Note: This story contains spoilers from “Zoey 102.”
“Zoey 102” is finally here, bringing with it plenty of nostalgia and cringeworthy comedy for fans new and old to enjoy.
The Paramount+ movie, a long-gestating sequel of the Nickelodeon hit series “Zoey 101,” features the return of star Jamie Lynn Spears and most of the original cast members for a follow-up adventure along the Pacific Coast Highway. Set more than a decade since the events of the final season, “Zoey 102” follows the title character (Spears) as she juggles her busy career as a producer on a “Love Island”-style reality show and maid of honor duties for her best friends Quinn (Erin Sanders) and Logan’s (Matthew Underwood) wedding.
Directed by Nancy Hower and written by Monica Sherer and Madeline Whitby, the film takes a campy approach to catching up with the crew that first met attending Malibu’s Pacific Coast Academy. The wedding reunites Zoey with most of the gang, including friends Michael (Christopher Massey), Stacey (Abby Wilde), Mark (Mark Del Figgalo) and her former flame Chase (Sean Flynn).
The movie showers devoted fans with callbacks to the original series, but also introduces plenty of new characters through Zoey’s job as a talent producer on “Love Fully Charged.” With Zoey still harboring feelings for Chase, managing the testy reality star Jordan B (Zach Zagoria) and attempting to keep bride Quinn and her boss Kelly (Thomas Lennon) happy, the wedding weekend makes for a perfect storm of awkward and hilarious shenanigans.
Read on for a breakdown of the cringiest moments from “Zoey 102.” Warning, major spoilers ahead.
Zoey rejected a marriage proposal – after two dates
The film kicked off with Zoey having a romantic dinner with a man who bore a striking resemblance to a young Chase. Zoey looked on seemingly confused while he spoke passionately about valuing their relationship. He went down on one knee and proposed to her in the crowded restaurant, but Zoey couldn’t accept, revealing that the pair had only been on two dates. While attempting to make a brisk exit after rejecting the proposal, Zoey ran into a group of waiters bringing in a celebration cake for another table and left a mess in her wake.
“Love Fully Charged’s” toxic work environment
Zoey had worked her way up the production ranks on the hit network reality competition series “Love Fully Charged.” Early on, viewers learned that the on-screen personality Jordan B depended on Zoey to know what to say in his on-camera dates. She also proved her work prowess during a team meeting, despite her boss Kelly giving credit for one of her suggestions to one of her male colleagues. Near the end of the meeting, Kelly announced that only a limited number of producers would be asked to work during the show’s live finale — and he picked almost all of the other male producers instead of her.
Zoey decided to juggle both the wedding with the live finale of her show
Zoey was disappointed after being overlooked at work, until Quin called to give her the news that Logan had proposed. They couple planned to wed on the same day as the live finale taping, and Quinn asked Zoey to be the maid of honor. The friends discussed how the wedding would be a chance for them to finally get together after so much time, which Zoey seemed excited about — despite some unresolved issues with the dissolution of her relationship with Chase after graduation.
Things became complicated after Kelly called Zoey and told her that fan-favorite Jordan B would surely make it to the “Love Fully Charged” finale, which meant she would have to be on set to help him through filming.
While most people who try to get out of either commitment, Zoey believed she could fulfill both commitments on the same day. You gotta admire, if not laugh at, her determination.
Where was Dustin Brooks?
While attending Quinn’s wedding dress fitting, Zoey gave Quinn’s mom an update on her little brother Dustin, played by Paul Butcher in the original series. Zoey revealed little Dustin was all grown up with two kids at home and twins on the way.
Butcher had previously been a proponent of rebooting “Zoey 101” on social media along with the rest of the cast, but was noticeably missing from the sequel film. Butcher has since addressed his absence in cryptic TikTok messages.
Things change.. because some people stay the same 🍵 🫖♬ original sound – ⭐️
Zoey hired an actor to play her boyfriend throughout the wedding
At the fitting, Zoey overheard Stacey — who grew up to become a popular true crime podcaster on the hunt for an elusive killer known as the Malibu Murderer — tell a bridesmaid how Zoey had been famously absent from the group’s reunions for years. Stacey suspected that something happened when Zoey and Chase went to Hawaii the summer after high school that led to the end of their relationship, with Zoey struggling to move on ever since. She said if Zoey actually showed up to the wedding, there’d be an added layer of awkwardness since Chase moved on and now has a steady girlfriend himself.
Zoey decided to lie to the women and say she had a surgeon boyfriend named Hugo Hemsworth and he would be her wedding guest. With no prospects fitting those standards, she turned to the “Love Fully Charged” submission tapes and found aspiring actor Todd (Dean Geyer). With a little convincing, she hired him to pose as her boyfriend for the wedding weekend. They made quite an entrance, after Zoey borrowed the show’s self-driving car and almost ran over the entire wedding party by accident.
