|Gossip Girl character|
|First appearance||Book Series:
"The Handmaiden's Tale"
|Created by||Cecily von Ziegesar|
|Age||15-18 (Book Series)
17 (TV Series)
High School/College Student
Waitress at Communi-Tea
Arlo Abrams (father)
Gabriela Abrams (mother)
Ruby Abrams (sister)
Arlo Abrams (father)
Gabriela Abrams (mother)
Ruby Abrams (sister)
Described as sullen, with a shaved head and black clothing, Vanessa is a budding filmmaker. Her dream is to one day attend NYU and major in film. Her hippie artist parents live in Vermont but allowed her to move to Williamsburg, Brooklyn to live with her sister Ruby.
In the first books, she stays away from Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen's social scene, resenting the Upper East Side way of life and preferring the company of Dan Humphrey, her best friend, and her sister Ruby. She has had a huge crush on Dan ever since they met on a fire escape when they were both locked out of a party, but Dan had always been too in love with Serena van der Woodsen to realize it. Dan and Vanessa finally get together in the second book, but break up when Dan cheats on her with a yellow-toothed writer named Mystery.
Vanessa is very fond of making dark films and spends most of her time filming people and objects. She later becomes friends with Blair Waldorf, and they become short-lived room mates. She takes much from her, becoming more open to the Upper East Side way of life and later semi-adapting to Blair's sense of fashion (though she once quipped that she would not be wearing snakeskin Manolos anytime soon, despite her newfound penchant for fashion.) She begins a relationship with Aaron Rose, Blair's vegan stepbrother, only to cheat on him with Dan come graduation.
Dan and Vanessa once again become a couple, but with Vanessa taking a job as an assistant for Ken Mogul (and later a babysitter) and Dan cheating on her yet again with a leggy blond named Bree, they break up. Dan has a period of crisis when he thinks that he is gay after kissing a guy at work, but Vanessa stands by him. She agrees to move in with Rufus Humphrey (having been kicked out of her apartment by her sister Ruby and her new fiance Piotr) during the fall when she goes to NYU. Dan turns out to be straight, and they spend the time they have together before college being a real couple.
Vanessa is an aspiring filmmaker with a quirky sense of fashion style. Her childhood best friend is Dan Humphrey, and for a while the two had crushes on each other. They were almost an item before Vanessa decided to move away to Vermont to live with her parents. A year later, she returned to Brooklyn to live with her sister, to try to rekindle the old flames. Unfortunately for her, Dan has found a new love interest in Upper East Side socialite Serena van der Woodsen.
In Episode 6 "The Handmaiden's Tale" Vanessa returns from Vermont to live with her sister Ruby. She intends to surprise Dan, suddenly appearing in his window and he is pleased to see her. When Serena calls Dan to invite him to the ball, she hears Vanessa on the background, and thinks Dan has a new girlfriend. To get revenge on Dan, she invites someone else to the Masquerade Ball instead of him. Vanessa, meanwhile, intends to declare her feelings for Dan and they plan to go to the movies. Dan learns that Serena has invited another guy to the dance, so he rents a suit to attend and clarify things with Serena. On the night of the ball, Vanessa helps Dan's younger sister Jenny Humphrey enter the dance without an invitation. Without knowing that Dan was at the dance (because he had told her he had to study) Vanessa goes into the dance to give Jenny her keys (Jenny had forgotten them). Meanwhile, Dan explains everything to Serena, so she forgives him and the two share a kiss, but are seen by Vanessa, who flees in tears and Dan goes after her. Upon reaching home, Dan meets with Vanessa. She asks him to tell her all about his new relationship, and they return to being friends.
In the episode "Victor, Victrola" Vanessa wants to spend her free time with Dan, but he is busy with Serena, attempting to have sex for the first time. Vanessa does not forget that Dan was feeling sad because of what he sees. For her part, she helps Jenny reflect on the relationship of Dan and Jenny's parents.
On the day of Blair's birthday, Dan invites Vanessa to Blair's party so that she and Serena can find out more about each other and become friends. Vanessa accepts and prepares for the evening. Upon arrival, Serena was impressed to see that Dan invited Vanessa. Serena is very uncomfortable, but tries not to show it. The two play Guitar Hero and Vanessa, for her part, is believed to be the best and the whole room applauds her. Serena tries to not ruin their slowly developing friendship, by letting Vanessa win, but eventually particiaptes fully in the game and beats Vanessa. Vanessa tells Dan that his mother has returned to the house, so that Serena gets angry and Hull's place. Dan follows her and explains that Vanessa is his best friend and that the two will always share a special bond from their childhood together. Later, Serena and Vanessa engage in conversation and get to know each other better.
