same deal with anything we attempt in life, really. There are going to be great times and there are going to be awful ones. In even the most privileged life, you’re going to be showered with… well, unfortunate substances every now and then, and you’ve just got to roll with it. It’s all about how you react to what life’s throwing at you.
When you have children, what life throws at you tends to be curveballs. Constant curveballs. You think you’re slick, that you’ve got one over on them? Sorry, dad, think again. You’ve just accidentally set a pancake precedent you’re going to regret.
2 The Dad Who Lightly Fried Some Fish Fillets
You know that curious feeling you get, when you hear a word repeated too many times? How it loses all meaning? You’ll stare at it on a page in a book, or typed on a screen, and you start to wonder how that odd combination of letters ever meant anything.
It’s an interesting psychological effect. Take what just happened to me, for instance. Now, I’m no fan of seafood of any kind, and I never have been. It’s one of the few things that I just won’t eat. Even with that said, I’m starting to get a hankering for some lightly fried fish fillets.
That’s the power of subliminal messaging. Or rather, super blatant messaging, in this case.
I couldn’t tell you why this dad is lightly frying fish fillets at 1:15 am. I really could not. It doesn’t really matter in the end of it all. After all, I’m not here to judge, I’m just here to appreciate.
There’s something about this text message conversation that I can’t quite pinpoint. It’s wholesome, it’s sweet, it’s slightly off-kilter; like we’ve slipped into an odd episode of The Twilight Zone. It’s like one of those things you’d use to identify the aliens masquerading as humans, because their way of speaking just isn’t quite natural. It is darn funny though, and that’s all that matters in the end.
1 The Dad Whose Daughter Is Not A Sealion
Needless to say, Lightly Fried Fish Fillets Dad became a bit of a meme. As did a lot of these entries. In that respect, though, I think I’ve saved the best for last.
Here we are, finishing up this little tour of dads doing what dads do best: making us laugh, whether intentionally or otherwise. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, it has changed our lives. It’s been dad-tastic all around. All that’s left is to leave you with this, one of the most famous examples of dad snark the internet has ever seen.
It all started off so well. A father sending his daughter a birthday message on her 21st birthday. It was sweet and flattering, if a little brief. All perfectly good and wholesome. What could possibly have gone wrong here? Curiously, with the addition of just one simple word, this post became an internet phenomenon.
That’s right. All Joe Pellat had to do was clarify that his daughter was not a sealion, and Internet fame was his. Almost instantaneously, Twitter users were proclaiming that they wanted Joe to be their dad, that he had won the Internet for the day, and everyone else could just go home. In true dad style, Joe was more amused by his own joke than anybody else was.