|“||We don't judge. We're the Non-Judging Breakfast Club, we're your best friends.||”|
The Non-Judging Breakfast Club (NJBC) is a group of friends consisting of Blair Waldorf, Serena van der Woodsen, Nate Archibald, and Chuck Bass. They, along with outsider Dan Humphrey, are considered to be the television adaption's core group and the essence of Gossip Girl. These four have known each other since childhood and grew up together on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
Unlike the television show, the NJBC does not play a centralized role in the story. Chuck is a minor character, who Blair, Serena, and Nate tolerate because of his wealth, but are not friends with him by choice. Nate dates Blair, despite being in love with Serena, but the three of them put their complicated romantic relationship before any core friendship between them.
Upon Serena's return in Pilot, she gets on the wrong side of Chuck and Blair; although she resolves the situation as the season goes on. Meanwhile, she tries to stay away from Nate, who is trying to deal with his feelings for both Serena and Blair. In Woman on the Verge, they all come together to help Serena, whose world was turned upside down when her old frenemy Georgina Sparks came back to town. It's during this episode that the term "Non-Judging Breakfast Club" is penned.
Chuck realizes he has true feelings for Blair, but this complicates his relationship with Nate, who also still has feelings for her. Meanwhile, Blair's dreams for her future are shattered when she's rejected by Yale (in The Age of Dissonance) and Chuck, Serena, and Nate all try to help bring her spirits up by supporting her. Towards the end of the season, the four work together to expose Gabriel Edwards and Poppy Lifton for the con artists they are, and then to get Serena out of jail after she is arrested.
After Chuck purchases The Empire Hotel, Nate moves in with him and Blair and Serena express their support for his decision. When his mother, Elizabeth Fisher, reappears, the four come together to help Chuck figure out whether she is who she says she is. In The Lady Vanished, Serena and Nate set up Elizabeth to meet them at a restaurant they'll be at with Chuck and Blair to push the two to talk, but this plan doesn't work out. Near the end of the season, Serena's father William van der Woodsen comes back to town and strip up trouble between Lily van der Woodsen and Rufus Humphrey; along with the VDW's downstairs neighbor, Dr. Holland Kemble. While Serena sides with her father, Blair, Nate, and Chuck work with Dan and Jenny Humphrey to expose them for trying to split up Lily and Rufus.
Once Serena and Blair begin school at Columbia University, Serena is targeted by Juliet Sharp, a fellow student with a mysterious vendetta against her. After they discover that she's been sabotaging Serena for seemingly no reason, the group comes together to expose her and they ban her from Columbia as well as Manhattan. They later learn that Lily forged Serena's signature accusing Juliet's brother Ben Donovan of statutory rape and that she was planning to sell Bass Industries behind Chuck's back. After this comes out, the four, along with Dan, celebrate Christmas together at The Empire.
When Nate's former boss, Diana Payne, falsely claims to be Chuck's mother, the gang comes together to help figure out why. They end up at a brothel, where they discover Diana's real name is India and that she is working with Jack Bass to keep a still alive Bart Bass hidden.
Serena goes missing at the end of summer and Blair, Chuck, and Nate work with Dan and Georgina to find her. They do, but she has no interest in being friends with any of them anymore. However, when she returns to Manhattan, she decides to fix her relationships with all of them. In the series finale New York, I Love You XOXO, Nate and Serena are present when Blair marries Chuck, and Blair, Chuck, and Nate are present when Serena marries Dan in the time jump.
Blair and Serena
- Main article: Blair–Serena relationship
- Status: Best Friends
They are the two main female characters of the book series and the TV series. Blair being the "Queen Bee" and Serena the "It Girl" of their world. They have known each other ever since childhood and continue to be best friends. They usually vacation around the world together, go shopping together, and reveal their darkest and most intimate secrets to each other. They consider each other as "sisters." However, at the same time, these two characters are also well known for their rivalries. They have several fights and competitions over boys, specifically Nate Archibald (early in the TV series and all throughout the novel series), colleges, "Queen Bee" status, and just advancement in life in general. At the end of the day, however, they are always there for each other and come back to each other, sometimes with the help of Nate and Chuck. They always look out for each other and have each other's back. In the series finale, Serena, is one of the host, at her marriage with Chuck, the same happens with Blair, as she is, one of the host, at the wedding between her and Dan.
