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Literature / Gossip Girl

"There's nothing Gossip Girl likes more than a good catfight and this could be a classic."
A Prime Time Soap starring a bunch of rich kids (and a few middle class kids — sort of) from the Upper East Side of New York. Started off as a series of young adult novels by Cecily von Ziegesar, then made into a television show for The CW by Josh Schwartz, the creator of The O.C. and Chuck. There also exists a manhwa series by Hye-Kyung Baek as well as an Otome Game by Voltage Inc.The novels and show followed the lives of several characters, all rich kids living in New York City. The primary characters are Blair Waldorf, Nate Archibald, Serena van der Woodsen, Chuck Bass and Dan Humphrey, who (basically all) become involved romantically even though they are part of different crowds. Blair is the Determinator queen bee of the Upper East Side, while Nate is (in the novels at least) the stoned Prince Charming. Chuck Bass is the Casanova bad boy, Nate's bff who finds himself falling in love with his best friend's girl. Serena is a former bad girl, and Blair's mortal enemy/bff while Dan is struggling to merely get accepted into a prestigious college, owing to the fact that his family doesn't have much money. A number of old friends, new friends and love shapes make things even more complicated, but the biggest wild card is Gossip Girl, a mysterious blogger who seems to be following them around and recording their movements and actions. Naturally, the characters don't like this at all, but Gossip Girl's identity remains unknown despite all attempts to discover it.

Tropes in this show include:

  • AB Negative: Rufus and Dan, but not baby Milo.
  • Aborted Declaration of Love: Happened three times with Blair and Chuck.
  • Above the Influence: Chuck when Blair throws herself at him in The Grandfather.
  • Absentee Actor:
    • Ed Westwick (Chuck) was missing from several episodes in season one.
    • Chace Crawford (Nate) was missing from at least one season one episode, and notably missing from a season two episode where Nate really should have been involved in the storyline.
    • Due to various personal issues (including pregnancy), Kelly Rutherford (Lily) is the only original cast member to be absent from at least one (and usually more than one) episode of every season.
    • Taylor Momsen (Jenny) only appeared in a grand total of 4 episodes of the fourth season, despite still being listed in the credits. (Both she and Jessica Szohr, another cast member who keeps missing episodes, were dropped from the regular cast for season 5.)
    • In fact the only cast members to take part in every episode are Blake Lively, Leighton Meester and Penn Badgley - and, of course, Kristen Bell (Gossip Girl, as well herself in the finale).
  • Abusive Parents: Nearly every one on the show, but particularly Bart Bass.
  • Accidental Marriage: Subverted when Serena thinks she got married accidentally in a trip to Spain during a drunk night. Fortunately for her, she didn't, although she kept dating the guy.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Chuck Bass. In the books he was depraved but seemed quite happy with himself and his life. In the series he's the Jerkass Woobie/Butt-Monkey with a ton of emotional damage.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the books, Jenny Humphrey is a sweet, artistic girl whose main appearance anxiety is that she is short, brunette, and busty, unlike her tall, slender blonde idol Serena Van Der Woodsen. Who do they cast to play her in the TV series? Tall, slender blonde Taylor Momsen.
    • Jenny's resemblance to Serena is a plot point twice in the first season of the show, in "Dare Devil" and "The Handmaiden's Tale".
    • More extreme is the case of Vanessa Abrams, who was described as sullen, little overweight, with a shaved head and black clothing. In the TV Series, she is she is curly-haired and slender, and is mostly styled in boho chic. While some fans did not welcome the change, others loved it.
    • A similar case happened with Dan Humphrey, who was described as shaggy, unshaven most of the time, and kind of "nerdy". In the TV series, he has very short hair and is clean shaven.
      • In the fifth season he fits the description of the books.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Jenny, who went from brunette to blonde.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Gossip Girl is based on an 11 (eventually 12 + spinoff) novel series by Cecily von Ziegesar.
  • Aesop Amnesia:
    • Jenny with the "not letting the cool kids change who I am" thing. unless it was an act with her being half of Gossip Girl
    • Vanessa with her attempts to beat Blair at her own game, never realising for more than a few episodes at a time that sinking to Blair's level means she can't claim moral high ground.
    • Guys, that masked blond chick you kiss at costume parties but you don't see her face or hear her speaking? NEVER SERENA.
