I have to admit, I’m late to the bandwagon when it comes to Bluey. For quite a few years, I had heard a lot of fuss surrounding this show, but my 5-year-old daughter was obsessed with another kid’s favorite (cough, Peppa, cough). So, when we recently got Disney Plus, I decided to give Bluey a go. And boy, am I glad we did.

As many parents already know, Bluey is a kid’s show finally made with the adults in mind. Let’s be real—we all can only dream of being parents like how Chilli and Bandit are to Bluey and Bingo. Throughout the three seasons (so far!), every character has lessons to teach us, including Bluey’s dad. Bandit is especially beloved because he embodies the “fun dad,” although sometimes to his detriment (see episode: “The Pool”). He’s a supportive partner to Chilli, encourages creative play for his kids, and navigates some tough situations with care and wisdom. Plus, he partakes in some quintessential dad behaviors—ahem, “fluffys.” Here are 10 of the best father-child Bluey episodes with meaningful lessons from Bluey’s dad Bandit.

In this early episode of Bluey, we see Bluey at the park trying to learn how to ride a bike. She tries a few times and doesn’t get it, and then says she wants to quit, to which Bandit casually says OK. Afterwards, Bluey goes to sit on the bench with Bandit. While there, they observe other children at the park trying to accomplish other tasks: Younger sister Bingo is having a hard time drinking from the water fountain. Friend Bentley can’t reach the monkey bars. Cousin Muffin is battling her backpack straps to no avail. Bluey and Bandit patiently watch kids trying again and again, each accomplishing a feat in their own way, and Bluey and Bandit cheer them on.

Without jumping into fix-it mode, Bandit watches as Bluey tries her bike again. He doesn’t make a scene when Bluey says she wants to quit. Rather, he lets her come to her own decision about trying. He isn’t pushing her but lets her see it’s OK to not get something right on the first or second try. Bandit helps her come to her own realization that it’s OK to fail at first. Everything will come in its own time.

At the beginning of this episode, Bluey tries to get Bandit to do something silly. Bandit responds, “I wasn’t born yesterday.” Thus, a brilliant game is born, where Bandit pretends he was born yesterday.

Bandit fully embraces listening to his children and entering their world of creativity and imagination. We see him learning new words and discovering what the sun is. It basically shows us the world of a child through an adult’s eyes. Bandit throws himself 100 percent into this game. He never breaks character, as though he was, in fact, born yesterday. This is not the only episode where Bandit fully embraces his inner child—viewers also love Season Two’s “Rug Island” for similar reasons. Whichever episode is your favorite, Bandit shows again and again embracing play as an important part of parenting for the adults, too!

Let’s be honest. We can all relate to this episode where Bandit attempts to throw out some of Bluey’s drawings at the recycling center. Obviously, like most children, when they discover that mom or dad has thrown out something that to them is special, Bluey gets upset. Bandit doesn’t apologize—unlike many parents would in this position (like myself). Instead, Bandit explains that since Bluey draws so many pictures, they don’t all have a special meaning.

Parents often have to make decisions that may seem small to us but are big to our kids. When we see our kids affected by them, we sometimes feel like we need to say “sorry” to our children (“sorry, you can’t have that second treat”). And while apologizing to our children when we’re wrong is good practice for a healthy relationship, Bandit validates Bluey’s feelings but does a great job explaining the “why” behind his decision in a kid-friendly way.

I love this episode of Bluey because we get to see Bandit as a mischievous kid. Bandit tells the girls about a time when he was younger and wasn’t very nice to his baby brother, Stripe. He admits he ended up being “cursed” for what he had done. Bandit shows us that like all children, he messed up. While an important takeaway of this story is about being kind, I actually prefer to see it in a different way. It’s so important to know that kids aren’t always going to be nice—even to friends or siblings. No one is perfect all the time.

As parents, we so often tell our kids to be nice and kind, while forgetting that sometimes kids are just kids and make mistakes. Bandit shows he’s been there, but the important part is to learn from our mistakes.

In one of the most relatable episodes for me personally, Bandit is picking up takeout with Bluey and Bandit and things go longer than expected (ahem, spring rolls). The girls are losing their patience, which is expected—think of how we get when we get hungry, and we’re adults.

As the episode progresses, the girls try to keep themselves busy by playing and drinking from a water spigot. Meanwhile, we can see that Bandit is slowly losing his patience, too. When he goes back into the restaurant to check on the food and leaves the girls outside, he comes back to complete chaos. Bingo has to use the potty and the water tap on the fountain is stuck. In the end, the food is also completely destroyed.

