adulting is hard

People Are Relating Hard To The Viral “Where’s My Dad?” Meme

Use it every time something makes you miss having your dad around.

A new meme on TikTok, "Where's My Dad?" is bringing up lots of funny memories about how fathers are ...
@BellaRosee, @laurendipietrooo, @Tik Toker / TikTok

You know those times in your life when adulthood just hits you head on? You got a flat tire, a tax bill you don’t understand, or an opportunity to sign up for health insurance. In those moments, how many of us wish we were kids again with a parent to help us through it with the perfect advice, a quick tip, or just their love and support?

And whether your dad is a phone call away, no longer in your life, absent, or no longer with us, it can be hard to feel that distance of time and space. Sometimes, you just miss having your dad — or your father figure — around.

A new meme is taking off on TikTok that perfectly explains this phenomenon where grown adults wish they had their dad around to solve some of the more annoying and complicated tasks that are required in adulthood — and people are using it in lots of ways, from touching and nostalgic to funny and real.

What is the “Where’s My Dad?” meme on TikTok?

TikTok users are taking footage of a young actor singing what appears to be a song from a Finding Nemo musical. The footage is from the Brick Children's Comm Theatre in New Jersey.

“Where's my dad?” the actor sings, while holding a large Finding Nemo puppet and moving its mouth. "I'm all alone. I'm too small to be here on my own. I swam away because I got mad. But now I really need him. Where's my dad?”

While the clip is cute and the young actor has a great voice, the clip is going viral in perfect TikTok fashion for a deeper reason. There are now thousands of videos using the audio talking about things adults have to do that they wish their dads were there for, or were doing it for them instead.

One video posted the hilarious TikTok sound with the caption: “Me when I have to get an oil change.”

Another says, “Me when it's time to do my tax return.”

Another viral version of the meme said, “Me when I have to sign up for health insurance because I turned 26.”

Another meme captioned the “Where’s My Dad?” Finding Nemo clip with a scenario that so many of us have experienced, “When the mechanic tells me my car needs more than an oil change.”

One user commented on the TikTok and said, “I work at a garage and confirm so many people do this haha.”

Dog parents are also getting in on this trend, taking the perspective of their adorable furry friends. In one video, an adorable Yellow Lab stands “trapped” while his owner shovels.

As the now-infamous “Where’s My Dad” song plays, the dog waits patiently to be shoveled out a path to walk through.

“When my dog got stuck because my dad didn’t finish shoveling her path,” the text overlay reads.

While this TikTok trend is all in good fun, there is actually some science to back this up. An overwhelming amount of millennials still rely on their parents for help.

Sixty-seven percent of millennials and Gen Z who moved home in 2020 are still living with their parents, according to a 2022 report released by LendingTree.

In a recent study, found that 45% of American parents provide financial support for at least one grown offspring with some exceeding $1,400 per month. This financial support covers items like groceries, cellphones and rent/mortgage.

American parents are putting off their own retirement plans to support their children, due to rising inflation and interest rates. In fact, parents 10 years or less from retirement contribute the most monthly to their children — about $2,100 on average – while putting just $643 into their own retirement accounts.

While there are surely some of those from the older generation who would roll their eyes at these stats and tell the younger generations to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, what does it say that there is a huge part of preceding generations who struggle with health insurance forms, going to the mechanic, and other adult-like chores? It’s almost like, this should be taught to them or something!

In the meantime, Millennials and Gen Z will continue to cope how they do: make memes and laugh through the pain.