On Christmas Day, Vanessa comes to Dan's school to give him her gift, which was that the story he had written would be published in the city newspaper. Later, Serena asks Vanessa's help to buy a gift for Dan. Serena tells Vanessa that Dan just wanted snow, so Vanessa has an idea. In Blair's house, Vanessa designed a computer programme to look like falling snow, which Vanessa later superimposes onto the gallery walls. At that point, Blair leads Vanessa to the bathroom and tells Vanessa she knows about her feelings for Dan and asks her why she is doing this for him. Vanessa leaves, leaving Serena worried. That night, Vanessa projects her animations onto the walls of a room in Rufus' gallery and asks Serena not tell Dan anything about her involvement in this. Serena agrees and thanks her.
In episode 12 "School Lies", Serena and Dan invite Vanessa to a pool party at the school. Both attend and Vanessa takes her camera to make a documentary about private schools. But everything is complicated when a student becomes seriously injured. An ambualnce is called and the party is discovered. The students all go to Blair's house and there they all make a pact that no-one will confess to starting the party at the school, and that they will all protect each other. While at Blair's house, Blair and Chuck Bass discussed their tryst and Chuck threatens to tell Nate Archibald about it. However, they are filmed by Vanessa, who sees the entire exchange. Later, Chuck offers money to Vanessa for her to give him the tape. Vanessa accepts the money, but gives him a tape with another documentaryto the unknowing Chuck. Blair, meanwhile, wants Vanessa to give her the tape refused to give in to any demands from Vanessa. Later, Vanessa gives the tape to Blair without any conditions attached. Finally, Blair agrees to pay Vanessa's rent for a whole year to thank her for giving her the tape.
As the SATs approach, Vanessa tutors Dan, and helps him to study. Vanessa, herself, however, is not taking the exam. Nate arrives to bring some books to Dan, but Vanessa does not want to speak to him. Vanessa then reads a letter Nate had left. In it, Nate asks forgiveness for what he did, and Nate tells her about the problems he has with his father. They spend an evening together and end the night with a kiss outside Vanessa's cafe. The next day, Nate insists Vanessa takes the SATs, telling her he has already paid for it and registered her. Vanessa accepts this and the two enter into a relationship.
In episode 16, "All About my Brother", Dan meets a girl called Sarah, but who is actually an old friend of Serena named Georgina Sparks, who is hiding a dark secret and wants to hurt Serena, so she befriends Dan and Vanessa.
In "Woman on the Verge" Serena tells her friends about the secret she has been keeping, that only Georgina knows about. Nate calls Vanessa, who is at Rufus band's concert, with Dan and Georgina, and he tells her the truth about "Sarah". Vanessa confronts Georgina, saying that she knows her real name and her intentions. Vanessa tells Dan, but he does not believe her. Later, Blair, Nate and Chuck go to the concert, looking for Georgina, only to find that she has left with Dan. The three then go searching for Dan and Georgina, with Vanessa's help.
In the season finale, at Lily and Bart's wedding, Nate, burdened by the myriad problems with his father, tells Vanessa that he is not ready to be in a relationship, and the two break up. In a flashfoward we see that Dan and Vanessa have spent their summer together, at Rufus' gallery, while he was on tour.
Vanessa spends the summer redecorating Rufus's art gallery and making it into a cafe. She hangs out with Nate, and he confides in her the financial circumstances of his father's debts. Nate is forced to continue sleeping with Catherine in order for her to help him financially.
Vanessa does not find out about the existence of their relationship until she shows up to Blair's party during the city blackout. He does, and later he goes off to find Catherine to call off their relationship. She waits for him, but Catherine finds her first and tells her just how far she is willing to go to keep Nate. She says that if Nate leaves her she will report to the police the location of Nate's father. Unable to do anything, Vanessa surrenders.
