Rufus appeared in 119 episodes.
Not much is known about Rufus' background or his upbringing. After graduating high school, he declined his offer to go to college in favor of pursuing music.
The majority of Rufus' storylines involve him trying to parent his children, or trying to pursue a relationship with Lily van der Woodsen.
Rufus resides in Brooklyn with his children, Dan and Jenny. He is separated from his wife, Jeanette, who left the family with her ski instructor. He is described as an outwards poet, who often wears old, dirty clothes and has unkept hair. He's also known for teasing his kids mercilessly and letting them do whatever they want.
Rufus is introduced in Pilot when he picks up his kids, Dan and Jenny Humphrey from Grand Central after they return from visiting their mother, Alison Humphrey; who is residing in Hudson, New York, to work on her art. Later on, Rufus is visited by his ex, Lily van der Woodsen, after she learns her daughter, Serena van der Woodsen is going on a date with Dan. After this visit, they begin to rekindle their friendship from many years prior. In The Handmaiden's Tale, Lily brings Rufus to a party hosted by Eleanor Waldorf in an attempt to make her current love interest, Bart Bass, jealous. While there, they share a kiss.
In Victor Victrola, Rufus discovers that Alison has been having an affair with a man named Alex while living in Hudson. When Jenny hears about this, she travels alone to bring Alison home. She returns home and she and Rufus try to fix their relationship after some rockiness at first (Seventeen Candles). On Thanksgiving in Blair Waldorf Must Pie, Lily, Serena, and Eric van der Woodsen join the Humphrey's for dinner. While there, old issues between Rufus, Lily, and Alison arise. As a result, Alison tells Rufus that he needs to choose between mending their relationship and having a friendship with Lily. Rufus chooses to work on things with Alison and sends Lily home. However, in Hi, Society, Rufus sees Lily's mother, CeCe Rhodes. After speaking with her, he discovers that the real reason Lily left him was because CeCe threatened to take away her trust fund if she didn't.Soon after, Rufus finds a Christmas card addressed to Alison from Alex, her lover in Hudson. He goes to see him himself and learns that Alison never really broke things off. On Christmas Eve, Rufus and Alison choose to divorce and have her move back to Hudson. While she breaks the news to Dan and Jenny, Rufus walks to the Upper East Side in hopes of seeing Lily and telling her he misses her, which he does over voicemail. Meanwhile, Bart asks Lily to marry him (Roman Holiday). When Lily returns from a trip with Bart, she informs Rufus about the proposal, and tries to get him to stop her from saying yes. He admits to her that he wants to be with her, and gives her time to think. She does, and decides that she wants to see what they could be together. They make plans to meet later that night and spend some time away from the city together; but when Serena finds out, she asks Lily not to pursue a relationship with Rufus because she is madly in love with Dan. Not wanting to ruin her daughter's chance for happiness, Lily stands Rufus up and says yes to Bart's proposal (School Lies).
Rufus returns to the city in Never Been Marcused and is surprised at how well Vanessa Abrams has renovated the art gallery. He admits to her that the band was offered the chance to tour again, and he isn't sure if he wants to go. When he returns to the loft and sees Dan's writing and Jenny's homemade dresses, he decides that he would rather stay home and be a dad to them. In The Dark Night, Rufus goes on a date with a woman, Clare, and they date for a few subsequent episodes afterward. Soon after, in The Ex-Files, Lily tries to befriend him again but she turns him down, not wanting to ruin her marriage.
In The Serena Also Rises, Rufus discovers that Jenny has been skipping school for several weeks to work at Waldorf Designs. As a result, he grounds her and sends her to see Headmistress Queller to apologize. When she goes, she informs the headmistress that she will not be returning to Constance; an instance Rufus doesn't hear about until later. In New Haven Can Wait, Jenny asks Rufus to accompany her to the Waldorf atelier to watch her work for one day and then they can decide whether she returns to Constance or homeschools. At first, Rufus plans to make Jenny return to school; until they stop by the VDW's and Lily tells Rufus how lucky he is to have a daughter who is so talented. He then decides to let Jenny be homeschooled. In Chuck In Real Life, Dan and Jenny discover that Nate Archibald is living without resources in his family's townhouse. Wanting to help, Rufus invites him to move in to the loft with the three of them.
