Mr. Pickwick becomes like a father to Sam, but Tony Weller is Sam's actual father. He is generous, innocent, fat, and old like Mr. Pickwick, and both men are threatened in some way by.widows and the law. Unlike Mr. Pickwick, Tony is wholly irresponsible as a father, a quality that his job as a coachman has helped to foster. Having let Sam run the streets at an early age, Tony has had no share in his son's up-bringing. Tony is a poor husband as well, having let his wife take up with an unsavory evangelist.
However, Sam and Tony become quite close during the novel. Each feels affection for the other, and as Sam becomes closer to Mr. Pickwick, his relationship with his father also grows deeper. Despite the love Sam feels for Tony, he does not respect his father as an authority. The two men are more like warm friends.