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My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad

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Jacqui: My dad's bigger than yours.
Cassie: My dad beat up Shinnok.
Jacqui: Well played.

This Stock Phrase and its variants (my dad is stronger/faster/smarter/richer/better than yours) are a common Badass Boast between schoolyard kids. The implication is, of course, that badass is In the Blood. (Or that their Dads will get involved in any fight between them.) Any argument can lead to this, and actual physical violence may break out over it as well. A variation replaces "father" with other older male relatives like siblings or cousins for matter of availability (fathers would be thought to be working but older siblings or brothers may be available in school). Female relatives are rarely cited, ignoring Action Girls and Action Moms, but even with a whole Badass Family, male examples are far more common.

Occasionally, grownups will do it too, especially those who have had daddy issues, though they're more likely to compare their kids, if they have any.


Another variation is combining this with My Kung Fu Is Stronger Than Yours, resulting in "my teacher has greater skills than your teacher", which can be applied to any art or skill, but is very prominent in martial art shows. Taken Up to Eleven if said character's dad is also their teacher.

Truth in Television, of course. See also My Grandma Can Do Better Than You and You Fight Like a Cow for similar insults. Could be considered the Spear Counterpart of Your Mom.



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  • A Finnish TV commercial for Saarioinen's convenience foods used a variant of this. Kids at the sandbox: "Our Mom makes better food than yours!" "No, our Mom makes the best!" "Our Mom makes better food than all your mothers combined!" Then, the camera pans to a little girl... "Our Mom makes your Moms' foods!" *smiles broadly* The ad ends with Saarioinen's logo and the slogan "Food made by mothers". The punchline became quite a Memetic Mutation in Finland for a time.
  • One of the Little Man, Big Mouth bumpers from Cartoon Network's CN Real era had a kid boast "My dad's smellier than your dad!"

    Anime & Manga 
  • A "my sensei can beat your sensei" variation appears in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, when Kenichi fights with Sho Kano.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • When Goten's father is coming Back from the Dead to compete in the Tenkaichi Budokai, he and Trunks get into an argument over whose dad is stronger.
    • Inverted by Trunks himself when he brought the Dragonradar to his mother and, with sparkling eyes, he stated in amazement to Goku how much stronger he is than his own father. Goku, of course, took this in stride.
    • Speaking of Goten and Trunks, the trope is inverted again in another sense by Goku and Chi-Chi and Vegeta and Bulma (you know, the adults) arguing over whose boy is stronger. When Trunks defeats Goten in the match, Vegeta (being his usual Jerkass self) wastes no time gleefully gloating in Goku's face over the fact.
  • In the Transformers Victory manga, it's "my adoptive transforming-robot-alien father can beat up your adoptive transforming-robot-alien father" whenever Jean Minakaze, adopted son of Autobot leader Star Saber, and manga-exclusive Solon Kitakaze, adopted son of Decepticon leader Deathsaurus, run into each other in the early chapters.
  • In The Prince of Tennis, cousins Yuushi and Kenya Oshitari can and will argue over which of the two first year students in their respective regions is better at tennis until the cows come home and they still won't have an answer. Granted, the argument usually deteriorates into a shouting match that doesn't have anything to do with how good the two rookies are at tennis.
    Yuushi: Well, the guy I'm talking about is even better! He has incredible nerves of steel and is extremely cocky!
    Kenya: Oh yeah?! Well, our guy is so awesome that even the Yakuza are scared to go up against him!
    Yuushi: So what?! Our guy came back from America! He's an international!
  • In A Certain Scientific Railgun, Kuroko Shirai and Frenda Seivelun got into an argument over which of their big sister figures, Mikoto Misaka and Shizuri Mugino respectively, would win in a fight. What's interesting is that Frenda knew the two had fought earlier and while Mikoto won, Mugino had a very good chance at winning. In contrast, Kuroko had no idea who Mugino was and how powerful she was.
  • Zig-Zagged in Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit's Festival Episode: a boy from a band of nomads insults the Yogo Empire's emperor, which is naturally a sore spot for Chagum, a prince pretending to be a peasant. (His dad's questionable choices do not dissuade Chagum's admiration.) The initial challenge is actually a battle between the two boys, which Chagum wins; however, when the boy won't take back his insult, and the boy's father won't force him, Balsa (Chagum's supposed mother) challenges the father, and of course, beats him.
  • Inverted in Boruto. Boruto and Sarada love their fathers, however they have complicated baggage involving feelings of abandonment. As a result, they idolize each other's father more. Neither quite understand the others obsession with their dad.
  • Ruby and Leah from Love Live! Sunshine!! do this about their sisters Dia and Sarah respectively.