In There Might be Blood, Rufus discovers that Jenny is about to sabotage a charity event honoring Lily and Bart. He gets there in time to see her and Agnes Andrews crash the party with models advertising Jenny's new fashion line. Afterwards, he's prepared to send Jenny to jail for trespassing but Lily stops him, saying he is making a big mistake. The next day, Jenny moves out of the loft and in with Agnes. In Bonfire of the Vanity, Agnes and Jenny get into a big fight, which ends with Agnes burning all of Jenny's dresses. Jenny then decides she wants to pursue her line alone, although no investor is willing to back her without a parent giving consent. Jenny returns home and asks Rufus to sign the papers, which he refuses to do, not wanting to condone her reckless behavior. After she is unable to secure Rufus or Alison's permission, Jenny sets to emancipate herself; until Lily discovers the paperwork and informs Rufus on Thanksgiving. However, Jenny decides that she doesn't want to be estranged from him and moves back home (The Magnificent Archibalds).
In It's a Wonderful Lie, Rufus goes to The Snowflake Ball and sees Lily, who is preparing to leave Bart in favor of being with Rufus. However, Bart dies in a car accident on his way to the ball. In O Brother, Where Bart Thou?, Rufus helps comfort Lily after Bart's death. However, when CeCe hears about their relationship, she informs Rufus that years prior, Lily was pregnant with his baby and gave it up for adoption. As a result, he goes on a hunt to find the child himself.
In In the Realm of the Basses, Rufus returns without any luck finding the child. He confronts Lily, who admits that it was a boy who was privately adopted. Meanwhile, Dan is suspicious of what Rufus is doing and finds out what is going on. Later, Rufus and Lily plan to head to Boston together to find their son. Rufus asks Dan not to tell Serena or anyone else, although everyone finds out via a Gossip Girl blast. In Boston, Lily and Rufus track down the adoptive parents; who explain that their son, Andrew, was killed in a boating accident the year before (Gone with the Will). When they return, they enter into a relationship (You've Got Yale!).
In Remains of the J, Rufus learns that Dan will not be given financial aid at Yale. In Southern Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, he decides to invest the college money he has saved with Serena's new boyfriend, Gabriel Edwards. However, in The Wrath of Con, Dan discovers that Gabriel is actually a con artist. He informs Lily, who plans to pay all the investors back herself; except Rufus, who she plans to send money to behind his back. Meanwhile, Rufus is preparing to propose to Lily but while setting up for the proposal, finds her plans to give him money. Humiliated, he ends things with her. In the season finale, The Goodbye Gossip Girl, he and Lily make amends and get engaged.
During the season premiere, Reversals of Fortune, it's revealed that Rufus, Dan, Jenny, and Eric stayed in CeCe's Hamptons house while Lily stayed with a sick CeCe in California. Upon their return to New York, Rufus discovers that Jenny and Eric have been hiding Serena's summer exploits from him. However, he isn't too angry at them and pays off paparazzi to stop photos of her stealing a horse at the van der Bilt polo match from coming out. Soon after, Serena reveals she isn't planning to go to Brown anymore and Rufus tries his best to support her (The Freshmen). In The Lost Boy, Vanessa learns that her new friend Scott Rosson is Rufus and Lily's son and that his parents lied to them; that it was his brother who died. She's prepared to help him tell Rufus, but his adoptive mother comes to town and Scott chooses not to reveal himself. He instead tells Rufus that he is their son's brother. The next day, he goes home to Boston without talking to him again.
