Ten years ago today, Gossip Girl burst onto our screens in a whirlwind of teen drama, scandal and chaotic goodness. Based on the books by Cecily von Ziegesar, Gossip Girl was the show that gripped the attention of early 2000s teens and instantly became a cultural phenomenon. A series of love, heartbreak, drama and far too many headbands, #GossipGirl introduced us to the lives of Manhattan’s (fictional) elite.
Now, Gossip Girl is still one of the most prevalent series on Netflix, with a whole new generation becoming fascinated by the group of teens. In case you’d blocked out the memories of Blair’s colorful tights, Serena’s often questionable outfits, Nate’s incredible stupidity, and Chuck’s huge ego, here’s a reminder of Gossip Girl’s five most shocking moments.
1. Serena Returns — 'Pilot'
The drama began in Episode 1, with the seemingly infamous Serena van der Woodsen returning to New York after a mysterious time away. Nobody knows where she has been or why she is back, but from the opening sequence, it’s obvious that she’s the instigator of the drama that lasted for six seasons. She reveals to her best friend’s boyfriend that she didn’t come back for him, immediately gripping viewers who were eager to find out what had happened between Serena and Nate Archibald before she left.
2. Juliet Kidnaps Serena: Season 4, 'The Witches Of Bushwick'
This is the most notable example of the sheer insanity of the Gossip Girl writers. What kind of college student kidnaps a fellow classmate? A crazy one with a vendetta, that’s who. I must admit that I felt quite sorry for Serena at this point; Juliet, in her plot to punish Serena for the imprisonment of her older brother, manages to turn everyone against Serena in a matter of hours, then kidnaps her. That seems a bit dramatic and quite uncalled for, to be honest.
3. Chuck Gets Shot: Season 3, 'Last Tango, Then Paris'
Poor old Chuck. The bachelor we all loved to hate — and hated to love — was punished for his years of treachery and plain misogyny in the most horrible way. While in Prague lamenting his lost love, Chuck is shot after refusing to give robbers the engagement ring he planned to give to Blair. Hearts broke everywhere at the thought of the infamous Chuck Bass dying, and those rascals at the CW made us wait until Season 4 to find out if he survived. The feeling of relief that he had survived was quickly replaced by annoyance as his new love, the naïve Eva, was introduced in Season 4.
4. Serena Killed Someone: Season 1, 'All About My Brother'
This one was a shocker. The stereotypical all-American girl, Serena van der Woodsen, with her mysterious wild past, reveals to Blair that she killed someone. I immediately imagined the blonde beauty holding a gun, or stabbing someone violently, but the truth was actually much less dramatic. In fact, she didn’t really kill anyone at all, she simply sat back while a man took some bad drugs. Yes, she left him while he had a fit, but Georgina coerced her into leaving. Serena tearfully telling Blair “I killed someone” was definitely shocking, though.
5. Basically The Entire Finale: Season 6, 'New York, I Love You XOXO'
To be honest, this entire episode was brimming with shocks and surprises. First, Blair and Chuck finally got married (albeit under odd circumstances, but still), Serena and Dan got married in a flash-forward scene (odd but heartwarming), and the moment we had all been waiting for: Gossip Girl’s identity was revealed. I am still annoyed and confused by the decision to cast Dan Humphrey as Gossip Girl — yes, the exact website that aired all of his dirty laundry, and spread some vicious rumors about his sister and future wife — because it just made no sense. So, this was a shock, but not the good kind
What is your favorite Gossip Girl moment?