Does Charlie have an eating disorder in Heartstopper season 2?

Joe Locke
Joe Locke /

In Heartstopper season 2, Charlie and Nick navigate their new relationship and face the problems that may come together. But while most of the second season revolves around Nick’s coming out, Charlie has his own personal problems he must work through.

If you recall from the first season, it was revealed that Charlie (Joe Locke) was publicly outed and bullied by his homophobic classmates for being gay. He was also mistreated by his former secret boyfriend, Ben Hope, who didn’t want to be seen in public with him. But everything starts looking up for Charlie when he befriends Nick (Kit Connor). They become closer and closer, ending the season as a couple.

Spoilers from Heartstopper season 2 ahead.

While Charlie focuses on being Nick’s main support system in the second season, Nick begins to notice that Charlie hasn’t been eating much. He even confronts Charlie about it, and Charlie explains to him that sometimes he eats normally, but other days he feels like he needs to control how much he eats. He continues and tells Nick that he used to control how much he ate a lot a year prior when he was getting bullied.

So what is actually going on with Charlie in Heartstopper season 2? Does he have an eating disorder? Find out below.

Does Charlie have an eating disorder in Heartstopper season 2?

Based on Charlie’s abnormal eating patterns, it looks like he does have an eating disorder. And it all stems from the horrible bullying he went through.

After Charlie confesses to Nick about his abnormal eating patterns, Nick tells Charlie that he wants him to feel comfortable enough to come to him about anything. Nick wants to be there for Charlie whenever he’s feeling down. He doesn’t want Charlie to stop eating when things get too hard for him. To sum it up, he wants to be Charlie’s main support system like Charlie is his. In the end, Charlie agrees to come to Nick when he’s feeling depressed about something, but this doesn’t actually happen.

After dinner one night with both of their parents, Nick’s mom tells Nick that Charlie barely touched his food. This concerns Nick because he and Charlie already talked about this, and he thought that this problem had been resolved. This leads him to start looking up eating disorders on the internet.

The next day, Charlie and Nick help set up for prom at their school. Nick asks Charlie if he wants to take a break and get something to eat at the shop, but Charlie declines the invitation and says he had a late breakfast. Nick knows that Charlie’s lying though. He knows that the real reason why Charlie isn’t eating much is because he still carries all the pain from being bullied. Although he doesn’t know for sure, he believes the bullying was so bad that it’s still affecting Charlie even though he’s not going through it anymore. Nick and Tao talk about this during the prom set-up.

Later that night, Charlie and Nick have a heart-to-heart conversation, and Charlie completely opens up about the bullying he experienced and how it affected him. He tells Nick that the bullying made him hate himself and start self-harming. Nick hugs and consoles Charlie before asking him to promise him something. He asks that Charlie always tell him if he feels down. Charlie agrees and kisses Nick before he heads home.

Although it’s never explicitly said that Charlie has an eating disorder in the second season, in the Heartstopper books, he does, so I’m guessing this might be explored more in the upcoming Heartstopper season 3. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Heartstopper season 2 is streaming now on Netflix.

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