PLEASE NOTE THIS ARTICLE HAS MENTIONS HOMOPHOBIA, INTERNALISED HOMOPHOBIA, SELF-HARM, AND EATING DISORDERS.
For a show that only has two seasons with only eight episodes per season, there are a lot of stand out moments within the show. There are funny moments, frustrating ones, and ones that made us want to sob into a pillow. Below is a list of moments within Heartstopper that stood out the most.
3 Times Heartstopper Made Us Laugh
There are so many serious moments within Heartstopper, it’s nice to recognise the comic relief within the show. Here are the top three times the show made us laugh.
- Tao’s dancing.
There are several moments over both seasons where Tao dances, usually around Elle. The best of these has to be at the sleepover in Charlie’s house in season 1. Elle tells Tao to stop being annoying and change the subject because he keeps grumbling about Nick. Realising he’s starting to annoy her, he decides to make her laugh and performs ‘a piece of interpretive dance.’
The moves Tao launches into are ridiculous and fun and relatable. Let’s face it, all of us at some point have danced like no one was watching, and we all have that one friend who would do this for us without worrying that they would be made fun of for it. Good on you, Tao!
- Darcy in the Euro Tunnel.
Even though Darcy has a difficult time with her family in Season 2, her spirits are always high. She jokes at every opportunity and her love of life can be infectious for the other characters. Quite often, her airy comments can diffuse a tense situation, allowing the other characters some breathing space, like the journey to Paris through the EuroTunnel. Tara is feeling uncertain over Darcy’s response to her saying ‘I love you,’, but when Darcy asks the teacher ‘Sir, are we under the water? Then why can’t we see any fish?’ it completely dispels the tension for that moment.
Sure, Darcy was being serious and actually thought there would be fish, but that doesn’t make the comic relief any less welcome. And let’s face it, the Euro Tunnel would be far more cool if you could see the actual ocean instead of a dark tunnel.
- Nick can speak French?
When in Paris, the three moments Nick is caught speaking French by his peer group are surprising and funny. Firstly, when Tao overhears Nick on the phone to his dad, it completely pulls him out of his funk over Elle for a moment, while also adding some extra depth to an already awesome Nick. Secondly, when Nick is ordering ice-cream with Sahar, Darcy, Isaac, and James, he’s asked by the gobsmacked teens ‘Since when could you speak French like an actual French person?’
However, the best response by far is Charlie’s. When he and Nick are in the Greek statue exhibit and Nick speaks to his dad on the phone, Charlie’s expression goes from surprised to turned faster than the speed of light. When he says ‘You speak French fluently,’ he’s blushing and can’t stop grinning at Nick, who’s rather amused at Charlie’s response.
The best part of this whole thing is how normal Nick acts about it, as if everyone should just magically know he can speak French, like it’s no big deal. We’re on your side Charlie, Nick speaking French is very cool indeed!
6 Times Heartstopper Made Us Cry
There were so many tear-worthy moments within this show, but we’ve managed to whittle them down to just six!
Content Warning: Please note that this section will have mentions of self harm, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, coming out, homophobia, alcohol misuse, and struggles with sexual identities. If you’re triggered by any of these things, please skip this section and jump to ‘9 Moments Heartstopper Larried Hard.’
- Charlie’s eating disorder and self harm.
In Season 1, we see hints of Charlie’s self loathing, which is a result of the bullying he was the victim of prior to the start of the show. They’re small and not much attention is drawn to them, so it’s easy to overlook them for the more prominent moments in the show. For example, when Charlie walks towards the changing rooms after first agreeing to join the rugby team, we see him stall for a moment in the corridor with echos of the bullying around him, but then he walks into the changing room and the moment is lost for the reality of him having to navigate being on a team with his old bullies. Another moment would be when Charlie is upset at how things are with Tao and Nick after Harry fights with them both and he sits alone with his lunch on the floor of the art room. He opens his lunch box but just closes it again, opting not to eat anything. Again, this is a small moment as we focus more on the situation with Nick and Tao, but it’s one of the many small instances where we learn that Charlie has internalised a lot of what the bullies said to him and harms himself in order to cope with that.
In season 2, this is a much more prominent issue. We see Charlie purposely skipping meals, for example after Nick’s brother is horrible to them early in the season, Charlie goes home and refuses dinner, telling his dad he ate at Nick’s. After Charlie faints in the Louvre, Nick confronts him, gently asking him about his eating. Charlie opens up to Nick a little, stating, ‘I know I don’t eat like normal people. Some days I’m fine, but other days I feel like I need to control it. I used to do it a lot last year when everything at school got really bad. Sometimes it feels like the only thing I can control in my life.’
