Heartstopper is an ongoing webcomic series, created by Alice Oseman. It can be read on Tumblr and Tapas. It updates three times a month: On the 1st, 11th and 21st (although earlier, more frequent updates are set as a $5 reward on Alice's Patreon). A zine with the mini-comics has been released, which features the mini-comics "Adoption" and "Moments", as well as 16 pages of Nick and Charlie artwork (four of which have never been released before)
Physical versions of chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 are currently available. In preparation of their release, some pages of Heartstopper were redrawn.
It takes place in January 2010/2016, about 8 months prior to the events of Solitaire. It is set in the same universe, as well as Radio Silence.
Chapter 1 - Meet Edit
Chapter one is set in January, after the Christmas holidays. It starts off with Charlie and Ben making out in the library at school. Charlie is shown to be quite uncomfortable and leaves as soon as he can, setting off to his form class with Mr. Lange. There he is seated next to Nick, meeting him for the first time. A few lessons later, Nick and Charlie start talking after Nick's fountain pen explodes in his hands. They are sent off by Mr. Lange to clean Nick up, who is covered in ink. Caught up in their conversation, Charlie doesn't answer any of Ben's texts.
Later, Tao and Charlie are having a conversation about Nick. Tao doesn't understand why they're friends, since Nick is a "rugby lad". He then tells Charlie that Charlie has a crush on Nick, which Charlie denies. After their conversation, Charlie sees Ben with his girlfriend and texts him saying that he doesn't want to meet up anymore.
In February, Ben wants to talk to Charlie, who tries to get away. As soon as Ben starts to become more aggressive, Nick appears. When he asks about it, Charlie tells him he helps him with his maths homework. Nick then asks Charlie if he wants to join the rugby team, which Charlie agrees to after some slight protesting. Charlie shows up to practice, where Nick explains the rules to him. Although the team (except for Nick and their trainer, Mrs. Singh) wasn't sure of his abilities at first, Charlie eventually proves himself and is accepted and loved by the whole team. During the practices, Nick and Charlie grow closer together as well.
After a rugby practice, Ben texts Charlie asking him to meet up so they can talk. Charlie confronts Ben about how much of a dick he's being, while Ben denies this. Ben kisses Charlie forcibly until Nick interrupts him, shoving him aside and telling him to "fuck off". Ben leaves and Nick comforts Charlie, who is crying. It is then revealed that Nick had been following Charlie after he'd been acting off. After talking for a bit, they part ways and go home. The chapter ends with Nick and Charlie (coming close to) realizing that they have a crush on each other.
Chapter 2 - Crush Edit
At the beginning of Chapter 2, Nick is on his laptop looking at Charlie's Facebook while remembering things that people have said about him after his coming out, mostly negative. Nick then decides to message Charlie, asking him if he's okay. Charlie then explains everything that has happened between him and Ben: After the bullying had mostly died down, Ben approached Charlie and kisses him after talking to him about his coming out. They continued to meet for a while. Charlie thought that they were having a big romance, until he saw ben with his girlfriend and he realized Ben had just been using him all along. After hearing this story, Nick calls Ben a dick and makes a promise to protect Charlie.
The comic then cuts to Tao confronting Charlie about his crush on Nick for the second time, but this time Charlie does not deny it. Tao tells Charlie that he should get over it, since he's convinced that Nick is straight. Charlie tells him he can't.
In March, Nick invites Charlie over to his house to meet his dog after Charlie sees her in a picture on his phone. Right before he leaves, he asks Tori if his hair is too short. She asks him where he's going and Tori immediately catches on his crush on Nick, telling him to "have fun". While at Nick's house, it starts to snow, so they decide to go out with Nellie. Charlie got wet, so he borrows Nick's hoodie and goes home. Nick's mum then comments that he acts more like himself around Charlie than he does around any of his other friends. Like most times, the scene cuts from Nick thinking about his feelings towards Charlie to Charlie thinking about his feelings for Nick, who confesses to Tori that he fell for 'a straight boy'.
