Warning: Spoilers ahead. To High School Musical: The Musical: The Series fans, Ricky and Nini were endgame, but the characters didn’t see it that way. Following an emotional moment in the show’s second season, the East High teens — played by Joshua Bassett and Olivia Rodrigo, respectively — called it quits.
According to HSMTMTS showrunner Tim Federle, the characters are “on the same page” with their future apart. “I think they both feel differently about it,” he told Entertainment Tonight in July 2021.
“Nini has fully accepted that there’s an exciting other world of possibility when you don’t center yourself on a guy, and I think she’s actually excited about that and obviously has nostalgia for this first relationship and her best friend from her youth. But also sees real possibilities,” Tim shared. “Ricky accepts it, he’s read the room. She doesn’t want to hear the song he wrote, it’s time to move on. I just think it takes him longer to move on because Ricky is so afraid of change. But I think they respect each other and they respect that distance. They’re still really young, so depending on how many seasons we go, I don’t know exactly where it all ends up, but for now, they have a mutual understanding that they’ve got this club, the treehouse. They’re the only two people who were ever in that treehouse and they’ll always have that. And it remains to be seen if that treehouse actually gets torn down.”
While they weren’t together when the show premiered in November 2019, viewers watched the progression of their relationship throughout the first season and beginning of the second. Their first major milestone as a couple took place in the season 1 finale when Ricky finally professed his feelings for Nini.
“There is the big season payoff, of right after we finished the show and all the trouble that happens at the show, it’s all over,” Joshua told Entertainment Tonight in January 2020 about his characters’ love confession. “We powered through it and there is a long-awaited moment between Nini and Ricky.”
The actor added, “It was such a thrill to film because it felt like the whole season was leading up to that moment. And I remember filming that day, I felt so alive and we were both so in it and it was so intense, and so surreal and yeah, it was a dream to film.”
However, things between them didn’t last. Once the two officially broke up, Ricky sang the song “Let You Go,” signaling the end of this chapter.
Scroll through our gallery to uncover Ricky and Nini’s relationship timeline in HSMTMTS.
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