It’s a perfectly portrayed scene, with Nick letting Charlie talk and not judging him, even though he doesn’t quite get why Charlie does it. When Charlie tries to apologise at first for his eating habits, Nick tells him not to be sorry, he just wants to understand. I feel like this scene, for how short it is, perfectly packs in how traumatic and anxiety-inducing it can be for someone with an eating disorder to talk about it. It also shows the perfect way for dealing with this conversation, with patience and the wish to understand. So often, people can demand that however a person is feeling, they need to eat and, therefore, end of story. This is a very unhelpful approach as it invalidates the person’s feelings and experiences. Here, Nick makes sure Charlie knows he has a safe space to talk about these things with him.
Later on in the series, after the prom, Nick asks Charlie about the bullying at school. He’s been suspecting Charlie struggles with it more than he lets people know and he wants Charlie to understand that he can tell Nick these things. Thankfully, Charlie believes him and opens up about his self harm. There is a small instance in the Louvre when Charlie pinches himself roughly on the arm as Nick asks him about his eating, and this is where we finally learn more about that aspect of Charlie’s struggles. He mentions that he didn’t realise that people were still homophobic in this day and age and how much of a shock it was when he was outed: ‘People would just call me disgusting to my face, and it went on for so long I think I started to believe what they were saying. It made me really hate myself.’
Nick listens without interrupting, giving Charlie his first proper healthy outlet for his feelings since he was outed the year before. Even when Charlie mentions he would cut himself and that he sometimes still does it, Nick doesn’t interrupt him. Instead, he waits with tears in his eyes until Charlie has finished and then hugs him tight.
Self harm is still thought of negatively in society, which is detrimental as so many people suffer from it. It’s often seen as attention seeking, but really it’s someone needing help to cope with something bigger than they can process. Therapy and counselling are available, but with the stigma of shame attached to self harm, it’s no wonder people keep it to themselves and suffer in silence. The way Nick handled this conversation was sympathetic and gentle and if more people had that approach, then less people would struggle with self harm.
- Nick coming out to his mum.
For all the moments in Heartstopper which are upsetting for showing the characters we love suffer, this is one moment that stands out for making me cry out of relief and happiness instead of something more negative.
At the end of Season 1, we see Nick sit down with his mum in the kitchen with a cup of tea. At first, it looks like just a passing interaction, but Nick asks if he can talk to her, changing the tone immediately. Nick looks nervous but bravely tells his mum, ‘He’s my boyfriend. Charlie’s my boyfriend. I still like girls, but I-I’m, I like boys too. And me and Charlie, we’re going out, and I just wanted you to know.’
Olivia Coleman who plays Nick’s mum is amazing in the scene, hugging him and thanking Nick for telling her. She’s understanding and lets him completely finish what he has to say before responding. She listens to him and immediately accepts him as bisexual. There are so many people who struggle with coming out to their parents, and it isn’t always as smooth as Nick’s experience with his mum. It can be scary and nerve-wracking and there’s no right way to do it, except when it feels right to you.
- Nick struggles to come out and has a panic attack.
Coming out is a huge deal and is highly personal. Everyone has the right to choose when to come out and who they come out to. Sadly, Nick feels under a lot of pressure to come out to everyone. This isn’t because of anything Charlie has said or done to him, but because Nick doesn’t want Charlie to feel like he’s ashamed of him in any way. He’s very aware of the effect the strict rules Ben had placed on Charlie had and seems determined to avoid a repeat situation. Even though there is no chance of Nick ever being like Ben, Nick is still determined to prove to Charlie how much he means to him, and part of that is for Nick to come out. He plans on telling his rugby mates at the after-GCSE party in the forest. Before they go, it’s clear Nick is nervous and feeling off, so much so that Charlie notices and offers for them to miss the party. As the episode progresses and the party gets underway, Nick begins to feel worse. The party is loud and busy and he becomes separated from Charlie. Everyone is drinking alcohol and partying and still Nick tries to tell his friends about his sexuality. However, the words don’t come out and he begins to have a panic attack at the situation. Thankfully, Charlie finds him, notices he’s unwell and anxious, and takes him home to calm down.
