Gossip Girl here—ready for a bombshell Upper East Siders? It’s been 10 years since Serena van der Woodsen, Blair Waldorf and their squad first appeared on TV screens.
It may be hard to believe, but The CW’s hit series Gossip Girl premiered exactly one full decade ago. The show went on to become a massive successful franchise that kicked off an era of pearl chokers, headbands, love triangles and, of course, gossip.
It was a show that changed pop culture and one repeatedly iconic aspect of the show was its music. Compiled by music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas (The O.C., Twilight, Grey’s Anatomy), the show’s music was a mix of indie-rock and mainstream pop—including music’s major artists and unknown alternative bands. The songs were stylistically disparate, yet they worked together as a whole—and that’s what made the music on the show so good.
So, in honour of its anniversary, here are some the most memorable music moments from Gossip Girl (xoxo).
Peter Bjorn and John’s “Young Folks” is the perfect opener for the series’ very first episode. It’s upbeat sound and catchy lyrics entice viewers into the Gossip Girl universe and from the moment the opening scene started and this song played, everyone everywhere was instantly hooked on the show.
After Blair moonlights as a stripper, she and Chuck head home in his limo which leads to one of the steamiest make out scenes of the show. Set to “With Me” by Sum 41, the scene is hot but Deryk Whibley’s raspy, crooning voice in the background makes in one of the more romantic, swoon-worthy moments of Gossip Girl.
Timbaland’s “Apologize” was a peak track for fall 2007, with the song swelling right as Rufus realizes Lily only broke up with him because of CeCe—shattering every viewer’s heart in a single, melodic moment. The track also closes the episode with Blair and Nate hooking up, thus setting the mood for just how complicated the Nate-Blair-Chuck love triangle would get throughout the rest of Season 1.
The great thing about Gossip Girl’s soundtrack was that it also featured music from its cast. The Filthy Youth—fronted IRL by Ed Westwick who plays rebel Chuck Bass—is an edgy, British alt-rock band who’s music highlighted Chuck’s bad behaviour throughout this episode. It also made North American viewers take notice of his band’s talent.
There’s nothing like a Death Cab for Cutie song to make you rethink all your relationship choices. At Lily and Bart’s wedding, “The Ice Is Getting Thinner” softly plays as Dan and Serena finally figure out they’re not going to work out—creating a tear jerking moment for viewers as they register that Rufus and Lily could have been together had Serena and Dan known this sooner.
Season 2’s “white party” is well-remembered as one the best set scenes in Gossip Girl as it sets up one of the sauciest plotlines for the season—Nate’s love triangle with Vanessa and married socialite Catherine. Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” is the perfect track to underscore this scene as Serena kisses Nate to help make Catherine jealous. Talk about drama.
After Dan dares to go on a date with a new transfer student, he finds himself back at the bottom of the social pyramid with his ex Serena on top. Santigold’s sassy and electric “Shove It” thumps in the background as Serena shakes her head at Dan and struts away – setting the standard for how every old flame wants to appear to their ex.
Of course Patsavas would bring in some Lana Del Rey to give viewers all the feels during one of Chuck’s big speeches to Blair. The song choice is fitting as it’s about one’s devotion to a damaging partner, making the scene that much more emotional. The show paints the relationship of Chuck and Blair as a great romance and setting one of their emotional scenes against Lana’s melancholy lyrics pulls at the heart strings.
By the middle of Season 6, Dan and Serena are finally back together and it seems like everything is sailing along smoothly. That is until Dan reveals to Georgina he’s only dating Serena again to get dirt on her for an exposé in Vanity Fair. The Chromatics’ “Kill For Love” establishes the tone of the episode as the song peaks with the revealing of the final plot twist, matching the drumming beats to the anticipation of what’s to come.
What’s the perfect tune to end a series with? Anything from Florence Welch. Gossip Girl ends its final season with Dan and Serena finally tying the knot while “You’ve Got The Love” plays wistfully in the background. But of course Gossip Girl herself wouldn’t want to end things on too happy of a note. Florence + the Machine quickly turns into rocker Taylor Momsen’s (aka Jenny Humphrey) “Kill Me” with her band The Pretty Reckless. The seamless transition into these songs best represents how the series seemingly opposite music choices actually work.