Rikki Chadwick is one of main characters who became a mermaid in the Australian television series, H2O: Just Add Water. Along with Cleo and Emma, Rikki discovered her powers after her trip to Mako Island.
She also appears in the last 2 episodes of the third season of the spin-off series Mako: Island of Secrets.
Rikki Chadwick was born to Terry Chadwick and an unnamed mother in early 1990s. She had a hard childhood, even witnessing her parents fighting a lot over money issues. At some point in her early years, her mother divorced her father, and she left them. Rikki then grew up without her mother near her, and she mentions to Elliot how her father forgets her birthday every year.
Growing up in a struggling environment, Rikki lacks the personality of a snob and she doesn't like being around one, such as Miriam Kent and Zane Bennett, although later-on she develops a relationship with Zane.
Since she was little, Rikki has been used to people not liking her, so when people express their affections and kindness towards her, she feels uncomfortable and "fenced in". Before moving into the Gold Coast, Rikki was used to being alone and she usually preferred it that way. When Emma's younger brother, Elliot, developed a crush on her, Rikki brushed off his feelings and ended up hurting him by refusing his affection. Throughout the series, Rikki slowly abandoned her isolation and learned to accept other people caring for her, although at times, she still likes to be alone- particularly until she saved Cleo from being drifted in Zane's boat that Cleo opened up to her and offered Rikki her friendship as well as Emma's.
Her father's occupation is unknown. The only hint the audience has about Terry, is his hobby, which is working on motorcycles. This could imply that he is an auto-mechanic, although he never succeeded in fixing his motorcycle, and Zane eventually ended up fixing it, to earn Terry's approval.
Despite growing up in a more poor environment than her boyfriend, Zane, Rikki displays knowledge and skill in economic business, especially when it comes to saving her café business from being bankrupt.
In "The Big Chill," Rikki needed money to buy concert tickets but didn't like the idea of working. Cleo encouraged Emma to hire her as a favor for a friend, to which Emma was reluctant since the beginning. The next morning, Rikki began working at the JuiceNet café, but because of her rebellious attitude, Emma threatened to fire her on the spot after seeing how rude she was to the customers. Frustrated, Rikki decided to quit. But when Emma accidentally froze Miriam Kent (who was hiding in the cool room), Rikki has no choice but to become responsible and thaw her out. Wilfred, the owner, threatened to fire Emma and replace her with Rikki. Seeing this, Rikki purposely yelled at Tiffany in front of him so that she would be fired instead.
In the episode "Hocus Pocus", Rikki was responsible for causing the magical, wish-granting seaweed fungus to take over the café. Lewis and Cleo insisted on using the café's cool room to create their wish giving potion. Annoyed that Lewis had wasted her time, Rikki gave the potion an overdose of her magic, causing it to overflow overnight and eventually flood into the rest of the building.
In the beginning of season three, the café is shut down and out of business for an unknown reason. Rikki had an idea that it should be reopen again but with new trends, such as a live music concert. In the episode "The Awakening", Zane decided to take her idea and bought the place with his father's money. After renovating it, he named it after her and made Rikki the new manager and his business partner. The café seems to be in better situation whenever Rikki's around. After Rikki broke up with Zane and left the restaurant to Sophie, the café was nearly at the brink of bankruptcy. At the end of the series, the café seems to have recovered when Rikki came to visit.
Out of Control
Out of all of the mermaids, Rikki is the one who tends to be the most out of control with her powers. In the episode "Bad Moon Rising", Rikki got struck by the full moon's spell, causing her powers to go out of control, resulting in everything she touched immediately heating up. Affecting her mentally, she ran away to Mako Island where she accidentally set some of the foliage on fire. After talking to Zane, she kisses him causing him to dehydrate and become unconscious.
In the episode "The Dark Side", Rikki grew frustrated with Zane's insensitivity and ran away to face the water forces alone at the Moon Pool. There, she encounters the Water Tentacle and was shocked to find that she could connect with it. The ordeal affected her mentally to the point where she became withdrawn from Bella and Cleo and everyone around her for the next two episodes. Her connection with the Water Tentacle caused her to become more protective with Mako Island and she became paranoid and cold towards Cleo, causing a fracture in their trust and their friendship.
It is revealed that the more time she spends at the Moon Pool, the more her connection with Mako advances.
