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Video Game / Octodad

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Nobody suspects a thing.
"Loving Father. Caring Husband. Secret Octopus."

This article refers to two games: the first game, named simply Octodad, and the sequel, named Octodad: Dadliest Catch.

Octodad (the first game) is a freeware stealth game made by a team of students from DePaul University. To quote the official site, Octodad is a third-person adventure game about destruction, deception and fatherhood. The player controls Octodad, a dapper octopus masquerading as a human, as he goes about a day of his life. His existence is a constant struggle, as he must master mundane tasks with his unwieldy boneless tentacles while simultaneously keeping his cephalopodian nature a secret from his human family. You can read about and download the game here. In addition, on April 15th, 2023, the original freeware version was rereleased on Steam on April 25 as the Student Edition.

Octodad: Dadliest Catch (the sequel) was released in January 2014 on personal computers (Windows/Mac/Linux) and PlayStation 4, where Octodad must deal with the increasing suspicions of his wife and his own watery past during a trip to the local aquarium. In June 2014, it was announced that the sequel would continue in the form of a set of free DLC levels titled Octodad: Shorts, the live-action trailer for which can be seen here.

In 2015, Octodad: Dadliest Catch expanded its reach to other platforms, including the Play Station Vita, Wii U, and Xbox One.

Octodad has also made appearances in other games including Death Road to Canada and Tricky Towers.

Now has a character sheet!

Tropes from both the original and the sequel:

