The Mindy Kaling-created Netflix teen sitcom Never Have I Ever won audiences over with its clever writing, cultural specificity, and empathetic view toward high-school students. Centered on sophomore Devi Vishwakumar, the series sees her navigating a traditional high-school experience while also dealing with the death of her father and the impact it has on her strict mother.

Devi is far from perfect, makes many mistakes, and navigates a series of heartbreaking struggles. But she is also clever and brave enough to mend broken hearts and make viewers root for her to find happiness.

10 Broke Hearts: Choosing Paxton Over Eleanor

Devi’s best friends, Fabiol and Eleanor, have always had her back through thick and thin. However, sometimes Devi lets them down like in this moment from season 1. Eleanor is having family issues and Fabiola tells Devi to comfort her, but Devi leaves to go to her crush Paxton’s house instead. Seeing Devi ditch her friends for a boy is already a low blow, but considering Fabiola and Eleanor have helped Devi work through so much personal strife, it comes across as even more selfish that Devi can’t bring herself to return the favor.

9 Won Hearts: Leaving Paxton’s House

Early in season 1, Devi thinks the only way to become popular is to have sex with the most popular guy in school: her crush, Paxton. She asks him to do this with her and he agrees. Yet when she goes over to his house, she realizes she is not ready and leaves. This may seem like a simple moment, but it is big for someone as impulsive as Devi. She’s often so preoccupied with attaining status within her school that she might do something she’s not comfortable with. That’s why seeing her realize her mistake and exercise her agency to leave was such an endearing moment.


8 Broke Hearts: Tricked By Ben

When on a rebellious night out with her new friend Aneesa and ex-boyfriend Ben, Devi and Ben make an agreement that he will get a tattoo and she will get a nose piercing. They both seemingly go through with it until Ben shows Devi his tattoo is temporary.

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He wanted to show her how it felt to have someone lie to you, as she was cheating on him with Paxton earlier in the season. While obviously a big mistake, Devi has learned from that experience and tried to move on from it. The look on Devi’s face after Ben reveals the truth shows she understands just how deeply she hurt him.

7 Won Hearts: College Admission

Devi’s mother, Nalini, encourages Devi to talk to a college advisor who tells her to write about her father’s passing and her subsequent temporary paralysis in order to get into a good school. Devi had other ideas for a personal essa,y but the advisor seemed set on Devi using these traumas to sway admission departments. Devi stands up for herself, refuses, and leaves. Audiences know how personal Devi’s father’s death is to her and know how irrational Devi can act sometimes. All of that makes this mature and strong moment even more powerful and pleasantly surprising.

6 Broke Hearts: Lying To Aneesa

In season 2, Devi makes another Indian friend in Aneesa, although she can’t help but be jealous of her especially once Aneesa and Ben become a couple. She accidentally starts a rumor about Aneesa having an eating disorder that spreads like wildfire throughout the school, and it’s only made worse when Aneesa comes to Devi for comfort and admits the rumor is true. Devi lies about not knowing who started the rumor and instead lets two other students take the blame. This was definitely one of Devi’s lowest moments on the show, and she had to do a lot of work to win back Aneesa’s friendship.

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5 Won Hearts: Coyote Attack

In another attempt to gain popularity, Devi attends a party attended by Paxton. Devi has one too many drinks and starts to believe the spirit of her father is in a coyote she finds hiding in the bushes. It attacks her in front of everyone and Paxton ends up taking her to the hospital.

Having an embarrassing moment in front of people at a party is a staple in comedy films and television, so this is a fitting moment for Devi. Although it’s funny, it’s also a testament to how much Devi thinks about her dad and that she is willing to reach out to him even when inebriated.

4 Broke Hearts: Spying On Nalini

When Devi suspects her mother is dating again after her father’s death, she sneaks out to follow Nalini and discovers her having dinner with a new man at his house. One thing leads to another, and Devi is caught by Nalini and her date, causing Devi’s emotions to erupt. She expresses her disappointment that Nalini would try to move on from her father so soon after his death. Devi may have acted selfishly and immaturely, but her emotions are pure and relatable, which makes the moment heartbreaking.

3 Won Hearts: Setting Boundaries

In season 2, Paxton and Devi have been seeing each other in secret, and Paxton doesn’t acknowledge their relationship in public. This prompts Devi to finally stand up for herself and tell him that she deserves to have a boyfriend who is proud to be seen with her. She says they should break up if he isn’t willing to do that. After a season in which Devi was doing a lot to keep Paxton around, it was refreshing to see her put herself before him and let him know her worth.

2 Broke Hearts: Her Dad’s Voicemail

Throughout season 2, Devi has moments when she feels alone and helpless. Something she always seems to do to calm herself down is listen to the last voicemail her father ever left for her on her phone. She listens to it at key points in the show until her phone falls in water and the voicemail is lost, sending Devi off the deep end.

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She lashes out at her mother as she feels like her one constant source of comfort is gone forever. This is the rawest Devi has acted since the end of season 1, and although it’s difficult to watch her lash out, it’s easy to understand how she feels.

1 Won Hearts: Scattering Her Father’s Ashes

Season 1 introduces the idea that Nalini wants to move back to India after her husband’s death, which enrages Devi. California has always been her home as a first-generation American, so it’s easy to understand why she refuses to go. This causes a huge rift between the mother and daughter, and Devi almost misses Nalini and her cousin Kamala scattering her father’s ashes on the beach. With help from Fabiola, Eleanor, and Ben, Devi makes it to the beach and has an emotional breakthrough with Nalini. The two reconcile, and Devi apologizes for her behavior. Acting out towards one’s parents is part of being a teenager, and seeing Devi realize she was wrong is emotionally stirring and a perfect end to season 1.

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