Junk Explained: Who Is ‘Bean Dad’, And How Has He Angered The Entirety Of Twitter?
An indie-rock veteran tweeted about his 9-year-old daughter struggling to use a can opener, and things immediately spiralled into a dark place.
John Roderick, the lead singer of 2000s indie band The Long Winters, has become the source of ridicule after he tweeted out a ‘story’ about refusing to open a can of beans for his nine-year-old daughter, as if it were a ‘teachable moment’ about parenting.
Now trending globally as ‘Bean Dad’, Roderick has deleted his Twitter after criticism and concern for his parenting skills spiralled into a much bigger story — one that potentially, of all things, affects who will replace the late Alex Trebek on Jeopardy!.
Roderick posted a 23-tweet thread on January 2, detailing how he didn’t want to stop solving a jigsaw puzzle, and told his hungry daughter that she should cook her own baked beans. The first problem? She didn’t know how to use a can opener.
What followed was an absurd thread where Roderick detailed how his daughter tried on-and-off for six hours to open the can, where he refused to either cook for her or simply show her how to use the can opener.
“I said, ‘This little device is designed to do one thing: open cans,” he tweeted. “‘Study the parts, study the can, figure out what the can-opener inventor was thinking when they tried to solve this problem’.”
“I went back to my jigsaw puzzle. She was next to me grunting and groaning trying to get the thing. I should say that spatial orientation, process visualisation and order of operation are not things she… intuitis. I knew this would be a challenge. But it was a rainy weekend.”
And so on. You can read screenshots of the full thread below. In short, Roderick ignores his frustrated and hungry daughter, and forces her for ‘six hours’ to try to learn how to use a can opener without any assistance.
In case you missed Bean Dad aka john roderick before he deleted his Twitter account, this is what started it all. pic.twitter.com/KCKRP3099c
— ManiacalV will never DM you for money (ColinT) (@ManiacalV) January 3, 2021
The thread didn’t exactly go down as the “allegory of triumph” that Roderick intended, with Twitter users soon calling him out for cruelty towards his daughter.
It became something of a meme amid the genuine criticism and concern for his daughter’s wellbeing.
I feel like it’s super valuable to teach kids that they’re not alone in the world and that there’s no shame in asking other people for help and support so imo everyone should read the Bean Dad story and always do the exact opposite https://t.co/kdSXM0o1dF
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) January 3, 2021
Wanna feel old? This is bean girl now. pic.twitter.com/fdO6PLo52n
— Brendan Maclean (@macleanbrendan) January 4, 2021
bean dad’s daughter after she spent 6 hours trying to open a can pic.twitter.com/hkZiJ6iM2G
— 🌙سارا (@srirachapetosi) January 3, 2021
when bean dad thinks about lunch pic.twitter.com/OCQbAznTAI
— realhottiepants (@reallyhotpants) January 3, 2021
bean dad thread brought up a lot of emotions and realizations lol :/ pic.twitter.com/K3U7NDiIOr
— かのじょ (@stalesenbei) January 3, 2021
Bean dad: “My kid is fine!”
The kid: pic.twitter.com/GSp9jPokgu
— Gene Park (@GenePark) January 3, 2021
child: father I am hungry
bean dad: pic.twitter.com/IvGv0ujz9F
— Jahkara Smith✨ (@SlaylerJ) January 3, 2021
From the book of bean dad pic.twitter.com/f0eJy0ZTf1
— Vinnie Mancuso (@VinnieMancuso1) January 3, 2021
There’s also the point that Roderick himself actually doesn’t know how to use a can opener ‘properly’, which suggests that maybe teaching people things is helpful?
I didn't even read the thread bc I knew it would piss me off but you're saying he doesn't even know how to use a can opener correctly????
— jack knives (@weirdoqueen) January 3, 2021
The story, unfortunately, doesn’t end here. Before long, old tweets of Roderick’s were dredged up, showing an affinity for racist, anti-Semitic, and transphobic language and jokes, prompting people to pile on more criticism. There’s a lot of them, too.
For those who saw their timeline covered in tweets about Bean Dad, it was truly overwhelming to retrace what exactly happened.
— Katie Nolan (@katienolan) January 3, 2021
watching someone learn about bean dad is funny as fuck. visceral hatred in moments pic.twitter.com/3HxwqAeBNZ
— Dakota ☽☾ (@CEOofBitchcraft) January 3, 2021
I'm seeing these uhhhh posts and wow, glad that we now have "Bean Dad" to stand in for when someone who everyone already hates goes on to milkshake duck and reveal themselves to be even worse
— austin walker (@austin_walker) January 3, 2021
While Roderick is arguably best known for being the lead singer of The Long Winters, the band hasn’t released new music since 2006.
The band’s track ‘It’s A Departure’ has been the theme of popular podcast My Brother, My Brother And Me for almost a decade. However, in a statement on Twitter, the podcast announced they would find a new theme.
We appreciate John letting us use one of his songs as the theme for MBMBaM for nearly a decade, but his response to today’s situation is emblematic of a pattern of behavior that is antithetical to the energy we try to bring to the things we do, and so it’s time for us to move on.
— MBMBaM (@MBMBaM) January 3, 2021
Roderick is most active as the host of a spate of podcasts, including Omnibus, a weird-but-true story series co-hosted with Ken Jennings, who is Jeopardy!‘s most successful contestant and the first announced guest host of the TV show after the death of decades-long host Alex Trebek in November.
Jennings has taken to Twitter to defend his co-host’s parenting abilities while joking he was jealous that ‘Bean Dad’ would become a new urban dictionary term, similar to ‘milkshake duck’.
Lmao god apologies for bean dad discourse but get this man far away from jeopardy please pic.twitter.com/NEgrAMdPf5
— ayumi shinozaki 🎍 篠崎あゆみ (@ayusheknows) January 3, 2021
Jennings’ weigh-in comes just a few days after he went through his own Twitter controversy over old Tweets, apologising for making ‘unartful and insensitive’ jokes about neurodiverse and disabled people, amid others.
Jennings’ defense of Roderick has only furthered calls for Jeopardy! to can him as a guest (or later) permanent host.
The fact that some guy’s (likely exaggerated) post about not feeding his daughter beans has potentially such wide-spreading effects is simply too much for people to handle, and a sign we should all log off.
me: bean dad’s antics may stop ken jennings from being the jeopardy host
my sister: mason said his first word and we just put an offer on the house!
— oatmeal influencer (@acechhh) January 3, 2021
I called my mom to tell her about bean dad and she was like your grandfather was a refugee
— broti gupta (@BrotiGupta) January 3, 2021
guy posts annoying thread of something that probably never happened, people make least charitable reading of it, people find bad tweets from 2011, guy erased from various podcasts etc. that cycle used to take like a week, twitter now knocks it out in 18 hours flat
— henno (@jrhennessy) January 3, 2021
As of writing, Roderick has deactivated his Twitter account. As accessed via WayBack Machine, he originally responded to criticism of his original thread by saying it was astonishing he was being accused of child abuse. Find his pre-deactivation response below.