Gossip Girl Wiki
Gossip Girl Wiki

Hi, Society is the 10th episode of the first season and the 10th overall.

"Hey Upper East Siders, it's that time of year again. When the mere act of descending a staircase means you're a woman. That's right, debutante season. And from what we hear, there's been some changes to the lineup."

-Gossip Girl


Serena has no intent on attending the annual Cotillion Ball but when her grandmother CeCe arrives, the agenda changes. Meanwhile, Chuck tries to kill two birds with one stone by using Carter Baizen to keep Blair and Nate apart for selfish reasons and Jenny defies her mother.


The episode begins with Blair and Serena walking to dance rehearsals. Blair is telling Serena how excited she is to be going to the ball with Prince Theodore, and not Nate. She talks about how the further they get from the breakup, the more she's realizing it was the right choice. She also tells Serena that the New York Times is doing an article on her at Cotillion. Meanwhile, Nate and Chuck are also on their way to rehearsals. Nate asks Chuck if he's talked to Blair recently. He admits to Chuck that he is starting to miss Blair, and he's starting to realize she's seemed happier lately. Also, Dan and Jenny are headed to rehearsals. Jenny doesn't understand why Dan isn't at all interested in going, as she is. Dan explains that he thinks the ball is antiquated and classist, and that he's only going to rehearsals to see Serena.

At rehearsals, Dan and Jenny meet up with Serena and Lily. Serena is excited to introduce Dan to CeCe, and Lily notices Jenny mesmerized by the dancing and invites her to volunteer. Jenny agrees immediately, but then realizes the ball is Sunday, not Saturday. She tells Lily she'll call her and leaves. CeCe shows up and Serena excitedly introduces her to Dan. CeCe mentions to Dan how she heard that he was glad Serena decided not to go to the ball. He explains how the ball seems to be a remnant from a different age and is a waste of money. She defends the ball, saying it teaches young women good graces. She then approaches Lily, and asks about Dan being a Humphrey. At the Waldorf penthouse, Blair and Chuck are making out in her room. Nate unexpectedly shows up, and Blair goes to talk to him. She demands to know what he's doing there, and he confesses that after rehearsals he wasn't able to stop thinking about her. He shows her the sweater she gave him as a gift, with her heart pin sewn on the sleeve. She listens to what he has to say, and agrees to go to the ball with him as friends. Upstairs, Chuck overhears the conversation and begins to get jealous.

At Rufus' art gallery, Jenny asks him permission to volunteer at the ball even though it's the same night as Alison's art opening. He says no, and Alison shows up and asks what volunteer position they're talking about. Annoyed, Jenny goes to leave and answers that it doesn't matter because Rufus said she can't go. Alison stops her, and shows her the day's thrift shop finds, which include a pair of vintage heels she can wear to the opening. Jenny rudely remarks that the kids she goes to school with buy high end product, and she can't be walking in someone's old shoes before leaving. At The Palace in the VDW suite, CeCe admits to Lily that her doctors might have found something in her lung and all she wants is to see Serena make a debut. Lily quickly agrees, worried for her mother's health, and when Serena comes into the room, Lily informs her that she will be going.

The next day, Nate is getting his tuxedo fitted and is wondering where Blair is. She shows up late, with a multitude of excuses. He tells her about how he picked up champagne she likes, and offers to take her out for dessert afterwards. While he talks, Blair is texting Chuck and not paying attention. She drops her phone, and Nate asks who keeps texting her. Blair lies and says it's Serena, and that she has to go home because Eleanor had to go to Paris and is unable to host a tea for CeCe she was supposed to. Nate offers to stop by and help, but Blair rejects the offer. At a department store, Jenny has met up with Lily and told her it's fine for her to volunteer. Lily asks if Alison and Rufus for sure gave permission and know she's in charge, and Jenny lies and says yes. They then run into Alison, and they're all surprised to see each other. Lily thanks Alison for letting Jenny come to the ball, and that Cotillions really are important and teach girls good social graces. Alison sarcastically remarks that she's sure Jenny will learn a lot and leaves without Jenny. When she does, Jenny sees shoes Alison was about to buy for her and begins to feel guilty.