In Dan de Fleurette, Lily returns to the city and becomes angry at Rufus for not making Serena go to college. They enter into a stoney silence and don't talk to one another. In Rufus Getting Married, Dan, Serena, Eric, and Jenny try to parent trap them into talking; which initially fails, but then works. Rufus and Lily plan to wed the next day and everyone successfully pulls together a wedding. However, Lily gets cold feet right before the ceremony and tells Rufus that she's scared to commit to a marriage where they can't agree on anything. Meanwhile, Georgina Sparks has brought Scott back to town and he confronts them about not getting married. Annoyed, Lily sends him away and Georgina outs who he is when he's gone. Lily and Rufus then abandon their wedding to find him. They catch him before he boards the bus back to Boston and they share a hug. Later that night, they marry at the loft.
In How to Succeed in Bassness, Rufus' love for Halloween is revealed. Worried he'll be disappointed at the lack of trick or treaters, Lily pays Vanya to bring kids up. At the end of the episode, Rufus reveals he knew what she did but isn't angry. In The Treasure of Serena Madre, Rufus learns that Lily was lying about where she was during the summer and early fall. Serena discovers a letter her father, William van der Woodsen wrote to her, explaining why he couldn't see her during the summer: he was with Lily. After deciding to leave with Tripp van der Bilt, with whom she's having an affair with, his wife, Maureen van der Bilt, discovers the letter. In The Debarted, Lily sends Rufus to a rooftop garden meeting where he meets a new friend, Holland. As a form of blackmail, Maureen returns to the penthouse and gives Rufus the letter, where he learns Lily was with William, not CeCe. He goes skiing to avoid Lily, but returns in The Hurt Locket. The two talk, and Lily reveals that the two kissed but did not have sex. Rufus is angry because while they weren't married, they were engaged, and temporarily moves back to the loft for space. During this time, Jenny has started a relationship with drug dealer Damien Dalgaard. Rufus and Lily continue their fighting, as neither know how to correctly handle the situation. During their fight, he turns to new friend Holland for advice and comfort but at one point, leaves his scarf in her apartment. She returns it to Vanya, who brings it to Lily. She returns it to Rufus, and the two decide to start over with a clean slate in The Sixteen Year Old Virgin, after Lily returns from Canyon Ranch with CeCe. It's also revealed in this episode that she is the one with cancer, not CeCe.
In The Unblairable Lightness of Being, Rufus discovers that Lily has yet again lied about where she is. He calls CeCe, who tells him that he needs to find out from Lily where she actually is. In Dr. Estrangeloved, Lily returns to Manhattan and explains to Rufus that she has been sick all along and seeing William for treatments. William also returns and Serena has a chance to reunite with her father, much to Rufus' dismay, as the two are long time rivals. In It's a Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad World, William announces he's moving back to New York and plans to get an apartment in the building. Upset, Rufus insists to Lily that William is trying to get close to her again, but she disagrees. Later, William gives a speech that alludes to him about to start a war for Lily, and she realizes Rufus was right. He tells her to find a new doctor, but she refuses and asks Rufus to go to Brooklyn for a night so she can be alone. After the speech, Holland reveals to Serena that Rufus cheated on Lily with her. Jenny and Chuck are also suspicious about Lily's illness and medications. Serena confronts Rufus about cheating on Lily in Ex-Husbands and Wives. He calls her up to the apartment, where she confirms her story. Upset at her lies, Rufus leaves. Meanwhile, Blair Waldorf, Nate, Chuck Bass, Dan, and Jenny are working together to expose William and Holland's plan to break Rufus and Lily up. However, Jenny is yearning to return to her life in Brooklyn and reveals to William that they know what he was doing to give him a chance to escape New York with Lily. He almost does, until everyone catches up and stops them. Jenny then tells everyone that she tipped him off, and Rufus tells her that this is their life now and that's it. He then reconciles with Lily. In the season finale, Last Tango, Then Paris, Rufus learns that Jenny also tried to mess with Dan and Vanessa and Nate and Serena's relationships. He calls Alison and they decide that the best course of action is for Jenny to move to Hudson and finish high school there. He tells Jenny, who runs away and has sex with Chuck to escape her pain. However, she regrets it immediately after and tells Dan; who punches Chuck, leading to Blair, Rufus, and Lily finding out what happened. A few days after, Rufus sees Jenny off to Hudson.
