Inside Adam Sandler's Relationship With His Daughters

Adam Sandler has gone from playing an overgrown kid in "Billy Madison" to becoming one of the "Grown Ups" as a father of two. He hasn't completely grown out of his juvenile sense of humor, but having daughters has changed his life in some pretty big ways.

These days, Adam has to be prepared for his girls to crash his at-home interviews. His youngest daughter, Sunny Madeline Sandler, joined him on "Conan" in 2020 and proved that she's just as comfortable in front of the camera as her dad. She spoke about life in the Sandler household during quarantine, saying that Adam was doing a lot of yelling. "He even screamed at a random lady," she told Conan O'Brien. Sunny then turned to her father and helpfully reminded him, "She called you a jerk." This sounds remarkably like a scene from one of Adam's movies — speaking of which, Adam casts his family members in many of his films. His wife of over two decades, Jackie Sandler, has even appeared in a number of his movies alongside Sunny and the couple's oldest daughter, Sadie Madison Sandler. A few examples are "Grown Ups," "Blended," and "Pixels."

Bringing his wife and kids with him to work is one way Adam ensures that he gets plenty of family time, and by prioritizing his girls, he's developed strong relationships with them.

Adam Sandler didn't feel that fatherly bond right away

Adam Sandler and Jackie Sandler welcomed their first child on May 6, 2006. Speaking to Access, Adam confessed that he didn't immediately feel like a big daddy upon Sadie Sandler's arrival. "When my kid was born, I was so nervous, I didn't know what I felt," he said. However, it only took a few minutes for his paternal instincts to kick in. "I had a chemical reaction in my body, where I loved the kid so much," he recalled.

Adam confessed that he wasn't big on helping Jackie change nappies, but the Sandman became the Rashman whenever diapers started causing discomfort. "If she asks me to go get that ointment, I run out and get it, but that's about it man," he said.

Sandler couldn't talk about becoming a first-time parent without making a few boob jokes, proving that he was still the crude comedian that his fans know and love. However, we aren't 100 percent certain he was joking about Sadie having to share her dinner. "Those used to be pops. Not anymore," he said. "Well, one of them, I tried it out. It was all right." He also told Blackfilm, "I gotta grow the boobs," after explaining that his anatomy made it difficult for him to cradle Sadie. But for Adam, fatherhood was about more than having something new to joke about; he said he was happy that his life had become about someone other than himself.

Sadie Sandler wanted to be just like her dad

During a 2007 appearance on "The Tonight Show," Adam Sandler revealed that Sadie Sandler, who was a year old at the time, had recently become a big daddy's girl. "The kid now all of the sudden worships me. It was my wife the whole time and then the last month or two, it's all Sandler. It's like anything I do, the kid wants to do," he said, as recapped by People. This included eating broccoli and wearing a helmet during a bike ride. While Sadie made it remarkably easy for her father to lead by example and develop healthy habits, Adam didn't want her reliance on mimicry to last forever. "I'm just hoping when she's 13, she's okay with using a tampon," he quipped.

At age 2, Sadie was still trying to be just like her dad; she made her movie debut in Adam's 2008 comedy "You Don't Mess with the Zohan." Over the course of the next five years, she appeared in seven more of her father's films. However, it took her a while to understand the concept of a movie star. In a 2014 interview with Wonderwall, Adam recounted a conversation he had with Sadie about why strangers were always approaching him. "I said, 'Oh, they know daddy from movies,'" he recalled. "She says, 'I'm in your movies. Why they not talk to me?' I said, 'They'll get to you.'"

Sadie Sandler broke some big news to her dad

Adam Sandler learned that he was about to become a father of two from Sadie Sandler. During a 2008 appearance on "Live with Regis and Kelly," Adam recalled how Sadie greeted him with a gift-wrapped pregnancy test when he returned home one evening. "She did it so cute," he said, per People. Adam had no clue what the package contained and revealed that his response was, "Woowww."

