The Best Parents Ever

November 16, 2022 | Laura Bergen

The Best Parents Ever

Parents can have a unique way of surprising their kids with hidden talents, apparent fearlessness, or heroic feats of strength. The parents in these Reddit stories put on quite the show for their kids. Has your dad ever rescued a drowning child, lassoed a rattlesnake, or fought a hornet with Matrix-style moves?

1. Bad Day

When I was about ten, my father was driving me to his office. We spotted a group of five individuals outside the library, brutally beating up another person. Apparently, they picked the wrong day to do this. My dad, with a composed demeanor, parked the car and began to separate these guys from their victims as though it was no big deal. Meanwhile, onlookers dialed 911 while my father kept them at bay.

"Why did you jump in?" I curiously asked. His response was inspiring: "I was having a rough day, and it looked like that man was too." Living in a relatively small town, my dad is a known lawyer, and as it happened, the man he rescued had been jailed due to his legal services three years earlier. Regardless, the man was incredibly grateful for my dad's intervention that fateful day, and he continues to show his appreciation by sending us Christmas cards annually.

The Most Incredible ParentsPexels

2. Step Right Up

My step-dad once bagged a prize at a carnival game few people usually conquer. It was that hammer-hit game where you use a heavy hammer to smack a pressure pad, launching a small metal pin up a pole. The goal of the game? Land the pin at the bell at the top. Hit the bell, win the prize.

We watched guys of different sizes, their muscles flexing, striking the pad repeatedly, trying to ring the bell. The pin would go high up the pole, but never high enough. They were all engaged in this playful competition, laughing about who could get the pin the furthest, when my step-dad (then in his late 60s) took his turn. Little did they know what was about to happen.

Let me paint a picture of my step-dad: Childhood polio caused some numbness in his legs and diabetes, further lack of sensation in his extremities. His back was worn out from years of fieldwork. But he was tough, both mentally and physically, and incredibly smart. So, he moved up to take his shot.

Lifting the hammer above his head, he let gravity take over. It didn't look like a strong hit at all. Some beefy guys made jokes thinking he wouldn't be able to beat their scores. But when the hammer hit the pad, the pin shot up, striking the bell so hard it seemed like it would pop out. He strolled away, clutching a giant stuffed puppy, leaving behind open-mouthed spectators.

Later, he revealed the real trick to me: it's not about brute strength. No matter how much force you apply, it won't necessarily get the pin to hit the bell. It's all about technique, about ensuring the face of the hammer connects fully with the face of the pad. The buff guys had focused on power, not on proper contact. 

Their hits were mostly off-center or with the edge of the mallet—which simply doesn't work. Apply precision, let gravity assist, and you'll win most times. It was probably then that I realised I wanted to be as wise as my dad.

The Most Incredible ParentsFlickr, Jeremy Thompson

3. Snatched

So here's the story: My dad had just picked up my sister from her elementary school when a couple of crooks on a motorcycle swiped a woman's purse. He left my sister on the sidewalk, asked her to be patient, and raced after the crooks on his own bike. He knocked them over, gave them a good thrashing, and then handed them over to the cops.

A few days later, the police wanted to give my dad an award at the station, but he turned them down because he didn't want the attention. He later confessed to me, "I didn't want the crooks to recognize me. That could put your sister in danger since all of this happened near her school." That day, he was a real-life hero, and it's a day I'll never, ever forget.

The Most Incredible ParentsFlickr, Marco Verch Professional Photographer

4. Charisma And Kindness

My dad has always been a big man. Standing 6'3" and weighing about 220 pounds, he's put on a bit of weight in his old age, but was quite fit in his younger years. He's always looked like a giant to me; a figure who seemed invincible. What really made him special, though, was his charm.

One time, he took my brother, our two best friends, and me on a weekend outing to Cedar Point. If you've never heard of it, Cedar Point is one of the most famous amusement parks in the U.S. It's known for its record-breaking roller coasters.

However, when we got to the hotel, we found ourselves in quite a pickle. We were told that due to an overbooking error, our rooms had been given away. After a long chat with the management team, who were sorry yet helpless, it seemed like we were out of options. My mom has always been the straight-laced, no-nonsense type, and in that respect, I'm just like her.

I was ready to throw in the towel. But my dad told us to hang tight while he handled things. I worshipped him, but I wasn't sure how he planned to secure a room in a fully booked hotel. He snuck into a nearby gift shop, then approached the front desk with a flower he'd bought. Soon after, he'd charmed the staff so much that we found ourselves in the hotel's premium suites, free of charge. And that's not all—in addition, they gave us vouchers for a future stay and allowed us to pay the original rate for our booked suites. I was in awe.

Now that I'm older, I've learned that extending kindness and having a proper conversation can improve your chances to succeed. It wasn't magic, just a simple act of being nice. However, to my ten-year-old self, it was like he'd performed a miracle. He made everything look so easy! 

Everyone loved my dad! He seemed to be able to talk his way out of any sticky situation. For a shy kid who still nervously stuttered when ordering food in public due to fear of strangers, my dad truly felt larger than life.


The Most Incredible ParentsPexels

5. Grandpa’s Bear Butt

One time, while enjoying a family vacation at our cabin (which included my immediate family and my grandparents), I was jolted awake by my grandmother hollering at my grandfather in the deep dark night. Peeking out of the window, I found my grandpa standing stark-naked, a 9 mm gun in his hands, bravely staring down a fearsome black bear. 

As the story goes, my grandpa had gotten up to answer nature's call when he spotted the black bear trying to sneak into his bedroom through the window. The mystery of how he procured his 9 mm so quickly still puzzles me...

The Most Incredible ParentsPexels

6. Caught On Camera

My uncle worked as a cameraman covering the Dallas Cowboys' Super Bowl for Fox in 1993. He saw a gang attacking someone right across the street, and no one was stepping in to help. Seeing this, he resolved to intervene himself. At the time, he was carrying a heavy-duty news camera for filming the celebratory procession. With that in hand, he knew exactly what to do next.

Dashing across the street, he put his hefty camera to a different use and began swinging it at the group. They quickly jumped back but didn't leave the scene entirely. My uncle kept swinging his camera to ward off any potential threats, all the while standing guard over the injured person. Eventually, the police arrived and took control of the situation. Somewhere, there's a video documenting this incident.