Secrets of the Deep
In Mako: Island of Secrets, an older Rikki has made a successful life for herself despite growing up in a financially struggling family thanks in large part to her experiences as a mermaid that she shares in her book under the guise of being a very skilled diver. When meeting her fans, she comes off as charming with a good sense of humor, but she is still a rather withdrawn individual because of her mermaid secret. She was even slow to trust fellow mermaids Ondina, Mimmi, and Weilan when they seek one of her artifacts they believe can slay a dragon, unwilling to let them have something that she had to work very hard to obtain. She even threatened to have them arrested and almost engaged them in a fight, showing that she maintained her stubbornness and spunk.
She later shows that although she always has her guard up with people she meets, she longs for companionship after her best friends Emma, Cleo, and Bella moved away showing that she has been rather lonely over the years. Rikki soon opens up to the mermaids when they show her compassion and understanding and state she is the same as they are. Rikki is also shown to have maintained her rebellious fun loving nature as she helped the mermaids steal the bracelet and when Mimmi offered to return it, Rikki let her keep it because it would amuse her to see how the foundation reacts when they notice it is gone.
Rikki is the exact opposite of Emma not just in their magical powers but also in their personalities as well. While Emma is confident, controlling, and responsible, Rikki is quite rebellious, independent, sarcastic and carefree, making the two argue often, in "The Heat Is On", Emma and Rikki clash (because of their boyfriends) at the juice bar and are late to the anniversary that Cleo planned (for their one year anniversary of becoming mermaids) like her father, she is contemptuous of the social hierarchy at the local high school she and the others attended as well as in life.
Unlike Emma who tends to hold her tongue in certain situations, Rikki frequently speaks her mind without euphemism or without care that her opinions might hurt other people's feelings. She has a hard time sympathizing with people who are in pain, as seen in "Dangerous Waters", she can be very stubborn and has a short temper. Rikki has a strong adventurous streak and is the first to fully embrace the possibilities of the girls' new powers. Despite their arguments, Rikki and Emma do get along a lot of the times, and Rikki genuinely cares for her friends. This is demonstrated when she takes Emma and Cleo out on a shopping spree with her new money as seen in "Dangerous Waters", to make up for her previous blunder in the same episode, she also does her best to buy Cleo the perfect new fish (as thanks, Cleo dubs the fish "Hot Stuff," in honor of Rikki). Rikki also shows her care for Emma when Rikki prods Byron to apologize to her friend in "Sink or Swim", revealing that Emma is not as tough and thick-skinned as she lets on.
Not only does Rikki shows her rebellious nature freely, but she encourage it in her friends as well. In "Pressure Cooker", Rikki encouraged Cleo and Emma to rebel against Charlotte Watsford and her mother, Annette Watsford who were invited by Don Sertori to stay over for dinner. Thinking that Don is getting remarried and that Charlotte will become Cleo's step sister, Rikki encouraged the others to use their powers to ruin the food, not knowing that Annette was only invited as a business partner. Despite her carefree nature, Rikki is capable of displaying a sense of responsibility especially when it comes to money. In the episode "Hook, Line and Sinker", Rikki attempted to look for some financial security for her family by attending Harrison Bennett's seminar, only to find it to be a scam. In "In Over Our Heads", Rikki attempted to help her father by trying to find a lost treasure for the reward money because her family was struggling with the bills. During her stay as café manager in season three, she was able to show her ability in running a business successful. When Rikki left after breaking up with Zane, the café started to struggle despite Sophie replacing her as manager, showing her organizational and monetary abilities.
Described as very pretty, she has wavy, platinum hair that goes a bit past her shoulders, remaining a consistent length throughout all three seasons. Her eyes are wide, dark-lashed, and sky blue. It appears that she wears mascara. She is fair-complected with no visible blemishes. Her lips are a rosy pink and plump. Throughout the series, she has styled her hair in the following ways: loose, tied up into a messy bun, a loose ponytail, and double braids, double buns, or pin curled in Mako Mermaids. Her body is slim, but not to an extreme, and shows signs of athleticism.
Though Rikki rarely wears dresses in Season 1, Zane bought her a red dress, which she wore to Harrison Bennett's business lunch, and she wore a black dress to their school's dance. Her wardrobe consists of red and black items, based on her fiery abilities, tough she does wear colors like khaki, blue, gray, and even pink sometimes, and in season 3, she starts wearing more blue tones. She also wears a locket identical to Cleo and Emma's, only with a red stone, to represent the ability to heat water.
As a mermaid, her hair is down, and she has an orange-scaled tail with a matching top.
In Season 3, Rikki seemed to grow more comfortable with her femininity and started to dress in clothes that more colorful and girlier. She also started to wear her hair down more, rather than braiding it. Rikki seems to not be too focused on her appearance, due to the fact she is a tomboy. But, as proven on many occasions, she can look beautiful if she so desires.