  • All Gays Are Promiscuous: Subverted. Eric is probably the least promiscuous character on the show.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Blair choosing Chuck instead of Nate.
    • Lily, especially in her youth days.
    • Also, Carter Baizen in seasons two (Blair) and three (Serena), though the latter season seems to be pushing for Carter as Jerk with a Heart of Gold rather than a true bad boy.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Very prominent.
    • Season 1 - Nate loves Serena who loves Dan, Vanessa loves Dan who loves Serena, Chuck loves Blair who loves Nate.
    • Season 2 - Vanessa wants Nate who wants Jenny, who is all Bros Before Hoes because of Vanessa. Then Jenny wants Nate who is dating Vanessa, and then Nate loves Blair who loves Chuck, who is an emotional mess by the time.
    • By season 3 everyone seems to pair off pretty happily (with the exception of Jenny, who likes Nate again, but he's dating Serena). Of course it doesn't last.
    • Season 4 sends everyone back to the land of the lonely, with Dan and Nate both pining for Serena, Vanessa feeling unloved by Dan, and Blair and Chuck both believing the other no longer loves them even though the opposite is true.
    • Season 4/5: Chuck, Dan and Louis all love Blair who suddenly has a different kind of love for each (and desire for being a princess) and cannot decide which kind is the best. Serena is pining for Dan. Nate is bouncing between a cougar, Charlotte Rhodes and fake Charlotte Rhodes (don't ask).
    • Season 6: Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends.
  • All Take and No Give: Nate and Chuck. Contrary to what one might expect, it's actually Chuck who's the giver and Nate who's the taker.
    • Nate is also the Taker to Blair's Giver when they were going out in Season 1. In 'The Handmaiden's Tale', Blair tries so hard to make Their First Time special (after Nate screwed everything up by sleeping with her best friend) and all Nate can do is call her out about not being sympathetic to him about a problem he never told her about in the first place.
  • All Women Love Shoes
  • Alpha Bitch: Blair for the first two seasons, before graduating; though even before, when she's no longer focused on reigning the school, Penelope is quick to fill the void.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese theme song is called "Get Away". The ending theme is "Wonder Woman" by Michi.
  • Always Someone Better: Blair always seems to be upstaged by Serena.
    • Ironically, Blair completely stops caring about this in Season 5, only for the situation to reverse, with Serena looking on jealously (and eventually furiously) as Blair gets everything Serena wants.
      • And now she's doing it to Lola, who has usurped her position as the "It Girl".
  • Anchored Ship: Chuck did this with Blair twice.
    • Blair also did it once with Chuck, after Jack's "sabotage brunch".
    • Blair does it again to Chuck when she finds out Chuck set her up to sleep with Jack in exchange for his hotel.
    • Blair and Chuck mutually do this in season 4, after deciding they need to find themselves before finding each other again. There's even references to time traveling to whenever there will be Chair again!
    • Pretty much what happened with Serena and Dan once they found out that they shared a brother.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: Slight twist. Blair marries Louis of her own will but he only marries her for appearances.
  • And This Is for...: Done when Nate's dad is leaving the country, Nate starts to go, then turns around and punches his father, saying, "That was for Mom."
    • Nate does it again to Dan, later on in the show, declaring that "this was for all of us". Seen by many as Leaning on the Fourth Wall, as many fans despised Dan at that point.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Both the first and the second time Blair tells Chuck she loves him.
  • Anti-Hero: Basically everyone in the main cast. At best, they are Classical Anti-Heroes. At worst, they are Villain Protagonists.
  • Apologises a Lot: Serena's favorite thing to do in the first two seasons was to apologize to everyone around her for everything that had ever happened.
    • She picks this up again in season 4, except it's much less heartfelt and barely counts as an apology sometimes. Her apology to Blair for trying to ruin her chances with Louis was basically: "It worked out anyway so it should be cool".
    • Chuck also does this a lot in season three (even apologising to Blair for needing time to get past his anger over her tricking him into kissing a guy so that she could get to give a speech).
  • Arc Words: "Three words, eight letters, say it and I'm yours".
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Chuck on a letter from his father:
    Nate: Aren't you curious to know what it says?
    Chuck: I think I can guess. "You're a disappointment of a son. I'd die of embarrassment if I wasn't already. Why do you wear so much purple?"
