Gossip Girl was famous for pushing the fashion envelope. Blair singlehandedly made headbands cool again, Jenny’s dark eyes had everyone stocking up on eyeliner, and Chuck’s suits ushered in a preppy era. But nobody held a candle to the ever-innovating Serena van der Woodsen. NYC’s it-girl used unique accessories to stand out... but not all of her looks hit the mark. Case in point: that time she tied a graduation tassel directly into her hair. It’s a decision that has baffled fans for years, but now, finally, a new TikTok theory may explain Serena’s Gossip Girl graduation tassel moment.
One of Serena’s most infamous style choices happened in the Season 2 finale, which centered on the main cast’s high school graduation. While everyone else is wearing a traditional cap and gown, Serena is inexplicably without her cap, having tied her tassel directly onto her head. It bugged fans back then when the episode aired in 2009, and it still bugs fans over a decade later. However, a viral video posted by TikTok user @skylar.alyshia on April 3, 2022, offered up an explanation for the bizarre style detail.
“Remember at graduation how Dan was left out of the brochure? Apparently there’s also a deleted scene where he also didn’t get a cap and gown because they completely forgot about him,” @skylar.alyshia says in the TikTok. “So Serena gives her cap to him. And since there’s no extra caps, she just slaps the tassel on in her hair.”
This sounds like a very cute explanation for the style choice, especially if you’re a Dan and Serena shipper. However, it unfortunately doesn’t totally add up. The supposed deleted scene mentioned in the TikTok doesn’t seem to exist online, and there’s reason to believe Serena didn’t actually give Dan her cap in the episode.
For one thing, Dan very clearly did have at least his graduation gown and cords, as evident in the scene when he realized he was left off the program.
That scene also shows Serena receiving her cap from a graduation committee member, fiddling with the tassel, and then seemingly giving the cap back to the committee member. So no, she probably didn’t give it to Dan — it looks like she just removed the tassel then returned the cap.
The biggest giveaway that this theory doesn’t hold up, though, is the color of the caps. Serena, like all the Constance Billard graduates, had a green cap, while all the St. Jude’s graduates wore blue caps. Dan is even shown in his blue cap during graduation, confirming he definitely didn’t take Serena’s green cap.
Honestly, it’s a cute theory, but it looks like fans are just going to have to admit that Serena tied that tassel into her hair because she really thought it was a good look, and for no other reason than that. But hey, if you want to be an optimist, sure, go on ahead and believe Serena was actually being a good person.