This whole scene was incredibly portrayed. The panning in on Nick’s face, the look of wild panic on his face, the watery eyes and the voices of the other characters speaking out his worst fears to his news were all spot on. I’ve suffered from anxiety for years and this is very close to how a panic attack feels for me, and so I felt so strongly for Nick at that moment. It wasn’t a moment too soon when Charlie found him and took him home to look after him.
So many people struggle with the pressures of coming out and telling people when you’re not quite ready to can feel like the world is closing in on you. This scene is highly relatable for so much of the LGBTQ+ community and really highlights how important it is to be respectful of each other’s boundaries and also to be patient with yourself.
- Charlie tells Nick it’s ok not to come out right away.
Following immediately on from the previous point, once Charlie has Nick back home and calm, he comforts him with words which are not only true, but are wise beyond his 15 years. He tells Nick, ‘I think there’s this idea that when you’re not straight that you have to tell all your friends and family immediately that you owe it to them, but you don’t.’
As if the situation wasn’t emotionally charged enough, Charlie suggests keeping their relationship a secret for the Paris trip, so they can just enjoy the trip and not worry about anything else. He could see Nick was struggling and decided to remove some of the pressure from the situation.
This was 100% the right thing for Charlie to say to Nick at this time. He didn’t play it down or try to brush it off as being fine, but instead gave it the importance it deserved. So much ‘coming out’ is done out of expectation, or so any straight friends won’t feel blindsighted, that it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that coming out should be something that you do for yourself, to the people you choose, in a situation that feels right.
- Darcy struggles with her family situation.
For all of Darcy’s confidence in who she is and her relationship with Tara, we find out that she’s not actually out to her family. Darcy, who seems larger than life, proud, and fearless, is terrified of telling her family the truth because they are so homophobic and negative towards anything remotely LGBTQ+ that she feels trapped. The moment when Darcy is in her room trying on her prom outfit is so upsetting because she’s so happy posing in front of the mirror and taking selfies for Instagram, that when her mother comes in and refuses to let her wear the suit because she looks ‘like a lesbian’ it really cuts to the quick. Her mother tells her to leave the house, and so Darcy spends the night and most of the next day in the park alone.
Suddenly, there’s more to Darcy than comic relief and we see that her confidence is really a protective act she puts on. This is a situation so many viewers will be able to identify with and it makes our hearts break for what Darcy must be going through.
- Isaac struggles with asexuality.
Asexuality and aromanticism is something which is still largely confusing to a lot of people. Even in the LGBTQ+ community, people are still educating themselves about it, and to have it represented on the show is a fantastic way to help everyone understand it more.
Isaac has always seemed more interested in books and friends than finding anything romantic for himself. He’s happy building friendships and hanging out with people, but when he grows closer to James in Season 2, things get very confusing for him. James is clearly flirting with him and all his friends are trying to encourage them to get together, and yet Isaac seems to be lost as to why that needs to happen. The more his friends try to encourage him to engage with James and the more James flirts, the more Isaac feels isolated and unsure. However, things come to a head in episode 7. On the way to Elle’s art show, Isaac tells James that he doesn’t like him romantically and thinks there’s something wrong with him. When he goes back to his friends and they tease him, he explodes, yelling ‘Can you guys just shut up? I get you don’t think my life is interesting unless I have some kind of romantic drama going on but I’m sorry to break it to you, I don’t like him back, okay? You can all carry on with your day now.” You can see how alone he’s feeling, but the real teary moment comes a little later at the art show.
He sees a piece on display that he’s drawn to and can’t explain why, but when he asks the artist what it’s about, it all becomes clear: ‘Being in a world where romance and sex are prized with everything else when you don’t feel those forms of attraction. Growing up feeling that something about you is different but not having the words to describe what that is. But then, freedom. The euphoria of freeing yourself from those pressures and expectations.’
Isaac’s face when he hears those words and everything just clicks for him had so many people reaching for the tissues.
9 Times Heartstopper Larried Hard
- Almost touches.
During the two seasons of Heartstopper we see Nick and Charlie almost touch or indulge in secret touches constantly, as their relationship isn’t public knowledge for the majority of the show. This specific moment shows the boys at the Eiffel Tower. It’s a romantic spot and Nick has just stood up for Charlie once again against some of his old friends, so it’s no surprise Charlie reaches out to touch Nick’s hand, albeit covertly. It’s a special moment and Charlie wants to show affection to his boyfriend.
