Most Insightful Advice from Movie Dads

dad advice from movie dads

When your Dad can't find the worldly advice you're looking for, you can always turn to a movie Dad to offer insightful advice. Usually the insight is into the character of that Dad- a goofy dad gives silly advice, like in Big Daddy, an imaginative dad gives fantastical advice, like in Big Fish, or a worried dad gives overly protective advice like in Finding Nemo. Sometimes movie dads offers true insight on life and his words are worth living by. Here's 26 movies, with great Dad advice by type of Dad Characters. 

Related: 50 Shades of Dad: Family Movies for Your Type of Dad

Cartoon Dads: 

Lion King (1994)


Mufasa: Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance and respect all the creatures, from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope. 
Young Simba: But, Dad, don't we eat the antelope? 
Mufasa: Yes, Simba, but let me explain. When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelope eat the grass. And so we are all connected in the great Circle of Life. 


Zootopia (2016)


Bonnie Hopps: Of course, it is okay to have dreams.
Stu Hopps: Just as long as you don't believe too much in them.


Hercules (1997


Zeus: A true hero isn't measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart.


Finding Nemo (2003)


Marlin: Now, what's the one thing we have to remember about the ocean?
Nemo: It's not safe.
Marlin: That's my boy.


Goofy Dads: 

Big Daddy (1994


Sonny: … and after your bath, you need to try and study hard because if you want to be in the Scuba Squad, you have to be smart.
Julian: I can be in the Scuba Squad?
Sonny: Well sure! All you have to do is work hard and don't tell a soul about the Scuba Squad because then everybody's gonna wanna join! Oh, and one more thing! Be nice to the Delivery Guy, will ya? It's not his fault he can't read.

The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

royal's fatherly advice to children, The Royal Tenenbaums

Royal: That's true. It's still frowned upon. But then, what isn't these days, right?


Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

Mrs. Doubtfire: [after being introduced to Natalie] I admire that honesty, Natalie, that's a noble quality. Never lose that, because it often disappears with age, or entering politics.


Armed Dads:


Thor (2013)

Odin: A wise king never seeks out war. But he must always be ready for it.

Kick Ass (2010)

Damon Macready: [walking up to her as she pulls the bullet out of her bullet-proof vest hidden underneath her jacket] How was that? Not so bad. Kinda fun, huh? Now you know how it feels. You won't be scared when some junkie asshole pulls a glock.

RelatedCelebrities who became Dads in 2016

The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005-2012) 


Alfred Pennyworth: ... who knows, Master Wayne? You start pretending to have fun, you might even have a little by accident. 
Bruce Wayne: I don't care about my name. 
Alfred Pennyworth: It's not just your name, sir! It's your father's name! And it's all that's left of him. Don't destroy it. 
Alfred Pennyworth: Why do we fall sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up. 
Alfred Pennyworth: I wouldn't presume to tell you what to do with your past, sir. Just know that there are those of us who care about what you do with your future.
Alfred Pennyworth:  One day, I saw a child playing with a ruby the size of a tangerine. The bandit had been throwing them away. 
Bruce Wayne: So why steal them? 
Alfred Pennyworth: Well, because he thought it was good sport. Because some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn. 
Alfred: There is a prison in a more ancient part of the world, a pit where men are thrown to suffer and die. But sometimes a man rises from the darkness. Sometimes the pit sends something back. 


Passionate Dads:


Pursuit of happiness (2006)

Christopher GardnerDon’t ever let somebody tell you… You can’t do something. Not even me. All right?… You got a dream… You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period. 

My life (1993) 

my life film, dad advice from movie dads

Bob Jones: There are basically two schools of shaving, OK: Down, like that, or up, like that. Never, I repeat never, sideways, like that.

Related: How to Be a Cool (Hipster) Dad 

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Atticus Finch: You just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don’t you let ‘em get your goat. Try fighting with your head for a change.

The Astronaut Farmer (2006)

Charles Farmer: So, what do you wanna be when you get out of here?
Child #2: I don't know.
Charles Farmer: What do you mean, you don't know?
Child #2: I don't know.
Charles Farmer: Well, let me tell you something, you better know what you wanna do before somebody knows it for you. Trust me.

Boss Gangster Dads:

John Q (2002) 

advice from movie dads, john q 

John Q: ...your word is your bond, son, that’s all you have. And money, you make money if you get a chance. Even if you gotta sell out every once in a while, you make as much money as you can. Don’t be stupid like your father.

The Godfather (1972) 

Don VitoA man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man. –Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando), 


Fantastical Dads:


Big fish (2003)

Senior Ed Bloom: They say when you meet the love of your life, time stops, and that's true. What they don't tell you is that when it starts again, it moves extra fast to catch up.
Senior Ed Bloom: There's a time when a man needs to fight, and a time when he needs to accept that his destiny is lost... the ship has sailed and only a fool would continue. Truth is... I've always been a fool.
Senior Ed Bloom: Sometimes, the only way to catch an uncatchable woman is to offer her a wedding ring.

Inception (2010) 

Stephen Miles: It'll take more than the occasional stuffed animal to convince those children they still have a father.

Star wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Yoda: Yes, run! Yes, a Jedi's strength flows from the Force. But beware of the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will, as it did Obi-Wan's apprentice.
Luke: Vader... Is the dark side stronger?
Yoda: No, no, no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.
Luke: But how am I to know the good side from the bad?
Yoda: You will know... when you are calm, at peace, passive. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, NEVER for attack.

Foreign Dads:


Bicycle thief (1948)

Antonio Ricci: "Why should I kill myself worrying when I'll end up just as dead?"
Antonio Ricci: "There's a cure for everything except death." 

Dads with Daughters  


Juno (2007)

advice from movie dads, juno

Mac MacGuffLook, in my opinion, the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you, the right person is still going to think the sun shines out your ass. That’s the kind of person that’s worth sticking with. 

10 things I hate about you (1993) 


Walter Stratford: You're 18, you don't know what you want. And you won't know what you want 'til you're 45, and even if you get it, you'll be too old to use it.


Walter Stratford: You know fathers don't like to admit it when their daughters are capable of running their own lives. It means we've become spectators. 

Little Miss Sunshine (2006) 

Grandpa: A real loser is somebody that’s so afraid of not winning, they don’t even try

Father of the Bride (1991)

George: You know, Bryan, Annie's a very passionate person. And passionate people tend to overreact at time. Annie comes from a long line of major overreactors. Me. I can definitely lose it. My mother. A nut. My grandfather. Stories about him were legendary. The good news, however, is that this overreacting... tends to get proportionately less by generation. So, your kids could be normal.

The Descendants (2001)

Matt KingI don’t want my daughters growing up entitled and spoiled. And I agree with my father – you give your children enough money to do something but not enough to do nothing. 

Is you dad's advice better than any advice from the movie dads? Drop his words of wisdom in the comments below! 

Related: A Super Sweet Father's Day Playlist for Dad;  50 Bad Dad Jokes That'll Make You Cringe

Save this article to Pinterest by pinning your favorite photo. Follow us on Instagram  to engraving inspiration and make sure to turn on your Facebook notifications so you don't miss out on behind the scenes news and offers!   

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Tag your Instagram photos with #treehutco

Yes! Come and Join Tree Hut