  • Artistic License – University Admissions: Compounding the show's depictions of Yale's admissions process in the second season's "New Haven Can Wait" is its completely inaccurate depiction of Skull and Bones. In real life the organization, like Yale's other secret societies, is exclusively composed of seniors, and rather than mugging and abducting prospective members when they visit campus as high school seniors they go to prospective members late in their junior year, wearing skull-faced makeup and black robes, to "tap" them with "Accept or reject?", which must be answered on the sot.
  • As Himself / As Herself: Several examples, most surprisingly David O. Russell in "The Wrong Goodbye."
    • 90's one hit wonder musician Lisa Loeb shows up as herself in one episode, and then in a flashforward she's romantically involved with Rufus, a main character. At least it ha some semblance of reality since Rufus is also a musician.
    • The then-mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg (who also declared January 26th as the Gossip Girl Day, celebrating the show's the 100th episode), in the series finale.
  • Ascended Extra: Georgina, Eric, and most of the parents.
    • Dorota went from being a background character with one line every few episodes to having an entire episode revolve around her nuptials.
  • A Threesome Is Hot: Dan is mighty proud over having had one with Olivia and Vanessa. Nate and Blair think he's out of his mind.
    • To be more accurate: they both know the unwritten rule that the third person has to be a stranger. Neither of them actually has a problem with the threesome, interestingly.
  • Attempted Rape: Chuck, twice in one episode actually. But, remarkably, no one seemed to care.
    • Rufus certainly cared when he learned about his attempted rape of Jenny.
    • Jack in Season 2, who doesn't get off so lightly.
  • At the Opera Tonight: The season two episode You've Got Yale.
  • Author Appeal: The constant on-again/off-again relationship between Dan and Serena probably has something to do with the fact that the actors have been friends for almost a decade and have dated in Real Life throughout the run of the show. Blake Lively and Penn Badgley are notorious on the set for showering each other in public displays of affection immediately after either one of them films a love scene with any of the other actors.
  • Auto Erotica: Blair, Chuck and the limo.
  • Aw Look They Really Do Love Eachother: Chuck and Blair. Oh so very much.
    Chuck:And my bet's on us.
  • The Baby Trap: Georgina with Dan.
  • Back for the Finale: Jenny, Eric, Juliet, Agnes, Jack and even Vanessa.
    • Also Olivia appears on a poster where she's playing Ivy in a movie.
  • Backstabbing the Alpha Bitch: Jenny does this to Blair in "A Thin Line Between Chuck and Nate" in order to become Queen herself, which leads to an Escalating War between the two.
  • Bad Guys Play Pool: Comically averted - Chuck owns a pool table but the only one who ever seems to play is Nate. Dan has also been shown playing pool in season one. Also, after Chuck's character development in Season 4 he had taken to playing pool, so maybe for this particular show it's Good Guys Play Pool.
  • Bargain with Heaven: Blair in 510 for Chuck's life.
  • Batman Gambit: In Bonfire of the Vanity Blair's mother's new love interest, Cyrus Rose, knows that Blair would disapprove of him and that she would try to find something she could use against him. Cyrus thus gave her a sob story about him finding true love and cheating on his wife in the process, knowing Blair would tell Eleanor. He then invited Cindy Lauper to Blair's birthday party, knowing how much Blair was into her. As planned, Blair tells her mother about Cyrus being an adulterer, and then meets Cindy Lauper at her party, and feels guilty about it enough to undo the damage she caused.
    • Chuck attempted one in season two. He wanted Blair, but without having to say those pesky three words, so he started talking to Serena about how she should be queen of Constance, planting the idea in her head. Then he hired a girl, Amanda, to Meet Cute with Dan and hit it off with him, upsetting Serena and angering Blair, and eventually convincing Blair's minions to burn off part of Amanda's hair. This then prompted Serena to take over as queen, leaving Blair vulnerable and alone, with few people left to turn to but... Chuck. It didn't work out the way he had hoped, but it was a solid effort.
    • Georgina in season 3's The Lost Boy, where she sends Blair a fake invitation to an elite society and uses a contact who works for someone Chuck is trying to impress in order to send the pair after the same photograph, thus bringing out both Blair and Chuck's competitive, self-serving sides and attempting to drive a wedge between the pair. The same episode also features another Blair/Chuck classic, where it turns out they were setting Carter up in situations that would make him look bad in front of Serena, knowing Serena would be reluctant to trust Carter's version of events.