  • All-Loving Hero: Octodad's a loving father and husband, took up Tommy's challenge in the first game instead of grounding him (though it was admittedly also in order to keep his son in the dark about his cephalopod nature), and even forgave Fujimoto while expressing a love for humanity in general in Dadliest Catch.
  • Ax-Crazy: Fujimoto is this. To wit:
    • In the first game, he goes as far as setting Octodad's dining room on fire in an attempt to take Octodad down.
    • He nearly kills Octodad's family in the sequel, and nearly burns down an aquarium cafeteria in the process.
    • A flashback in Dadliest Catch reveals he was always insane and that during the war whenever he killed an enemy soldier he hallucinated they were made of fish.
  • Become a Real Boy: Octodad is an octopus who wants to live as a human. During the "Dad Romance" short, he answers Scarlet's question of "If you could be any animal, what would you be?" with "human".
  • Big Bad: Both of the games' main villain is Fujimoto, a psychotic sushi chef who wants to cook you.
  • Bumbling Dad: Octodad comes off as this due to his extreme clumsiness.
  • Cardboard Pal:
    • Octodad's main objective in the first game is building a fake self, so that he can buy himself some time to make an anniversary gift for his wife. It ends up saving his life.
    • There's a villainous Call-Back to this in Dadliest Catch, where Fujimoto makes a similar fake version of Scarlet to lure Octodad into a trap.
  • Character Tic: Octodad tends to put on his Game Face whenever the gloves are off.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Stacy can be pretty out there; in fact, she's "crazy" enough to have known her dad was an octopus the entire time.
    • Chef Fujimoto (along with Stacy, sans the Ax-Crazy) might be the only person who knows about Octodad's secret, but he's insanely Ax-Crazy and believes that sea creatures are waging war on humankind (especially those sneaky cods) and that Octodad is part of a spy or invasion force.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Fujimoto believes that marine life is evil and that Octodad is a spy for them.
  • Creative Closing Credits:
    • The first game has Octodad wander around picking up roses and tomatoes during the credits.
    • The sequel has Octodad and other characters finishing watching a movie in a theater, which is the game's credits. Octodad can pick up popcorn bags and soda cups and throw them around if he wants and can leave early by going to the exit.
  • Cthulhumanoid: Well, Octodad is an octopus in the shape of a human, so that counts. In Dadliest Catch, Cthulhu is depicted in one of the "church's" stained glass windows.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: It turns out Fujimoto was a complete psychotic long before he met Octodad, who believed that fish were infiltrating human society by disguising themselves as people and that enemy soldiers he cut open during "the war" were made of fish. It's just by sheer coincidence that he happened to meet and become arch-enemies with an actual marine animal trying to disguise himself as a human.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: A humorously odd example, in that Octodad is far less clumsy in cutscenes than he's likely to be during actual gameplay.
  • Evil Chef: Fujimoto might be right about Octodad being an octopus, but he doesn't have to be such a Jerkass about it.
  • Funny Octopus: The games are about an amiable cephalopod and his clumsy attempts to pass himself off as a Standard '50s Father.
  • Good Parents: He may be an octopus, but he's still a pretty good dad for making sure his little girl Stacy gets a good night's sleep free of monsters and spiders.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: While Octodad is an octopus, his wife is a human. Their kids seem to be wholly human. In the end of the second game, after his family learns Octodad's secret, Tommy lampshades this by questioning how he and his sister came to be from this marriage.
  • Happily Adopted: Tommy and Stacy. Maybe. In the second game's ending Tommy asks where he and Stacy came from, meaning at the very least he doesn't know where they come from, but considering they seem fully human it's unlikely they're Octodad's biological children.
  • Happily Married: Despite the oddness of it all, Octodad and Scarlet are a very loving couple.
  • Hugh Mann: Octodad is pretty clearly an octopus in a business suit, but nobody suspects a thing...
  • Interspecies Romance: Between an octopus and a human. Though Scarlet's not aware of this. At first.
  • Irony: The one person who's sane enough to notice that Octodad is actually an octopus is also the most insane, Ax-Crazy character in the game.
  • The Klutz: Octodad usually leaves a big mess while completing his objectives, as he has no bones.
  • Large Ham:
    • Stacy during the jellyfish exhibit in Dadliest Catch.
    • Chef Fujimoto in general.
    Fujimoto: "I will turn you into moderately priced sushi rolls!"
  • Last Note Nightmare: Screwing up too much and raising your Suspicion meter will cause the music to go increasingly off-key.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: The first game has "GAME FACE" while the sequel gives us a "*Blub of getting his Game Face on*".
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Just about the entire point of the series. You'll clean the kitchen, tuck your daughter in, shop for groceries, make your coffee... and struggle every step of the way.
  • Only Sane Man: Subverted. The Ax-Crazy chef is the only one who seems to know about Octodad's true identity, but he's still a madman who wants to kill him on the basis of an odd conspiracy theory. Played straight with Stacy, who has always known but never said anything about it because she thought it was too obvious to be worth mentioning.
    Stacy: Just because you're right doesn't mean you're not crazy.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Octodad's human disguise amounts to arranging his tentacles into a vaguely humanoid shape and putting on human clothing. Only one other man notices, and he's written off as crazy. Not to say he isn't. And Stacy, as it turns out, though she never said anything on the basis of it being so obvious she thought it wasn't worth mentioning.
  • Retro Universe: The costuming is very 1950's/1960's, but there are things like automated grocery stores with self-checkouts.
  • Rule of Funny: The reason nobody ever sees through Octodad's Paper-Thin Disguise and, basically, how the entire game runs.
  • Secret-Keeper: Octodad's whole family know about their patriarch's secret by the end of the sequel.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: Stacy was an unintentional one. She had always known her father was an octopus, but never said anything as she assumed that it was obvious and thus common knowledge.
  • Some Dexterity Required: The bulk of the game's challenge is trying to perform everyday tasks with the awkward controls.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Stacy is basically just a smaller version of Scarlet, but with a different hair color.
  • Stalker without a Crush: Chef Fujimoto is one to Octodad.
  • Standard '50s Father: Octodad tries to be one.
  • The Unintelligible: Though quite eloquent in his journal entries, Octodad's dialogue is simple blubbering. His points get across quite well, though.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
    • Octodad himself, obviously.
    • In Dadliest Catch, on the lowest difficulty level, the suspicion meter isn't being filled at all, aside from instant-kill scenarios. This means that you can have situations like Octodad completely crashing a grocery store and throwing everything onto the ground, or a naked octopus walking around sailors on a ship with absolutely nobody batting an eyelid.
  • Weirdness Censor:
    • Despite it being exceptionally obvious Octodad is an octopus in a suit, almost no one seems to notice, besides Fujimoto and the marine biologists at the aquarium except in the "Silent But Dadly" chapter (and Stacy, as shown in the final stage of Dadliest Catch).
    • People who comment on Octodad-related videos — such as cosplay videos — often give some variant of the sentiment "Why is this video even here? I didn't come here to see an ordinary guy being ordinary."
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Banana Peels are, in Octodad's own words, the demonspawn from his darkest nightmares.
  • Wreaking Havok: Part of the fun to the game is just tossing stuff around and stumbling about.

