In the new comedy Vacation, the always hilarious Ed Helms keeps a time-honored on-screen tradition going. No, not visiting the fictitious Wally World theme park, but rather, being a totally obnoxious dad.
This time around it’s Rusty Griswold annoying his wife and kids during their holiday. You can’t exactly blame him, considering he learned from the best: his dad, Clark Griswold (played in the original Vacation flicks by Chevy Chase). In anticipation of Vacation, we’re looking at 10 of the most obnoxious movie fathers of all-time. Hopefully none of them remind you of your own dad.
Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold in the Vacation moviesWarner Bros. Pictures
Clark Griswold was well-intentioned with his plans for the best family getaways and holidays but he always went waaay over-the-top with it. Whether it was his hopelessly positive attitude or his hair-brained ideas, Clark was hilarious to watch but we were always so glad he wasn’t actually our dad and drove Rusty and Audrey nuts instead.
Mike Myers as Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers moviesNew Line Cinema
Matthew McConaughey as Cooper in InterstellarParamount Pictures
Not only did he name his daughter Murph, but he abandons her to go into outer space and later communicates with her through a watch in a black hole. (Yeah, the only thing more irritating than Cooper was the plot.)
Jeff Daniels as Bernard Berkman in The Squid and the WhaleSamuel Goldwyn Films
Imagine being stuck at a party listening to the arrogant ramblings of a snobby, emotionally distant, washed-up writer. Now, imagine being stuck with that guy as your dad.
Greg Kinnear as Richard in Little Miss SunshineFox Searchlight Pictures
For a cheesy, wannabe motivational speaker, he was awfully negative towards his own family. When he wasn’t giving his beauty pageant daughter a hard time about her weight (she was, like, 10 years old), he was constantly berating his kids about needing to be “winners.” That took a lot of nerve coming from a guy who wore shorts, high socks, and sneakers.
Vince Vaughn as Bernard in Old SchoolDreamWorks Pictures
Maybe instead of coming up with the “earmuffs” system to shield his young children from hearing things they shouldn’t have, this man-child should have been taking his kids to the park or something instead of having them hang out in a frat house. A dad you have to babysit is no dad at all.
TIE: Matthew Broderick and Danny DeVito as Steve and Buddy in Deck the Halls20th Century Fox
Both of these suburban dads go head-to-head to see who has the best decorated house, and go about it in the most outlandishly childish ways possible. Not only were these guys petty, but they put their embarrassing behavior on display for the entire neighborhood. It’s hard to hide from your annoying dad when your house has vomited up a million Christmas lights.
Jim Carrey as Fletcher Reede in Liar LiarUniversal Pictures
Parents lie to their kids all the time, but defense attorney Fletcher takes it to another level to get ahead in his career. When he misses his son’s birthday because he’s smushing for a promotion and lies about having to work, his son uses his birthday wish to make him tell the truth. When your kid has to waste a birthday wish to make you a decent human being, you know you screwed up as a parent.
Kevin Spacey as Lester Burnham in American BeautyDreamWorks Pictures
Lester went from being a sad sack dad to a pervy, selfish mid-life crisis dad, and both seemed really terrible to be around. Plus, your own father hitting on your high school-aged cheerleader friend is the absolute, 100 percent, OMFG, icky worst.