As Jackie Sandler's pregnancy progressed, Adam had to explain to Sadie what being a big sister would entail. On "The Tonight Show," he revealed that she had grown concerned about her mom's terrible morning sickness. He informed Sadie that her sister was to blame for Mommy's woes and said something else that perhaps made Sadie less excited about gaining a new family member. "I say 'Mommy's not bad sick,'" he recalled, per OK!. "'She just has something growing in her that's eventually gonna shoot out her vagina and take half your toys.'"

Sunny Sandler was born on November 2, 2008, cementing Adam's girl-dad status. He credits his kids for inspiring him to tone down the raunch level in some of his projects, including the 2009 Judd Apatow-helmed dramedy "Funny People." He told Parade, "Having two daughters eliminated any vagina jokes we thought about doing." He still had to deliver some pretty vulgar lines, however. "I just felt like the biggest, dirtiest human being," he said of his fatherly guilt after shooting those scenes.

Adam Sandler worries about his daughters

As a comedian, Adam Sandler comes off as a guy with a Peter Pan complex; he seems laid back and unconcerned about the problems of the adult world. His main focus is getting his fans to forget about their own woes and laugh along with him. But as a parent, Sandler isn't so at ease. "I'm a worrier. I've learned in life now that when your kid is upset you're rocked until they're not upset anymore," he told HuffPost in 2014. "Even when they're not upset, you're rocked. You're always nervous because you want your kid to be happy."

There's a fine line between keeping children content and going too far, so Sandler found himself also fretting over the possibility that his kids would grow up to be entitled nepo babies who don't appreciate their privileged upbringing. "The idea of my kids being spoiled, I go to sleep thinking about it and I wake up thinking about [it]. I'm trying to do the right thing," he told Collider. However, we're pretty certain he was joking when he said that one way he was accomplishing this was by forbidding his daughters from entering entire wings of the Sandler estate. 

Something else that began weighing heavily on his mind was the idea of his girls pulling away from him as they got older. "My kids are very young but I feel it coming. I feel it coming," he told The Mercury in 2012.

Adam Sandler made bedtime stories fun for his kids

While promoting his family-friendly 2008 movie "Bedtime Stories," Adam Sandler revealed that one of Sadie Sandler's favorite books for him to read to her at bedtime was "The Little Engine That Could." However, Adam preferred to make up his own stories about topics of her choosing. "She right now is obsessed with food so she will say ... waffles! So I say there was a giant waffle ... and then she says pancakes! ... and I say and the waffle got into a fight with a big pancake," Adam told MovieWeb. But the storyteller would sometimes get distracted by his stomach while thinking about the snacks' adventures; he admitted to cutting his fatty fables short if Sadie mentioned a sweet he suddenly wanted to eat.

Getting hungry before bedtime wasn't Adam's only issue when trying to get his daughters to drift off to dreamland. "The bedtime stories are supposed to put the kid to sleep. My kid gets riled up. My wife has to come in and go, 'Alright, get out of the room,'" he told the Boston Herald. But it was likely difficult for the girls to calm down when Adam turned his stories into big bedtime productions by dressing up like the characters in their books. "This is a little weird because my daughters love Disney princesses," he told the Irish Examiner. "But you would be surprised at how good I look in a ball gown."

Adam Sandler dislikes leaving his girls at home

We can't help but wonder if Adam Sandler casts his daughters in his movies so often because it gives him an excuse to bring them to work with him. According to The New York Times, Adam tries to make sure that he films his projects in the summertime so that Sadie and Sunny Sandler can join him wherever he's shooting. The Sandler family headed to South Africa for the 2014 movie "Blended" and got the opportunity to go on a safari. "My kids said the giraffes in Africa were more fun than the ones I bought them for the backyard," he joked on "The Late Show."

