Timothy Moore

What’s on the Dog’s Bucket List in the Subaru Impreza Commercial?

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subaru impreza dog commercial bucket list

Subaru’s dog commercial for the Impreza will tug on your heartstrings–but what exactly is on the dog’s bucket list?

Earlier this month, Subaru put out the most touching commercial I have ever seen. Called “Dream Weekend,” it follows a man and his dog, celebrating the latter’s 14-and- ¾ birthday. The saddening realization that careful viewers will come to is that there is probably a reason the man is celebrating the dog’s 14-and-¾ birthday, and not waiting until his 15th.

Willie Nelson’s “I’ve Loved You All Over the World” sets the mood as we watch the man and his dog cross off items on a bucket list, one by one, while they travel around in a Subaru Impreza. We don’t get to see every item completed, however–it is, after all, a short commercial. For just two brief moments, we get glimpses of the dog’s bucket list, but it’s not long enough to read everything that the pair are trying to accomplish. In an effort to see just what the duo are up to, I freeze framed the list on YouTube and tried to determine everything that’s on the bucket list in the Impreza ad.

Subaru Dog Bucket List Impreza ad

The first glance we get of the dog’s bucket list is hindered by the man’s hand

The first one, which is crossed off, is clearly Road Trip. What’s engaging about this entry is that the man and his dog are using the road trip to cross off everything else (using an Impreza, of course). Other crossed off list items that we don’t actually get to see include Sky Diving, Looping Roller Coaster, and Hot Air Ballooning. It’s hard to make out some of the others at first, as the hand is covering them up throughout the first shot, but in the second glance we get at the list, we can see that they’ve crossed off Ride a Train, River Rafting, Dig a Big Hole, Sneak into a Hotel Pool, and Run in the Park. Ferris Wheel and Massage at a Hotel also get crossed off between the first and the second shot, though we don’t get to see the pooch having those experiences. There’s also a rubber band covering up another crossed off item, but we never get to see what that one is. Let the speculating continue!

Subaru Dog Bucket List Impreza ad

We get a better view the second time around

Throughout the commercial, we do get to see him accomplish some of the uncrossed items, like 100 Tennis Balls, Old Girlfriend, Steak Dinner, Breakfast in Bed, and Chew a Shoe. The commercial ends with the dog and his best friend on the Beach–the last item on the list to be crossed off. It’s a heartbreaking end, as viewers assume this signals the final days for the four-legged adventurer. But there’s also a reassuring peace to it all—he has crossed off everything and said his final goodbyes to his best friend.

subaru impreza commercial - dog on beach - willie nelson

Trust me, you’re going to cry

Haven’t seen the commercial yet? Grab a box of tissues and get ready for some good, old catharsis.


  • Timothy MooreManaging Editor

    Timothy Moore hails from Dayton, Ohio, and tries to bring that Midwestern flavor to his writing. (But as it turns out, no one really likes the Midwestern flavor.) He has been covering the auto industry for years, with several national auto shows under his belt, but he’s been writing about lots of other things (like dragons and Mickey Mouse and cows drowning in milk) since he was just a tot. Outside of the land of cars, Timothy enjoys watching The Office and consuming excessive amounts of peanut butter and beer, and is on the board of an up-and-coming Dayton theatre company called The Playground. And when he’s not on stage (or three jars into a peanut butter binge), Timothy spends time with his mischievous dog, Greyson. See more articles by Timothy.

  • Donna

    Thank you, Timothy. I had tried to stop my TV on the lists many times. The best commercial EVER, it still brings tears and has made me want to trade in my GMC truck for a Suburu! ( I danced for Theatre Under The Stars, Houston for many years, having had Patsy Swayze (Patrick’s mom) as my teacher. ….have been doing dog rescue for 28 years.) Thanks again, Timothy.

  • Suzanne

    best commercial ever! Thank you.

  • bernardjsussman

    Does this mean that when he finished the list he had the dog put down??

  • Robert Sharpe

    I couldn’t help myself and wrote Subaru, maybe they will tell me. Likely been swamped with this question.
    Until I hear back, after trying to enhance and sharpen, best guess is go fishing.

    • TD Tom

      My first guess was go camping second; maybe go-carting (under rubber band.) G something..ing

  • LostSok

    I almost literally can’t even watch this ad it’s so amazingly powerful. The “14 1/2” on the cake just kicks me right in the nads…

  • lori58

    does not make me want that car…its sad…..never associate your product with something sad……….

  • Elaine Culver

    The “reassuring peace” that Timothy Walling-Moore describes in his last sentence reminds me that love is not only “as strong as death (Song of Songs 8:6),” but stronger than the fear of loss. This commercial inspires courage and hope, even as it reduces me to a blubbering lump every time I watch it.

  • Karen Creamer

    I love this commercial. No matter how many times I see it, I still cry. It’s all about love.

