Ten Lessons We’ve Learned From Watching Dawson’s Creek

1. It’s weird when teenagers have big vocabularies

The dialogue in Dawson’s Creek was not only hard to understand, it was also completely implausible. Teenagers only use words like “drama”, “jealousy”, and “homework.” A big word to use would be something like “monogamy.” But Dawson and the gang loved their thesaurus! They were just so self-aware and loved to articulate their emotions. If Dawson and Joey were real, everyone would just be like, “Who are those people who keep on saying ‘hyperbolic’ to each other in the cafeteria?”

2. If you have blonde hair and are from New York City, chances are you’re a teenage whore

Jen Lindley appeared in the first episode via a cloud of mystery and hydrogen peroxide. Dawson, in particular, was enchanted by the girl next door who bore a striking resemblance to the chick in Halloween: H20. As we later found out, however, Jen had been sexiled from the city after she had been caught fucking a random in her parents’ bed. Because that’s what happens when you are from New York City. You grow up too fast, suck too much dick, and are sent away to homely Massachusetts to live with your terrifying Christian grandmother. Duh!

3. If you have brown hair and are poor, you will be invisible for the first season

Joey Potter may look like a model, but her impoverished background and mousy brunette hair color has actually made her hideously ugly. For the first season, she fruitlessly pined over Dawson while he was distracted with Jen and her luscious blonde locks. It was a terrible thing! Then one day (the season finale), he looked at Joey, wiped away the dirt on her face that poor people acquire sometimes from being poor, and realized she was actually gorgeous. Weird!

4. Even though you’re a miserable virgin, you can turn down sex if it doesn’t feel right

A lot of Dawson’s Creek involved the main characters talking about sex but never actually having it. Dawson, in particular, loathed being a virgin, but whenever the opportunity to bone would arise, he would turn it down. Joey, Jen, and that weird girl Eve who was played by one of the Sweet Valley High twins, all offered to have sex with Dawson at one point or another. But what was his response? “BRB. Watching Jaws.‘” Fact: You can’t turn down sex when you’re a teenager. If someone who is even moderately attractive throws themselves at you, you will have sex with them and deal with the consequences later. (Just look at Teen Mom.) But Dawson would always turn sex down, and then proceed to complain about being a virgin. It was weird and definitely gay.

5. Mental illness is not a joke (unless your name is Andie McPhee)

In a weird subplot, the writers decided to give Pacey’s girlfriend, Andie, a vague mental illness. This sickness only lasted for a few episodes in which she dyed her hair brown, hallucinated, and broke mirrors. Then Andie was sent to the loony bin, released in time for the season premiere, and totally cured. It seriously made schizophrenia or whatever she had seem like a bad case of the blues.

6. Bad girls fall off of a dock and die!

Abby Morgan was the resident bad apple in school. Her character existed mainly to stir up shit between the principal cast members, and to say clever one-liners. In season two, Jen Lindley regressed to her wild child ways and became BFF with Abby. Together, the girls drank and generally caused a ruckus. Then Abby died. She fell off of a dock and died.

7. Being hot, charming, and gay means you will live a sad and lonely life

The character of Jack McPhee was exciting, confusing, and mostly sad. He was one of the first openly gay teen characters on a major network, and his coming out episode was thoughtful and precious. A season later they even let him kiss a boy! But alas, he was a casualty of the time. Jack being gay meant that his whole life revolved around heartache and disappointment. Every storyline he was involved in was a drab affair about the plights of being a gay man. When he went to college, the writers gave him some breathing room and once showed a scene of various men leaving his bedroom (because being happy and gay meant sleeping with strangers and helping them sneak out in the morning so Grams doesn’t see it!). Ugh, Jack McPhee was generally not a happy camper though. He carried the weight of the gay movement on his shoulders and it was kind of a bummer—for him and the closeted gays watching at home. I remember thinking to myself, “Um, if Jack McPhee can’t make it work, how can I?”

8. If you’re fun, you will go to rehab

The best thing to ever happen to Dawson’s Creek (besides Jen’s evolution as a fag hag/alternative goddess) was the casting of Busy Phillips as Audrey, Joey’s crazy free-spirited college roommate. On the show, being free-spirited translated to actually having a fun personality and not being a complete buzzkill like Joey. Oh, Joey! She started out so sassy and rebellious, and then quickly devolved into a joyless mess. But no one on Dawson’s Creek was allowed to have a good time without paying a price so Audrey was given a drinking problem in the last season and sent to rehab. She also became close with Jack Osbourne for some reason.

9. Ecstasy is a helluva drug

Even though ecstasy kills something like 5.2 people a year, Dawson’s Creek made Andie OD on it at a rave. Overdosing on E apparently meant seeing bright flashes of light and passing out in a jolly jump. I watched this episode when I was 13 years old and if anything, it made me want to try the drug more. #anitdrugfail

Paula Cole’s “I Don’t Wanna Wait” is a great theme song for a TV show

No, it’s not. TC mark

image – Dawson’s Creek

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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  • http://twitter.com/BrotherBear_Ry Ryan Culliver

    I was just casually reading…and then “Um, if Jack McPhee can’t make it work, how can I?” …I died after that.

  • http://twitter.com/SisterSoda Eva

    What a huge splash of nostalgia, I'm totally getting over emotional (Ryan you bastard!), we used to love this show with my girlfriends at 12-13.
    And here's the “not great” intro, I think it's freakin' awesome though, takes me right back.


  • http://stephgeorge.tumblr.com Stephanie Georgopulos

    This was great, loved that show in the worst way

  • inflammatorywrit

    I remember spying on my older sister while she was watching Dawson's Creek once. It was the episode where they stay up all night studying for a final (Shakespeare, maybe? Or am I thinking of Gilmore Girls?) and then it's cancelled at the last minute. I, in my 11 year old wisdom, based my entire idea of high school on how awesome that one episode seemed. I was such a sucker, in so many ways.

  • Mark C

    thanks for bringing up that thing about their vocabulary. I never understood why Pacey had to bang his teacher so he could pass English–kid sounded like Bryan A. Garner!

    • Ela

      He didn't do it so he could pass English, he did it because he genuinely had a thing for her. He didn't even know she was his teacher when they first met.

      • Mark C

        But he was failing at one point, wasn't he? I vaguely remember him having to go to summer school for English.

  • https://thoughtcatalog.com/2012/5-things-you-arent-allowed-to-do-if-you-have-a-crush-on-someone/ 5 Things You Aren’t Allowed To Do If You Have A Crush On Someone | Thought Catalog

    […] is this, an episode of Dawson’s Creek, you freaking psycho? If someone pulled up to my house in a rowboat, I’d take out my shotgun […]

  • http://www.itmakesmestronger.com/2012/12/5-things-you-aren%e2%80%99t-allowed-to-do-if-you-have-a-crush-on-someone/ Only L<3Ve @ ItMakesMeStronger.com

    […] is this, an episode of Dawson’s Creek, you freaking psycho? If someone pulled up to my house in a rowboat, I’d take out my shotgun […]

  • http://roaminghautean.wordpress.com roaminghautean

    Reblogged this on roaming hautean and commented:
    And then some

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