Dads Are the Butt of Every Good TikTok Joke Now
Mike Falco
By Logan Mahan / April 9, 2020 9:30 am

TikTok has been full of wholesome dad content for quite some time now.

Like this dad, who quit beer and snacks and replaced his habits with tons of fruit. Or this dad, who found himself perfectly matched with someone else’s entire family. Or this dad, who could be the poster child for all dads. And this dad, who fell victim to a #dadjoke by his own daughter and was so proud he embraced her in a hug:

@theerikaspina1

##fyp ##foryou ##foryoupage

♬ original sound – theerikaspina1

A perfect, wholesome dad moment is the fastest ticket to TikTok virality, especially now that young people all over the country are unexpectedly stuck at home with nothing to do but fuck with their hapless fathers. A good dad TikTok will have at least a hundred thousand likes, but often you’ll find them in the millions, with thousands of comments ranging from “this is so pure and lovely” to a creepy “is your dad single” to a depressingly funny “wish I had a dad.”

As we’ve gotten deeper and deeper into quarantine, TikTok’s dad content has only gotten stronger, more viral and … much dirtier.

One TikTok in particular that has recently made the rounds across Twitter, Facebook and possibly your family group chat stars a dad from Louisville, Kentucky. The video, by family TikTokers @the.mcfarlands shows two adult sons encouraging their reluctant dad to dance the “Blinding Lights” challenge — a choreographed dance to the Weekend’s hit “Blinding Lights” — inspired by another father-son team. It’s like a nesting doll of TikTok Dad jokes.

Papa Mcfarland bodied that shit — from the clean choreography to the animated facial expressions, it’s no surprise the video has over 12 million views and roughly 1.5 million likes on TikTok alone.

And while dads across the globe are dancing it out for their kids’ TikToks, others have assumed different paternal roles. With bars closed and no one to drink with besides your family, dads have stocked up on liquor, helped turn their houses into clubs and even become servers.

One TikTok user filmed her quarantined 21st birthday celebration — which featured her dad taking on bartender duties, diligently checking her ID and serving her her first legal drink. The caption reads “Can’t celebrate my 21st the regular way so my dad took the job.”

@ginadifelice

Can’t celebrate my 21st the regular way so my dad took the job #fyp #makeadrink #wishmeluck #birthday

♬ original sound – ginadifelice

Now, you’re probably wondering, Where is that “dirtier” content you promised?

Relax, you horndogs.

This final frontier of dad TikTok is hilarious, cringy, masterful, but still somehow incredibly wholesome. It involves young people telling their dads sex-related jokes and filming their honest reactions. One popular example sees kids asking their dads to spell ‘I hate happiness’ without the H’s, which of course sounds an awful lot like “I ate a penis.”

There’s also this brilliant penny trick, which you really have to watch to get the full effect.

@sydtheshloth

I’ve never said a bad word in front of them

♬ original sound – sydtheshloth

The #CinderellaChallenge, though, is probably the most popular variation. You ask, “What did Cinderella do when she got to the ball?” then wait a few seconds and gag. (Please don’t make me explain this joke to you.)

TikTok user Katie Pondiscio saw the trend and tried the joke out on her parents, getting this perfect reaction from her dad:

The TikTok has almost 700,000 likes and gained over 3.7 million views since it was posted on March 19th. “I didn’t expect for it to blow up as much as it did, Pondiscio told InsideHook, “but I’m pleasantly surprised.”

These spur-of-the-moment, reaction-driven TikToks are especially successful.

“I think people who make original content that’s not staged often do the best,” said Pondiscio. “Plus, with college kids coming home right now and being stir crazy and their parents finding out how much they drink, kids impressing their parents is a bigger trend right now.”

TikTok has notably been compared to Vine — the beloved video-sharing app where users could make six-second-long video clips before it tragically shut down in 2015. Before the app became plagued with sponsored ads and terrible sketch comedy, Vine was a place where regular people filmed random videos, catching chaotic, confusing but honest, hilarious moments that people still rewatch over and over again.

As TikTok becomes increasingly popular, more sketch comedy accounts like the McFarlands have popped up. Most of the app is made up of rehearsed dances, people lip-syncing songs or lines from movies and jokes that are genuinely funny, but in some capacity, use filters and editing. So it’s not a surprise that impromptu TikTok content has become so successful.

Nor is it a surprise that young people still really like making fun of their parents.