A week later, they hang out again, this time at Charlie's house. This is the first time that Nick meets Charlie's family. After Nick leaves, Tori comments that she doesn't think Nick is straight. When home, Nick starts googling things about his sexuality, questioning whether he is gay or not.
During spring break, the (later released) mini-comic 'Moments' takes place, which features Aled and Charlie talking about how Charlie is quite sure Nick likes him back.
After spring break, Charlie is texting Tao while he's a reserve in rugby. He tells Tao that he thinks Nick might like him back. Tao then tells Charlie that he's been asking around and that he's quite sure Nick still has a crush on his old classmate, Tara Jones. Charlie is sad, but he is still affectionate towards Nick.
Later, Nick asks Charlie if he wants to come to Harry Greene's party since he doesn't like his other friends a lot. Charlie agrees and he meets Nick at the party, which is hosted in a giant hotel that Harry's parents rented off. When Nick and Charlie go sit somewhere more quiet, Harry and a few of his friends appear. He tells Nick that Tara is at the party and drags him away from Charlie, who walks into Ben when he walks away from Tara and Nick's conversation. Nick apologies for letting Harry make him talk to Tara. She then tells Nick that she's gay and asks him about his feelings for Charlie. When Nick doesn't give her a straight answer (ha, ha) she offers him to talk about it any time. Nick then realizes that Charlie is gone and asks the group of people where he went. The group (especially Harry) then start to ask him why he hangs out with him anyway, and Nick tells Harry that he's a dick. Nick then goes off to find Charlie.
Nick finds Charlie at a table, who tells him he ran into Ben. Ben tries the same thing he did before with Charlie, but this time Charlie stands up to him. Nick tells him he's proud and offers to go to a quieter place again. They end up in a room alone and sit down against a wall. Charlie then asks him about Tara and if he likes anyone. Eventually, Charlie asks Nick if he would kiss him. Nick says yes, and they kiss until they are interrupted by Sai. Nick panics and leaves Charlie behind.
Chapter 3 - Kiss Edit
That night, Charlie cries in bed after asking his dad to pick him up with the excuse he didn't have anyone talk to. At the same time, Nick is home worrying about Charlie. The next morning, Nick shows up at Charlie's house. They go upstairs and Charlie starts to apologize for the night before, but Nick stops him by kissing him. Nick then starts to apologize for running away, and explains he's just very confused about his sexuality.
After their conversation, Charlie offers Nick a cup of tea and they go to the conservatory where they talk about their sexualities. Only then Nick and Charlie actually realize that they like each other. They end up kissing, but get interrupted by Oliver, who Charlie asks to keep their relationship a secret. Because Charlie has to go to his grandma's, Nick leaves soon after. Charlie chases him after a few minutes, and gives him one last kiss before he goes back inside. On his way to his grandma's Charlie texts Nick. Because Nick doesn't want to come out yet, they decide to keep their relationship a secret.
The week at school after they start dating, they show their affection to each other in more obvious ways. Aled and Tao pick up on this. Tao, who still thinks Nick is straight, is disappointed in Charlie for not giving up Nick yet.
On Wednesday, Charlie and Nick are in rugby practice. When Charlie gets hurt playing, Nick takes him to the locker room to get an ice pack. In the locker room, Nick kisses Charlie.
On Thursday, while they're out with Nellie, Nick tells Charlie that the label 'bisexual' might fit him, but that he isn't sure yet. They almost kiss but they are interrupted by people passing by, which Nick feels guilty about. Charlie reassures him that it's okay.
On Friday, Charlie invites Nick to his birthday party on Saturday. There, Nick meets Tao, Aled and Elle. It is revealed that Elle used to go share classes with Nick before she came out, and that she goes to Higgs now, and also that Tao and Elle like each other but that they're don't say anything about to to anyone. (can u believe they're worse at relationships than nick 'wait you like me' nelson and charlie 'what?? you like me back??' spring). They play bowling together, while Tao keeps a close eye on Nick.
