"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.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 Memetic Sex God 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.
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).
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.
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 in season 1 - Nate loves Serena who loves Dan, Vanessa loves Dan who loves Serena, Chuck loves Blair who loves Nate. Slightly less so in season 2 - Jenny wants Nate who is dating Vanessa, and then Nate loves Blair who loves Chuck. By season 3, however, everyone seems to pair off pretty happily.
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.
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.
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.
Anti-Hero: Pretty much the entire cast, with the possible exceptions of Dan and Nate. Serena, Chuck and Blair have mostly matured but still have lapses into their old ways, especially Chuck. Jenny and Vanessa also have their moments.
Ivy, Cece, Lily, Louis and Tripp.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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).
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.
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...
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.
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: Averted like whoa. 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).
Not completely averted. 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.
Can Not 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.
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.
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: Blair Waldorf, who is desperate and horny for Chuck Bass, gets caught masturbating by her maid Dorota whose face is stern as she says, "Don't forget. God is watching, Miss Blair."
Characterization Marches On: Chuck started out as a depraved attempted rapist and by and by evolved into a (fairly) good guy who often looks after his friends. During the course of the show he bounces back and forth for a while between being bad and being good but seasons four and five featured a lot of positive character development for him.
The Clan: The Vanderbilts and, though we are told more than we see this, the Buckleys.
Comforting Comforter: When Chuck ditched Blair in the middle of the night in Oh Brother Where Bart Thou? he was at least nice enough to pull the comforter over her before he left.
Coming-Out Story: The season one episode "All About My Brother" is Eric Van Der Woodsen's. This being Gossip Girl, his outing wasn't complete without Gossip Girl-fueled rumors and scandal, mostly having to do with his closeted love interest who was using Jenny as a beard.
Creator Cameo: Cecily von Ziegesar meets Serena van der Woodsen in "The Wrong Goodbye."
Cultured Badass: Chuck Bass. Wore suits to kindergarten, developed his taste for single malt at the age of twelve, enjoys both ballet and opera. While he may not physically hurt you, Chuck is likely to make your life a living hell if you cross him.
Daddy's Girl: Blair Waldorf, even though her father left her and moved to France with his boyfriend.
Date Rape Averted: Three times, all with Bass men. Chuck assaults Serena in the pilot and gets kneed in the balls. Then he tries to assault Jenny in the same episode, but gets punched in the face by Dan. Finally, Jack Bass tries to rape Lily in the bathroom in 2.16, but gets punched in the face by Chuck.
A Date with Rosie Palms: One episode features Blair having a sex fantasy about Chuck and then telling Dorota she will be down for breakfast once she's "finished something".
Distressed Damsel: When Serena isn't being blackmailed by the girl who was with her when she sort of killed someone, or getting into car accidents thanks to wolves randomly roaming about New York she's probably being conned by her boyfriend. Even the other characters are well aware of her extraordinary ability to end up in these situations.
Chuck: If you have a problem with my proximity to Blair, then maybe you should ask Serena not to get herself into so much trouble.
Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Dan, running out on his family and Vanessa when Georgina takes Milo away. Eventually opens up but there's barely any Wangsting, even though it was one of those occasions that actually warrant it.
The Drag-Along: Nate during most NJBC adventures. He would rather leave Chuck to stew in his own vomit than force him to attend Bart's funeral, and he would rather get some coffee than help Serena get back all the money her boyfriend Gabriel stole from their friends.
Dream Sequence: Blair is prone to having dreams where she's in one of her favorite movies. Usually they are nightmares.
Dan also had a couple in the season one episode where he worries about losing his virginity.
Chuck in season 3, in which he dreamt of Blair being kidnapped/manhandled by men in very nice suits.
Who can apparently change his age and race at will.
Driver Faces Passenger: Tripp, although it's a subversion since he ends up losing control of the car and crashing.
Dropped a Bridge on Him: Bart is hit by a car offscreen. To add insult to injury, he was on his way to try and reconcile with his wife, Lily, who had been drifting further away from him and more towards old flame Rufus. But he was Faking the Dead.
Easily Forgiven: Considering that Serena took Blair's boyfriend's virginity, then moved to Connecticut the next day without telling Blair she was leaving, and then ignored Blair's calls, e-mails and letters even though she knew Blair's father suddenly left her mother for another man, Blair forgave her pretty darn easily.
On the other hand, Blair is Easily Forgiven, at least by Serena; this is lampshaded in 1x04.
Dan: Isn't that the girl who told the entire school, and, oh, several colleges, that you had a drug problem?
Chuck and Serena keep doing mean and spiteful things to each other which they rarely apologise for, but they always seem to forgive and forget within a day or two.
The whole Indecent Proposal arc of season 3, and how Blair forgave that more easily than the Chenny hookup.
Dan. He's immediately forgiven by everyone for being Gossip Girl.
Easy Evangelism: In Season 5, Blair, who was never shown before to even attend church somehow starts to believe in God strongly enough that she is willing to marry Louis because she believes God will hurt Chuck if she doesn't.
Emotions vs. Stoicism: Bart and Jack keep telling Chuck he's weak for loving Blair and therefore letting his emotions control him, and that the only way Chuck can become successful is by being stoic. Chuck buys into this completely, telling Blair "I can't let my feelings cost me all that I've built" after he sold her to Jack in exchange for a hotel.
Enemy Mine: To take down Bart, Blair enlists Ivy, Georgina, and Sage to help her.
Evil Counterpart: Georgina Sparks started out as what Serena could have become; in later seasons she seems to have become more of an Evil Counterpart to Blair around about the same time Blair became her main enemy.
Carter Baizen was an even-more-evil counterpart to Chuck in seasons one and two.
Evil Matriarch: Serena's grandmother, who tricks her into appearing at her Debutante Ball and having paid off Dan's father to stay away from Serena's mother.
As of "The Townie," we now know that Lily is even worse than her mother, and always has been.
