James Van Der Beek’s Most Epic Dad Fail Includes a Can of Beans and an Open Flame

There comes a time in every dad’s parenting journey when they fail…epically. There’s no way to avoid it, no matter how fast you can change a diaper or strap a kid into a car seat. James Van Der Beek, who has five children of his own, has to agree.

Since becoming a dad, the 42-year-old Dawson’s Creek alum has been candid about his “Dad Fails,” like that one time he had to use a swaddle as a scarf because he spilled his smoothie down his shirt. So, when we spoke with Van Der Beek about his mission to end period poverty with Always and Walmart, we were curious to know what his favorite Dad Fail has been.

After thinking about it for a moment, Van Der Beek admitted that he had a pretty good one happen to him during a recent family camping trip. It all started when his wife, Kimberly, suggested he cook a can of beans for the kids over an open flame. Having never “thrown a can on the fire” during his own camping trips, he took her advice literally and tossed a can into the fire.

Not surprisingly, it overheated and exploded “in fantastic fashion” because he had forgotten about science for a moment and didn’t poke a hole in the top of the can to allow heat to be released. Thankfully, no one was hurt, save for his ego.

Hey, it happens to the best of us, James.


Cat mom, yogi, brunch enthusiast

Lex is an LA native who's deeply obsessed with picnics, Slim Aarons, rosé, Hollywood history and Joan Didion. She joined PureWow in early 2017.