‘Bluey’ Episode Re-Edited After Being Called Out for 'Fat-Shaming'

The episode features Bluey's dad wanting to start an exercise routine. But it's what he did next that had parents criticizing the widely popular show.

Bluey S2 - Family Tree with Chilli (Mum), Bluey, Bingo, and Bandit (Dad).

Ludo Studio

Seems our beloved Bluey has made a boo-boo. Well, at least the producers of the show have. In a recent episode of the show called "Exercise," Bluey's dad Bandit wants to begin working out. That's not the issue. It's one particular scene that's gotten a lot of social media backlash, calling it "fat-shaming" and "fat-phobic." Critics also say it's promoting unhealthy messages about body image, weight, and exercise to children.

In the scene in question, Bandit is surprised by Bluey while in the bathroom getting ready. "Oh man," Bandit says, stepping on the scale. Bluey responds, "Why did you say, 'Oh man?'"

"I just need to do some exercise," Bandit answers.

"Tell me about it," Mom Chilli says as she walks into the bathroom with Bingo. That's when Bandit sighs and grabs his tummy.

"Why don't you just do some exercise?" Bluey asks.

Bandit's response? "Same old reason Bluey—you kids and work."

After a conversation about how Bandit doesn't have time to exercise because he will be late to work, Chilli then steps on the scale and groans, "Oh man."

The perception of both mom and dad in the Bluey episode expressing their disgust and unhappiness with their weight on the scale is not a good look—and certainly not the type of behavior to model for children. We know body image is a major issue for kids of all ages, and poor body image can lead to dangerous disordered eating habits.

According to just one study, at age 14, 32% of females and 14.6% of males were not satisfied with their weight. Further, 26.5% of females and 14.9% of males were not happy with their figures. By age 16, 45% of females had at least one disordered eating symptom. But perhaps even more disturbing, girls as young as 3 years old have perceptions that "thin" is good and "fat" is bad.

I applaud the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) for responding to the criticism so quickly. The company put out a statement that reads in part, "The recent episode of Bluey, 'Exercise,' has been republished by the ABC following a decision by the makers of the program. The new version provides families with the opportunity to manage important conversations in their own way."

Thankfully, the episode has not only been updated on the ABC's platforms, but its distributor, BBC Studios, is using the edited version of the episode to air around the world. That includes in the United States on Disney+. (At the time of writing, the episode is not yet on the streaming platform in the U.S.) Kids won't see the scene in question here, but even the topic of the episode could open up a conversation about body image, how we all treat our bodies, and how your body feels.

As a mother of two who has always exercised and tried my best to eat healthy (although not always succeeding!), I definitely agree with the critics—and, as parents, we need to be careful about the content our kids are consuming and the messages it sends.

As with anything we do as parents, we want to set an example for our kids. If I show them I'm exercising regularly and eating my fruits and veggies, it would be my hope that my children would model my behavior. I emphasize that I'm doing this to keep my body healthy and not because I'm "fat" or "overweight." While that's my goal, I also acknowledge that I'm not perfect and sometimes my own insecurities creep into conversation.

But I also have another problem with this scene. It's when Bandit seems to blame the kids for not having any time to himself. While for so many parents, this may be very true (me, included!)—it's not something you should let your kids hear. They don't need to know that. They don't need to think that they are the reason you don't have time for the things that are important to you. That's something you can share with your partner, your friends, or other parents—but not to them.

Time in my house is precious. We are always running here and there—six days a week at dance for my older daughter and year-round soccer for my younger daughter (adding in lacrosse in the Spring). Weekends are packed with games, performances, family obligations, and yes—sometimes some fun and relaxation. But that's when we teach our kids how to prioritize. My kids know that I get up at 5:30 a.m. during the week to get my workout in before they get up. When we do have time for fun and relaxation on the weekends, we may go for a hike or a bike ride.

So Bluey made a boo-boo. We all do. But they quickly tried to make it better. Maybe that's yet another lesson here. Admit your mistake, try to fix it if you can, and move on—improving yourself and those around you in the process. Oh—and there's nothing wrong with wanting to exercise as Bandit suggests. But make it about improving your overall health as well as your body and mind. And be mindful of how you portray it to your children in order to set that example.

Was this page helpful?
Parents uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Bornioli A, Lewis-Smith H, Smith A, Slater A, Bray I. Adolescent body dissatisfaction and disordered eating: Predictors of later risky health behaviours. Social Science & Medicine. 2019

  2. Spiel, Emma & Paxton, Susan & Yager, Zali. (2012). Weight attitudes in 3- to 5-year-old children: Age differences and cross-sectional predictors.

Related Articles