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This Is Serena's Best And Worst Trait On Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl is full of morally questionable characters, and when it comes to Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively), there's just as much good as there is bad. Spoilers ahead!

Throughout the run of Gossip Girl, Serena is known as one of Manhattan's most infamous "It girls," making headlines and waves alike with her partying, seemingly endless conquests, and constant drama. Often at odds with her best friend Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester) and caught between love interests like Dan Humphrey (You's Penn Badgley), Nate Archibald (The Boys' Chace Crawford), and Carter Baizen (MCU star Sebastian Stan), Serena's life is certainly never boring, and she doesn't always handle her numerous hurdles particularly well.

Lively's iconic performance infuses Serena with real heart and emotional depth, and though this beautiful, troubled rich girl has plenty of positive qualities, she also has some enormous personal pitfalls. From her faith in other people to her self-absorption, here are Serena van der Woodsen's best and worst qualities on Gossip Girl.

Serena van der Woodsen sees the best in everyone — including herself

At her best, Serena is a sweet, supportive, and loyal friend and girlfriend, always looking for the best in others as well as herself. Whether she's dealing with Blair's antics, embroiled in another romantic foible, or trying to lift herself up, she always looks on the bright side, even when it doesn't seem like there is one at all. As a result, Serena, who opens the series running away from her problems, starts to realize she needs to face them head-on, and starts dealing with her numerous troubles instead of simply avoiding them.

Serena also frequently helps Blair — who also tends to lean into her very worst impulses — become a better version of herself, and no matter what despicable things Dan, Blair, and Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) are up to, she stands by their side, lifting them up as well as herself. Beyond that, Serena has boundless confidence — how else could she possibly get an internship with famous director David O. Russell with absolutely no experience? Serena's big heart is definitely her best quality... but it also closely ties into her worst one.

Serena van der Woodsen is also selfish and naive

Sadly, Serena's huge heart also makes her super vulnerable and naive. After Dan is revealed as Gossip Girlthe mysterious online entity who has been tormenting the entire gang for years — she marries him, meaning she ends up spending her life with her cyber-bully. She also displays this quality multiple times throughout the series, whether she's taking up with a married politician, losing her mother's money to a boyfriend running a Ponzi scheme, or siding with her duplicitous father William van der Woodsen (Billy Baldwin) when he's up to no good.

To make matters worse, Serena's utter naivete becomes even more toxic when you realize just how selfish she is. Serena may believe in herself no matter what, but she also kind of only cares about herself, and presents herself as a nice girl with bad luck when she has plenty of Blair-ish "mean girl" qualities of her own. Lively herself addressed Serena's worst qualities, telling E! Online, "People loved it, but it always felt a little personally compromising — you want to be putting a better message out there [...] I would not be proud to be the person who gave someone the cocaine that made them overdose and then shot someone and slept with someone else's boyfriend." Whether Serena was secretly taping a romantic rendezvous with Dan to hurt Blair, sleeping with Nate behind Blair's back, sabotaging Blair's chances of getting into Yale (obviously, Blair was a frequent target), or just putting her own selfish needs above everybody else's, there's no denying that Serena van der Woodsen is one of the most self-absorbed characters around.

Serena's best and worst qualities are on full display in Gossip Girl, the entirety of which is streaming on HBO Max.