Fifteen years ago,
Santa Claus Aaron Carter came to town for a holiday special on Disney Channel’s Lizzie McGuire. In Season 1, Episode 7 of the hit show, AC films a Christmas-themed music video in the McGuires’ hometown. Lizzie and Miranda have huge crushes on him, so they sneak onto the set while Gordo tags along to film their shenanigans.
The episode was filmed in January 2001, toward the beginning of Carter and Hilary Duff’s real-life relationship (it ended circa 2003). But fans who grew up watching Lizzie — myself included — never forgot how exciting their first on-screen kiss was. And yet, when I recently re-watched the episode, it left me with more questions than answers. Such as:
Why does Lizzie fall down so much?Disney Channel
The episode opens with Lizzie running into the cafeteria and — what else? — falling flat on her face, as she tends to do throughout the series. I know her character’s supposed to be clumsy, but girl, buy yourself some non-slip shoes.
How doesn’t Gordo know who Aaron is?Disney Channel
Your two best friends are 13-year-old girls, David Gordon. You should know this stuff.
How did Lanny know the shoot’s location?Disney Channel
Matt, Lizzie’s baby bro, finds out where the shoot is thanks to his friend, Lanny, who mysteriously never speaks out loud. Matt agrees to tell Lizzie the location if she lets him come along on their adventure.
Why did Matt want to go?Disney Channel
Like Gordo, he’s hardly Aaron’s target audience. Gordo, an aspiring filmmaker, goes because he wants to experience a music-video shoot, but I have no clue why Matt wants to see Aaron so badly.
Where does Lizzie’s dad work?Disney Channel
A client gives Mr. McGuire backstage passes for the shoot, but the gang sneaks out before he can hand them over. What job gives out backstage passes like candy?
Did Lizzie’s parents really believe her note?Disney Channel
Speaking of sneaking out, Lizzie leaves her parents a note saying she’s working on a project with Miranda and Gordo and Matt’s “helping.” Now, if Matt and Lizzie were siblings who got along, this could seem like a reasonable excuse. But they couldn’t be in the same room together without bickering. Plus they went to different schools, so none of their assignments would overlap. Any smart parent would call bullshit on this note.
How long did it take to crimp Lizzie’s hair?Disney Channel
Hilary Duff recently brought back Lizzie’s signature bangs, so maybe she’ll bring this hairstyle back from the dead.
How’d they get to Ren-Mar Warehouses?Disney Channel
They just magically appear there after leaving Lizzie’s house. None of them are old enough to drive, but I assume it’s not a walkable distance, since both Mr. and Mrs. McGuire drive there later in the episode.
Did Lizzie seriously think her school paper’s press pass would work?Disney Channel
Lizzie tries to use her press pass from her middle school’s webzine to get past security. She confidently walks up to the guard, saying, “I’m Lizzie McGuire, a member of the press. I have a right to be here.” He unsurprisingly confiscates it.
Why do all of Lizzie’s plans suck?Disney Channel
This girl doesn’t come up with a single decent plan. First she says they’ll “breeze through security like we own the place.” Later, her brilliant plan is to “make it up as we go along.” Sigh.
It’s a good thing Matt came prepared with a plan B: elf costumes from their family’s old Christmas-card photo session. This helps them look like extras on the holiday set.
How does Matt look like Aaron here?Disney Channel
Lizzie, Miranda, and Gordo don the elf costumes, but Matt inexplicably decides he’s going as AC himself. He puts on a painfully obvious blond wig, which gets him past the guard after a crew member mistakes him for an Aaron stand-in. Sure, that sounds believable.
Why doesn’t Aaron have his credentials with him?Disney Channel
After everyone finally gets in, they stumble upon Aaron’s personal pass in his dressing room. Doesn’t he need that, like, on him at all times? Y’know, so random fans don’t steal it.
When do we get to hear Miranda sing?Disney Channel
Aaron’s manager says only one of them can meet him in person, and Lizzie gives up her chance to interview him so that Miranda can sing for him. She’s supposed to be a great singer, but I can’t recall her singing once in the whole show.
Does Lizzie ever find out what Aaron sleeps in?Disney Channel
Lizzie secretly wants Miranda to ask Aaron what he sleeps in. That’s not creepy at all.
Does Aaron kiss everyone who enters his dressing room?Disney Channel
Aaron hangs mistletoe above his doorway, so he kisses Lizzie when she comes back to get the tape recorder she left in his dressing room. Does he show everyone the same generosity?
Are Miranda and Gordo blind?Disney Channel
They are literally standing 10 feet away from Lizzie when Aaron smooches her, yet they act like they have zero clue when she comes back. “Did you get your tape recorder?” Gordo asks. “That’s not all I got,” Lizzie responds, blushing. WE KNOW, LIZZIE. WE SAW THE PDA.
Why is none of this ever mentioned again?Disney Channel
Lizzie’s personal brand is being the uncool girl in school. But kissing a famous celebrity and appearing in a music video are definitely things that would skyrocket someone’s popularity. So why are Lizzie, Miranda, and Gordo still at the bottom of the totem pole when they return to the hallways? Kate and Claire should be shook.