"Hey, uh, do you want to split that cookie?"
– Syd to Elena, To Zir, With Love


Syd is a recurring character in Season 2, Season 3, and Season 4 in Pop TV's One Day at a Time. They are in a relationship with Elena Alvarez. They are shown to have many common interests with Elena, such as feminism and geeky TV shows like Doctor Who. Syd is portrayed by Sheridan Pierce.

Physical Appearance

Syd is a young white non-binary teenger with long brown hair with bangs that is often shown in various casual hairstyles such as braids, buns, half-updos, or ponytails. They occasionally wear vibrantly-colored eyeliner.

They have a geeky and casual fashion style and they mostly wear sweatshirts, graphic t-shirts, structured blazers, and other forms of casual clothing as their everyday attire.

They cosplayed as a TARDIS in "Locked Down."

Personality

Similar to Elena, Syd is geeky and nerdy with feminist views. They tend to be awkward but charming. While it's true that they share many feminist and progressives ideals with Elena, all though Elena seems to slightly more passionate about activism than Syd.

They enjoy shows like Doctor Who and Wynonna Earp and cosplaying as the characters from those shows. They also enjoy playing video games.

They really care for Elena and her well-being, especially when Elena expresses an interest in becoming more intimate. Elena and Syd begin to poke fun at how teen movies portray intimacy when they reveal that the last time they got tested for STDs was when they were still in a relationship with their ex-girlfriend Selene.

Syd chose to keep their sexual history to themself so that Elena could decide when she was ready for more without feeling pressured. As Elena begins to feel insecure, Syd reassures her that they love her regardless of how intimate they are.

Bio

Syd first appeared in "To Zir, With Love," as a part of Elena's Feminist Gamers of Echo Park group. They are revealed to be attracted to girls and seemed to have a crush on Elena, and later splitting a cookie with her; which reveals signs of romance according to Lydia.

In "Locked Down," they shared their first kiss with Elena on a balcony, when they were stuck in Elena's family apartment during a lockdown.

In Season 3, Syd mentions their family briefly, in different episodes. In "One Valentine's Day at a Time," their father is mentioned briefly, as they talk about him picking them up in a couple of hours. In "The First Time," they reveal having a brother, as they mention him having football try-outs; which assumes he is also homeschooled like them.

Syd and Elena’s reappear in "Checking Boxes" where it is revealed that they planned on breaking up when they leave for college so they didn’t end up thinking they were one of those high school relationships who think they can last through college but don't. After trying to spend the day apart and failing due to how much they missed each other, they decide to stay together and be "those people."

The episode "Supermoon" may be foreshadowing that the couple might struggle with their relationship as they discuss their crushes and talk about how mature they both are.

Storyline

Season 2

In "To Zir, With Love," Elena comes to the apartment with a bunch of friends. They are part of an advocacy group that she joined. She tells Penelope and Lydia that they are going downtown to protest a video game.

Elena says that what she's really afraid of is that she'll ask Dani out and that she won't be gay. Lydia tells Elena that love must be bold. Elena says that it's always been easy for them but what if nobody ever likes her. Lydia tells her the story about how telling a boy that she liked him lead to her meeting her future husband.

She never would've never met him if she hadn't put herself out there. Elena tells Lydia that she's just been staring at Dani awkwardly and smelling her hair. Lydia tells her that she could do better. Alex tells Lydia that it was very nice of her to tell Elena that story. Lydia tells him that it was all a lie and that it instead happened to her sister.

Later, Elena goes to give Dani a cookie when she gets a text that her girlfriend is outside. This crushes Elena, but another one of their friends named Syd comes up and offers to share the cookie with Elena. Elena realizes that Syd likes her and they both confess that they are gay. Lydia and Alex watch as Elena flirts, commenting that she's terrible at it, but luckily she has them to help her.

Elena asks Penelope not to get mad and that she's been talking to Syd. Elena goes on to say she knows she isn't supposed to be dating but can she go get ice cream with them. Penelope says yes she can.