In it, they interviewed my uncle and included footage of him protecting the victim. I'd love to locate that's surprising seeing it's not on YouTube yet.

The Most Incredible ParentsPexels

7. Shoestring Lasso

When I was just a youngster, I witnessed my father catch a rattlesnake using nothing but a shoelace! He worked as a park ranger and had always shown a fervent interest in nature and its creatures. His job demanded him to conduct an annual presentation on local wildlife and ecology for nearby elementary schools. And you guessed it, he required a rattlesnake for his demonstration.

So, one afternoon, we set out in search of a rattlesnake. As luck would have it, we spotted one skirting across the road. Naturally, he decided to capture it then and there.

You'd think the back of his truck contained a snake-capturing kit, right? He had a glass box all ready for his scaly visitor (because doesn't everybody drive around with a box for snakes?), but realized he forgot his usual snake-catching stick. Undeterred, he simply untied his shoelace from his sneaker and skillfully looped it around the snake within a few attempts, safely securing the reptile in the box, ready to be showcased back home. Truly, my father was exceptional!

The Most Incredible ParentsFlickr, Rawpixel Ltd

8. Peace Talks

During my dad's time studying in Russia in the late 80s, an event occurred that he loves to laughingly claim brought an end to the US/Soviet Union conflict. He and his American friends were attending a vibrant local celebration on a large boat, mingling freely with the Russian citizens. During this lively event, they drew the attention of a local news crew.

With a Russian lady on either arm, my dad found himself in an impromptu interview. His words left quite an impact: "We Americans don't want to keep any hatred alive. We love the Russians and hope for an alliance and partnership."

This broadcast was being watched by none other than Gorbachev. Reflecting on that moment in his memoirs, he admitted, "Seeing American and Russian students interacting as friends, clearly enjoying one another's company, I felt inspired to reach out to Reagan and propose peace talks." Consequently, my father enjoys claiming that his friendly interview contributed to ending the Cold War.

The Most Incredible ParentsFlickr,

9. Redneck Cry

Sometimes, my father and I don't see eye to eye because he can be a bit brusque. However, he can also be really cool when the situation calls for it. When I was around ten, we had this burly bull named Bruce, who was part of our farm's breeding stock. Bruce had a personality similar to those buff guys from the Jersey Shore show—always flexed up, a bit daft, and looking for a fight.

One day, I was attending to my routine farm work, when suddenly an alarming CRASH broke the silence. Whirling around, I saw a smashed gate and Bruce standing free from his enclosure, locking eyes with me. He was swaying his head, sizing me up, figuring out if he should consider me a threat. The soft clinking sound of the chain linked to his nose ring scraping the concrete echoed eerily.

Then Bruce stopped, his gaze shifting behind me. Out of the blue, my dad appeared, driving a skid loader, and bravely positioned himself between me and the bullish menace. I made a quick dash for the barn, narrowly escaping to safety. As I turned to close the barn door, I caught a glimpse of my dad steering the skid loader right into Bruce, while belting out a rural battle cry: "HEEEYUUUPPP IN THAR!!!". Bruce, shocked, leaped back into his pen. Calmly, dad parked the skid loader in the damaged gate's place, hopped out, and walked off. Talk about being a total boss.

The Most Incredible ParentsPexels

10. Armadillo Annihilation

Once upon a time, an armadillo was wreaking havoc in our backyard. My father, being a fanatic when it comes to his lawn, would grumble each time he saw the damage. After enduring about a week of the armadillo's shenanigans, I was jolted awake at 4:30 in the morning by some loud banging noises and, arguably, the most colourful language I had ever heard.

Intrigued, I dashed downstairs to see what was happening, joining my mom by the window to observe the drama unfold. We watched my dad, passionate and determined to end the armadillo's reign of terror. Sadly, he had underestimated the creature's speed and dexterity. It was scampering, dodging, even leaping into the air to evade his shots. My father, meanwhile, was hot on its trail, shouting at the top of his lungs.

In the end, he managed to hit the elusive critter. The backyard menace was defeated, our lawn was rescued, and I walked away with the most inventive swear words to share with my classmates in the third grade.

The Most Incredible ParentsPexels

11. Young At Heart

Once upon a time, my dad attended my sorority's father's weekend. Even though he's a 50-year-old father of four, he likes to consider himself eternally 21. During the Dad’s event, he found himself getting bored. That's when he decided to enlist my roommate's dad and go crash a fraternity party. Successful in their dad mission, they roamed the street until they found a lively bash to join in on.

They knocked on the door and politely requested a quick tour. After stepping inside, they were a bit disappointed with the quality of the drinks on offer. So, they upgraded the scene by bringing in a keg of premium-quality beer for everyone there.

Then my dad began to mingle and drink with the fraternity members. An hour later, he's sharing the soundtrack of his college years with them. So, they invite him onto the stage to broadcast his tracks for everyone to enjoy. Next thing I know, he's not just playing his music; he's on top of a table, dancing away. Sure enough, the table didn't survive his dance moves and broke apart, but all it resulted in was cementing his place as the greatest dad-party-crasher. It's been a year, and his legendary escapade is still the talk of the town.

The Most Incredible ParentsPexels

12. Speed Trap

Once, I had a bit of friction with a neighbor who thought I was driving too fast in our community. She was under the impression that the speed limit was 20, but it was actually 30. On occasion, she would jump in the street, wildly waving her arms and berating me, insisting, "her kids sometimes play in the street". 

However, this seldom happened. I mentioned this to my dad who suggested I snap a photo of the speed limit sign and share it with her. So, I did just that, explaining to her that the limit was 30.

Sadly, she didn't seem too receptive to a rational argument. She was determined to bring us down—during a neighborhood association meeting, she labeled our family as the "speedsters", campaigned to have the speed limit lowered, and even hired a patrol officer. Several months later, the very officer she employed pulled her over for exceeding the speed limit right in our neighborhood. 

Spotting what was happening, I halted for a moment to capture a picture of her giving me a rude hand gesture before the officer asked me to move along. My dad, with a sense of humor, turned that snapshot into a Christmas card and spread the cheer by mailing it to our entire neighborhood. I really admire my dad. He doesn't back down.

