... Phil is a clueless and, at times, tactless lout, and that somehow is supposed to come off as endearing? While I'm sure there are many out there who would disagree, given the popularity of the character, men acting like dolts doesn't come off as charming as much as it does pathetic.
Another trait of the the dumb dad is his inability to care for his own offspring -- as seen in the recent movie Mom's Night Out.
When Mom decides to take one night out for herself, chaos ensues because, you know, Dad is an idiot. If you couldn't stomach the full two-and-a-half minutes of the trailer, at one point, one of the mothers asks her husband what's the worst thing that could happen to their children if he were in charge.
"Is it that I might be their real dad?"
He sputters, "They could get maimed ... I could lose both of them ... It's getting hot in here." Really?
Why It Needs to Stop
In the fictional universe, "Dad" is too often portrayed as a nitwit, overwhelmed by simple concepts and put out when asked to participate like a grown-up. It's insulting to men and also helps foster his overdone counterpart, the shrewish wife.
This is from the Valentine's Day episode!
What person wouldn't be driven to distraction if his or her spouse constantly acted like such an idiot? It's a lame stereotype and completely removed from reality. The overwhelming majority of fathers and husbands aren't incompetent half-wits who don't know how to feed their kids or recognize social cues. Perhaps it's a backlash from the Father Knows Best era, with its overabundance of patriarchal reverence, but the pendulum has swung so far to the other side that the middle ground, when it comes to representing the family man, barely even exists anymore.