Gossip Girl threw us all for a loop when we learned Dan Humphrey (A.K.A Lonely Boy A.K.A. Penn Badgley) was the titular, anonymous blogger wreaking havoc on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. It was a reveal that shocked and enraged fans across the world; they’re still talking about it. Sure, making one of the main characters Gossip Girl is thrilling, but it doesn’t make sense at all.
Or does it? Because I’m deranged, I re-watched Gossip Girl’s pilot to see if there were any signs that Dan was The Chosen One. And guess what? There were! In fact, there were 10. If fans watch the show’s first episode carefully, the Dan reveal isn’t that surprising after all. Allow me to explain.
We first hear from Gossip Girl in Grand Central Station, where Serena is returning from boarding school. Who else is at Grand Central Station on that very same day, you ask? Dan. Effing. Humphrey. It’s no coincidence that this is where the story begins. Gossip Girl became much more of a visceral presence when Dan noticed Serena at Grand Central and proceeded to infiltrate her inner circle and heart.
On the bus to school, Dan hovers over Nate and Chuck and listens intently to their conversation. Taking notes for his website, perhaps?
And then Chuck asks Dan if he is following them. Yes. Yes, he is.
When Jenny tells Dan that she saw Gossip Girl’s website opened up on his computer, he gets defensive, smug, and dismisses it as a “chicks'” blog. He then quickly tries to change the subject. This is exactly the kind of reaction that someone who is trying to hide something would have. Dan overtly tries to make it seem like he doesn’t read or care about Gossip Girl—but the lady doth protest too much.
Dan knows what the Kiss on the Lips party is. “I’ve never been invited,” Dan says with a tone that suggests he’s always wanted to be invited. Is that because he’s Gossip Girl and needs the scoop?!
Dan agrees that he and Jenny are both “anonymous losers.” Do you know who else is anonymous? Gossip Girl.
Jenny tells Dan that Serena is staying at the Palace Hotel, so he goes there to woo her. In the process, Chuck assaults Serena, which causes her to flee and bump into Dan. All of this ends up on Gossip Girl. Was that because Dan was watching the entire time?
Dan waits until the morning after to return Serena’s phone to the Palace Hotel. The Palace is fancy and more than likely has a 24-hour concierge service, which means Dan could’ve returned Serena’s phone the night he got it. He purposefully took the phone home and waited until the next morning to bring it back. Why? Answer: He’s mother effing Gossip Girl and wanted to sleuth through Serena’s phone! Orrrr he was just being a creep. Probably both.
He feels the need to say, “My name is Dan Humphrey!” when saving his sister from Chuck. Because that introduction was so necessary, right? His Upper East Side ego was already a thing in the pilot!
Annnd the smoking gun: At one point in the pilot, Dan literally says the phrase, “Save some trees. Have a blog.” Receipts, receipts, receipts!
There you have it, Upper East Siders: Definitive proof Daniel Humphrey was a cackling sociopath this entire time.