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7 Most Heart-Wrenching Things About Mindy Kaling's Never Have I Ever

Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York. She's worked with clients like Instacart, Tailwind, Columbia, Esurance, and LifeLock.



Never Have I Ever is a take on Mindy Kaling's childhood. It follows the story of first-generation, Indian-American teenager, Devi Vishuakumar, as she navigates the rocky waters of Sherman Oaks High School in Southern California.

After witnessing the death of her father right in front of her at her school recital, Devi loses the feeling in her legs for three months.

But after witnessing the site of Paxton Hall-Yoshida, a fellow classmate (who's pretty much the hottest guy in school), she regains the feeling in her legs, much to the surprise and relief of her mother, Nalini.

The show goes on to explore how Devi deals with her father's death in various ways (one of which involves a coyote biting her because she thinks it's her dad's spirit in the animal).

Regardless of how Devi deals, there are lots of touching and memorable moments in the show that make it well worth viewing.

1. When Davi's Dad Dies

Obviously, the most heart-wrenching moment in the show is watching Devi watch her dad have a heart attack in the audience of her school recital with everyone watching. It's more traumatic than anything most teenagers experience and we immediately connect with and feel for Devi.

Most of us have felt the pain it feels to lose a loved one. So it makes it easy to continue watching and see how Devi will deal with her own grief moving forward.

2. When Devi Loses Paxton (After All That Time She Spent Trying to Get Him)

Once Devi finally gets to date her secret crush (that she's had since elementary school when he first moved there), she's on top of the world.

She's broken barriers most nerds never do - dating the hottest, most popular guy in school.

But dating the cutest guy in school has its drawbacks, Devi soon learns. Her insecurities get the best of her and she doesn't feel good enough to be with Paxton. She brings it up multiple times, after which Paxton tells her that he can't date her anymore because he can't keep reassuring her that he's into her (which we can't blame him for).

That's work Devi needs to do on herself. He can't help her self-esteem.

Nonetheless, it was still crushing to see Devi end up losing Paxton after all that she went through being friend-zoned, punished (and made to do his homework), among other things.

3. When They Dump Devi's Dad's Ashes

Devi is upset with her mom about the flirting with Dr. Chris Jackson (played by Common) when her father's birthday rolls around. Nalini thinks it's the perfect opportunity to finally spread her late husband's ashes (since they've been putting it off).

Devi and Nalini have a huge fight and Devi ends up moving out and in with Ben and his family (friend/rival from school). Nalini visits Devi there and tells her that her and her cousin, Kamala, who's staying there while she gets her degree at MIT, will be going to spread the ashes and she's free to come if she wants.

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Devi initially says no, but Ben convinces her best friends (who are mad at her at the time) to convince her to go with her mom because she'll regret it if she doesn't go say goodbye (which turns out to be the real reason Devi doesn't want to go, we discover).

4. Eleanor's Relationship with Her Mom

Eleanor Wong is one of Davi's best friends. She's a Chinese-American teen who lives with her dad and stepmom since her mom left her at the age of seven to pursue an acting career.

Her exact words are: "What kind of mother would I be if I didn't follow my dreams? That's why I'm leaving you to follow my dreams." And she promptly leaves. She later ends up working on a cruise ship and doesn't even tell Eleanor she's back in town (and working at a restaurant as a waitress). She has to hear it from Paxton who was eating out at the restaurant with his mom when he saw her, letting Eleanor know the next day at school.

What makes it worse is that Eleanor's mom does the exact same thing when she finds out Eleanor got the lead in her school play. Instead of having a proud mama moment, her mother can only selfishly think of her own failures as an actress. She promptly leaves Eleanor again, this time for Broadway.

5. Ben's Relationship with His Parents

When the show first beings, it can be tempting to hate Ben, Devi's academic rival and a pest. He and Devi even made a pact in middle school to split up the extracurricular activities among them so they didn't have to compete in the same ones.

But after seeing Ben's backstory (narrated by Andy Samberg), it's clear that while Ben might have money and any material possession he could ever want, he's clearly missing a real relationship with his parents. He admits in one episode that he hasn't eaten a meal with his family in years, making Nalini's heartbreak.

That's probably the reason for his constant humble brags about his dad and all of the celebrities he knows. It actually makes you feel bad for the poor little rich kid for once.

6. When We Find Out Aneesa Really Has an Eating Disorder

When Devi started the roomer about her new friend, Aneesa, she didn't really think much about it. She'd just lost her phone and found out that Ben and Anessa were in the hookup tent together, crushing her and any chance that she and Ben might become a couple (a secret hope she's holding onto).

When Devi finally calms down the next morning, she sees Aneesa crying outside her tent. Anessa reveals to Devi that she actually does have an eating disorder. Devi feels horrible and so do we, the audience watching. It's hard enough being a teenage girl and add to that, people making up rumors about you (especially one that hits close to home or happens to be true).

7. When Paxton and Ben Find Out They're Getting Two-Timed (And Paxton Gets Hit By a Car)

When Devi makes the dumb decision to try to date Ben and Paxton at the same time because she likes both of them and can't decide, they find out about her two-timing.

And it's all her own fault.

She hears one of the popular girls talking about how she's dating Paxton and gets jealous. Devi, Devi. If only she'd shoved her pride aside and just ignored the obvious lie.

But Devi being Devi, she can't let it go. She confronts the girl, who won't exactly confirm it, which makes Devi even more upset.

Devi tells her it's impossible for her to be dating Paxton because she's dating Paxton. But what she doesn't know is that Ben is standing right behind her.

Right after Ben finds out, he lets Paxton know that they're both dating Devi. That sends Paxton flying out of the house and into the street, Devi close behind him.

While running from Devi, Paxton runs right into the street and gets hit by a car. It's heart-wrenching to watch him get his heart broken and then immediately get immensely physically hurt on top of that. (Not to mention, he loses his scholarship opportunity to Standford - freakin' Stanford!)

What moments did you find the most crushing in Never Have I Ever? What do you think will happen in Season 4? Let me know in the comments.

© 2022 Shanea Patterson

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