When Adam filmed "Jack and Jill," Sadie got to befriend one of the most famous celebutots at the time, Suri Cruise. This was because Cruise's mother, Katie Holmes, played the wife of Adam's character. "It was so great because it was such a family atmosphere," Holmes told Wonderwall of their daughters' on-set playdates.

Adam's 2011 comedy "Just Go with It" was shot in Hawaii, and he was photographed playing with his daughters on the beach during his downtime. Sadie also got to hang out with Jennifer Aniston. However, her father had to play peacekeeper because she wasn't always so friendly to the "Friends" star. "When she's nice to Aniston, I'm in a good mood," Adam told ET (via HuffPost). "When she's nuts I'm like, 'Sadie, come here for a minute. That's Aniston! It's fine.'"

His daughters were embarrassed by the way he dresses

Adam Sandler's longtime love affair with athleisure has earned his style of dress its own name: Sandlercore. Adam's outfits often consist of oversized basketball shorts paired with tube socks and T-shirts or hoodies. He clearly values comfort over style, but according to Mr. Porter, his aesthetic actually became trendy in 2021 when the TikTok crowd decided that it was worthy of emulating. If only his daughters could have known that their dad would become a fashion icon back when their ages were still in the single digits.

In 2012, Adam told People (via NDTV) that Sadie Sandler and Sunny Sandler weren't big fans of his long athletic shorts. His daughters especially did not want him to rock the look when he picked them up at school. "They ask, 'Could you just one time wear pants?' And every time I get out of the car, I look down and I go, 'I got those shorts on! Who's gonna yell at me?'" he said.

Sadie and Sunny's displeasure with their dad's taste in clothes may be why he allowed them to start choosing his apparel. When Adam told Dave Letterman this on "The Late Show," the host quipped, "Well, that answers a lot!" Adam explained that the girls would take turns picking out an item of clothing until he was fully dressed. "I let them have fun. I don't care how good I look or how bad I look," he said, per OK!.

He impressed his daughters with his Disney Channel connections

Adam Sandler is so beloved that his movies have grossed over $3 billion at the box office worldwide, but what his daughters used to be impressed by was the caliber of his co-stars, not his popularity. For instance, Sadie Sandler and Sunny Sandler were delighted when their dad told them that "Wizards of Waverly Place" star Selena Gomez would be voicing one of the characters in his 2012 animated movie "Hotel Transylvania." Adam even told The Mercury that the casting brought his family closer together. "You say Selena's name to my kids and my kids' friends and they just stop in their tracks and listen to everything you have to say. They're, like, 'What was she wearing? What's she like?' She's an icon to the children," he said. Sandler told the Belfast Telegraph that his daughters didn't just get to hear him gossip to them about his co-star. "Selena did little videos and said hello to my kids and it was nice," he recalled.

Adam scored some more dad points when he filmed "Blended" with another Disney Channel icon, "Shake It Up" actor Bella Thorne. "I used Bella to get closer with my kids. It felt right. My kids love Bella!” he said during a 2014 media event, per Us Weekly. Thorne told that she learned from Adam that he even wrote her "Blended" role with her in mind because his daughters were such big fans of her show.

His daughters find another comedian funnier

When Adam Sandler's daughters became old enough to watch some of his films that weren't made with kids in mind, he learned a hard truth. On "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," Adam explained that Sadie Sandler and Sunny Sandler didn't just want to watch his movies because they were interested in his work but because they wanted to know the stories behind the famous lines that they were always hearing his fans repeat back to him. But making it through their Sandman history lessons was a struggle. "Every time, I'd say about 20 minutes in ... I see them tuning out," said Adam. "They're nervous to say it, but they're like, 'Can we watch something else?'"

Adam also discovered that his daughters found Jim Carrey's work funnier than his. However, they did try to spare their dad's feelings while watching the other comedian's movies. "I step in the room and they see the pain I'm feeling, and they're like, 'You know, it's good, but it's derivative of Buster Keaton, I think,'" he joked on "The Late Show."