Tropes from the original only:

  • Angry Fist-Shake: Octodad does this when he finds Tommy holding his dinner suit hostage. As he has tentacles rather than hands, it's more of an Angry Tentacle Shake.
  • Art Shift: Unlike gameplay, which is in full 3D, cutscenes are animated comic panels. This is dropped for traditional 3D cutscenes in Dadliest Catch.
  • Badass Adorable: Stacy and Tommy become pretty damn brave at the end in saving their father by throwing their toys at the evil psychopathic chef.
    Stacy: I don't like your hat!
  • Canon Discontinuity: According to the description of the Steam rerelease, the ending is considered "very non-canonical."
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: In cut-scenes, Octodad can write in his diary-log, operate a remote controller, and slow dance with Scarlet, things that would be extremely difficult to do in-game.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Considering that this was a student project, this was to be expected compared to the sequel. For one, outside most of the cutscenes, Octodad wears a black suit instead of his trademark blue suit.
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Stacy needs to snuggle a plush toy in order to go to sleep. Her favorite is an octopus. (Go figure.)
  • Good Morning, Crono: The first game begins with Octodad being woken up by his loving wife. Except it's at 3:50 in the afternoon.
  • Say My Name/Title Drop: OCTODAAAAD!!
  • Unmoving Plaid: The kitchen cutscenes.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: When Fujimoto confronts Octodad after he finishes assembling the decoy and tells him to climb a ladder, the dining room is noticeably wrecked and set on fire. After the chef is fended off, the mess isn't addressed and Scarlet enters the dining room for the anniversary date like nothing happened.
  • Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Octodad's basement-laboratory, a sprawling underground complex full of deadly lasers being controlled by Fujimoto.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Tommy sounds at least ten years older than he actually is in the first game.

Tropes from the sequel only:

