Movie Dads Who My Dad Could Beat Up

We’ve reached Father’s Day and it’s time for all of us to start thinking of dear old Dad. Each year around Father’s Day, children tip their cap to their fathers by performing an annual rite of passage: handing over bad gifts to Dad, such as gaudy ties or “cute” coffee mugs that say things that your dad probably thought was stupid. In short, you honor him with something completely meaningless that somehow still honors the guy. And in that vein, I present to you my gift to my own father- a list of movie dads whose asses my dad could kick.

John Kinsella, Field of Dreams (1989)
He’s a ghost, for crying out loud. If I know one thing for certain about my dad, it’s that he could beat the crap out of a dead guy. And my dad doesn’t throw like a girl, either. Seriously, that’s the only thing that even remotely bugged me about that movie. John Kinsella threw like a girl. Watch the clip here. Just try not to cry.

Elliot Hopper, Ghost Dad (1990)
Ghost Dad was quick with a one-liner or two, but he couldn’t even survive a car crash. What, you think he could handle my dad? I’d bet all the Jello Pudding Pops in the world on my dad in that fight.

Norman Thayer, Jr., On Golden Pond (1981)
All of his stupid loons wouldn’t help Norman if he faced the furious fists of my father. While my own dad is gracefully approaching 70, Norman Thayer had to have been 80 or more. I don’t care how spry he was. That’s an age gap you can’t ignore. Furthermore, my dad didn’t raise any whiny kids like Chelsea (Jane Fonda) and I’m pretty sure he’s a better fisherman for good measure.
For the record, I love this movie and it reminds me a ton of my own father. 

Clark Griswold, National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)
At first blush, these two are evenly matched. My dad was also subjected to mind-numbingly long cross-country trips with kids in tow. Just as Clark worked as a Food Preserver, my father also worked in the food industry. They even had similar builds. The tie-breaker here is that me and my brothers didn’t distract him as much as Audrey and Russ distracted Clark. That type of focus is why I’m confident my dad could TKO Clark.

Wayne Szalinski, Honey I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
Wayne Szalinksi was many things- loving father and husband, inventor, kid shrinker- but he was a nerd. Hell, my mom could take him down. My dad would knock him out quicker than crap goes through a goose (which, by the way, is a colorful expression I learned from my dad).

All three of the dads in 3 Men and a Baby (1987)
Ted Danson, Steve Guttenberg, and Tom Selleck? Poser pretty boys. All of ’em.

George Bailey, It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
George might have been a hell of a guy but that’s ultimately his downfall here. While trying to figure out a way stretch my dad’s retirement fund or wondering how those petals got into his pocket, my pops would crack him on the jaw and it’d be all downhill for George from there.

Bill Maplewood, Happiness (1998)
Not only could my dad do it. The entire world would applaud when he did it. Maplewood, you may recall, was the child molester played by Dylan Baker. He’s begging for someone to go all Chris Hansen on him with their fists and my old man would be just the person for the job.

George McFly, Back to the Future (1985)
One thing should be made perfectly clear. My dad is not a bully. He’s no Biff. In fact, the irony of this whole list is that my dad’s the kind of jovial guy who I can’t even imagine in a fight. But should the need arise, he could take George McFly out quite easily. The one caveat is if my dad somehow harmed Lorraine Baines McFly in any way, in which case George would summon super-human strength.

Pa Joad, The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Who am I kidding. My dad could beat him up, but I bet instead he’d offer him a warm bed and all the hot meals he could handle. 

Balatony Kálmán, Taxidermia (2006)
The guy was marvelously obese, the result of a life spent as a competitive eater. This might be the easiest guy to beat up on the list.

Happy Father’s Day, dad. I hope this is better than a tie. 


Filed under Humor, Movies

95 responses to “Movie Dads Who My Dad Could Beat Up

  1. Ha, great list. Pretty much every male character in “Happiness” deserves to be beat up. In fact, it seems almost every single male character in a Todd Solondz film is reprehensible, uncomfortable or just difficult to like in some manner.

