“It’s Charli, baby,” has a whole new meaning.
On September 5’s new episode of Eastenders, characters Lily Slater (Lillia Turner) and Ricky Mitchell (Frankie Day) welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world.
“Her name’s Charli,” Ricky explains in a now viral clip.
“Oh, after Uncle Charlie?” asks the baby’s grandmother, Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner), fondly remembering a fan favorite character who died in 2016.
“No, after Charli XCX,” Ricky replies.
For the uninitiated, Eastenders is a long-running British soap opera. It’s been on TV since 1985 and has aired more than 6,000 episodes — but as far as fans can tell, this is the first time a character’s been named after a pop star.
It’s giving mother.
Why exactly did the writers name their newest character after Charli XCX? It’s impossible to say — but Charli herself credits the demographic that has always been at the core of her fanbase: the gays.
“Shout out my gays in the writers room!” Charli wrote on X (formerly Twitter) after the clip went viral. Indeed, after all Charli’s done for the community over the years — from signing douches and poppers at meet-and-greets to writing bangers for the gay club — naming a baby after her is the least we could do.
Charli’s reputation as a gay icon is even leading some fans to speculate that Ricky, the baby’s father, is headed for a gay plotline in the future, fulfilling the soap opera trope of gay men accidentally getting women pregnant. Then again, these new parents are only 13 years old — and they’re living in a soap opera — so anything, and I mean anything, is possible.
The episode featured another instance of confusion around the new baby name, as one character tried to explain the namesake: “Charli, without the E, as in Charli XYZ.”
“XCX,” another woman corrects her.
“What did I say?” the first replies. Hey, at least she’s got the spirit!
Ok this scene is even funnier Charli XYZ pic.twitter.com/HnU0hphUKD— R A Y (@iamraymccormick) September 5, 2023
If Baby Charli will grow up to be a pop star like her namesake remains to be seen — we’ll have to tune in in another 20 years. But rest assured, Eastenders will still be running.