  • Achievement Mockery:
    • "Trim Your Moustache" requires you to get sucked into the riding mower. Normally, the lawn mower section occurs immediately after you attach the fallen birdhouse onto its hook, after which your arm gets glued to it and you can't let go. But if you throw the birdhouse onto the hook, then you can enjoy getting yourself a Non-Standard Game Over.
    • "Number 100 Dad" requires you to die more than 100 times in a playthrough.
  • Action Dad: At the end of the game, Octodad becomes this when Fujimoto puts his family in danger.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom: Fujimoto in Gervason's and The Aquarium. One touch means instant death.
  • Air Quotes: Fujimoto does this when bringing the news of Octodad's disappearance to his family. His intent being, of course, making them aware of the fact that Octodad is an octopus.
    Fujimoto: Excuse me, ma'am! I have bad news about your "husband"...
  • Artistic License – Ships: Octodad is revealed to have posed as a sea captain while on a ship to avoid detection on the day he met Scarlet. He was tasked to steer the ship. However, a ship's captain does not physically control the ship. They instead give commands to other sailors, who steer the vessel.
  • Art-Shifted Sequel: The game is a lot more cartoony in its presentation than the original, which went for a more realistic look.
  • Badass Family: At the end of the game, the entire family works together to defeat Fujimoto.
  • Brick Joke: At one point in the "Dad Romance" short, Octodad had to "stomp grapes" as one of the tasks of a waiter. Later on, you can hear Starlet thinking about investigating the purple stains found on the staff's shoes.
  • Cake Toppers: In the level "Wedding Bells", the second section of the level has the cake with Octodad and Scarlet figurines on it.
  • Confusing Multiple Negatives: "Were you undelighted? I bet you weren't!"
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: Many of the objectives can only be completed by Octodad vandalizing something, such as the stained glass window at the church or the soda display at the grocery store.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: The game starts to deconstruct the whole premise by having Scarlet grow increasingly more suspicious of her husband, his behavior, and all the weird incidents surrounding him, which creates some friction in their relationship. But when she finds out that he's an octopus, she's okay with it, and they stay Happily Married.
  • Delayed Reaction: Trying to leave the break room early without setting off the alarm in Silent but Dadly will have the marine biologist in the bathroom stall react this way.
    Marine Biologist: Excuse me, sir! This stall is oc-TOPUS!!
  • Detachable Doorknob: The doorknob will fall off when Octodad tries to go through a door that he's not supposed to.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • At one point during the chapter titled "Silent but Dadly", Octodad is tasked with finding various pieces for a disguise so he can sneak past some scientists. However, moving some nearby screen doors carefully allows you to sneak past them without the disguise, and the scientists will comment on the door moving instead. Or you can sneak past under a crate in a Shout-Out to Metal Gear, and the scientists will instead comment on the crate.
    • If a required "prop" gets knocked away, or otherwise lost, the game will automatically move or respawn the item back to where it belongs just so that it either doesn't become difficult, if not impossible, to complete or so that the scenes can still make sense (e.g. a "drip" reappearing by one of the patients if it gets lost).
    • At a certain point during the game, you have to play certain arcade-style minigames in order to advance the plot. "Cheating" in them will net you comments from the nearby people if they happen to witness you doing it.
  • Dull Surprise: For the most part, the voice acting is decent in both games... However, the second game has a moment that really stands out. Notably, not only does Scarlet take finding out her husband's an Octopus in stride, all things considered, she and their kids are rather soft-spoken when giving Octodad tips when he's facing Fujimoto. Even if he takes a knife to the head do they barely react.
  • Easily Forgiven: At the end of the game, when Octodad "takes care" of Fujimoto, he hugs him and makes blubbering noises professing his love for humanity. This is after Fujimoto has been pursuing Octodad throughout the game, at one point even putting Octodad's family in danger.
  • Easter Egg:
    • There is a newspaper lying around in Octodad's house. Normally it's nearly impossible to read it in-game, but if you examine its texture in the game files, you can learn a few humorous things, such as Tommy's idol Sports Johnson apparently trying to become a mayor for the past few years, or Fujimoto apparently being this year's candidate as well. Some other textures contain equally interesting stuff, like a book whose description says that kids just suddenly appear one day in couples' homes (providing an answer on where Stacy and Tommy came from).
    • There's also some shout outs to popular Let's Players (and one non-Let's Playing gaming commentator) who helped make the game more popular, like PewDiePie, the Freelance Astronauts, and SeaNanners.
