First appearing in Viz in the 1990s, Victorian Dad lives in the contemporary age but dresses and acts like a parody of a stereotypical gentleman of the Victorian era. He has a large top hat, always wears a suit, and sports a walrus moustache and monocle. According to Viz editor Chris Donald, Victorian Dad is similar to his creator Graham Dury because Dury himself is actually a puritan.
Victorian Dad (his first name is given by his wife as Lupin in one episode, and the family name is revealed to be Pooter in another) is married with a young son and daughter, and an older married daughter. The rest of his family do not share his conservative, prudish beliefs, which usually results in misery for them. For example, Victorian Dad once reacted with fury and horror when he realised his daughter was left handed, based on the old belief that left-handed people were somehow evil. On another occasion, he threw his grown-up daughter, who was married three years previously, out of the house (calling her a "hussy") when she announced that she was pregnant.
An early episode sees him on Christmas day presenting his son with a stick and hoop as a Christmas gift...he tells his children that they will be attending church service for "three hours of hypocrisy in sub zero temperatures" but only after he has administered their daily beating.
He is a firm believer in corporal punishment, often brutally beating his son and daughter whilst shouting "I will have respect from you, I WILL!"
At a day at the beach Victorian Dad spanked his children for daring to have fun, and declared that one should change into one's swimming costume in the dark, as it was disgusting for someone to look at their own naked bodies, let alone other peoples'.
The main premise of the strip is that Victorian Dad is a complete hypocrite. He once took his family to Amsterdam, hoping to take in some fine scenery and continental culture. When he discovers the liberal attitude towards prostitution and cannabis in the city, he drags his wife and children to the hotel and locks them all in, to protect them from the unclean depravity outside. Claiming to be in need of fresh air after the shock of the day's revelations, Victorian Dad later goes for a "walk". He swiftly ends up at a brothel where he has sex with a prostitute whilst begging forgiveness from God for his lapse into the "sins of the flesh". Another strip had Victorian Dad receiving mail from a missionary friend of his in an unnamed nation in Oceania. Victorian Dad is publicly appalled at the photographs of beautiful Polynesian women walking around topless. He ostensibly takes the photographs to be destroyed, but it is clear he is ogling them. He later collapses and has to have an ambulance called when he knocks himself unconscious.
Victorian Dad's name, Lupin Pooter, is likely a reference to the character of the same name in the satirical Victorian novel Diary of a Nobody, although ironically, that character was the semi-wayward son of the more upright narrator.