    • Jack Bass pulls off a pretty impressive one in season three. Feeling Chuck took what he cared about the most (Bass Industries) he decides to do the same to Chuck. So he goes out and finds Chuck's not-so-dead mother/not-so-dead-mother impostor and behind the scenes helps her do all the right things to make Chuck believe her. Then he pays off a bunch of women to accuse Chuck of sexual harassment before making his own appearance, driving Chuck to signing over the hotel to his maybe-mom to keep it safe and away from Jack. He then reveals to Chuck that the two of them have been in cahoots from the start, making Chuck believe that Jack wanted the hotel as payback for Chuck keeping Bass Industries, which pushes Chuck to do just about anything to get the hotel back. Jack then goes after what he really wanted. He goes to Blair and tells her he offered Chuck the hotel back in exchange for a night with her, and that while Chuck refused he is still willing to make the deal with her, behind Chuck's back. Blair tells him no, but Chuck is so broken up about the loss of the hotel that eventually she gives in and goes to Jack. Who tells her that Chuck was in on it with Jack and skillfully manipulated her into whoring herself out ("I gave him a choice. The hotel or you. He chose to give me you.") which is a deal breaker for Blair who ends their relationship. Jack then tells Chuck that he never wanted the hotel, he wanted to take away what Chuck cared about the most - Blair.
  • Beard of Evil: Jack Bass sports one when he returns in season three.
  • The Beard: This has been used several times in the show.
    • Dan and Serena after 511.
    • Nate and Serena in S2 to Catherine.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: In order to avoid having to tell Blair he loves her, Chuck asks her to say it first (knowing she probably can't).
  • The Beautiful Elite: Nearly every character on the show.
  • Becoming the Mask: Jenny in Season 3.
  • Bed Trick: Chuck attempts this with Blair during a blackout, but never gets further than making out. Subverted in that she knows its him all along but pretends to believe it's her boyfriend.
  • The B Grade: Blair has a B-Grade freakout in season two, leading her to humiliate the teacher who dared give her the grade. Admittedly, this was mainly because a less than perfect grade put her chances of getting into Yale into jeopardy and less about the grade itself, but the trope still applies.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Blair and Chuck. Blair and Dan, later.
  • Best Served Cold: Blair, Chuck, and Georgina are constantly setting new standards for this trope, and it's alwayspersonal.
    • In Season 4, Juliet serves up a full-course meal to Serena. Too bad it wasn't actually Serena who had destroyed her brother's life, but Lily.
  • Better as Friends: Blair and Nate eventually land on this conclusion in season two.
    • Eventually Dan and Serena land on this conclusion, as well, but get back together again and end up marrying in the Series Finale.
  • Better Than Sex: Blair describes a take-down as "better than sex." And then immediately has sex with Chuck for comparison purposes...
  • Betty and Veronica: Given the Love Dodecahedron in the show, there's plenty of them, actually:
    • Dan, in season 1, was torn between Serena (Veronica) and Vanessa (Betty). And then again at the end of season 3 and first half of season 4.
    • Blair had to choose between Nate (Betty) and Chuck (Veronica).
    • Nate had a brief period where he was torn between Vanessa (Betty) and Jenny (Veronica).
    • Lily was torn between Bart and Rufus, though which is the Betty and which is the Veronica depends on whether you see Rufus distracting Lily from the "more appropriate" Bart or Bart coming between a couple that has been looking for the right moment for twenty years.
    • Serena has had several. Nate (Betty) and Dan (Veronica). Nate (Betty) and Tripp (Veronica). Dan (Betty) and her professor (Veronica).
    • Mid-season four has Dan (Betty) and Chuck (Veronica) for Blair with Prince Louis supplying as the Third-Option Love Interest.
    • Season 5 has Blair choose between Dan (Betty) and Chuck (Veronica).
  • Beta Couple: Dan and Serena
    • Lily and Rufus may also count as this.
  • Bewarethe Nice Ones: Dan, starting near the end of season 3. In full bloom in season 4. Judging from the season 5 finale, Dan in season 6 too.
