Retracing The Many Calamities Of The Parker Family On ‘The Detour’


Like anyone else charged with making sure their developing bundles of bad ideas don’t stick anything into an electrical socket, Nate and Robin Parker (Jason Jones and Natalie Zea) make small mistakes as parents. They also make a few big mistakes and a few “can be federally prosecuted” mistakes. But… honestly, they’re doing the best the can with their kids, Jared and Delilah (Liam Carroll and Ashley Gerasimovich) and this is a judgment-free space in as much as something on the internet can be.

Created by Jason Jones and Full Frontal‘s Samantha Bee, The Detour fixates on the massive missteps, awkward moments, and calamities that just seem to be karmically linked to the Parkers as they try to make their way up and down the coastal United States. And yet, The Detour is also a testament to the idea that love can conquer all from losing your house to being stranded at sea, and with the third season set to debut on January 23 (at 10:30PM on TBS), we thought we’d pay tribute to the indomitable Parkers and all the things that nearly proved them domitable.

When Nate Handled Getting Fired In The Worst (Best?) Way

It wasn’t the spirit of family unity and memory making that inspired Nate to trade the family’s Florida plane tickets for a mega-road trip. He’d been fired and had designs on winning his job back (a plan he didn’t tell the family about) with the help of his massive nuts and a few bags of mystery product that he had jacked from the lab on his way out the door. And if the theft of company property wasn’t a high enough hill to overcome in his effort to not have to feed his family on a panhandler’s salary, Nate also went out in a blaze of glory and fire extinguisher foam.


When Nate Was Unready For The Ultimate Pissing Match

Air travel is the best. You get places faster, you get those little wings, and you don’t get piss thrown in your face. At least, not literally.

The Parker’s road trip was jam-packed with moments that were bound to lead to high therapy bills (accidental strip club visits and surprise reveals about Robin’s DUI-past instantly come to mind), but nothing forms an everlasting scar like instigating a showdown between a parent and ornery (but maybe also well-meaning?) truckers who are driven to thwart a supposed kidnapping by furiously dousing people with piss.

Seriously, so much piss.


When The Parker Family Went To A Racist Restaurant Only To Be Told They’re The Racist Ones

While a family meal at a theme restaurant might typically be expected to serve as a kind of respite, the Parker’s trip to “Conquistadors” only leads to lessons about cultural misappropriation, unwise seafood choices, and the wrong way to apologize for accidental racism.

Hint: one undercuts their attempt at a heartfelt and human moment when they’re interrupted by explosive diarrhea.


When The Kids Got To Hear Nate And Robin’s Cocaine Fueled Origin Story

Being forced to endure your parents kissy-faced origin story is a standard road trip trial, but Nate and Robin’s meet-cute is a bit more graphic than the norm what with the drug-fueled sex and exploding mountain of cocaine.


When Robin’s Past Came Into View

The Parker family has plenty of secrets. And when Robin finds out the big one — that Nate has been fired — she’s understandably upset, especially when he refuses to tell her what the mysterious substance is that he’s desperately trying to get to Florida to help in his effort to win his job back. (NDAs, am-I-right?)

But while Nate is a clear f*ck-up (but maybe also well-meaning?), it seems like the family is stronger for having gone through a literal odyssey of pain, bodily fluid, and burnt-up innocence. So strong that they can navigate the reveal that Robin has a bunch of aliases and that she’s the reason that the feds have a lot of interest in the family, right?


When Nate Learned About The Underground New York Party Scene

Season two starts with the Parkers living in a trailer park until Nate lands a job working for a man (James Cromwell) who seems to have an odd level of faith in him considering the way his last job ended. Still, Nate’s selling junk science and working in a barren office, so it’s not like the whole thing screams stability. It does offer a chance to move to New York City, however, and Nate embraces that challenge, unwilling to yield to Robin’s clear discomfort. He’s also unable to grasp how wild city life can be before he gets a mouthful (and an eyeful) at a super underground party while looking for Robin. Taste the excitement, Nate.


When Nate Would Not Be Stopped Trying To Get To His Kids

Despite almost losing an eye because of a butt projectile, Nate, Robin, and the kids settle into a routine in their new apartment, forging uneasy (and maybe unhealthy) bonds with their new neighbors before Carlos, Robin’s handsome green card husband, demands a piece of smuggled art that Robin has in exchange for a divorce.

It’s a shocker, and the court proceedings dig up a lot more things from Robin’s past. Like the fact that she married a whole lot of men for green card money when she was younger (which explains all those identities), and that her marriage to Carlos might not have just been for the money. Because look at him. Dude f*cks.

The real bombshell comes when we find out that Robin slept with Carlos right before she met Nate, and that he was there when the twins were born.

Where was Nate? Drinking at a costume party, but he tried real hard to get there.


When Robin And Her Sister Threw Down

In Nate’s absence and with Carlos looking to find out if he’s a father, he has a DNA test done, leading to a custody dispute and the kind of family drama that’s typically reserved for an episode of Maury. All of this comes to a head at Delilah’s martial arts tournament when Robin and her scheming sister Vanessa throw down. Sadly, neither woman gets a trophy despite their fierce fight moves.


When Nate And Robin Hit The Road To Save Their Kids

But eventually, after Carlos has the crap beat out of him by Nate, he drops the case (and probably a few teeth), and Nate tells his son that he’ll always be there for him. The family celebrates a successful divorce (between Robin and what’s left of Carlos) and Nate becomes convinced that things are on the upswing for the Parkers. But he is, of course, way wrong.

Nate’s company is a sham and his boss is Robin’s con-man father. Like Carlos, Robin’s father wants the piece of art that she’s been holding onto all these years and he’ll do anything to get it, even kidnaping his grandkids and bringing them to Cuba. Which, of course, kicks off another road trip with its own batch of problems.


When Robin Blew Up A Chance At The Sweet Life

Once in Cuba, Robin’s dad professes a desire to give them all a better life but Robin doesn’t buy it. Soon, the piece of art is revealed to be the missing ass from the famous statue of former Iraq leader and war criminal Sadam Hussein and, despite the promise of millions of dollars, Robin blows up that dream and that tin ass.


Poor and stranded at sea when their boat breaks down, the Parker family gets on a raft with a group of fleeing Cubans en-route to Florida in search of a better life. But Nate, Robin, and the kids are going to have to live life on the run thanks to Robin’s continuing issues with the law and the Postal Service.

In season three, the Parker’s life on the lam will lead them to the middle of Alaska. Which, in case you’re wondering, is not as nice as lounging by the pool in Cuba while fanning your self with illicit monies. But at least they’re together — through good times and bad and bad and more bad.