Chuck and Nate
- Main article: Chuck and Nate
- Status: Best Friends
They are the two main male characters in the TV series (along with Dan Humphrey). However, in the novel series, Nate is the only main male character, and his circle of guy friends consist of Jeremy, Charlie, and Anthony, but not Chuck. Chuck is considered as the "Dark Knight" and Nate is "Golden Boy of the UES." The two have known each other since childhood and have been best friends since then. Nate and Chuck have many excursions throughout the world, do many risky, dangerous things, have many one-night stands with girls, and know each other incredibly well, just as Serena and Blair do. They are well known for the "Lost Weekend" where they have fun with women, booze, and several other things. Also, similar to the two girls, Chuck and Nate have misunderstandings and fights, but not as much as the girls do. In fact, the one thing the two of them really fought over was Blair (halfway through season 1 and another time towards the end of season 2).
Nate and Blair
- Main article: Blair–Nate relationship
- Status: Very Close Friends, Exes
In the novel series, Nate and Blair are on-again and off-again. They are said to have dated ever since childhood. They are considered as a "perfect couple" by those around them, but those people are unaware of how their relationship is far from perfect. In the novel series, Nate harbors romantic feelings for their other best friend, Serena van der Woodsen. These feelings are usually the cause of Nate and Blair's constant on-again and off-again relationship. Towards the end of the novels, Nate ends up choosing Blair in Part 1 of the last book, but then chooses Serena in Part II. In the end, he ends up choosing neither and instead goes sailing around the world with his father's navy, mentor.
In the TV series, Nate and Blair's relationship starts the same way as it does in the novels. In Season 1, they continue going on and off. By Season 2, they reach a point of mutual friendship. However, towards the end of Season 2, they reunite as high school comes to a close. Blair then realizes how Nate is just her first love and high school boy friend. They break up mutually and return to just being best friends. Though not romantically involved anymore, these two share a long history of romance and friendship. Because of this, they know each other extremely well and continue to have each other's back.
Chuck and Serena
- Main article: Chuck–Serena relationship
- Status: Very Close Friends, Adoptive Siblings
In the novel series, Chuck is only somewhat of a recurring character even though Gossip Girl blogs about him often, and though he and Serena have known each other since childhood, Chuck is not best friends with Serena, Blair, or Nate. In fact, most of the time, Serena and Chuck cannot stand each other.
In the TV series, Chuck and Serena start out as being best friends (except in the Pilot where the producers originally planned on having Chuck be a villian) and ultimately become step-siblings when Lily van der Woodsen marries Bart Bass. Serena and Chuck share a very comical, but supportive sibling relationship. They have grown to genuinely care for each other. They have grown to fight and argue as siblings do and tease each other as siblings do. Serena considers Chuck as part of the family, though she was reluctant at first, just as Chuck was reluctant to become an "adoptive son" of Lily's. In the series finale, Chuck along with Blair host Serena and Dan's wedding at their home, and so does Serena, when he marries Blair.
Chuck and Blair
- Main article:Blair–Chuck Relationship
Status: Spouses, Parents, Very Close Friends
In the TV series, Chuck and Blair have a very intense on and off relationship. At the beginning of the series their relationship is just as friends as Blair is dating Chuck's best friend, Nate. They become closer and end up having sex. They have a lot of ups and downs especially with trying to admit their feelings causing them to toy with each other and play more games. In Season 3 they become an official couple. In the end the end up married with a son, Henry Bass.
Nate and Serena
- Main article: Nate–Serena relationship
- Status: Very Close Friends, Exes
In the novel series, Nate and Serena remain attracted to one another throughout all the books. They have been best friends since childhood and know each other extremely well. It is revealed in the prequel exactly how Nate and Serena lose their virginities to each other and admit their love for each other. Their relationship remains "officially platonic" for the most part, even though throughout the series there is obvious, tangible sexual tension. Nate continues to be confused between Blair and Serena. On the other hand, Serena goes through a lot of boyfriends, but Nate is her one prince charming. In a letter she states, "it's always been you." In the end, Nate and Serena do not end up together as Nate decides to go sailing, alone. Serena decides to travel with Blair.
