Top 10 Things in Bluey Only Adults Understand
Top 10 Things in Bluey Only Adults Understand

Top 10 Things in Bluey Only Adults Understand

VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Catherine Neal
"Bluey" is written just as much for the adults, who will only understand these references. For this list, we'll be looking at the best pop culture references, jokes and slice of life moments that make this Aussie cartoon more than just a kids' show. Our countdown includes parental guilt, "Stranger Things" talk, "Raiders," and more!

Top 10 Things in Bluey Only Adults Understand

Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Things in Bluey Only Adults Understand.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the best pop culture references, jokes and slice of life moments that make this Aussie cartoon more than just a kids’ show.

Do you love “Bluey” even more than the kids? Share your favorite moment in the comments!

#10: “Raiders”
“Yoga Ball”

The Heeler parents know how to have fun with their kids and Bandit, in particular, can often get carried away with a game. In “Yoga Ball” Bingo and Bluey ask for an old favorite. For the girls, it’s just running away from a ball, but to their dad, it’s “Raiders.” As an eighties kid, “Indiana Jones” is firmly within Bandit’s frame of reference. The adult audience will recognize the nod to “Raiders of the Lost Ark” even if it goes over the kids’ heads. It’s a throwaway reference, but a perfect fit for Bandit’s ‘fun dad’ persona.

#9: The Eighties References in the Flashback Episode

A lot of younger parents will have missed the eighties altogether, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t grow up in a different climate than their kids. There are definitely moments in the flashback episode “Fairytale” that will still strike a chord. If you remember cassette tapes, or know exactly what happens when you break a jinx, this one’s bound to stir up some nostalgia. You might even recognize the “She-Ra” costume worn by young Chilli (if it is young Chilli - there’s some dispute.) Placing Bandit and Chilli’s childhoods specifically in the eighties is a treat for parents of the era, giving them a chance to relive some memorable experiences.

#8: Generational Differences
“Pass the Parcel”

“Bluey’s” “Pass the Parcel” episode has a straightforward message for kids about learning to be a good loser. However, it proved controversial in adult circles. So which side do you fall on? Is one big present in the center better for character building? Or should you put a treat in each layer so everyone can win a little? Lucky’s dad thinks that the world’s gone soft, while the rest of the parents are more willing to embrace the changing times. The episode itself seems to indicate that kids are tougher than they look and they’ll learn to love “Lucky’s Dad’s rules.” But does every party game have to teach a lesson, or is it just supposed to be a bit of fun?

#7: What’s In the Lemonade?

The grown-ups in “Bluey” are great parents, and they’re also likeably human - if you ignore the fact that they’re cartoon dogs. In “Stumpfest,” Bluey learns that adults like to play too, while we discover that Chilli and Trixie can certainly handle their drinks. The moms watch from upstairs, enjoying some refreshing ‘lemonade’, while the dads play at ripping up tree stumps. The ladies heckle them from the upstairs balcony, appearing tipsier by the minute while the central saga of stumpfest vs nail salon plays out on the ground. When Bandit and co break for a well earned drink, they discover that there’s something potent in that lemonade…

#6: New Year’s Hangover
“Whale Watching”

It’s been a big New Year for the Heeler parents. After a party at Uncle Stripe’s place, they’re feeling a bit fragile – if you know what we mean. But parenthood never stops, and the girls still want to play. ‘Rough seas’ are not what you want when you’re already feeling, well, rough, and seeing the typically energetic mom and dad longing for calm is pretty amusing. It’s also likely to be relatable for many adults! At least the whale game involves lying down and - on Chilli’s part - wolfing down some hangover treats. Still, we all need a break sometimes, and a bit of screen time proves the perfect temporary distraction for Bluey and Bingo. Plus, it gives Chilli the exact boost she needs!

#5: “Stranger Things” Talk

The majority of the primary storylines in “Bluey” focus on the children - and most of the adult drama revolves around them too. However, occasionally, you do catch snippets of grown-up conversations that have nothing to do with the little ones. One of our favorite examples of this is in the season 2 episode “Seesaw.” Chilli and Pom-Pom’s mom are talking all things TV. The character and show under discussion both remain unnamed, but we’re pretty certain that this is a “Stranger Things” reference. Guess now we know what the Heelers are watching when the kids are in bed, and we’re not surprised they have great taste!

#4: “It Was Yesterday”

As well as making us laugh, this kids’ show really knows how to tug at the heartstrings. In “Grandad” Chilli and the girls are visiting grandpa Mort. Chilli worries that her dad doesn’t look after himself properly, but he’s not impressed by her coddling. The episode tackles the relationship between grown-up children and their parents, and definitely feels aimed more at the adult audience than their pre-schoolers. The final scene is absolutely touching, capable of bringing a tear to the eye – especially if it catches you off guard. Sitting with her father and watching the girls swim, Chilli gets nostalgic. Her dad used to bring her to the same place as a child - but it doesn’t seem so long ago to Mort.

#3: The Vasectomy Conversation

In another one of those background conversations between the grown-ups, we catch an interesting tidbit of information from Bandit. In a chat with Fido at a Father’s Day barbecue, the two dads appear to be discussing the pros and cons of getting the snip. Since they’re dogs, presumably the official term is ‘neutered.’ Chilli may be unsure about such a big decision, but by the next episode it seems she’s made her mind up. In “Bedroom,” the family are clearing out the old nursery. In the US broadcast however, the conversation between the dads was subtly altered so that they’re discussing having teeth removed instead.

#2: Parental Guilt
“Baby Race”

“Bluey” is great at tackling serious topics in a gentle but informative way that kids will be able to understand. However, on occasion, it speaks directly to the adults. In “Baby Race” Chilli looks back to her early days as a mother. When Bluey doesn’t progress as quickly as the other babies, a touch of parental guilt sets in. Just when Chilli’s feeling at her lowest, someone more experienced is right there, ready to give her some encouragement. When Coco’s mom looks right at the camera, it feels like she’s speaking to all the parents at home who might be struggling or doubting themselves. Her kind words might be simple, but they could be exactly what someone needs to hear.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Free & Easy Days, “The Claw”
Bandit Speaking Hilarious Facts

Restful Games, “Hospital”
Lying on a Couch or Sofa Is Preferred

“When I Used to Be Cool”, “Bob Bilby”
Does it Feel Like a Long Time Ago?

Bandit Clearly Watched “The Lord of the Rings,” “Featherwand”
Gandalf the Blue?

#1: Chilli’s Implied Miscarriage
“The Show”

The writing in “Bluey” can be very subtle for a show aimed mostly at preschoolers. It often drops hints about family life that are picked up on in later episodes, or that help round out the world with a bit of extra information. For example, some viewers think that Grandad Bob may be suffering from dementia. Another blink-and-you’ll-miss it moment implies that Chilli may have lost a baby before Bluey. The girls are putting on a show of their parents’ life together and Bingo wears a balloon under her shirt to indicate pregnancy. When the balloon pops, there’s a tense moment and Bandit grabs Chilli’s hand. It’s brief, but the inclusion of this unexpected reaction seems to suggest a possible miscarriage.