18 Types of Dads You Definitely Know (And May Even be Married To)

The stereotypical image of a dad is the beer-loving, burger-flipping, slightly incompetent male who always has a groan-inducing joke up his sleeve. But come on, we know that’s not a fair portrayal of all dads—only some of 'em. Others fall into the Hipster Dad, Rad Dad, Intellectual Dad and Survivalist Dad category. Here, 18 types of dads you know and love (plus, a few you avoid like the plague at the playground).

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1. Sports Dad

There’s not a sport he didn’t play in college (Go Beavers!), but these days he spends most of his time preparing his kid to go pro and playing fantasy football with the boys.

  • Spotted in the wild: On the sidelines of his kid’s soccer game, trying to put the coach out of a job.

2. Beer Dad

He’s game for anything, but you better believe he’ll bring a cold one along for the ride. He’s also liable to offer you one, too—just be prepared for him to wax poetic about the craft brewery responsible for the magic.

  • Spotted in the wild: Tailgating with a fully-stocked cooler after the little league baseball game.

3. Performative Dad

It’s not that he’s a better parent than you. It’s just that his kid, who may or may not actually be named ‘Buddy,’ likes to snack on broccoli, can sing Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” without missing a beat and never stops having fun. OK, so maybe he is a better parent than you. 

  • Spotted in the wild: At drop-off, having playful banter with his preschooler at a volume most would need a megaphone to achieve.

4. Hipster Dad

He always wears a band shirt, his skinny jeans are so tight you can see his package and he has so many keys on the carabiner attached to his belt loop that you can hear him coming from a mile away.

  • Spotted in the wild: Flipping through records at the local vinyl store, searching for rare jazz albums while sipping on a single-origin pour-over coffee. 

5. Oversharer Dad

Often, but not always, a stay at home dad—the chatty dad just really wants to talk about all things parenthood with anyone who crosses his path. He’s also an open book and will tell you everything about his marriage, finances, childhood…and pretty please will you be his friend?

  • Spotted in the wild: Hovering around the coffee and donuts at the PTA meeting with tears in his eyes because he just had a massive fight with Jenny (and do you want to hear more?).

6. Rad Dad

He vapes at the playground and believes kids should be treated like adults, which is why his kindergartener has a latte every morning.

  • Spotted in the wild: Taking edibles at a Talking Heads concert in the park with little Isabelle on his shoulders.
ABC Photo Archives /Getty Images

7. Grandad Dad

The complete opposite of the Rad Dad, the Grandad Dad has never been hip. In fact, he started telling dad jokes when he was eight years old…and let’s just say nothing has changed.

  • Spotted in the wild: Chaperoning a first grade field trip with a fanny pack on and a full frame camera around his neck.

8. Euro Dad

He spent a year abroad in Spain, insists on correcting you every time you use the word “soccer” (it’s football!) and doesn’t believe in bedtime.

  • Spotted in the wild: Cycling to the food coop in a Real Madrid jersey with a CamelBak hydration pack on his back and a toddler in tow.

9. Grill Dad

Grill dad is known to hibernate until Memorial Day weekend, but once barbeque season is in full swing, the man never leaves his station. If you want to socialize with him, you know where to find him…and if you want the best dry rub recipe around, you know who to ask.

  • Spotted in the wild: Smoking a whole pig in the backyard to feed his family of four.

10. Hobby Dad

Did you know that racing pigeons is a thing? Allow Hobby Dad to tell you all about it. He houses upwards of 200 sky rats in the coops he built on his property and he’d be happy to tell you just how he breeds and trains them for competition.

Spotted in the wild: Racing homing pigeons, of course.

11. Overwhelmed Dad

The male equivalent of the frazzled mom—the Overwhelmed Dad is always at least 15 minutes late for drop-off and isn’t entirely sure where he put his keys or how many kids he has.

  • Spotted in the wild: Emptying out all the contents of a diaper bag in a ShopRite parking lot while his kids run circles around him.

12. Still a Kid Dad

He’s more excited for this weekend’s LegoLand trip than his six-year-old and gets his step count in playing freeze tag at the playground.

  • Spotted in the wild: Anxiously eyeing the cake at some other kid’s sixth birthday party and inching closer in order to get a slice before it’s gone.

13. Instagram Dad

Instagram Dad publicly showers his kids with praise for their physical appearance (OMG, how cute does Layla look in that corduroy skirt?!) and believes every moment is a Kodak one.

  • Spotted in the wild: Forcing his two children to stand still and hold hands for a photo op in the middle of a busy sidewalk, and then adjusting the position of their bodies until the light is just right.

14. Intellectual Dad

He can’t wait to tell you about the short story he just read in the New Yorker and loan you his copy of Infinite Jest…but if you allow screen time for your child, consider the friendship over.

  • Spotted in the wild: Walking 18-month-old Nathan in a stroller while playing Mozart’s Sonata for two pianos in D major from his phone because he read it improves spatial reasoning.
Vivian Zink /Getty Images

15. DILF Dad

He’s got the face of Pedro Pascal and the ass of Channing Tatum, yet he’s so friendly it’s like he doesn’t even know he’s a god among men.

  • Spotted in the wild: Pushing a stroller at Disneyland with his pecs pressing seductively across the front of his Mickey shirt.

16. Survivalist Dad

Survivalist Dad knows how to tie 150 different kinds of knots, owns The Forager’s Guide to Wild Mushrooms and has his original Boy Scout’s vest—badges and all—stowed in a keepsake box under the bed. His catchphrase: “Leaves of three, let it be.”

  • Spotted in the wild: Down at the local stream, showing his kid’s preschool friends how to sharpen a stick into a spearhead using just your hands.

17. Frugal Dad

His kids have never been to the zoo because the cost of admission is just outrageous, but he knows the free days at every museum and attraction around. There’s always one question on his mind: “How much is this going to cost me?”

  • Spotted in the wild: Doubling up on the free samples at Costco.

18. ‘Do I Really Have to Be a Dad’ Dad

You’ll rarely, if ever, see this dad crack a smile at pick-up or drop-off. He really just wants to get in and out…and no, he doesn’t need to know your name.

  • Spotted in the wild: On a playground bench, playing games on his phone so he doesn’t have to make eye contact with another adult. (For the record, you don't want to talk to him either.)

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Freelance PureWow Editor

Emma Singer is a freelance contributing editor and writer at PureWow who has over 7 years of professional proofreading, copyediting and writing experience. At PureWow, she covers...