In "Locked Down," Penelope calls Elena and Syd so that they can leave for Comic Con. Elena is dressed up as the 4th Doctor and Syd is the Tardis. When they leave, a helicopter flies over the building. It instructs everyone to get back into the building causing Penelope's family to return to the apartment. She quickly hides Max in Lydia's room and lets them in. Elena is upset because now she has to talk to Syd. Elena, Syd, and Alex are in Elena's room where Elena is being awkward.

Alex tells her that he'll help her defuse the situation. Penelope and Schneider try to get Max out of the apartment but Lydia ends up seeing him. Schneider pretends that Max is his sponsor from AA. Lydia invites him to stay for dinner. Syd and Alex are filming themselves when Alex gets a call from his friends at the Bar Mitzvah.

He goes to his room leaving Elena and Syd alone. Lydia calls them to dinner where Max talks to Lydia who tries to set him up with Penelope. Max says that he's seeing someone but he doesn't know if it's serious or not. Lydia talks about how every woman needs a man which upsets Elena. Syd tells her she looks cute on her high horse but Elena doesn't know how to respond.

Syd goes back to Elena's room. Elena follows them out on the balcony and they talk about how much Elena likes Syd but how she has a weird way of showing it. Elena kisses Syd and they make out.

In "Exclusive," Elena is texting Syd at the beginning and laughs. Later, Syd helps Elena find out who Alex's secret girlfriend is.

In "Homecoming," Syd sings a song parody, of "We Didn't Start the Fire," to ask Elena to homecoming. Elena says yes to going to the dance with them. Elena lies to Syd, and tells them that she is really popular at school. She spends the rest of the day trying to prevent Syd from talking to other people to find out the truth that she is not popular. Elena's teacher, Mrs. Wallace, tries to talk to her but Elena pretends not to know her. Elena dances with Syd away from everybody else. Syd says that Elena must be embarrassed by them since she hasn't introduced them to any of her friends, but Elena reveals she was embarrassed that she didn't actually have many friends. Syd says it's okay because they are home-schooled and their only classmate was their chinchilla. Elena introduces Syd to her teacher, then they all dance together.

Season 3

In "Outside," Syd and Elena are sitting on the couch, playing video games. Penelope walks in and comments on how they are always inside. Penelope tells the couple they should get outside and see the sun and they shouldn't be wasting a perfectly good Saturday.

They have a discussion about how Syd is no longer referred to as Elena’s girlfriend, seeing that they identify as non-binary and are trying to come up with a more appropriate term for Elena to call Syd. Syd says they will still refer to Elena as their girlfriend.

Schneider walks inside the apartment with a list of potential names for Elena and Syd. They remind him that they did not ask for his help and specifically told him not to get involved. Schneider then proceeds to give a bunch of potential terms he came up with from his list. All of these are rejected by the couple, who give their reasons.

Penelope says that Alex is at the museum with his girlfriend. Schneider comments on how there is nothing about a girlfriend on his Instagram page, so Syd says it might be on his Finsta page. Elena reluctantly explains that a Finsta page is an Instagram page solely for friends. Elena says she uses hers for Winona Earp cosplays and Syd says they take pictures of their chinchilla in drag. When questioned by Penelope on what Alex's Finsta is, Elena says that Alex’s is private, and Penelope freaks out saying that there is no such thing as privacy in their home before leaving for work.

Penelope arrives home and she shows the family Alex's inappropriate posts, and they all are just as wound up as she is. After they all react to Alex's behavior on social media, Penelope says she can't be the mother of a sleazy teenager. When Alex comes home, Penelope tells him his behavior on social media is not cute and she is especially disappointed in his treatment of Chloe.

Lydia then admits she was the one who encouraged Alex to keep pursuing Chloe and wear her down after she rejected him the first time. Elena then says Lydia helped contribute to toxic masculinity. She then goes on to explain it's how society influences men to believe they need to be aggressive, unemotional, and sex-obsessed. Lydia then says she is just describing a man.

