Jenny Humphrey

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Jenny Humphrey
Gossip Girl and The It Girl character
Jenny Humphrey Season 3.jpg
Taylor Momsen as Jenny Humphrey
First appearance Novel:
Gossip Girl
(Gossip Girl series)
The It Girl
(The It Girl series)
Television:
"Pilot"
(episode 1.01)
Last appearance Novel:
Nothing Can Keep Us Together
(Gossip Girl series)
Classic
(The It Girl series)
Television:
"New York, I Love You XOXO"
(episode 6.10)
Created by Character
Cecily von Ziegesar
Developed for Television
Josh Schwartz
Stephanie Savage
Portrayed by Taylor Momsen
Information
Full name Jennifer Tallulah Humphrey
Nickname(s) Jenny (by everyone)
Aliases J, Little J, Queen J
Occupation Novels:
Artist
High school student
(at Constance Billard; expelled)
(at Waverly Academy)

Television:
High school student
(at Constance Billard; departed)
College student
(at Central Saint Martins)
Fashion designer
Drug dealer (former)
Family Rufus Humphrey
(father)
Daniel "Dan" Humphrey
(older brother)
Novels:
Jeanette Humphrey
(mother; estranged)
Television:
Alison Humphrey
(mother)
Lillian "Lily" Humphrey
(ex-stepmother)
Scott Rosson
(paternal half-brother)
Serena van der Woodsen
(ex-paternal stepsister/sister-in-law)
Eric van der Woodsen
(ex-paternal stepbrother)
Charles "Chuck" Bass
(ex-adoptive stepbrother)

Jennifer Tallulah "Jenny" Humphrey is one of the characters in both the Gossip Girl (novel series) and The It Girl series of novels by Cecily von Ziegesar. She is portrayed by Taylor Momsen in Gossip Girl on The CW.[1]

Novel series[edit]

Gossip Girl[edit]

Jennifer Humphrey is the daughter of Rufus Humphrey, an editor for beat poets who has never been published himself, and Allison Humphrey, who ran off with a European aristocrat. She has an older brother Dan Humphrey, who is an aspiring writer. Jenny is a student at the Constance Billard School for Girls, a small, elite, all-girls school located on the Upper East Side, which Serena van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf also attend. In the book series, Jenny Humphrey is described as a short, well endowed brunette while the television show depicts her as tall, skinny and blonde.

In the Gossip Girl prequel It Had To Be You, Jenny is noted for having a rather flat chest until she begins taking breast enlargement supplements, which turns out are the cause of her double D cup size.

The It Girl[edit]

Jenny is the protagonist in the book series, The It Girl, which shows her new life, after she gets expelled from Constance Billard, and starts at Waverly Academy in upstate New York. In The It Girl, Jenny tries to reinvent herself as a "popular and sophisticated city girl" and leave behind the person she was at Constance. When Jenny arrives at Waverly, she finds the students even more attractive, athletic, and intimidating than she imagined. Jenny then meets her two new exceptionally beautiful and popular Junior year roommates: lithe and blonde Southern girl Callie Vernon, and red-headed, green eyed, and sophisticated New Jerseyan Brett Messerschmidt. She quickly learns that she has replaced their old best friend: extremely attractive and notorious Tinsley Carmichael. Jenny can't help but feel that sleeping in such a lucky bed must rub off.

TV series[edit]

Season 1[edit]