    • There's a poster of VGCW (Virtuous Gentlemen's Championship Wresting) in the grocery store, referencing Octodad's escapades there.
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: As a result of Tommy asking where he and Stacy came from.
  • Exact Words: Co-op Mode. If you are curious: it splits the control of Octodad's limbs between all players. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Expository Theme Tune: "Octodad (Nobody Suspects a Thing)", the theme song of the game. The first verse sums up the plot of the first game.
  • Failed a Spot Check: During his infiltration of a fishing boat, Octodad steals the captain's suit while he's in the shower. Once another shipmate comes in, he mistakes Octodad for the captain, and expresses that he's glad to see him out of the shower... even though it's still running in the background, and the captain's singing is very audible.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: In the revamped version of Sea Legs, you are asked to make a sheepshank knot. Even with human hands, this task would be impossible to complete, considering that the "rope" consists of about 10 stiff sticks attached to each other.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: At the end of the game, Octodad confronts Fujimoto while not wearing his suit when his family is in danger.
  • Fun with Subtitles: If subtitles are on, they will explain roughly every "blub" Octodad does, such as *a curt explanatory blub*.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Every level has 3 ties to collect. With the exception of the very first one (which is hanging off the knob of a door that you need to go through), they're all optional.
  • Heel–Face Turn: After being forgiven by Octodad and realizing his love of humanity and his family, Fujimoto promises to leave him alone for good.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Scarlet works for what appears to be a tabloid along the lines of the National Enquirer called The Inquisitor. One reason that she takes the family to the aquarium is so that she can interrogate the staff about where the aquarium's money comes from.
  • Is This Thing Still On?: The tannoy announcer at Gervason’s starts talking about where they get their meat from, only to realise the mic is still on and hastily backpedal.
  • Item Get!: Octodad does this pose whenever he gets a tie or an item at the grocery store.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Parodied in the level "Medical Mess". Tommy and Stacy are making up a story about dad, and at one point, they say that he gets a phone call. When he picks up the phone, it turns out that it's his long lost brother (who, from the sounds of it, is not even an octopus). He phones Octodad purely for the sake of randomly informing him that one of his patients is going into cardiac arrest, and then is never mentioned again.
  • Man of a Thousand Voices: Tom Taylorson voices all the male characters except Tommy. Fryda Wolff voices all the female characters except Scarlet. As for Tommy and Scarlet, they are voiced by Ann Sonneville.
  • Marathon Level: At least 3/4's of the game takes place at the aquarium, to the point that even before Fujimoto catches up, just the family trip itself is split up into multiple stages.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Every time Octodad successfully grabs a key item, like a collectible tie or a box of frozen pizza, you'll be treated to a scene of him holding it victoriously above his head.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Fujimoto's name is likely based on real life sushi chef Kenji Fujimoto who was Kim Jong Il's personal cook, and who later wrote a memoir on his experiences in North Korea.
  • No Name Given: In this game, Octodad is only referred to by terms of endearment (Dad, honey, etc.) by his family and "OCTOPUS!!!" by Fujimoto. Lampshaded at the end when the credits are rolling and Tommy asks "Is that really his name?". In one of the short comics at the official Tumblr, when Octodad goes to Career day at Tommy's school, he's the only one not listed as "Mr. (Last Name)", instead appearing as "Tommy's Dad".
  • No Indoor Voice: Fujimoto seems to be like this most of the time, at least judging by the ALL UPPERCASE SUBTITLES.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • The war Fujimoto constantly rambles about. It could just be his insanity, but Scarlet interviews him about it during a flashback.
    • Subverted during a conversation that can be overheard between a couple marine biologists.
      Biologist 1: There hasn't been an octopus in here since... The Incident.
      Biologist 2: The incident?! You just forgot to lock the octopus tank!
  • Not Now, Kiddo: Scarlet dismisses Stacy trying to get her attention about Octodad — appearing to be a normal octopus — being in the shark tank. The fact that she's so concerned about the presence of this octopus when they're looking for him is the first hint that she knows the truth about him.
  • Phone Word: The phone number for Fujimoto's restaurant is "207-DIE-FISH". This puts the restaurant, and by extension the rest of the game, in Maine.