Later she tells Dan what happened, and she runs to him again when she captures a photo on her cellphone of Catherine and Marcus and frets over what to do with it. Acting on Dan's advice, she skeptically goes to Blair for her to form a plan to bail Nate out of Catherine's grasp. When she contacts Blair later she does not pick up her phone. From Jenny she learns where Blair is but upon seeing her at a cafe with Marcus she decides to take matters into her own hands and go to Catherine's husband and spill the beans. She learns the consequences of her actions when Blair angrily tells her she was going to have Catherine pay off Nate's father's debts until Vanessa went to Catherine's husband, and also when Nate is hurt that she not only lied to him but she went to Dan and Blair for help and not him.
As Jenny hopes to continue working for Eleanor Waldorf, she encourages Rufus to get her home-schooled. Jenny tells her that if he spends one day at Eleanor's atelier and is impressed, she'll be home-schooled. With Jenny's visit to Lily's convincing Rufus to get Jenny home-schooled, Vanessa brings in the transcripts and Jenny is home-schooled.
Vanessa displays her charitable side by helping save the Brooklyn Inn from auction and is petitioning for landmark status. She goes to Dan's school and starts handing out fliers. She hands one to Blair who crumples it saying that charities apply to diseases and endangered species not real estate. Vanessa then turns to blackmail by telling Blair that everybody knows that she broke up with Marcus but not everyone knows the reason why they did and flashes a picture of Catherine and Marcus kissing each other. Blair is forced to comply but is determined to destroy Vanessa by conspiring with Chuck to embarrass Dan's best friend as revenge against Dan for ruining his friendship with Nate. Chuck pretends to help Vanessa, who isn't convinced that he is willing to help. After someone heckles Chuck, he leaves and returns to Blair saying that the deal is off. Blair convinces him to continue by offering herself in exchange for Vanessa getting humiliated. Vanessa finds out from Chuck's lawyer that he was telling the truth and is invited by Chuck to Lily's housewarming party. During the party, Vanessa witnesses Chuck's argument with his father and Chuck seduces her. Blair erases Marcus and Catherine's picture and tells Vanessa that it was just all bet. Vanessa is humiliated and Chuck goes to the Brooklyn Inn, determined to save it.
In "Pret-A-Poor J" during Aaron's opening, Vanessa helps with the show and finds out that Dan is helping Blair with her problems with Chuck. Vanessa gets her shot of indirect vengeance when she tells Dan about Blair and Chuck toying with her. Dan then sabotages Blair but later regrets his actions.
In "There Might Be Blood". Jenny has a guerrilla fashion show along with Agnes, at the same time as the gala for Lily and Bart. Vanessa, Dan and Rufus begin to search for Jenny. Dan tells Vanessa that he knows that she still loves Nate, but Nate tells Dan about the trouble they shared and asks him to try and forget it. The fashion show begins and Vanessa is overjoyed for Jenny, but later spots Nate and Jenny kissing and walks out feeling betrayed.
On Thanksgiving, Dan invites Vanessa to spend the day with them and stay for dinner, but she is reluctant to attend because of what was happening with Jenny and Nate. Dan reports that Jenny and Nate are no longer together and that Jenny will most likely not spend Thanksgiving with them, so Vanessa accepts the invitation. Later, Vanessa runs into Nate at the gallery while he was trying to return a few of Rufus' CDs. Due to the uncomfortable situation with Dan he asks Vanessa to give them to Rufus and he tells her to "take care of herself" before he leaves
An FBI agent stops Vanessa as she is leaving the gallery and tells her he wants to talk to her about Nate. Vanessa calls Chuck to let him know about the problem Nate is in. Nate meets Vanessa, Chuck, and the FBI agent and is told about his father's plans to get money from his grandparents by taking him (Nate) and his mother as hostages. Vanessa and Chuck tell him that there are two ways to end it all; the Captain can leave again or he can give himself up to the authorities. Nate confronts his father, and he chooses to surrender.
After the arrest, Vanessa and Chuck go over to Nate's and he thanks them for helping him through such a hard time. Vanessa tells Nate that she didn't want to get in between Nate and Jenny's relationship. Nate responded by telling her that he had not been in contact with Jenny for weeks. At the Thanksgiving dinner, Vanessa arrives and tells Jenny that she is no longer angry at her. Jenny apologizes and says that their friendship is worth a lot more than a boy. However, when she spots a letter to Jenny from Nate she steals it before Jenny can read it. The letter explained to Jenny how Nate really felt about her.
