The hit Australian kid’s show ‘Bluey’ released back in 2018 to critical and commercial acclaim. Since its debut on Disney+ last January though, ‘Bluey’ has really taken the world by storm. It’s easily one of the best kids shows you and your family can watch, and mine can’t get enough of it. I think it’s also essential viewing for dads everywhere.
I know it might sound a little ridiculous that I’m using an animated children’s program as an example of quality TV binging for dads to check out, but I’m serious. Most shows play off the dad as clueless and irresponsible. Bluey’s Bandit on the other hand is such a well-written character and a refreshing change from the stereotypical TV fathers (except for Goofy) we’ve come to expect, that you can’t help but love him. He’s silly, playful, imaginative, caring, and even makes mistakes. He’s also one hell of a dancer.
The Best Dad (Bandit) Moments in ‘Bluey’
Here’s a list of some of my favorite Bandit moments. They’re just so relatable, they always make me smile.
It’s a Bushwee
Ah yes, the “bushwee”. If your kid has to go to the bathroom, you know there’s no way in telling them they have to wait. In the case of the episode “Takeaway”, things escalate very quickly. While waiting for their spring rolls, Bingo has to go to the bathroom. Like any kid, Bingo cannot wait and Bandit handles this like any dad would, by running to the nearest bush. The eternal bushwee begins and chaos ensues as crows get into the spilled Chinese food, Bluey needs to figure out how to stop the water from flooding the world, and Bingo takes the time during all of this to ask her father if everything is made up of atoms. It’s true, when a kid has to go to the bathroom it really can feel as chaotic as this.
Most of the episodes feature Bandit and the kids playing make-believe in some way. Whether he’s dressed up as a baby, acting like a disobedient emu, or pretending to be a robot, Bandit does it well and could run a masterclass on the subject. I think what’s so great about how he plays with his kids, is he lets them make the rules. When Bluey & Bingo are pretending to work for Bandit at home, Bluey says that she is now the boss and quickly draws some random squiggly lines on a piece of paper and hands it to her father. Bandit takes a quick look and instead of just dismissing her writing as gibberish, agrees and says it looks like it’s all in order. He’s committed to his child’s imagination, and I admire that. He even takes it one step further when his new “boss” asks him to clean the windows with his butt. Now that’s dedication.
Teaching His Kids the Importance of Never Giving Up
‘Bluey’ is full of episodes that teach life lessons, but “Bike” is especially heartwarming. Children are stubborn when it comes to learning new things. Having taught both my kids how to ride their bikes, I can definitely vouch for anyone that it’s a tough but satisfying experience. In the case of Bluey, she’s having trouble riding her bike, so she gets frustrated and sits down with her dad. Bandit asks her to watch how it’s not just her and others are struggling to overcome their own challenges. They cheer their friends on and it shows that even the littlest of triumphs (like putting on a backpack) can still mean a lot. Bluey decides to get on her bike and try again. Nice work dad.
Dads Can Be at Home Too
Too often is the stereotypical ideal family life brought up that the mom should be at home and the dad goes to work. Even the idea of a dad being at home with his kids while their significant other goes out is often referred to as “babysitting”. That’s not true or how every family operates and ‘Bluey’ understands that. The show puts the spotlight on the dads that take care of chores and watch the kids. Everything is equal in Bluey’s house and Bandit is a dad that can handle it. Whether his wife is going out for the evening to a baby shower or off to work for the day, it’s not a big deal that dad is at home with the little ones, and that’s something I can appreciate.
“Oh man, is there some game where I just lie really still on a comfy bed or something?”
Bandit said it best. Even though he loves his kids and shows a lot of patience, he still sighs when he’s asked to play certain games with them. This screams parenthood and is a recurring theme that was established within the very first episode when Bluey & Bingo find the “magic” Xylophone. When this specific Xylophone is used, it can freeze Bandit in place and he’s less than thrilled that they’ve discovered it again. Parenting requires a ton of energy, and ‘Bluey’ doesn’t sugarcoat that. It understands the struggle and any time the parents pout and moan at the idea of doing something that the kids want to do, it never ceases to make me chuckle. If the game involves me laying down and not moving, wonderful. It usually doesn’t, but maybe our kids should be more thoughtful about this sort of thing.
What Bandit moments are your favorite? These are the few that I think showcase just how fantastic the writing team is behind ‘Bluey’. It would have been so easy to just create another “dad” character, but ‘Bluey’ creator Joe Brumm has shown Bandit some real dedication and care, making him a major part of the show. Bandit is so great, that he has even inspired me to approach everything that my kids do with a level of patience and excitement. I mean… I’m not so sure I’d handle my take-out being eaten by crows as well as he does, but that’s a work in progress.