What happened in Heartstopper season 1?

Catch up on what you missed before binging new episodes

Joe Locke and Kit Connor in Heartstopper season 2
Joe Locke and Kit Connor in Heartstopper season 2. (Netflix)

Fans of Netflix hit Heartstopper are in luck. Season two of this touching coming-of-age story officially landed on the streaming service in its entirety on Thursday, 3 August.

First arriving in early 2022, season one's eight-episode arc introduced us to a young love story between two classmates forced to navigate the highs and lows, pressures and pitfalls of a secret, school-set romance.

Based on Alice Oseman’s graphic novel and webcomic series of the same name, Heartstopper’s TV adaptation was a quick success. Fans celebrated its depiction of LGBTQ+ relationships and dedication to heartwarming storytelling, and Netflix didn’t wait long to renew the show for not just a second but a third series.

Read more: Heartstopper season 2 teases relationship hurdles in full-length trailer

We’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves though. If you’re yet to catch up, here’s a quick Heartstopper season one recap to help bring you up to speed.

Fair warning: Spoilers are incoming…

Joe Locke and Kit Connor in Heartstopper season 2
Heartstopper is based on Alice Oseman’s webseries and graphic novel. (Netflix)

Heartstopper introduced us to Charlie (Joe Locke), a year 10 schoolboy who is seated next to a popular year 11 rugby player Nick (Kit Connor) in his form classroom.

Charlie quickly develops a crush on his new table buddy — but his best friends Tao (William Gao) and Isaac (Tobie Donovan) quickly remind him that his new would-be BF is straight and warn him of the dangers of falling in love with someone that he can never have.

Still, Charlie appears to enjoy being around Nick. He convinces him to join the rugby team and even protects him from an overly-aggressive fellow player Ben (Sebastian Croft).

After a period of hanging out, the pair’s friendship starts to blossom, with Nick very nearly holding Charlie’s hand during a late-night movie session. Meanwhile, Charlie, Tao and Isaac’s friend Elle, who has recently left their school to start life at an all-girls school, meets new friends Tara (Corinna Brown) and Darcy (Kizzy Edgell).

Joe Locke and Kit Connor in Heartstopper season 2
Will Nick admit his feelings for Charlie? (Netflix)

Despite being a bit dismayed that Nick might fancy one of his female friends, Charlie invites him to a mutual pal’s birthday party where he sees Tara and Darcy kissing openly on the dancefloor.

Inspired, he musters the courage to ask Nick for a kiss but is left heartbroken when homophobic remarks from other people from their high-school force Nick to run away.

Charlie’s spirits are raised when Nick later appears at his door and apologises for leaving Charlie hanging.

The pair agree to make their relationship official but decide to keep it secret for now while Nick comes to terms with his sexuality. However, with Charlie’s pal Isaac seeing the duo’s first kiss, he becomes worried that their secret will soon be out.

Olivia Colman in Heartstopper
Olivia Colman plays Nick’s mum in Heartstopper. (Netflix)

By episode five, Tao and Ellie have formed a pretty close friendship and Nick is still figuring things out in his head. As a result, he’s agreed to go on a date with popular high school girl Imogen (Rhea Norwood) despite already agreeing to go to Charlie’s birthday party at the same time. After a chat with his mum (Olivia Colman), Nick decides to follow his heart and go and see Charlie instead.

Not long after, he begins to question his feelings once more when a viewing of the Pirates of the Caribbean with his mum reignites feelings for its stars Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley. Is he queer?

Read more: Heartstopper's Joe Locke talks "different" season 2

As he unpacks his identity, Nick arranges a double date with Tara and Darcy where he reveals his relationship with Charlie. Meanwhile, the latter have made their relationship Instagram-official but are hurt at unexpected homophobic comments following the reveal.

Kizzy ​​Edgell and Corinna Brown in Heartstopper season 1
Kizzy ​​Edgell and Corinna Brown are also part of the cast. (Netflix).

Things come to a head in the show’s penultimate episode.

With their secret relationship taking its toll, Nick gets into a fight with the local high-school rich-kid bully Harry (Cormac Hyde-Corrin) who’s been picking on Charlie, while Tao does the same to vent some of his anger for Charlie hiding his new boyfriend from him.

With chaos seemingly all around, a distraught and guilty-feeling Nick believes the only way forward is to end his relationship with Charlie.

By Heartstopper’s eighth and final season one episode, it’s sports day at Charlie and Nick’s high school and reconciliation is in the air. After fixing his friendship with Tao, Charlie ditches a rugby game to make up with Nick and the pair decide to continue their relationship only this time, publicly.

The show’s first season culminates in an emotional moment where Nick finally comes out to his mother, telling her that he is bisexual.

Joe Locke in Heartstopper season 2
Critics have delivered their verdicts on the second season. (Netflix)

With a second dose of Heartstopper hitting Netflix, reviews have started appearing online with the show’s latest outing receiving a mixed first impression.

While patting the show on the back for its dedication to providing a positive and life-affirming gay story, The Independent suggested that the series “forgets to be good” in the process.

Thankfully, The Guardian had a much more positive take, telling their readers that the series has “adorable” moments and allows for its supporting characters to develop their own storylines.

Meanwhile, The Telegraph said that “Heartstopper is strongest when it ditches the preaching and simply immerses us in the teenagers’ raw experience.”

Read our full review round-up below.

The Independent: In its effort to be affirming, this teen show forgets to be good (4-min read)

The Guardian: This LGBTQ+ teen drama is even sweeter and lovelier than before (4-min read)

The Telegraph: Wholesome coming-of-age gem is a very British lesson in what not to say (3-min read)

Variety: ‘Heartstopper’ Season 2 Is Still Euphoric and Blissfully Queer: TV Review (5-min review)

In the first full trailer for Heartstopper’s second season, we find Nick and Charlie finally being able to enjoy their burgeoning relationship. However, while the duo are happy, Nick is struggling with the concept of coming out publicly.

Meanwhile, love is blossoming elsewhere as the duo's class heads to Paris, the city of romance, for a school trip that looks set to be full of surprises and eye-opening moments.

Full of fizz, humour, heart and romance, it looks like Heartstopper’s second series will be just as thrilling and emotionally hefty as its first. Watch the full trailer for yourself below.

Before the above arrived, Netflix released a teaser that revealed season two's debut date. Watch it below.

During a recent interview with the BBC, Oseman, who also serves as the show’s executive producer and writer teased that series two will be “darker” than the first.

“Season two’s... aim was to capture the joy and the magic of season one while also feeling that the characters have grown up and matured a little bit, so we’re exploring some things that are maybe a little bit darker than season one,” she explained.

“The romances are getting a little bit more mature... it’s like an elevation, I like to think, of season one.”

A first look clip was revealed at Netflix’s TUDUM event in June. The opening scene for the new season showed Charlie receiving loved-up texts from Nick first thing in the morning before he made his way to school, with the new couple saying hi to each other when they arrived at class.

The new season’s episode titles were also revealed to be: Out, Family, Promise, Challenge, Heat, Truth/Dare, Sorry, and Perfect.

Heartstopper season 2 is available on Netflix now.