In the TV series, Nate loses his virginity to Serena, but it is never revealed who Serena lost it to. Nate tries to go after Serena once she returns from boarding school, but Serena rejects him. They remain best friends and work on mending their relationship after the whole fiasco of sleeping together behind Blair's back. They spend time together over the summer before Season 2 and continue being best friends and helping each other out. By season 3, their relationship finally gets a chance. They dated briefly in season 3 before Serena breaks up with Nate because of her feelings for Dan. By Season 4, Serena is faced with a decision between Nate and Dan. In rehab Serena tells Dan that she picked him. In Season 5, they are back to being friends once more as they spent some time together over the summer, and throughout the season. In the series finale, Nate attends Serena and Dan's wedding.
Blair (to Serena): Dear Serena, My world is falling apart, and you're the only one who would understand. My father left my mother for a 31 year old model, a male model. I feel like screaming because I don't have anyone to talk to to. You're gone. My dad's gone. Nate's acting weird. Where are you? Why don't you call? Why did you leave without saying goodbye? You're supposed to be my best friend. I miss you so much. Love, Blair.
Gossip Girl: We all know we can't choose our family, but we can choose our friends, and in a world ruled by bloodlines and bank accounts. It pays to have a pal. And Serena and Blair? They do besties better than anyone.
Nate (coming down the stairs) (to Blair; in the foyer): What's taking so long?
Dan (walking in the foyer): Huh. I guess I missed a chapter.
(Chuck walks in from the kitchen with bagels)
Dan: Or four. Don't, uh, don't all of you hate each other.
Dan: Well...that's fascinating and right for a psychiatrist case study somewhere....
Blair (to Serena): We've seen you with vomit in your hair in the men's room, making out with investment bankers at PJ Clarke's! You don't have to hide anything from us.
Nate: She's right Serena. I mean, none of us are saints.
Blair: I had sex with him (nods to Chuck) in the back of a limo.
Chuck: Several times.
Nate: I had sex with you at a wedding while I was her (looks at Blair) date. Once.
Chuck: I'm Chuck Bass.
Blair: You can tell us anything. We don't judge! We're the Non-Judging Breakfast Club. We're you're best friends. Anything you do is something we did too.
Nate (on the phone; to Blair): Hey, I only have a second. I'm on my way to Queens.
Blair: Eugh. Gross. Why?
Nate: To meet Vanessa at a concert
Blair: It got grosser.
Nate: We've been hanging out. Not that I owe you any explanation. But, I do feel like I should tell you that apparently Georgina's with her and Dan.
Blair: She...she's there?
Nate: Yeah, and I know Serena doesn't want us to do anything but I just thought you might wanna know.
(cut to scene)
Chuck (to Blair): What's gotten into you?
Blair: What if I told you I knew where Georgina Sparks was right now?
Chuck: I say let's get the bitch.
Gossip Girl:......with friends like these who needs armies?
Nate (holding Chuck up): We should've just driven him at the door and dropped him off at the stairs.
Blair: No one should see him like this. He needs to walk it off. Okay. Walk Chuck. Bend knee. Lift foot.
Nate: Maybe we should've just left him at the Palace.
Blair: It's his father's funeral. He needs to be here and show his respects!
Chuck: Respect? My father wasn't showing much of that in his final days.
Nate: What's he talking about?
Blair: Who knows?! When we found him his shoes were on the wrong feet. Chuck, remember how in eighth grade you used to help yourself in the decanter in the Captain's (Nate's father) library?
Chuck: Where I first got my taste for single malt.
Nate: That's right. And you'd have to go home to a four-course dinner without passing out in your consomme.
Chuck: Didn't want my father to think less of me. But why does that matter now?
Blair: Chuck, am I gonna have to stick my finger down your throat? Nate'll hold back your hair.
(Nate glares at Blair) Blair: What?
