Monstrous Ball is the 5th episode of the sixth season and 116th episode overall.
New day, new debs. All dressed up to enter high society. But one fashion faux pas, and the dressing down will last a lifetime.
After Eleanor gives Blair an ultimatum, Blair is even more determined to remedy Waldorf Designs’ problems by making a splash with a dress at the upcoming Cotillion, but a shocking revelation at the ball affects everyone. Serena becomes worried about Steven’s attitude toward her, but after some investigating she discovers the surprising reason why. Chuck finds an unlikely ally as he tries to drive a wedge between Bart and Lily’s relationship to help expose his father’s secret. Meanwhile, Dan publishes another article, but the effect is just the opposite of what he was hoping for.
The episode begins with Blair showing Dan and Dorota her new dress design. Blair insists she's trying to bring in traditional designs to downplay the sexual vibe Nelly wrote her clothes exude. Dan advises her to use it as an advantage and shock value brings in attention. Blair realizes he's right and heads back to the drawing board. At the same time, Georgina arrives at the Waldorf's in search of Dan. At Steven's apartment, Serrena notices that he's been acting distant and not really talking to her. Sage sits down and says she's getting her Cotillion dress refitted. Serena tells her that she's sure her Cotillion will be a magical night, especially because her's was one of the best nights of her life. Sage sarcastically asks if that's Serena's way of inviting herself but Serena assures her it isn't. Steven jumps in and says he meant to invite Serena but forgot and leaves for work. Back at the Waldorf's, Georgina demands the Blair chapter. Dan says it isn't ready and Georgina tells him he has until noon to turn it in. After she leaves, Dorota comes in and asks Dan if he's seen Blair because she left without her lucky charm necklace, the necklace with Chuck's engagement ring on it. Dan realizes it's an engagement ring, but Dorota explains that it's only Blair's lucky charm until Chuck defeats Bart. When she leaves the room, Dan calls the magazine and says he is no longer sending the Blair chapter, he'll be sending the one on Chuck.
At the loft, Ivy arrives back from an errand on the phone. She explains that Rufus burned the letters she got her Lily ammo from and she needs time to find new dirt, plus Nate now is refusing to publish bad Lily press in The Spectator. She sees Rufus and quickly hangs up. He explains that the gallery's contractor called because a pipe burst and ruined the floors and he needs to meet him right away. At The Empire, Nate asks why Chuck hasn't turned Bart in yet. Chuck explains that he doesn't have the proof and needs to find some before he takes action. Nate says that businessmen have to keep track of financial records somewhere and if Chuck can't find it in any business accounts, it has to be in a personal one. Chuck realizes he's right and decides to ask Lily for help. He noticed Nate's tux and wishes him luck at his third Cotillion. Serena arrives to ask Nate advice on Steven's behavior. Nate remarks that he doesn't know what to really tell her, and says that all his exes at this point would probably just look through his phone or emails and Serena gets an idea. Outside, Chuck meets Lily outside a shop she's at. He begs for her help, but she declines, saying Bart told her not to see or talk to Chuck until he stops getting into their business. She says she wishes he would fix things with Bart so they can be a family again and leaves. Overhearing this, Ivy approaches Chuck and asks if she can help him instead.
Outside Steven's apartment, Blair confronts Sage and asks her to wear one of her designs to Cotillion. Sage refuses, saying she doesn't have any interest in representing Waldorf Designs. Inside, Serena goes through Steven's briefcase and finds an engagement ring inside. Excited, she starts dancing to herself until Sage asks what she's doing. Serena quickly puts the ring back and says she was just using Steven's computer and explains she's so excited for Sage to debut. She says she'll see her there and leaves. After she's gone, Sage finds the ring. Outside, Chuck is still trying to get Ivy to leave him alone. Ivy says she wants Lily to leave her alone, and stay out of her relationship with Rufus. Chuck refuses again, saying he won't hurt Lily. She suggests they plant evidence to make it look like Chuck and Lily are communicating, and Chuck admits it's not a bad idea but he was banned from the building. Ivy says she wasn't, and reveals she still has a keycard to the apartment.