The Most Incredible ParentsFlickr, zlady

13. Mom To The Rescue

At a neighborhood park, several children were performing tricks on their BMX bikes, soaring over small mounds of earth. My folks and I were in the midst of a leisurely dog walk when we were startled by a sudden scream. Rushing over, I discovered a young boy had fallen awkwardly, landing in such a way that his bike's handlebar had pierced his thigh. My mother acted with supreme calmness.

She swiftly directed my stepfather to take our dog and go retrieve our truck (we didn't have cell phones back then), as she attended to the young boy's injury using a spare shirt to staunch the bleeding. Throughout the ordeal, she kept the boy's spirits up, remaining remarkably composed. In that situation, I truly saw her as a superhero.

The Most Incredible ParentsWikimedia Commons

14. The Grabber

So, when I was 19 (btw, I'm a girl), I was vacationing with my family in Jerusalem. We were out exploring the city, and it was starting to get dark. As we were strolling, I was walking alongside my dad when this dude tried to cut past me. His "accidental" clumsiness caused him to bump into me, and his hand sort of landed on my thigh.

I turned around to see my mom, a generally quiet and intellectual woman, angrily smack him across the face. At that moment, in my mind at least, my mom seemed to increase in size while the other guy shrank in comparison. She took a step forward, jabbing a finger at his face and let loose an assertive, "Don't. Touch. My. Daughter". 

I swear she looked like she was eight feet tall and the guy shrunk into himself like a scared rabbit. The guy quickly murmured "no, no, no," and hightailed it out of there. Turns out, he was trying to grope me. Kudos to my mom for shutting him down! One less creep to worry about.

The Most Incredible ParentsPexels

15. Bike Burglar

One day, unexpectedly, a robber snuck into our hallway without us noticing (Seriously?). As I was preparing for school and my father was getting ready to bike with me as he typically does, I opened the door to an unexpected sight. A stranger was standing there, holding my bike. We locked eyes, his expression clearly screaming, "Oh no...this wasn't part of the plan". 

My dad then stormed in, shouting mightily at the intruder, and swiftly ushered him out of our hallway. Afterward, we continued with our usual bike ride to school. Growing up, I never felt unsafe in my own home, and this incident happened when I was around nine.

The Most Incredible ParentsFreepik, jcomp

16. Rambo Dad

My father had a strong dislike for doctors and dentists. Originating from a low-income family, they couldn't afford such visits before Medicaid existed. He was a truck driver, and on one occasion when he was fastening a load onto his trailer, the tightening tool broke. At that moment, his life flashed before his eyes.

This led a chain to recoil and hit him in the face, leaving a large cut on his forehead. After cleaning the wound at home, he bravely took some needle and thread and stitched up his own cut in true Rambo style. Additionally, he once extracted his own tooth using a pair of needle-nosed pliers.

The Most Incredible ParentsFlickr, Oregon Department of Transportation

17. Lowriding

My dad and I were exiting a shopping center's parking area late one evening after catching a movie. We were driving our trusty old Dodge Ram Charger that we used to have. At one point, we find ourselves behind a car at a stop sign. 

I quickly realize that the vehicle in front of us belongs to a local student from my high school, who was older than me by a grade. This kid had come into a significant amount of money from somewhere and had used every penny of it to convert his vintage car into a stylish lowrider.

This decked-out vehicle wasn't just for show—it even boasted hydraulics. This kid was your typical "pampered white brat, thinks he's a big shot" character. So, we're there at the stop sign, and this car is our only obstacle. Instead of moving forward, the boy starts messing with his hydraulics, having a good laugh with his mates in the car, knowing they were intentionally delaying us.

After tolerating about ten seconds of their shenanigans, my dad, with a simple "Alright then...", puts our Ram Charger into reverse. For a moment, I thought he planned to make a U-turn and take a different route. But in an unexpected move, he switched the car into drive, floored the accelerator, and hollered, "MOVE YOUR BACKSIDES, SPORTS NUTS!” 

The tires screeched, and the smirking faces of the teenagers quickly transformed into expressions of sheer panic. Needless to say, they hurriedly drove off, and in their haste, ended up skipping the next stop sign to evade my dad's looming threat of a rear-end collision. Moments like these make me miss my old man.

The Most Incredible ParentsFlickr, Oregon Department of Transportation

18. Neo Faces A Hornet

My father and my uncle both have a rich history of military service. My uncle was definitely a commando while my dad engaged in some truly daring activities. Nowadays they're older, less sprightly, and tight-lipped about their past, so it's difficult to associate them with such an adventurous past or recognize any physically adept traits that they may have possessed. Several years ago, our entire family found ourselves sharing a mountainside cabin.

As the night drew in, the cabin was aglow, creating a stark contrast against the inky blackness outside. Someone carelessly left the door ajar and, as you'd expect, this attracted an unwelcome swarm of insects. Among them was a gargantuan hornet, similar in size to an adult man's fist – a scene straight out of an old-school horror flick. This monstrous creature took flight, ending up in the lofty heights of our two-story cabin's ceiling, leaving us all in terrified awe.

My dad, channeling his inner superhero, grabbed a can of insecticide and bravely climbed onto the pool table located under the hornet's position. He took cautious steps towards the creature as it became aware of the threat. Just then, the hornet lunged at my dad. Displaying reflexes reminiscent of Neo from The Matrix, my father executed an incredible side flip off the table, simultaneously spraying the hornet mid-air.

The scene was surreal—my dad, flipping through the air, landed safely on his feet and then rolled, all while maintaining perfect accuracy with the can. The hornet, its day taking a dramatically terrible turn, hit a few walls before it tumbled down, defeated. We all cheered for my father, barely able to lift our jaws off the floor. This memorable spectacle of Matrix-esque agility displayed by my dad was one of a kind and has since stuck with me.

The Most Incredible ParentsFlickr, Mike Mozart

19. Ricer Punk

There was this incident where my father was carefully trying to park our car on a one-way street in a nearby city during the night. He made sure to follow all the rules like slowing down and using the indicators. 

