The Bluey season finale is here and grownups are not OK

The Bluey season finale is here and grownups are not OK

Give parents some extra grace today. They've been through the emotional wringer thanks to a cartoon television show for children.

The highly anticipated season finale of Bluey aired on Disney+ Sunday. The animated kids show from Australia, about an imaginative puppy, her parents and younger sister, is beloved by children, critics and parents for its storytelling and relatable truths about family life and parenting.

Videos and posts about parents having emotional reactions to scenes in the show abound across social media platforms.

But the new 28-minute full-length episode, called "The Sign," really went for the gut-punch. And parents are not OK.

"Don't mind me. Just a dad getting ABSOLUTELY F**KING DESTROYED by the latest Bluey episode," one person wrote on X.

"The Sign is a Bluey masterpiece that had all ages feeling all of the emotions," another person wrote in he description of a TikTok video that already had more than one million views by Monday morning.

"My husband made us all get up early this morning to watch the new Bluey episode (he has been speculating for weeks) and then he cried his eyes out. The last time he cried was at the birth of our baby," another person wrote on X.

LISTEN | Why Bluey is the best show on television:

Why this episode hits in the feels

Warning: Bluey spoilers below

In "The Sign," Bluey, her sister, Bingo, and their parents, Bandit and Chilli, prepare for the big wedding of Uncle Rad and Bluey's godmother, Frisky. But they also face big news: they plan to sell their house (hence, the for sale sign) and move to a new city for Bandit's job.

As BBC notes, the episode draws on Taoist philosophy, "the ancient Chinese belief of trying to exist in harmony with the universe." When Bluey tells her classmates she's moving, her teacher reads the children a story about good and bad luck with an abrupt ending.

"Is it a happy or sad ending?" asks Bluey afterwards. "It's both," says Calypso. "I don't understand," says Bluey. "Everything will work out the way it's supposed to, Bluey," she replies," as BBC describes.

As the family processes their emotions (for instance, young Bluey seems to think if she can get rid of the sign in front of her house, the move won't happen), the house sale falls through. And Bandit makes Bluey's fantasy a reality by yanking the sign out of the yard (as the pop anthem Lazarus Drug by Australian singer-songwriter Meg Washington plays throughout the scene).

WATCH | The official trailer for 'The Sign': 

'A masterclass'

The episode has been described by critics and fans as a masterclass in story-telling.

It also got a 9.9 rating on IMDB — a platform rated by adults. For context, some other well-known TV episodes with 9.9 IMDB ratings include Breaking Bad "Face Off," Succession "Connor's  Wedding" and Game of Thrones "The Rains of Castamere."

"In a time where our country and the world feels like it's in a 'not a happy ending' place ... we desperately needed a 'we'll see' of hope. A beautiful example of what honesty and trying can look like," one rater wrote on IMDB.

"'The Sign' is a masterclass in how to imbue these seemingly ridiculous cartoon dogs from a little kids show with enormous depth and shading, all by beautifully articulating the kinds of emotional struggles and desires that ring true whether you're Bingo's age or Chilli's," Rolling Stone wrote in its review.

Bluey itself is No. 15 in IMDB's list of the top 250 television shows of all time, a list that includes The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, The Wire, Chernobyl and Planet Earth.

In 2023, Bluey was the second-most streamed television series in the U.S., according to new Nielsen data, just below Suits and above NCIS.

Will there be another season?

The big question for fans of the show appeared to remain unanswered: will there be a fourth season?

As Bloomberg points out, Bandit throwing the sign into the street seems to indicate a happy ending. But without any cliffhangers, is it just that — an ending?

No one wants to confirm, Rolling Stone writes, adding that when they asked a Bluey publicist if this was the series finale, the publicist said: "We can't comment on speculation, but our promise to fans is that as soon as we have news to share they'll hear it from us first."

CBC News has reached out to Disney+ for a statement.

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