Evil Versus Evil: The overall plot of Season 4. At first, Juliet seemed to be The Dragon, then the Big Bad. Turns out, she had very good reason for wanting retribution. She just had the wrong target. Serena didn't destroy her brother's life. Lily did.
Expy: On the surface, a few of the characters share similarities with characters from The O.C.: Dan is Seth, Serena is Marissa, Rufus is Sandy, and Lily is Kirsten.
Fake Brit: Lord Marcus, played by American Patrick Heusinger. Making it an American playing a Brit who fakes being American. Add to that the scene where Chuck (played by a Brit, as noted above) imitates Marcus' accent to pull a Bed Trick on Blair. A Brit playing an American faking a British accent as done by an American.
Fallen Princess: Blair after some character development (and after she loses her Queen Bee status). Serena, after she comes back from boarding school in tne first episode.
Nate and Chuck after the truth comes out about Chuck and Blair. They go from being Heterosexual Life-Partners to having a rocky on-and-off friendship that took nearly two seasons to return to its former glory. By mid-season-three they move in together though.
In late season three the writers decided to revisit all of Chuck's bad traits and crank them up to eleven.
Flashback: Episode 3.12 features a very well-done flashback to Bart's death.
In season 1's Thanksgiving episode, it showed what Thanksgiving had been like the year before, when Serena hadn't slept with Nate/"killed" someone/and then proceeded to leave for boarding school.
Flirty Stepsiblings: Inverted as Dan and Serena attempt to stay apart when they realize they each share a half-sibling and their parents eventually get married. The books played this straight with Blair and Aaron but the TV Series skipped it.
Serena and Dan have occasionally kept flirting and considered getting back together though throughout the show's run. They do after their parents divorce.
Lampshaded by Serena in Desperately Seeking Serena.
Full Name Ultimatum: Subverted. Chuck Bass' adoptive mother Lily calls him Charles (and is the only one to do so on a regular basis). She only calls him Chuck when he's misbehaved or when referring to his deviant side.
Funny Background Event: Dan's attempt at being a chef literally going up in smoke in the background while Olivia talks on the phone.
Gambit Roulette: Chuck and Blair do this from time to time. Vanessa lampshades it in a season two episode.
Vanessa: So you're telling me that Chuck had his dad's company make an offer on the bar in order to get back at Dan? Isn't that a little convoluted, even for you?
Blair: Real estate was just foreplay. Seducing and humiliating you was the ultimate goal.
A season two episode opens with Blair having a fantasy featuring herself and Chuck in his limo where he kisses his way down her body and eventually disappears below waistline. Cue closeup of Blair's ecstatic face. While a song called "Going Down" plays. When Blair is interrupted in her fantasy she tells Dorota she will be down in a minute, she just has to "finish something".
The season three episode where Chuck and Blair have not had sex in five days, and they are bidding for the same object at an auction. Chuck asks Blair how she plans to win. She answers: "Your lack of focus" while running her hand over his crotch. When the bidding starts Blair gives Chuck an excited smile while moving her hand back and forth, while Chuck looks, erm, strained.
Chuck and Blair again. In season four, we open on Blair lying in bed, smiling. Serena comes in and Blair proceeds to hit her moving duvet. Obviously anxious, she warns Serena not to "lose her HEAD", voice rising on the last word—and as soon as Serena leaves, Chuck pops out from under the covers. Well.
Girl on Girl Is Hot: Chucks's reaction to his girlfriend and adoptive sister making up after a fight?
Chuck: If you two want to kiss... it won't count as cheating.
Serena: Creepy, Chuck.
Girl Posse: The show plays this one straight (Kati, Isabel, Hazel, Penelope) and subverts it (the bespectacled Asian nerd who routinely receives the highest test scores of anyone in the school eventually becomes one of Blair's henchmen).
Good Angel, Bad Angel: Two of Blair's minions serve as angel and devil when she tries to decide whether or not to destroy the English teacher who put her chances of getting into Yale at risk.
Blair and Bart play these roles to Chuck, regarding whether or not he should buy the homeless shelter, in "The Debarted".
Her Code Name Was Mary Sue: The stories aspiring-author Dan writers are all thinly veiled re-tellings of what has happened in his life so far, all of them focusing on the cultural clash between him and the UES-ers. He doesn't exactly try hard to hide it either - Chuck Bass is called Charlie Trout, for instance.
Even more obvious in season 5 with his book staring Clair, Sabrina, Charlie, Dylan and Derek (a mash-up of Nate and Eric).
Here We Go Again: The final scene of the show implies that the title of Gossip Girl has passed on to a new generation while the camera pans over expies of Dan, Chuck, Blair and Serena respectively
Holding Hands: In early season two Chuck insists to Blair that they wouldn't work as a couple because the idea of them going to the movies together or holding hands just seemed wrong. In a late season two episode Blair discusses their non-relationship with Serena and says: "Did you know it's not a real relationship if you can't hold hands?" By the end of the episode Blair and Chuck wake up in his limo, hands intertwined.
By the time Chuck and Blair actually begin dating Chuck seems to have gotten over his aversion. They are often holding hands in season three.
Dan and Blair in season five before and while they were dating. After her failed marriage to a prince and divorce, Blair was excited to finally hold Dan's hand in public.
Blair to Dorota: Now we can date outside the confines of the 7-1-8. We can walk down Madison Avenue hand in hand.
Hollywood Hype Machine: The show itself. A lot of jokes are made about how it's the hippest, most talked-about show nobody watches.
Hood Ornament Hottie: Blair makes use of this trope in a season two episode to get Chuck to sleep with her.
Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Subverted with Elle. Chuck thinks he's found one of these when he meets her, but she turns out to just be playing him for an escape plan and some cash.
Invoked with Eva. She was a prostitute because she needed money but fell in love with Chuck as a person not knowing who he was.