Becoming a Mermaid
After Cleo gets tricked into helping Zane Bennett repair his boat, he sets her adrift into the sea. Rikki jumps aboard the boat to save her, revealing that she was the one who stole Zane's spark plug to his boat. Plugging it back in, Rikki and Cleo decided to take the boat for a joyride. Along the ride, the girls ran into Emma, who was walking home from her swim training. Exchanging a quick banter, the two invited Emma to come along with them. With the carefree Rikki steering the boat out into the sea and miles offshore, the girls soon found they are now out of fuel in the middle of the ocean. With little choice, the three girls paddled their way to the closest land they could find: Mako Island
Once ashore on the deserted island, Cleo and her friends pondered on how they should call for help. Being the most prepared one in the group, Emma brought her cell phone but only to find that it couldn’t get a signal. Emma suggested that they should head inland towards a higher altitude in hopes of getting a signal for a call. As they ventured in deeper into the jungle-infested island, the three girls soon came across a clearing where a river stream turns into a waterfall over several boulders. While Emma and Rikki were able to jump over to the small waterfall, Cleo became hesitant and without a warning, fell into a hole. The other two followed her and continued to pursue a way out of the underground cave.
Several hours later, the three of them ended up at the end of the tunnel and found the moon cave with a pool at the bottom of the island's hollow mountain. Emma realizes that the Moon Pool is connected to the ocean and may be their only way out, she dove in to find out. Confirming her find, she and Rikki convinced the hesitant Cleo to escape with them. When all three of them entered the pool, the full moon became aligned with the Moon Pool, causing it to bubble and glow a mystic blue glow and emitting small orbs of magical light particles into the air. Oblivious to what was happening to them, the girls ventured out into open sea where they were rescued by the local water-police.
Upon the next morning and twelve hours after their ordeal, Rikki decided to take a morning walk around her neighborhood. Surprisingly, Rikki first discovered that she transformed into a mermaid when she was hit by water from the park sprinkler system. After confirming her theory with Emma and Cleo, Rikki grew excited and embraced her new changes. Rikki was the last to discover her powers, which bothers her greatly.
Rikki possesses the ability to transform into a mermaid ten seconds after physical contact with water. She turned back into a human several minutes after climbing out of the the water and once her body was completely dry, she turned back into a human along with the clothes she was wearing before she transformed. As a mermaid, Rikki has the ability to swim at a super speed, and dive at depths no human being is capable of, completely protected from its cold and water pressure. She is also capable of holding her breath for at least fifteen minutes. When Isabella Hartley arrived at the Gold Coast just after Emma's departure, Cleo and Rikki realized how beautiful her crystal necklace was.
The new mermaid trio then replaced the original mermaids' lockets with crystal necklaces that Will Benjamin handcrafted for both Cleo and Rikki. However, she no longer wears neither her locket or crystal necklace by the time of her return to Mako Island in 2015.
Due to entering the Moon Pool with Cleo and Emma, Rikki was only gifted with the power of Hydro-Thermokinesis, and didn't receive all merpeople powers like a person who enters the Moon Pool alone. In Season 2, after a powerful planetary alignment, Rikki was gifted with a second power called Pyrokinesis, and later, she was able to create a storm with Cleo and Emma, as well as alone. Years later, Rikki demonstrated having Telekinesis power when she stopped a glass full of water from moving.
See the main article: Rikki-Zane Relationship
At the beginning of the series, Rikki disliked Zane like most of her friends because she finds him to be a repulsive snob. Whenever she sees him bothering her friends, she wouldn't hesitate to offer to give him a piece of her mind by making a scene, something that Emma usually refuses. However, at one point, Rikki decided to put aside her judgment on him in the episode "The Camera Never Lies" where she discreetly saved him from being eaten by sharks. In the episode, "Bad Moon Rising", Zane encounters the full-moon stricken Rikki on Mako Island. There, she confessed that she was tired of "being a mermaid". The two shared a kiss, but with her out of control powers, she accidentally dehydrated Zane and he passed out. After that, Rikki has no memory of kissing him, but they decided to stop exchanging their usual insults whenever they meet. When Rikki and Zane got trapped on a hotel balcony in the episode "Hook, Line and Sinker", they started to bond and soon they realized that they are in love with each other. When Zane asked her to go out with him, she refused because he wouldn't give up his talk about mermaids ever since Emma saved him from drowning. In the end, she struck a deal with him that she'll only go out with him if he stops talking about mermaids. When Cleo and Emma found out their secret relationship, they disapproved greatly in fear that she'll tell Zane their secret like Julia did fifty years ago. However, Rikki proved herself worthy by continuing to keep their mermaid secrets from Zane.
