A father and his young son are having a pleasant conversation, sharing stories and discussing what movie they would both most enjoy watching as they pull into the movie theater's parking lot. However as they get out of the car and start towards the theater a man walks up to the father and starts talking with him, despite the father having never met the stranger before. Eventually the stranger offers the father some cash, which the father accepts. The stranger then tells the son to come with him. Father and son speak briefly and share goodbyes before the son follows the stranger.

The father and son will never speak or interact with each other after this day. However, neither are saddened by this, or even consider the event particularly memorable. Why are these too not upset?

To avoid being too broad nothing unusual or spectacular happened after this to prevent their meeting.


closed as off-topic by Beastly Gerbil, JMP, Aza Aug 12 '16 at 17:32

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Think this may still be a bit broad (as are most situation puzzles) despite your attempts to make it not so $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Aug 11 '16 at 22:24
  • $\begingroup$ There are two kids, and two fathers. Kids are friends, and fathers are strangers to each other $\endgroup$ – sch Aug 12 '16 at 12:17
  • $\begingroup$ I feel like I've heard this particular puzzle before, but I can't for the life of me remember when or where... $\endgroup$ – dcfyj Aug 12 '16 at 12:51
  • $\begingroup$ @dcfyj I made this one up on my own. However, it's not that novel an Idea, so i can't say someone else didn't come up with the same puzzle before also :) $\endgroup$ – dsollen Aug 12 '16 at 13:11
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    $\begingroup$ For the same reasons as the other question, I've put this one on hold as well. If you can find a way to edit it, that would be great! $\endgroup$ – Aza Aug 12 '16 at 17:32

Here is one possibility:

The father and son do not know they are father and son; neither does the stranger, who is the person acting day-to-day as the boy's father, know this. (Perhaps the father is a sperm donor. Perhaps he was briefly the mother's lover. Perhaps the mother adopted the boy and then remarried. Etc.) The father is a childminder and has just finished taking care of the child for a day. He was hired by the mother, which is why the stranger doesn't recognize him.

  • $\begingroup$ I had imagined taxi driver, but otherwise yes exactly :) $\endgroup$ – dsollen Aug 12 '16 at 13:10
  • $\begingroup$ Makes sense. Only part that bugs me is; why would the taxi driver (father) start walking towards the theatre with the son? $\endgroup$ – lionpants Aug 12 '16 at 14:52
  • $\begingroup$ That's where they agreed to drop the child off. (Maybe makes more sense for childminder than for taxi driver.) $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Aug 12 '16 at 15:11


Father could be referring to a priest


Brought back a lost kid, and was thanked by the actual parents with a donation to the church.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Nice idea, but I think that might be considered a memorable event (contrary to the second paragraph of the story). $\endgroup$ – C. Woods Aug 11 '16 at 22:17
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    $\begingroup$ Trouble is, the OP says "A father and his young son", not "A father and a boy". $\endgroup$ – Rosie F Aug 12 '16 at 5:28
  • $\begingroup$ Strictly based on movies I've definitely heard priests refer to people as "my son". Quick google search seems to suggest it's not real common but does happen in certain churches. $\endgroup$ – gtwebb Aug 12 '16 at 5:32

They aren't upset because

The 'son' isn't a human, its' a dog.

Calling hem his 'son' is because

The man owns the mother dog, and therefor it's his young son.

So when the man comes over, it's to

buy the dog.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Hard to reconcile with the conversation father and son are alleged to have been having. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Aug 12 '16 at 9:59
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    $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan Man:Talking. Dog:Barking/licking. $\endgroup$ – user58 Aug 12 '16 at 10:00

Could be

A grandfather and his younger son. The stranger in this puzzle only mentions them being a stranger to the grandfather and doesn't mention their sex so it could be the man's wife/girlfriend and this is the first time they've met which is why they talk. Eventually the son's girl gives the grandfather some money for a ticket then goes off with the son


Same story just with father and son

  • $\begingroup$ So in this scenario why do father and son never meet or speak again? $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Aug 11 '16 at 23:13
  • $\begingroup$ Not sure if i don't see edits in the iPhone app, but the puzzle does specify the sex stating "a man walks up to the father." $\endgroup$ – rgthree Aug 12 '16 at 1:52
  • $\begingroup$ Aah missed that @rgthree, maybe they're gay? $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Aug 12 '16 at 10:42

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