Rewind: Gossip Girl Gave Away Their Identity in the Very First Episode

Dan Humphrey

For many people, the holidays are a time for catching up with family, seeing friends, relaxing at the beach or going for some casual drinks at the local pub. But not for me.

This year, my holidays were filled with the Upper East Side — mixing with Manhattan’s elite. Pretentious teenagers with too much money and too many raging hormones.

While I didn’t actually fly to the East coast of America, I did throw myself into two seasons of the 00s teen drama, Gossip Girland let’s just say it was an education.

I hadn’t seen the show for many years, and if truth be told, I’d only ever seen a few episodes before — but here I was, in my early thirties, bingeing on this epic piece of goodness that I swore to my colleague ‘I’d only watch the first season’ of.

Now, I’m three seasons deep and I still can’t get enough of Dan (Penn Bagley), Serena (Blake Lively), Blair (Leighton Meester), Chuck (Ed Westwick) and Nate (Chace Crawford) and Rufus Humphrey (Matthew Settle), who has become my main GG crush. (Showing my age now…)

But there’s a really monumental benefit to rewinding the clock to 2007, although one may say that it’s quite the opposite — I’m re-watching the series while knowing the ultimate spoiler. I already know who Gossip Girl is.

Gossip Girl

At the end of the final season, which aired in 2012, Dan is outed as the puppet master behind the juicy tea being spilled about the scandalous lives of the Upper East Side.

That’s right — SPOILER ALERT — Gossip Girl turns out to be Lonely Boy a.k.a, Dan Humphrey. (I also binged You season two, starring Badgely, making for a very confusing break…)

And while any hardcore fan would know this, what you may not have realised is that there is a whole lot of foreshadowing alluding to Gossip Girl’s identity in the very first episode.

In fact, in the pilot episode, we learnt a lot.

Blake Lively does not age (she looks exactly the same now as she did back then), all of the characters are painfully annoying (this does not go away), and all signs point to Dan being ‘xoxo, Gossip Girl’.

When we first meet Dan, he is standing at Grand Central Station, pining/gazing/stalking (sound familiar?) Serena Van der Woodsen.

The infamous Gossip Girl voiceover (Kristen Bell) says that Serena is spotted by only one person and that one person is the source who told her they saw her. Dan.

Then, only a few frames later, Gossip Girl says those famous lines: “And who am I? That’s one secret I’ll never tell. The only one.,” to a frame of literally Dan Humphrey.

“XOXO, Gossip Girl.”

Gossip Girl
The CW

Later, Dan’s sister, Jenny confronts him for reading the website on his laptop — which by the way, is another clue in itself.

Notice how all of the other characters only read the site through their early 00s flip phones?

Yup, Dan freaking Humphrey uses his laptop. Because he’s writing. Because he is Gossip Girl.

In November 2019, Gossip Girl executive producer Joshua Safran revealed some very intriguing information out into the ether.

When asked why Dan was revealed as Gossip Girl, he gave quite the frank answer:

“I like to joke that Dan was Gossip Girl because I had left the show by then,” he said. “Dan was not my intended Gossip Girl, so honestly, you’d have to ask someone else.” Huh?

Safran had his heart set on Nate “the ultimate teen heartthrob” Archibald.

“One of the writers realised that Nate had never sent a tip into Gossip Girl, which is true at least through the end of Season 5,” Safran said during the interview.

“Nate never sent a tip in through all of those episodes, which is when we’re like, ‘Oh, well then he’s Gossip Girl.'”

While Nate was considered, he wasn’t Safran’s first choice.

“I always thought it was Eric until the end of Season 2, and I even guided it that way, but when the New York Post revealed it was Eric — and I still don’t know how that happened, I think they were just guessing — and we realized we couldn’t go down that road anymore, so we abandoned him.”

Hmmm… it’s all very interesting and all, but the way we look at it — Dan ultimately is Gossip Girl and therefore, it was foreshadowed in the first episode.

Frankly, we cannot wait until the reboot of Gossip Girl happens, and hopefully, the brand new bratty teens live up to the hype.

Until then, you know you love him. XOXO.

Dan Humphrey.

You can catch all six seasons of Gossip Girl on Netflix, streaming now.