- Absentee Actor: Strangely enough, despite the show being called Dawson's Creek, only Katie Holmes (Joey) appears in every episode. In fact, James Van Der Beek (Dawson) has the third-most appearances out of the original four, missing six. Joshua Jackson (Pacey) missed four, and Michelle Williams (Jen) was absent in 10. Kerr Smith (Jack) missed 16 episodes as a regular, while Meredith Monroe (Andi) is credited as a regular for the entirety of season 4, though only appears in eight of them.
- Actor Allusion: In the Season 1 episode "Detention," they're discussing the movie The Breakfast Club, and Pacey (played by Joshua Jackson, one of whose earliest roles was as Charlie Conway in The Mighty Ducks) disagrees with the others that Emilio Estevez is languishing in TV obscurity.
Pacey: No way! Emilio Estevez, he was in those Duck movies, remember? God, those were classic. So funny!
(Pacey laughs to himself, while the others look at him blankly.)
- Carolina Doubling - The show's setting was Capeside, Massachusetts, though primarily filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina, which would also became the filming location of One Tree Hill (which might as well have been Dawson's spiritual successor) though was actually set in North Carolina.
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: They lost the rights to "I Don't Want to Wait" by Paula Cole after season 2 and a new song was chosen for the opening theme. Re-releases of the first two seasons, including the streaming of the seasons on Netflix, has the second song replace the iconic song.
- Playing Against Type: Michael Pitt, who would go on to play psychopathic characters such as Jimmy Darmody and Mason Verger plays Adorkable jock Henry. Coincidentally, Michael Pitt regards his time on the show as an Old Shame.
- Retroactive Recognition:
- Meredith Monroe also appeared as Hotch's wife Haley on Criminal Minds.
- Melissa McBride, of The Walking Dead fame, appeared as Nina in a season 1 episode. Also, Eric Balfour (before 24 and Six Feet Under) appeared as a Jerk Jock who harassed Joey in the same episode.
- Ali Larter, of Final Destination and Heroes fame, appears as senior Kirsty Livingstone in two season 2 episodes.
- Adam Kaufman before Taken.
- Jane Lynch appeared as Pacey's mom in season 4.
- Chad Michael Murray (before One Tree Hill) portrayed Jen's boyfriend in season 5.
- Jensen Ackles portrayed another one of Jen's boyfriends in season 6, a couple years before Supernatural.
- Star-Making Role: Katie Holmes, Joshua Jackson, and Michelle Williams.
- Throw It In: Dawson's infamous crying face wasn't scripted. James Van Der Beek was genuinely crying.
- Trope Namer: For Dawson Casting. Particularly 20 year-old James van der Beek (Dawson), 26 year-old Kerr Smith (Jack), and 30 year-old Meredith Monroe (Andie) playing high school sophomores.
- What Could Have Been: Supposedly, Dawson was originally meant to be gay like the creator Kevin Williamson but Executive Meddling vetoed the idea and Jack was created instead. The World Was Not Ready.