This is something we see a lot between Harry and Louis back in the One Direction days. During interviews or press opportunities, they would often make sure to sit next to each other, or if that wasn’t possible, stand near where the other was sitting, in order to enjoy a little closeness. Sadly, they were very carefully watched by management, so any touching or affectionate gestures would get them into trouble. That didn’t stop them showing affection though, as can be seen in this still from an interview and signing event with K104.7 Radio back in 2011. Here, we can see Harry has positioned himself behind Louis and carefully caresses Louis’ arm with his fingers. It’s just for a moment, as Zayn leans forwards to try and block the touch from the camera view so they won’t get into trouble from management, but it’s powerful. There may not have been animated sparks flying like in Heartstopper, but you can see the emotion and chemistry behind the touch regardless.
- Mario Kart.
One of the main things Nick and Charlie do together throughout both seasons is play video games, Mario Kart in particular. The couple bickers goodnaturedly as they play, vying over who might win, showing that they’re still friends underneath the romantic layers of their relationship. The scenes with Mario Kart tend to lead to some sweet moments, like in Season 1 when Nick tells Charlie that he always wins when they play, saying that he’s a ‘proper little nerd’ and ‘just good at everything’. Charlie blushes at the compliment and covers Nick’s mouth with his hand, making for a rather sweet moment. It was a welcome surprise in the opening sequences of season 2 to see that Nick and Charlie have kept up their tradition of playing Mario Kart together, showing they haven’t changed, just grown closer.
Whenever Mario Kart is mentioned, Larries the world over immediately think of the interview with Sugarscape on 16th of February 2012. Here, the interviewer comments that Harry and Louis have a ‘special relationship’ and asks them ‘who usually is in front and who usually is behind when you’re playing Mario Kart.’ The interviewer might have meant nothing by the question, we’ll likely never know for sure, but the reaction from the boys was anything but subtle. Zayn’s face is priceless as he struggles to keep himself from laughing, as was Nialls. Liam, however, missed the innuendo at first causing the other boys to tease him. The best reaction by far was between Harry and Louis. Harry repeats the question back to the interviewer before Louis jumps in, saying ‘I think we share that,’ a large grin on his face. The boys clearly try to control their laughter as they continue the innuendo, saying if one of them is tired, the other one will go behind and push them along, finishing up with Louis stating that they’re both ‘quite generous to each other.’
This interview is generally taken as blatant proof Larry is real and has secured itself with fans hall as one of the most memorable Larry moments ever. The interview can be found at the link below. This interview is generally taken as blatant proof Larry is real and has secured itself with fans hall as one of the most memorable Larry moments ever. The interview can be found at the link below.
Hugs are a huge part of any relationship, and this is definitely the case for Charlie and Nick. They hug and hold each other at every opportunity, even before Nick had realised his sexuality in Season 1. The specific moment chosen below is from Season 1, when Nick takes Charlie to the cinema to hang out with his rugby mates (with the exception of Harry and Ben, who weren’t invited.) In the parking lot before the movie, Nick and Charlie share a loving hug before heading into the cinema to meet the others. It’s a sweet moment (and it has blue-green in it!)
There are many times when foetus Harry and Louis would hug, but when management began the narrative of them not getting along, they were unable to be seen together, sometimes weren’t even allowed to sit or stand next to each other, nevermind hug each other. However, on the last on stage performance before One Direction went on hiatus, Harry and Louis hugged each other on stage. This hug has quickly become known as one of the most important Larry hugs because it was the last one, their last chance to hug publicly. It’s a bittersweet moment for them and for the fans.
Blue-greening is everywhere in Heartstopper. From the colour of their bedroom walls to their clothes and accessories, Charlie and Nick blue-green almost as much as Harry and Louis do, and that’s saying something! There are so many instances that it would be difficult to list them all. Instead, here is my favourite blue-green moment from the show so far. In season 2, Charlie is fixing his hair in the mirror before they leave for Tara’s birthday party and Nick comes up behind him to give him a hug. It’s romantic and sweet and just makes me fond every time I see it.
Just as Heartstopper has too many blue-green moments to choose from, it would be impossible to list every instance Harry and Louis have done this, especially since they’ve been doing this since One Direction was formed. This year’s overlap in Harry and Louis’ tours was particularly eventful, with blue and green lights, outfits, and, at one point, Harry’s security staff had blue and green vests on! However, one of my favourite moments was when One Direction was posing for a group photo. When you crop the image to just Harry and Louis, it’s soft and content and entirely sweet.
