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Details, Nods, References to Original Show

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In a callback to the original series, the show opens with a shot of a train in New York City.

Trains passing through New York City on the original "Gossip Girl" series and the continuation show.

The new “Gossip Girl” series opens with a nod to the original show’s premiere episode.

HBO Max; The CW

On the continuation series, a teacher at Constance Billard named Kate Keller (played by former-blogger-turned-actress Tavi Gevinson) is seen on a train passing through Brooklyn.

On the original show, the premiere opened with Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively) on a train arriving at Grand Central Station. 

A shot of Kate looking through the window during her commute is reminiscent of Serena doing the same thing in the original pilot.

Tavi Gevinson and Blake Lively looking through windows on HBO's "Gossip Girl" and the original series.

In the top photo: Tavi Gevinson on the new “Gossip Girl” show. In the bottom photo: Blake Lively on the original series.

HBO Max; The CW

The context for the two moments differs, though. Kate is en route to Constance Billard for the first day of the new school year. 

On the original show, Serena made a return to NYC after attending a boarding school. 

Kate’s outfit bears a resemblance to Serena’s.

Tavi Gevinson and Blake Lively wearing striped shirts and tan jackets on HBO's "Gossip Girl" and the original series.

In the top photo: Tavi Gevinson on the new “Gossip Girl” show. In the bottom photo: Blake Lively on the original series.

HBO Max; The CW

Both characters are seen wearing striped shirts, tan jackets, and printed scarves around their necks. 

The Calloway home has a table that includes an MTV Video Music Awards moon-person statue and four Grammy awards.

Grammy trophies on a table on HBO Max's "Gossip Girl."

Julien Calloway’s father is well-known in the music industry.


The trophies belong to Julien Calloway’s (Jordan Alexander) dad named Davis, who works in the music industry. 

Zoya Lott (Whitney Peak) is an artist, as indicated by the “art not war” sign that can be seen in her room as she gets ready for her first day at Constance.

A girl sitting on a bed with her legs crossed in "Gossip Girl."

Whitney Peak on season one, episode one of “Gossip Girl.”


The decor of Zoya’s room also indicates that she lives a less opulent life than the other characters. 

A table in Zoya’s room has a stack of books from prolific authors, like Toni Morrison and James Baldwin.

A stack of books and a framed photo of a woman on a table in "Gossip Girl."

Zoya has several books in her room.


The pile includes Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye,” Baldwin’s “Notes on a Native Son,” and a literary magazine called the Paris Review. 

Zoya’s wearing a headband for her first day of high school, a hallmark accessory on the original series.

Two girls wearing headbands on the new "Gossip Girl" show and the original series.

In the top photo: Whitney Peak on the new “Gossip Girl” series. In the bottom photo: Leighton Meester on the original show.

HBO Max; The CW

On the new show, it’s technically a scarf that Zoya wears on her head. Julien’s friend Monet de Haan (Savannah Lee Smith) scoffs at Zoya’s fashion choice later on in the episode, implying that headbands are no longer as fashionable as they used to be. 

Zoya’s uniform looks similar to the one worn by Jenny Humphrey (Taylor Momsen) on the original series.

Whitney Peak and Taylor Momsen wearing high school uniforms on "Gossip Girl."

On the left: Whitney Peak on the new “Gossip Girl” series. On the right: Taylor Momsen on the original series.

HBO Max; The CW

Both characters are doe-eyed and naive when they arrive at Constance Billard. 

Julien lives in a penthouse in Tribeca and Zoya resides in an apartment on the Upper West Side.

A smartphone screen seen on "Gossip Girl."

A smartphone screen seen on “Gossip Girl.”


This is revealed when viewers see Julien ordering a metallic dress from Alice + Olivia online. She lists Zoya’s address as the shipping address but has the purchase billed to herself at 400 Duane St., Penthouse 55, New York, NY 10013. 

Kate says the school produced “great people,” including Caroline Kennedy, Coulson Whitehead, and Nate Archibald.

Chace Crawford as Nate Archibald on "Gossip Girl."

Chace Crawford on season one of “Gossip Girl.”

The CW

Kate’s mention of the original GG character Nate (Chace Crawford) suggests that he became a notable figure in the years since he was last seen on the prior show. 

Although, a teacher named Rebecca Sherman (Sarah Baskin) reminds Kate that Nate didn’t have a squeaky clean image when he was a student at St. Jude’s. 

Rebecca pulls up the Gossip Girl site and reminds everyone that Dan Humphrey was the blogger.

dan gossip girl

Penn Badgley as Dan Humphrey on season two of “Gossip Girl.”

The CW

“People thought it was me, but it was actually one of my classmates, Dan Humphrey,” she says as she explains to her colleagues how GG kept the students in line and made them accountable for their actions.  

It’s unclear what Dan (Penn Badgley) has been up to since he came clean about his identity on the finale of the original series. But Kate refers to him as a “novelist,” which means he’s still a writer. 

The last GG blog post is from December 17, 2012. Coincidentally, that’s the exact day that the original series aired its finale.

An old blog post on the show "Gossip Girl."

The original Gossip Girl blog was run by Dan Humphrey.


The new show is set in 2021, nine years after the blog went dark. The series also takes place post-pandemic. 

Kate calls out Blair Waldorf’s (Leighton Meester) and Chuck Bass’ (Ed Westwick) toxic relationship.