  • Paul Reiser imagined, when the dads inevitably do meet, it devolves into "my wife can beat up your wife," then the dads go get a beer.
  • Bill Hicks' take on this: "My Dad can beat up your (Hicks') Dad!" "When? He mows the lawn on Saturdays - get him then."
  • Another comedian, relating schoolyard memories at Just For Laughs, delivered as the punchline "Really? How much would that cost me?"
  • Frankie Boyle used it for the punchline for one if his jokes about gay parentage on Mock the Week.
    "My Dad'd batter your Dad!" "Listen! My Dad'd shag your Dad!.....and your Dad'd enjoy it."

    Comic Books 
  • In Asterix, similar comments between the children regularly result in brawls between the fishmonger and the blacksmith. But then, just about anything can cause a brawl between the fishmonger and the blacksmith.
  • This Bebe strip from an issue of Batman has this as its premise. Bebe's mother persuades her husband into not taking it seriously, which results in him getting beaten up at the inevitable meeting.
  • An episode of Gay Comics had a teenage boy explaining how much cooler his dad's male lover's home was than his best friend's dad's male lover's home. Dad overhears.
    Dad: Whatever happened to "My dad can beat up your dad?"
    Dad's Boyfriend: His dad just did.
  • Superdickery has quite a few comic book images of Superman and Batman arguing over which of their sons is better.
  • Inverted in Runaways, when the couples who make up the Pride start arguing over whose kid is most likely to be The Mole. Eventually, one of them tells the others to drop the "my honour student can beat up your honour student" stuff.

    Comic Strips 
  • One Scamp story has Scamp getting into this argument with another puppy. Tramp adamantly refuses to get involved, but the two continue pushing the family's buttons until Scamp himself decides to beat them up in Tramp's place, only to find out that Tramp has already started a fight in secret. When Tramp wins, Scamp decides to attack the puppy instead, and also wins his fight. Both resolve to keep their respective fights a secret from Lady.
  • Peanuts has a few of these show up:
    • Violet enjoys bragging about her dad's accomplishments, however, it's heavily hinted that he's not often there or involved as most other fathers in the strip. For example:
      • In one Father's Day strip, Violet brags about her dad to Charlie Brown, who takes her to his dad's barber shop and points out that his dad will stop work to say hello to him just because Charlie Brown is his son, which causes a defeated Violet to walk away, wishing him a happy Father's Day.
      • In another strip, Violet boasts to Lucy about her father's excellent bowling average in three different weeknight leagues. Lucy replies, "My father stays home nights."
      • In another example, Violet claims her father is taller than the father of a classmate, who retorts that at least his father shows up to PTA meetings. Considering the consistency of the responses, the other kids seem to be aware that Violet's dad isn't that involved in her life.
    • In a very early strip, Charlie Brown and Shermy agree that neither of their dads could beat up the other's, or anyone else (though they're still "pretty good guys").
  • Subverted in Scott and Kirkman's Baby Blues comic, when Zoe was in preschool. Bogart, their neighbor, was going on and about how his mommy had more money than Zoe's mommy, and how his mommy was prettier than her mommy. Zoe's comeback was "Well 'my mommy has a bigger bottom than your mommy!" At which Bogart runs off crying to his mommy. Nice one, Zoe.
  • A variation in Mafalda, "My dad makes more money than your dad." A small story arc had Susana saying that to each of her friends, with varied results.

    Fan Works 
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfic Kimyōna, Komisch, Caldo, a sequel to Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: A scenario of this kind played out between Sealand and Kugelmugel by the end of this story. Kugeulmugel definitely said some nice things about his own parents:
    Sealand snickered. "Nobody could possibly have better dads than me!" A proud laugh left his lips as hands were held to hips. "Sweden can do anything and is super cool while Finland lets me do anything and even takes me to see Santa!" Boastful blue met purple. "Beat that! Nobody can!"

