Heeeeeeeere's DAD!

Bandit, Chilli and Bluey in their back yard.
Disney+
10 Reasons Why Bandit From Bluey Is Actually Our Favorite TV Dad

Where do we even start?

When it comes to great TV dads, the competition is stiff, but we’re very confident in saying that in a crowded field, Bluey’s dad, Bandit, stands heads and shoulders (and tails) above the rest. Funny, playful, and yet thoughtful and sensitive, there are so many times as a parent I’ve thought “Man, I can’t hold a candle to this cartoon dog.” But what are Bandit’s best parenting moments? That’s a tough one.

For starters, Bluey has aired more than 150 episodes — all killer no filler — and Bandit is featured prominently in most of them. And it makes sense: Joe Brumm, the series creator and chief writer, is a dad of two himself and based elements of Bandit on himself and his experiences as a parent. So he’s close to the character and the subject matter.

But what we love most about the character isn't the fact that we can only aspire to his patience and fun. It’s that he’s always teaching important lessons to his daughters and, more importantly, learning from them as well. He’s not perfect. Remember the time he was too rough with Bingo? Or the time he threw a whole bunch of Bluey'‘s drawings in the garbage? But he’s always becoming more perfect along the way, and here are some of our very favorite Bandit moments.

When he taught Bluey tenacity.

Disney+

In “Bike,” Bluey is frustrated that learning to ride her bike isn’t going as well as she’d like. Bandit, however, doesn’t try to help her. Instead, he directs her attention to a bunch of younger kids on the playground, each struggling with their own tasks. In observing them, they see the little ones find creative ways to solve their problems through persistence, a valuable lesson for any kid learning to ride a bike.

And to think: all he had to do was sit there and watch...

When he introduced his kids to the beauty of nature.

Disney+

When Bandit brings Bluey, Bingo, and their friend Mackenzie to the playground, they get bored of the same old games and equipment relatively quickly. So he decides to go behind the playground to the creek, a lovely spot he used to go as a kid.

Bluey is skeptical of all the nature at first — so slippery and full of bugs and other animals — but seeing her dad enjoying himself helps her see the beauty in nature. And by the end, she’s gained a new appreciation for the natural world.

When he gave Bluey an important job.

Disney+

In “Trampoline,” Bandit is torn between going to work and to keep playing all morning with the girls. When he finally pries himself away, Bluey is sad and asks him one more time to stay.

“I have to go do my job, though,” he tells her. “And you have to do yours.”

“What? I don’t have a job,” she replies, confused.

“Yeah you do!”

“Really? What is it?”

“Making up games! ... Making up games is more important than you think.”

And, truly, he’s not wrong! Not only does he encourage Bluey to understand the importance of play but he allows her to not only understand but appreciate the importance of work as well.

When he did daddy drop-off.

Disney+

Have you ever have one of those mornings where everything seems to be going wrong? You need to have two kids in two different locations at the same time and you’re running late? We’ve all been there, and so too has Bandit in “Daddy Dropoff.” But even though he’s frazzled, he doesn’t let that stop him from being an A+ dad, encouraging Bingo and Bluey with fun and games. Even when he’s already behind schedule, for example, he takes time to play “wind-up Bingo,” pretending to wind her up like a mechanical toy so she can waddle into kindy.

“Dad, if we didn’t play wind-up Bingo just then, would we still be late?” Bluey asks once they’re on their way.

“Well, probably not as late,” he concedes.

“So why did you play it then?”

“Hmm,” he thinks. “I dunno. Just did.”

“But what if you didn’t. What would happen then?”

“Probably nothing I suppose,” he shrugs. “Bingo’d just walk in the door instead... wouldn’t be as fun though.”

Sometimes, you’ve got to take that time to have some fun! And it turns out that wind-up Bingo encourages Bingo to befriend, her BFF Lila.

When he celebrated Stumpfest.

Disney+

You can tell that even outside of fatherhood, Bandit is a good guy, so we love to see him cut loose and play with his friends (you can’t call it anything else) in “Stumpfest.”

And even when he’s not trying, he’s teaching his children valuable lessons. Seeing him enjoy Stumpfest shows Bluey that even dads like being silly and playing games sometimes.

When he baked Bingo a duck cake.

Disney+

You may be thinking “Isn’t a duck cake the hardest one in the whole cookbook?”

It is.

But Bandit is determined to do this kind thing for his daughter’s birthday: if Bingo wants a duck cake then a duck cake she shall have. It isn’t easy, but his kindness and helpful attitude inspire Bluey to help him clean up after a failed attempt, and from there the positivity only spreads. It’s an adorably sweet episode and highlights that Bandit makes it look easy even if it isn’t always.

Also, come on: that cake is too cute.

When he tried to be a better dad.

Disney+

In “Burger Shop,” Bandit is reading a new parenting book. Apparently, he learns, you’re not supposed to tell your children what to do, but rather encourage the children to make good decisions. So when it’s time to get out of the bath and go to bed, he doesn’t give orders, but cheerfully suggests they stop playing and turn in for the night.

You can imagine how well that goes.

Ultimately, he figures out this new strategy isn’t going to work, but we appreciate a dad who takes parenting seriously and is open to trying new ideas to be a better parent.

When he gave Chilli a much-needed 20 minutes.

Disney+

In “Sheepdog,” Chilli needs 20 minutes. We never learn the precise reason, but I think every parent understands on a deep and personal level. Bandit’s solution? Make it a game, of course: he pretends to be a sheep that Bingo and Bluey have to take care of. And it turns out that caring for a sheep is much harder than either of the girls expected. It’s almost like Bandit is trying to teach them a valuable lesson through play. Go figure!

When he wanted to teach Bluey chess.

Disney+

In “Chess,” Bandit is determined to teach Bluey how to play. Chilli is skeptical — 7 is a bit young to learn such a complicated game. Bluey seems to prove this theory as she and Bingo use the pieces to play more whimsically imaginative games, to Bandit’s increasing frustration.

It isn’t long before Chilli figures out what’s really behind this sudden desire: smart people play chess, and even though Bluey is just a little “prawn” (pawn) right now, one day she’ll be a queen, and Bandit wants her to be smart and able to take care of herself when he’s not there to protect her.

“Because you’re a good king,” Chilli concludes tenderly.

It’s true.

When he took on “The Sign.”

Disney+

I think we all remember where we were and how we felt when we watched the very special episode “The Sign” and saw Bandit pull up the hated “For Sale” sign and fling it angrily into the cul-de-sac. (Of course all this was made all the more poignant by Meg “Calypso” Washington’s “Lazarus Drug” playing hauntingly triumphant over the action.) It was heartwarming and tear-inducing to see a grown up realize that, maybe, the best life possible for their kids isn’t the one with more money. Maybe it’s the life you’ve already given them.

Of course, there are dozens, maybe even hundreds of additionally magnificent dad moments from Bandit Heeler. May we as parents one day live up to his greatness.