Meanwhile, Sage confronts Steven about the ring. Steven replies that he isn't comfortable with Serena moving in unless they're engaged and now that Sage knows, he just needs to get Lily's permission. At the atelier, Blair is dressing Jessica to come out at Cotillion and promote the line. Dan arrives and brings coffee for Blair. Jessica tells Dan that his chapter on Chuck is her favorite, and Blair kicks Dan out of her apartment. Jessica assures Blair that the chapter is nice and Dan wrote Chuck to be like a superhero. Dan tells Blair to ask Chuck if he's mad about it when picks her up for Cotillion and Blair replies that he isn't going. Dan sarcastically replies that it's because they can't be together until Chuck achieves his goal and an annoyed Blair tells him to leave. At the VDW's, Serena visits Lily to tell her she thinks Steven is going to propose. Lily replies that she had a feeling and Steven called to ask if he could meet with her because he has something to ask her. Serena realizes that he is really going to propose and Lily asks if she's sure she's ready. Serena says she never really thought about it but that after she saw the ring, she got butterflies. Lily says that she is still so young and she thought that maybe since her and Rufus split, maybe Serena and Dan would try again. Serena admits she thought that too but then they had their huge fight and she met Steven. She confesses that this is the first real honest and healthy relationship that she's ever had and goes off to get a manicure. Back at the atelier, Sage arrives to see Blair. She fills her in on Steven planning to propose to Serena and asks if Blair will help her stop it, in exchange for her wearing a Waldorf Designs dress. Blair asks for insurance, and Sage promises she'll behave because she really doesn't want Serena and Steven to get married. Blair says she'll delay the proposal for the night and if Sage holds up her end of the deal, they can discuss ending it for good.
At the VDW's, Ivy successfully gets into the apartment and calls Chuck. He instructs her to spray his cologne and place a copy of Bart's will on Lily's desk, then to pour a glass of scotch and drink it all. She finishes just as Bart walks into the apartment and asks who she is. Before Lily can meet with Steven, Blair calls. She hints to Lily that Serena might not be thinking things through and she needs to be reminded to come back to earth. Lily realizes there's a point to what Blair's saying and when Steven shows up, she tells him she knows exactly why he wanted to meet. Blair tells Sage that all she has to do to delay the proposal is hint to Lily that Serena needs saving and she'll jump right into protective mother mode. She reminds her that even if that doesn't work, they still have the other part of the plan to do. Back at the VDW's, Bart tells Ivy she can either tell him who she is or she can tell the cops. Ivy lies that she's Larissa the housekeeper's daughter and she was sent to clean up a mess. Ivy grabs the will and Bart orders her to hand it over. He realizes what it is, then notices the scotch glass and figures Chuck was there. Distracted, he tells her she can leave. At the Waldorf's, Blair comes downstairs and finds Dan. He says he's there to take her to Cotillion and she agrees to go with him.
Serena is getting her nails down when she gets a text from Steven saying he doesn't think she should come after all. Immediately after, she gets a Gossip Girl blast with a photo of Steven leaving Harry Winston. The photo is captioned that Steven went in with a ring and walked out without one.
At Cotillion, Georgina asks Dan where the Blair chapter is. Dan says that his next chapter isn't due for a week but Georgina demands it anyway, citing that if he isn't careful he'll turn his scathing expose into a sentimental love sonnet about him still being in love with Blair. Dan insists that his feelings aren't delusional and because the engagement ring is not on her finger, he still has a chance to win her back. Georgina reveals she has a copy of his sex tape with Serena. She blackmails Dan and says she'll show Blair if he doesn't get her the Blair chapter right away, and Dan agrees to have it to her by midnight. Meanwhile, Sage is listening to the whole conversation. She purposefully runs into Georgina and steals her phone. Dan brings Blair some champagne and Chuck surprises Blair by showing up. She abandons Dan to be with him, but he follows and sees Blair fall all over herself talking to Chuck. He explains that he's there to speak to Lily and hopefully get the aftermath of his setup with Ivy once Bart found out. Blair sees Serena arrive and goes off to find Sage. Elsewhere, Serena confronts Lily about ruining her proposal. Lily says all she did was mention to Steven that she wasn't sure Serena was ready for such a sudden and big move. Lily also admits Blair called and expressed her concerns as well. Angry that Lily keeps ruining her relationships, she walks off. Blair finds Sage and demands to know why Serena is there. Sage explains that she sent the uninvite text from Steven's phone and had him bring a ring of her's in to get resized, and had her minions take a picture to send to Gossip Girl because Blair's plan sucked. She continues that she has another plan and leaves to find Nate.