Jenny Humphrey is introduced in Season one. She is a pretty, blonde freshman at Constance Billard.[2] Desperately trying to fit in with Blair's clique, Blair makes fitting in difficult for her as she subjects Jenny to the rules of high school hierarchy. A possible friendship ends when Blair discovers Nate's lingering feelings for Serena and Jenny's interest in Nate that entails further cruelty on Jenny. However, when Blair's affair with Chuck Bass is exposed, Nate approaches Jenny and rumors of Blair's affair is made public. Blair's friends shun her for her hypocrisy and establish Jenny as the new Queen Bee of Constance Billard.[3] Despite being one of the school it-girls, she is driven to prove herself, but her low self-confidence that stems from not having the same privileged financial status as the other girls, provokes her to sell her sewing machine and barter an expensive dress she stole from one of her friends. When Blair throws her a surprise birthday party, the other girls discover that Jenny stole the dress, bringing Blair's scheme full circle. Jenny retaliates by bringing Nate with her to Blair's victory party and persuades the girls to her side.[4] Jenny and Blair then struggle for the position of Queen Bee. When Jenny thinks she's found true love with Asher Hornsby, their romance is short-lived when she discovers that he is gay. He convinces her to say that she lost her virginity to him in order to put the rumors of him being gay to rest, and as long as she pretends it's true, he'll give her privileges that Upper East Side can offer. However, Blair and Eric out Asher at his own party, and Jenny confesses that she lied about having sex with him. Blair's clique abandons her once again, and she later finds Blair to tell her that she's won as it's "not worth it".[5] In the season finale, Jenny receives an internship at Blair's mother Eleanor's company.

Season 2[edit]

At the beginning of season two, Jenny spends her summer working hard as a new intern for Eleanor Waldorf designs. She apologizes to Eric for her behavior the previous season. He forgives her and invites her to the White Party in the Hamptons where he introduces her to Tinsley Mortimer and where she proves her worth to one of Eleanor's supervisors.[6]

Eleanor fires Jenny after a critical remark on one of her dresses, but during a citywide blackout, Eleanor realizes her talent and hires Jenny. After constant harassment by Blair’s minions, Jenny decides to skip school to pursue a future in fashion.

When Blair and Serena have another fight concerning Serena's growing popularity, Jenny is dragged into their fight during Eleanor's fashion show and is subject to Blair's torture when she changes the seating arrangement that Blair had initially planned. Blair informs Rufus that Jenny has been skipping school and he confronts her. Blair attempts to sabotage Jenny’s work in the show but Jenny improvises, proposing that Serena and the socialites walk the runway. In an effort to ruin Serena, Blair switches the final dress with one that Jenny made, drawing Eleanor's ire. Despite this, the dress is a huge hit with the audience and the fashion show is a big success. Jenny realizes Blair's frustrations regarding her friendship with Serena, commenting that they have worked hard for what they’ve wanted and Serena just glides through. Eleanor later praises Jenny Humphrey for her work.[7]

Rufus eventually agrees to Jenny being home schooled after seeing how committed and good at her job she is. At work, Jenny befriends a model named Agnes Andrews (Willa Holland), who convinces her to start her own fashion line. Realizing that working for Eleanor won't help her develop as a designer and that Eleanor herself has begun to take advantage of Jenny's talents in fashion, Jenny leaves.[8] Jenny also begins a short relationship with Nate when they share a passionate kiss after he rescues her from being taken advantage of by an older photographer. Jenny and Rufus argue over her quitting Eleanor’s and Jenny moves out of the Humphrey’s apartment and moves in with Agnes, who suggests that they plan a guerrilla fashion show at the charity gala honoring Lily and Bart.[9] The show is a big success but Vanessa witnesses her kissing Nate thereby straining their friendship and Rufus tries to get her arrested but was stopped by Lily. Due to Agnes' fiery temper and their growing disagreements over the clothing line, the pair have trouble closing a business deal. Jenny steals Agnes’ contact list, attempting to make a deal by herself. Upon learning of Jenny’s betrayal, Agnes burns all of her dresses and kicks her out of her apartment, leaving her with nothing.[10]

Upon learning that she is too young to start her own business, she attempts to file for emancipation but Rufus refuses. On Thanksgiving, Lily finds the papers after discovering that Jenny has been hiding in their apartment with Eric, and warns Rufus. Rufus and Jenny reconcile their relationship, after a little persuasion from Eleanor and she returns home.[11] During the Snowflake Ball, Jenny learns that Vanessa and Nate are back together even though Vanessa was aware of Nate's feelings for her. Nate breaks up with her after she helps to humiliate Vanessa at the ball. Jenny returns to Constance and is forced to contend with Blair’s minions.

