‘High School Musical: The Musical: The Series’: What Is Nini’s Real Name?

Most of the East High School theater nerds known this character as “Nini,” but that’s not her birth name. 

Here’s what we know about this singing and songwriting character from Disney+’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, portrayed by “Drivers License” actor Olivia Rodrigo

[This article contains minor spoilers from High School Musical: The Musical: The Series season 2.]

Olivia Rodrigo as Nini in the Disney+ original series, 'High School Musical: The Musical: The Series' video chat
Olivia Rodrigo as Nini in the Disney+ original series, ‘High School Musical: The Musical: The Series’ | Disney

Ricky from ‘High School Musical: The Musical: The Series’ gave Nini her nickname

Ricky and Nini were friends long before they were high school students in this Disney+ mockumentary series. When they were 5 years old, Ricky had a hard time pronouncing Nini’s real name. As a result, he called this character “Nini.”

Although Ricky’s nickname for Nini was a happy accident, Nini gave Ricky his nickname on purpose. At 5 years old, this character didn’t think that any kid should be called “Richard.” Of course, both nicknames stuck throughout high school. 

Even when Nini and Ricky broke up during High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, other characters referred to them by their nicknames. However, viewers did learn what Nini’s actual name is. 

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What is Nini’s actual name?

Most students at East High call this character “Nini,” although some people close to her (like Kourtney) call her “Neen.” However, this High School Musical: The Musical: The Series character is named Nina Salazar-Roberts.

Throughout this series, Nini showed off her singing and acting abilities. She even enrolled in a performing arts high school for some episodes of season 2. There, teachers and classmates called this character by her birth name. They didn’t know Ricky and the history behind the nickname “Nini.”

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Nini releases music on social media as ‘Nina’ during season 2

Inspired by the success of “The Rose Song,” Nini created her own music-based social media account. The first name she used in conjunction with this Instagram was “Nina” instead of her nickname, Nini.

Of course, Ricky took this name change personally. Was this his girlfriend “breaking out of the glass” that he put her in? Nini said that Nina is actually her given name. It was also the name she used at the performing arts high school. To her, it made sense to release music with that new persona.

“One of my favorite things about season 2 is Nini’s character arc, and her growth is not related to boys at all,” Rodrigo said of her character during an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “She’s her own new person and learning her own lessons, and all of that is sort of sans boys.”

New episodes of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series debut on Disney+ weekly. To learn more about this original series and to subscribe to Disney+, visit their website.