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Film / Daddy's Home

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Daddy's Home is a 2015 comedy starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. Brad Whitaker (Ferrell) is a meek radio executive who is just beginning to get on the good side of his two stepchildren, but has to deal with the visit of the kids' biological father, Dusty Mayron (Wahlberg), a soldier of fortune who hasn't seen them in a while.

A sequel, Daddy's Home 2, came out in 2017, in which the two decide to have their families spend Christmas together so that their kids won't have to switch houses during the holidays, while also dealing with their respective fathers (John Lithgow as Don Whitaker and Mel Gibson as Kurt Mayron).

The first film includes examples of:

  • Always Someone Better: Brad sees this in Dusty, though Dusty also sees this in Brad, who is much more involved in his step kids' lives than he is.
    • After Dusty gets a new wife, Sara sees this in her, while Dusty sees this in his stepdaughter's father, Roger.
  • Amusing Injuries: Brad suffers a number of these, particularly when he tries to operate Dusty's motorcycle and skateboard on the skateboarding ramp Dusty had built for the kids.
  • Betty and Veronica: Gender-flipped version. Brad (the Betty) competes with the ex-husband Dusty (the Veronica) over their respective love interest Sarah (the Archie).
  • Brick Joke:
    • When Brad sees Dusty at the airport, he asks if that's him, and Dusty just walks past him and says no. When Dusty and Brad meet Roger, the father of Dusty's stepdaughter, Dusty says, "you must be Roger", and Roger just walks past them and says "no".
    • When Dylan is being bullied at school, Brad suggests starting a dance battle instead of fighting. Sara and Dusty scoff at this. When a girl's dad picks a fight with Dusty, he decides to do just that to avoid setting a bad example.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Brad's boss at The Panda Jazz radio station tends to tell long stories about his former wives, which ended quite awry to his own surprise. Brad, on the other hand, guesses the direction of the stories almost immediately.
  • Disappeared Dad: Implied to have been the case before the events of the movie. He suddenly calls and comes back into his kids lives after finding out that their mother remarried.
  • Disneyland Dad: When Dusty comes home, Brad tries to show that he's responsible by showing that he drops off and picks up the kids from school, and leading several activities. Dusty gives the kids a dog, and builds them a skate park in the backyard, and generally giving them what they want while allowing Brad to make a fool of himself.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Dusty is so attractive that even the guy standing next to the awestruck Brad smiles and nods.
  • Everything Is Racist: Griff, the handyman hired to remodel the house, uses racial discrimination as an excuse to get out of doing anything that resembles work.
  • Everyone Can See It: The bully girl frantically denies liking Dylan, but Brad and Megan aren’t fooled.
  • Exiled to the Couch: After Brad is kicked out, Dusty tries to make a move on Sara, to which she rebuffs and tells him to stay out of the house as well, since she surmised that messing with Brad's mind is what led to his recent strange behavior. She also kicks out Griff, and he and Dusty decide to share a motel room.
  • Fanservice: Dusty walking shirtless in the house helping Brad.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Dusty initially wanted to get his family back by breaking Brad and Sara up, by means of manipulating the former. He accomplishes this, but Sara refuses to take him back and life in the suburbs soon takes its toll on him, and Dusty realizes Brad is the perfect fit for his family and becomes downright supportive of him.
  • Love Triangle: Brad/Sarah/Dusty. Also at the end, Dusty/Karen/Roger.
  • Loving Bully: Turns out the bully girl picking on Dylan had a crush on him.
  • Leitmotif: Dusty's first introduction in the airport set to AC/DC's "Thunderstruck", which is also used to introduce Dusty's father Kurt in the sequel.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Dusty spends half of the movie making Brad a paranoid mess by railroading him.
  • Mistaken for Racist: Brad is sometimes accused of being racist over his attitudes towards Griff, a black man who was hired to repair the wall and then fired (under Dusty's recommendation that they do the work themselves) but whom Dusty quickly befriends and then has stay with the family.
  • Older Than They Look: Dusty's new wife Karen is the same age as Sara but looks younger.
  • Second-Act Breakup: Brad and Sara, after he spends the family's life savings on buying the kids presents, including $18,000 court-side tickets to a Lakers game and melts down after finding out Megan invited Dusty to the school's "father-daughter dance" alongside him, getting drunk and humiliating Sara and the kids on national TV by ranting over Dusty, and hitting spectators with basketballs after winning a shoot.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: After Sara breaks up with Brad because of his meltdown at the Lakers game, Dusty promises her he'll be more proactive in the kids' lives and to not run off anymore. After getting rid of his motorcycle, and buying a Ford Mustang to take the kids to and from school, Dusty decides that being a dedicated father is too constricting for his care-free lifestyle, and decides to go to the airport to get away from a life of domesticity.
  • The Reveal: Turns out that the bully who has been picking on Dylan is a girl.
  • Scout-Out: Megan is a member of the Ranger Girls, which Brad is a leader for.
  • Younger Than They Look: Turns out that Tumor, the very old-looking dog that Dusty gets Brad to adopt for the family, is just five years old.

