Even though the initial run of Gossip Girl came to an end in 2012, viewers still aren’t over one thing—the revelation that Dan was actually Gossip Girl all along.
Joining us in our eternal horror at this truly ridiculous/unbelievable/stupefying detail is the one and only Serena van der Woodsen herself, Blake Lively. The actress re-posted a Gossip Girl meme on her Instagram Stories which read, “We watched the entire series to find out it’s Dan.” Lively hilariously retorted, “YOU’RE surprised… Imagine how the writers felt.”
However, Dan wasn’t always going to be Gossip Girl. According to Refinery29, writer and executive producer Joshua Safran revealed at Vulture Festival in 2019, “One of the writers realized that Nate had never sent a tip in to Gossip Girl, which is true at least through the end of Season 5… Nate never sent in a tip in through all of those episodes, which is when we’re like, ‘Oh, well then he’s Gossip Girl.'”
And prior to Nate being the most likely candidate, Serena’s little brother, Eric, was apparently the frontrunner, until the internet thought he was a pretty likely suspect, too. Hence how we ended up with Dan Humphrey as Gossip Girl. Insert eye roll here.
It would seem that Penn Badgley has well and truly left Gossip Girl behind him, and has no plans to return for the show’s forthcoming reboot. He recently told Entertainment Tonight, “I have not had conversations with any of the creators yet… I think it’s pretty clear that, like, I’ve never been a proponent of Dan Humphrey’s.”