Welcome to Millennial Misremembers, where we talk about old shows (and sometimes other things!). In this edition, I’m misremembering Blue’s Clues. This show debuted with Season 1 Episode 1 (“Blue’s Snack Time”) on September 8, 1996, on Nickelodeon. It was (and still is) renowned for its educational value

What I (Mis)Remember

Blue’s Clues came out when I was eight, but I most remember watching it when I was homesick in middle and high school. There was something quite soothing about the monotony and predictability of it all. And, of course, Steve Burns had a comforting voice, perfect for a day at home. I never really talked about it with fellow teens, but I am sure I am not the only one who did this. 

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As far as what the actual show was? Steve and Blue, a dog, followed a set of clues to solve some sort of mystery or crime? Whatever the case, it was all surely low-stakes. In any case, I’m stoked for this one; I could use a half hour of comfort-watching

Let’s Rewatch!

The episode opens on Steve’s (Burns) house, which is half animated and half real. Steve himself is live-action. He pops out the window and waves. He then asks the audience if we’ve seen his puppy, Blue (Traci Paige Johnson). The audience replies, “There she is!”

We enter with Steve, who tells us it’s almost snack time! But Steve cannot find Blue. She’s under the table! And the audience tells him so. Steve tells her he has everything ready for snack time — graham crackers! Blue disagrees. 

They’re gonna play “Blue’s Clues” to figure out what Blue wants. Blue’s paw print will be on any clue relevant to her wants. Steve’s ready once he grabs his Handy-Dandy Notebook. Steve asks the audience to help solve the mystery!

He sings that we need to find three paw prints and put them in a notebook. We’ll be able to solve it at the end of the clue-finding. 

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An audience member sees a clue! Steve cannot find it right away, but after shuffling around anxiously, he realizes the clue is a cup. How do we know? It’s got a big blue paw print on it. That means it’s time to draw the cup in the Handy-Dandy Notebook! 

Steve teaches us how to draw a cup. But then he’s confused because you can’t eat a cup. He comes to the shocking realization that maybe Blue wants to put something into the cup.

Next, Blue is hiding under the bed. Steve tries to sneak up on her. But every time that Steve looks, Blue jumps onto the bed, and every time Steve looks on top of the bed, Blue jumps down. Finally, Steve feints and catches her. 

Next, Blue runs over to a painting of elephants to finish painting them. The audience helps Blue recognize the colors and the sizes of elephants. It’s cute.

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Now, Mr. Salt (Nick Balaban) and Mrs. Pepper (Spencer Kayden) call Steve to warn him of the mess Blue is making in the kitchen. Blue knocked over the grocery bag, and now four items are to be put away. This is used as an exercise to teach kids shapes. (“Let’s put away a circle!”/”It’s the cheese!”)

Next, Blue messes with some straws that Steve puts away. It’s all a guise to show off another clue — out comes the Handy-Dandy Notebook to draw a straw. Finally, Steve deduces (with the audience’s help) that Blue wants to drink something with her snack.

Then it’s MAIL TIME. Like Steve, that’s one of my favorite times of the day. Anyhoo, they just got a letter (They just got a letter, they just got a letter. Wonder who it’s from… ). It’s not actually a letter but a video of three viewers having a snack. Now I am hungry for peanut butter and apples!

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Next, Blue skidoos, and we can, too. Blue jumps into a painting of a farm. Before Steve can find clue numero tres, he has to help some little chicks find their buddies. All the chick-buddy pairs are wearing matching hats, which is another opportunity for learning. 

Just then, Blue jumps onto Steve’s head and leads him to the third clue — a cow. When Blue suggests that maybe she wants to drink a cow with her snack, the cow makes a furious face, and I love it. Steve pulls out the Handy-Dandy Notebook once again. 

After that, it’s time to go home to the Thinking Chair! What do we think Blue wants with her snack? Does she want to slurp a cow in a cup? No, you goose, she wants milk. “We just figured out Blue’s Clues/We just figured out Blue’s Clues/Because we’re really smart.” Watch out, Steve, a lot of dogs are lactose intolerant

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All the characters from the episode join Steve and Blue for a snack, and he summarizes what they all did that day. He then sings a bye-bye song. 

Does It Live Up to the Nostalgia?

Here’s the thing: Blue’s Clues was pretty dull. That said, having taught kindergarten and seen the mess of programming today (cough cough Peppa Pig cough cough), I’d much prefer my hypothetical kids to watch this than that garbage. 

So, I recommend millennials with wee ones breaking Blue’s Clues out if you’re looking for some edutainment for them. 

And that’s all they wrote for this edition of Millennial Misremembers. What was your sick day go-to? Let us know if the comments below! 

Millennial Misremembers: KENAN AND KEL

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