Bart arrives and confronts Lily about conspiring with Chuck. Lily admits that he tracked her down while shopping, and Bart finishes that she let him come home with her to go through his will. Lily denies doing it because Chuck was never in the apartment, and Bart tells her to stop lying because he caught Larissa's daughter at the apartment. Lily replies that Larissa's daughter is four and they realize they were set up, and after Bart describes who he caught, Lily tells him it was Ivy. Chuck shows up and Lily asks how he could do such a thing. She goes to get her coat and Bart remarks to Chuck that marriage has it's perks. On stage, the presentations begin. Blair finds Serena, who is looking for Steven. She tells Blair she doesn't want to talk, while Blair tries to explain that she just wanted to delay the proposal so Sage would wear her dress. Serena says that Steven returned the ring and isn't going to propose at all, and Blair explains Sage's plan, including that the photo wasn't real. Serena admits that when she saw the ring, Blair was the only one she wanted to talk to about it. Blair says she would never want to take away Serena's happiness forever and that kids today are unpredictable and Sage has a new plan that could be extreme. She tells Serena to warn Steven and she thanks Blair and goes off. She finds Steven and says she doesn't care if Lily didn't give her permission and kisses him. Back onstage, it's Sage's turn to be presented. Before she walks, she throws off the top layer of Blair's dress and on the television, Dan and Serena's sex tape begins to play. Georgina realizes Sage stole her phone, and Blair slaps Dan, now knowing he cheated on her. The part where Dan says Serena manipulated him plays and Steven glares at her. Serena immediately tells Steven that Sage set it all up, and she keeps sabotaging their relationship. Steven refuses to believe her, since he saw her record having sex with her ex to get back at Dan. Elsewhere, Blair confronts Dan about cheating on her. Dan explains that he was manipulated her and he only did it because Blair chose Chuck. She says this is worse than Chuck sleeping with Jenny and Dan replies that Chuck will never be finished fighting with Bart and he will never be with Blair. Offended, Blair tells Dan she would rather be alone than with him and leaves. Georgina approaches Dan and says Sage stole her phone, Dan promises to go get the Blair chapter. On the dance floor, Georgina asks Sage for her phone back and offers her employment. Nate figures out Sage released the tape and leaves, saying that was way too high school for his liking. Sage chases after him but is stopped by Steven.
At the loft, Rufus finds out that he sold a painting worth enough money to get new floors done. Ivy says he should call Bex to thank her for selling the painting and goes into a different room. He mentions to Bex that he wants to send the buyer a thank you note and invitation to the art show and asks for an address. She gives him a P.O. Box number and while writing it down, he sees it on a piece of mail and realizes it's Ivy's address. Back at Cotillion, Serena finds Blair and says they now know what Sage had planned. Blair unloads on Serena, telling her that she crossed the line and kept going when she seduced Dan. Serena tries to apologize for the tape argues that it's no different than Blair teaming up with Sage but Blair disagrees, saying she stopped when she realized Serena could really get hurt. She finishes by saying Serena was right, that they haven't been friends for a long time and she couldn't see it until now. At the loft, Rufus asks Ivy about the money. She explains that Lola returned it to her and it's Carol's half of CeCe's estate. She assures him that it doesn't change anything with them and that it just means they can live a fabulous life with no worries. Elsewhere, Serena calls Steven to see if they can talk. He breaks up with her, citing that he's a father and can't be with someone who always has another surprise or scheme or sex tape up their sleeve. He says he's sorry and hangs up. After, Dan asks if she wants to get a burger and she agrees. At The Empire, Blair goes to see Chuck. He explains that Lily is wrapped around Bart's finger and she won't help him, so he has to find a way to expose Bart on his own. Blair promises to wait for however long it takes Chuck to expose him then receives a text from Dorota telling her to come home right away. Chuck says it might seem like forever but he knows what Bart did, he just needs evidence.
