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What to Buy Your Unconventional Father Figure for Father’s Day, Champ

Give your chosen dad an Atari, a butter collection, or a personalized video message from Pauly Shore. But most of all, don't forget to call.
New York, US
June 8, 2021, 4:47pm
Other Fathers Day

It’s almost Father’s Day, which is chill for the folks out there with dads who actually dial back, but potentially triggering and shitty for those of us who don’t have a conventional father figure, or a living dad at all. [Peels back wet blanket.]

But the impending date of Freud Fest (Mark it: June 20) reminds us that you don’t have to have a literal dad to have a father figure. The “dad” in your life could be mom, for all we know. Or perhaps a lovely uncle, an older cousin or sibling, a grandparent, a bartender at your local dive, or a slew of other people who have at one point tousled your hair. You know, someone(s) in your life who has stood in as an unconventional parent, who took you fishing and also showed you how to do salvia; someone who has been there for you, through it all, as family made not through blood, but kinship. (Or it could be by blood. Again, very loose definition here.) 

We all know Father’s Day isn’t a real holiday, and that some company somehow engineered it to sell cards or pint glasses or something, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have real consequences on your feels—especially if you’re in the non-trad camp. It often sucks, but it doesn’t have to. This Father’s Day, tell your non-dad father figure how much they mean to you. If you feel like giving them (or yourself) a gift, that’s cool too—and will probably mean more than you know. 

Yet another mouth to feed

To be fair, you always wanted a sibling. And sometimes, you have to take matters into your own hands. 

Endless heated Shiatsu massages von Herr Jurgen

A robot that massages your neck wherever you go? Sehr komisch, aber delightful! Your father figure can take this to the office, be it at home or somewhere else; on the couch during movie night, and (one day, hopefully soon) in the movie theater. 


Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager with Heat

A personalized video message from Pauly Shore

“Heyyyyy buddyyyyy! Oh, wait. I’m not your dad.” 

Summer is chain weather

All weather is chain weather, but summer especially. Swing low, solid 925 sterling silver curb chain bracelet. It’s substantial in weight, but not so thick as to be a statement piece. The perfect little something to sparkle on their wrist, no matter what their style is. 

Tom Wood

Curb Bracelet

Quit your carping 

Now these could take the socks with sandals aesthetic to exciting new waters. They’re perfect for anyone who has ever caught a fish, or seen one in a tank, and thought, I wonder what it’s like to be you. Gift them to your father figure, then invite them out to one of those pedicures where the fish eat your feet.


Fish Flip Flops

Butter them up

As seen in the FROW of the VICE Other Mother’s Day gift guide, this butter medley is like having a chorus of international dancers for daddy’s taste buds. You’ll get Danish Lurpak (is that a Neopet?) butter, British goat butter, French Échiré, and cultured Vermont butter that tastes like a spreadable cloud. Overnight shipping available.


Butters of the World Assortment

A present for them (and for you)

This 1970s console has a special place in Gen X’s heart. But even if your father figure is, I don’t know, 15 years old (who are you?) the Atari will slam. It’s a bonding experience, and it will look really cool by their media center/TV spot. Retro, but not gimmicky. 


Atari Flashback 8 Gold Console HDMI 120 Games

They like an earthy DIY project

Did your dad figure ever go to the Monterey Jazz Festival? Do they smoke hemp-derived, CBD joints, or identity with toadstools and mycelium more than people? (Very goblincore.) 

Howard Berk and Todd Pittard

Oyster Mushroom Log Kit

Back to the Roots

Organic Mushroom Growing Kit

Your daddy is daddi

Have you ever used a really nice penis ring? It’s like slipping into a cashmere sweater made from the wool of goats who were all born on your birthday, with one goal in mind: Keep that penis hard, but comfortable. This particular luxury vibrator is made of durable but velvety silicone and has two rings, with “[one] applied at the base of the shaft and behind the balls to prolong stamina, and create more stimulation.” Le cherry on top? The little circular component, which is a textured clitoral vibrator. Get it now while it’s $50 off. 

Vader at the beach

Normcore won. Socks and sandals? An inter-seasonal, corner-store-run classic. Wide brim hats that tie around your chin have been back in fashion for a minute, and we’re predicting the resurgence of flopping floppers with a back neck flap. They can take you from the garden to the beach; a date to a day of wandering incognito. 

Home Prefer

Wide Brim Fishing Hat with Neck Flap and UPF 50+ Sun Protection

A posh Korean steakhouse feast

Order them an entire feast from the lauded grill of chef David Shim, who has prepared a Goldbelly-exclusive steakhouse experience where you get to “grill, slice, and enjoy all four cuts [of Korean-American BBQ] with a spread of fresh pickled vegetables, lettuce, and savory ssamjang sauce.” There’s even a Short Rib Galbi in the mix, a.k.a. the “desert steak.” 

Cote Korean Steakhouse

Father's Day Feast for 4-6

The clout of being a knife owner

This is the kind of knife that will look just as good on the trail as it will on the bookshelf as a jauntily placed objet d’art. Also, under what other circumstances will you be able to say to someone, “Why, yes. That is torched bone.” 

Titan International

Exclusive Walnut & Torched Bone Damascus Pocket Knife

Now go do your thing, sport. All the parent holidays are almost over this year. 

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. VICE may receive a small commission if you buy through the links on our site.