In episode 12 "It's a Wonderful Lie", for the annual Snowflake ball, Vanessa tries to hide from Jenny that she's in a relationship with Nate, but Jenny soon discovers them kissing via a picture on Gossip Girl. Jenny confronts Vanessa and ends their friendship. Later, when visiting Penelope, Hazel and Isabel, the clique orders Jenny to give Vanessa an incredibly transparent dress for the ball, and she complies as revenge for what happened with Nate. Jenny, later gives the dress to Vanessa under the guise of wanting to mend their relationship. Vanessa accepts the dress gladly, but Jenny starts to have second thoughts, but as she was about to speak up she is interrupted by a call from Nate to Vanessa.
At the Ball, Vanessa tells Jenny that she's going to end things with Nate to resume their friendship. Jenny is moved and she tries to stop Vanessa but Vanessa leaves to find Nate. Vanessa goes to Nate and tells him why she has to end their relationship, confessing to taking the letter he had sent to Jenny. As Vanessa turns to leave, Jenny tries to warn her about the clique's plan to publicly humiliate her but she's too late. Vanessa is then literally put in the spotlight by a friend of the clique and her underwear is visible to everyone, underneath the transparent dress. Vanessa then leaves in tears, with both Jenny and Nate right behind her. Finally, Nate reaches Vanessa before she gets in a cab, and tells her he just wants to be with her. They share a kiss and some laughs. Then Jenny shows up, but remains hidden, watching them taking the cab.
When Vanessa and Nate are having their 2-month anniversary, she goes with Dan to a candy store, to buy sweets for Nate. Here, Dan talks about the fact that he feels bad hiding something from Serena about their parents. He finally confesses that Lily and Rufus went away to Boston, to try and search for their son, the one that Lily gave away 19 years before. Vanessa is left completely shocked, but recovers enough to advise Dan that he should tell Serena or their relationship would be over, again. Out of the blue, the little girls so faithful to Gossip Girl show up, confront Vanessa and Dan, asking why is Dan cheating on Serena again and telling Vanessa that they know that she goes out with Nate, after she failed to get Dan. Perturbed, they leave the candy shop right away, without realizing that Nelly Yuki, watching the whole thing but not really listening to the subject, had stolen Dan's cellphone to get the skinny on his big secret. Later, Serena visits Vanessa, because she knows Dan is hiding something from her and she's worried as to what it might be, and she was sure that if he would tell anyone, it would be Vanessa. But Vanessa lies to her, telling her that she doesn't know anything. After Serena leaves, Vanessa sends a text message to Dan, asking when would Lily and Rufus return and again advising him to tell Serena the truth. By now, Nelly had given the cellphone to the clique, in an attempt to get redemption and to get herself off "probation" with them. Thus, Penelope receives the message and Dan's huge secret is revealed after they send the information to Gossip Girl.
During the episode "You've Got Yale!" Vanessa and Nate intend to celebrate their two months together at the opera one night. Vanessa bought two tickets to the opera while Nate unwittingly reserves a box for the two of them. They initially sit in Vanessa's seats but after some persuasion they move to the box and end the night kissing.
In the episode "The Age of Dissonance" Vanessa films a documentary about the school play "The Age of Innocence" in which Nate, Dan, Serena and Blair are all cast. Vanessa tries to help Serena draw the attention of the director of the play, Julian. After Blair accuses Vanessa of costing her admission to Yale, Serena jumps in to defend Vanessa. During dinner, Serena makes plans with Julian and asks Vanessa to help her seem more intelligent. Serena joins Julian and Vanessa feeds her information using an earpiece but while she does this Nate walks in and thinks she is speaking to Julian. During the play after being criticized about his performance by Julian Nate goes out of character and confronts Julian about trying to steal Vanessa. After this the entire play starts to deteriorate. After the play, Nate tells Vanessa that they have nothing in common and that she is better off with someone like Julian. Later, Vanessa and Nate make up and are seen together watching ESPN.
When Nate's cousin Tripp invites him to the family reunion, Vanessa tries to convince Nate to forgive his grandfather and his cousins with regards to what happened to his father. Vanessa and Dan accompany Nate so that he wouldn't feel alone and when Nate's grandfather, William, sees him there he welcomes him with open arms. Later, while Nate and Dan are playing touch football, Vanessa strikes up a conversation with Maureen, Tripp's fiancee. She explains that her first time there had been intimidating also. Maureen then informs Vanessa that William is very influential in his grandsons' career choices and she welcomes Vanessa to the next 30 years of her life. Vanessa tells Dan that Nate's grandfather tries to organize everyone's life and she thinks that might separate her and Nate. Nate tells her that nothing will change between the two of them, but gets a call from Tripp and leaves Vanessa feeling uneasy. Later, at Tripp's party, Vanessa finds out that Nate has been offered an internship in the mayor's office and that he may blow off their backpacking trip across Europe to please William. Vanessa confronts Nate and tells him that William is running his life and choosing for him but Nate gets angry and question if that isn't what Vanessa was trying to do. William gives a speech and Nate agrees to take the internship, causing Vanessa to leave with the state of her and Nate's relationship undecided. At the loft, Vanessa discusses the situation with Jenny and tells her she and Nate may have broken up.