Horrible Judge of Character: Serena dates all the wrong guys for the most part, and will trust anyone until they steal her mom's friends' money or steal her boyfriend. And even after that, she'll usually believe they had good intentions.
Basically, Serena believes that anyone who likes her is good and anyone who doesn't might be bad. Prime example being Carter Baizen. When he was interested in Blair, Serena deemed him public enemy number one and even forced him out of the country. When he was interested in Serena he was suddenly just misunderstood, and actually a great guy.
Most of the books are named after or very close to song titles and/or lyrics.
Idiot Ball: Serena seems to have picked this up at the start of Season 3 and run with it. A lot of what she does this season would have made sense two years ago, but not after the character development she's supposed to have undergone in the first two seasons.
She is being an idiot, yes, but she's doing it precisely because her father rejected her this past summer. So while it's still stupid, she has a character-driven excuse.
Serena's actions in "The Freshmen" is definitely her hugging the idiot ball. She deflects from Brown and doesn't want Blair to find out, so she goes to Chuck and asks to stay with him until further notice. Because there's no way Blair will find out she's not at Brown when Serena is staying in Blair's boyfriend's one bedroom hotel room.
Not to mention everything involving her father. Seriously, how could she not tell that he was shady and up to no good?
Ivy seems to have caught the Idiot ball for season 5: Ok, revealing that Ivy was your name to a complete stranger was one thing that you couldn't avoid given the circumstances, but revealing the truth about your role during the events of the preceding season and putting yourself in position to be blackmailed while said stranger had absolutely no idea of what transpired until then, instead of inventing a random excuse such as Ivy being an alias or something else? Wow, great move Ivy.
If I Can't Have You: Chuck puts a dating embargo on Blair after their breakup. Sorry, dating fatwa.
Lily: (To Serena) Oh, don't put your dirty package on the table.
Chuck: If I had a dime for every time I heard that...
Ignore the Fanservice: Serena's cunning plan to make Jenny dislike Damian in season three consists of Serena throwing herself at Damian. Unfortunately for Serena it turns out not everybody is dying to have sex with her.
Improbable Age: Jenny, a fifteen year old mini-couturier who is not only supposed to be a lot better than professional designer Eleanor Waldorf, but also able to rival every other professional designer during New York's fashion week.
Chuck runs a hotel, hosts an election party and has a grand pub opening, all at the age of eighteen (the underage thing somehow not an issue in getting that liquor license) and with no previous experience other than owning part of a burlesque club. And the guy didn't even do well in high school.
Blair apparently going from Intern to some kind of manager at her fashion magazine within the space of about 2 weeks.
And as of the season 5 finale, she will be running her mother's fashion company, despite not being a designer herself.
I'm Standing Right Here: Blair argues that Chuck having sex with Vanessa is just as bad as Blair having sex with Jack... with Vanessa standing right next to them.
Jenny is supposed to have a real talent for designing but most of her pieces have been pretty blah.
Vanessa got into Tisch because she's such a great writer but we've never seen any proof of that. She's also supposed to be a talented documentary film maker but she seems to mostly just walk around randomly with a camera.
Dan is also played up as a talented writer, but clearly misunderstands what "write what you know" actually means (he has a disappointing tendency to write only about his own life), and even has a relatively blurry view of the world of professional writing and what it entails.
In Love with Love: Nate, who's had more relationships than the other characters combined.
Chuck throughout season 5 for Blair convincing Louis to stay in 504, pretending to backslide so Blair would be satisfied in 5.07, poisoning the priest and not interrupting her wedding with Prince Louis in 513
Most extremely with Serena, who despite poor grades and zero extracurriculars manages to get into Yale (above Blair, who has perfect grades and loads of extracurriculars) and Brown.
Mostly justified, though, as kids with legacies, connections, and money do tend to have an upper hand at getting into prestigious schools.
This isn't the 1970s anymore though, and without great grades Serena's application would have been rejected automatically to even the "lesser" Ivies, much less Yale. And even with valedictorian-level grades, without good EC's it would be rejected in the first round. Unless you or your parent is either a household name (like Bush) or literally donating a building, they will not be willing to damage their stats in the highly competitive rankings by admitting someone who will lower them, as detailed in books like "A is For Admission". For example, 99-100% of Yale's class has been in the top 10% of their high-school class for years. And in fact, now that they are seeking economic and geographical diversity, poor people and people from poor areas are favored by admissions committees over rich people.
In the GGU, van der Woodsen is a household name. They even lampshaded it: she was in the papers and they wanted the press.
Jacob Marley Warning: Evil!Ghost!Bart mocks Chuck's life choices and tells him to put business above love, like he once did.
Jerkass: Chuck Bass and Carter Baizen, at least initially.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While Chuck can really be unpleasant, underneath it all he really does care for Blair. Carter Baizen also seems to be shifting from Jerkass to this.
Chuck has actually proven these tendencies towards a lot of characters. Nate, Serena and Eric being a few.
Just Friends: Dan and Vanessa. Some weird version of this where both characters had some unrequited love/feelings for the other when they were younger, and then after they slept together (in a threesome), Dan's feelings have come back.
Karma Houdini: Juliet, after nearly killing Serena (Season 4), leaves the city free of any pursuits, and even her brother Ben, who helped her to scheme against Serena, finally gets a literal "Get Out of Jail Free" Card (though, to be fair, he never wanted to hurt Serena the way Juliet did).
Serena, throughout the entire series, but especially during the the end of the third season and first half of the fourth. She helps her dad escape the cops and has an affair with her professor, and in the latter, people help her get out of trouble.
Dan Humphrey after The Reveal that he is Gossip Girl.
A Lady on Each Arm: The first time we see Chuck he's flanked by Blair's minions Kati and Iz. The second episode has him waking up in-between two women from room-service (who apparently keep visiting him together). Not to mention, twins find Chuck.
Lampshade Hanging: The show really likes to take popular fan opinions and throw them into the dialogue. Examples:
People calling Dan or Vanessa out on being judgmental.