When Charlie goes to the bathroom, Tao follows him. Tao asks him to stay away from Nick, who he is afraid will lead Charlie on. Charlie defends him without revealing their relationship which seems to surprise Nick, who has overhead the entire conversation outside of the bathroom. Tao tells Charlie that he's simply afraid that Nick will bully him they way Harry did when he first came out, but Charlie reassures him that Nick is different than that.
After Tao has left, Charlie briefly talks to Nick, who thanks him. Charlie, who doesn't know Nick overheard everything, is quite confused but Nick says he will explain later. After the bowling game, Nick gives Charlie his present, they sneak a kiss and they have a talk about what happened in the bathroom. Charlie reassures Nick that he is nothing like the people who used to bully him.
Two and a half weeks later, Nick can be seen walking around Truham, attempting to finish his homework. He then meets Charlie, who is at a rehearsal for the school orchestra. Charlie goes back to practicing, which leads to Tara and Nick talking. Nick ends up coming out to both Tara and Darcy, who are fully supportive of him and his choice not to tell the whole school.
Later on, Nick and Charlie are hanging out together. While they are hanging out, Nick tells Charlie that he came out to Tara and Darcy. Charlie is extremely proud of them, and then they kiss. However, their moment is interrupted by Tori, who simply tells Charlie "Well done." Though Nick begins to panic about someone else knowing, Charlie quickly comforts him. As Nick leaves, he invites Charlie to hang out with his friends next Saturday. Tori advises against going, but Charlie insists that he'll be fine.
On Saturday, Charlie is dropped off by his concerned father. Charlie and Nick then meet up, and enter the movie theater only to find that despite what they thought, Harry did show up after all. While buying snacks, Charlie does not get any, which concerns Nick. As soon as they get out of the movie, Harry starts asking Charlie a lot of very uncomfortable questions, angering Nick. Once Charlie leaves, Nick decides to take action. He gets into a fight with Harry, resulting in the two of them punching each other. Later that night, Nick invites Charlie on a proper date.
The next day, Nick and Charlie meet up, and Nick tells him about what happened the night before. The two of them then depart, eventually arriving at the beach, which ends up in them reenacting the photo booth scene from the "Moments" mini-comic (with significantly more kissing this time). After that, they lay down on the sand together, and Nick tells Charlie he definitely wants to come out. Nick screams about Charlie at the ocean, before finally solidifying the fact that they are boyfriends. Once Nick arrives home, he talks to his mom and ends up coming out to her as bisexual.
Chapter 4 - Out Edit
Charlie's mom is signing his permission slip to go on the France trip, when Charlie decides to reveal his and Nick's relationship to them. They are initially shocked, but quickly become supportive of them.
Christian, Sai, and Omar talk to Nick, apologizing to him for not stopping Harry from being rude to Charlie, and Nick accepts their apology. A week later, Nick and Charlie discuss coming out again, and end up kissing in the equipment room. Mrs. Singh ends up catching them, then calling Nick to her office. She appoints Nick as rugby captain, and also reveals that she met her wife through rugby.
Once Nick gets home, he finds that his brother David is there.The next morning, Nick expresses his distaste at this to Charlie. The two of them then decide to come out to Charlie's friends. At the Paris trip meeting, Tao leaves the table to write down that Nick, Charlie, Aled, and him will be sharing a room. Nick and Charlie take this opportunity to come out to Aled, who already saw it coming. He also tells them that Elle knows too. Aled then advises not to tell Tao, as he might have been the reason that Charlie got outed.
On Monday, Nick and Charlie hang out. Charlie expresses that he isn't annoyed at Tao, talks about how being out ended up hurting him, and promises Nick that he'll tell him if he ever feels that bad again. Eventually, Nick leaves Charlie alone to get snacks, only to find that David has been talking to him. David makes many biphobic comments towards Nick, sparking a fight and making Charlie leave. Later on, they text each other about how complicated being out is, and Charlie nearly texts Nick that he loves him.
