Don’t blame Bluey! There’s a Bluey imposter out there, and it’s ruining a lot of days for families everywhere. As pointed out by the New York Post and other outlets, there is a series of counterfeit Bluey shows on YouTube, which has tricked plenty of kids and adults. Make no mistake, these disturbing spoofs are the polar opposite of the values of the wholesome Australian show.
Basically, a slew of fake Bluey episodes have hit YouTube in the past month. The characters aren’t their correct colors, but the names “Bluey” and “Bingo” are still used. However, the animation is crude, and the actual subjects are crass and downright frightening. In one episode Bluey becomes a werewolf, and in another, characters are seen using AR-15s and flamethrowers. There’s fake vomit and at least one instance of fake-Bluey eating feces.
Whether these were meant to be cringe parodies or shameless rip-offs is debatable, but the result is unwatchable no matter what the perspective is. And for families the danger is obvious: A child, or even a busy parent, might not notice the difference until it’s too late. (This phenomenon is not unique to Bluey. Bizzare Peppa Pig knock-offs exist on YouTube.) So, what are parents supposed to do?
How to avoid fake Bluey
The best way to avoid accidentally watching gross knock-off Bluey is simple: Don’t use YouTube to watch full episodes of Bluey. Here’s the only exception: YouTube Kids does have a section of authentic Bluey to watch, ranging from clips, live streams, and a handful of full episodes. All of those can be found exclusively on the official Bluey channel on YouTube. However, even using the child-oriented channel, viewers will notice the sidebar littered with unofficial Bluey content.
Historically, YouTube has not been great at regulating the deluge of third-party creators cashing in on successful franchises, so parents will have to remain vigilant to ensure the eyes of their kids don’t stray into unsavory things. Easy fix: Don’t risk using YouTube to watch shows that are available on legit streaming services.
While most sites have neglected to share links to the controversial bootlegs, some of those channels seem to be suspiciously unreachable at this time. Your best bet? Don’t use YouTube to watch kids shows you can watch elsewhere. While there are decent-ish parental controls on YouTube, there’s a long history of issues with this platform. If a great kids show is only on YouTube, that seems okay. But be very careful. Things like the fake Bluey can crop up fairly easily.
Bottom line: Stay far away from these false Heelers, even if curiosity beckons. How traumatic these cartoons will be to children varies person-to-person, but there’s no reason to take a risk when the real thing is so much easier to find, and infinitely more enjoyable.
Bluey streams on Disney+ in the U.S.