    In New Zealand, we celebrate Fathers Day early in September, though God knows why. We also celebrate our Labor Day late in October, and us Kiwis (the fiends!) don’t celebrate Bastille Day or Thanksgiving at all.

    • That’s such a great point about Happiness. What a really, really, really uncomfortable movie to watch.

      For what it’s worth, I might be the only American who celebrates Bastille Day. And even then, all I do is watch a bunch of Louis Malle movies.

  2. A Ghost Dad reference…wow. 🙂

    You underestimate Selleck and his power ‘stache, clearly.

    Does your Dad take requests? Howsabout someone kicking some sense into Greg Kinnear’s character in Little Miss Sunshine?

    I’d also like to submit Bill Macy in Pleasantville.

    • Ghost Dad is one of those slices of movie history that I hope never goes away. 50 years from now, I want some company like Troma to release it with extra commentary about Bill Cosby.

  3. I need to do a list of Dads that can beat up mine…(I won’t bore your with my Dad story, suffice to say he ain’t around)

    Great List though, fun read as ever John


  4. Kelly

    I agree… this is a pretty funny list. Though, I think even my 2-year-old nephew could beat up George McFly. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

  5. This is really funny! Great read.

    By the way, I have a new post up about embarrassment, it’s humorous and satirical but also analytical, I would greatly appreciate your comments or feedback.

    Thanks, Muzzy

  6. How fun…got this in my inbox this morning, the doing my typical Freshly Pressed morning perusal…and saw you here, too!

    Nice job, my blogging friend.

    And I’m so glad you included George McFly. Your dad could totally take him. Any dad could.


    Congrats to you!

  7. haha this is a great meaningful tribute! “3 men and a baby” dads took the cake! 😀

  8. bmestdagh

    Ha ha! This is great! Love the idea!
    Thanks for sharing.

  9. What bothered me the most out of Field of Dreams is that Ray Liotta (Shoeless Joe) didn’t bat left handed! He didn’t look all that natural right handed, they could have gotten a stunt double to bat left handed. I’m glad Costner looked like he knew what he was doing. Costner and Charlie Sheen should be in all baseball movies. They’re the two who look right!

    • So, so very true. I’ve got a story about Sheen and his baseball skills that I plan on sharing… some day. I wanted to let the whole goofy “Tiger blood” thing die down, lest I seem like I’m using a cheap ploy to capitalize on the stupidity.

  10. pleasedoshutup

    I think that the marvelously obese guy would be hard to beat up because he has all that fat insulating him. 🙂

  11. I think all that your dad would have to do against Clark Griswold is to wait him out. Clark usually does himself in. Great post. I’m using it as the inspiration for tomorrow’s picture puzzler on

  12. Lol George Mcfly 😛 Great list and awesome blog. I started my own film blog please check it out and support thanks 😀

  13. Ward Cleaver…………with a breath.

    spread the

  14. To Charly regarding Ward Cleaver: I challenge you to think of any TV father, pre-1965, that your dad could not beat up. What about Mike Brady? I’m on the fence on that one.

  15. This post was too cute! Go Dad!!

  16. With prior notice, Wayne Szalinksi could possibly shrink your dad if he anticipated the fight coming; that could give Wayne an edge. However, Wayne was pretty nerdy…perhaps your dad would leap onto one of the pens sticking out of Szalinksi’s pocket protector, leap up a couple inches and knock him out with one clean shot to the chin.

    Excellent post!

  17. Pingback: Movie Dads Who My Dad Could Beat Up (via ) « The Rothechilde Experiment

  18. Good post…

    Fields of Dreams – best Baseball movie ever! Sorry don’t see the “throw like a girl” part of it.

    Um…no offense…but my money’s on Tom Selleck. Have you seen Blue Bloods. Pretty tough guy….

