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21 Stories About Dads That Will Make You Laugh And Cry

Philadelphia Dance Center / Victoria Beckham

Father's Day is a time when we thank our dads for everything they've done, and reflect on everything they mean to us.

Dads get a pretty bad reputation in sitcoms and movies. They're stereotyped as being lazy, grumpy, and cold-hearted.

But so many dads are warm and loving, and these touching - and funny - stories prove it.

1. "If you'll put her through, I'll go"

Britain's Got Talent

Martin Lambert and his 10-year-old daughter Faye competed as a duo on Britain's Got Talent.

Their performance of Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli's "The Prayer" was a hit, but not with judge Simon Cowell.

He told the pair that Martin could ruin his daughter's chances of advancing in the competition.

But Martin didn't hesitate to give up his own chance at fame for his daughter. "If you'll put her through, I'll go."

2.  #Twinning

Sholom Ber Solomon

Sholom Ber Solomon has a unique way of bonding with his young daughter Zoe.

The pair dress up in silly costumes and pose for all kinds of wacky photos, with a helping hand from Sholom's wife, Carli.

Sholom Ber Solomon
Sholom Ber Solomon

And the dedicated dad has a sweet reason for playing make believe with his daughter.

“I have always taken quirky pictures even before she was born,” he told HuffPost.

Sholom Ber Solomon

"When she came along I wanted to include her so that one day she can look back at funny memories with her dad."

3. "I hope you are having a good trip"

Sadly, our fathers can't stay with us forever. When they pass away, we have to hold on to the happy memories they left behind.

Before he took his own life earlier this year, celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain spoke candidly about how his daughter, Ariane, helped him find peace.

Anthony Bourdain
Anthony Bourdain - Instagram

"There have been times, honestly, in my life that I figured, ‘I’ve had a good run — why not just do this stupid thing, this selfish thing… jump off a cliff into water of indeterminate depth,'" he told People.

"In retrospect, I don’t know that I would do that today — now that I’m a dad."

Ariadne Bourdain
Ottavia Busia - Instagram

Just days after Bourdain was found dead in his Paris hotel room, 11-year-old Ariane took to the stage for a concert wearing the boots he gave her.

"Our little girl had her concert today," his ex-wife Ottavia Busia wrote on Instagram.

"She was amazing. So strong and brave. She wore the boots you bought her. I hope you are having a good trip, wherever you are."

4. Parenting can be funny... sometimes

Jim Gaffigan
TV Land

Celebrity dads don't have things any easier than we do, but sometimes they find a really funny way to sum up the parenting experience on Twitter.

Conan O'Brien - Twitter
Dax Shepard - Twitter
Jim Gaffigan - Twitter
Ken Jennings - Twitter
Mario Lopez - Twitter

5. "There are a thousand dreams and milestones that are yet to reveal themselves"

They don't always get the attention they deserve, but a number of famous dads are fierce advocates for their children with disabilities.

Colin Farrell

Colin Farrell's teenage son, James, has a rare genetic developmental disability called Angelman syndrome, and the Irish actor is an outspoken supporter of children with disabilities.

"When you're the parent of a child with special needs, it's important to feel that you're not alone," he said.

"There are a thousand dreams and milestones that are yet to reveal themselves."

And Criminal Minds star Joe Mantegna has spoken openly about raising a child with autism. The actor says his daughter Mia's condition has taught him to be more accepting and inclusive.

Mantegna with his daughter Mia (front right).KCAL 9

"This is Mia. She’s going to be a little different than the rest of you kids," he tells himself.

"She might start singing to herself, she might walk up to the blackboard, she may talk to herself, she may say some inappropriate things. It doesn’t matter. She has autism. And we’re all going to help her."

6. A father and grandfather by age 23

Australian Tommy Connolly made international headlines earlier this year when he pulled off an incredible feat: becoming a father and grandfather in the same week.

Tommy Connolly Facebook

Tommy's teenage cousin Angela contacted him out of the blue, revealing she was pregnant and the baby's father was in prison.

After welcoming Angela into his home, Connolly legally adopted his cousin. She gave birth a week later, making him the baby's legal grandfather.