Blair being afraid she and Chuck will become boring as a couple, and Chuck saying they can never be boring.
The occasional overfocus on Serena - "At least I won't have to watch the next episode of the Serena Show."
Nate jumping from girl to girl almost every week - "Nate Archibald - class whore."
Blair with Chuck's catchphrase in the season two premiere.
Chuck: Please don't leave with him.
Blair: Why? Give me a reason. And "I'm Chuck Bass" doesn't count.
Chuck pointing out how much purple he wears.
Dan commenting on Jenny's makeup. - "You look like one of the Incredibles."
People commenting on Blair's overuse of headbands.
Nate at one point lampshades Blair being the NJBC Team Mom.
The Humphreys and those waffles. - "My family is really into waffles."
Chuck lampshades the audience's belief in Serena and Nate's eternal stupidity.
Chuck: You and Serena have it easy. Until now your biggest concern is whose hair is shinier.
Also lampshaded by Blair at one point.
Blair: (to Nate) Hold that non-thought.
And even Jack at one point lampshades Serena's and Nate's inability to plot.
Jack: Were you hoping to catch me in a compromising position? A litte... high school, don't you think? Leave the plotting to the experts.
Large Ham: The dream sequences usually have the actors really hamming it up. Special mention goes to Ed Westwick in Chuck's late season three nightmare.
Some also feel that Ed Westwick was incredibly hammy in the episodes dealing with the aftermath of Bart's death. Others think it's his best work yet.
One example seems to be Chuck's raspy whisper Batman voice. Some think it is Ed's inability to keep an American accent and some think it adds to Chuck Bass allure.
Late for School: Serena all the time in the books. Shows up a few times on the show as well.
Launcher of a Thousand Ships: In-universe, Serena. Every man who passes her way falls in love with her, risking everything from steady relationships to political careers in order to be with her. In fanfiction, however, it's Blair. Fans want to pair her up with anyone and everyone, even with men who have only ever been devoted to Serena.
Blair is now an in-universe one with a total of three current love interests desperate to have her.
Lets Wait Awhile: All three male teen leads do this at some point in season one.
Dan makes Serena wait from episode seven when it is first mentioned, until episode ten. He was a virgin and she was not.
An ongoing plot in the first seven episodes was Nate putting off sex with Blair, despite her best efforts.
Chuck tells Blair they should wait and "do it right this time" when they get together in the season finale.
After admitting her feelings for Dan in season five, Blair tells him "whatever this is, it will have to wait".
Also apparently Dan and Blair waited weeks to have sex after they got together, but it's probably because of his parents who had settled in his loft, and well, Serena who probably forgot who owns the penthouse, oops.
This was probably also because Blair was still married and sex with Dan would be adultery, but she never mentioned that so who knows?
Chuck and Blair make a pact in season six, that they will hold off on being together again until both have accomplished their individual goals. They're basically in a monogamous relationship without actually being together.
Life Imitates Art: Despite the endless "It's all about Blair, honest it is" cries from fandom (and sometimes the producers), the in-universe tendency for Serena to outdo Blair became very much an in-real-life thing as well regarding their respective actresses... something the intensely Blair-centric season five did nothing to change (it did change the show's ratings, but that's another story).
Limited Social Circle: The show nicely avoided this in the first two seasons with everyone but Dan (aka Lonely Boy). In season three however the Non-Judging Breakfast Club members only seem to hang out with each other (except for Nate who also hangs out with Dan, so... one additional person). This was lampshaded in "The Empire Strikes Jack" when Blair announces she has thirty friends coming to a fashion show and Nate asks Serena, "What friends?"
Lonely Rich Kid: Let's see... Blair's parents are both absent most of the time (both actually live in France but her mother comes to New York a few times each season), Chuck's father never paid attention to him and then died, Nate's parents aren't around much either. All three characters are only children. Serena and Eric at least had each other... until Serena left for boarding school.
Long-Lost Relative: Lily and Rufus' son, Scott Rawson, who was adopted at birth. The knowledge of this is the ultimate breaking point in Serena and Dan's relationship as the fact that they share a sibling is too much for them to look past.
In season 3 it turns out Chuck's mother may be alive.
Love Dodecahedron: In the first season, Dan and Serena were in love, but Vanessa loved Dan who used to love her and Nate (who is involved with Blair, who has a steamy fling with Chuck, who is best friends with Nate) was into Serena. There's also a Love Dodecahedron involving Dan's father, Serena's mother, and Chuck's father. Yes, really.
They then add a Vanessa/Nate/Jenny pairing on top of this. The whole thing is Chuck/Blair/Nate/Serena/Dan/Vanessa/Nate/Jenny (who also seems to have a Will and Grace thing for the slightly Camp Gay Eric). I think.
Let's not forget Vanessa and Chuck's one night stand in order to make, respectively, Nate and Blair jealous.
It's just getting ridiculous now. From the main characters, the only straight pairings that haven't happened are Dan and Jenny because they are brother and sister, then Dan and Blair. But this last one is being worked on as we speak. Oh, and Chuck/Serena I think. The entire set of pairings that have happened on the show is now something like Chuck/Vanessa/Dan/Blair/Chuck/Blair/Nate/Serena/Dan/Vanessa/Nate/Jenny/Chuck.'
Dan and Blair are now together. Wouldn't be suprised if that elusive Serena/Chuck relationship happened now.
Now it's back to Chuck and Blair as of the season 5 finale, with the possibility of Dan and Serena returning.
Love Hurts: Chuck has loved Blair for five seasons and been miserable for it whenever they're not together. Which is most of the time.
Manly Tears: Chuck, twice. He shows up on Blair's bed, crying, after his father's funeral. He is also shown shedding tears when she professes her love for him again in the season two finale, and he rejects her once more.
Chuck, again, in "The Debarted". This time combining the reasons behind the first two times he's cried on the show.