    • Maybe “like a girl” is pushing it a bit, but he’s short-arming a ton. My hunch would be that the actor was used to throwing a football but not a baseball.

  19. Hahaha! This is great. And I’d like to say that my dad could beat them all up too. 😉 (Does me saying that count as my father’s day gift as well??? Huh??)

  20. cool cool.

    You sound very proud of your Dad, great!

  21. Ha, great list. But you’ll remember in European Vacation, Clark punched a guy and saved the girl.

  22. tlf

    hahahahahahahahahaha! Great entry. The pa Joad thing cracked me up. And I love On Golden Pond too! My dad, now 85 and in a wheelchair, still wears one of those floppy hats like Norman Thayer did.

  23. GD

    Original, humorous…thank you for this post!

    My writing blog:

    Great post, I’m looking forward to more!

  24. Pingback: Movie Dads Who My Dad Could Beat Up (via ) | Keith's World

  25. Better than a mug for sure. Hope your dad is more sophisticated than mine with the computer so he can locate this gem.

  26. Sadly, my dad does not have the use of his limbs. However, I still think he could take Jean-Dominique Bauby, perhaps just using his lips.

    Bauby really got around. I’m sure that he was a father, one way or another.

  27. You clearly kick ass yourself! Great list!

  28. Any dad could take out George McFly ahaha 🙂 Sweet post John!

  29. This is the best Father’s Day post ever!!

    Not only could my dad beat up Wayne Szalinski, but I remember watching that movie when I was a kid and thinking, “I’m pretty sure I could take that guy…”

    Excellent post! 😉

  30. Man! My dad is in Afghanistan right now, but when he gets back, our dads can team up and beat up all the bad dads! Sounds like you have a rad dad. I’m sure he’s proud.

  31. I think my mum could beat the up also!

  32. Pingback: Father’s Day Prelude: “Movie Dads Who My Dad Could Beat Up” « The Greg Jones Blog

  33. Jim

    Hey, you got “Freshly Pressed” dude – congrats!

    • Thanks Jim! That’s a new one for me, but it’s a great surprise.

      (everyone who reads this should click on Jim’s name and go read Jim’s Beer and Whiskey Brothers blog)

  34. Your Dad could take pre – Marty goes back in time George McFly, but when Marty comes back George is a certified badass, I dunno man.

  35. Ghost Dad was just weird!

    And yeah, I think any dad can beat the Honey I Shrunk My Kids dad…

  36. acadianeire

    My dad died 3 years ago, but I bet he could’ve taken your dad! So there!

    Loved this post! So original!

  37. Kooky Guy

    I don’t know about your dad, but my pops could beat up Darth Vader.

  38. Really? George Bailey??? Okay, maybe your dad COULD take him in a fight, but I’m not so sure anyone would respect him afterwards… And I agree with Danson and Guttenberg in the the 3 Men entry – but Tom Selleck??? He was Magnum-F-ing PI… As for my dads??? I don’t think either of them could take anyone these days;)

  39. zumgople

    Great idea! thanks

  40. Hiit

    Great idea! thanks

  41. Great list! Even though he winds up awesome, George McFly will ALWAYS be the dad anyone, including kid sisters, can beat up.

  42. how about darth vader? too much to handle? :’)

  43. Congrats on making WP Featured Post, John… an advanced congrats for IMDb 😀

    Wow, does your dad know Kung Fu? He could beat up Ted Danson, Steve Guttenberg, AND Tom Selleck? Amazing!

  44. Every movie dad could beat up my dad – every dad character Rick Moranis ever played…..truth.

  45. This is back to the schoolyard man. “My dad could beat up your dad!” I love it.

    Btw, my dad could kick your dads ASS!! For SUREEE! 🙂

  46. Haha. That’s pretty funny. What a way to honor your dad on Father’s Day! 🙂

  47. brainforthought

    Taxidermia!?! What was that?