Tommy Connolly - Facebook

While it all happened very suddenly, it seems like the unexpected father figure fits into his new role perfectly.

"I became the legal foster parent for her to make sure she’d keep the baby, stay off the streets and have a better life," he told Daily Mail Australia.

7. A heartfelt gift

Antonio Vargas - YouTube

Loving dad Antonio Vargas Sr. found the perfect Christmas gift for his son, Antonio Jr., after his wife died.

It was the first holiday season the pair had spent without her, and Vargas wanted to give his son something to remember his mother by.

The stuffed monkey from the Build-A-Bear workshop featured a recording of his late mother's voice, with special messages like "I love you guys so much and I will always love you."

8. "Take a minute to educate your children"

Dan Bezzant of Ohio earned praise from parents around the world when he wrote a heartfelt letter about his son, Jackson.

Jackson was born with Treacher Collins, a rare genetic disorder that affects the bone structure of the face, and has always been a target for bullies.

Dan Bezzant
East Idaho News

After deciding enough was enough, Bezzant pleaded with other parents to help stop bullying once and for all, and shared a message we all need to hear.

"This beautiful young man my son Jackson has to endure a constant barrage of derogatory comments and ignorance like I've never witnessed," he wrote.

"Take a minute to educate your children about special needs. Talk to them about compassion and love for our fellow man."

9. Three questions

Brandon Williamson - Facebook

Kalani Watson became a viral video star when he recorded his stepfather getting the greatest birthday gift ever.

Kalani asked his stepfather Brandon Williamson three simple questions.

"Do you love me?"

"You know that," the burly airport porter said.

"Do you love mom?"

"You know that."

"Can you live without us?"

When the man shook his head, Kalani asked his stepdad to officially adopt him, and Williamson tearfully agreed.

10. Everyone in the courtroom was smiling

Mandi Luann - Facebook

From one adorable adoption story to another. Mandi and Tyler Palmer met and fell in love, but could not have children because of medical difficulties.

But the young couple were determined to start a family, so they became foster parents to a young boy named Hunter.

Mandi Luann - Facebook

A few months later, the Palmers made the adoption official in court, and Hunter made the new family official in his own special way.

He shouted "Dad!" as soon as the judge announced his new last name, bringing a smile to every face in the room.

11. Davey and the Punisher

Love What Matters

When a burly 6'2" man with a fiery beard and a name tag that reads "Punisher" walks into your store, you take notice.

But what caught Goodwill greeter Sadie Collins' eye was the baby doll in his arms.

After asking the Punisher - whose real name is Keenan Watkins - she learned he had been asked by his daughter, Aayla, to carry her doll, Davey, for a whole day.

Watkins's daughter Aayla and son Ash.Love What Matters

Of course Watkins agreed, and won plenty of fans online, where he was called "father of the year."

12. The substitute dad

Walking his daughter down the aisle is one of the proudest moments of a father's life. But not every dad is willing to take the responsibility.

Taiwan News

When Jennifer Chang from Taiwan married her longtime partner Sam Chiu, her parents refused to give their blessing.

While Jennifer was heartbroken, her company's CEO, John Li, stepped in to take her father's place.

It was a sweet gesture that must have meant the world to this happy couple.

13. Actions speak louder than words

You don't need to understand sign language to follow this deaf stepfather's touching reaction to a heartfelt gift.

Deidre Blankenship - Facebook

Deidre Blankenship said her second husband, Hank, was always a loving father to her two children. Meanwhile, she described their birth father as a deadbeat.

So when Deidre's children asked to be officially adopted by Hank in a birthday surprise, there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

As the message Hank's daughter Cassidy wrote on her shirt said, "Being a dad requires love, not DNA."

14. A chip off the old Rock


With his bulging biceps and huge star power, the Rock - a.k.a. Dwayne Johnson - is almost always the center of attention.

But like any good father, he knows when to step back and let his children take the spotlight.

Johnson's daughter, 16-year-old Simone, was chosen to be the first ever Golden Globes Ambassador this year, and the proud dad introduced her on stage.

