Dad is a surrealist comedy YouTube series produced by comedian Nathan Barnatt in 2019.
Starring the character of Dad, played by Barnatt himself, the series consists of short videos and original, dad-themed music. the characters are shown to be dealing with stereotypical television-family situations, with each episode following the ongoing continuity; However, each episode drops hints that the family and those around them are not just an average bunch...such as most every character being referred to just as their title, like "Dad" and "Mom", or the fact that everyone appears to speak telepathically. The series also crosses into Barnatt's personal channel, with the Dad character making several appearances.
The series is split up into different acts, with Act I ending on April 8th, 2019.
Watch it here.
Dad contains examples of:
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parent: Dad, naturally, is seen as embarrassing by Daughter. This is brought up in "Can't Be Stopped":Drive Daughter to Electric Zoo
Drop her off, then Dad sneaks in
The beat takes over and body begins
I'm cutting shapes, 2 stepping
They take their phones & start gramming
Now Daughter sees, she's horrified...
- Alternate Reality Game: Numerous videos contain interactive elements, such as hidden messages written in binary, giving the audience a mystery to solve as the series progresses.
- Catapult Nightmare: In "True Value" note Dad is dreaming of a trip to True Value in which he picks up a bunch of supplies for free...and then the clerk offers him a "way out". Dad then catapults awake in bed.
- Color Contrast: The background for a majority of videos is a wall that is half-blue and half-pink, making a gradiant in the middle.
- Day Dream Surprise: In "Kiss", Dad is feeling nostalgic over when he first met Mom, and how she used to kiss him on the cheek every day. He claims that he can even feel her kiss at that very moment, and the viewer sees the Mom show up to kiss him, which makes him very happy...until he snaps out of it, with both him and the audience realizing he was just daydreaming.
- Doppelgänger: Dad himself appears to be one to his actor, Nathan Barnatt, who spends some videos on his channel actively hiding from or being watched by Dad.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Mom's real name, Cheryl, is only used on occasion; all other times, she's referred to as "Mom". Similarly, though their real names are not mentioned, Dad, Daughter, and Neighbor are also only called by their title.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Dad works at Work, eats canned food called "Food", shops at Store, and may even go out to eat at the Restaurant with his family, Mom and Daughter.
- Exiled to the Couch: In "Dad Loved Mom", one lyric states:Mom scares Dad when she has a bad day
So he sleeps on the couch, he stays out-of-the-way
- Fell Asleep Standing Up: In "Dad is Awake", he is asleep on his feet, with his briefcase and coffee in hand, ready for work as soon as he's woken up. Something similar happens in "Fantasy Story", where, though Cheryl and Daughter are awake and ready to go to the beach, he's asleep on his feet again and needs to be woken up. Considering that Dad may not be entirely human, this is another hint about his strange nature.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus:
- In "Dad Loves Mom", there's a single frame of Dad dancing with a woman in a red dress, who doesn't seem to be Mom due to her different hairstyle.
- In "Dad Bod", a string of binary is on screen for just a few frames.
- Henpecked Husband: The song "Dad Loves Mom" makes it clear that Mom is the dominant force in the household; Dad needs her approval to do most things, and does all the chores to prevent her from getting angry at him. She's the one with all the power, to such an absurd degree that she can even shut down "the server" in an instant when she's upset at him and thus temporarily shut down his channel.
- Human Aliens: It's heavily implied that Dad and his family came from space; not only does he mention he used to live under the "Kepler rays" note and claims that his family is several eons old. He also tells the viewers to "move [their] human limbs" in "Dad Is On", calls his audience "Earthlings" in "Dad Feels Good", and claims to have "left his planet" in "Dad Bod". ACT II PART I shows a younger Dad, in an astronaut suit, laying in the desert, with an alien planet visible in the sky. In spite of this, they all look like ordinary humans, and even manage to pass as such while in public.
- Important Haircut: Daughter cut her hair just to impress her crush, Griffin, who happens to like short-hair. She doesn't seem too happy with her new style, but did it anyway, just to make sure he likes her.
- Inner Monologue Conversation: Dad, Mom, and Daughter all speak to each-other without using their mouths; why this happens isn't explained, but Neighbor, despite speaking like a normal person, can hear and respond to Dad's inner-monologue anyway and the conversation carries on like normal. Outside of this, most people appear to be confused by their way of communicating; however, there have been a few exceptions.
- In "Dad Is Out", Dad is outside the usual set and learns to speak with his mouth, making it clear he and his family have always communicated mentally.
- In "40K Celebration!" Neighbor runs into Dads family, claiming to have been practicing Telpathy to better talk to his "favorite family". This appears to be the first time in the series that someone outside of the family has communicated without talking.
- Instant Web Hit: In "Can't Be Stopped", it's mentioned that Dad, caught dancing at a club, received a billion views after people put the video online.
- Limited Wardrobe: Dad only wears his white shirt, khakis, and tie, no matter the scene. In "Bad Guy by a Dad [Billie Ellish Dadmix]", Dad even says his white shirt is the only shirt he owns.
- Love Doodles: At the very beginning of "Dad Loves Mom", there's a brief shot of Dad writing in a notebook, which is filled with hearts and his wife's name written down repeatedly. It's enough to fill an entire page.
- Manchild: Dad's behavior and dialogue is very simplistic and toddler-like.
- Monochromatic Eyes: Combined with Mismatched Eyes. The character of Lazlo appears to be a normal women, until her eyes open, revealing one to be pure pink and the other pure blue, both lacking irises.
- Most Definitely Not a Villain: Dad is most definitely a human; he moves his human limbs and has human sweat, and he feels good just like all of the other earthlings.
- No Fourth Wall: The characters all know they're on YouTube despite the otherwise Dom Com-esque format; Dad openly announces his intention to be the best YouTuber, Mom takes away his rights to "the sever" as a punishment, and he even interacts with the audience through live-streaming and comment-responses.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: In "Dad Loves Mom", it's mentioned that when Mom is upset, "her eyes glow red"; with the implication that the family aren't even human, it's likely this isn't just figurative.
- Really 700 Years Old: Despite looking like an ordinary middle-aged couple with a teenage daughter, Dad claims that he and Mom are really "five-eons old", and that Daughter has been alive for three eons.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Dad is hateful of Neighbor, stating in a few videos how he wants to be better than him in some way just to rub it in his face, and then being openly sarcastic and rude to Neighbor when they run into him at Restaurant. Neighbor himself comes off as a decent person...if not for his implied relationship with Cheryl, and his apparent attempt to get Dad in trouble with the "Dad Magazine".
- Third-Person Person: Dad always refers to himself in his own narrative as "Dad", such as:"Hmm...Someday, Dad will have the greatest shed in the neighborhood and the universe."
- Visual Pun: In "Dad Is The Best YouTuber," Dad sets up a pie with a figure of Felix the Cat on top, before proceeding to smash it all with a hammer. This is a pun on him wanting to smash PewDiePie, also known as Felix, to take his place as the best YouTuber.
- White Collar Worker: Where exactly Dad works is never elaborated, but his white shirt, black tie, briefcase of office-supplies, and desire to be promoted to "executive worker" hints pretty strongly that he works in an average office setting, which apparently requires "eternal dedication to the corporation".
- Your Cheating Heart: Dad has not only expressed a love for his family's friend Diane, but Mom has also been heavily implied to have feelings for the Neighbor, if she hasn't already had an actual affair with him.