Chuck, again, in "The Empire Strikes Jack", when his mom tells him she ain't his mom.
Still Chuck in the episode, "Double Identity," when Blair tells him she doesn't love him anymore.
And again in "The Witches of Bushwick" after he and Blair finally look like they're back together for good until she realizes she can't live with being "Chuck Bass's girlfriend" until she is able to make it on her own first.
Rufus: I dated a girl like Serena, once. Actually, a lot like Serena. And girls like that might be challenging. That's true. And they're complicated, and enigmatic. And usually worth it. And the only way you know for sure is to jump it with both feet.
Dan: What happened with you?
Rufus: I swam for a while. Till I drowned.
Dan: Oh. Well, thanks, Dad. That's a great story.
Blair, after Chuck brought her along for an all-night trip to find Georgina, just to get her away from Nate:
Serena: It doesn't make sense!
Blair: Feelings never do. They get you all confused. Then they drive you around for hours before they drop you right back where you started.
Blair's response to Chuck revealing the thought of her gives him butterflies:
Blair: Chuck. You know that I adore all of God's creatures and the metaphors that they inspire. But these butterflies... have got to be murdered.
Mistaken for Pregnant: In the first season, this is the catalyst for Blair's social downfall. Serena covers for her to buy her a pregnancy test, so she is initially Mistaken for Pregnant as well, thanks to Gossip Girl.
Serena: The second he starts to call the shots these gloves come off and the nails come out. I just mixed metaphors, didn't I?
The Modest Orgasm: Blair when Serena walks in on her while Chuck is under the covers doing... well you figure it out.
Moment Killer: Dan, when Blair was about to tell Chuck how she felt up on the roof of the gallery.
Vanessa, when Dan and Serena try to have sex.
Mommy Had A Good Reason For Abandoning You: When Chuck's supposedly dead mother Elizabeth returns it brings back Serena's issues over her father leaving her, so she goes to Elizabeth to hear why she left, hoping it will be because of this trope. Serena's hopes are cruelly crushed as she keeps offering Elizabeth good reasons for why she might have left, only for Elizabeth to tell her that she left because she didn't want to be a mother, didn't love her baby and had no desire to be a part of her child's life.
Most Writers Are Writers: Dan Humphrey, an aspiring writer who often chronicles the lives of Manhattan's Elite (and of his interferences in said lives).
Ms Fan Service: Oh boy Serena... and her breasts. And her legs. And her hair. And her behind. And her...
And what about Blair? Not exactly lacking in that department.
Name's the Same: Nate Archibald is also the name of a former NBA player (wikipedia searches redirect to the player).
No Bisexuals - Averted, though Eric believes it. Lampshaded by his Bi the Way love interest, who can't understand why he didn't even think it was an option. Also possibly Chuck, who has kissed men before.
Dan: I even miss Chuck Bass, who would get so close to talk.
No Theme Tune: Just the opening musical stinger accompanied by Gossip Girl's catchphrase.
Not a Date: Dan is accused of having a sexual relationship with his new teacher Rachel Carr. Naturally, they decide the only solution to this problem is to go on Not a Date at a quiet romantic restaurant. Naturally Serena, Dan's girlfriend at the time, accidentally sees them and gets the wrong idea. And gets photographic proof, which Blair then uses to get back at Rachel for putting her place at Yale at risk.
All of Dan and Blair's movie dates. And coffee and breakfasts meets. That not even Gossip Girl knows. How did that happen?
Not Blood Siblings: Subverted twice with Serena and Dan. In season one, Serena asks Lily not to get together with Rufus because it would make things weird with her and Dan. Season two seems to skirt closer to the actual trope as for a while Serena and Dan continue to date after Lily and Rufus get together. Once they find out about their shared half-brother, aka Lily and Rufus' child, though, their relationship falls by the wayside, seemingly for good this time.
Averted with Serena and Chuck when Lily and Bart Bass got married, though given the timing anything other would have appeared forced.
Although it was mentioned:
Chuck: You know what they say. The family that plays together stays together.
Serena: Ah, incest, the universal taboo. One of the only ones you haven't violated.
One-Hour Work Week: Nate, Dan and Blair sure have a lot of free time on their hands for a bunch of college kids. The only time they mention going to class is when they're talking about skipping that class. Chuck doesn't seem to be doing much work either.
One-Note Cook: Well, three notes, actually. The Humphreys can make waffles and chili and... bolognese. Waiting for the fourth.
Parent Trap Plot: The van der Humphrey children try this when it looks like Rufus and Lily are going to call off their engagement in "Rufus Getting Married." The episode title gives away that it works.
Lampshaded by Rufus. "I knew I let you kids watch Parent Trap too many times..."
Serena seems to be trying this again with her mom and dad in late season 3.
Parental Abandonment: Blair is probably worst off, seeing as all four of her parents have left her and moved to France.
Chuck has it pretty bad too, with his father having trouble accepting him after his mother died during childbirth. According to season 3, Bart had trouble accepting him after his mother ditched them and forced Bart to tell Chuck that she died in childbirth. And then his mom comes back just to steal his hotel from him and ruin his life.
Nate's dad flees the country, then returns only to end up in federal prison.
Serena and Eric's father left when they were little, and Lily wasn't around much either.
Parental Issues: Everyone. Even the relatively well-adjusted Humphreys are not immune and if you think it's just the teens, take another look at Lily and Cece.
Parental Neglect: Probably the main reason why Chuck acts the way he does is to get some attention from his ever absent father. His adoptive mother is not much better, having often left Serena and Eric alone to run off with some new guy. Blair's parents do a pretty good job of neglecting her as well.
Parental Substitute: Dorota is this for Blair. Lily tries to do this for Chuck, but she can barely parent her own kids, so...
Parenting the Husband: It really feels like Lily has to do this with Rufus, day in and day out. Especially since he has no job and just mopes around her house, strumming his guitar and wondering where everyone went.
