Staredad (sometimes stylized Stare Dad) is an exploitable 4-panel webcomic series in which a young boy rushes to tell his father something. In the fourth panel, the Dad turns to his son with a menacing look. This panel generally serves as the punchline.
The Staredad cartoon originally came from a custom comic by KC Green titled “Dad Wasps Oh No." In it, a young boy rushes into a room where his father is reading to tell him that there are wasps in his room. The dad replies “So.” to which the boy replies “I’m scared.” The next panel, the Dad’s reaction, is what grew to be known as “Staredad.” The rest of the comic finds the Dad grabbing the wasps' nest, putting it in his mouth, scaring the child, then screaming “I have no son.” Only the first four panels became an exploitable meme.
Staredad first appeared on March 6, 2009 in a comment by a user named CAT on the Russian community blog dirty.ru as a response to the “Story From North America” video. However, the first instance of the meme’s exploitable comic format appeared April 2, 2009 on Sal’s Runescape Forum. There, a user named Twist Of Fate started a thread called “Just Add Text” with what would become the standard “Staredad" format. He gave the direction “Basically, you take this picture…And make the best thing possible out of it.”
The Staredad template inspired many variations and grew popular on sites like DeviantArt, Funnyjunk, 4chan, and Reddit. A site that allows users to make their own Stare Dad comics, staredadcomics.com, was launched in 2011. As of July 2016, a variation in which the child informs his dad “the boys are in the back yard!” and he exclaims “My milkshakes!” has received over 1,220,000 shares on quickmeme.com.