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18th Oct 2021

You fans are convinced Joe Goldberg is secretly Gossip Girl

Sarah McKenna Barry

Spoilers for both Gossip Girl and YOU ahead.

The third season of YOU hit Netflix on Friday, and fans all over the world are tuning in to follow Joe Goldberg and Love Quinn on their next dodgy adventure.

The mysterious show keeps fans guessing throughout, and, naturally, fans begin to offer their own theories as the show goes on.

One of the most bizarre theories to emerge out of the woodwork is that Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) is actually Gossip Girl’s Dan Humphrey (also Penn Badgley).

And before you ask, yes I’m aware that it’s the same actor. But this theory goes deeper than that.

Beyond the obvious physical resemblance, Joe and Dan share some similar traits.

Both are prone to stalking. After all, Dan ended up being the infamous. Gossip Girl, which would have required him to get to know his friends on a super-intimate basis with neither their consent or knowledge.

Joe, unquestionably, is also a stalker, and uses it as a means to get to know his potential partners – and victims – better.

Many fans took to Twitter to point out further similarities between the two characters.

One wrote: “I cannot help but notice the character similarities between #JoeGoldberg #YouS3 and #danhumphrey #GossipGirl … Book lovers, from Brooklyn, stalkers, manipulative, hate rich kids, think of themselves as lonely and outsiders. Very much possible that Joe is grown up Dan!”

Another wrote: “Joe Goldberg (#you) is from Brooklyn, New York. He stalks people. He is manipulative. The character is played by Penn Badgley. And…. So is Dan Humphrey. Coincidence? I guess not!”

A third said: “Dan Humphrey changed his name to Joe Goldberg. XOXO gossip girl.”

But just how likely is it that Dan and Joe are the same person? The answer, it seems, is highly unlikely, and that’s largely due to the fact that YOU and Gossip Girl are from completely different production companies and networks. And, as both are based on novels, connecting Dan and Joe would pose huge copyright challenges.

Having said that, both Gossip Girl and YOU have a penchant for shocking twists, so it’s not entirely out of the question.