Blair was initially excited to meet her mother's new boyfriend Cyrus but was incredibly disappointed when he resembled Danny Devito more than he did Cary Grant. Although by the time Cyrus becomes her stepfather they have a pretty close bond.
While Chuck's father was this for Eric and Serena, Lily was this for Chuck. Initially they got along great, then he hated her for a while when he held her responsible for Bart's death, but after agreeing to let her adopt him he's grown quite close to her. Lily actually seems to be a better parent to him than she is to her biological children.
Taken to it's ludicrous extremes when she double crosses Blair and Serena and when she gets outplayed or threatened she falls back on this trope.
Plot-Induced Stupidity: Oh boy were Chuck and Blair hit hard with this in late season three... When Elizabeth shows up claiming she's Chuck's birth mother, neither Chuck and Blair, two of the most untrusting characters in the history of television, think to get a DNA test. Even though Chuck's mother is supposed to be dead. Nor do they think to do any actual research to find out if her claims are true. They simply settle for taking her word for it since she has a photo of herself holding a baby (rock solid evidence alright), even though there should be countless people who actually met Chuck's mother and were around when Chuck was born who could substantiate her claims or prove them to be false. When Chuck finally :gets the DNA test he believes the results (sent to him by text) even though he knows his evil uncle has shown up to try and get his hotel, and this has CON written all over it and promptly signs over his hotel to the "mother" he's only known for a few weeks and who has done nothing to earn his trust. When all of this of course blows up in his face he doesn't think to do the first thing anyone would do in this situation, which is to press charges for fraud.
Pool Scene: The episode School Lies opens with a secret pool party going terribly wrong.
Poorly Disguised Pilot: The second season episode "Valley Girls", which followed a teenage Lily in The Eighties. The spinoff series didn't get picked up, which makes the episode a bit of an outlier.
Ready for Lovemaking: Blair has done this twice for Chuck and also did it for Nate in the first episode.
Real-Life Relative: Jessica Szohr (Vanessa) and Ed Westwick (Chuck) were dating as well (though, in a bit of a twist, Westwick discovered that Szohr was seeing other men), even their fictional counterparts don't get along very well.
Leighton Meester (Blair) and Sebastian Stan (Carter) (broken up).
Blake Lively (Serena) and Penn Badgley (Dan) (broken up).
Really Gets Around: Nate, Chuck and Serena. The show calls attention to the gender issue involved, in that Serena is called a slut while nobody has anything to say about Nate or Chuck bedding people left and right.
Though that seems to be more about the fact that Serena was involved with (at different stages) her best friend's long-term boyfriend, one of her professors and a married man, rather than the number of people she sleeps with.
If anything, Serena hardly ever faces any judgment for her crappy boyfriend choices - Blair, on the other hand, becomes a virtual pariah at school after it gets out that she's had sex with more than one boy.
Vanessa can also count (and certainly does in the eyes of the fans) given that she's the only girl who's slept with all three male leads.
And THAT is the true double standard, lol.
No love for Blair? Come on, until third season she has a pretty high sex count on her hands, and certainly seems to be more focused on sex then the other characters.
And now that Vanessa left Blair is the only one who's slept with all three male leads.
Remember That You Trust Me: Three episodes in a row had this storyline with Chuck and Blair. She tried to get him to open up about the woman he thought might be his mother, he pushed her away, then towards the end changed his mind and came to her for comfort (while apologising for having pushed her away). All three episodes had Blair reminding him towards the end that she's on his side.
Retcon: The Basses have been subjected to this more than any other characters on the show.
The pilot episode has Chuck mentioning his mother twice, and it's clear that she is alive and in his life. Later on in the season we find out he lives with just his father, and we don't get to see his mother. In season two it's revealed that she died when Chuck was born.
Season three appears to be retconning the entire relationship between Chuck and Bart. Up until then the entire reason for their extremely rocky father/son relationship had been because of Bart's inability to properly deal with the death of Chuck's mother. Chuck always believed Bart hated him for having killed Evelyn, but Bart eventually told him that the reason he couldn't connect with Chuck was that he looked too much like his mother and it was too painful to have the constant living reminder. All of that makes no sense whatsoever right now, as season three heavily implies that Chuck's mother is alive and well, and simply didn't want to be a mother so she left when Chuck was born. And she wasn't Bart's beloved wife, just some random teenager he knocked up.
It could be argued that Bart was just perpetuating the lie that Evelyn/Elizabeth was dead, and was actually resentful of the fact that it was because of Chuck that his wife left him.
The feelings between Serena and Nate in season three. But mainly, Serena's comment in the second half of the third season that she's "waited so long for this". The writers have gone out of their way in the first two and a half seasons to show that Serena doesn't have romantic feelings for Nate. Then again, it is Serena, so maybe the two weeks that have gone by since she started to like Nate in 3.12 is a long time by her standards...
The Reveal: Gossip Girl turns out to be Dan Humphrey.
Rich Bitch: Blair Waldorf and her friends. Subverted in that Serena is rich but not a bitch, at least if you exclude the start of season two after she and Dan get back together and break up again.
To be fair, Serena tried very hard to be considerate of Dan and maintain a friendship with him, despite still being heartbroken over the breakup, while Dan immediately started dating again. He didn't behave in any manner that suggested he'd even considered the effect it might have on Serena until she broke down and called him out on it. She deserves some credit for at least trying to take the high road at first.
Right Through His Pants: The kitchen sex scene between Serena and Nate in season three ends with both still being fully dressed.
Also Chuck, whenever he's got a sex scene. It's a little weird seeing Chuck Bass in pajamas right after he's had hot sex with his girlfriend.
Right Through the Wall: Serena and Nate have loud sex in the kitchen right outside Chuck's bedroom door. They are then treated to the sounds of Blair having a very loud orgasm. Nate is dumbfounded when Chuck calls in the middle of Blair's "performance". Turns out Blair is just reading a fashion magazine, faking a loud orgasm to drive the point home of how you might want to keep your voices down when you have roommates in the next room.