  • Old-Fashioned Fruit Stomping: Grape stomping is one of the tasks you have to complete in the restaurant level. Given that you're an octopus, this can be trickier than it sounds.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: During the final level, when Octodad has to walk in the ceiling rafters to get to Stacy, very ominous music plays with Blubbers instead of Latin chanting.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • Octodad has a suspicion meter. However, getting hit by Fujimoto or his cleavers instantly fills the bar.
    • The marine biologists will fill the meter halfway if Octodad prods them, making them a two-hit kill. In Silent but Dadly, trying to leave the break room without setting off the alarm will have the marine biologist in the bathroom stall spot you and instantly fill the bar.
    • In the original version of Sea Legs,note  entering the bridge of the ship while you're undisguised will have the workers inside instantly spot you and fill the whole bar, yelling to throw the octopus overboard.
  • Pop-Culture Pun Episode Title: The title of Dadliest Catch is a pun of the series Deadliest Catch.
  • Red Herring: A significant amount of the NPC chatter suggests that the aquarium and the marine biologists are up to something sinister, but nothing ends up coming of it. May end up being a Sequel Hook.
  • Sequence Breaking:
    • One of the tasks in the grocery store is to get a box of Sport Johnson cereal. As soon as you walk down the aisle, a woman takes the last box and you have to steal it from her cart. Alternatively, you can climb the shelf from the other side, reach over, and take the box without triggering the sequence, causing her to blurt out her finishing line as if you had. You get an achievement for it.
    • In both versions of the Sea Legs level, using the physics to jump over the box on the left side of the ship, it's possible to skip straight to starting the ship's engines and meeting Scarlet while Octodad is still in his birthday suit. Unlike the grocery store, the game clearly doesn't expect anyone to do this since the characters will still react to you as if you're the captain and you won't gain any suspicion like on the rest of the ship, even Fujimoto. You'll only get instantly spotted if you try entering the bridge through the east side of the ship (or if you approach the door from the inside on the revamped version).
  • Shout-Out:
  • Singing in the Shower: The captain of the ship Octodad met his wife on is seemingly obsessed with showering and, when reached, he can be heard jauntily singing in the shower. This is supposed to clue the player into taking his uniform while it's unworn and unguarded.
  • Somethingitis: In the hospital-themed bonus level, there is a disease called "Unicornitis", where the afflicted person gains a unicorn horn and the ability to fly. Justified because the level is actually a story being told by Octodad's children.
  • Stranger in a Familiar Land: Octodad feels rather out of place when visiting the aquarium that resembles his old sea home.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: In the supermarket level, you must direct Octodad towards some free sushi samples in the back of the store. It's obviously the Chef, but the game can't continue unless Octodad goes back there.
  • Sweeping the Table: This is the first thing the player does in Dadliest Catch. Octodad needs the key to a mirror, which is under a bunch of cosmetics on the counter. The player is prompted to sweep all the junk onto the floor, toss the cushions aside, and grab the key.
  • Tempting Fate:
  • "Test Your Strength" Game: An anaconda-themed version is one of the minigames you have to beat in order to win prizes in the arcade.
  • Thought They Knew Already: During the final level, when Stacy reveals Octodad's secret to Scarlet and Tommy.
  • Threatening Shark: The aquarium claims to hold the world's biggest hammerhead shark. Naturally, it becomes a thorn in Octodad's side once he ends up inside the tank.
  • Toilet Humour: A secret level in the sequel is accessible by flushing Octodad in one of the Aquarium's toilets.
  • The Unreveal:
    • Octodad's actual name is never referred to in the story — even his wife just calls him "Honey". In the Octodad short "Dad Romance", Octodad tells the waiter his name in order to convince him that he had reservations at the restaurant. However, in a brief subversion of Intelligible Unintelligible, the waiter only manages to hear his name as "blurberulb"note .
    • The sequel's ending teases us with the opportunity to learn how exactly Octodad and Scarlet had children, but it ends up being an "Everybody Laughs" Ending and we don't actually learn anything.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • The game allows you to be a huge douchebag, who flails about knocking stuff over, cutting in line, throwing things around, slapping people upside the head, and cheating at arcade games.
    • Lampshaded in the announcement details for the DLC update, which lists one of the features as "Over 0 unconscious ragdolls!".
  • Visual Pun: At the grocery store, there's a man in the produce section with an apple in one hand and an orange in the other, looking back and forth between the two.
  • Vocal Dissonance: In the early pre-build release of Dadliest Catch, the devs put in their own voices as placeholders for Octodad's wife and kids, since they hadn't had the lines professionally voiced yet. Hint: there are apparently no women on the dev team.

Nobody suspects a thing...