Suddenly, this discourteous driver with a noisy stereo system came from behind, mercilessly honking and shouting expletives at us, demanding us to make way. My dad patiently honked back a few times until the driver, unable to contain his anger, stopped his car, rushed towards us and to his total surprise, he was walking into serious trouble.

My dad, maintaining his composure, told me in a stern yet calm tone to remain inside the car, then stepped out. Flexing his fingers, he shouted, conveying he'd had enough of their rowdy behaviour. My father, who is a towering figure, standing at 6'2, and strongly built, is in reality, a person of peace and professionalism, a sheer gentleman. 

On seeing my father, the impudent driver was petrified, quickly got back into his vehicle, put it in reverse and backed away down the entire street. My father, maintaining his stoic expression, got back into our car, carried on with parking as though nothing unusual took place. I was extremely proud and for a moment even thought my dad was about to get into a serious brawl with that rude young man.

The Most Incredible ParentsFlickr, bark

20. School Is Ruff

Near my old elementary school, there's a family. They allow their large, untrained dog to sneak under the fence, block the way, and make a lot of noise. Once, while hanging out with my dad, the dog grabbed a big part of my hair and started pulling. I began to cry and yell in panic. 

The dog stubbornly refused to let go, practically tearing out chunks of my hair. Seeing this, my dad had to think fast. He quickly turned around (he’d been a few steps ahead of me) and kicked the dog so it would release me. His quick action was a minor thing, but it made me appreciate him even more. Don't get me wrong; I absolutely adore dogs. But I've got no time for folks who don't take time to train their pets properly.

The Most Incredible ParentsPexels

21. Beehive Battle

When I was around 12 years old, we had a problem with bees in our front yard at my folks' place. My dad reacts badly to bee stings, but he still decided to deal with the issue for the sake of my little brother and me. Armed with two cans of bee spray and an adrenaline shot clutched in his teeth, he bravely faced the swarm. 

My brother and I observed from safely inside the house as our dad attacked the hive. Every few minutes, he'd retreat briefly to inject himself with a dose of the adrenaline before heading into the fray again. Eventually, he returned indoors, helped himself to a refreshing drink, and settled down to read the newspaper. Unbelievable.

The Most Incredible ParentsFlickr, Insects Unlocked

22. Save The Sharks

Around five years ago, my dad was diving near the coast of North Carolina. They'd sunk an ancient bridge about a mile off the coast, and flounder were drawn to the heating cement. Dad had already speared a few large ones, and he put them on his stringer. He tends to keep a stringer about six to eight feet long to avoid the fish brushing against his side. "What's the reason?" I hear you ask. The visibility was poor that day—only about two to three feet. Suddenly, my dad feels a powerful pull.

He tugs on his stringer and, to his astonishment, finds a giant sand tiger shark on the other end. The shark had swallowed the fish whole, but the string remained attached. Without a second thought, Pops cut the string and rose to the surface. 

His diving partner, separated during the dive, also surfaced and informed him that the shark was entangled in the bridge. Apparently, the string trailing from the shark's mouth had snagged on the bridge. So, Dad dived back down and severed the string close to the shark's mouth, allowing it to go free.

The Most Incredible ParentsPexels

23. I Scream You Scream

My brother was making his way across the road when he thought it was safe. Suddenly, he found himself encircled by two cyclists, who were irate that he was crossing during peak traffic.

They halted their bikes and let loose a tirade of words. All of a sudden, something whizzed past one biker's ear, causing him to glance down. He spotted an ice cream cone, thrown at him. It was my mom who had hurled her ice cream at the cyclist. He spun around, returned her stare, and then swiftly cycled away with his companion.

The Most Incredible ParentsPexels

24. Potty Peeper

My dad recently shared an incident with me in which he encountered a creepy guy in a public restroom. My dad was in the middle of using the restroom when he noticed this guy sneakily peering over the stall, thinking he wouldn't get busted. When my dad caught him red-handed, the guy quickly retreated into his stall, hoping my dad wouldn't confront him with aggression.

Despite being known for his composed demeanor, my dad didn't instantly charge at him in anger. His response had me shook—instead, he finished up in the restroom, zipped his pants, and exited his stall. The guy's stall received a vigorous kick from my dad that was so powerful, it knocked him unconscious. Once done, my dad promptly left the restroom and alerted security.

The Most Incredible ParentsFlickr, Jeff Barton

25. Old Man Strength and Adrenaline

An elderly woman mistakenly drove her car into my buddy's backyard, ending up hitting a big pile of dirt. The car's horn was blaring nonstop and smoke was billowing out from under the hood. The woman was trapped inside and everyone was having a tough time trying to lift the hood, pull the battery out, and put out the engine fire. 

My father rushed in, managed to yank the hood open, bending it dramatically in the process, and disconnected the battery by tearing off the wires. The whole scenario still seems so surreal to me, and I honestly think it was a combination of my father's seasoned strength and a surge of adrenaline that made it possible.

The Most Incredible ParentsPexels

26. Motorhome Mayhem

One evening, my girlfriend's parents had gone out for a pleasant dinner. However, as they pulled in later, they noticed an unfamiliar car parked in their driveway and the motorhome parked by the side yard, inexplicably lit. Her dad spotted figures moving about within the motorhome. He parked their car and calmly approached the motorhome.

He found three intruders inside, disturbingly rummaging through their belongings. But they'd picked the wrong place for their shenanigans. Her dad entered quietly, pushed the first intruder aside, reached into the closet to pull out his trusty 12-gauge shotgun, and loaded it. He coolly asked, "Is there something you gentlemen need assistance with?".

Panic exploded within the intruders; the first and second guys bolted out of the door, whereas the third one hesitated at the doorway, but was knocked out cold by a powerful blow from the shotgun handle her dad plunged square in his face.

Meanwhile, her mom had already slipped inside to alert the authorities who arrived at the scene promptly. Might I add, her dad, the hero of this incident, was a retired detective and nearly in his 70s when it occurred. He truly is a marvel.

The Most Incredible ParentsPexels

27. Choked

When I was just a small child, my mom was returning home with me and my infant brother and spotted a group of unruly teenagers assaulting another youngster across the street from our house. One of them was even choking the poor kid, suspending him several feet up from the ground. These teens had a reputation for creating chaos in our neighborhood for some time.