Penelope says times have changed since Lydia's day and men need to watch what they say to women. Elena then says sarcastically says men are the poor victims because they can't catcall women in the street. Lydia says in her day men would hurl a symphony of compliments at her. Elena then tells her she was being harassed. Lydia then proudly says yes, more than the other women. Penelope then says not all women want that kind of attention.

Lydia then brings up another terrifying family story about wearing a woman down so she would give in to marriage.

Schneider then says the thing about women is that they are beautiful and "no" means "no" and "yes" means "yes." Elena then explains the "yes" shouldn't just be a "yes" it needs to be an enthusiastic "yes." Syd elaborates saying it should be a "hell yes!" Schneider then says he's never gotten one of those. Elena and Syd then volunteer themselves to demonstrate and an uncomfortable Alex asks to go to his room.

Penelope says she thinks it's important for him to see this. Syd and Elena then demonstrate asking each other for consent before touching each other. Penelope then asks if that's how their first kiss went. Syd says not at all and Elena just went for it, nearly choked them with the Doctor Who scarf, and the cops had to break them up. Alex then admits he is just getting more confused. Schneider then says he is getting more confused as well.

Schneider then realizes maybe some of his sexual relationships weren't as consensual as he thought then leaves the apartment to make some phone calls. Alex then says he's really confused. Penelope then admits it is confusing. Penelope then says she feels sorry for men and Elena counters her by saying women always blame themselves and the men never have to take responsibility.

Elena then says all the signs at school during rape prevention week are aimed at women telling then things such as not to dress provocatively or walk alone. She then says men should be told not to rape.

Alex says he wants to stop talking about this because he does not see the big deal about taking a couple of pictures as a joke. He goes on to say Chloe thought it was funny. Elena then questions if Chloe actually found it funny or she was so uncomfortable with Alex touching her that she didn't know how else to react besides laugh.

Elena tells Alex he's basically a predator. Alex calls Elena a psycho and says she doesn't know anything about his life and she never leaves the apartment. Elena then tells him it's because of guys like him. She then tells the family the story that took place a couple of weeks prior about how she and Syd were on the bus from their date at the movies when they were harassed by a group of guys who wanted to see them kiss and thought it was funny. Elena says they finally lost them in a crowd and ran home. Syd explains they have been in the apartment ever since. Elena says it's a bummer because they felt so good going out as a couple.

Alex then apologizes and says he wants to kill those guys and starts to leave but he is stopped by Penelope who is crying. Lydia then volunteers herself to do it saying she doesn't want Alex to bloody his hands. Penelope tells both of them to cool their toxic masculinity.

Elena then says the worst part is she didn't try talking back to those guys. Penelope then says in those types of situations it's important to keep safe and she did the right thing. Elena then says Penelope would have never put up with that. Penelope then tells a story from her army days and how she was sexually harassed by her first Sargent who was like a mentor to her. Penelope says being very reactive she kicked him in the crotch.

Penelope then says the future is bright because of strong, amazing young people like Syd and Elena. Penelope then says Elena should channel that energy into becoming a lawyer. She then goes on to say her job as a parent is making sure Elena has it better and making sure Alex does better.

Alex then apologizes to Elena and Elena says she knows he's a good guy.

The next day, Schneider arrives back in the apartment and says he just got done calling all his exes and all of his relationships were consensual and disappointing. He goes on to say every woman told him his flaws for twelve hours. Penelope then says he didn't have to call anyone because they are right downstairs.

Syd then asks if it would cheer Schneider up to know that they came up with the perfect relationship name. Elena then says Syd is her SO or Significant Other. Schneider then says Syd should be Elena's "Syd-nificant Other." They then say that's genius as they had not thought of that. The episode ends with them excitedly heading outside while Penelope cheers for them going outside. Schneider follows them and asks if there is something they want to call him that starts with an "A." He then tells them not to call him the first thing they think of.

