How to annoy your dad – The ultimate guide

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How to annoy your dad – The ultimate guide

How to annoy your dad - The ultimate guide - frustrated man
How to annoy your dad – The ultimate guide
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

There are just certain things that annoy your dad. And there are certain things that will outright make your dad furious. As dads, we typically embrace the dad stereotypes. We like to wear white new balance shoes. We like to keep a well-maintained yard. We like to say things like “It’s not the heat that will get you but the humidity”. We are creatures of habit and creatures of comfort.

Here is the ultimate guide to annoying your dad. This list is written in jest. While my kids may annoy me with these things I know most of them they don’t do on purpose. But some of these things are downright funny when you think about it. And honestly, there may be things on this list that would annoy anyone. Not just a dad.

Leave a light on

Leaving lights on. I just don’t get it. I probably did this as a kid growing up. But the constant barrage of my parents to turn off the light must have gotten through to me. Now I always make sure I turn off lights when I see them off. Even to the point, it makes my wife mad because she says she wasn’t done in that room.

But when the kids leave every light on in the house. It really annoys me. Don’t they realize that lights use electricity? Do they even know how to pay an electric bill? Probably not. This reminds me I need to go check and see if any lights were left on while I was writing this.

Touch his thermostat

When someone touches my thermostat it usually isn’t the kids. Typically my wife will go up or down depending on what is going on. But my kids better not touch it. Although my wife would get them probably way before I would.

Lose his 10mm socket

If you know you know. The 10mm socket is one of the most used by dads everywhere. And when we need it, it is never anywhere to be found. Probably because one of my kids moved it somewhere. If you want to make dad happy. Buy him a 10mm socket set for Father’s Day.

Misplace his remote

I have one spot in my living room that I try to keep the remote. And when I want to watch TV do you know where my remote is? Not in that spot. I usually have to spend a good few minutes searching for my remote. One of these days I am just going to duct tape it to that spot so it cannot be moved.

Not laugh at his puns

Dads love to tell corny jokes. It’s almost as if we get some type of joke book when our first child is born to start a foundation. But when the family doesn’t laugh at our punny jokes, dad is no longer happy. Look just cut your dad some slack and laugh at his jokes. It will make him smile and you just might make his day.

Mow the grass, the wrong way

How to annoy your dad?
Mow the grass the wrong way.
Dandelions in grass
How to annoy your dad?
Mow the grass the wrong way

Almost every dad loves his lawn. And what he loves, even more, is when that lawn is freshly mowed and looking sharper than everyone else in the neighborhood. But if you are old enough to mow it for him, you better do it right. If dad wants a pattern, cut a pattern, if dad wants it cut in a circle, cut it in a circle. Otherwise, he might have to get out and do it himself. Which is probably what he wanted to do in the first place.

Ask him to do something right after he sat down

This is one of my family’s favorite ways to get me. I just got done doing some housework or just got kids down for a nap, I sit down in my favorite spot, and boom, “Can you do something for me?”.


Yes, I can. No, I don’t want to. But I love you anyway and will get up and do it.

Not hold the flashlight in the right spot

This is a common scenario. Trying to fix something under a sink or behind the fridge. We just need you to hold the flashlight so we can use both hands. 


Not there.

No. Just a little higher.

NOOO! just hold it still.

Give me the flashlight!

It’s really not that hard. Just hold it still and read my mind where I want you to point it.

Forget to walk the dog

How to annoy your dad?
Forget to walk the dog
How to annoy your dad?
Forget to walk the dog

My kids have a few chores. The dog typically falls to me. But in the afternoon and evening, it is their job to walk the dog. And if they forget and he makes a mess on the floor, Dad is not a happy camper.

Change the channel on his TV

This happens often. I am watching TV and I get up to go do something. When I come back my TV is on a different channel. Most of the time there isn’t even anyone watching it. Why did you change the channel? Just leave dad’s TV alone.

Change the channel on his TV while he is “resting his eyes”

This is even worse. Just because my eyes are closed doesn’t mean I wasn’t watching that. Even if I am snoring. I wasn’t sleeping I was just resting my eyes.

Backtalk your mom

When I was growing up you didn’t do this. Backtalking my mom gave me a weird condition where I wouldn’t be able to sit down for days. But if you backtalk your mom and your dad has to get involved. You better run.

Make him late for church

Every Sunday we leave at the same time to go to church. There is no surprise. It isn’t like they change service times. And with the exception of Covid shutting us down we always go. But for some reason almost every Sunday it is a challenge to get out the door at the prescribed time. It must be an act of God.