The moment my mom witnessed this, she didn't hesitate and stormed over to intervene, prying the attacker off the victim while shouting him down. All the other teens were taken aback, watching in stunned silence as my mom confronted them. 

She sternly warned them that she would report them to the police if she ever caught them in a similar act again. After saving the day, she returned to us, casually picked my brother and I up, and carried on as if nothing happened. I admire my mom so much.

The Most Incredible ParentsFreepik, 8photo

28. In The Jungle

My father once saved a child who was trapped in a 15-foot-tall jungle gym. Imagine this—the youngster was stuck right inside the hole at the peak of the jungle gym! Bravely, my dad sprinted up the slim pipe structures, hopped onto the top, and clinched the stranded youngster. 

Coming back down the slender bars, he finally deposited the child safely onto the grass below. I recall this clearly as I was around 11 years old, and it's the most daring thing I've ever seen my dad do. But that's not even the most amazing part—he also managed everything while wearing boots. And not just any boots, but the polished, slightly pointed kind. Imagine gripping onto slick, narrow metal bars with those on!

The Most Incredible ParentsFlickr, Larry Koester

29. No Pain No Gain

My dad took the Boston subway, "the T," after a pretty wild Bruins game. He spotted a bunch of guys harassing a dad who had brought his son, who has some mental challenges, to the match. Cutting the chase, my dad, who's all of 5'7" and a true pacifist, stepped in and asked them to stop. 

He got jostled, took a couple of punches to the face, lost a few teeth, but he rescued a father and son from being tormented. After a rush trip to Massachusetts General Hospital and subsequent dentist visits (which I can only guess were super painful and costly), he was fine. Also, he made some lifelong friends from the experience.

The Most Incredible ParentsPexels

30. My Dad Is Liam Neeson

A couple of years back, I was returning from a late-night grocery run and got robbed. Right as I was turning into my street, my dad came by in his car. Seeing my distressed state, he asked what happened. When I told him, he requested me to guide him to where it happened. Surprisingly, the thief was still aimlessly walking around near the spot.

Without a second thought, my dad accelerated towards him, hitting around 40 mph (64 km/h) before sliding his car into a stationary position, effectively blocking the road.

Like something out of an action movie, he bolted out of the car and charged at the man, shouting threats such as "If I get my hands on you, you're toast!" and "Drop the phone now, or you're going to regret it!" I watched, stunned, comparing the scene to Liam Neeson in an action thriller. Astoundingly, he managed to frighten the thief into dropping a phone, but in the mayhem, it turned out to be the wrong one. So, at the end of the day, we ended up with the robber's own phone.

The Most Incredible ParentsFlickr, Bridget McKenzie

31. Free Food

When I was around eight years old, my dad and I made a trip to the grocery store together. After stocking up on what we needed, we stashed the bags in our car's trunk and set off to complete another task. But when we returned, to our surprise, all the groceries were gone, stolen. I wondered aloud if we should contact the police. 

However, my dad disagreed. He felt that if someone was desperate enough to steal groceries, they probably needed them more than we did. So we headed back inside to refill our cart, grateful that we had the means to do so again. This incident sparked deep thoughts within me. Looking back, it fills me with tears. I miss my dad; he was my hero.

The Most Incredible ParentsFlickr, Steve Garfield

32. Doggy Paddle Disaster

When I was around seven years old, and my brother was about nine, our family made a trip to the lake for our usual weekend swim. My brother and I found ourselves on a raft that began slowly drifting into the lake's center. Not wanting to be stuck out there, we decided to do the doggy paddle back to the shore.

Everything was going well for me, but soon, I noticed that something wasn't right. My brother was falling behind, and then he began to sink. Most of our family was busy with the barbecue, and my mom spotted us out in the lake. Upon seeing the situation, my dad sprang into action. I had never seen him run that quickly before. He dashed into the water, swam out to us, reached my older brother who was sinking deep, and towed both of us back to the shore on his back. My dad is the absolute best.

The Most Incredible ParentsFlickr, Tony Fischer

33. Heart-Stopping Game

Growing up, I idolized baseball player Mike Piazza. I longed to be a catcher because of him, but my knack for playing shortstop and second base meant the coaches always put me in those positions. Then, one day at practice, they finally gave me a shot at playing catcher. I instantly excelled at it, and everything was going smoothly, especially during our scrimmage game.

In one surprising turn of events, a batter hit a foul ball that managed to bypass my oversized chest protector, striking my left chest muscle instead. That moment is where my memory goes blank. The next thing I knew, I was in the back of a speeding truck, with my dad and coach anxiously hovering over me. The sight of my dad in tears is a memory I will never forget, as it's the only time I've ever seen him cry.

When I regained consciousness, the steady beeping of hospital machines filled my ears and numerous wires were attached to me. It turns out that the ball hit just the right spot on my chest, causing my heart to stop. Luckily, my dad (who was always there for my practices, playing catch with me and taking me to the batting cages) was quick to start CPR when he found me unresponsive and pulseless. His immediate action saved my life.

The Most Incredible ParentsPexels

34. Land Vs. Water

Back when my family and I resided in Florida, my father had a regular routine of jogging alongside our black Labrador retriever, Khan. One day, he returned drenched and holding our injured dog, their bodies both smeared in blood. Khan had given chase to some birds and recklessly plunged into a local pond where a lurking alligator clamped down on him and attempted to pull him under.

My dad, despite being in his sixties and an ex-marine, plunged into the water after them. He bravely forced the alligator's mouth open, thereby saving our beloved dog, and managed to carry him back home for two miles while he was bleeding. An urgent trip to the vet ensued, and Khan, although requiring numerous stitches, managed to pull through and lived until the ripe old age of 15.

My dad earned himself a unique nickname, "the alligator man", during the subsequent five years we continued to live in that community. His brave act only cost him a minor wound to his thumb where one of the alligator's teeth had punctured him. To our knowledge, the alligator eventually became the material for a pair of shoes.

The Most Incredible ParentsFlickr, BFS Man

35. Fast Food Face Off

Once, my dad really frightened a guy who wouldn't take a hint. I was basically goaded into a double date with a man I couldn't stand, someone I'd told outright I disliked. Both of us worked at our local fast food spot. Fresh out of high school and relatively naïve, I felt the need to be pleasant. This guy put me on the spot with his invitation.