Nate: No, no, sorry Blair, you had me and then you lost me.
Blair (to Serena): I'm sick of looking like...Darth Vader next to Sunshine Barbie!
Blair (to Serena about Yale): Of all the things......Nate. My mom. The girls from school.....You wouldn't take this from me....because if you do, I swear I will take you down.
Blair (walking out of restaurant): What is taking so long?! Serena--
Serena (being handcuffed): Blair! Blair, tell them!
Blair: Oh my god! You've got the wrong girl!
Police: I don't think so.
Serena (to police): What're you doing?!
Nate(walking out of restaurant): Hey, what's going on?! Why're they taking Serena?!
Blair: Serena, it's okay. We'll--we'll figure it out!
Serena (being forced into police car): Blair, call Chuck! Call Chuck!!!
Chuck(to Blair and Nate): Where is she?
Blair: She's inside, but she won't let us talk to her.
Chuck: We'll see about that. (walks in)
Nate: You called him?
Blair: Of course I did. He's her brother.
Chuck(on phone): I need you to dig up what dirt you can on the offices of the 55th precinct.
Nate(on phone): Detective Sanders? Yes. My grandfather, William van der Bilt, said you'd be able to help me get some information.
Blair(to police): Serena's mom gave her that bracelet! It's been in the family for years. She couldn't have stolen it!
Gossip Girl:....until you're trapped in a prison of your own making. Smile for the camera, S.
Serena: I do not share any of your DNA....nor do I ever wish to.
Chuck: Then I suggest you get some new hand towels.
Chuck (to Nate after Serena leaves): Come on, let's go get drunk.
Nate (to Dan): How stupid can you be?! Look buddy, I know things. I've been to Europe. Chuck Bass is my best friend. The third person is supposed to be a stranger!
Serena: Let's find Nate and Chuck and congratulate them.
Blair: And then torture them.
Vanessa (to Juliet): And I, uh, told Nate about the photos. And I'm pretty sure he's filling Blair in right now. Face it. At the end of the day, you're an outsider just like me. And if it's ever between one of us and Serena van der Woodsen. They will always choose Serena.
Dean Reuther: .......if that student is in suspicion of trading sex for grades then we might need to examine the situation a little more closely.
Vanessa: Oh, let me get my camera.
Juliet: Here. Look as close as you want.
Blair: Oh, let me help you with that (grabs memory card, drops it in her champagne) Oops! You didn't want to look at those photos anyway because it wasn't Serena in them. It was me.
Serena: Blair you don't have to do this.
Blair: Why would I jeopardize my college career by lying? So, go ahead, fire colin! Oh wait, he already quit! So let's just go in and enjoy some jete! Allegro!
Chuck: If I could say something, I, for one, completely coroborate Ms. Waldorf's story. She was indeed having an affair with Professor Forrester. I know this because I keep tabs on everyone Blair sees and talks to due to my...insatiable jealousy. Though she did state something to the effect that he didn't quite satisfy her like I used to.
Blair: It's true.
Juliet: Don't you see? They're all protecting each other!
Vanessa: This is what they always do.
(Nate, Serena, Blair, Chuck walk over and circle Juliet)
Serena: Now it's our turn.
Chuck: Your obsession with Serena has grown tiresome.
Blair: Just because you have no money and delusions of grandeur does not make it okay for you to be a single white trash female.
Juliet (turns to Nate): Nate, this isn't me. You know that.
Nate: Why would I ever believe anything you say again?
Blair: Well, you can believe the part where she does her own hair.
Serena: You try to destroy my friendship with Blair, my reputation, my academic career.
Chuck: You failed every time, now it's time for you to go.
Juliet: I'm trying to.
Nate: He's talking about Columbia.
Blair: You don't belong there anyway.
Chuck: If we catch you hanging around again, there will be consequences.
Blair: And we're really good at payback.
(Juliet runs off)
Gossip Girl: Spotted - One ugly duckling exiled. Let's hope she doesn't turn into a black swan.
Chuck (to Nate): I'm not asking for forgiveness, Nathaniel. I did what I did. But we've been best friends since before I can remember...