And poor Eric, when Lily and Rufus get together in season 2. "I'd say get a room, but yours is RIGHT ABOVE mine. Please try to remember that."
School Play: The main cast perform The Age of Innocence, with much of the episode's plot paralleling that of the play.
Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Dan believes everyone on the UES has this attitude, which is one of the major problems in his relationship with Serena. And all the other UES but now that he's an UES himself he's starting to have less of a problem with this.
There have been times when this has been played straight, however it hasn't always worked as well as the rich character hoped.
Serious Business: Being "Queen" of your high school or college (and yeah, you read that right - college) is very serious business, m'kay? It would be Truth in Television if they didn't take it to such unbelievable extremes, but the way they portray it (everyone bows to the Queen, no one dares to defy anything coming out of her mouth, the popular kids are not-jokingly treated as freakin' monarchy, etc...) is just downright ridiculous.
Servile Snarker: Dorota, though not so much by making verbal remarks as by making faces whenever Blair says or does something she deems snark-worthy. Fans have dubbed this Dorota's WTF face.
Sex Equals Love: Chuck falls in love with Blair after taking her virginity.
Nate falls in love with Serena after she took his virginity.
Sexy Shirt Switch: Nate and Serena in season 3. She enters the kitchen wearing just his shirt, showing that she clearly spent the night. They then have an unambiguous sex scene, after which, she's still wearing the shirt and he's fully clothed.
In season five, Lola also wears Nate's shirt.
Shaming the Mob: After several of the characters try to discover Gossip Girl's identity to stop her increasingly hurtful posts about them, she gets the whole class into one place and sends them all a message that they're looking at Gossip Girl right now: the only reason she's so hurtful to all of them is that they all keep sending her information.
When Chuck is told he is not Skulls and Bones material, he blackmails the organization by threatening to reveal their secrets.
Blair to Dan in season four: "I think someone Freaky Friday'd me. This can't possibly be my life."
And also in season five:
Blair to Dan: Don't go all The Notebook on me, not now. I need you.
The Show Must Go On: In "The Last Days Of Disco Stick," Olivia leaves Dan's Snow White Gaga play, forcing Vanessa to step in as her replacement. This leads to Dan having to kiss Vanessa onstage and, of course, realizing he is in love with her.
Stalker with a Crush: Chuck to Blair. Also, Dan to Serena now that we know he spent years tracking and chronicling her activities through his position as Gossip Girl.
Stalking Is Love: Chuck frequently stalks Blair or has one of his PIs do it. Blair lampshades this on two separate occasions (and claims Chuck isn't even very good at the stalking). Also, Serena doesn't find it creepy or disturbing at all that Dan created a website that tracks and chronicles the movements of her and others just so he can get her.
Strange Minds Think Alike: After Blair finds out the liquor license she helped Chuck get for his club opening was a fake, she decides that the best way to save the situation is to call the cops and have them raid the bar. Turns out Chuck has already done exactly that.
And in another episode when their original plan goes to hell:
Blair: I have an idea.
Chuck: I've already had it.
And they proceed to act out said idea without taking one second to talk it through or even compare notes first.
Suddenly Sexuality: Dan in the books. Also a massive head scratcher because a) he was clearly shown to be attracted to girls in earlier books and was in love with Vanessa, b) all he did was make out with a guy while in a drunken stupor, c) he quickly dismissed the idea of being bisexual due to Rule of Drama and d) everyone else did too.
Take My Hand: Inverted. Bart, about to fall off a building, is the one begging Chuck to take his hand. Chuck didn't.
Tangled Family Tree: Lily marries Bart Bass and then marries Rufus Humphrey, making Serena and Eric step-siblings with Chuck, Dan and Jenny. This makes Dan and Serena an extreme version of Flirty Stepsiblings until it's revealed that Lily and Rufus had an illegitimate son years earlier and thus the van der Woodsen's and Humphrey's share a half-sibling.
Then there's the whole debacle with Charlotte Rhodes. It turns out that Lily's sister Carol hid her daughter from the family (going so far as to hire an imposter, Ivy, to pose as her) because she is actually William van der Woodsen's daughter. This makes Charlie both Serena's cousin and her half-sister.
Their First Time: Twisted example in the first season. Blair and Nate have been together for a long time, but Blair wants to put off losing their virginity. Nate, however, has already lost his - to Blair's best friend, Serena, an act that is initially suggested to be the reason behind her sudden departure. From the very first episode, every time Blair tries to plan Their First Time something Serena-related crops up:
The instant Blair learns Serena has returned, she drags Nate upstairs from a party for Their First Time - which gets interrupted when her mother announces Serena's arrival.
Later that episode, Blair plans Their First Time again, only for Nate to choose that moment to tell her about cheating on her with Serena.
In the next episode, Chuck gives Blair the key to his suite for her to sleep with Nate, but when they arrive in the suite Serena is already there because Nate asked her to meet him
It's hinted during the Masquerade Ball episode that the scavenger hunt Blair sets for Nate will lead to them sleeping together if he finds her before midnight. This breaks the pattern slightly since Serena was the final clue-giver and Nate's distraction actually stemmed from his father (though he still goes to Serena over Blair about it), but still ends up in him confessing his feelings to who he thinks is Serena.
Hours after they break up, Blair loses her virginity to Nate's best friend Chuck in the back of his limo. A few episodes later, Blair and Nate are back together and they finally have sex with each other, though this reunion only lasts until Nate finds out about Blair and Chuck.
There's also the episode in Season 2 where Blair, Serena and Chuck try to stop a younger girl from losing her virginity to the wrong guy, since she only wants to do it to beat "Muffy the lacrostitute" to the punch.
Season three has an entire episode where everyone runs around trying to prevent Jenny from losing her virginity. It comes off as rather strange that these characters who all lost their virginity before senior year would think it's so horrible that a sixteen year-old might have her flower plucked.