It’s a parent having to deal with classic mayhem. We see a slow build to Bandit almost losing it, until he reads Bluey’s fortune cookie, “Flowers may bloom again, but a person never has a chance to be young again.” When Bandit reads this, he is reminded of being a kid again and decides to enjoy the crazy chaos that is childhood.

On a morning walk with Bandit, Bluey discovers a wounded bird, and they decide to bring it to the veterinarian. Like many curious children seeing a sick animal, Bluey is asking Bandit a lot of questions. Bandit calmly answers them all.

Spoiler alert: The bird doesn’t make it. Bandit is comforting to Bluey while breaking the news the animal will not be coming back. As most parents know, death is a difficult subject to discuss with young children. Unfortunately, it is a part of life that affects us all and eventually, it will affect our kids too. But glazing over the tough stuff doesn’t help our kids in the long run, and it can lead to more confusion. Bandit models approaching hard topics with sensitivity while facing the subject head-on.

In this episode, Bandit is attempting to work from home with children around. Of course, through various scenarios, we see Bluey and Bingo trying to get Bandit to play with them. Multiple times, Bandit breaks down, of course, and plays. However, while playing, we see that Bingo doesn’t always take too well to it, and it becomes a little too much for her. She gets upset and goes outside and tells Chilli. Chilli responds by taking Bingo inside and telling Bandit that Bingo wants to talk to him.

As parents, we always expect and want our children to listen and respect us. However, it’s just as important for us to remember that sometimes we need to listen to them. Bandit completely stops what he is doing, leans forward, and truly listens to Bingo. She explains that she feels he plays too rough with her. Bandit then asks her to demonstrate how much is too much, so he can learn for the future. Bandit shows how important it is to be receptive to feedback from our kids, even when we didn’t realize we did anything wrong.

For me, this is one of the best Bandit-Bluey episodes. Bandit makes himself look silly in public, all for the sake of making Bingo happy. This, to me, is what being a good dad is all about. Doing whatever we can do to make our kids laugh and smile.

At the beginning of this episode, Bandit eats a chip of Bingo’s, not realizing that she wasn’t done. To make it up to her, he (and Chilli), agree to play “dance mode.” This is a game where when you hear music, you can be put in dance mode and, well, dance—including outside. The episode follows both parents being put in dance mode. In one scene, Bandit is in line at a bookstore and is put in dance mode. He looks ridiculous dancing in public in front of a bunch of strangers. What does this teach us about Bandit? That he will do anything to make his pups happy, even if it’s slightly embarrassing.

After a day of watching the kids, Chilli tells Bandit she needs a 20-minute break. Bandit completely gets it and starts playing with the girls. They, however, seem to have taken Chilli’s break the wrong way, and Bluey wants to go check on her mom.

Bandit plays sheepdog and essentially “protects” Chilli from the girls coming to get her. He goes out of his way to take his job seriously so that Chilli gets her much-needed and deserved break as a mom. This episode shows Bandit taking complete control of the parenting duties, playing and entertaining the girls to make sure Chilli gets her time for self-care. I really felt this Bandit episode needed a mention since partnership is often a key part of parenting (and Bandit’s definitely a keeper).

This is one of the many touching episodes of Bluey that allows us to explore deeper and unknown feelings. The family is out for a fun day at the beach, yet Bandit seems distracted by something. Bluey and Bingo are playing, and Chilli suggests Bandit go to help them. Nevertheless, Bandit is so distracted he doesn’t hear Chilli. Chili tells him to “let it go,” without viewers learning what’s bothering Bandit in “Stickbird” (later episodes hint Bandit could’ve been worrying about the decision he wrestles with in another great Bandit Bluey episode, “The Sign”).

Later in the episode, Bandit is helping the girls make a sandcastle bird with a special stick. As the other kids are playing on the beach, their sand creation is ruined by some other beachgoers. Bingo gets very sad and angry. Her dad tries to cheer her up with one of the most poignant Bandit quotes of the series, “When you put something beautiful into the world, it’s not yours anymore, not really.”

Both Bandit’s emotional distance and Bingo’s turbulence show us a very important aspect of life—how do we deal with sad feelings? Or, how do we validate feelings that maybe we don’t quite understand? Bluey tells Bingo about a trick a friend of hers taught her for when you are upset. It involves “collecting” the upset and angry and throwing it all out. At the end of the episode, we see Bandit “collect” his anger and upset and throw it in the ocean, too.

Overall, this episode highlights the silent struggles parents often deal with. Without ever addressing what it is, we see how it can affect the whole energy of the family if we keep it in. In this episode, we can take away a few lessons from Bluey’s dad Bandit—that it’s OK not to be OK, but sometimes our little ones can be the surprising key to feeling better.

By admin