Around the time when Steve packed his bags, hopped on a cartoon bus and left the show in 2002, I was on the cusp of moving onto more high-brow, sophisticated programming on Nickelodeon, like Spongebob Squarepants, but seeing Steve replaced by his “older brother” Joe still made me sad, confused and a bit betrayed by his sudden, unexplained departure. And it seems I wasn’t alone.
In case you missed it, it’s the 25th anniversary of Blue’s Clues and in honor of that milestone, all three hosts — Steve, Joe and present-day host Josh — have been filming fun TikTok and Twitter videos answering fan questions and reacting to their first episodes. Yesterday, though, things took a bit of an emotional turn when the official Twitter account for Nick Jr. posted a video of OG host Steve addressing his abrupt exit, that of which has been a subject of speculation and rumors for the last two decades.
Talking directly to his millennial and Gen-Z friends while sporting his signature green-stipe rugby shirt, Steve explains that he left the show to go to college and admits his departure was an abrupt one.
“I realize that was kind of abrupt. I just kind of got up and went to college. And that was really challenging, by the way, but great because I got to use my mind and take a step at a time, and now I literally am doing many of the things that I wanted to do,” he says in the video, before turning the attention towards us — and here is when the tears start flowing:
“And then look at you, and look at all you have done and all you have accomplished in all that time. And it’s just … it’s just so amazing, right? I mean we started out with clues and now it’s student loans, and jobs and families. And some of that has been really hard, you know? I know you know and I wanted to tell you that I really couldn’t have done that without all of your help,” said Burns in the video.
“I guess I just wanted to say that after all these years I never forgot you … ever.”
These heartfelt, kind words from our dear old friend were enough to put internet users like me, who grew up every day watching Steve, Blue, Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper, over the edge.
Some TikTok users filmed themselves crying while watching the video. After hearing Steve tell them he was proud of all they’ve accomplished, Twitter users expressed feelings self-confidence, while many finally found closure in his (long-overdue) explanation and apology: “Now that Steve from blues clues apologized, I can begin to work on my issues with men,” wrote Twitter user @oranicuhh. “2021 is about healing.”
There are too many good, relatable reactions to feature here, but please enjoy the few below, and remember, Steve is proud of you.