    • It's not certain if it was the Jenny banishment or the Peace Treaty that broke the camel's back.
  • Big Applesauce: Gossip Girl is set and filmed in Manhattan's Upper East Side.
  • Big Bad: Georgina in Season 1, Russell in Season 4.
    • And then Bart Bass reveals himself to be something else entirely. All the little games of the 5 first seasons seem ridiculous in comparison of what happens when someone really dangerous enter the arena.
  • Big Bra to Fill: See Adaptational Attractiveness, above.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Bart Bass
  • Big Man on Campus: Nate Archibald.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Chuck and Nate.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Vanderbilts.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Blair and Serena scream this at one another during their Cat Fight in "New Haven Can Wait."
  • Bilingual Bonus: Dorota sometimes speak Polish.
  • Billionaire Playboy: Chuck Bass.
  • Birds of a Feather: Chuck and Blair.
    • Nate and Serena certainly fit this trope.
    • And also to some extent, Dan and Vanessa.
  • Bi the Way: In the books, Chuck. And perhaps Serena and Blair as well.
    • Possibly Chuck in the TV show as well - at least he told Blair it was not the first time he kissed a guy when she set him up to do so.
  • Blackmail: Georgina blackmails Serena in season one, Chuck and Blair blackmail people whenever it suits them and Jenny claims that blackmail is what she does all day long.
  • Bondage Is Bad: Blair and Chuck, the two most morally ambiguous main characters on the show, apparently used handcuffs a lot when they were dating. And apparently a bidding paddle can be put to other uses...
  • Brainless Beauty: Nate and Serena.
  • Brainy Brunette: Blair and Dan.
  • Breakout Character: Chuck Bass. In the novels, he's a depraved obnoxious bisexual nobody wants to be around, and is barely tolerated by people because of his money (and a minor character). It seemed that in the pilot he was to have the same background -save for his bisexuality-, but was instead portrayed as a tortured Anti-Hero who really does care for his friends and eventually formed the on/off Chair (Chuck and Blair), In fact, Chuck has a long rabid group of fans and storylines and arcs involving him are always in the spotlight.
    • Lily and Rufus were secondary characters in the books, but in the series they get a lot of attention.
  • Break the Cutie: Jenny's desire to fit into the Upper Eat Side leads to this.
  • Breakup Breakout: Many bet on Leighton Meester, but no one imagined that Blake Lively would be the one (by some considerable distance).
  • Brief Accent Imitation: Serena and Georgina pretending to be foreigners.
    • Chuck pretending to be Blair's British boyfriend.
      • Which is funny, because his actor Ed Westwick is British.
  • The Bro Code: Mostly averted (neither Dan nor Nate seems to mind that the other is dating their ex), but played straight in season one when Nate found out Chuck and Blair had been together. Even this was a bit of a subversion though, since Nate was positive to the idea of Chuck being in love with Blair. He just didn't want him to use her for sex.
    • Strange subversion in the season 3 finale, in which Nate apologizes to Dan after Dan made out with Nate's girlfriend...
  • Burlesque: Chuck owns a burlesque club. Blair getting up on stage and dancing for him is what lead to their initial hook-up.
  • But Not Too Bi: Chuck's experiences with women seems to outweigh his experiences with men by far
  • Bullying a Dragon: You'd think that people would learn not to annoy/insult/try to take down Chuck Bass. You'd think wrong.
  • But Not Too Gay: Eric and his boyfriends act more like best friends than lovers.
  • Butt-Monkey: Dan gets the most dramatic abuse, but Hazel is constantly ragged on by everyone in the show. The only way to differentiate her from the other secondary bitchy girls is she's the one everyone makes fun of. At least until Nelly Yuki becomes one of the mean girls and subsequently takes over the Butt-Monkey position from Hazel.
    • Chuck Bass. His father hates him, his uncle is evil and out to destroy him, his mother either died giving birth to him or gave him up at birth and returned eighteen years later to take his hotel and ruin his life, his adoptive mother rarely pays attention to him, his adoptive sister likes to verbally abuse him and often takes pleasure in sabotaging him (only to come running whenever she needs his help), his best friend Nate treats him like crap half the time and ignores him the other half, Vanessa hates him for no apparent reason, Dan tried to exploit his childhood pain to get published... The only one who treats Chuck well is Blair, but he seems to have burned that bridge with the Jack/Empire fiasco.