    • I don’t think I could even begin to describe Taxidermia. I’ll let Wikipedia do the work for me:

      “Taxidermia is a 2006 Hungarian film directed by György Pálfi. The film focuses on three generations of men from Hungary, beginning with a military orderly during the Second World War, moving on to an aspiring speed-eater during the Cold War, and concluding with a taxidermist during modern times. The film has elements of dark comedy and body horror.”

      By “has elements”, they mean “has a ton of”.

  48. Hilarious post! I still remember making fun of that guy in “Honey I shrunk the Kids” when I first saw the movie.. great memories.

    And congratulations! We got Freshly Pressed! 🙂


  49. Totally with you on the 3 Men and a Baby thing – super lame dads.

    Btw, my dad could kick all the asses of all the dads of all the comments on this page! And I love him. x

    Congrats on Freshly Pressed and thank you for making me think of my dad.

  50. Nice hit list! 🙂
    Don’t think I want my dad to see it though, haha

  51. Hilarious. But George Bailey? C’mon now.

  52. I LOL’d at Pa Joad and Ghost Dad. Hilarious post. Idk about George Bailey though.. would have been a good fight, I think George is probably pretty scrappy.

    Glad you didn’t have Liam Neeson from ‘Taken’ or I would have called shenanigans

  53. bueno para mi as películas arriba mencionadas estuvieron a mi criterio muy buenas muy rentables, claro son clasificaciones diferentes, eso no implica que debamos golpearlos, jajaja, con suerte alguien en algún lugar tenga un papa despistado como el de encogí a los niños, son papás diferentes al común , yo no los golpearía, pero si les desearía un FELIZ DÍA DEL PADRE.

  54. I like your list–don’t forget Charles Deetz in Beetle Juice

  55. This is really funny! Great read.

  56. A cool way to have our dad’s release all that stress that has been building for the past year. Is age a factor? Mines 65. congrats.

  57. Nice. Now the question is, did your dad like his gift?

  58. Lol the Sultan (Jasmin’s dad) fron Aladin was such a wimp

  59. Jack Butler, “Mr. Mom”

    A guy’s gone soft when he starts hanging out with the other real housewives and watching soap operas.

  60. Alan King

    This post is hilarious! I was laughing at “Three Men and A Baby”. Thanks for this post.

  61. Hello. Hahaha. As I was reading your list of butt-whooping candidates, my mind thought about George, lol. Certainly your dad could whip him good and a few moments later you wrote it. I have to also take a big liking to John Kinsella being duked over by your 70-year old pops. I played 4-years college baseball and every I see the movie, it annoys me that he was the best actor (?) to choose to toss a baseball! It reminds me of how ridiculous of a casting choice to have Ralph Macchio as The Karate Kid. That boy couldn’t walk and chew gum without tripping over his “wax-on, wax-off” feet, haha. Just thinking here…I wonder how your pops would fare against Howard Cunningham (Happy Days)? Thank you for a great post. I love it. 🙂

  62. David M. Green

    Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations make for Infinite Possibilities. Sadly I can’t help but think after reading your post that if every dad were as you describe yours the world would be a brutal and dreary place indeed. For it is the cooperation of the diversity of the many varieties men and women {some of whom you mockingly despise} that has led to where the human race is today.

  63. So, your dad can’t take on Arnold Schwarzenegger? Remember when he did that awful Christmas movie about getting the special toy for his son?

  64. Pingback: The Perfect Recession-Proof Gift (a Father’s Day post) « Alan W. King's Blog

  65. Steve

    I knew before I clicked that Honey I Shrunk the Kids was going to be on this list.

  66. Love it! I love that George Bailey is on your list–I may be one of the few haters of It’s a Wonderful Life, but dang, if he had gotten beat up by a couple of other dads now and then, he wouldn’t have been such a sap!

  67. realanonymousgirl2011

    I liked the 3 Men and a Baby. They were absolutely clueless!

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