The Golden Globes - Facebook

"I am surrounded by brilliant and strong women," he said, "Simone I am so incredibly proud of you."

The Rock also welcomed his third daughter into the world this year, and it's safe to say baby Tiana is in good hands.

15. Don't mess with his daughters

Randall Margraves attracted the wrong kind of attention when he tried to attack the notorious former U.S.A. Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar in court.

Michigan Live

Margraves asked the judge for "five minutes in a locked room" with the man who had abused his daughters before storming the defendant's bench.

A GoFundMe page for the Margraves family sprouted up, and managed to collect $31,000 before the embarrassed dad shut it down.

"I want to make it real clear that I am no hero," Margraves said during an apology for his attack.

Michigan Live

"My daughters are the heroes and all the victims and the survivors of this terrible atrocity."

Margraves offered refunds for anyone who had donated, before pledging the remaining money to organizations that support victims of abuse.

Even if you don't agree with his actions, Margraves owned up to his mistake and used his unwanted publicity for a good cause.

16. One last train ride

When Ronald Ward became too sick to visit the model train shows he loved, his son Ronnie brought the trains to him.

North Jersey.com

The younger Ward says his father inspired his passion for model trains from a young age, and it was one of the ways they bonded.

He recreated a 10 by 13-foot board with 112 feet of track in his father's basement, including the first train set his father ever gave him.

"The feeling I got inside, being with my father, is something that's irreplaceable," Ronnie said.

North Jersey.com

"There's nothing like sitting down and creating something, together."

17. It's getting pretty dusty out here

William Reed
India Today

Enchroma glasses, which can correct color blindness, are some of the most impressive modern inventions.

When bodybuilder William Reed slipped on his first pair of the corrective lenses - a birthday gift from his family - he was on the verge of tears.

As Reed's wife Justine says, her husband "live his whole life in black and white" before the special glasses let him see all the colors of the rainbow.

18. A lifesaving shirt

Single dad Robert Leibowitz got a lot of attention for his fashion choices at Disney World last year.

Roccio Sandoval

Leibowitz sported a shirt that read "In Need Of Kidney O Positive" with a number to call.

The father of five said the special shirt was his daugter's idea, as Leibowitz had serious kidney damage and needed a transplant.

"It is very hard to get a kidney and there are not a lot of donors out there," he explained.

Max Leibowitz

The clever idea paid off, and Leibowitz was surrounded by family after a successful kidney transplant this year.

Not many children can say they got their father a kidney, but Leibowitz's daughter can definitely take credit for this lucky break.

19. David Beckham breaks down

Beckham won serious "dad cred" by building his daughter's Lego castle.David Beckham - Instagram

Soccer star David Beckham has proved time and time again that he's one of the nicest celebrity dads.

But this year his son Brooklyn paid him back, flying from the UK to New York for a birthday surprise that left Beckham in tears.

"What are you doing here?" he asked, obviously overcome with emotion.

Proud mom Victoria caught the special moment on video, and the sweet father-son moment went viral around the world.

20. Will Smith steals his son's groove

SocialLife Chicago

In case you didn't know, Will Smith's son Jaden has his own successful music career, and his hip hop track "Icon" was recently certified gold.

Smith celebrated his son's success by parodying the music video for "Icon," sporting a matching haircut and outfit, complete with a pair of dad slippers.

"It is a Delicious Gift to a Parent to Admire his children," Smith wrote under the parody video. "Keep Doin’ You!"

And Jaden was obviously not embarassed by his dad's gesture, tweeting out "I Love You" in response.

21. Watch where you step

Parents have a love-hate relationship with Lego bricks. Sure, they encourage kids to be creative, but stepping on one can be excruciatingly painful.

Lego Dad - Instagram

The Lego Dad Instagram account proves that even parents can have fun with these toys, recreating situations any dad will recognize.

"Kids will be kids," says Lego Dad, "the only advantage that I have as a parent is that I can take mine apart."

Lego Dad - Instagram
Lego Dad - Instagram
Lego Dad - Instagram

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!

I write about all sorts of things for Shared, especially weird facts, celebrity news, and viral stories. CONTACT: zachary@shared.com