In "Nip It in the Bud," Dr. Berkowitz and Lydia have two extra tickets to the opera. At the opera, Syd and Elena make opera puns with each other and talk about how the opera is gender-nonconforming. Syd and Elena notice Lydia acting crazy after she accidentally took Dr. Berkowitz's pot lozenge thinking it was a cough lozenge. Syd and Elena take Lydia home, after they were all banned from the opera from Lydia acting crazy.

Season 4

In "Checking Boxes," the Alvarez family and their friends are getting ready for movie night. In the opening scene, the Alvarez family along with their friends are getting ready for movie night when Brian, a census taker knocks on the door. Penelope slams the door on his face but then Elena tells her that the census is important because it determines federal funding, congressional seats, and Latino representation.

Penelope lets Brian back in, and she helps him learn about the family and their relationships for his form. Lydia tries to claim that she is the head of the household but Penelope insists she is. Each member of the family and their friends introduce themselves. Elena walks up to Brian and proudly declares she's gay. She then introduces Syd to Brian. Brain later leaves saying he needs to make his rounds to the other building tenants.

Elena and Syd talk about they're going to break up before they leave for different colleges, but Alex bets that they wouldn't last two days without each other. They accept the challenge.

At home, Elena freaks out after twenty-four hours since she last saw Syd. Alex fears that he'll never be left alone if Syd and Elena break up and says Elena has to get them back. Syd comes back because Lydia called them pretending to be Elena and Lydia says they were both being stupid.

Elena and Syd decide that they won't break up after all because they know they would miss each other too much, and maybe they weren't as mature as they thought. Then they start making out in the living room, causing an uncomfortable Alex to leave.

In, "One Halloween at a Time," in the Alvarez living room, Lydia is setting up the Halloween decorations while Elena and Syd walk in wearing their costumes. Lydia then says it's good they are going out for Halloween. Elena explains she is dressed as climate change activist Greta Thunberg, while Syd is dressed as an iceberg. Lydia then asks why they can't be cats as they already have the whiskers.

Elena then gives the explanation that they are not going trick-or-treating but instead going door to door to collect signatures and inform people about man-made climate change. Syd then inquires if they should say person-made climate change. Elena responds she is OK for letting the men take responsibility for this one. Syd continues to say Halloween is the perfect night because suckers will open the door for anyone.

Elena says their strategy is to hit people with facts when they open the door before they know what's coming. Elena and Syd then demonstrate how they will hit people with the facts. Lydia tells them people will probably just slam the door in their faces. Lydia then holds up a jack-o-lantern and tells them to put it outside. Elena then says she can't stand to look at another orange face with "that bobo in the White House."

Lydia responds he is like a pumpkin that will get thrown out by November. Schneider and Avery then walk in wearing their costumes. Schneider is some kind of hairy animal and Avery is in a yoga outfit. Schneider then asks them to guess what the costume is. Lydia then sarcastically asks if it's a reminder to shave her legs. Schneider then exclaims that this is serious.

Avery then says they just need a hint. Schneider then gallops over and Avery lifts her leg and does a yoga pose. Lydia then guesses by telling Schneider she thinks he is a cow and that Avery has stepped in the cow caca. Frustrated, Schneider says they were doing goat yoga and they aren't going to win the Halloween couples' contest.

Avery explains Schneider's got a lot riding on winning the Halloween costume contest at the Echo Park country club. Confused, Elena asks if they have a country club in Echo Park. Avery then explains it's the Beverly Hills Country Club and they just call it Echo Park on Halloween to make it sound scary. Schneider then says he's never won. But this year he can't lose because he has Avery in his life, and he's finally in a loving relationship as he kisses Avery. Schneider then says couples' costumes always win and the prize is an iPad mini and he never wins anything.