On his day off, right in the middle of my shift, he came in all dressed up, looking like he was attending a wedding. He gave me a bouquet amidst a bustling lunch hour, putting me in an embarrassing situation. With everyone chanting "say yes," I felt cornered, agreed, and left the shift in tears. It was noticeably clear during the date, and afterward, that I was not interested.

But he persistently contacted me thereafter, bombarding me with texts, calls, and unsettling, threatening voicemails. He even drove past my house a few times. My parents noticed something was off and when I confided in them, playing them the disturbing voicemails, their worry was justified. My dad, who is quite big and intimidating, particularly when covered in work grime, asked me when I was next working with this guy.

My dad arrived at the restaurant after finishing his own shift. He marched in, gave me a hug, and demanded, "where's that jerk"? The room went cold. Everyone who knew my dad recognized him as a harmless, fun-loving man, and were taken aback by his outburst. I signaled towards the kitchen.

The guy, looking terrified, froze as my father sternly warned him, “leave my daughter alone or I’ll return to jail.”

He ended the dramatic episode by expressing his love for me and reminding me of mom's cooking waiting at home. He offered a friendly wave to the onlookers he recognized, exiting the restaurant as though nothing had happened. The guy vanished on his break and never returned, leaving me in peace ever since.

The Most Incredible ParentsPexels

36. Dinner Time

My dad enjoyed carpentry as a pastime. When I was around eight or nine, he had it in mind to construct a treehouse for me. He had a DIY workshop set up in our garage, complete with a table saw and the works. As a child, I was usually barred from entering, ostensibly due to the presence of hazards like "saws, nails and the like".

In truth, the garage was my dad's sanctuary—a place where he could be by himself and engage in guy activities like fixing cars and building stuff. He was pretty fond of that place. One evening, my mom instructed me to fetch dad from the garage for dinner. So, filled with a rare surge of courage, I approached the garage, pushed the door open and waltz in, announcing, "Dad, mom says it's time for dinner".

Caught up in his wood sawing chore on the table saw, my father glanced at me. Perhaps he was taken by surprise, knowing well that I wasn't to be found there, and he momentarily took his focus off his work. And just then, disaster struck—the running table saw slashed two of his fingers.

Blood started spouting from his glove almost instantly but he hardly flinched. He retrieved his severed fingers from the floor and calmly declared, "tell mom I'll be a bit late for dinner". Taking a moment, he tucked his cut-off fingers into his shirt pocket and demanded, "and get out of my garage". Astonishingly, instead of rushing to a hospital, he resumed sawing the wood until he finished, and then drove himself to the ER.

The Most Incredible ParentsPexels

37. Secret Scores

I was enrolled in Catholic schools throughout my youth. When I was in eighth grade, a substitute teacher—filling in for our regular instructor who was absent due to maternity leave—decided to give me a null grade in our religion class. Until today, I'm not quite sure why. I was by no means a high achiever—rather indolent. My final grades were usually hoisted by exam scores and dampened by my continual disregard for homework. But, getting a zero in a class where all you have to do is show up and complete some menial tasks was quite harsh.

Religion class essentially amounts to performing these mundane tasks. Retrospectively, I'm almost certain that I got a zero because I asked the teacher a question about a bible story I had randomly come up with—something about Lot. The situation was a bit absurd, even by biblical standards. I inquired about it—nothing publicly disruptive, but a personal question to the teacher.

Her response escapes my memory but her distaste for my question was palpable. When the time came for us to receive our report cards, sandwiched amidst all the other grades I was apprehensive about explaining to my parents, was this glaring zero. I was on the verge of tears when I mustered the courage to reveal it to my father in his study room. I'm quite sure he knew what was coming.

I hastily confessed, "Dad... I got a zero in religion." Choking back tears with a trembling voice, I managed to let the words out. To my surprise, he chuckled and replied,

"Just don't tell your mom!" His response, while minimal, carried a lot of weight that day. There are countless instances highlighting his tough persona, but this one particularly stands out. I dearly miss him.

The Most Incredible ParentsFreepik, freepik

38. Up A Creek

Two years back, a bunch of floods hit the Midwest pretty hard, and my hometown was right in the thick of it. My old man's a coal miner, and gotta be at work come rain, shine or flood—or he'd lose his job. His workplace's about 25 miles out—that's roughly 40 km—but with the floods, he had to go 75 miles—or 120 km—in the other direction, crossing state lines.

Being a true-to-life outdoorsman, my dad thought of a solution. He carried his kayak to where the floodwaters began, about four miles—or 6.5 km—from home. Then he'd use that to paddle all the way to work. He stuck with this workaround for a month, even when it meant pulling double shifts for two weeks straight. He ended up bagging the Employee of the Month title, and in the eyes of my friends, he remains unstoppable.

The Most Incredible ParentsPexels

39. Goose Toss

When I was just a toddler, around two or three years old, my parents decided to have a picnic beside a pond. While my mom was busy admiring something, my dad went into the nearby woods to take a bathroom break. Suddenly, a baby goose came waddling up to me. I was chuckling and reached out to touch it. Then, its mom rushes up to me in a fury.

With my dad still in the woods, I'm left defending myself against this wildly protective goose mom. She pecked away so ferociously I could hardly see a thing. But just in time, my dad comes rushing back, grabs the attacking goose by its neck, and hurls it into the lake.

Although I wasn't physically damaged, I was sobbing uncontrollably. My dad scooped me up, carried me to our car, and gently patched up my small cuts with a band-aid. Back then, I was convinced my dad was the real-life Superman. But looking back now, he was quite the thin man. Picture a pair of above-the-knee shorts, oversized glasses, and a classic nerdy hairstyle.

The Most Incredible ParentsPexels

40. River Rescue

Once upon a bright, summer's day at the river, my family was frolicking in the water, much like everyone else. Not far from us was a gaggle of very young children, between four to six years of age, frolicking on a pool float that wasn't built to withstand their chaotic energy. It's worth mentioning that these youngsters didn't speak a word of English, and their parents, who also had limited English skills, were nowhere in sight. Plus, there was no lifeguard on duty.