Adam told Ellen DeGeneres that his daughters also became massive fans of "Modern Family" during quarantine. "They would scream at me, 'Why aren't you more like him? He's funny,' and tell me how great everybody on the show is," Adam recalled. He did, at least, agree with the girls that the show was awesome, and he enjoyed watching it with them.

He let his daughters write one of his speeches

Adam Sandler's daughters were just tiny tots when they stole the show during his 2011 Hollywood Walk of Fame induction ceremony. They both joined their dad on the stage and demanded his attention by bouncing around, tugging on his tie, and taking turns grabbing the microphone to tell the crowd, "I love my daddy."

When Adam won the performer tribute award at the Gotham Awards 11 years later, Sadie Sandler and Sunny Sandler didn't join him onstage again, but Adam told the crowd that they insisted on writing his acceptance speech upon learning that he didn't have one prepared. According to Adam, they requested that he read their words in "the goofy Southern accent that you do all your dumb speeches in," and he obliged. "It means a lot to him [to win this sleek rectangular award] seeing how most of the awards on his trophy shelf are shaped like popcorn buckets, blimps, or fake mini Oscars that say 'Father of the Year,' which he sadly purchased himself while wandering in a self-pitying fog through the headshops of Times Square," the speech read.

Adam's daughters also complained about their dad leaving them at home because he didn't want them fangirling over Timothée Chalamet, and they joked about what they would do while he was gone. One of their plans was to enjoy watching some Ben Stiller comedies without having to worry about their upset father reacting to their laughter by raging in "the screaming room" — aka the shower.

Adam Sandler sparked his daughters' interest in singing

While Adam Sandler might be best known for his acting, he's also written and performed a number of songs, the most famous of which include "The Chanukah Song" and "I Wanna Grow Old With You" from the movie "The Wedding Singer." In a 2019 interview with Us Weekly, Adam revealed that his daughters had also become interested in singing after watching him perform some of his tunes live. So, in true Sandler fashion, the comedian started making his shows family affairs. "Both my daughters come on stage and sing sometimes because they're on the road with me all the time," he revealed. When Sunny Sandler was just 10 years old, she performed "A Million Dreams," a song from the 2017 movie musical "The Greatest Showman," at one of her dad's gigs in New Jersey. 

In 2020, Adam told Polygon that one of his daughters was also following in his footsteps by learning to play guitar. "My kid's getting good! My little daughter, she's been practicing and finally starting to cook a little bit," the proud papa bragged. He didn't reveal whether it was Sunny or Sadie Sandler who had picked up the instrument, but perhaps one day the unidentified daughter will be skilled enough to sing and play during his shows. "Whatever they're excited about in their lives, I'll back them up," Adam told Us Weekly of his talented girls.

What working together is like for the Sandlers

In 2020, Adam Sandler's daughters appeared alongside him in the Netflix movie "Hubie Halloween." The "Modern Family" fans played the daughters of a character portrayed by one of the show's cast members, Julie Bowen. They also got to work with other big names including Steve Buscemi, Maya Rudolph, Ben Stiller, "Stranger Things" star Noah Schnapp, and Disney Channel alum Peyton List. However, Sadie Sandler and Sunny Sandler weren't always thrilled to be at work. On "The Drew Barrymore Show," Adam said that it took less than two hours on set for the girls to start saying, "How much more? Please let me leave." He added, "Meanwhile, they were asking me the whole damn year, 'Can I be in your next movie, Daddy?'"

While Adam made it sound like his daughters slacked off on the job, after the girls shot "You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah," director Sammi Cohen had nothing but glowing praise for them. "They work harder than most adults I know. They love acting and filmmaking in general. They take such an interest in how the movie is made, and they're both so talented," Cohen told The Hollywood Reporter. The filmmaker was also impressed with Adam's adeptness at switching back and forth between dad mode and work mode; in addition to producing the movie, he also played the dad of Sadie and Sunny's characters. "He is the kind of dad who's also your best friend," Cohen said.