Wake him up from sleeping

I don’t sleep much. And that’s ok because I don’t need a lot of sleep. But when I am sleeping well please leave me alone. My son said I attacked him one night when he tried to wake me up in the middle of the night. I didn’t. But it still scared him so after that night he always woke his mom up.

And if dad is “resting his eyes” on the couch. Just let him be. Don’t change his channel and give him a few minutes of peace and quiet.

Forget something at the house

I don’t know how many times we go somewhere and the inevitable words come out of someone’s mouth. 

“I forgot to get my ….”

Charging cables, books, phones, sunscreen. Always something that is probably needed. And the worse part is you probably told them 3 times to not forget said item.

Throw away his leftovers

This might not apply to all dads. Some may not be big on eating leftovers. But I do. If it was good the first time it might be even better the second time. The only reason you should ever throw away leftovers is if it is growing hair. Otherwise, just leave it in the fridge. We will eat it. Eventually.

Tell him to read the directions when assembling something

Dads love putting stuff together. We do not enjoy trying to understand directions that were probably poorly translated. We are smart people and we are good with tools. Just let us put it together. 

There is no reason to tell us we are doing it wrong. There is no reason for us to check the instructions. But is it normal to always have extra pieces when we put stuff together?

Ask “Are we there yet?” Every 5 minutes on a road trip

How to annoy your dad?
Are we there yet?
Road Trip
How to annoy your dad?
Are we there yet?

I enjoy road trips. I enjoy traveling with my family. But I don’t enjoy them asking every 5 minutes if we are at our destination. It never fails my son will ask within 30 minutes into a trip how much longer do we have. The good news is this gives dad an opportunity to mess with you. Our typical response will be 2-3 times longer than it will actually take.

And speaking of road trips…

Ask to go potty 30 minutes into a road trip

It doesn’t matter if they went potty twice right before we left and haven’t drunk anything in 2 days. I will hear this 30 minutes into a trip. “I GOT TO PEE!!!”. 

It really makes me feel like investing in a huge vehicle that has a built-in bathroom.

Tell him to ask for directions while driving

Some of us old-school dads don’t use Google maps or GPS. We know how to get there or we know the general location of our destination. Did we pass that same building 3 times now? Maybe. But we are just taking the scenic route and will get there when we get there.

Tell him to ask an associate for help at the store

I feel there are two types of dads. Those that like shopping and those that hate shopping. But for me, it’s a little bit of both. I like shopping by myself. I hate shopping with other people.  And I hate asking for help. I would rather walk 4 miles around a Home Depot before I would stop and ask an associate for help.

Readjust the seat in his car

This probably wouldn’t just annoy dads but it might annoy anyone. You find that perfect spot for your seat in your car. Then someone drives it, but first, they have to adjust your seat. Then after you get back in it you will spend the next three days finding that perfect spot.

Be a backseat driver

I love it when my family tells me how to drive, said no dad ever. And it’s even worse when your kids try to backseat drive. Especially when I have ridden with them and I know what terrible drivers they are.

Don’t let him drive

Not letting your dad drive might not annoy them. If they like to be chauffeured around then by all means let everyone else drive. But I’m the type of dad if we are going somewhere I would rather be the one behind the wheel. It’s not that I don’t trust others to drive it’s just that I am a horrible rider.

Sing annoying songs repeatedly in the car

We have radios in cars for a reason. Not everyone can sing. And nothing says fun times like a toddler singing Baby Shark over, and over, and over, and over.  Just remember paybacks are no fun. Because your dad could always start singing 80’s power ballads to you, over, and over, and over, and over.

Go too long without getting an oil change

I never get my oil changed on time. But if I drive your car and you are overdue for an oil change you will hear about it for the next month.

Tell him gas was cheaper somewhere else right after he fills his tank up

It never fails. I fill up my tank, then my son stops by and tells me he got gas for $.05 cheaper a gallon. Why does this always happen to us dads?

Ask mom the same question that he just said no to

This one goes both ways. I’m sure moms hate this too. But don’t come and ask me if you can go to a friend’s house, and I say no, then go ask mom the same question. Luckily mom and dads figure this out quickly and respond with go ask your father.

Ask for something to eat, 15 minutes after eating a full meal

Food. It seems like our kids have two modes. They want to eat constantly, or if I put the best chicken nuggets in the world in front of them they will throw it on the floor and refuse to eat it.

My son is the king of this. He will eat a full meal and then some. Then ask if he can have popcorn less than 30 minutes later. 

Suggest eating out instead of grilling at home

If given the chance most dads would grill every night of the week. Ok, maybe not most dads. But those of us that like to grill would rather do that than eat out. But if you want to annoy your dad then just suggest you go out and eat McDonald’s instead of him grilling some burgers and brats.

