Things you never noticed in the first episode of Gossip Girl

You may have watched Gossip Girl in its entirety several times, but how much attention did you really pay to its first episode? There's a lot of info thrown at us in the pilot episode and there's so much happening that we can't blame you if you missed some of the finer details. From Easter eggs to the establishment of important plot points, the first episode of Gossip Girl is jam-packed with stuff we all missed the first, second, or maybe third time around.

Have no fear, though, because we've got your Gossip Girl needs covered. Whether you're a diehard Gossip Girl aficionado or just a casual viewer of the series, once you realize just how much you missed in the pilot, you will definitely want to watch it — and maybe the whole series — again. Here are some of the things you never noticed in the very first episode of Gossip Girl. Note: Series spoilers ahead.

The love triangle between Lily, Rufus, and Alison is set up in the first episode of Gossip Girl

The relationship between Lily and Rufus becomes one of Gossip Girl's biggest storylines later in the show. It gradually comes out that Lily and Rufus were madly in love when Lily was going through a rebellious phase and Rufus was a rock star. They eventually split up, and Rufus married Alison, but it's clear that he and Lily never really got over each other. While it takes a few seasons for us to get the entire story, the whole saga is actually hinted at in the very first episode of Gossip Girl.

Rufus and Lily see each other for the first time in years and they reveal that they've both been keeping tabs on each other. There's clearly still a vibe there, even though Rufus and Lily only share a couple of scenes together. This storyline is buried for a couple of episodes, and when it comes up again, it's easy to forget that it was right there in the very first episode.

Blair's struggle with bulimia is hinted at in the first episode of Gossip Girl

A few episodes into Gossip Girl, we learn that Blair (played by Leighton Meester) is recovering from bulimia. Her struggle with body image is evident in the show's very first episode, although it's only hinted at. In one scene, we see Blair trying on a dress and critically looking at herself in the mirror. A moment later, her mother comes in and reminds her that she will never be prettier or thinner than she is at that moment.

While Blair is already in recovery by Gossip Girl's first episode, it's clear that she still struggles with her body image and self esteem. And her mom isn't exactly helpful. Blair might be kind of mean and vindictive for much of the pilot — and, let's be real, for much of the series — but when we see how much our Queen B has been through, it's a lot easier to relate to her and remember that she's a lonely and insecure teenager just trying to survive high school.

If you look closely, Chuck's feelings for Blair are obvious in the first episode of Gossip Girl

In the first episode of Gossip Girl, Blair and Nate are the "it" couple of the show. Of course, viewers who stuck with the show after its first episode know that the real love story is between Blair and Chuck, who are later established as soulmates. The pairing may have come as a surprise to viewers — but only if they didn't pay close attention in the first episode. If you look really closely, you can see Chuck staring intently at Blair at the get-together at her home. Not only does he stare at Blair, but we can also see him smiling.

It's a quick blink-and-you'll-miss-it scene, but it's a great, subtle hint that alludes to Chuck and Blair's future. The first episode of Gossip Girl also establishes the two as being on friendly terms and having a similar need to exact revenge on their enemies which, while not the most romantic or healthy basis for a relationship, does show that these two were made for each other.

There's a big clue that Dan is Gossip Girl in the show's first episode

In the series finale of Gossip Girl, it's revealed that Dan Humphrey is Gossip Girl. While the revelation was met with skepticism from fans, there was a pretty big hint that Dan was the Gossip Girl in the show's very first episode.

In the pilot, Dan swears he doesn't read Gossip Girl, but audiences later see him intently scrolling through the gossip website. While it's possible that he was just looking for some juicy secrets, it's also possible that he was uploading them to the site himself. Now, this minor scene isn't irrefutable proof that Dan is Gossip Girl, but it does make the series finale reveal more believable, at least.

However, this was later revealed as mere coincidence, as Gossip Girl's executive producer Joshua Safran came out and admitted in 2019 that Dan was not the first choice for Gossip Girl (via Metro).

Blair's mom looks a bit different in the first episode of Gossip Girl

Blair's mom, Eleanor, is only seen in a couple of scenes in the first episode of Gossip Girl. If you didn't pay close attention, you might not have noticed that this is the only episode in which Florencia Lozano depicts the character. In subsequent episodes, the role is played by actress Margaret Colin.

Both Lozano and Colin did a commendable job of portraying the distant and demanding fashion designer, so it's understandable if you didn't notice that the character was recast after the pilot. Still, it's jarring to go back to the first episode of Gossip Girl and see Eleanor played by an entirely different person.

