When Gossip Girl premiered in September 2007, the show became an immediate phenomenon. Starring Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, Chace Crawford, Ed Westwick, Jessica Szohr and Taylor Momsen, among others, the series lasted for six seasons on The CW before the show returned for an HBO Max revival in July 2021.

Throughout the original series, the Upper East Side’s elite were under the watchful eye of Gossip Girl, who blogged the comings and goings of the Constance Billard and St. Jude students. In the show’s final episode, the anonymous blogger’s identity was revealed to be Dan Humphrey (played by Penn).

When the reboot hit HBO Max years later, fans wondered what the resurgence of Gossip Girl would look like — this time around, it was a lot different. Instead of a blog, Gossip Girl was now an Instagram account. The major “twist” revealed in the premiere episode was that the secret account was being run by the Constance Billard and St. Jude prep school teachers.

“My hope is that we make it to airing and people don’t know,” creator Joshua Safran told Cosmopolitan in April 2021 before the show premiered. “I would love to see that conversation happen in the context of people having seen it as opposed to talking about something they haven’t seen.”

His wish came true because no one knew until the series premiered. While addressing the plot twist during a July 2021 interview with The Daily Beast, Joshua also spoke about unveiling the identities of both Gossip Girl iterations.

“Coming up with the idea of knowing who Gossip Girl was from the top — and having it be a teacher — was the thing that excited me the most, because it’s doing the show in a new way instead of just retreading,” he said at the time. “When you hear ‘teachers’ you think older, more stodgy, more matronly — all these things that are actually unrealistic to teachers, and you’re like, no, in reality, private school teachers’ median age is 31.”

The creator continued, “It’s fascinating to me because with Dan Humphrey, he did all these bad things too, but we never saw them. If you retconned it and put in all the sequences of Dan being Gossip Girl and showed him sending posts of his girlfriend while she was sleeping next to him, you’d think this guy was more dangerous than [Penn’s latest role] Joe in You.”

Both versions of Gossip Girl are full of mysteries, but all the big secrets actually went down when the cameras weren’t rolling. Scroll through our gallery to uncover behind-the-scenes secrets from the OG series. 

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