    • Over the course of Season 4, Dan is either a target or collateral damage in just about every scheme. He gets manipulated, deceived, betrayed, and humiliated (privately and publicly), by everyone from Juliette to Blair to, of all people, Vanessa. He suffers from not one, but two cases of unrequited love. His psychopathic ex-girlfriend tricked him into thinking he'd fathered her child so she could use his apartment as a hideout, and he spent the summer taking care of the baby only to have the rug pulled out from under him at the last minute. And now it looks like he's picked up a Stalker with a Crush.
  • California Doubling: Usually averted:
    • not only is the series both set and filmed in New York, but the episodes set in Paris were indeed shot in the City of Lights. The series doesn't film in California unless the scripts actually call for it (witness the backdoor pilot "Valley Girls" and the episodes with Serena on the West Coast).
    • Exceptions: Columbia University stood in for Yale in "New Haven Can Wait". Also, strangely, scenes in "The Townie" were set in Cornwall CT but filmed in Piermont NY (could this be a Chekhov's Boomerang?).
  • Calling the Old Man Out: After being shown as constantly trying to force his son into being what he's not and doing what he doesn't want to do, Nate gets his father arrested for drug possession after his father punches him.
    • Also Blair with her mother in "Bad News Blair".
    • And Serena calls out her mother on always putting her boyfriends before her kids, in front of the press, no less, when they wanted to give the 'Happy Family' image.
    • Lily herself does this to Bart in "The Magnificent Archibalds".
    • When Jenny leaves the house in order to pursue a designer career and even tries to get an emancipation order from her father.
    • Eric gives an epic one to his father when Will comes back in season three, outlining his homosexuality, his suicide event, and how he doesn't need him.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Serena to Dan regarding Georgina. See also Chuck, Blair, and those three little words.
    • Scott, with telling Rufus and Lily that he's their son.
  • Can't Act Perverted Toward a Love Interest: Chuck, towards Blair.
  • The Captain: Howie Archibald.
  • Career Versus Man: Gender flipped with Chuck, who has to choose between the Empire hotel (and according to his father and uncle, his future as a business man and Blair. He chooses the hotel. But also with Blair, who chooses her career over Chuck in S4.
  • Carpet of Virility: Originally just Chuck, but now Nate and Dan have followed suit.
  • The Casanova: Chuck.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Usually how the golden age Hollywood dream sequences end.
  • Catch Phrase: "You know you love me. XOXO - Gossip Girl."
    • "I'm Chuck Bass."
      • Lampshaded by Blair in 02x01, when Chuck asks Blair not to leave with her new boyfriend
    Blair: Why? Give me a reason - and 'I'm Chuck Bass' doesn't count.
    • And Cyrus has "Not enough".
    • Serena says "I should go" so often that it's starting to count as a catchphrase.
  • Cat Fight: Serena vs. Blair. Two memorable ones, actually. Clothing ripping included.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down

Last week, Serena taught her cousin Charlie how to blow $1,000 on clothes like it was no big whoop. This week, she indoctrinated her in the complex art of managing your friendships through stealthy manipulation and one-upmanship. She should have stuck to shopping: Serena’s mission to find out whether Blair and Dan were being "horrible friends" by sneaking around behind her back failed spectacularly, of course — Serena can’t even fasten a bra, never mind put together a Mission — and the resulting blowout, in which Blair called Serena out on her egoism and her stupidity, left Serena diminished and alone, pathetically dialing a one-night stand in France just so that she could have a French boyfriend, too. Elsewhere, other friendships exploded simultaneously: Anne Archibald, surrounded by a grotesque Greek chorus of pink-clad, Botox-ed minions, told Lily off for cold-shouldering her when the Captain was down and out, and Dan unceremoniously slammed the door in his old buddy Vanessa’s face while her soon-to-be-replacement scoped out her old room. And with Nate continuing to blithely schtup Chuck’s ex-girlfriend in his BFF’s very home, it raised the question: Who on the Upper East Side is a good friend? Only, it seems, Rufus, who in another life we imagine was a loyal hound called Rusty.

Realer Than Someone Giving a Handy at Greenhouse
• The shoe that Louis brings Blair is a Roger Vivier. And is it not the same one that she was only wearing one of during her W meltdown? Plus 5 for recap-worthy memory, costume team!
