UK-based rom-com series ‘Heartstopper’ is based on Charlie Spring, a gay boy who finds himself attracted to the school’s rugby star, Nick Nelson. It is now streaming on Netflix.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
Charlie Spring (Joe Locke), a gay year-10 boy, secretly meets Ben Hope (Sebastian Croft), who refuses to give their relationship meaning in public, actually refusing to acknowledge he even knows Charlie.
In one of his classes, Charlie sits next to Nick Nelson (Kit Connor), a year-11 student and the rugby star of the school, and is immediately attracted to him. The two meet frequently and become good friends.
Fed up with how Ben treats him, Charlie attempts to break up with him, but he refuses and tries forcing himself onto him. Nick steps in to protect Charlie.
Tao (Willian Gao), Charlie’s best friend, is wary of Nick, as he thinks he is just like every other rugby player at the school, and worries for Charlie.
He is also in constant contact with Elle (Yasmin Finney), who is the fourth member of their group, along with Isaac (Tobie Donovan). She transferred schools before the start of the series after coming out as trans.
When Nick sees Charlie running quite fast during PE, he suggests that he join the rugby team as a reserve, to which he agrees.
As the two spend more time together, sparks begin to fly. Nick questions his own feelings, unable to understand if he’s actually attracted to Charlie.
Nick’s friends aren’t as nice as him. They try to bully Charlie at every chance they get, and question why he even joined the team. Harry (Cormac Hyde-Corrin) is the worst among them.
Everybody believes that Nick is straight, including Charlie. There’s a rumor that he’s interested in a girl named Tara (Corrina Brown), who’s in Elle’s school.
Charlie asks Elle to find out if there’s anything. It turns out that Tara is a lesbian and she’s dating Darcy (Kizzy Edgell). The three end up becoming good friends.
During Harry’s party, Tara confides in Nick that she’s a lesbian. This gives him the courage to confess to Charlie, and the two kiss.
Thinking of it as a mistake, Charlie believes Nick will ignore him now. But he shows up at his front door and they kiss again, accepting each other’s feelings.
However, since Nick is still figuring out his sexuality, they decide to keep their relationship a secret for the time being.
Imogen (Rhea Norwood) has a crush on Nick and asks him out on a date. Ambushed, and with everyone watching, he says yes to her.
When he tries telling her otherwise, she springs the news of the death of her dog, and he can’t bring himself to hurt her.
The date clashes with Charlie’s birthday. After giving it thought, he decides to go to the latter, after a helpful nudge by his mother (Olivia Colman). He is also honest with Imogen later that he does not feel that way about her.
Tara and Darcy make their relationship public, but it takes a toll on the former, as everybody starts behaving differently toward them.
Attempting to set up Tao and Elle together, Tara, Darcy, Nick, and Charlie call them to an outing. There, Nick tells Elle about him and Charlie. But Tao knows neither about the two nor about Elle’s feelings for him.
In the process of figuring out his sexuality, Nick comes to the conclusion that he is, in fact, bisexual.
Nick calls Charlie on a trip to the movies with his friends, thinking Harry wouldn’t show up, but he does and bullies Charlie. Hurt, he leaves and Nick gets into a fight with Harry.
Later, Harry tries to bully Tao but ends up getting into a fight with him as well. Tao is also told by Elle that Nick and Charlie are dating. Hurt by his best friend not telling him the truth, it strains their relationship.
Charlie starts to feel that him and Nick being together is ruining his friendship with Tao, as well as Nick’s friendship with his rugby mates. He contemplates ending things.
If you still have doubts about the ending, here’s a full breakdown:
Heartstopper ending explained in detail: (Episode 6: Boyfriend)
Nick and Tao
Charlie’s sister, Tori (Jenny Walser), finds him in a bad mood because of all that’s been going on and comforts him. He starts avoiding Nick and even quits the rugby team.
Nick and Tao have a chat about Charlie. Nick tells him that the reason he hadn’t told him about the two was that he values his opinion as his best friend.
Tao tells him that everything has been happening because he wanted to protect Nick, but if he had known about them from the start, things could have been different.
The two agree that Charlie has a tendency to start believing everything bad is his fault. Tao says Charlie wants more than just someone to kiss secretly, and he should talk to him.
Truham and Higgs Sports day
The joint-sports day of Elle’s school, Higgs, and the others’ school, Truham, is conducted. Charlie literally flees every time he catches sight of Nick, who just can’t seem to start a conversation.
Tao is the only year 10 student who hasn’t signed up for an event and is asked to take part in the 200-meter sprint. Taking his place in the blue team, Charlie ends up running in the race instead, facing off against Ben.
After a close contest, Charlie beats Ben and lets him know that he can’t keep making Charlie feel miserable for his own struggle to come to terms with his sexuality.
Elle and Tao have a moment in the art room when she scrubs the blue team paint off his face, hinting at a romance between the two.
Nick’s rugby match begins and he searches for Charlie in the crowd, but he’s nowhere to be found. After the match starts, Charlie joins the crowd. The moment Nick sees him, he leaves the match and heads toward him.
He holds his hand and takes him away, as the crowd comes to the realization that they are together, including Imogen, who gives a smile as she now knows the real reason why Nick rejected her.
Nick lets Charlie know how much he means to him. And that he would never want them to break up. The two kiss in the school corridor, as Nick doesn’t want to hide it anymore.
Nick and Charlie go out on their first date alone, to the beaches of Brighton, given away by the presence of seagulls, which the city is known for.
They enjoy their time together and when Charlie asks if they’re boyfriends now, Nick replies they had been from the start, as the two can’t help contain their joy and finally being together, no holds barred.
Nick has a chat with his mother and tells her about his bisexuality and that Charlie is his boyfriend.
She is happy that his son could confide this in her and apologizes if he ever felt he could not. The season ends with a montage of Nick and Charlie’s moments together throughout in classic rom-com style.