How has it already been two decades since Dawson’s Creek premiered on The WB? The series just celebrated its 20th anniversary and we are starting to feel really old. The James Van Der Beek-lead show gave us several things to take with us into the future including a damn good meme… and one of the best love triangles in pop culture history.
For years, we all wondered if Joey would wind up with Dawson or not. If you didn’t see that ending coming, then you really didn’t understand Joey at all! Even though the show only had six seasons, there were a ton of jaw-dropping moments. Dawson’s Creek had its fair share of unexpected deaths, dramatic fights, and crazy plot twists that fans never saw coming. Relive the craziest moments from this teen drama and see which moment you think was the most intense out of all 128 episodes.
16. Pacey dating his teacher, Tamara
Season 1, Episode 1: “Pilot”
Dawson’s Creek totally acted like Pacey dating his teacher was NBD at first. When Pacey first met Tamara in the very first episode, he didn’t know she was his teacher, but he did know she was much older than him. And she obviously knew he is a teenager, even if she didn’t totally say it. Pacey toed the line pretty hardcore by flirting with Tamara, in class, in front of all of the other students. Later on, the relationship comes back to blow up in their faces. It should have never even happened in the first place!
15. When Dawson finds out his mom is having an affair
Season 1, Episode 4: “Discovery”
Affairs aren’t very uncommon, in real life and on TV, unfortunately. When we first met Dawson’s family, we learned that his mother was having an affair. While that isn’t too titillating, what is crazy is that Dawson’s BFF, Joey, is the one to find out first – and she decided not to tell Dawson about it. Instead, she kept the affair to herself, which wound up biting her in the butt. Dawson eventually finds out the truth about his mom cheating, not too long after Joey, and he totally loses it. Instead of hearing Joey out for why she kept it a secret, he turned to Jen for comfort and shut out his best friend. Classic Dawson.
14. When Jack came out in the middle of English class
Season 2, Episode 14/15: “To Be Or Not To Be…”/“…That Is the Question”
Instead of telling his friends that he wasn’t entirely sure about his sexuality, Jack decided to read a poem in class. In the poem, Jack said, “His frame strong. His lips smooth. And I keep thinking. ‘What am I so scared of…’ I wish I could escape the pain, but these thoughts invade my head.”
Everyone at school gossiped about what it meant about Jack, which shocked his own sister, Andie, along with their friends, and his girlfriend (at the time), Joey. Sadly, Jack tried to claim the poem had nothing to do with sexual feelings because he was still struggling to accept himself for who he was. Pacey was a good friend, though, and avidly defended Jack when a teacher tried to attack him for what he wrote.
13. The time Dawson and Andie got really drunk at a blues bar
Season 2, Episode 16: “Be Careful What You Wish For”
In the big scheme of things, this is probably not the craziest thing ever, but it was very out of character for both Andie and Dawson. Typically, Dawson just complains and complains about something, anything really, but he never actually does anything about what bothers him. Not that we suggest drinking to solve problems, but Dawson at least decided to make a change this time he was feeling angsty. Andie was so straightlaced when she first came to Capeside; viewers would never have expected to see her get drunk at a bar when she was only 16 years old. The song that Dawson and Andie sang together to express their frustrations is amazing – and goes down in Dawson’s Creek history.
12. When Andie has her meltdown after seeing visions of her dead brother
Season 2, Episode 20: “Reunited”
When Andie first moves to Capeside, she doesn’t outright tell her new friends what happened with her family. She is determined to keep up her grades and socialize, despite her dark past. Abby Morgan is actually the one who told the entire school that Andie’s brother Tim had died and her mother was mentally unstable because of it. Things don’t stay in Andie’s past for long, and she starts to see visions of her dead brother. Pacey and Jack don’t realize how bad it is at first, but when it became obvious to them that Andie thought Tim was actually with her at certain moments, they had to intervene.
11. When Andie steals the PSAT, but Dawson accuses Pacey
Season 3, Episode 3: “None of the Above”
Pacey wasn’t exactly the best student when attending Capeside High, we all know this. Pacey wasn’t dumb by any means, though he did struggle. Whereas, Joey, Dawson, Andie, and Jack all seemed to excel academically for the most part. So, it really should come as no surprise that Pacey would be the first suspect when a test went missing. Eve offered Dawson a copy of the PSAT to help him cheat, but Dawson was aghast at the idea. When it went missing, he blamed Pacey, and they got into a heated argument. To everyone’s surprise, the culprit was actually Andie. She stole the copy so she could ace her test and prove she was doing better after her mental breakdown. Unfortunately, this just made her whole situation look even worse.
10. The time Pacey literally bought Joey a wall
Season 3, Episode 16: “To Green, With Love”
Has Pacey never heard of getting someone flowers? He went out and set some seriously unrealistic relationship expectations with this move. After Joey helped paint a mural for school, she was heartbroken when it was vandalized. Pacey won’t let anyone break his girl’s spirit, so he went ahead and sought action against the vandal. But he also wanted to show Joey just how much he cared for her, so he decided to go big and buy her the wall her mural had been on. It’s his way of inspiring her to be creative and share her skills with everyone… and at that moment, we know he was the one.
9. When Abby Morgan fell off the dock and died
Season 3, Epsiode 18: “A Perfect Wedding”
This is one of the deaths that shook the friend group to their core. Abby Morgan wasn’t Capeside’s golden girl, but she obviously didn’t deserve to die. She had started to lead Jen down a darker path, including when they got drunk at a wedding together. When Andie kicked them out, they moved to the docks to keep the party going. So when Abby falls off of the dock, Jen obviously thinks she is joking around… until she realized her friend wasn’t actually unresponsive. Abby’s death totally shakes Jen, and she loses it when people hypocritically act like Abby wasn’t pretty troubled after her death.