• Rufus and/or Dan keeps DVDs in a 1995-style cloth binder. Plus 5. Hopefully there’s a DMB album wedged in there somewhere behind the well-worn disc of The Philadelphia Story.
• Blair declines to wear a skirt that says,“Let’s skip dinner and make a sex tape,” for her date with Louis, but nonetheless owns such a skirt, probably from the time she and Chuck played, “I’m Coco and you’re Ice T.” Plus 2.
• Blair totally takes back an MCL cuff to/from one of her minions. Plus 3.
• Serena requires Charlie’s help to make an Internet search. Plus 2.
• Charlie, to Serena, as they launch into investigating Dan and Blair: “I’m sorry, I’m still new at this, how is this better than just asking them?”
Serena: “Well, because if Vanessa is lying and it isn’t true, then I’m a horrible friend for believing her. But if it is true, then they’re horrible friends for not telling me.” Plus 10, because that pretty much sums up the whole series.
• As does this: “Oh, that doesn’t mean anything. They went to Cornwall to find Juliet because she drugged me and tried to convince everyone I was crazy.” Plus 5.
• Blair: “No one can see me here, and even though you fall under that moniker I still need you to go.” Plus 2.
• Charlie mispronounces Veselka. Plus 2.
• Surely we’ve seen Chuck sip a single malt whiskey for breakfast before, but it may be the first time he’s admitted it’s because it “takes the edge off the coke.” Plus 2 for exposition.
• Eric: “The only thing thicker than blood is the ink on 'Page Six.'” It’s true, they make it out of blood and brains. Plus 3.
• Louis: “My parents do not approve. You are a commoner.”
Blair: “Well have they seen Princess Stephanie’s husbands? I’m not a circus performer.” That gets a meager Plus 1, because while it was a funny exchange, Louis is far too sweet to have said that to Blair.
• Blair’s dressing-down of Serena nailed her for her self-centeredness and her intellectual shortcomings — “Dan and I have a real connection. We did things like visit the Dia and debate Cahbrol versus Romer. Things that we could never do with you.” — though if she’d really wanted to hit her best where it really hurts, she would have gone for the chest, not the brain, so Plus only 5.
• Blaine Trump, scone lover. Plus 3.
• There has to be something wrong with a handsome, charming, smart prince willing to defy his family and fly 3,000 miles to see a girl who epically screwed up not just one but two dates. And there is. It’s his ridiculous gay-ass lisp. Seriously, is he talking with a macaron under his tongue? Plus 3.
• After the episode, Intel Jessica looked at her notes. “I hate to break it to you,” she had written, “but CBGB is a moral compromise.” That sounds about right. Plus 2.
• Christ, poor Vanessa. At this point, she’s like one of those dumb animals let loose onto hunting grounds to be killed by businessmen for sport. It’s clear from the look on her face that being brought on simply to be defeated is wearing on her. No points, we’re just saying. Next we hear of Vanessa she’ll be Oxycontined to the gills, living somewhere in Lowell, Massachusetts.
• The socialite that tried to kiss Serena in the bathroom at last year’s pink party was called “Bubbles Macintosh.” Plus 1.
• After seeing Blair and Dan at Paul Smith, Charlie correctly guesses that after sneaking around together for months, they’ve decided to attend a big social event together. She’s getting the hang of the Gossip Girl logic already. Plus 1.
• You’re a writer on a show in its fourth season: How do you fuck with the young actors who most likely make no secret of the fact they’d rather have moved on to bigger things? Make them say the words “Blaine Trump’s butler’s pantry,” repeatedly. Plus 5.
• “There’s not a woman in this room who didn’t take some pleasure in your downfall, myself included,” Anne Archibald tells Lily icily. “You may want to adjust your dress. Your monitor is showing.” Plus 1.
• Charlie goes all the way to Brooklyn to say three sentences to Dan, then says, “I’ve taken up enough of your time.” Now she’s really getting the hang of how things work around here. Plus 2.
• Dan to Vanessa: “Vanessa, I know we’ve been friends since we were little and we both like pierogis, and my dad really misses you, but just to be clear, so there’s no misunderstanding down the road, we are not friends anymore.” That was, like, the most Dan Humphrey speech ever. Plus 5.

