Vanessa Abrams is a supporting character of the Gossip Girl Novels. Her TV series counterpart was formerly a recurring character until she was given a regular status by the fourteenth episode of the show's first season. Vanessa is Dan Humphrey's childhood best friend and one time romantic interest. Jessica Szohr portrays Vanessa Abrams.
Creation and CastingEdit
Vanessa enters the series when she returns to New York and spends time with Dan, her return implying that she has feelings for him that were left unresolved when he first declared his love for her. Her sudden return makes Serena assume that Dan is cheating on her during a masquerade ball where Vanessa successfully got Jenny Humphrey into. Dan explains to Serena that Vanessa is his best friend and to Vanessa that Serena is the new love of his life.
When Dan planned on spending his first night with Serena, Vanessa offers him advice on sex. She wonders why Dan would have sex with Serena since she knows that he compares it to art, something that shouldn't be rushed.
Vanessa gradually adjusts to Dan's being involved in the Upper East side but still maintains her contempt for its wealthy populace, with the exception of Nate Archibald, who embarks on a relationship with her as the first season progressed. Blair takes an immediate dislike to her and even convinced her to stay away from Dan while he's with Serena, knowing that she still loves him. Vanessa shares Blair's mutual hatred and specifically dislikes Chuck. Serena and Vanessa later become friends and bond during a game of Guitar Hero on Blair's seventeenth birthday, both sharing the hardship of being good friends to their respective best friends.
When Serena is threatened by Georgina's return to New York, Vanessa aids in helping get rid of Serena's enemy. During a Lincoln Hawk concert, she discovers that Georgina is lying about her identity and confirms this with Nate. Vanessa confronts her but Georgina decides to take matters into her own hands that eventually lead to Blair and Dan taking down Georgina.
When Nate returns from his summer in The Hamptons, he finds Vanessa and hopes to resume his relationship with her. His financial problems and his dangerous affair with Catherine Mason soon drive Vanessa to break up with him when Catherine threatens Vanessa to stay away from him or she'll inform the federal authorities where Nate's father is hiding. Vanessa turns to Blair for help but botches the scheme when she assumes that Blair was abandoning it because of her relationship with her new boyfriend, Marcus Beaton. Nate's chance at returning to his old life is ruined when Vanessa goes to Marcus' father and informs him of the affair happening between Marcus and Catherine. Nate chooses to ignore Vanessa after she consorted with Blair and didn't inform him.
Nate's moving in with the Humphreys causes several problems as she becomes absent from the Humphrey loft. While rallying for the preservation of a historic saloon for landmark status, Chuck arrives to help Vanessa since he values historic bars during the prohibition era. Unfortunately, Vanessa becomes entangled in one of Chuck and Blair's games which lead her to sleeping with him but finds that Chuck does have a more human side. When Blair asks for Dan's help in getting Chuck's attention, Vanessa informs Dan of what Chuck and Blair did to her causing Dan to ruin Chuck and Blair's chance of being together.
During Jenny's guerrilla fashion show, Vanessa spots Jenny kissing Nate and is heartbroken. Authorities become embroiled in finding Nate's father and Chuck and Vanessa persuade Nate to turn in his father when police discover that he intends to hold Nate and his mother for ransom against the Vanderbilt family. When Jenny returns from staying with Agnes' family in Lower Manhattan, she and Vanessa make amends during Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, Vanessa sees a letter Nate left for Jenny, steals it and had lied about having moved one from Nate.
When Jenny gets a Gossip Girl blast, she is shocked to see Nate and Vanessa kissing in public and disappointed to find out that Nate is taking Vanessa to the Snowflake Ball. She angrily confronts Vanessa and calls her a hypocrite. The two fight over Nate until Vanessa leaves the Humphrey loft. A vengeful Jenny pretends to make amends and sends Vanessa a dress as a ceasefire. A guilty Vanessa nearly reveals to Jenny about her stealing a letter from Nate meant for her until a phone call interrupts her. When she arrives at the ball, she tearfully confesses to Nate that she took Jenny's letter and that falling in love with him made her do so many things that were out of character. Vanessa leaves but not without getting humiliated by a guilty Jenny, who learns from Nate of what Vanessa did and how guilty she felt about stealing the letter. Vanessa's diaphanous dress is put through a spotlight and she is humiliated by laughing Upper East side students. Nate chases after her and restarts his relationship with her.
When Dan receives news of Rufus and Lily's lovechild, he vents his frustrations at Vanessa. Unaware that Dan's phone had been stolen by Nelly Yuki, she sends a text stating that Serena has a right to know about the supposed lovechild's existence. Blair's clique sends the news to Gossip Girl and this upsets Serena, who had been hoping to retain her relationship with Dan.
A happy Vanessa and Nate are present when Chuck searches for a mysterious woman named Elle. Their relationship soon faces challenges during a school play when Nate assumes that Vanessa is flirting with the hired gay theater director and when Nate is invited to a Vanderbilt party, celebrating his cousin's engagement. Nate remains undecided on his future and his grandfather continuously offers him a job involving politics. Tripp informs Vanessa that politics is a Vanderbilt birthright and that Nate will eventually take it instead of their backpacking trip through Europe. Vanessa feels that Nate is growing distant from her when he states that he's taking the offer and she leaves the party on bad terms with Nate.
Vanessa and Nate's relationship is further strained when she sees Nate with Blair, fearing that the two are getting back together. Nate and Vanessa talk and break-up. Vanessa insists that Nate is with someone else. During Jenny's sixteenth birthday, Vanessa arrives with Chuck and kisses him to make Nate jealous. Nate is disappointed at Vanessa but she ends up sleeping with Chuck again.
Vanessa attends Dan's graduation in the season finale. Serena declares war on Gossip Girl when she releases her most hurtful blast during the ceremony. A party at Nate's has Gossip Girl retaliate with most of their secrets released and Vanessa's trysts with Chuck are made public. Vanessa is present at The Oak Room when Gossip Girl evades Serena's plan to reveal her identity. A week later, Vanessa rejects Nate's offer of his joining her in Europe since someone has already replaced him in accompanying him. She has unknowingly met Rufus and Lily's lovechild Scott Adler, who joins her in her backpacking trip through Europe.
Vanessa returns from Haiti to visit Dan but is displeased to find him living with Georgina and shocked that he has a son, Milo Humphrey. Nate, feeling threatened with Dan, hopes to get Serena's answer on who she'll choose when she returns from Paris and lies to Vanessa (under the instigation of Juliet Sharp) about Dan having feelings for him. Vanessa and Dan have sex until she finds out that Nate has lied to her, Vanessa confronts Nate but Dan still chooses her even when he still has residual feelings for Serena. She eventually decides to live with Dan and helps raise Milo with him, having no problems with the idea since she was raised in a commune. Georgina's return from a short-lived vacation leads her to taking Milo from Dan and Vanessa and Vanessa comforts Dan.
Vanessa continues to feel awkward with Serena, especially when Dan still trusts Serena more than her. During a party where Dan had lied about his whereabouts, Vanessa confronts him and tells him that she will always be there for him.
Vanessa and Dan soon separate when several Gossip Girl blasts involving Dan and Serena lead her to conclude that he isn't over her. When Juliet schemes against Serena, she persuades Vanessa to join her until Juliet goes to far with her scheme to the point where Serena would get expelled. A guilty Vanessa tries to stop the scheme but ends up getting framed by Juliet. When Vanessa asks Dan to trust her, he leaves and Vanessa tells Juliet to protect herself. Vanessa leaves and stays with her parents.