In Belles de Jour, Rufus finds out that he has a grandson, Milo Humphrey, who was fathered by Dan and carried by Georgina. However, Rufus refuses to believe that Milo is biologically Dan's and eventually proves it when he realizes the blood types don't match up (Double Identity). In The Undergraduates, he reveals this to Dan, who is forced to relinquish Milo when Georgina returns and explains the truth. Meanwhile, Chuck is preparing to return to the city with his new girlfriend, Eva Coupeau, and Rufus is not pleased about his return due to what he did to Jenny. He attempts to sabotage the introduction, but then chooses to give Chuck and Eva a chance.
In War at the Roses, Rufus and Lily are about to celebrate their first wedding anniversary; but Rufus is sad Jenny can't attend, as she was banned by Blair after sleeping with Chuck. As a result, Eric and Dan scheme to bring her back by ruining Blair's birthday party but fail, and Rufus is disappointed that his son is morphing into an Upper East Side kid. However, he is pleasantly surprised when Dan pulls off a homemade anniversary surprise for them.
In Empire of the Son, Rufus supports Lily when she turns herself in for perjury and after she's sentenced to house arrest in The Kids Stay in the Picture. In order to cheer her up, Rufus, Serena and Eric work together to move the annual Pink Party to the VDW penthouse. However, things take a turn for the worse when everyone is not happy about the move and takes the opportunity to shun Lily. To end the humiliation, Lily has the police escort everyone out. She tells Rufus she's thankful for what he did but all she wants now is to just have him around for company (Petty in Pink). In Shattered Bass, Rufus discovers that Serena's newly arrived cousin, Charlie Rhodes (Ivy Dickens), has not been taking her medication for her mental illness. He works with Serena and Vanessa to find her, which they eventually do. In the season finale, The Wrong Goodbye, Rufus plans to spend his summer between Lily and producing a record for a new indie band called Panic.
In Memoirs of an Invisible Dan, Rufus celebrates Dan's book release with everyone before revealing the book actually broke his heart; as Dan portrayed him as a one hit wonder who married for money. However, he decides to forgive him in The Fasting and the Furious. In The Big Sleep No More, Dan is struggling with the downhill failure of his book and Rufus helps him by explaining how Lincoln Hawk went through the same thing before hitting it big. In The Backup Dan, after Dan helps Blair flee her wedding, he confides in Rufus where she is; although he eventually tells Eleanor and Lily.
After CeCe's death in Cross Rhodes and the will is read in The Princess Dowry, con artist Ivy Dickens now legally owns the VDW penthouse and Rufus and Lily move into the loft. In It-Girl Interrupted, Rufus tells Lily that Ivy agreed to move out of the apartment if Lily unfreezes CeCe's assets. She agrees to do so, but instead conducts a trick to get Ivy out without unfreezing the money behind Rufus' back. She later that Rufus has been paying for Ivy to live in a hotel behind her back, and two fight over it (Salon of the Dead). He briefly moves back to Brooklyn again. In Despicable B, Lily throws a dinner party to fix the family's image and invites Rufus, who agrees to come. However, after finding out her sister Carol Rhodes had her daughter Lola Rhodes with William while they were still married, decides to seek revenge and uninvites Rufus to make sure the plan works. He finds out, and ultimately decides to spend even more time away from Lily after her recent scheming. After Bart is revealed to be alive in the season finale The Return of the Ring, Lily, still being married to him and Rufus, must annul one of her marriages. Rufus, wanting to fix their relationship, delivers annulment papers to Bart behind her back for him to sign. When she finds out, she rips them up and chooses to annul her marriage to Rufus instead.
