Original Blues Clues host Steve Burns has stunned grown-up fans of the late '90s kids show on its 25th anniversary by returning with an explanation for his "abrupt" departure from the series.
Burns left viewers heartbroken when he left the show in 2002, with his 'little brother' Joe stepping in to replace him. Now in a viral video shared by Nick Jr on Twitter, Burns tells fans he "never forgot them", explaining he had to go off to college so he could 'do anything that he wanted to do' - in the words of one of the show's iconic songs.
"You remember how when we were younger, we used to run around and hang out with Blue and find clues and talk to Mr Salt and freak out about the mail and do all the fun stuff?" Burns began in the clip.
"And then one day, I was like, 'Oh hey, guess what? Big news, I'm leaving. Here's my brother Joe, he's your new best friend', and then I got on a bus and I left and we didn't see each other for like a really long time? Can we just talk about that? Because I realise that was kind of abrupt.
"I just kinda 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," Burns continued, dressed in the same outfit he used to wear on the show.
"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?" Burns went on to address the viewer.
"I mean, we started out with clues, and now, it's what? Student loans and jobs and families? And some of it has been kind of hard, you know? I know you know.
"I wanted to tell you that I really couldn't have done all of that without your help. And in fact, all the help that you helped me with when we were younger is still helping me today, right now. And that's super cool," he added, before the message took an even more meaningful turn.
"I guess I just wanted to say that after all these years, I never forgot you. Ever. And I'm super glad we're still friends.
"You look great by the way," Burns concluded. "Whatever it is you're doing, is working."
The unexpected return of the Blues Clues star sent millennial fans into an emotional tailspin, with many of them sharing their feelings of "closure" on Twitter.
"Now that Steve from Blues Clues apologised, I can begin to work on my issues with men. 2021 is about healing," one tweet read.
"Far too old to be sobbing over Blues Clues and yet here I am," wrote another.
"I didn't even know I needed Blues Clues closure until now," said a third.
"Blues Clues Steve is proud of me and says I still look good so you can't tell me SHIT for the rest of the week," another person wrote.
At the time of writing, Burns' video message has been viewed over 9.4 million times on Twitter.