  • JBensimon

    I usually scoff at Subaru commercials and their obvious Hippie tree-hugger “Obama voter” appeal, but this one gets me where I live. I can only watch and hug my dogs. As for the doom-and-gloom “he won’t make it to 15” interpretation of the 14th+1/2 birthday, I disagree: the dog still looks plenty healthy and playful to me, and the usual 1 dog year = 7 human years rule of thumb suggests that the owner is actually celebrating the dog’s 100th birthday (in human terms) since the 14th birthday would only have amounted to 98 human years and thus been premature. That’s my take, and I’m sticking to it: the whole thing’s heartbreaking enough as it is! 🙂
    Thanks for the article, Tim. You’re a good guy.

    • Lani

      I don’t even care that I’m responding to something you posted 5 months ago… this line of thinking made me so happy.

      • JBensimon

        I’m glad :-). I don’t know if you noticed, but the commercial is airing again these days, making it (deservedly) one of the longest-lasting spots in recent times.

    • JudeLawGuardian

      THANK YOU. I’ve never seen this commercial as the dog dying at the end. I see it as more of a thing where the dog’s getting older, and his best buddy wants to go do things with him while he’s still healthy and active. The dog looks happy and healthy to me, too. I refuse to look at it any other way. 🙂

  • Diane

    I saw this commercial for the first time last night, and it made me wistful for our girl, so alike as to be a twin. Lady lived to see 16, and brought us much joy in the years that we had her. She pretty much accomplished the list!

    • JudeLawGuardian

      Oh wow—what a sweet dog! She looks just like the dog in the commercial. Beautiful. ♥

  • Christopher Carr

    Great — now when I think “Subaru,” I think senescence, death, and sadness.

    Good job, Subaru.

  • Rosemary

    Love this commercial ! It’s sad and tugs at your heart but speaks of undying love for one’s pet. Love how Subaru deals with life’s issues!

  • Streetr

    “Take a Selfie” is the rubber-band-covered bucket-list item.

    • JudeLawGuardian

      Thanks for clearing up the mystery! 🙂

  • Bryan Bailey

    Well, I guess I just keep losing man points by the barrel full but I tear up every time this commercial plays. I can’t even look at the still shot of that sweet gray muzzle without feeling misty cause I know my own furry buddy will grow old too. Thanks so much for helping with the bucket list. I’ve always wondered what all was on it too.


    14 3/4 years old in dog years is 100 years old in human years. GREAT commercial.

    • paige

      Actually 14 3/4 years old is over 100. A dog’s life is 1 dog year to 7 human years. Therefore, 14 = 98. So two human years = 2/7 which is 8/28, whereas 3/4 = 21/28. But hey dogs can’t do math.

      • Terrence

        Actually, the 7-dog-years-to-one-human-year theory is outdated and incorrect. It actually depends on the size of the dog. Small dogs live a lot longer than large dogs, so with this outdated theory, a large dog would die at a much younger “human” age than a small or toy breed.

        Good math skillz, though!

  • Jeanette

    I don’t look at it as sad. I look at it that this dog had the best life he ever could have had with this man.

  • Pat Crean

    This ad really hits home — My Dillon is also 14 3/4 years old and he’s slowing down awfully fast….

  • Anne Brooke Bowling Vachalek

    This is such a great commercial. The owner and dog are wonderful together and Willie Nelson’s singing makes this one very powerful and gutwrenching commercial. Anyone who has ever loved a dog (animal) and watched them come to the twilight of their lives know this feeling. Very powerful. There should be an academy award for great commercials. This would be a winner. Thank you,Timothy Moore.

  • Dodi

    What is the name of the dog? Is it Poh?

  • Travis Schlegel

    I bawled my Freaking head off the first time I fully realized the implications of this commercial. Why would anyone make something so sad!

  • Gigi

    I love this commercial. I don’t think he put him down at the conclusion of the list. He just wanted to get fun things in until his buddy passed away. However, I question what dog, especially a senior dog, would want to go sky diving, whitewater river rafting or get on a Ferris wheel.

    • JudeLawGuardian

      I thought the same thing about him just wanting to do fun stuff with his pal–I don’t think he would do that either, because the dog looks too healthy and full of frisky fun. 🙂

  • Maria

    Noon matter where I am in the house when I hear that Subaru Impreza commercial I stop what I am doing and watch it and I love the music in the background. The best Keep showing it

  • Mark Kuykendall

    Now that I have some handle on the nuances of the commercial, I’ll probably tear up watching it now. But that’s okay. It’s an outstanding commercial.

  • Chris

    Sky diving is checked off my bucket list because I did it thirty years ago. The doggie needs to do these things while he’s still healthy and has the stamina for physical challenges. He’s almost 15 so it’s do it all now or never. No need to morbidly suggest that cute poochie is gonna kick it any time soon!

  • Vincent Walter

    I am amused with comercials that entertain but have no call to action. Somehow it works, but as an avid gear head and user of cars, I naever buy another VW or Audi but the commercials keep thier mytique going. I live where Subarus ate made,I love dogs, but never found Subi to fit my desires for transport. Oh I dropped in here because I had no ideaif the girl dog was his mom sister girfriend or breeding mate. I think an old dog would rather be spared a road trip and just enjoy quiet days at home and a liesuly romp at the park.