I was watching Emmys when I heard the phrase "go blue" from Darren Criss who won the award for the lead actor in a limited series. He said:

Congratulations to all of you. Thank you to the television academy. Go blue.

You can find his speech here and this phrase at 1:29.

I googled go blue and I found this:

This is in reference to a 'blue movie', a euphemistic term for a pornographic film.

going a bit blue then would mean that the programme/character in question is normally 'clean' but has begun to include more adult themes.

and this one:

to turn blue from being cold or not breathing

But I think none of them makes sense in this context. So what does "go blue" mean here?

  • I'd never heard "go blue" said to mean a reference to "blue movies" as in pornographic films until now. Wikipedia traces the term's origin (in the context of something "adult" or "risque") to the 1890's at the earliest, and even the answer you linked admits the usage goes back to "the early 1800's", which excludes the possibility that its etymological origins are in such a reference. Regardless, it's not the phrase used here; Laurel's answer below is likely correct that this usage is completely irrelevant to the speech in question. Commented Sep 24, 2018 at 13:44
  • Here is a link to the University of Michigan Arts and Culture site on the matter: Alumnus Darren Criss wins Emmy award, concludes speech with Go Blue. Hope this answers your question.
    – Elizabeth
    Commented Jul 29, 2020 at 4:08

3 Answers 3


"Go Blue" is similar to "Go Wildcats", where the second word refers to a school or sports team.

In this particular case, blue is one of the colors of the University of Michigan, which is where Criss went to school. If you went to one of their sports games, you might hear the song Let's Go Blue.

  • 1
    Go Blue! Hail! to the victors valiant... "Let's Go Blue" is a very short piece and not as well known as Michigan's original and main fight song, "The Victors": en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Victors
    – ttbek
    Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 21:02
  • @ttbek True, but "The Victors" does not contain the word "blue".
    – aschepler
    Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 21:51

The phrase Go X is a generic cheer of support for or solidarity with X in a competition, or more broadly used to express encouragement or admiration.

Let's go Red Sox!

I went to high school in White Bear Lake. Go Bears!

Go on, girl! (nowadays, more commonly You go, girl!)

Context is highly important as there are hundreds and hundreds of things blue could refer to; it could be cheering on police (in parallel with firefighter red), it could be cheering on the US Democratic Party (since the 2000 election; Republicans became identified with red at the same time for the same reason), it could be cheering on the Los Angeles Dodgers (Dodger blue has even become an X11 color). Darren Criss is a graduate of the University of Michigan, whose colors are maize and blue but whose football team is cheered on simply as the "Blue," so that is as likely the intended meaning as any other, having no other context to go on.

  • 3
    Not just the football team, "Go Blue!," is in reference to the entire university, all it's students, staff, and graduates in all their endeavors.
    – ttbek
    Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 21:05

Go Blue = Go Michigan. He was referring to the Michigan football team.

"Go Blue" flag with a Michigan "M"


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