- Sending messages while next to each other.
During the first episode of Season 2, Charlie has a sleepover with Nick, his friends, and Imogen, with the goal of helping Nick come out to Imogen. After everyone has settled down for the night into bed, Nick and Charlie have their phones out and are texting each other, even though they’re no more than two feet away from each other.
This is something foetus Harry and Louis have done, when they were allowed to have public interactions with each other. Quite often, the boys would tweet each other sweet and/or teasing messages, sending couple vibes to everyone who saw the posts on social media. This one particular instance, Harry and Louis are sitting near each other, certainly close enough to chat, and yet they still posted messages to each other on Twitter for everyone to see.
This exchange was one of their more obvious ones, with Harry outright calling Louis ‘sexy,’ while Louis admits he’s being ‘seduced’ by Harry. This is certainly not a typical ‘bro’ exchange and isn’t something which can be explained away as mere banter. Of all the tweets the boys exchanged, this one is a fan favourite.
- Pride flag colours.
Throughout Heartstopper, rainbows and pride flag colours are visible throughout the show. From the lesbian flag coloured background when Tara and Darcy come out to Elle in a classroom at school, to the rainbow pin Mr Ajayi wears on his shirt, these hints are everywhere and directly relate to the sexual orientation of the characters on screen at that time. One particular memorable moment is when Nick is at Harry’s party in Season 1. When he sees Tara and Darcy kiss, he feels hopeful and the lights around him and especially on his face, are those of the bisexual flag. Pride flags and rainbows are nothing new to Harry and Louis. While Harry regularly waves pride flags on stage, helping fans to come out, Louis is often a little more subtle, using his stage lights to reflect several different pride flags.
- Watching your crush/boyfriend play sports.
Charlie watches Nick twice that we’re shown in the series. Once in season 1 when Charlie’s a reserve and once at the end of Season 1 when Nick’s playing the rugby game for the Truham/Higgs sports day. At the reserve game Charlie just has a crush and Nick is meant to be ‘straight’, but Nick keeps looking over at Charlie, ignoring the group hug with his team mates in favour of making sure Charlie was watching him. He also makes a point of shouting Charlie’s name and waving at him.
This is very Harry and Louis. Harry watches Louis play in the video below along with Liam and Niall, but Harry’s responses are far more than the other two bandmates. Also, Louis keeps looking over at Harry and even runs across the pitch to hi-five Harry at one point. At the end of the match, Louis hugs both Niall and Harry, but Niall’s hug is a side shoulder style hug and very platonic. The hug he gives Harry is front facing and lasts longer, altogether much more intimate.
Footage of this Larry moment can be seen at the link below.
- Nick touching Charlie’s hair
Throughout the show, Nick touches and plays with Charlie’s hair. It starts off innocently, as you can see from the picture below when he notices Charlie got a haircut, but later on in the episode he touches it again to smooth away some snowflakes caught in it, and then in several other episodes over the rest of season 1 and season 2 Nick touches it, often without realising. At one point, at the end of season 2, Nick tells Charlie he loves his hair.
This is certainly something we see with Harry and Louis, as there are numerous early interactions with them where Louis is either referring to Harry’s hair or touching it in some way. The still below is taken from the only solo interview they’ve ever done together with Teemix in Paris, February 2012. Both Harry and Louis were very couply during the interview, with Louis reaching out to touch Harry’s hair more than once.
- Drawing/Initials on each other.
On the way to maths class in Episode 1, season 1, Charlie bumps into Nick, who’s doing his maths homework as he walks to class. Charlie offers to help him, but as they scuffle over the notebook, Nic ends up drawing a pen line on Charlie’s hand. Charlie asks, ‘How dare you,’ only to have Nick hold his hand still and draw eyes above the mark, turning it into a smiley face. This small act seems to melt away any irritation Charlie feels and when Nick asks him if that makes it better, Charlie responds with ‘Maybe,’ and a completely charmed and gooey look on his face.
True, we only see this once in Heartstopper, but it’s something fans saw from young Harry and Louis quite often. There are several images of Harry with Louis’ initials doodled on his hands or clothes. This is a rather cute and subtle way for them to show their support and affection for each other.
As you can see, Heartstopper is choc-full of happy, sad, silly, and downright memorable moments that everyone needs in their life. If you haven’t already seen it, both seasons can be streamed on Netflix. Enjoy!