college admissions scandal

More Proof That Gossip Girl Was Not Fiction

Serena van der Woodsen, studying for the SATs.
Serena van der Woodsen, studying for the SATs. Photo: Gossip Girl/The CW

The recent news of the college admissions cheating scandal — which allegedly involved bribery, entrance-exam fraud, a life coach, a vlogger, actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, and rich kids’ heads Photoshopped onto athletes’s bodies — likely surprised many people. But avid followers of the prophetic show Gossip Girl saw this scam coming a mile away.

The first season of Gossip Girl once dubbed by New York as “the most important show of our time” — focuses on the wealthy teen protagonists’s junior years at exclusive Manhattan prep schools. There was limo sex, bar sex, gallery sex, blackmail, embezzlement, teens in couture, a startling lack of adult supervision and/or parental guidance, and a murder confession that turned out to not be about murder.

With that, of course, also comes a plot involving SAT cheating, that hits eerily close to home with the latest scandal. Let us revisit:

Blair Waldorf, studying for the SATs.
Blair Waldorf, also studying for the SATs. Photo: Gossip Girl/The CW

In season one, Serena van der Woodsen is a reformed party girl, who is inspired by her boyfriend Dan Humphrey (who is later revealed to be Gossip Girl himself!) to be a better student and actually study for the SATs. But when her former party buddy Georgina Sparks comes back to town, Serena agrees to go out the night before the SATs out of fear that Georgina might reveal her secret (which we later learn is that non-murder). And guess what? Georgina roofies her!!! Before the SATs!!! Oh boy.

But never fear, because Serena’s soon-to-be stepbrother Chuck Bass steps up to help her out, or so she thinks. Chuck pays a girl to take the SATs for Serena (without her permission or knowledge, how rude) — just as he had also paid a guy to take the SATs for him.

And as my esteemed colleague at Vulture, Hunter Harris, pointed out on Twitter, that wasn’t the only SAT-related scheming plotline that episode; Blair Waldorf also tried to manipulate her classmate Nelly Yuki into doing poorly on the exam, because Yale University would only accept one student from their class each year:

This only serves as proof that Gossip Girl — which, let the record state, also includes a plot in which a rich-real estate tycoon’s son repeatedly tries and fails to gain his father’s respect — might be the modern-day Nostradamus. I fully expect a handsome Armie Hammer–type to be exposed for a Ponzi scheme involving an Upper East Side high-school senior next.

More Proof That Gossip Girl Was Not Fiction