Sounding agitated, Elena says Schneider is a cisgender, rich, and white male and therefore he has won at life. Schneider then protests he really wants the iPad mini prize.

Penelope walks into the apartment. She sees the costumes Schneider and Avery are wearing and asks if they are supposed to be Little Bo Peep and a messed-up sheep. An annoyed Schneider tells Avery they are going back to the apartment. Penelope then retorts it's a Halloween miracle to get Schneider to leave her apartment.

Elena then says she and Syd are going to go be leaving. Penelope compliments them on their costumes saying they are a lot better than last year's toxic drinking water and tumor costumes. Syd then says they bummed out a lot of people in the senior center. Penelope then tells them bye as they leave.

Elena and Syd are walking in the hallway of the apartment building in their costumes.

Elena then asks what should they hit them with first. How rising sea levels will destroy coastal communities? Or the coming political chaos caused by widespread food insecurity? Syd then says both are so inevitable. They then say they'll let Elena decide and Syd will use what they learned from their summer improv course and "Yes and" whatever Elena says.

Elena knocks on the door. A guy wearing a Halloween shirt answers it. The guy guesses they are Anna and Olaf from Frozen. Elena tells him they are not from Frozen. The guy tells them they are cute and hands them two pieces of candy each. Syd tries to explain the real reason they are there but the guy shuts the door. Elena then says the guy didn't realize their costumes are making a radical political statement. Syd then says he just thought they were adorable.

Elena then scoffs at men and says they shouldn't panic because they can get it right at the next apartment. At the next apartment, Elena starts to explain why they are there but she is cut off by the old lady. The lady compliments them saying their costumes are very clever and timely. Elena thanks her. The lady mistakingly thinks they are dressed as Dorothy and the tornado.

Syd then says they really didn't think this through. They then try again to explain why they are there but the lady shuts the door. The two then decide to go trick-or-treating after all and give up their political crusade and name the candy bars they want. They excitedly walk off together.

In the Alvarez living room, Dr. Berkowitz and Lydia are waiting at home. Elena and Syd enter. Doctor Berkowitz questions Elena and Syd saying he thought they were out doing a political crusade. Elena says they tried but nobody was willing to listen to them. She then dumps a huge bag of candy on the table saying all the candy will give them the energy to try again tomorrow.

Penelope, Alex, and Max arrive home. Penelope then questions Elena if there any way the positive pregnancy test Lydia found in the trash is hers. Elena asks how many times does Penelope want me her to come out. Elena then points out she would need a man for a pregnancy to happen. Lydia says she thinks the Virgin Mary would clap back. Elena reiterates she is not pregnant. Syd says for a second they were convinced Elena was actually pregnant, as she is a saint. Penelope then says the test has to belong to someone and didn't just appear by magic.

Schneider and Avery enter with fog coming from the hallway, Avery is dressed as Daenerys Targaryen and Schneider as a dragon from Game of Thrones. Everyone is impressed and they all clap. Schneider says not to compliment them seeing that they came in second. He then exclaims they lost to Elton John. Doctor Berkowitz questions who was dressed as Elton John. Scheider then explains the real Elton John was dressed as Garfield eating lasagna and they lost to him. Schneider then says that it was adorable.

Avery sees Penelope holding the pregnancy test and asks where she found it. Penelope then asks if it's hers. Avery nods. Penelope, Elena, Syd, Alex, Lydia, and Dr. Berkowitz give her a group hug and Elena and Lydia congratulate her. Schneider not understanding asks why they are congratulating her, seeing that they lost the costume contest.

Avery laughs while crying. Schneider tells her not to cry and hang in there. Avery walks over to him, teary-eyed. Avery then tells him she wasn't sure how he'd react so she threw the test in the trash. He asks what she's saying and she tells him she's pregnant. Schneider hugs her and smiles. She asks if it means he's happy. He tells her that he is. He asks her if she's happy and Avery says she is. They kiss. Schneider then says this is so much better than an iPad mini. Lydia says they are here if Schneider and Avery need them and she adds they will. Alex says he is going to be a tío, Elena says she will be a tía, and Syd says they will be a tí-x.

