Coco Astoni (2017-present)
When Coco first appeared, arriving at the family home in the city with mother Maggie, she had just been suspended from school for cyber-bullying. She protested that she had only joined in with something other girls had started and was upset that Maggie hadn’t stuck up for her. Her father Ben put an end to things by dropping her phone into the garbage disposal. She found herself dragged along on what was supposed to be a trip to see her grandmother. She was unenthusiastic when they stopped in Summer Bay, although was instantly taken with VJ when she saw him on the beach. When the car broke down and they had to spend the night there, her sister Ziggy dragged her out to Salt and then got arrested for stealing a wallet.
When Ben’s attempt to make a quick exit from Summer Bay saw him damage a water tank and have to stay in town to repair it, Coco was the one least enthusiastic about staying with him, probably because she’d been hoping to get computer access at her grandmother’s. Maggie took her and Ziggy on John and Marilyn’s bus tour but she felt car sick, which contributed to the tour being cut short. When Ziggy tried to run away to the city and Ben and Maggie went to look for her, Alf introduced Coco to Raffy. Despite an awkward start when Raffy queried her confrontational behaviour online, Coco soon warmed to the younger girl and confided that the girl she had posted a comment about, Sophia, bullied her and she could only stand up to her online. Having made a rare friend in person rather than virtually, Coco now voted in favour of staying in town for the school holidays.
She was initially horrified when Ben and Maggie announced they were going to buy the farm house and move to Summer Bay permanently but quickly came round to the idea. She found herself asked to keep an eye on Ziggy when she started spending time with Brody, who was a drug addict. When she ran into VJ again, Raffy convinced her to pretend to be her French tutor so he would think she was older. She ended up getting a date with him but was unable to tell him the truth when he told her about Billie’s recent death. Going for a drink in Salt, she found herself struggling to avoid drinking alcohol and hiding from Ben, until Leah turned up and revealed her true age. Although VJ let her down gently, she felt humiliated. VJ later came round to see her and they shared a pizza but when Ben came home and found him there he threw him out of the house. VJ suggested she find some friends her own age but she found herself targetted by bully Jennifer Dutton, who had had a run-in with Maggie, ending up with litter in her locker, and isolated while Raffy was focused on Mason being in hospital. Raffy pigged out with her to cheer her up.
Coco was upset to see VJ getting on with Ziggy and embarassed herself by accusing him of dating her. Jennifer’s taunts stopped her enjoying Raffy’s attempts to cheer her up and she ended up binge-eating and throwing up. Jennifer made fun of her for healthy eating and she got into a fight with her which saw them both suspended. She confided in Ben and Maggie about being bullied but threw up again after Ziggy made fun of her. She wanted to go exercising after breakfast but Maggie insisted on taking her to the Diner. VJ offered her a surfing lesson and she seemed a natural although she was embarrassed about stripping down to swimmers in front of him; he assured her she looked fine. Despite encourging Raffy to move up into Year 10 with her, she hardly saw her on her first day since her bulimia caused her to spend most of her time in the toilet and VJ later overheard her throwing up. He and Roo questioned her but she dismissed it as food poisoning and Jennifer, realising what was going on, said she’d felt ill after eating at Salt as well. Jennifer told her she’d cover for her if she helped her get together with VJ so Coco arranged for VJ to help Jennifer with her homework while snubbing Raffy to spend time with her.
She reluctantly asked Jennifer to join her in a surfing lesson with VJ, then fainted from lack of food. VJ refused to let her go in the water so she went for a run and fainted again, falling down some steps. She was found by Robbo, who took her to hospital, where she played ignorant despite being told she had an electrolyte imbalance. Raffy visited her to rebuild their friendship while VJ assured her he’d rather spend time with her than Jennifer. She was mortified when Ben and Maggie asked her if she was sleeping with VJ and VJ found out. Despite admitting to Maggie that she liked him, she decided against going to Olivia’s launch party with him. With things tense at home because of Ziggy’s involvement with Brody, she followed VJ’s advice and tried to organise a pepperpot session to get everyone to air her feelings but Ziggy refused to take part. Coco used increasingly transparent excuses to hang around VJ but he told her he only saw her as a friend. She claimed she was fine with it, then went home and threw up again.
After an incident with Raffy brought back memories of when Maggie was attacked by vandals at her old school, Coco was bothered by the uncharacteristic concern Ziggy was showing and forced her to admit that she was one of the vandals and it was her then-boyfriend Pete who attacked Maggie. Ziggy told Coco to stay quiet rather than cause more trouble in the family. Coco promptly made herself sick again but was caught by Leah. She eventually admitted what she was doing but refused to go to hospital or tell her parents. However, after helping to build a gazebo at the farm, she collapsed fitting. She refused to let Tori tell her parents the reason but Leah told them instead. Coco told Ziggy she had put more pressure on her by making her keep her secret and she wasn’t going to do it anymore. When she returned from hospital, she quickly worked out that Ziggy had run away although Ziggy quickly returned and confessed.
Coco was bemused when Ryder Jackson flirted with her and got Ben to read him the riot act when he phoned the house. She was the only family member pleased to see her grandmother Diana when she turned up. Despite the others telling her to keep quiet about their problems, she blurted them all out to Diana as she was about to leave, prompting her to decide to stay another week. She acted as bridesmaid when her parents had an unofficial vow renewal on the beach. When it was arranged for her to spend the evening watching movies with Ryder and Raffy, she panicked about finding something nice to wear but Ben managed to calm her down. However, when she got there Raffy told her that she liked Ryder. Coco denied doing the same but after seeing them cuddling up she nearly binged again. She told Raffy about her bulimia and admitted she did like Ryder, prompting Raffy to back off from him, and enlisted her help in organising a glow day to celebrate being girls. She was puzzled by Ryder’s erratic behaviour at the event but despite snide comments from Jennifer she gave a speech admitting to her bulimia and partnered with Raffy in the obstacle course. She was the only one remotely pleased when Diana announced she was moving to Summer Bay. However, Ziggy begged her to put a stop to it and Coco eventually offered to go and stay with Diana for a month in return for Ziggy giving her her iPad and doing her chores.
When Coco returned, she seemed more confident and Ben and Maggie learned she had been arrested and cautioned after chaining herself to a tree during a protest against a development. She explained she had met some grandchildren of Diana’s friends and been pleased to care about something other than what people thought of her. She seemed eager to keep the momentum going, harassing Alf about overfishing. Ben and Maggie pointed out that Alf had no control over it and she should pick battles she could win, so instead she began complaining to Irene about the lack of recycling at the Diner. She organised a protest with Raffy and Ryder and managed to convince Irene to stop using disposable cutlery and plastic straws, coming up with a budget for eco-friendly alternatives. She initially dismissed Ziggy’s claim that Ryder liked her until he turned up at the house with flowers made from recycled paper. She later danced with him at the Salt re-opening party.