In their wild play, the kids overturned the float, toppling into the water which was about five feet deep at that spot. My father did not hesitate one bit—and he sprang into action. He pulled most of them to safety when it became apparent they couldn't swim. Standing on the shore, the children frantically informed us (in their broken English) that one of their friends was still under water. Without hesitation, my dad plunged into the murky river and emerged with a small girl, her lips tinged blue from the cold.

My father carried her ashore and began performing infant CPR. The girl promptly expelled a copious amount of red juice and river water—it reminded me of a scene straight out of The Exorcist. It was at this moment that the parents, realizing something was awry, came rushing to the water's edge. 

My dad handed over the little girl to a woman who we took to be her mother. After ensuring the child was safe, he walked over to our boat, pulled a beer from the cooler, and declared, "I will now need someone to find me some peace and quiet, and to leave me alone for the rest of the day".

The Most Incredible ParentsPexels

41. Highway Patrol

My dad was on his way to a lecture, approaching the freeway on what seemed just an ordinary day. Suddenly, a car swerves in front of him, clearly with some commotion happening inside. He sees a man in the driver's seat and what appears to be a woman in the passenger side. It's a bit hard to tell with the dark windows, but he looks like he has his hand either on her throat or pulling her by the hair. My dad can just barely catch the sound of her screams.

Without a second thought, he ends his business call and dials the police. He rapidly provides them with all the information he can—the car's make, number plate, and current location. Despite knowing he'll miss an important appointment, he opts to tail the car, constantly updating the police on their whereabouts and what's happening in the mysterious vehicle.

After around ten minutes on a fast-moving road, he's met with a chilling sight. The passenger door suddenly flings open and the woman's head pops out. It looks like she's attempting to escape from the speeding vehicle. But before she can, the man grabs her by the hair and violently yanks her back inside, causing their vehicle to swerve erratically.

In that moment, my dad opts for a risky move: He accelerates, swerves ahead of their car, and slams on the brakes, causing his car to come to a sliding stop. The aggressive driver barely manages to halt the car to avoid a potential crash. As if planned to perfect timing, the cops arrive barely 15 seconds later. It as revealed later that the woman was pregnant with the man's baby and had decided to leave him due to his abusive behavior. It was certainly a situation that could've gone downhill swiftly without intervention.

The Most Incredible ParentsFlickr, Jolien Van Houtven

42. Upstaged

My father did something super cool once—he interrupted a Clay Aiken concert with a train. Yes, a real, live train. Some years ago, my sister had gifted my mom Clay Aiken concert tickets, as both of our parents were huge fans of American Idol. Unfortunately, my dad couldn't go because he had to work that night—he was a locomotive engineer. So, my mom and grandmother decided to attend the show.

(The railroad tracks were pretty close to the outdoor concert area, separated only by a narrow river.) Before dad drove off to work, he playfully said that he would blow the train whistle for mom. Mom brushed it off as a joke. The surprise came when, during the concert, there were five distinct, long whistle sounds. 

Clay Aiken paused his performance and said, "Wow, I've never been outshone by a train before" and mum tried to disappear behind my petite grandma. At that moment, I couldn't have been more proud of my old man.

The Most Incredible ParentsFlickr, James St. John

43. Cliff Edge

I remember being around six years old when my family took a trip to Hawaii. On one occasion, we decided to take a hike on a path that was pretty steep, having a drop of about 1500 feet straight down to a beach filled with rocks, and there wasn't a guardrail in sight.

Some folks were having their photo taken with the cliffside in the background, when all of a sudden, the person taking the shot unintentionally took a step back and fell off the cliff. Luckily, he managed to grab hold of the vines growing on the cliffside and hung on for dear life.

Seeing the peril he was in, my dad found a long stick and, with a stomach flat on the ground, reached out and extended it to the man. He then hauled the fellow back onto the trail. During his ordeal, the man had lost his camera and backpack, which both ended up landing on the rocky beach below. His hands had gotten pierced with thorns that were about an inch long, but he just brushed them off as if it was no big deal.

He didn’t even realize that one of those thorns had actually pierced through his lip – I guess due to the rush of adrenaline. It wasn’t until years later that I truly understood how serious the situation was. My mother had been quite vexed at my dad because she thought the trail was too dangerous.

But you know what? That day, my dad was like superman in my eyes, saving that man's life. Looking back at that moment, I couldn’t be prouder of my dad.

The Most Incredible ParentsPexels

44. Roadside Butcher

Once, my dad and I were cruising through an area in upstate New York known for its abundant deer population. With all the scary stories I'd heard about collisions with deer, believe me, I was on edge. Then, just as I'd feared, we hit a deer. It flew head first through our windshield, its antlers grazing my face by, what seemed like, a hair's breadth. Stepping out of the car, I couldn't help but feel a rush of panic.

My dad, though, remained unfazed in his cool and collected manner. I asked him if we should alert the local authorities, but rather than replying, he headed to the trunk of our jeep. He retrieved a chainsaw and proceeded to cut the deer's head off to extricate its body, getting soaked with deer blood in the process. 

With a casual air, he shrugged and asked me, "what authorities?" And wouldn't you know it, right at that moment, a sheriff drove by, spotting my dad in his blood-soaked clothes holding a chainsaw. That, indeed, took some explaining.

The Most Incredible ParentsFlickr, Don DeBold

45. Jungle Noises

I'm from Bengal, and in typical Bengali fashion, we set off to spot tigers in North Bengal. (Heads up: we spotted zilch). After a pretty lackluster day of missing two groups of elephants and not seeing even a hint of a wild cat, let alone a tiger, we took a break by a dried-out riverbed. We're all tired, the sun's setting, and peacocks are squawking away, just the usual sights and sounds. Then, out of nowhere, we hear a distinctive rumble.

The monkey's going crazy is a dead giveaway of a uninvited tiger guest. Our guide instructs to dash back to the jeeps. We hustle, but just as we're about to clamber in, I spot my dad smirking, big time. After an hour of holding our breaths but no tigee to show for, we call it a night and head home. 

Come morning, while everyone is still rattled over yesterday's close encounter, my dad pulls me to a side and shares that the roar was a burp. Yep, a BURP. So, I laughingly boast that my dad once belched so loudly that it spooked the jungle into thinking it was a tiger.

