real life

11 people share their childhood 'dad' moments that still make them cringe.

Thanks to our brand partner, Moonpig

Move over coastal grandma, dadcore just crashed the party, right in time for Father's Day. 

It started with Hailey Bieber rocking socks and sandals, then Ted Lasso charmed us with his heartwarming awful dad jokes, and next minute we’re unashamedly binge-watching oddly satisfying lawn maintenance TikToks to fall asleep. 

Add in the recent return of bum bags and the reprise of daggy dance moves as we get back on the dance floor after our COVID hiatus; we’re embracing cringey dad moments more often than you’d think.

In a world where we overthink everything, a bit of the 'daggy dad' authenticity can be comforting and even inspiring.

That’s because the cringe moments our dads/step-dads/father-figures create come from a lack of self-consciousness that most of us can only dream of. 

Credit to biology, psychology or the patriarchy, dads are just out there doing their quirky thing. Not worried about what anyone thinks of them. Whether it’s questionable fashion, unwarranted confidence for a new skill, terrible jokes or brutal honesty at an inappropriate moment, everyone has a dad memory from their childhood that still makes them cringe. 

And probably a photo to back it up too.

This year I’m embracing the nostalgia to give my dad the perfect gift for Father’s Day. Despite what every single ad on my Instagram feed is suggesting, I’m certainly not buying him underwear. 

At 67 years old, I think he’s earnt the right to choose his own undies. 


And given he’s the proud owner of a garage filled with tools he’ll never use, we're not going down the hardware route either. He buys everything he wants so I’m making him something he can’t buy: a personalised card from Moonpig complete with this cute-but-awkward throwback picture of me and him.

Image: Supplied. 

Tell me that’s NOT baby’s first mortified expression? Why am I in his pants? But also, so precious.


If you’re not already across it, Moonpig is the online card store with thousands of cards to choose from, so there’s a Father’s Day card for every dad. 

Of course you can add a personal message to say something sweet… or brutally destroy him (lovingly) with a joke only your family would understand. 

You can also add a photo, so it’s the perfect opportunity to include an embarrassing, cringey or downright hilarious dad pic from the vault. And if you’re a busy parent yourself, it takes the pressure off because you can design online or via the app on your phone and it will be delivered straight to your door or direct to your Dad’s postbox.

Far from being critical, remembering the embarrassing things our dads did can actually serve as a bonding moment. We love our dads for who they are – hilarious, humbling and sometimes... just no. 

Here are some embarrassing, cringey, or downright hilarious childhood dad memories from the Mamamia community that were too good not to share...


"My dad was the Principal at my school. For me this was no big deal, UNTIL it came to sleepover with school mates. Because my dad was a very light sleeper. And wore a nightdress.

"I remember begging my friends at about 1am to be quiet. BEGGING them. They were like 'what's the big deal? Relax man, who cares if your parents get mad?' and I was like 'you DON'T UNDERSTAND'. In stomps my dad, Principal of their school, in his nightdress telling us to be quiet.


"They got it after that." 


"My dad has had a moustache pretty much since he could walk. One day when I was about 12 years old he waltzed into the lounge room, freshly shaved and sporting an 'I survived the Lethal Weapon' muscle tank from Movie World. 

"It was the first time I'd ever seen my dad without a moustache and that image has never and will never leave my mind. He then proceeded to prance around the house and make quite the show, pre-teen me found it so cringey at the time but when I look back on it now, it's the perfect example of his silly nature."

Image: Supplied. 



"I was about 7 years old and on a road trip with my dad. I desperately needed to pee, but with no toilets around, Dad told me to do it on the side of the road. I didn’t squat properly when I peed and ended up getting it all over myself. So, Dad made me ride in the back of his Ute until we found a service station, and he hosed me down in front of everyone. I still think about it to this day."


"When I was 21, my dad was with me as I was choosing new bed linen, and I reached for a darker aubergine/eggplant shade of fitted sheet. He looked closely and said, 'Oh no, not that colour. It's not good for body grease.' I don’t know if this said more about what he thought I was going to get up to or what he was already doing. But either way, it was a deep cringe moment."


"I played footy in school, and my dad never missed a game. At a towering 6'4 American, he already stood out on the sidelines. But he would also get so excited that he’d yell 'GO BLUES, GO BLUES, GO BLUES' anytime we got near the ball. As a super self-conscious 14-year-old, I was mortified, and my friends loved to tease me by copying him. Now that he has passed and I’m a parent myself, it's a truly special memory that I’m glad to have."

Image: Supplied. 



"Not from my childhood, but I took my dad to my daughters’ primary school play, thinking he’d love seeing his granddaughters perform. He promptly turned off his hearing aid and then proceeded to give brutally honest commentary about the performers… in what he thought was a private whisper to me but was actually a 100-decibel yell that the girls could hear from the stage."


"I needed help on a school project where I had to make a whole display and write captions underneath about what they meant. Dad stayed up the whole night with me, writing out whatever I told him to. I ended up losing marks because he doesn’t know how to spell but also wouldn’t look it up, so nearly every single caption card had a spelling mistake."



"My dad and I won a father/daughter dance competition when I was in year 3. During the dance-off, my teacher at the time was a professional dancer who showcased a routine with several aerial maneuvers.

"In a twist of spontaneous enthusiasm and with no prior warning, my dad decided to replicate the routine with me, throwing me into the air and catching me. We won, but I was mortified.

"I got him back by choosing a bag of lolly bananas as our prize, passing up on the expensive wine and gift vouchers. He loves telling this story, and I believe we would probably win again if given the opportunity."

Image: Supplied. 



"Dad hates shopping, but when I was 13 years old, Mum and I convinced him to update his worn-out trousers at our local Target. I had wandered off to look at the shoes, but as I turned back down the aisle, I caught a glimpse of Dad dropping his pants to try on jeans with Mum. He was standing there in his y-front briefs right on the shop floor. At that exact moment, I heard Mum say, 'You should go to a dressing room,' just as I looked up and saw some older high school girls awkwardly watching him, then glancing at me. Dad was oblivious. I was mortified.

"Funnily enough, I’m a Mum now and constantly try on clothes in the aisle without a thought, but that memory still takes me back to high school."


"When I used to do Little Athletics my dad used to volunteer to rake the sandpit for long jump. Any time I was in a race he would scream out my name and cheer me on so that anyone within a decent radius would hear him. I'm not sure if it was embarrassing to my 6-year-old self because my dad was excitedly encouraging me or because despite him doing this I don't think I ever came in the top 3." 

Image: Supplied. 



"My sister was being bullied at a party and she came home crying. My big burly man of a dad was so upset by her tears that he marched to the bully’s house. In the middle of the night. In his VERY inappropriate boxers, and demanded an apology." 

Order your personalised Father's Day card this year from Moonpig. With thousands of cards accessible online or via the app, you can have it delivered to your doorstep or straight to someone you love. 

Feature Image: Supplied/Mamamia. 

This Father’s Day, Moonpig is encouraging Aussies to showcase what makes you say ‘Daaaaaadddd!’ by creating a Father’s Day card that features an embarrassing, cringey, or downright hilarious dad pic smack bang on the front of the card. Make this Father's Day truly special with Moonpig, your one-stop destination for personalised greeting cards and unique gifts. Choose from a wide range of cards, add personal photos and messages, and craft heartfelt moments that your dad will cherish. With Moonpig's user-friendly website and app, expressing your feelings has never been easier. Enjoy fast and convenient delivery to surprise your dad, even from afar. Create, customise, and make memories that last.