cafeteria girls big mouth
Source: netflix

"Cafeteria Girls" Is the 'PEN15' x 'Big Mouth' Crossover We Didn't Know We Needed


Dec. 8 2020, Published 5:35 p.m. ET

Netflix's Big Mouth is back with an all new season and this year, the kids are off to sleepaway camp. 

The show already had an impressive cast lineup with comedians like Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Maya Rudolph, and Fred Armisen voicing some of the animated series's main characters but with Season 4, the show has added even bigger names.

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Episode 4 of the new season features guest stars Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine of PEN15, who voice characters that are not unlike the cringeworthy tweens they plan on Hulu. But just who do Anna and Maya play on Big Mouth and how exactly do the “Cafeteria Girls" play into the episode? Keep scrolling to find out.

cafeteria girls big mouth
Source: netflix
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Who are the "Cafeteria Girls” on 'Big Mouth'?

Big Mouth and PEN15 are both shows that deal with the hilarious and crippling awkwardness of being a teenager, so it was only a matter of time before the two worlds crossed over. In Episode 4, “Cafeteria Girls,” the girls from PEN15 voice characters Izzy (Anna Konkle) and Misha (Maya Erskine), two younger middle schoolers that Nick and Andrew set their eyes on. 

In “Cafeteria Girls,” Nick and Andrew start eighth grade and quickly realize that they’re the only two single kids left in their year. In order to quickly get themselves into relationships and fit in with the rest of their classmates, Nick and Andrew decide to start dating a pair of seventh graders, thinking that the younger girls will be easier to “do stuff with.”

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Cue some cringeworthy flirting followed by Nick and Andrew taking Izzy and Misha on a date to Starbucks, after which they go to Nick’s house for a make-out party. Midway through the make-out session however, Andrew and Nick decide that they like each other’s girls better and, without discussing it with the girls, the boys decide to switch partners.

cafeteria girls big mouth
Source: netflix
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This doesn’t go down well with Izzy and Misha, who tell the boys as much in a way that their PEN15 counterparts would be proud of. But the most hilarious twist comes when Nick breaks the fourth wall and tells the girls that they’re just going to have to go along with the switch since Izzy and Misha are on “our show.”

That’s when the girls reply that Nick and Andrew are, in fact, on their show, which they reveal is “Cafeteria Girls,” a nod to Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine’s co-creation, PEN15. Although they’re not playing their actual characters from PEN15, there are obvious parallels between Anna and Maya, and Izzy and Misha. 

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In one quick aside, Izzy tells Misha not to “spaz out,” which is something that Anna tells Maya often in PEN15. Maya says she’ll agree only if Izzy promises not to sing, another Easter egg that references choir-obsessed Anna on PEN15. Misha dry-humping Nick’s couch is also a hilarious call-back to the episode in PEN15 in which Maya discovers and becomes somewhat obsessed with masturbating. 

The concept of the boys being on Izzy and Misha’s TV show also forces Nick and Andrew to confront the fact that they aren’t the center of the universe, as Big Mouth would have them (and us) believe. There’s also a moment of self-realization when the boys feel insecure about their misogynistic behavior and have to confront the fact that these two seventh grade girls also have their own feelings, desires, and lives that are just as valid as their own.

As co-creator Nick Kroll said about the girls guest-starring on Big Mouth, “It’s the PEN15 / Big Mouth crossover episode of my fantasies!!!” 

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