While Lozano didn't end up portraying Eleanore for the rest of the show's run, she did go on to rack up many more impressive credits after her brief time on Gossip Girl, which was one of her earliest TV appearances. Instead of playing Blair's mom, Lozano starred on shows like General Hospital, One Life to Live, and Narcos.

There's an Easter egg for another CW show in the first episode of Gossip Girl

You have to look really closely to notice this Easter egg. When Gossip Girl first aired, it was on the newly created CW network. The show was meant to be the flagship of the new network, which was created from the merging of two other networks, the WB and UPN, Vanity Fair reported. While Gossip Girl may have been the fledgeling network's flagship show, the CW did have some other big titles. One such title was the hit series Smallville, which first began airing on the WB, and focused on a teenage Clark Kent.

In an extremely brief scene of Gossip Girl's pilot episode, we can see an ad for Smallville plastered across the side of a bus. While this is partially advertising for the show, it was also a pretty meta move on CW's part that informs the audience that Gossip Girl takes place in a universe where the CW exists.

We get a sneak peek of Jenny's future career in the first episode of Gossip Girl

We don't get to know Dan's little sister, Jenny, too well in the first episode of the series. In fact, she doesn't really feel like one of the show's main characters, since she's younger than most of the other characters we're introduced to in the pilot. Jenny just seems like a young girl trying to become popular by doing favors for Blair and the rest of the in crowd.

Of course, anyone who has watched the show past the pilot knows that Jenny's storyline proves to be an important one. But, believe it or not, this was hinted at in the very first episode of Gossip Girl. In the pilot, Jenny goes shopping for something to wear to Blair's "Kiss on the Lips" party. Since she can't afford an expensive designer dress, she casually mentions that she can "sew something like it." We later see her making the dress at her sewing machine, foreshadowing Jenny's future career as a talented fashion designer.

One of Gossip Girl's most important characters isn't in the first episode

While Dan's BFF Vanessa (played by Jessica Szohr) is one of the most important characters on Gossip Girl, she's nowhere to be seen in the first episode. In fact, she isn't even mentioned at all in the pilot. When we first meet Vanessa, she's there to bring conflict to Dan and Serena's relationship. She later causes trouble with pretty much every other character on the show to the point that it almost seems like she only exists as a character to keep the drama rolling.

Still, we have to wonder why such a critical character wasn't included in the pilot. It could have something to do with the fact that in the show, Dan's main love interest is Serena. In the books on which the show is based, however, he was all about Vanessa, as noted by BuzzFeed. Keeping Vanessa out of the pilot could have just been a deliberate move to set up the romance between Dan and Serena.

Why are Chuck and Nate taking the bus in the first episode of Gossip Girl?

In the first episode of Gossip Girl, Dan runs into his classmates Chuck and Nate on the bus. While this might not seem like a big deal considering that they're all headed to school, what's perplexing is that Nate, and especially the high-maintenance Chuck, would be taking any kind of bus in the first place. Seeing any of the Upper East Siders of Gossip Girl taking public transportation is pretty rare throughout the show and Nate and Chuck are typically chauffeured around by private car.

While taking public transportation is out of character for Chuck and Nate, this scene does at least serve to set up the fact that Dan, while a New Yorker, does not move in the same circles as his Manhattanite classmates. In fact, when Nate and Chuck bump into him on the bus, they have no idea who he is — despite attending the same school and donning the same required uniform.

Chuck mentions his mom in the first episode of Gossip Girl

In the pilot episode of Gossip Girl, Chuck and Nate are strolling along Central Park and commiserating about how difficult it is to be young and rich as they pass a joint back and forth. While the display of privilege isn't surprising — that's basically the entire premise of the show, after all — Chuck mentions something that will prove to be confusing later in the series. He offers to steal his mom's Paxil for Nate to help him relax before a big night with Blair.

Now, this might not seem like a huge deal — Chuck obviously has no problems breaking the law and doing drugs — it's also a major plot hole in the show. In future episodes, Chuck reveals that his mother died in childbirth and that he doesn't remember her. We later learn that Chuck's mom is indeed alive, but that's not just news to the audience — it's also news to Chuck. For most of his life, Chuck believes his mother is dead, making it all the more confusing that he mentioned her so casually in the pilot.

Do the Humphreys even know where they live in the first episode of Gossip Girl?

What is the deal with the Humphreys? Any viewer of Gossip Girl knows that Dan is supposedly an outsider at his fancy Manhattan prep school because he lives in Brooklyn and is "poor" (even though real estate throughout NYC's boroughs is pretty pricey). But does Dan actually live in Brooklyn? In the pilot, Dan's dad Rufus mentions Dan's mom, as having left Manhattan — not Brooklyn. It's also established that the Humphreys live in Williamsburg, although exterior shots of their loft in the first episode of Gossip Girl are actually of another Brooklyn neighborhood, Dumbo.