That plot line has officially been resolved in a particularly twisted way, with Jenny finally losing her virginity to Chuck of all people, because she thinks everyone hates her and he thinks Blair no longer loves him. Of course, Blair shows up two seconds later to reunite, Chuck leaves Jenny in a hot second, and she realizes that sleeping with him was a terrible idea.
Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Cyrus and Eleanor. Some argue that the opposite is true of Dorota and Vanya.
Undying Loyalty: Dorota. Come what may she is on Blair's side and at Blair's side.
The Unfair Sex: The audience sometimes plays into this. Chuck sleeping with Vanessa after Blair and Nate start dating is outrageous, but Blair sleeping with Chuck's uncle after Chuck disappears to mourn his father's death is completely understandable.
The fans reaction probably has a lot to do with how hated Vanessa is. The fact that Chuck doesn't argue with Blair when she equals him sleeping with Vanessa to her sleeping with Jack is seen by some as a Lampshade Hanging of Vanessa's Scrappy status. But within the context of the show itself it makes no sense that Chuck having sex with Vanessa would be anywhere near as bad as Blair bedding Jack.
The Unfavourite: Ironically, both with characters who had no siblings at the time: Blair, who thought her mother liked Serena more than her, and Chuck who wasn't even The Unfavourite compared to someone else.
Unlimited Wardrobe: The UES characters. Except for Chuck's trademark scarf. And his sleeping attire of choice, which has had more screen-time than some of the recurring guest stars...
Unusual Euphemism: Quite a few. "Fustercluck", "Bass-hole", "Oh my effing God", "Don't eff with an effer", "Damn that motherchucker"...
And then there's Serena telling Chuck he's not going to "use Blair as sexual Drano".
"Like a Bass out of hell".
Never forget that Blair wanted to get a "Bass-ectomy" in 4.08.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: In 2.03 everyone stops and stares at Blair and Marcus when they begin to argue on the staircase after he found her making out with Chuck. You'd expect these people who are obsessed with gossip to find this at least a little interesting, but after all of two seconds everyone goes back to minding their own business.
Subverted in the season two finale, the scene where Blair comes home to find Chuck waiting by his limo with flowers and gifts. Throughout the scene people can be seen in the background, stopping to stare.
Serena: Look B, I understand why you're reluctant to burst your happy bubble but I'm not giving up.
Blair: I'm sorry if unlike some people I haven't been on the pill since I was fifteen.
Serena: Okay I am giving up.
Villain Ball: Bart inexplicably decides on an elaborate scheme to have a Bass Industries plane explode in mid-air while Chuck is on board. Instead of just paying a hitman to physically secure Chuck, put him into the plane, shoot him and dump him out over the Pacific Ocean then have the plane explode. Or just pulling a gun on Chuck and shooting him on the roof.
Vocal Evolution: Chuck's voice has grown increasingly deeper since the first season. Ed Westwick has by now confirmed the fan theory that he uses a lower voice on the show because it helps him maintain his American accent.
We Want Our Jerk Back: The way some fans reacted when Chuck tried to be a goody-two-shoes in early season four.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Non-living example. Chuck's signature scarf disappears early in season two. Just when fans were starting to suspect that someone in the costume department lost it or accidentally destroyed it the scarf makes a cameo appearance in the season four premiere.
What Is This Feeling?: Chuck: "I feel sick, like there's... something in my stomach. Fluttering." He admits that having this weird feeling is humiliating. It doesn't get better when Blair tells him that these butterflies must be murdered.
What the Hell, Hero?: Chuck's action's in "Inglorious Bassterds." Nate has berated him for this every episode since.
Dan gets the treatment in the 4th episode of Season 5.
Wham Episode: The end of "The Debarted", let us count the ways: Rufus and Lily's marriage is in trouble. Wham. Jenny's been dealing drugs for cash. Wham. Chuck's mom might be alive. Wham. Wham. Wham.
"Victor/Victrola". Ends with the surprise hook-up that marked the beginning of the beyond a doubt most popular ship on the show.
"Last Tango, Then Paris". Dan suddenly loves Serena again! But can't pursue her because Georgie is pregnant with his baby! Chuck takes Jenny's virginity! Then tries to propose to Blair! Then gets shot and might die!
S04E11, "The Townie," is the whammiest to date. Turns out, neither Juliet nor her brother Ben are The Dragonor the Big Bad of Season 4. Lily is. She destroyed Ben's life, and sold Bass Industries out from under Chuck.
S05E13: Blair is married to a life of sorrow with Louis and run away with Dan, emotionnaly crushed and panicked, Dan didn't reciprocate Serena's feelings (and implicitely choosing Blair over her), Louis is going to make Blair's life a living hell... Oh, and Georgina Sparks may or may not be Gossip Girl.
S05E16: The death of Cece, surrounded by her family, except for her fake (but loving) niece, who has been there for her for months while she was sick, and who was, by her own words, the only person she was feeling safe with. Ivy wanted to stay, but a furious Serena made it pretty clear that it was better for her to disappear, persuaded that Ivy did everything for money, while it's obvious that Ivy came to love Cece a lot. It's really hard to not sympathise with Ivy: her own grandmother died of cancer, just like Cece, and she was denied the right to stay by the side of someone she ended up deeply caring about.
Wild Teen Party: The birthday party Serena planned ruined for Jenny her own ego in "Remains of The J" turns into one of these after a disgruntled Jenny texts Gossip Girl with details about a rager at the van der Woodsens.
Blair: This is the worst out-of-body experience ever.
Wrong Guy First: Blair is really, really set on Nate being the person she should be with in season one (Chuck: All this talk of how you have to be with Nate or the world will end...). Gradually she realises that Nate is not The One, Chuck is.
Wrote the Book: In "There Might Be Blood", Blair claims to have written the book on distracted, self-centered mothers.