Total: 70

Faker Than a New York Socialite Believing for a Second That the People She Goes to Parties With Are Her Friends
• Wait: Lily put a man in prison for three years, and she only gets nine months of house arrest? Eh, Minus only 5.
• And Dorota is the person who has to tell us this? For shame, writers. Minus 5.
• We are to believe Lily shops at Gilt Groupe? It was one thing when country mouse Juliet used Rent the Runway. But if Lily was using any online shopping site, it would be Moda Operandi, socialite Lauren Santo Domingo’s site for the tragically underserved super-rich. Minus 10.
• Blair’s Blonde Minion: “What’s more important than school?” Um, Blair? Minus 5.
• Blair would never “take a page from Gwyneth and Chris.” Minus 3.
• Ew, Blair takes Louis to Veselka?? Couldn’t she have gone to Gramercy Tavern and booked the private room? Minus 3.
• Prince Louis, who wants to keep a low profile, arrives at Veselka in the East Village in a limousine. Minus 3.
• Blair: “They moved the party.” Dan: “Who moves a party?” Has he even been paying attention to this show for the past four seasons? Minus 1.
• Blair doesn’t need to ask Dan Humphrey what he’s doing at Veselka — he introduced it to her. But wouldn’t she ask Serena why she was so far downtown? Or at least worry that she’s back on the drugs? Minus 1.
• Serena assigns her young, hot cousin to flirt with the ex that she’s clearly still interested in. Because that’s always a good idea. Minus 3.
• Like Raina Thorpe would have all her legal documents, like her birth certificate, in a shoebox. She probably wouldn’t even know where that stuff existed. Minus 3.
• Dan was at Veselka and then he’s randomly walking on 16th between Broadway and Fifth? Saying he’s near NYU? That makes no sense. Minus 1.
• Lily got snubbed for Blaine Trump? That doesn’t smell right — it certainly wouldn’t have happened to Martha. Minus only 1. But Minus 5 for the fact that they couldn’t call first, but instead sent Anne Archibald to nastily steal away the food.
• How was Charlie “following” Dan by walking toward him in the direction he was walking? Minus 2.
• Why would Blair tell Dan to meet her at Paul Smith? Would Dan even know where/what Paul Smith is? Minus only 1, because costume designer Eric Daman has been dressing him in PS style, but in the world of the show it seems as though it’d be a stretch for Lonelyboy. (Oh, and Minus another 1 because there’s no Paul Smith on Madison Avenue.)
• Have you ever noticed that the curtains are always drawn in the spectacular Bass/van der Woodsen apartment? Having been on the Gossip Girl set, Intel Chris and Jessica know this is because the exteriors are just lit-up fake backdrops of skyscrapers, so we won’t deduct any points. But it’s too bad they don’t shoot in the Palace anymore, with that spectacular real view of midtown.
• Rufus really didn’t seem to know that CBGB is a John Varvatos now. Minus 1.
• They keep referring to “The Trumps.” But Blaine Trump was only married to Robert Trump, and now they are famously divorced. They had no children, so there are no plural “Trumps” on Blaine’s wing of the family anymore. Minus 5.
• That picture Charlie took of Blair and Dan was from less than ten feet away. Surely they would have noticed her? Minus 2, because Dan has already mentally decided to sleep with her, so he should at least be able to recognize her.
• If you watch the opening sequence of the Pink Party, there is an older woman standing like a crazy person pretending to talk to someone who doesn’t exist, right behind Lily. No points deducted, because this is maybe what you’d do if you were at the home of a confined convict.
• We never saw any evidence that Lily froze out Anne when it came to the Captain. In fact, Anne ditched the Captain a second time so people would continue to be nice to her at parties. Minus only 3, because really, with all this blonde witchery, who can keep track?
• If Avery Thorpe really was killed in that fire, they’d better have a good explanation for how the hell they were able to keep that a secret. Minus 5

Total:70.

Wow, a rare wash! But that's because several of the show's plotlines are living on borrowed time: the mysterious (non) death of Avery Thorpe. The even more mysterious normalcy of Louis the prince of Nowheristan (a.k.a. Monaco). Once these plots unwind, we expect the show to dip into deeply absurd territory again. Until then, put your own tallies in the comments and we'll recap them all on Friday!

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