8. The time Pacey and Joey spent an entire summer vacation on a boat together
Season 3/4, Episode 23/1: “True Love”/“Coming Home”
Don’t get us wrong, this was damn romantic. We will support Pacey and Joey until the end of time. But, they were in high school when this went down. In a very dramatic season finale, Joey decided she finally needed to let Pacey in and tell him that she loved him, too.
She had to first break Dawson’s heart, and he realized that she had to do this to figure out what she wanted. Before Pacey heads off on a summer trip on his boat, she chased him down to confess her feelings and completely pours her heart out to him she. Again, them sailing off into the sun together (literally) is cute AF… but it’s the whole high school thing that has our eyebrows raised.
7. When Dawson’s dad dying while getting ice cream
Season 5, Episode 4: “The Long Goodbye”
The ice cream didn’t kill Dawson’s dad, but it had to be mentioned, because, really? The man can’t even enjoy an ice cream cone without dying! This death hit home so much because Mitch and Gail had just had their baby girl, Lily, after they’d finally rekindled their relationship. The Leery family was whole again! Then Dawson and Mitch got into a huge fight because Dawson wanted to drop out of film school. Dawson left to head up to Boston, leaving their fight unresolved, and Mitch gets in a car crash after dropping his ice cream cone.
6. When Joey is robbed at gunpoint, then her robber is hit by a car
Season 5, Episode 15: “Downtown Crossing”
Things could get pretty serious on Dawson’s Creek! A mugger snuck up behind Joey when she was at an ATM and forced her to empty her bank account. When he tried to leave with the money, he was promptly hit by a car. Karma works quickly. Instead of leaving the criminal to die, Joey empathizes with him and stays until help comes. In yet another twist, Joey wound up fainting when the paramedics arrive, so she, too, was also taken to the hospital. When the mugger dies, Joey doesn’t tell his daughter about his sordid past and instead says that he saved Joey’s life and died a hero…
5. The time Joey accidentally emailed her entire campus her feelings for Dawson
Season 6, Episode 3: – “The Importance of Not Being Too Earnest”
We feel fairly certain that this is the most traumatic internet experience one could possibly have in the ’90s. Sure, we’ve all accidentally hit “Reply All” or sent an email to the entirely wrong address at one point or another, but when we do it, it is just a dumb response to a question or asking one of our own. Chances are we’ve never sent an email to total strangers where we bear our hearts and soul on the page. But that’s what happened to this girl. It all happened when Joey decided to email Dawson to tell him how she felt about him – instead of picking up the phone or doing it in person – and accidentally sends the love letter to everyone in her college. Obviously, her email is the talk of the campus the next day, and naturally, she’s mortified.
4. When Audrey drove into the house on Christmas
Season 6, Episode 10: “Merry Mayhem”
One of the craziest moments of Dawson’s Creek came during the final season. Audrey was a welcome addition to this friend group when she became Joey’s college roommate. But then she developed a drinking problem and things came to a head at Christmas. When her friends tried to confront her over about how much and how often she was drinking, Audrey totally freaked out. She made a huge scene at the Leery family Christmas dinner and left. Except, she obviously should not have been drinking and driving. She took Pacey’s keys to his fancy BMW to drive home and then crashed the car… into the Leery house. After that, she couldn’t outrun her addiction or her problems.
3. When you find out Doug and Jack wind up together
Season: 6, Episode 23/24: “All Good Things…”/“Must Come To An End”
During the entire series, Pacey always mocked his older brother for his love life. He made several jokes along the way about Doug Witter’s sexuality, but nothing was ever really confirmed until the very end of the series. In the two-part finale set five years in the future, we found out that Doug was, in fact, gay after all. But not only that, he was in a relationship with Jack! The shocking relationship twist is shown with Doug pulling over Jack for speeding. When Doug leans in – to presumably collect his license and registration – he collects something else instead! A kiss! They even wound up adopting Jen’s baby at the end of the series. Cute.
2. When Jen died at the end of the damn series
Season 6, Episode 24: “…Must Come To An End”
At the start of Dawson’s Creek, Jen was the outsider who was encroaching on the Joey and Dawson friendship/brewing relationship. But by the end, she was an essential part of the core group. So, obviously, they had to kill her off (very dramatically, we might add) at the end of the series. The episode was set in a future where Jen is dying from an incurable heart condition. In the episode, she got to say goodbye to her friends – including sharing the moment with Jack where he says he’ll adopt her baby. It has been nearly 15 years since that episode aired and the tears still are fresh.
1. Most importantly, when Joey *finally* chose between Dawson and Pacey
Season 6, Episode 24: “…Must Come To An End”
Thank God Joey made the right choice! TBH, Dawson was the worst character on Dawson’s Creek. He was too whiny and pretentious, and the episodes where Joey and Dawson are dating were downright boring. When the time jump happened at the end of season six, Joey was dating a random dude, and when she came back to town, she realized that she still loved Dawson and Pacey. Jen, on her deathbed, told her to get it together and pick someone already because seriously, it was taking too long. The moment when Pacey tried to let her go was when we all knew he was the better choice for her. He always wanted the best for Joey, whereas Dawson just wanted Joey. That’s an important distinction. In the end, the couple supported their BFF when he was off in Hollywood making his own TV show, and they had their own happy life together.