Bluey’s parents are not international smugglers, cartoon creator says

The cartoon Bluey – to its creator’s amusement – has sparked conspiracy theories online amidst its popularity

Sheila Flynn
in Denver
Friday 28 January 2022 20:22 GMT
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Like anything these days which seems to strike a pop culture chord, beloved children’s show Bluey has sparked debate and followings worldwide – and at least one conspiracy theory.

TikTok user Zach Mander, in a viral post earlier this year, posited that the canine parents of protagonist Bluey – who stars in a show famed for its relatability and popularity with adults and children alike – could in fact be international criminals.

Bluey’s father, Bandit, is an archaeologist on the programme, befitting for a species which loves digging up bones. Her mother, Chilli, works in airport security – again, appropriate for a sniffer dog.

But Mr Mander theorises that the couple couldn’t afford their tony Brisbane suburban home for Bluey and her little sister, Bingo, if they were relying simply on the salaries from those two professions.

“By searching recent property sales in the area, we can establish that Bluey’s house is worth at least $1million plus,” Mr Mander says in the TikTok video, adding that the median salary for the parents’ jobs would be around $67,000 – and “there is no way that a bank” would approve a mortgage in the region, which he’s pegged from animation as Paddington.

TikTok user Zach Mander posted a video querying how Bluey’s parents could afford their swanky suburban Aussie home

“Where did this money come from?” Mr Mander says in the video. “So we have a couple where one of them has an intimate knowledge of how to bypass airport security and the other is regularly digging up rare and expensive items.

“I don’t want to slander a much-loved cartoon character, but it seems to me Bluey’s parents could be up to some nefarious activities.”

Bluey creator Joe Brumm good-naturedly tells The Independent he’s heard of the theory – and laughs.

“On the surface, this would definitely be a smart operation for them,” he says with amusement. Mr Brumm is well acquainted with the world of archaeology; Bandit’s profession was actually inspired by his older brother, he says.

“Sort of before Bluey, he would always pester me: ‘Look, man, I’ve got this idea for a cartoon – this dog is named Professor Fleagle, and he’s an archaeologist, and he likes digging up bones,’” Mr Brumm tells The Independent.

“When it came time and I made [Bluey] and I needed to give Bandit a job, Professor Fleagle just came into my head.”

But despite the fun conspiracy theory behind Bandit’s job, Mr Brumm says there’s no way the blue heeler dad – or hopefully any of his colleagues, for that matter – would ever turn to the black market.

He’d already checked with his big brother, he says, asking: “When you find like a bone or something, why don’t you just pocket and sell it?

“But he assured me that archaeologists are morally beyond reproach,” Mr Brumm laughs.

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