Eggs are relatively large and can provide offspring with resources that improve their survival. While such maternal effects are common, it has been difficult to imagine what, other than genes, individual offspring could receive from their fathers. The study by Roth et al. (2009a) suggests that we should look more closely. Their experiments show that red flour beetle fathers can transfer specific biochemical information to their offspring, priming their immune system to combat pathogens better. When mothers do the same, the offspring get a double dose of protection. This discovery alerts us to re-evaluate the importance of cryptic parental care.