In the elevator up to the Waldorf penthouse, Serena thanks Dan for coming with her. She explains that she talked to Lily and only agreed to go if she can be completely herself. Upstairs, CeCe introduces Carter Baizen to Serena as her escort. She brushes Dan off, and tries to sell Serena on Carter. When they all sit down, Carter tells about how he spent time in Dubai. CeCe tells Serena that Carter is like a phoenix risen from the ashes. At the loft, Jenny tries on clothes she bought with Lily. Alison comes in the room, and Jenny says she kept the tags and will return everything the next day. Alison that she knows that her coming home has been hard, but doesn't want to lose Jenny. Jenny replies by saying if Alison was still in Hudson she could go. Alison tells her she can come to the opening and that she's then grounded for a week. At The Palace, Nate asks Chuck to find out if Blair is seeing someone and Chuck readily agrees. At the Waldorf's, CeCe gives Dan several reasons as to why he will never end up with Serena, and offending him in every way possible. Serena comes over and asks what they're talking about, and Dan announces he's taking her to the ball. Later, Blair finishes an interview with the New York Times when Chuck shows up. Blair asks him to leave, saying Carter is on his way over and she doesn't want Chuck there when he gets there. He asks what she's doing with Carter, and she says he forgot his jacket and is coming to get it,

At the art gallery, CeCe goes to see Rufus. She offers to buy all of Alison's artwork in exchange for Dan not going to the ball with Serena. Rufus refuses, saying Dan cannot be bought. CeCe assures him that Serena, like Lily, can be. She informs him that when he was still with Lily, she gave her the choice between her inheritance and him and it was clear which one she chose. He rushes home to find Dan getting ready. He instructs him to do the Humphrey men proud and that it's okay that he's going. He tells him that CeCe came to see him and made him an offer. At The Palace, CeCe is not okay with Serena's presentation statement and tells Lily to fix it, and that since Serena is doing it for her, it has to be right. Serena calls Jenny and asks where she is, and lets it slip that Dan is coming. Despite not being allowed, Jenny decides to go anyway. Outside the Waldorf's, Chuck videotapes Carter leaving the building and sends it to Gossip Girl, hoping to stir up some drama.

When Dan arrives to pick up Serena, he tells her what CeCe did. Serena doesn't believe him, and they decide to not go together anymore. She begins to tear up when he leaves, and CeCe offers to get Carter on the phone. Elsewhere, Nate sees the video of Carter and is infuriated. Chuck suggests they get him in a public setting and get revenge on him for everything. Nate agrees, but isn't sure when they'll have a chance. Chuck spots Carter arriving for the ball and says it will be sooner then they think.

At the ball, Serena finds out that her mother rewrote her statement behind her back and tells Jenny that Dan isn't coming anymore. Carter tries to apologise to Nate but Nate ignores it. The girls begin to get presented when it's Serena's turn, the presenter reads off a statement about Serena's plans to bed as many billionaires as she can before realising there's a mistake. At the gallery, Dan tells Rufus how CeCe won. Alison approaches looking for Jenny, and Dan says to let her be ten minutes late before getting mad. Back at the ball, the group is doing their ballroom dance. Chuck sees Carter and Blair, and whispers to Nate that he just told Blair what he's going to do to her that night. Jealous, Nate interrupts the dance and punches Carter and begins to beat him. Blair is angry that the two ripped her dress. Jenny is trying to leave to make it to the opening, but Blair tells her that all is forgiven if she fixes her dress. Outside, Lily confronts Serena on the antics of the night. She defends her actions by saying she has to present herself well, and Serena is lost on where Lily stopped letting her be herself. She tells Lily that she can't accept herself if her own mother doesn't. She calls Dan to come, and he does. Serena tries to soothe Carter's wounds, and he says it's not as painful as waking up in Santorini without her and that he was surprised to get CeCe's call a week prior. Serena realises that CeCe was planning on making her go the whole time.

