Whether we like it or not, we all came from a dad. Well, at least half of who we are did. (Thanks, mom!) For a lot of us, it’s that paternal half that’s responsible for some of our most cringe-worthy characteristics and blush-inducing blunders. Do you ever feel like dancing like no one’s watching, or joking with the waitress about how bad the food was as she clears away your empty plate? Have you ever considered wearing socks with your sandals because it might just be a little bit comfier? That’s dad, alright. And while we’re still frantically fighting our genes before the urge to photobomb our daughters’ prom pictures takes over, pops has totally embraced them.
But hey, it could always be worse, right? I know it probably feels like you’ve got the most embarrassing dad out there, but give me a chance to show you just how wrong you are. The next fifteen photos are the ones that these kids never wanted you to see. By the end of this list, you’ll be calling your dad to thank him for only ever jamming on his air guitar in front of your friends the one time. Or maybe you’ll pick up a handful of tips and tricks from these dorky dads to embarrass your own unsuspecting kids. Whichever it is, you’ll be glad that you’re not in any of these kids’ shoes – or mortifying, handmade t-shirts – by the time you get to the end of the list.
CURFEW-BREAKING DAUGHTER FORCED TO WEAR SPIRIT-BREAKING T-SHIRT
Here’s a quick lesson for all of you aspiring rebels out there. What’s the one rule you have to remember when breaking curfew? Never get caught. This not-so-sneaky daughter learned that lesson the hard way after her watchful father found her shimmying down the gutter one day or whichever way she tried to slip out of the house right under his nose. After what I’m sure was a long and classic speech about respecting your parents and responsibility, it didn’t take long for him to craft the perfect punishment in the form of a homemade t-shirt, complete with an angry selfie. Despite the flattering lighting, a lot of people are not exactly down with using public humiliation as a punishment for misbehaving kids, but I wouldn’t confront this dad about it if I were you. Take a note from his daughter’s t-shirt and believe him when he says “Try Me!!”
DAD LEARNS WHAT “TWINING” MEANS
Sometimes you get lucky when you dig through musty old boxes in the crawlspace under your house looking for your soccer trophy from fifth grade so that you can prove to your girlfriend that you’re athletic and you find some of your dad’s classic leather belts and worn out Levi’s instead. That vintage look is in, and being able to brag about how well your parents used to dress – especially compared to how they dress now – can really boost your fashion cred. On the flip side, parents wearing your clothes? Hard pass. This dad didn’t get the memo about how unflattering horizontal stripes and his son’s snapbacks are, but at least he thought better than to copy the facial hair and ear piercing. You have to give the man credit where credit is due. If that kid wanted to know what he might look like in thirty years, his dad has him covered.
SELFIE STICK TOTING POPS SNAPS THE PERFECT FAMILY PORTRAIT
What’s more embarrassing than posing for a family portrait in public? How about when the camera is at the end of a long, awkward selfie stick being held by your overzealous dad? I don’t think it can get worse than that. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a fourth family member hiding under the table. There’s nothing purer than the look of joy on a father’s face after successfully making every one of his kids, and his fed-up wife, cover theirs in shame. I bet mom’s rethinking those weekly family dinners that she insisted on having right about now. Say “Jeez,” kids.
DAD DOESN’T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FACEBOOK AND GOOGLE
Google is the most basic of the basics when it comes to internet usage, right? Well, if you were to ask this discombobulated dad you’d, unfortunately, be wrong. All David D. wanted to do was buy the perfect set of ingredients to make his family a scrumptious chicken casserole, but it looks like he might have bitten off a little more than he could chew. His instincts were right; the internet certainly is a helpful resource for finding the answers to your most pressing recipe-related questions, but it was in the execution where he strayed from the path. Thank goodness for his helpful, if exasperated, son Stephen D. who came to his rescue. When gently guiding his confused pops to the mother of all search engines didn’t pan out, the model son took matters into his own hands and googled “grocery stores near me” for the muddled old man. Dinner’s on!