One week later, Vanessa visits Dan and tells him that she and Nate haven't spoken in a week. Dan tells her to make the first move. At that time, Vanessa gets an email from Nate asking her to come by his house. As Vanessa is on the other side of the street heading to Nate's house she is surprised when she sees Blair leave and Nate kissing her goodbye. Chuck, at that time, arrives telling her that he was the one who sent her the email using Nate's account and says that Blair leaves Nate's house every morning. Later, Vanessa and Nate get together for dinner. Nate announces that he believes their relationship is over. Vanessa questions if there is another person involved and Nate lies to her saying that there was no one else. After the dinner, Vanessa visits Chuck needing to vent and the pair begin to plot about ways to deal with the Blair and Nate situation. At Jenny's party, Vanessa and Chuck go together and realize that Blair and Nate are also there, and in an attempt to make them jealous they kiss. Then, Nate confronts Vanessa and this tells you that at least Chuck is not intended to be something else that is not. Nate tells him that there was only one that Blair is a friend, but Blair said that for now are just friends, maybe something might happen later. After that, Vanessa and Chuck have a one-night stand.
In the episode "Southern Gentleman Prefer Blondes", Vanessa and Dan will get drunk when they play "I never ..." and shows that it slept with Chuck twice. Later, in the episode "Valley Girls", Jenny, Dan and Vanessa get together to watch horror films.
In the season finale "The Goodbye Gossip Girl" Vanessa attends the graduation of Dan and others. She sees Nate again and tells him to go to backpacking in Europe, and also thanks him for having forced her to take the SAT, because without them she could not have gotten into NYU. Later, Serena wants to get revenge on the Gossip Girl, Vanessa and the others disagree and do not participate. Later at the party, come on Gossip Girl is Serena and revealing all the secrets of the group, including Vanessa who slept with Chuck. Later, Gossip Girl the whole group together and told them to accompany the university. A week later, Nate visits Vanessa and Dan in the cafeteria. Unbeknownst to the three, Scott is Lily and Rufus's son. Then, Dan receives a call from Georgina, who tells him that his money was returned and will be a student at NYU, along with Vanessa.
After spending her vacation in Europe, travelling with Nate as friends, Vanessa returns to Manhattan and gets to know Scott, a boy who had attempted to flirt with her when she visited NYU before going to Europe. Later, she joins with Dan and she discovers he has been spending his summer living the high life as Lily van der Woodsen's boyfriend's son. Dan says to her that he will never change and that he will be the same in spite of being rich, but Vanessa realises this isn't true when she spies him getting in a limo after he said he was getting the bus. Scott and Vanessa begin dating and Scott encourages Vanessa to stay friends with Dan. Vanessa moves into her dorm at NYU to discover she is in the same hall as Georgina Sparks and Blair Waldorf. Georgina apologises to Dan and Vanessa for her previous behaviour and Vanessa and Georgina become friends. Dan and Georgina date briefly but when he discovers she hasn't changed at all, he cools it off and starts dating Olivia Burke, Vanessa's new room-mate who also happens to be a famous actress. Vanessa starts to be suspicious about Scott's behaviour and eventually discovers he is not a student at NYU. She confronts Scott and he tells her he is actually Lily and Rufus' son and she encourages him to tell them. Scott eventually tells Lily and Rufus the truth at their wedding and moves back to Boston, promising to come down and visit.As months have gone by, a new face arrived to NYU and becomes Vanessa's dorm roommate. Her name is Olivia Burke, a famous actress, who wants a normal life for once. She met Dan and they developed crushes on each other and now, they are officially a couple, also becoming friends with Vanessa. Before Olivia was going to leave for New York to film a movie, Dan, Vanessa, and Olivia decide to have a threesome, which results in Dan developing feelings for Vanessa.