The Main Characters, Ranked By Intelligence

The characters of The CW’s classic teen soap Gossip Girl display all sorts of intelligence, but how do their intellects compare to each other?

The Upper East Side of New York City is a dog-eat-dog world of obscenely rich people who seem to be lacking in morals but not desires. Or at least, this is the Upper East Side that the CW’s iconic teen soap opera Gossip Girl liked to portray.

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Despite the fact that the bulk of it’s cast of characters were teenagers throughout most of the series, many of these kids were expertly manipulative, creative, educated, and on the verge of becoming business titans before hitting 20 years of age. But how do the characters of Gossip Girl rank in terms of intelligence?

10 Nate Archibald

Although the fictional Upper East Side is rife with schemers and diabolical planners, Nate Archibald was someone who just seemed to exist in the story without much rhyme or reason.

He was excellent at standing around in social setting looking like a lost and confused circa 2002 Abercrombie & Fitch model, but he never did much else, nor did it seem like he aspired to do much else.

9 Serena Van Der Woodsen

gossip girl serena

When it comes to playing all of the games that Upper East Siders loved to play, Serena was certainly no slouch, and the fact that she was such an expert player would indicate that she possesses a decent level of intellectual ability.

However, Serena was also always her own worst enemy, she would often intentionally make bad choices and then try and fail to avoid the consequences of those bad choices, which put her below par in comparison to many of the other Gossip Girl characters.

8 Vanessa Abrams

Gossip Girl Vanessa

Vanessa Abrams was a character who clearly possessed a considerable amount of book smarts, as well as a lot of creative and artistic intelligence.

However, her obvious fatal flaw when it came to existing in the world of Gossip Girl was that she wasn’t a very good manipulator, and she was a bit too susceptible to outside influence. Competing with the Upper East Side crew or even caring what they thought was completely out of character for Vanessa, so she was clearly lacking in a bit of mental fortitude.

7 Lily Van Der Woodsen

The parents of Gossip Girl are undoubtedly hit or miss when it comes to their character, morality, or intelligence.

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And while Lily is no slouch in the brains department, it’s impossible to avoid the fact that she was not only a bit of a failure as a parent, but that many of her attempts at manipulating her children or the people around her wound up being failed plans.

6 Jenny Humphrey

Jenny Humphrey may have gone through more dramatic ups and downs than any other character on the show, but she clearly had her wits about her in the end.

Not only was she talented and had a lot of ingenuity (which she proved in her nearly successful launch of her own fashion line), but despite nearly making it to the top of the social ladder, she ultimately thought for herself and realized that this cutthroat world wasn’t for her.

5 Rufus Humphrey

Rufus Humphrey is probably the only parental figure on the show who could be considered a halfway decent parent by any normal, rational standards.

He’s very good at attending to his children’s emotional needs, and although his success in the music industry was brief, he managed to parlay that into a comfortable life for his family as well as a brighter and better future for his children.

4 Bart Bass

Bart Bass was such a brutal, uncaring jerk that he even made his objectively terrible son look far better in comparison. Much of Chuck’s flaws can be attributed to Bart’s parenting, but it’s hard to deny that Bart is a brilliant and shrewd businessman.

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He managed to dominate the New York City scene for decades, but ultimately his lack of parenting intelligence was his metaphorical and literal downfall.

3 Chuck Bass

Ed Westwick as Chuck Bass in Gossip Girl

When it comes to the ultimate Gossip Girl OTP of Chuck Bass and Blair Waldorf, it seems fair to say that they’re both pretty evenly matched when it comes to intelligence.

However one way in which Chuck is far more lacking than Blair is when it comes to emotional intelligence, which is why his wife still rates higher than he does on the intelligence scale. If Chuck actually didn’t constantly get in his own way due to his many emotional issues, he’d be unstoppable.

2 Blair Waldorf

blair waldorf queen b

Despite the fact that Blair often used her considerable intellect for petty reasons like competing with Serena or ensuring that she remains queen bee in every social circle she occupies, it’s undeniable that she’s pretty brilliant.

Plenty of people have tried to manipulate her or take her or her friends down, but she always seems to figure out the situation and outfox her enemies, while looking impeccably stylish as she does it.

1 Dan Humphrey

Dan Humphrey is apparently a genius that is completely unrivaled in the world of Gossip Girl. It’s just sad that he decided to use his mastermind abilities to concoct diabolical scenarios that rival Jigsaw’s machinations in the Saw films.

Dan not only managed to hide the fact that he was Gossip Girl from everyone, but he orchestrated scenarios in which he’d see Gossip Girl blasts with witnesses all around him, and he even had the ability to convincingly act surprised. He also repeatedly blasted himself to really sell the long con.

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Updated: December 2, 2020 — 3:00 am

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