In the season one finale "A Twist In The Tail", Zane proved to his father and Dr. Denman of mermaids' existence on camera, not knowing that they are actually his friends and girlfriend. When they were captured by his father and the marine biologist, Zane was shock to find that Rikki is one of the mermaids that he's been hunting. Upset, Rikki blames Zane for their situations. After Zane helped her and her friends escape, they both decided to break up because they were too different with Zane thinking that Rikki is no longer a mermaid.
In the second season, Rikki ran into Zane again at the dirt track and they both wanted to get back together. Rikki was a bit reluctant at first because he had betrayed her and her friends before. When Zane discovered that she is still a mermaid, he confessed that he no longer cares about exploiting her secret. He asked her to risk it and the two decided to date together. However, Rikki continued to lie about her life because she was concern that Zane wouldn't find her attractive if he finds out that she lives in a trailer park. Later on, Zane was caught by Rikki's father for trying to steal his motorcycle badge when, truthfully, it was Nate's fault and Zane was trying to bring it back. Rikki witnessed their argument and saw how rude Zane was to her father and decided to avoid him. Not knowing that Terry is her father, Zane was confused as to why she did so. He then revealed to Emma and Cleo that he knew their secret and asked them to talk to Rikki for him. Although Emma still opposed Rikki for dating Zane again, she told her that she must be the one who is truthful to Zane. Taking her friend's advice, Rikki admits to Zane where she lives and that Terry is her father. After another blunder with Terry, Zane tried to prove his worth to him by fixing his motorcycle before pleading his innocence. Terry decided to forgive him and allowed him to date his daughter again.
Later on, Zane invited Rikki to go on a treasure hunt with him in the episode "In Over Our Heads". In this episode, he shows his concern for her when he saw how much she insisted on looking for the treasure and convinced her to take a break. When she got injured, he pulled her out of the water and tried calling her friends for help. Rikki admitted that she needed the money from the treasure hunt to help her father pay the bills. Seeing how desperate she seems, Zane offered to help, but Rikki insisted that she doesn't take charity. Knowing this, Zane and Lewis decided to find the treasure in Rikki's name, thus, helping her earn her reward money.
In season 3, Zane bought the abandoned JuiceNet Café and turned it into another café in Rikki's name and honor and they both decided to become business partners. However, their relationship became more strained by the cause of various problems such as the Water Tentacle, Sophie, and Will's diving ability. When Zane unintentionally caused Will to almost drown in a practice dive, Rikki became upset with him and even more so when he didn't show much concern about the Water Tentacle during a full moon. She decided to break up with him when she caught Sophie kissing Zane at Will's Free-Diving Championship. Desperate to get her back, Zane tries to gain Rikki's attention by stealing a necklace Will made for her out of moon crystals. Sophie tries to convince him to move on by taking Rikki's name down from the café, but he refused. Throughout the rest of the season, Zane tried his best to win Rikki back, but unfortunately, ended up wrecking it more. The season ended with Rikki and Zane back on speaking terms, however, they did not officially get back together. But they are still considered a couple.
Behind the scenes
She was portrayed by actress Cariba Heine.
- Rikki's name's origin is uncertain, congnates in Northern Finnic imply it means "sulfur". In religious contexts, burning sulfur is referred to as "brimstone", giving rise to "fire-and-brimstone" sermons where listeners are told of the threat of eternal damnation. Hell is said to smell of sulfur (likely due to its association with volcanic activity), as it is found primarily in hot springs and volcanic regions, a reference to both her personality and powers.
- Rikki's powers are the most dangerous.
- Rikki's mother never appeared in the series. She is only mentioned by Rikki once when she tells Zane that her parents divorced over money issues.
- In the beginning of season 3 Rikki did not trust Bella.
- Rikki was the first to be captured by the water tentacle.
- Rikki formed a bond with the water tentacle.
- She is one of the two mermaids who has an on and off relationship with her boyfriend, alongside with Cleo who had an on and off relationship with Lewis during most of Season 2.
- Rikki is the last girl to discover her power over water.
- She is the only one without a boyfriend in the season 3 finale.
- Rikki was without her necklace and locket in her Mako: Island of Secrets appearance.
- She had training wheels on her bike when she was 9 according to the season 3 premiere.
- Rikki is the only one of the three mermaids without a younger sibling or any sibling at all. However, it is unknown if Bella has any siblings or if she's an only child.
- Main article: Rikki Chadwick (JAW)/Gallery