Chase hit another pole when he saw Zoey
File this one under cringey but also cute! Chase and Zoey finally reunited during the wedding weekend welcome party, as Chase – Logan’s best man – watched Zoey arrive from afar. The pair locked eyes and reenacted their first meeting from the show, with Chase walking into a pole after being dazzled by Zoey’s presence. Zoey helped him get up, but they were interrupted by his new girlfriend.
Chase’s girlfriend confused Zoey with some of the missing OGs
Chase’s new girlfriend Danielle (Soma Chhaya) said how excited she was to finally meet Chase’s old high school friends. She asked Zoey if she was Dana (Kristin Herrera), Lola (Victoria Justice) or Coco (Jessica Chaffin), all original cast members not involved with the new film. After Zoey introduced herself, Danielle called Chase out for not mentioning her at all — a clear sign he’s still holding a grudge about their failed relationship.
The dark truth behind PCA revealed
This was perhaps the most awkward twist of the film. As the wedding guests celebrate the weekend with a night of karaoke, several of the characters revealed that the “Zoey 101” crew was the final class of the Malibu boarding school. It turned out that the whole place was essentially a scam, with the always strict Dean Rivers (Christopher Murray) getting caught pocketing the tuition money for himself. The money was gone by the time he got caught and the school was shut down, leaving the students with mountains of debt and uncredited high school diplomas — which they somehow laughed off.
Chase and Todd’s “Dirty Dancing” duet
You’ve heard of fighting for a woman’s attention, but dueting for it is a different story. Todd took his role of fake boyfriend to new heights after he challenged Chase to sing the “Dirty Dancing” hit “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” with Chase nailing the high notes originally sung by Jennifer Warnes. The performance wrapped with an accidental reenactment of the film’s iconic lift, with Todd picking up Chase for an impressive amount of time. The sequence ended with Todd dropping Chase on his face, though. Ouch!
Zoey and Chase got stuck in the self-driving car – and talked things out
The morning of the wedding, and the live finale, Zoey realized that she had forgotten to pick up the wedding rings in Santa Barbara. She left Todd to entertain the bridal party and fulfill her maid of honor duties while she ran the errand and checked in with the show. With the “Love Fully Charged” production breathing down her neck, Chase ran into Zoey while she geared up to leave and accidentally got stuck inside the car driving to Santa Barbara. At the jewelry store, a misunderstanding led the couple to revisit the beginnings of their friendship and love story. The memories helped break the ice between them and they admitted they still have feelings for each other on the way back, sharing a passionate kiss as the car took them back to the ceremony.
The wedding and live finale implode at the same time
Things started to fall apart after Zoey and Chase’s kiss was interrupted by their car running out of battery, which left them stranded on the side of the Pacific Coast Highway. The pair hitchhiked back to the event, but being tardy to the wedding raised tensions with Quinn, who was already feeling uncomfortable with Logan micromanaging the wedding. Zoey also thought she could multitask walking down the aisle at the wedding and feeding Jordan B’s dialogue for the show via phone. Her responses got mixed up with the wedding, which only escalated further after Stacey — who was officiating the wedding — got a tip from her husband that Todd was the Malibu Murderer. Todd denied the accusation and admitted to being at the event as Zoey’s fake boyfriend.
The commotion brought Quinn to tears, leading her to call off the wedding. At the “Love Fully Charged” finale, Jordan’s erratic behavior and the missing car led to a chaotic finale conclusion. Kelly fired Zoey on the spot, leaving her to deal with how her decisions ruined both events.
The crew went back to the abandoned PCA campus
At the end of the night, Zoey and Chase reunited at the beach to discuss all that happened. Chase admitted that he and Danielle had broken up weeks before, but had agreed to pretend to be together for the wedding so he wouldn’t seem pathetic when reuniting with Zoey. The friends then all came together to help plan a proper wedding for Quinn and Logan. They drove to the site of the abandoned PCA campus and worked together to refurbish it to host a more intimate ceremony for the lovers. Logan apologized to Quinn and surprised her with the event, and the pair tied the knot surrounded by their friends and family.
A happily ever after, with a dark twist
In the end, Zoey and Chase decided to give their relationship another try. She also got a call from Kelly, who revealed that all the chaos in the finale made “Love Fully Charged” an even bigger hit for the network, so he offered Zoey a promotion and agreed to all her demands. The film ended on a bizarre note, however, as Stacey and Mark said goodbye to Todd before leaving the wedding, and offering him an apology for accusing him of being a murderer. Todd waved them off as he looked into his trunk where a person was trapped in a duffel bag, hinting that he was the Malibu Murderer after all.
“Zoey 102” is now streaming on Paramount+.