DANCING DAD ROCKS OUT AT ELECTRONIC MUSIC
You might want to check out the video for this one. Who says electronic music is just for twenty-something clubbers in Berlin? You have to appreciate a dad who wants to share his interests with his son, whether the son is interested or not. Complete with a fanny pack, tube socks, plaid shorts, earplugs, and a repertoire of sweet moves, this dancing dad is having the time of his life, while his son has, well, a time. Even sitting down, nothing can stop his two left feet from making use of those brown leather dancing shoes. The kid’s young. He has plenty of years to recover from being featured in a viral video with his shimmying papa. At least his son knows what to get him for Father’s Day next year – the newest Daft Punk album and some dancing lessons.
BODY-POSITIVE PAPA GREETS SON AT SCHOOL WEARING A SPEEDO
“Make a memory every day.” That’s father, and Michael Phelps wannabe, Justin Beadles motto. A sentiment that he fully backed up on his son Jack’s last day of junior high school. Instead of waiting patiently in the car, fully clothed, for his son to say his “Have a nice summer!”s, he donned his tightest speedo and ran at his unsuspecting son at full speed-o. Bathing suit-clad, swimming cap squeezed tightly on his head, and medals clanking around his neck, Beadles bombarded his son, screaming his name while his patient wife filmed the embarrassing video. “I was just like half embarrassed, half thinking I was going to run away,” Jack said. But he held his ground. Apparently, this wasn’t the first time his dad had pulled a stunt like that. “This isn’t the first dumb thing I’ve ever done,” Beadles said.
DADDY PLAYS DRESS-UP…EVERY DAY FOR AN ENTIRE SCHOOL YEAR
Imagine this. You’re sixteen years old, self-conscious, starting another year of high school, and your dad has a wicked sense of humor and a seemingly endless supply of costumes. That’s exactly what Rain Price had to endure for 180 days, each day of the school year, as he got on the bus each morning leaving behind a grinning dad waving to him in whatever outrageous getup he pulled together that day. Dale Price’s outfits ran the gamut from The Little Mermaid to Man Reading a Newspaper on an Actual Toilet. The dedicated dad never wore a costume more than once, dipping into their family’s old collection of Halloween costumes and borrowing from neighbors. Price even started a blog dedicated to all 180 days of trolling his teenage son. You were lucky enough to only have to imagine being tortured like that, but Rain Price actually endured it. Luckily, after one year of dress-up, Mr. Price threw in the towel and his collection of wigs, much to his son’s relief.
POPS PERFECTS THE ART OF THE SELFIE
Pucker up, pops. Here’s a version of who wore it best: father/daughter duckface edition. Even though the daughter has the classic technique down pat, I’m going to have to give the crown to her dad for adding something new to the mix – a beer belly. Congratulations, Chris Martin! No, not that Chris Martin. This one’s a comedian, podcaster, and master teen girl impersonator. Instead of navigating the confusing web of Snapchat filters to copy his daughter’s selfies, this resourceful papa seemed to use whatever he could find laying around the house to recreate the perfect look. Whether it’s a halo of fake shrubbery crowning his head or a hand-drawn sharpie tattoo, Martin becomes the spitting image of his daughter – if she was a middle-aged, balding male comedian, that is. One thing’s for sure, that girl is probably rethinking her privacy settings across all of her social media accounts.
JAMIE OLIVER CELEBRATES STAR WARS DAY
Kids, I am your father…unfortunately. You would think having a celebrity chef for a father would guarantee some level of coolness, but you’d be wrong. Turns out celebrity dads can be just as geeky as the rest of them, sometimes even more so. In celebration of Star Wars Day, Jamie Oliver donned his prized Stormtrooper costume and imperial-marched his prisoners, I mean, his children to school. As a longtime fan of the franchise, and embarrassing his daughters Daisy Boo and Honey Poppy, Oliver reveled in the memory of walking the pair to school with a flush on their faces and helmet covering his. He Instagrammed the pic along with the caption, “#TBT to when I walked the girls to school like this haha embarrassing Dad!! May the fourth be with you!! #starwarsday.” Unsurprisingly, his fans were much more supportive of the stellar stunt than his mortified girls.
THIS PAPA MIGHT BE TOO PROUD
Watch out, the Carlson family is packing heat. At least according to this extra proud papa. When Mr. Carlson’s son was almost certainly hacked, or maybe was just feeling a little bit insecure about his package, he stepped right up to the plate to show off his bat. Brian tried to blame paternity for the junior Carlson’s underperforming pee pee, but Mr. Carlson was right there to clear up any misinformation about his family’s jewels that might be floating around the internet. He was quick to reveal his son’s well-kept “secret,” maybe destroying any trust that they might have had between them but securing him an in with the ladies. While the mystery of Mr. Carlson Junior’s actual shlong size might never be solved, his dad’s loyalty to defending his son’s online reputation was never in question. Let’s hope that he makes his dad, and all horses everywhere, proud.