The second film provides examples of:

  • All Part of the Show: When volunteering to be part of an improv performance, Don breaks down on-stage because the scene reminds him of his own divorce in real life; the audience thinks it's part of the show. Even Brad joining in (responding to the revelation about the divorce) is mistaken as part of the scene, to the point where an improver tries putting their arms around him Note .
    Brad: Stop doing that to me! I'm a paying customer!
  • Big "NO!": Adrianna after she loses the Wi-Fi after the dads mistakenly chop down a telephone pole that was decorated like a pine.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The song "Do They Know It's Christmas?" — Dusty hates it because when he sang it at school (portraying Bono), he saw Kurt making out with a friend's mom (not that it was the only time it happened), while it's Roger's favorite song.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Adult Griff from the first film not only doesn't appear, but isn't even mentioned, even though the families had apparently gotten close enough to him that Brad and Sarah named their baby after him. Same goes for Brad's boss at The Panda Jazz and Tumor the dog.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: After kissing Adrianna, Dylan gets a bunch of girls in a line to kiss him...including a boy.
  • Flirty Stepsiblings: Dylan finally kisses the girl he likes under the mistletoe who is revealed to be his stepsister Adrianna and the families completely freak out about it.
  • Foreshadowing: The first time Sara sees Karen writing in a note pad, she nervously asks if she's writing down ideas for a book, but throughout the movie she keeps seeing Karen do this when doing certain things, thinking she's writing down her bad points. It turns out that she was writing about her because she wanted to base a character in a book on her.
    • When Dylan is extremely nervous about kissing the girl he likes, quoting "I don't know. It's not right..." Turns out it's because he has a crush on his stepsister Adrianna who picks on him.
  • Generation Xerox: Brad and Dusty's respective fathers take their respective traits up to eleven. Don Whitaker is just as dorky and over-protective as Brad, if not more. Kurt Mayron, on the other hand, is a textbook alpha male as well as a serial philanderer.
  • Insistent Terminology: After Roger overreacts to Dylan kissing his sister Adrianna, Sara corrects him by saying she's his stepsister, though also says that's still not right.
  • Meeting-the-Parents Sequel: We get to meet Dusty and Brad's dads.
  • Missing Mom: There is not a single mention whatsoever of Dusty's mother.
  • The Reveal: Brad finds out his parents divorced when Don breaks down during his performance at the comedy club, as the improv involves a divorce (which was actually proposed by Dusty, who suspected things weren't okay with him).
  • Running Gag:
    • Sara seeing Karen writing down notes whenever she does things, and thinks she's writing bad things about her. As it turns out, she was working on a book, and she was writing down Sara's personality traits to base a character on.
    • Adrianna playing with the thermostat because she likes to sleep with her window open.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Don is sweet, cheerful and dorky whereas Kurt tries to appear as hardass as possible. Their respective sons employ this trope to a lesser degree.
  • Serious Business: Maintaining the thermostat is considered such a sacred fatherly duty that Brad, Kurt, and Don all pile on Dusty over his inability to keep Adrianna from meddling with the central heating.
  • Spoiled Brat: Adriana gets away with everything because Karen, her biological dad and Dusty do not set her any boundaries.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Don often lets it slip things aren't all right between him and Brad's mom, but soon backtracks.
  • Wardrobe Flaw of Characterization: During the thermostat scene, Brad, Kurt, and Don — the ones who keep an iron grip on the thermostat — are wearing white undershirts and boxers. Dusty — the one who can't control the thermostat — is wearing a gray t-shirt and pajama bottoms to show that he hasn't become a proper dad yet.