In the top photo, a woman holds a smartphone. In the bottom photo: Leighton Meester and Ed Westwick are see on "Gossip Girl."

Leighton Meester and Ed Westwick starred as Blair and Chuck, respectively, on “Gossip Girl.”

HBO Max; The

As Kate scrolls through the GG blog, she says: “This Chuck and Blair thing is out of control. Definitely pre-cancel culture.”

This is a nod to one of the most problematic and polarizing couples on the original show.

The other teachers also mention far-fetched, unrealistic plots from the original series, like Blair being the Princess of Monaco for six months or high-school senior Dan getting published in the New Yorker.

Obie (Eli Brown) drinks from a compostable, disposable cup.

Eli Brown holding a compostable cup on "Gossip Girl."

Eli Brown on season one, episode one “Gossip Girl.”


This is a nod to his character being environmentally and socially conscious. In the same episode, Julien calls him “guilty rich.” 

The series premiere references Chuck being heartbroken during season one of the original show.

In the top photo: A person looks at a blog on a smartphone on "Gossip Girl." In the bottom photo: Ed Westwick as Chuck Bass on "Gossip Girl."

Ed Westwick starred as Chuck Bass on “Gossip Girl.”

HBO Max; The CW

On the HBO show, the teachers read a post that says, “Spotted: Chuck Bass losing something no one knew he had. His heart.”

The same phrase was uttered by GG on season one, episode 10 (“Hi, Society”) when Chuck became jealous after seeing Blair and Nate kissing.

On episode two, Zoya carries a tote bag supporting Black-owned businesses.

Whitney Peak and Jordan Alexander talking in a bathroom on episode two of "Gossip Girl."

Whitney Peak and Jordan Alexander on season one, episode two of “Gossip Girl.”


The show’s costume designer, Eric Daman, told InStyle that Zoya’s status as an outsider informs her accessories.

“She has aspirations that are socio-political and is an activist,” he said. “We integrate that and what that means to how she dresses with vintage and incorporating Black-owned businesses with school totes that she uses or sweatshirts.”

Fans are reintroduced to original GG character Georgina Sparks’ (Michelle Trachtenberg) son named Milo on episode four.

Azhy Robertson as Milo Sparks on episode four of "Gossip Girl."

Azhy Robertson on episode four of “Gossip Girl.”


On the episode, he refers to himself as Milo Sparks — though fans of the original series will recall that his surname used to Humphrey because Dan Humphrey is legally his father. Milo’s biological father is a Russian man named Serge, who was married and had an affair with Georgina.

Milo was born at the start of season four of the original show. 

On the new iteration, Milo tells Zoya that he’s a 10-year-old boy in the eighth grade at St. Jude’s, with a knack for problem-solving.

Milo’s home features framed photos of Georgina posing with famous people. There’s also a photo of Blair Waldorf on the wall.

Framed photos of Michelle Trachtenberg's "Gossip Girl" character, Georgina, with Elon Musk and Ed Sheeran, along with a photo of Leighton Meester as Blair Waldorf.

Episode four features an appearance from the child of an original cast member.


Zoya reluctantly accepts Milo’s help in her ongoing feud with Julien. At the house, the camera pans to images of Georgina with Kim Jong-un, Vladimir Putin, Elon Musk, and Ed Sheeran.

Zoya carries the book “Looking for Lorraine” on the bus.

The biography "Looking for Lorraine" seen on episode five of "Gossip Girl."

Zoya can be seen holding the book “Looking for Lorraine” on “Gossip Girl.”


The biography was written by Imani Perry and centered on late playwright Lorraine Hansberry, known for the play “A Raisin in the Sun.”

Considering Zoya’s love for theater, her book choice makes sense. But instead of reading it, Zoya finds herself obsessively scrolling through Gossip Girl’s Instagram posts. 

Original “GG” character Nelly Yuki, played by Yin Chang, returns on the new series.

"Gossip Girl" character Nelly Yuki on the new show and on the original series.

Yin Chang as Nelly Yuki.

HBO Max; The CW

She was first introduced as Blair’s academic rival on season one of “Gossip Girl” and recurred on the series. On the final season, Nelly returned as a reporter from Women’s Wear Daily.

On the new series, Nelly appears at a Halloween party dressed as editor Eva Chen. It’s revealed that she now works at New York Magazine. 

Davis reads a TMZ article about the return of the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade.

A laptop screen with a TMZ article displayed on season one of "Gossip Girl" on HBO Max.

Davis Calloway reads TMZ.


According to the article, tourism numbers in NYC were rising ahead of the famous parade. 

On episode eight, fans see that frequently-Googled questions about Davis include queries about his career and personal life.

A Google search page seen on a laptop on season one of "Gossip Girl."

Kate Keller does an Internet search on Davis Calloway on episode eight.


People who Google the producer ask about his most popular song, if he’s related to Julien, what his net worth is, and if he’s still married. 

The knight outfit worn by an NYE partygoer who approaches Julien during the final scene was likely stolen from the Menzies’ cellar.

A knight outfit seen on episode 12 of "Gossip Girl."

Jordan Alexander on season one, episode 12 of “Gossip Girl.”


Earlier in the finale, Zoya passes the armor while getting bottles of wine from the cellar. At the end of the episode, the man approaches Julien while in the costume and asks who she is. 

In response, she says: “I’m Julien fucking Calloway.”

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