It started with a soundbite: “Oooh, can we get the bill?” It was everywhere. I couldn’t scroll through TikTok without hearing those words sung from a tiny Australian voice. As it turns out, the voice belonged who to Bluey, the titular character of the hit children’s show of the same name. Bluey follows the 6-year-old blue heeler (Bluey, get it?) along with her mother, Chilli, father, Bandit, and younger sister, Bingo, in Brisbane, Australia. So, how do I know so much about Bluey based on one tiny soundbite? Well, what started as a meme quickly evolved into full clips appearing on my For You Page. And then voila: There I was, a tax-paying, job-having, grown-adult 28-year-old with no kids watching an animated show for preschoolers. So why am I absolutely obsessed with a children’s show?
First, it’s funny. Like actually funny. The first time I surprised myself by laughing out loud, was while watching a clip about a sock puppet from an episode titled “Unicorse.” One quick clip turned into a nightly ritual, and I was suddenly immersed in the Bluey Cinematic Universe, singing along to the catchy theme song and claiming my favorite characters (like how I’m a Bingo moon with a rising Muffin sun). I was even shipping fictional cartoon dogs because I swear if Uncle Rad and Frisky didn’t get together it would’ve been a missed opportunity.
At the same time, I was building an emotional connection with these characters. Watching this Australian show made me…feel. The doggos are sarcastic, vulnerable and, ya know, despite being animated anthropomorphic dogs, a realistic family—one that sometimes reminds me of my own and helps me reflect on my own childhood memories. One episode entitled “Handstand” had me bawling like a baby. All Bingo wanted was to show off her handstand to someone, anyone. When no one wanted to sit and watch, it was her grandmother who took a seat and let Bingo attempt her handstand over and over again until she perfected it. It brought me back to sitting at the kitchen table with my grandmother and spending time with her after school or on weekends. It was her patience, attention and unwavering love demonstrated through a small, everyday moment that had this episode pulling on my heartstrings.