    Could he? Well, ever since he had been adopted by Germany, Italy, and Japan...Kugelmugel had been living an incredible life. Although he hadn't gotten along with two of the three at first, they began listening to what he wanted and not assuming what they thought he wanted, whether stated verbally or not. And of course, he started to become more obedient; yes, he started working out...yes, he started meditating...yes, he learned to do paperwork...yes, he learned how to clean. Yes, he did what his parents desired of him...yet they also all did stuff he wanted and never forced anything on him. They laughed together. They cried together. They shared joy. They shared sorrow. They shared love. They even shared space on that portrait he had painted of them during that reunion, him in the middle with Italy holding his shoulders, Germany to the left while Japan was to the right, all very close and smiling. Like a true family. Like a true home. So could he? Could he challenge that claim?

    "Oh you're wrong." Kugelmugel smirked. There are no doubts whatsoever. None at all. "My dads are the best."
  • In RuneMaster Fred and George make a swimsuit for Harry to wear during the Second Task. On the back it states "Your hippogryph father is stronger than mine? Wait till I tell my dragon mom..."

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Rush Hour, Lee and Carter get into an argument about their deceased fathers, culminating with Lee claiming this: "My daddy once caught a bullet with his bare hands!"
  • One of the few humorous moments in Unbreakable is when Joseph (David's son) is sitting next to another kid outside the principal's office. Said kid asks, "Is that your dad? (pause) I bet my dad could beat up your dad.". Considering what we saw him do earlier, he really couldn't.
  • One of the characters in the movie The Wrath of God observes that religious conflicts tend to boil down to this: "My Father in Heaven can lick your Father in Heaven."
  • Used in Spy Kids when father Gregorio comes face to face with the dad of a school bully. Being a retired spy, Gregorio knows he can take this guy out, but to do so would blow his cover, so he chooses to walk away, leaving Juni disappointed and prompting the bully to taunt him with this line almost verbatim.
  • Sarcastic variation in the first Spider-Man movie, when Harry tells Flash and his friends to leave Peter alone.
    Flash's Crony: Or what?
    Flash: Or his father will fire your father!

  • Joke in Hollywood: "My dad can beat up your dad!" "Your dad is my dad!"

  • Draco Malfoy lives and breathes this trope in the first few Harry Potter books.
  • The book Fifth Business, at the very beginning, with an envious Percy telling this to Dunny.
  • Older Than Radio: Variation from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer:
    "You're a coward and a pup. I'll tell my big brother on you, and he can thrash you with his little finger, and I'll make him do it, too."
    "What do I care for your big brother? I've got a brother that's bigger than he is, and what's more, he can throw him over that fence, too."
    (Both brothers were imaginary.)
  • In the BattleTech novel series Warriors of Kerensky, Kai Allard-Liao tells the story of how he got into a contest with a boy about this. Kai ended it by saying that his dad could kill the boy's dad. Since Justin Allard (Kai's dad) is one of the finest MechWarriors in the Inner Sphere, a respected war hero, a deep-cover spy, an all-around badass, and has killed men in an arena for sport on TV, this causes the boy to go home crying. Justin has a talk with his son after this.
    • In a subsequent novel, Assumption of Risk, the in-the-past prologue is exactly this talk, from Justin's POV.
  • In the Arabian Nights, there's an odd example: a man was carried off by a Jackass Genie on the night he conceived a son with the daughter of the Vizier of Egypt. So the son thought his grandfather was his father and kept lording it over everyone else at school by saying his father was the Vizier of Egypt. At least, until the schoolmaster and the Vizier are fed up with this and tell him the truth.
  • The poem "The Challenge" in Alan Ahlberg's collection of school-based poems Please, Mrs Butler! Each couplet is one kid telling another that "My [relative] can fight your [relative]", starting with "Dad" and ending with "cat", and the second kid dismissing this. The final couplet is "And I can fight you!"/"Toodle-oo!"

