The Five Most Important Values I Learned From Gossip Girl

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Gossip Girl is the millennial equivalent to General Hospital or One Life to Live. The production value is better, but the series is a simply a dramatic soap opera. Dramatic and addictive, that is.

The entire series is on Netflix, so if you haven’t yet indulged, I would not recommend it. You’ll soon find yourself awash in a world of high fashion, wealth, and you’ll have no friends because you’ll sit in front of your computer all day watching the glamour unfold.

But there are a few important values I learned from Gossip Girl. That is, ways to absolutely not live life because the results will be disastrous.

1. Secrets

In season 3, we’re almost sure that Lily is cheating on Rufus. Their love was over 20 years in the making, but at every turn, their marriage seems to be falling apart. Lily is always out of town and lying to Rufus. They just aren’t going to make it.

When Lily finally comes clean, she shows up with her ex-husband claiming she never cheated on Rufus. She was diagnosed with cancer and privately sought treatment with her famous doctor ex. She didn’t tell her husband or her children. She hid the truth for a year. A year.

2. Entitlement

When people ask you questions of why or how or who, give one simple answer in a suave, but condescending voice: I’m Chuck Bass. Implied: I can do anything I want without consequences.

3. Emotions

Three words. Eight letters. To say it is to humble yourself and risk heartbreak. It’s vulnerability and commitment. Blair and Chuck knew they loved each other, but neither of them could dare to take the risk.

4. Wealth

Oh, little Jenny Humphrey. The innocent poor girl from Brooklyn turned into Queen of Constance. Once Rufus and Lily married, Jenny inherited an apartment on the Upper East Side and a bottomless credit card. It wasn’t long until she lost her friends, her innocence, and her happiness. Plus, she wore too much eyeliner, dated a drug dealer, and ruined Blair and Chuck’s relationship.

5.  Winning

Life doesn’t always go the way you want. You don’t get into the right college, your best friend gets the guy, your secrets are splashed across the front page. If things aren’t working out, don’t accept it as a loss. Plot, fight, and scheme until you can weasel your way in and destroy whoever beat you in the first place. This includes, but isn’t limited to: spreading rumors, pouring yogurt on someone’s head, or faking your death in a plane crash. Coming out on top is most important.

There’s a million other little things the show has taught me to avoid like elevator rides with ex-boyfriends or how to sneak into black tie parties.

But these are five things that we, on a much less extreme scale, struggle with often, even if we never talk about them. We keep secrets and hide our emotions to protect ourselves. We dream about wealth and success. And who wouldn’t want a name that dripped of money and instilled fear and admiration into everyone who heard it? It’s only natural.

But most importantly, I learned purpose and happiness don’t come from having everything you ever dreamed of and a closet full of Dior. Those are buried deep underneath everything else. They are found in vulnerability. They are found in giving and humbling yourself to another. They are found in supportive relationships. They are harder to find, but they are worth the risk.