In the season premiere Gone Maybe Gone, it's revealed that after Rufus moved back to Brooklyn, he's been letting Ivy live with him. At the end of the episode, the two have sex and enter into a relationship. In Dirty Rotten Scandals, Ivy leaks a rumor that Rufus wants to sue Dan after an exposé article about him comes out. In Monstrous Ball, Rufus finds Ivy has been pretending to be broke when really she has all of CeCe's money. It's revealed in Where the Vile Things Are that Rufus has bought another art gallery and intends to sell art again, but the opening reception he was planning to host with Ivy has been sabotaged by Lily. At her art auction, they purchase a piece of art she put up, and tell her they bought it with CeCe's money. Lily learns from Bart that the records of his illegal oil trading was in the back of the painting, and Ivy finds them. In Save the Last Chance, Rufus learns that Ivy has been dating William all along and he kicks her out of the loft. He finds the records and returns them to Lily, and the two become somewhat civil again.
Appearance and Style
Rufus is the most casually dressed of all the main characters. Often times he wears jeans and sweaters, although he wears suits and tuxedos for big events.
Rufus is involved in the least amount of scandals out of anyone on the show. He's shown to be kind and generous, as well as warm and welcoming. However, he also tends to see the best in people; and that includes overlooking things they do that may be perceived as malicious or wrong.
- Dan Humphrey (Son)
- Jenny Humphrey (Daughter)
- Scott Rosson (Biological son)
- Serena van der Woodsen (Daughter-in-law)
- Lisa Loeb (Girlfriend)
- Alison Humphrey (Ex-wife; two children)
- Lily van der Woodsen (Ex wife; one child)
- Ivy Dickens (Ex-girlfriend)
- Clare (Ex-girlfriend)
"I dated a girl like Serena once, actually a lot like Serena. And girls like that are challenging, it's true. They're complicated... and enigmatic... and usually worth it. And the only way to know for sure is to jump in with both feet." -Rufus
"What happened with you?" -Dan
"I swam for awhile. Until I drowned." -Bad News Blair (1x04)
"I'm sorry I kissed you, but I did it because that mercenary in the starched white shirt: he doesn't appreciate everything you have over an attractive 25 year old mannequin, because beauty fades but yours has done a remarkable job of holding on. And in the long run it's going to be his loss, and I thought he should know how it feels to lose you. Because trust me, it's not fun." -The Handmaiden's Tale (1x06)
"I would say it's nice to see you but I know you hate dishonesty." -Hi, Society (1x10)
"You're scared because you're in love with me like you've never loved any of your husbands. And unlike a Bart Bass, someone like me can break your heart and that's terrifying. And I know that because right now you're breaking mine." -Rufus Getting Married (3x05)
"I told everyone we'll be home and they all seem excited. Except for the guy on 6th who doesn't make eye contact. It's hard to tell what he's feeling." -How to Succeed in Bassness (3x07)
"Jen, as hard as it is for me to admit, there are some things more important in life than waffles."
"Son, I hate to tell you, but this date is a disaster." -The Empire Strikes Jack (3x16)
"Well, telling a woman you like her clothes isn't lying. It's self preservation." -Inglourious Bassterds (3x17)
"You think I'd skip out on a room full of champagne and models? Are you forgetting I used to be a rock star?" -Belles de Jour (4x01)
"You mean hang out hang out or... hang out, hang out?" -Empire of the Son (4x17)
"You just... broke my heart. I gave up my career to raise you, and I never regretted it, not once. At least not until I read what you really think about me. A has-been turned trophy-husband who married for money. I never expected to be your hero. I just didn't think I'd end up the fool." -Memoirs of an Invisible Dan (5x04)
"What you don't know about the tour is how many times we played for a handful of people. In Marfa, Texas, our entire audience was a bartender. But that bartender he spoke to his friends, and they told their friends and soon we were selling out. It just takes one person to connect with your art, who feels like you directly communicated with them to start a groundswell. But you can't connect with that person unless you show up." -The Big Sleep No More (5x07)
"She made her choice two years ago when she decided to leave you for me. Nothing's changed." -The Return of the Ring (5x24)
"After everything we've been through, I think it's safe to say we won't be together again but we were family for a long time and that means something. I'd really like peace between us." -Save the Last Chance (6x07)
- He is subscribed to The New York Post newspaper.
- His blood type is AB positive.