At the VDW's, Lily asks Bart if there's anything he's done that could send him to prison. Bart confesses that at one point, Bass Industries was struggling financially and in order to save his company, he made a deal to sell oil to Sudan, but with the embargo in place it was illegal. Lily asks if anyone got hurt and he says no. Meanwhile, Chuck calls Ivy to see if she saw anything suspicious at the apartment. She says no, but she noticed Bart came in with an envelope and held onto it tightly the whole time. At the Waldorf's, Dorota tells Blair that Jean Pierre called to get the pattern for Sage's dress because he has buyers. Blair is relieved, since she'll meet her mother's deadline. But her happiness is short lived, as Dorota informs her that Eleanor called too and is coming home to fix the decorum disaster Blair caused. At a diner, Dan and Serena eat together and she asks if Lily was right, that she has life rafts. Dan asks if she feels like she's drowning without him, and says they both need to learn how to swim alone. A girl gives Dan her number, and Serena says she must not have seen is plaid boxers. He retorts that they're his favorite and she says she remembers that from four years ago. They continue talking and laughing as the episode ends.
- Blake Lively as Serena van der Woodsen
- Leighton Meester as Blair Waldorf
- Penn Badgley as Dan Humphrey
- Chace Crawford as Nate Archibald
- Ed Westwick as Chuck Bass
- Kaylee DeFer as Ivy Dickens
- Kelly Rutherford as Lily van der Woodsen
- Matthew Settle as Rufus Humphrey
- Michelle Trachtenberg as Georgina Sparks
- Zuzanna Szadkowski as Dorota Kishlovsky
- Robert John Burke as Bart Bass
- Barry Watson as Steven Spence
- Sofia Black D'Elia as Sage Spence
- Alice Callahan as Jessica Leitenberg
- Super Rich Kids by Frank Ocean
- Lost by Frank Ocean
- Pyramids by Frank Ocean
- Sweet Life by Frank Ocean
- Thinkin Bout You by Frank Ocean
Dan (on Blair's dress design to Blair): There's traditional and there's missionary. Which doesn't work for the dress.. or you, as I recall.
Sage (on Serena coming to Cotillion): So much for me being the only teenager on my father's arm tonight.
Georgina (to Dan about being in Serena's room): Staying in this room is transforming you into it's former occupant: a diva who ignores my calls and has no work ethic.
Dorota (on Blair's necklace): It's engagement ring on necklace. At least until Mr. Chuck defeats bad dad. Ms. Blair never leaves the house without it. I need to prepare for mad mood.
Chuck (on Nate escorting Sage at Cotillion): I hope your third time coming out is finally a charm.
Nate (to Serena on Steven's behavior): Could it be the weirdness that he hooked up with your mom in a dungeon while you were in grade school?
Sage (to Blair): I make a statement in whatever I wear and tonight it won't be Waldorf.
Chuck: I don't want the help of a con artist and probable sociopath.
Ivy: I'm neither of those things and even if I was, we have a mutual interest in this case.
Chuck: What are your interests, exactly?
Ivy: To get Lily to leave me alone.
Chuck: May I suggest you stop following her around in cabs?
Blair: There is no Chuck Bass chapter without Blair Waldorf.
Sage: Come on, Blair. Everyone who reads Gossip Girl knows there's no one better at taking down Serena than you.
Lily: Serena, let's face it. You don't have boyfriends, you have life rafts.
Blair (to Serena): I would never try to take away your happiness. At least not permanently.
Blair: I thought Chuck sleeping with Jenny was the most despicable thing someone could do to me but this is worse because you pretended to be better. At least I ended up with the right person.
Dan: You ended up with no one. Chuck will never be finished fighting with his father and that ring around your neck will never be on your finger.
Blair: I would rather be with no one than with you.
Nate (on this Cotillion): This is worse than when I punched Carter Baizen.
Blair (to Chuck): There's no one better for me than you.
- The episode title is based off the movie Monster's Ball.