Thankfully, executive producer Stephanie Savage cleared up this confusion in an e-mail to Intelligencer. "We were never able to find a satisfying exterior location in Williamsburg that seemed right for the loft... but it matches perfectly with the beautiful building at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge in Dumbo," she wrote. To avoid further confusion, episodes after the show's second episode, "The Wild Brunch," refer to the Humphreys as simply living in Brooklyn.

Nate's dad wants him to go to Dartmouth in the first episode of Gossip Girl

In the first episode of Gossip Girl, Nate says he's considering going west for college, perhaps to USC or UCLA. His dad, however, is a Dartmouth alum who wants his son to go to his alma mater. Nate tries to protest, but it's clear he doesn't have much choice in that matter, despite trying to prove that he's his own man.

If you don't remember the first episode of Gossip Girl very well, you might be confused about all this talk of Dartmouth. Didn't Nate's dad want him to go to his alma mater Yale later in the show? Sure, both are Ivy League schools, but they're not even in the same state — Dartmouth is in New Hampshire while Yale is in Connecticut. There's no explanation given for the change in schools, so it looks like the writers just changed their minds about what school Nate's dad went to. Nate ultimately ends up at neither Yale nor Dartmouth, although he does go to an Ivy League school: Columbia.

Serena took the train in the first episode of Gossip Girl

The drama gets rolling in the first episode of Gossip Girl with Serena, played by the lovely Blake Lively, returning to New York after spending the last year at a boarding school in Connecticut. Serena takes the train in from New England, arriving at Grand Central Station with nothing more than the clothes on her back, a purse, and a small overnight bag. Where is the rest of her luggage? And why is Serena — an heiress with a trust fund — taking the train instead of a private car? Public transportation isn't exactly the preferred mode of travel for the wealthy teens of the Upper East Side.

Why would Serena choose to schlep across state lines on a train when she could have made the journey in a cushy town car? There's also the fact that, had she taken a car, she'd have been able to bring all her luggage along, which we're presuming must exist somewhere. A person does not just go away to school for a year with little more than an overnight bag — especially not a fashionista like Serena.

Did everyone forget how awful Chuck was in the first episode of Gossip Girl?

Let's just come out and say it: Chuck was the worst. In the first episode of Gossip Girl alone, he assaults Serena and Jenny. Both of them have to fight him off; Serena is able to push him away when he repeatedly tries to kiss her while Jenny struggles to fight off his advances until her brother Dan shows up and punches him. The scenes are pretty disturbing, especially considering that they take place in what's supposed to be a lighthearted show for young adults.

While Chuck assaulting women and getting away with it would have been bad enough, he is later set up as one of the show's main love interests. Chuck does, admittedly, become a less problematic character as he gets older, but he never apologizes for his past behavior and everyone just sweeps everything he did in the first episode of Gossip Girl under the rug.

Eric (probably) knows all about Rufus' band in the first episode of Gossip Girl

In the first episode of Gossip Girl, we learn that Rufus is a member of a band called Lincoln Hawk, which was apparently a pretty big deal in the '90s. The band was even named one of the "top ten forgotten bands of the '90s" by Rolling Stone. Rufus may no longer be famous by the time Gossip Girl's story kicks off, but there's at least one young Upper East Sider who has heard of him: Serena's younger brother.

In one scene, we see Serena walk into the room to find Eric reading a copy of Rolling Stone — the same issue that mentioned Lincoln Hawk. While this doesn't necessarily mean that he's a big fan of the '90s group, it does mean that he's likely at least heard of them. Now the only question is if his mom, Lily, ended up leafing through the same issue and reading up on her ex-boyfriend's band.

What is going on with Nate's hair in the first episode of Gossip Girl?

Not to nitpick, but what is happening with Nate's hair? When we first see him in the first episode of Gossip Girl, he's got longish hair. A few minutes later in the pilot, though, his hair looks freshly cut. And then again, not long after that, his hair is back to being long. Now, it's possible that he has some rapidly growing locks and needs frequent haircuts but, unless he's related to Rapunzel, we seriously doubt that his hair is growing quite so quickly.

The first episode of Gossip Girl only spans a handful of days, so we're going to have to chalk this one up to a production oversight. It looks like scenes were filmed out of order, which would explain Nate's quickly shifting hair lengths. If the cast and crew didn't realize the discrepancy, then it stands to reason that Gossip Girl viewers also missed this details in the show's first episode.