A week later, Charlie is still unable to tell Tao about his relationship with Nick, and is upset over this. Aled tells him that it's okay that he's not telling him, using his blossoming relationship with his childhood friend as an example of how it's okay to have something that's only theirs.
In a few days, they depart for France. Once they get to France, they get into the hotel, and eat some food. Once again, Charlie doesn't eat much, and Nick is still worried.
The next morning, there is a knock at the door. Tao answers, only wearing a jacket and boxers, and finds out that the knock was from Elle. He immediately gets embarrassed, and slams the door. Charlie tells Tao that his crush is requited, but he refuses to listen.
During the day, the teachers dismiss the students to explore in groups. The only two who want to actually visit museums are Tao and Elle, so the rest of the group split up from them. While they're exploring, the group decides to get ice cream. Once again, Charlie opts out of getting anything, which leads to Nick getting even more worried. He talks to Aled about it, but Aled hasn't noticed anything unusual. As the rest of the group gets ice cream, Tara and Charlie talk. Tara shares her story about how her and Darcy stopped being afraid of coming out.
That night, Nick tries to talk to Tao about Elle, but yet again he refuses to tell her about his feelings. Once Charlie gets out of the shower, him and Nick start kissing until Charlie decides they should stop before they get caught.
When Charlie is brushing his teeth the next morning, he discovers that he has a hickey. Once they're on the bus, most of the class laughs about it. Their attention is diverted, however, when they arrive at the Eiffel Tower. At the top, some students start teasing Nick, stating "maybe he gave Charlie the love bite." However, Harry steps in to stop them, signaling a change for the better. The group takes photos, and then Tao and Charlie sit down to look them over. Charlie tells Tao that Nick and him are dating, but Tao is a bit hurt that Charlie told the rest of his friends before him. Charlie explains his reasoning, which only hurts Tao more.
The next day, Charlie still feels bad about Tao, and still isn't eating. After breakfast, the group heads out to the Louvre. Tao and Elle end up splitting up with the others, and finally kiss. Meanwhile, the rest of the group is exploring in the very hot museum. This heat, combined with the fact that he did not eat breakfast, leads to Charlie fainting. Thankfully, he falls into Nick's arms, and wakes up within 30 seconds. Once Nick and Charlie are alone again, Charlie explains that sometimes, eating feels like the only thing he can control. Though Charlie is scared of Nick treating him like he's a "fragile, broken mess", Nick assures him he won't, and tells Charlie that he can always tell him if he's having a bad day.
The two of them set off again, only to be interrupted by a call from Nick's dad. During this call, Charlie discovers Nick can fluently speak French. It turns out that Nick wanted to meet up with his dad and tell him about Charlie in person, but they won't be able to. They both realize that they've been hiding things from each other, and hug. Though both Nick and Charlie want to say "I love you", neither of them do.
More of the comic has been released on Alice's Patreon, but please do not add a summary of these updates to this page until they are posted on the Heartstopper blog.
Physical edition Edit
In October of 2016, a zine featuring all the mini-comics was released. It was released in a few batches. All zines were signed and some were doodled in by Alice herself. The zine featured the mini-comics "Adoption", "Moments" and bonus artwork.
A physical paperback of chapter one and two was funded by a Kickstarter. There were several reward tiers, which included a PDF, the book, exclusive merchandise and cameos in the comic. The Kickstarter reached 200% of it's goal 10 hours after it was released, and ended up raising £58,925, which is 654% of it's goal, with 1576 backers.
As of 2020, three physical paperbacks have been released, covering chapters one, two, three and four.
Main Characters Edit
Minor Characters Edit
- The name 'Heartstopper' was originally intended for a possible Solitaire sequel.
- Most of chapter 1 is redrawn, because Alice did not like the inconsistency of the art style. A notable difference is that Nick has gone from 'jawline anime man' to 'the squishy puppy he always should have been' (Alice's literal words... iconic tbh)