The Most Incredible ParentsPexels

46. Dangerous Drills

When I was a kid, our basement was divided into two parts. One half functioned as my dad's DIY workshop, equipped with essentials like a table saw, drill, and workbench. The other half, separated by a wall, was transformed into a playroom for my brother and me, where we spent quite a lot of our time.

One particular memory stands out from when I was around 13. As I was busy building with my Lego blocks, I could hear the sound of my dad's drill from his workshop. Suddenly, he called me over in a very composed voice: "Could you step in here for a second?" I left my Lego construction and opened the door—only to be greeted with a frightful scene. There my dad was, holding his left thumb with his right hand.

There was a horrifying display of blood, staining both his hands. He'd accidentally drilled right through his thumb. As scared as I was, my dad stayed cool as a cucumber, reassuring me he was okay. All he said was, "Let's not tell your mom about this, okay? Can you pass me that paper towel?" 

I did as he asked, watching him soak up the blood, clean his wound and bandage it himself. After that, without missing a beat, he went back to his work. I guess I have to credit my dad for teaching me the importance of resilience. Wild times, really.

The Most Incredible ParentsPexels

47. Tighty Whitey Tackle

Before I dive into the story, let me tell you: my dad's a big guy. Back in the day, he was heavily into bodybuilding—just as a hobby, he never competed in any event. Plus, he was quite brawny even before hitting the gym. This tale takes us back to the late 80s when we lived in sunny California. One night, our dog suddenly started barking in a unique way that meant something was off.

In an instant, my dad stirred from his slumber. Clad in his classic briefs, he rushed outside, followed by my mom, me, and our dog. What was happening in our front yard took us by surprise – two men were about to slash the tires of our cars. Without missing a beat, dad sprinted towards them, grabbed the guy closest to him, and tossed him towards the second man. And then, just like in a movie, he plowed into them, knocking them into a heap on our driveway. All while in his snug briefs.

Incredibly, he managed to keep the duo pinned down single-handedly until the cops arrived within 10 minutes. When questioned, they admitted to walking down the street and slashing car tires randomly. We weren't their first victims – they had already targeted seven or eight houses on our block. To this day, the image of my dad toppling these guys in his undergarments remains etched in my memory!

The Most Incredible ParentsPxhere

48. Quite The Kerfuffle

It turns out, unbeknownst to me, my dad happens to be a Jiu-Jitsu black belt. One evening, he, his university friend Raj, and myself took a trip which, honestly, I no longer remember the destination. Since it was a late-night drive, I gave in to drowsiness in the car's backseat. However, out of nowhere, my dad hits the break, shifts into reverse, and backs up about 50 feet, then turns to Raj and says, "Let's do this, Raj."

Now, Raj, unlike my dad, is a massive, towering man hailing from India who's tough as nails. Even though my dad is just an average guy—a six-footer. Removing their seatbelts, they stride down an unmarked alley. At this point, I twig onto what's happening. So, I follow them out just in time to notice quite a ruckus brewing down the alley, with my dad repetitively yelling out something as he heads toward it.

Within a minute, both my dad and Raj have vanished into the turmoil. But then, half a minute later, everyone except my dad, Raj, and three ladies are sprawled on the ground. They then return to the car, with my dad instructing me, "Hop in the trunk, onion bag! We've gotta ensure these ladies get back to their homes safely". What a stand-up guy he is!

The Most Incredible ParentsPexels

49. Respect The Vets

My father is a Vietnam veteran. When my sister and I were young, he took us to Chicago's Chinese New Year parade in Chinatown. That day was filled with awe and wonder, which was interrupted on our way to the subway station by an encounter with a homeless man, clearly under the influence of something.

This man started accusing my dad of being a fraud, insisting he wasn't really a veteran because he had never experienced combat. My dad, who often wore his service jacket, simply ignored him and guided us away from him. However, when the man tried to intimidate my elder sister by shouting "your daddy's a fake" and other scary threats, we both burst into tears.

Seeing us scared triggered something in my dad. He moved us behind him before swiftly knocking the man down using a swift kick, much to my surprise. It caused the man to fall like a heap of potatoes, following which my dad scooped me up, took my sister's hand, and we hurried down the street. I remember glancing back and seeing the man still on the ground, clutching his head and screaming loudly.

As a kid learning karate, I had no idea my dad possessed such martial skills. Even though I'd later recognize the move he used, to this day, I've never seen him do anything remotely like that again.

The Most Incredible ParentsPexels

50. Held For Ransom

My dad's job is in offshore oil drilling, and he was located just off the Nigerian coast. He was hanging out in an airport, waiting for his connecting flight, when suddenly the flight was canceled. There was a sudden outbreak of internal conflict in the country they were supposed to fly over (I think it was Togo). Unable to contact his office and low on funds, he decided to bribe his way out of the airport to reach the embassy.

But he never made it there. Just a few hours before he should have arrived, his office received a worrying ransom call about my dad. Luckily, his company has insurance for such situations (unfortunately, it's not as rare as you'd think), so they quickly got a negotiator involved. The negotiator talked it through with the man on the other end, and they came to an agreement.

The kidnapper promised to ring back the next day to arrange where and when the exchange would happen. But the next day? Dead silence, and the day after was the same. Meanwhile, the negotiator got in touch with law enforcement to report the issue and determine the best course of action.

Then, on the dawn of the fourth day after being snatched, my dad rolled up in a busted-up jeep. It was a relief to see him.

He looked pretty rough, caked in blood and grime, and was severely sunburned. Embassy guards hustled him in, where he told his story. Officials knew about the kidnapping, but there was no word about any ransom being paid, so they asked what happened. Dad simply said, "I took care of them." It was clear the blood wasn't his.

The embassy called his company, and his company called me, causing me to panic. Dad was swiftly taken to hospital for a check-up before being whisked home. Upon his return, he headed straight to his boss's office and declared he wasn't returning to Nigeria. His boss simply answered, "Okay." His boss seemed a bit afraid of him after that. When dad finally got home, I asked him if he was okay. He just replied with, "Yeah, I'm good. You know, I'm thinking about buying a Jeep, they're pretty tough."

The Most Incredible ParentsPexels

Sources: Reddit,

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