Dan and Lily meet outside, and she confesses all the reasons Dan belongs with Serena and she invites him call her Lily and to come inside. Meanwhile, Chuck and Blair begin to dance. She realises he ruined her Cotillion for his own enjoyment, and says the thing they have going is over for good and leaves him. CeCe tells Serena she made quite a mess, but the committee is willing to reissue her statement. Serena asks if she's even sick, and CeCe admits that she's not but could be, proving she was lying all along. She says things aren't the way they were when CeCe was young, and CeCe, seeing Dan, agrees. Dan and Serena begin to dance. Upstairs, Chuck is desperately looking for Blair. He sees her kissing Nate, and watches as the two disappear into a room. At the gallery, Jenny arrives to find the party over and everyone gone. She apologises to Alison, who accepts her apology, but says it doesn't make what she did okay. She tells her to look at herself and ask if she likes the person she's becoming. Meanwhile, Rufus calls Lily and says he found out about the ultimatum over the inheritance. Rufus says that maybe things could have been different if she hadn't left him for William van der Woodsen and that he never should have let her let him go. After they hang up, Lily sees Dan and Serena dance together happily downstairs. CeCe takes pills, Nate and Blair have sex for the first time, and Chuck, having had his heart broken by Blair, leaves for the airport.


Main Cast[]

Recurring/Guest Cast[]


  • Comin' Home Baby by Mel Tormé
  • Secret by The Pierces
  • You're A Wolf by Sea Wolf
  • Pretty Please by Lissa
  • Concerto in F Minor for Violin by Joshua Bell
  • What For by Rooney
  • Three Wishes by The Pierces
  • Apologize by OneRepublic

Memorable Quotes[]

Blair: A girl wants Romeo, not Hamlet.

Serena: Romeo died.

Blair: Yeah, but he died for something exciting!


CeCe (to Dan): The way you feel? It never goes away. It just gets worse. You'll always use your dessert fork for your entree, you'll always feel underdressed no matter what you wear, and at dinner parties it will be as if you hear a language that sounds like English and you think you speak it but they don't hear you, and you don't understand them. As time passes, you'll feel that people never see you when they look at you but wonder really if you're Serena's whim or her charity case. Until the day comes when you realize that girls like Serena don't end up with Dan Humphrey. They end up with the Carters of the world and um, people like you, they turn into cocktail party anecdotes of their foolish youth.


Rufus (to CeCe): I would say it's nice to see you but I know you hate dishonesty.


Dan (on CeCe to Serena): That woman is the most manipulative person I have ever met. She makes your mother look like Ghandi.


Lily: Oh, you make a fool of the presenter, then you start a brawl. I mean, what's next, Serena? "Girls Gone Wild"?

Serena: Serena van der Woodsen wants to work for the Junior League and have two children?

Lily: It's a Society Ball, Serena. You have to represent yourself well.

Serena: How is it representing myself well if it's all lies? What happened to you between our talk and now? I did this because I knew how important it was for you and Grandma, and you said that if I did It, I could be myself. You don't really want that, do you?

Lily: No, it's not entirely true.

Serena: All you care about when people look at me is what they think of you. How am I supposed to accept myself if my own mother doesn't accept me?

Lily: Oh, honey, of course I accept you.

Serena: No. No, you don't, but let me tell you something. If I ever do have those two children, I would never do this to them. I would accept them for who they are, including who they date, no matter what, and I'd make sure they damn well knew it.


Rufus (to Lily): I never should have let you let me go.



  • The episode title is based off the movie High Society.
  • The ball was held on December 16, 2007 at The Palace Hotel
  • The Pierces performed live at the ball and they performed the song Secret; which also serves as the Pretty Little Liars theme song.
  • This is the first appearance of CeCe Rhodes.

Cultural References[]

  • Romeo/Hamlet - Blair mentions the Shakespearean characters to Serena.
  • The Pierre - Blair references the historical hotel when talking about her night with the prince.
  • The New York Times - The newspaper is doing an article on "A Night Out With," and featuring Blair and the prince at Cotillion.
  • Tanqueray - Lily mentions the gin as a key to CeCe's happiness.
  • Saks and Bendels - Jenny tells Alison that her classmates shop at the high end stores.
  • Laurent-Perrier - Nate gets the champagne for Blair.
  • The Modern - Nate offers to take Blair to the restaurant after the ball for dessert.
  • Burj Al Arab - Blair asks Carter if he stayed at the luxury hotel in Dubai.
  • Ghandi - Dan says CeCe makes Lily look like the humanitarian.
  • Naomi Campbell - Blair threatens to go Naomi Campbell on the staff at the ball.
  • New York Public Library/Lincoln Center - Kati's parents support the causes.
  • Girls Gone Wild - Lily sarcastically mentions the reality show to Serena.