The episode ends with Penelope saying this calls for a celebration. Then to Alex, she says "Hey grandpa! Will you take us all out for ice cream? Let's keep the hair. It's silver but the jokes are golden."

Memorable Quotes

Syd, pronouns they and them. -To Zir, With Love

The advertising strongly suggested there would be three.” -To Zir, With Love

Do you wanna split that cookie?” -To Zir, With Love

Me gay too! -To Zir, With Love


I won't be Syd anymore!” -Locked Down


"Fifteen possible girls would be a great name for a genderqueer punk band." -Exclusive

[Alex and Syd]

Alex: "I knew she was crazy, but come on Syd, I thought you were better than this."

Syd: "I'm really not." -Exclusive

Elena, I'm homeschooled. My only classmate is my chinchilla. And Roxy is a total mean girl.” -Homecoming


It’s too 90s." -Outside

"This one just went for it. I remember she pulled that Doctor Who scarf around my neck. Kinda choked me actually. The cops had to break us up." -Outside

How many women have said “eh, fine?” -Outside

It was actually really scary.” -Outside

Would it cheer you up to know that we found the perfect relationship name?” -Outside


Don't be silly Miss Alvarez, I don't have telekinetic powers. No matter how hard I try.” -One Valentine's Day at a Time

Fine, I want to leave. But I can't because my dad isn’t picking me up for two hours. So instead, I'm gonna find out what color makes my eyes pop! -One Valentine's Day at a Time


I'm homeschooled and my parents are holding football tryouts for my brother.” -The First Time

What do they do in teen movies? I feel like a lot of stuff happens in parked cars. -The First Time

That’s the life we chose as traveling astronauts. -The First Time

Aw, that sucks! Square!" -The First Time

I think you're the most beautiful girl in the world, and I can't believe you're heart is even more beautiful." -The First Time

I wasn’t in love then, but I am now." -The First Time

"Elena, there's no rush. We can do it next month, next year. We can never do it if that's what you want. No matter what happens, I love you." -The First Time


I'll get into one of her safety schools.” -Checking Boxes

Supe-dy dupe-dy mature!” -Checking Boxes

And they make you wait 24 hours.” -Checking Boxes

The moment I walked out the door, I felt an ache in the bowels of my bowels. -Checking Boxes

No, no, no. All of the Borg are non-binary. -Checking Boxes

But no high-school couples make it through college! Are we just fooling ourselves? We don't want to be those people.” -Checking Boxes


"Shouldn't we say person-made climate change?" -One Halloween at a Time

"Yes, and-- what's not frozen is the Arctic!" -One Halloween at a Time

"Who knew Halloween was fun?" -One Halloween at a Time

"Oh! For a second, they had me convinced. I mean, you are a saint." -One Halloween at a Time

"I'm gonna be a tí-x!" -One Halloween at a Time

Trivia

  • Syd is the first character to identify as non-binary and use the pronouns "they" and "them" on the show.
    • Syd and Elena struggled to find a term for Elena to refer to Syd, a gender-neutral version of boyfriend or girlfriend as Syd is non-binary. They landed on the term "significant other." Schneider also suggested "Syd-nificant other" as a word-play with Syd's name.
  • They have a pet Chinchilla named Roxy who they post pictures of in drag on their "Finsta" Instagram account.
  • Syd's Instagram handle is Syd-Vicious as mentioned in "Locked Down."
  • They are a fan of both Doctor Who and Harry Potter.
  • Their favorite books are A Wrinkle in Time and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
  • In the episode, "The First Time," Syd reveals they got tested for STDs, a year prior when they were with their ex Selene.
  • Syd's remark about becoming a tí-x in "One Halloween at a Time" implies they now see themselves as part of Elena's family.
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