Ask to go potty 5 minutes after you told him you didn’t have to go potty

Potty training toddlers is such a fun time, said no parent ever. My kids can literally sit on the toilet for 30 minutes, say they are done, then go play for 5 minutes and have to go potty again.

Wake up early on weekends

Speaking of toddlers and ways they can annoy their dads. How about just waking up early. It’s not like dad didn’t get up early every day of the week to go to work. Maybe he would like to sleep in just one Saturday. 

Can I sleep in this weekend?


Ok cool.

Just remember that when you become a teenager and you enjoy sleeping in, dads will get their payback.

Ask him more than 3 questions in a row

I don’t know what the limit here is. But two questions in a row seem like a reasonable request. When you hit 3 or more you are just trying to annoy your dad.

Open a new pack of snacks before finishing the first one

I think the record for my house is 5 bags of chips. That’s right, I found 5 bags of opened chips that were not finished but a new one was opened up. And it wasn’t just some crumbs left, it was almost half-eaten bags of chips.

Leave a half drank water bottle laying around

How to annoy your dad
Half drank water bottle
How to annoy your dad?
Half drank water bottle

And to go with that bag of chips is a half drank water bottle. This is the one thing that annoys me more than anything. Just throw the water bottle away at the end of the day. 

Sneak food into your bedroom

Sneaking food into the bedroom isn’t just annoying but leads to issues. If you ever had mice problems you know this has to be stopped. I don’t always mind when they eat in their room, just clean up and throw away any leftover food or packages.

Make him repeat himself, more than once

Dads love hearing themselves talk. But we don’t love to repeat ourselves when we tell you to do something. If I had a dollar for every time I had to repeat myself I would have retired years ago.

Watch your TV with a really high volume

I buy my kid’s headphones constantly. Why? Because for some reason they are always losing their headphones and the next thing I know their TV or tablet is on full volume blasting throughout the house.

Spill something right after he told you “Don’t spill that”

Do you want to know a sure-fire way to get your kid to make a mess? Give them something to drink or a bowl full of cereal and milk and say, “Don’t spill that”. It’s like some magical enchantment to make a kid spill something.

Drive his car and leave him no gas

If you borrow your dad’s car and drive it for a while and leave him no gas. Get ready to hear about it. Or if you want to annoy your husband, just wait until he needs to drive your vehicle and make sure it is on empty and the gas light is on. We love that!

Sit in “his” spot

Almost every dad has a spot. It is “his” spot. Maybe it is a chair, a spot on the couch, or a spot on the floor. Don’t sit in “his” spot. He loves you, but not enough to give up his spot.

Leave toys all over your floor for him to step on

I can’t tell you how many times I have almost lost a leg because my kids left blocks or Legos all over the floor. I am not the most graceful person in the world so it is quite the sight to see me dance over scattered toys.

Say “I don’t know” when he asks you what you want for dinner

This is a nightly annoyance in my household. I get done with work, I walk into the living room and this is the conversation 80% of the time:

Family: “What’s for supper?”

Dad:  “What do you want me to fix?”

Mom: “I don’t know. Ask the kids”

Dad to kids: “What do you want for supper?”

Kids: “I don’t know”

I’m not sure why I even ask what they want anymore. I should really just fix supper and be done with it. But then I run the risk of no one wanting to eat what I fix.

Ask him what is for supper 1 hour after you eat lunch

How to annoy your dad
What's for supper?
Pizza Warehouse - Rajun Cajun
How to annoy your dad?
What’s for supper?

I get this often also. We eat a big lunch and about an hour later I get asked – “What’s for supper?”

Interrupt him constantly while he is working from home

Now that I work from home more often this is a big annoyance during the summer. When the kids are in school it isn’t that bad. But when they are home especially during the summer it is a steady day of interruption.

And I wouldn’t mind if it was something big. But it is usually a request to fix them something to eat. Or they are coming in to tell me about a video they just watched.

Make a mess and just walk away

My wife will argue that I do this more than the kids. I try not to but I think everyone in the house does it. I’m not sure why but it probably has to do with the fact we all hate cleaning. We need a neat freak in our house to get onto everyone.

This list will always be a work in progress. If I find more things that my kids do to annoy me I’m sure I will add them. I may have to write a book as it could eventually lead to pages and pages of annoyances.

But in all seriousness, each and every one of us does things that annoy other family members. Just remember if you do something on this list as a child or as a spouse, try not to do that thing. Because remember dads are master jokesters and we live for the day to get payback.

Do you have anything else to add to the guide of things that annoy your dad? If so drop them in the comments or let us know on our Facebook page.


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