Adam Sandler went all-out for his daughters' bat mitzvahs

Adam Sandler had plenty of experience planning bat mitzvahs before he produced "You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah." For Sadie Sandler's 2019 bat mitzvah, Adam asked Adam Levine if he would be willing to perform at the event — even though he felt nervous about asking for the favor. However, texting the rocker turned out to be worth the reaction the thoughtful dad got. "Oh, she hugged me so much, my Sadie," Adam said on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" A number of Adam's famous friends and co-stars also attended the event, including Chris Rock, Conan O'Brien, Dustin Hoffman, David Spade, and late "Jessie" star Cameron Boyce, who died three months later. "Every one of my daughter's friends was coming up to him, and he took the time and talked to everybody," Sandler told Y! Entertainment of Boyce.

Adam booked two big names to perform at Sunny's bat mitzvah: Halsey and Charlie Puth. Her 2022 party had a fun candy theme and also had a star-studded guest list that included Jennifer Aniston, Peyton List, and Taylor Lautner. "There was a photo booth, a mechanical bull, and a really big ball pit. Lots of big candy props," a source told Us Weekly. "There were different dessert bars — a big chocolate fountain, milkshakes, donuts." The extravagant affair impressed Halsey. "It was the craziest bat mitzvah I've ever seen ... it was like Coachella," they said on "The Tonight Show."

Adam Sandler is a Swiftie like his daughters

Adam Sandler's daughters got a taste of what it's like being Taylor Swift when they performed her song "Lover" during a 2019 Rock4EB! Fundraiser in Malibu. Their dad sweetly learned the tune so that he could strum along on the guitar. "This is one of their favorite songs," Adam told the audience. "We play this all the time in the car." He also revealed that he had taken Sadie Sandler and Sunny Sandler to watch Taylor Swift perform on "Saturday Night Live" the prior evening. "Your knees are shaking, right? How do you think I feel? Every goddamn night I do this s***," he said to his girls ahead of their performance, per The Hollywood Reporter. Most people would definitely be nervous under such enormous pressure; the crowd Sunny and Sadie were singing in front of included Sean Penn, Elizabeth Olsen, Julia Roberts, Kaley Cuoco, and Cindy Crawford.

Adam appeared to be quite the Swiftie himself when the entire Sandler family attended the Los Angeles premiere of the concert film "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour." He was filmed dancing along to "Karma" while standing in the row behind Swift herself. "Adam Sandler giving big supportive dad energy in the back," read one response to a video clip posted on the "Today" show's Instagram account. Before exiting the theater, Swift gave all of the Sandlers hugs and posed for a photo with them.

Adam Sandler struggles with his daughters becoming grown-ups

Adam Sandler wants to grow old with his daughters. When Sadie Sandler was two, he told OK!, "I want to live longer now and make sure I'm around for the kid." He seems to be making the most of every moment that he has with his girls, and it hasn't been easy watching them grow up. "Teenagers are complicated. They'd rather spend time with friends than sitting at home with us all the time," Adam told AARP. He also confessed that he pretends to be more technology-challenged than he actually is when his girls try to help him with smartphone usage issues. "It gives them a reason to talk to me," he explained.

One downside of Sadie and Sunny Sandler getting older is that they don't always want to work with their dear ol' dad. In 2020, Adam told People that they've expressed an interest in acting in movies that he doesn't appear in. "They wanna do their own thing one day," he said. When Adam gave Sunny the starring role in "You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah," it became one of his best-reviewed movies on Rotten Tomatoes, so he might want to see if he can bribe her to stick around with some VIP Taylor Swift tickets.

"My wife and I go to sleep talking about the girls," Adam told AARP. "They have so much ahead, and I feel nervous for them, excited for them."