    Live-Action TV 
  • Frankie Boyle of Mock the Week expounds the virtues of having a gay father: "'My dad could batter your dad, my dad'll beat up your dad.' Yeah? Listen! My dad will shag your dad! And your dad will enjoy it!"
  • Variations in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • "What is this, a 'my sire can beat up your sire' kind of thing?"
    • Harmony also threatens that her boyfriend will beat them up. Since her boyfriend is Spike, Buffy would in fact beat him up many many times before and since she made this claim.
    • Dawn is upset about an Alpha Bitch at school and says, "You know, my big sister could really beat the crap out of her. I mean, really, really..."
  • The NBC show My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad.
  • The Office has a "My Boyfriend" variant in one episode, which has a sub-plot revolving around Kelly gloating to Pam about how Darryl is better than Jim at ping-pong. Finally at the end, Pam challenges Kelly to ping-pong herself; they're both absolutely miserable at the game.
  • Who's the Boss? Jonathan is at a school swim event and his friend suggests that his father might be a better swimmer than Jonathan's. The fathers at the pool are all middle-age with 'dad bods' or significant beer bellies. Tony (not his father, but often plays the role) walks in with his professional sports player physique. The boy turns to Jonathan and says "you win." Subverted in that the dads don't compete, and we find out later than Tony doesn't know how to swim.
  • Cobra Kai: Anthony frequently makes this kind of claim. Given that his dad is Daniel LaRusso, he's probably right a lot of the time, although whether his dad would beat up their dads is in question.

  • The Wizard Rock song "My Dad is Rich and Your Dad is Dead".
  • Terrorizer magazine's review of Napalm Death's fourteenth album Time Waits for No Slave essentially argued that, in spite of all the members being in their forties and being lefty pacifists, "Shane Embury [bass] can still take your dad". Just because someone tries to avoid a fight doesn't mean they don't work out and/or know how to handle themselves in a fight. Especially on the political Left, pacifism may not even take the form of avoiding violence altogether: rather, they seek to discourage ordinary people from participating in conflicts between nations (i.e. participating in the military). This is somewhat different from religious pacifists, who avoid all violence and may discourage studying martial arts: though the two can overlap.
  • Inverted in the Paul Petersen song "My Dad" (also recorded by Ray Stevens). He sings about how his dad has never done anything boast-worthy, but he loves his kids and is overall a cool guy, and that's all that matters ("My dad could beat up your dad, but he wouldn't").
  • In the Tripod song "Maryanne" we have the deliberately awkward exchange: "I reckon my Mum could beat your Mum in a fight. You know that?" "My Dad could beat your Mum in a fight"
  • A 2004 song from ex-Styx bandleader Dennis DeYoung about holy wars is called "My God Can Beat Up Your God".
  • Tom Paxton's "My Dog's Bigger Than Your Dog":
    My dad's tougher than your dad
    My dad's tougher than yours
    My dad's tougher and he can yell louder
    My dad's tougher than yours

    Print Media 
  • Mad Magazine's parody of Roseanne, entitled "Grossanne", features a girl saying this to DJ.
    Girl: My father can beat up your father!
    DJ: Beat up my father? Big deal! My mother can beat up my father!

  • In The Now Show, in a sketch illustrating what the House of Commons would be like were it a school playground, had David Cameron claiming that his dad was bigger than Tony Blair's.

    Video Games 
  • During the Knaaren's Cave area of Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, one can hear two off-screen voices arguing over who has the toughest dad, until a third voice tells them both to shut up.
  • In BioShock, Gatherer's Garden uses this trope to prey on adult insecurities in order to sell plasmids: "My daddy's smarter than Einstein, stronger than Hercules and can light a fire with a snap of his fingers! Are you as good as my daddy, Mister? Not if you don't visit the Gatherer's Garden, you aren't!"
  • In Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver, Gym Leaders Falkner and Janine can be found arguing in the Celadon Department Store about this. If you take Falkner's side, he'll give you his number so you can call for rematches against him.
  • In SimCity 2000, the in-game newspaper will occasionally run fluff pieces about peace talks in foreign countries that invariably degenerate into "the really big country that backs me can beat up the really big country that backs you", referred to in-game as the "my dad can beat up your dad" strategy.
  • One of the side-missions in Dynasty Warriors 4 is "Husbands and Wives", in which various Battle Couples team up and fight it out. Their taunts toward each other include variants on "my honey can trounce yours".
  • Mortal Kombat X: We get this charming little exchange between Cassie Cage and Jacqui Briggs:
    Jacqui: My dad's bigger than yours.
    Cassie: My dad beat up Shinnok.
    Jacqui: Well played.
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses has Linhardt and Caspar’s C support devolve into this after they discuss how Caspar’s father forced Linhardt into a training session, and Linhardt’s father got so mad that the two got into a fight. Caspar argues that his father wins through sheer physical strength, while Linhardt uses the opportunity to make fun of Caspar’s father’s height.