WHO WEARS SHORT-SHORTS?
That’s one way to get your point across. It takes a brave man to don a pair of his daughter’s denim short-shorts and strut through a popular grocery store. Granted, the grocery store he chose was Walmart, so it’s probably safe to say that he wasn’t the only sight for sore eyes wandering around the place. Unfortunately for his daughter, she probably didn’t notice any of the other weirdos because she was too focused on how much of her dad’s thighs were showing. A lesson in modesty is an important one for a young girl to learn, but this dad’s methods are questionable. The bicycle shorts were a nice touch, but did he have to ruin a perfectly good dual-toned jacket in the process? Regardless, it’s probably safe to say that little girl won’t be putting on that pair of shorts before a thorough wash first – if she ever does.
TEEN TAUGHT A LESSON AFTER HOSTING AN UNINVITED GUEST
Listen. The same rule that applies for sneaking out still stands when you’re trying to sneak someone in your parents’ house in the middle of the night. Is standing at a busy Florida intersection with a sign that says “I sneak boys in at 3 a.m. and disrespect my parents and grandparents” a better or worse punishment than being forced to wear a t-shirt with your dad mean mugging it plastered on the front? I can’t decide, but I’m absolutely sure I’d get better at tip-toeing before I invite another late night guest over again. Who knows if Jasmine actually learned her lesson, but she can at least rest easy knowing she’s not the only reckless teen whose parents shoved a sign in their hands and then them into an intersection. She joins the ranks of 14-year-old drug dealers and academic underachievers who will be there to keep her company on the median, at least in spirit.
SLEEPY DAD GETS HIS REVENGE
Don’t mess with the master. No matter how good at pranks you think you are, your dad will always be one step ahead of you. Where do you think you get it from? This son thought he could outsmart his dad by taking an embarrassing snapshot of a poorly timed nap during a family vacation. All of that plotting and planning must have tuckered the poor guy out because it wasn’t long before fell asleep too, leaving himself open and vulnerable to a counterstrike. The tree doesn’t take shit from the apple because pops whipped out his camera faster than you can say, “I’m sorry I tried to embarrass you on the internet, dad. I’ll never do it again.” The pair has called a truce for now, but I’m sure that on the next family vacation they’ll both think twice before day drinking on the beach and slipping away for a quick nap to sleep it off.
THIS DAD WANTS EVERYONE TO KNOW HE’S THE HEAD OF THE HOUSE
Okay, I lied earlier. I’m really sorry about that. It turns out that the one thing more embarrassing than a dad wielding a selfie stick is a dad who knows how to use photoshop. Did no one tell this dad to use his powers for good instead of evil? I can think of nothing more terrifying than the giant, floating head of my father leering out of the darkness. Luckily, I don’t have a physical of what that would actually look like, unlike this poor family. Underneath those smiling faces lies a terror too awful to imagine. Trust me. What looks like a glint in those children’s eyes is actually fear – fear that their future spouses might ever see this photo and divorce them on the spot. If you look closely, you can tell that mom was considering it right as this photo was taken. Careful, dad. There might come a day where all you have left is a tattered copy of this family portrait and your giant caterpillar mustache.
DISCO DAD DARES TO PLAY THE AIR GUITAR
Air guitars of any imaginable brand are banned, says Thorpe Park Resort. The park is home to Island Beats, a summer-long music festival were a viral video of this dad dancing to The Vamps was shot. Little did this rug-cutting patriarch know that his sick moves would soon go viral and garner more than 5 million online views. Dancing Dad inspired a movement, and Thorpe Park Resort was happy to facilitate the hordes of disco dads and mambo moms who wanted in on the action. For the remainder of the fest, the park set of cordoned-off parental dance corrals for all the music-loving adults who weren’t too old to break it down. The fest crew wanted to ensure fun for all ages, and a solid barrier between flailing fathers and their embarrassed kids. There was only one rule that dancers of every age had to follow: no air guitars.