    Web Original 

    Web Comics 
  • One Cyanide & Happiness strip had Jesus claiming that His Father could beat up all other fathers.
  • This Israeli comic resolves the issue rather gruesomely.
    After many years, the argument that had started back in the first grade was finally settled: Yaniv’s dad is stronger than Yaron’s dad.

    Western Animation 
  • An episode of Dexter's Laboratory had this between Dexter and Mandark. It lead to a a fight between Dexter's Salary Man father and Mandark's Hippie father. The result was a draw. Which then leads them to argue over, "My mom can beat up your mom."
  • In Jackie Chan Adventures, Jade and Paco are always arguing over whether Jackie (Jade's uncle) or El Toro (Paco's role model) is the greatest.
  • Hilariously subverted in Family Guy where Chris brags to Meg how much smarter his dad is than Meg's, only for Meg to remind him they both have the same father.
  • Referenced in the Futurama episode "Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles". When Leela, made younger again in a Fountain of Youth accident, goes to live with her parents in the sewers and describes to her mom how life would be like, she says, "And if some kid picks on me, my dad can beat up his dad." Her dad replies, "Can't I just beat up the kid?"
  • On South Park, when the town's male population is going through a "metrosexual" phase, Stan and Clyde get into an argument over whose dad dresses better. The dads come over and say that that's a silly thing to fight about...and then start arguing over their outfits, naturally.
    • Randy Marsh also has a tendency to get sloshed during the kids' sports games and instigating fights with the opposing team's dads. He makes a nemesis in "Batdad", a large, fat, shirtless dad in a Batman cape and cowl.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures, a variation on this when Buster Bunny gets into an argument with someone and tries to one-up the argument with "Well, my lawyer can beat up your lawyer!"
  • The Simpsons has a variant in one of its non-canon Halloween Episodes: Homer dies and becomes a ghost. On the bus to school, Nelson mocks Bart by singing "Your dad is dead, mine's just in jail!"
  • In the "Oh Brother" episode of Taz-Mania Taz's little brother confronts a small gorilla, both of them threatening to sic their big tough brothers against one another. The older gorilla, who'd been bragging about his many manly (simianly?) exploits, is not allowed to let his sudden cold feet get him out of the pledged battle, while Taz is only too ready to begin pounding away.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: In "My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad!", K.O. gets into this kind of argument with Chameleon Jr., a Lizard Folk bully. After the initial awkwardness of K.O. explaining that he never knew his dad, he counters with similar claims about his mom Carol. Carol does agree to go to the planned fight so that she and the bully's dad can talk reasonably and set a good example...but she discovers that not only is Chameleon Sr. about the size of a building, he's not interested in talking things out, and a fight ensues.

    Real Life 
  • Bumper stickers:
    • Inverted in the tongue-in-cheek bumper sticker: "My child beat up your honor student."
    • And taken a step further with "My Golden Retriever is smarter than your honor student."
  • American politics:
    • When Jesse "The Body" Ventura was elected governor of Minnesota, it wasn't long before the appearance of bumper stickers reading 'My Governor can beat up Your Governor.'
    • Upon Arnold Schwarzenegger assuming the post of governator in California, the fantasy of a debate between the two became a common joke. There's also The Running Man, which features the two of them before either was elected into office.
    • When Sarah Palin became governor of Alaska, a common bumper sticker was "My governor is hotter than your governor."
    • Similarly, when Chris Christie (who is on the... heavier side) was elected governor of New Jersey, some NJ residents adopted the bumper sticker "My governor can eat your governor."
  • For owners of mixed-breed dogs there was a t-shirt reading "My mutt can beat up your purebred."
  • Then there was the well nasty "My priest had your altar boy".


Video Example(s):


The Hero

The schoolchildren compare their fathers.

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Main / MyDadCanBeatUpYourDad