During the season finale and Serena’s hunt for Gossip Girl, Jenny decides to compete to be the next Queen Bee after Blair leaves. She almost drops out, but Blair gives her a touching speech about keeping her eye on the prize. In the end Blair chooses Jenny and crowns her queen of Constance.[12]

Season 3[edit]

After Jenny fails to bring about egalitarianism at Constance, she resolves to rule as Queen Bee with her own group of minions.[13] With her new position and wealth, Jenny’s social climbing persona resurfaces and she begins to erase her former Brooklyn self, throwing away her homemade clothes and sewing machine. Worried that Jenny is turning into another regular Queen Bee, Eric and Jonathon attempt an intervention but as a result are humiliated by Jenny and her clique.[14] Eric teams up with Blair to take down Jenny at the Cotillion Ball by sabotaging her escort. The plan backfires however and Jenny instead secures none other than Nate to escort her, winning her the respect of the other Queens at every other prep school on the Upper East Side. As a consequence of Eric’s scheming, Jonathan breaks up with him and a rift emerges in Jenny and Eric’s relationship.[15]

Chuck introduces her to Damien Dalgaard, son of the Belgian ambassador who works as a drug dealer to make his own money.[16] Jenny liking his wild lifestyle, eventually strikes up a relationship with him and aids him in supplying drugs to his customers while sharing in some of the profit, even stealing some of Lily’s “headache pills”.[17] Eventually Lily and Rufus find out about the drugs, which Damien covers up with a story about his father.[18] Against Rufus’s will, Jenny continues her relationship with Damien who seems interested in taking it further. Jenny, who is a virgin, backs out at the last minute causing Damien to break up with her, leaving her to face her family.[19]

On Rufus’ suggestion, Eleanor reemploys Jenny to help out with her upcoming fashion show. Jenny is happy to be back, but is shocked to learn that one of the models she’ll be working with is her old friend Agnes, who, after the show finishes, takes revenge on Jenny by drugging her and leaving her in a bar to be taken advantage of. Jenny is rescued by Nate, however before anything happens to her. Because of this though, Jenny’s feeling towards Nate reawakens and she aspires to win him over.[20] She tries to kiss him but he resists her advances because he sees her only as a friend and because he is dating Serena. Jenny attempts to sabotage Serena and Nate’s relationship by lying to Serena and implying to Nate that she is having an affair with Carter Baizen. Jenny’s attempts fail, and her relationship with both is left tenuous after Nate kicks her out of his apartment.

At a gala event where Serena’s recently returned father William Van Der Woodsen is making a speech, a former client of Damien’s approaches Jenny, angrily telling her the drugs she sold her (Lily’s cancer medication, as was recently revealed) gave her a yeast infection. Rufus overhears this and grounds Jenny to the Humphrey apartment in Brooklyn.[21] During her punishment, Jenny researches Lily’s medicine and informs Chuck via telephone that there is something very wrong about the medication that Serena’s father is prescribing her. It is discovered that, William has lied to Lily about her condition and has been giving her drugs that in fact make her sick in a plot to win her back off Rufus. Seeing an opportunity to break up Rufus and Lily and return her family to the way it was before, Jenny attempts to sabotage Blair, Chuck, and Nate’s plan to unveil William’s deception. When William is about to be held accountable, she quickly runs to William and warns him, telling him that the police will be coming to get him, and urges him to escape. Back at the van der Woodsen penthouse she reveals that it was she who warned Dr. van der Woodsen and that she wishes her family can go back to normal stating "When I lived in Brooklyn, I may have had to ride the subway to school, and make my own clothes, but at least our family was happy". Rufus says that the only thing that needs to return to normal is Jenny. Eric is hurt by Jenny's attempt to leave the family, and says that if she wants out, no one is forcing her to stay.[22]

Jenny hits rock bottom after sending a picture of Dan and Serena in bed together to Gossip Girl, jeopardizing Dan and Nate’s friendship, Dan and Vanessa's relationship, and breaking up Nate and Serena’s relationship. Blair confronts Jenny telling her that “Nate loves Serena, Dan loves Vanessa -god knows why-, and Chuck loves me. But you Jenny? No one loves you, except your daddy. And after what you pulled yesterday, who knows if that's even true anymore?”[23] Emotionally distressed, Jenny goes to Nate’s apartment but instead finds Chuck devastated over his break-up with Blair and in her state of vulnerability, Jenny loses her virginity to Chuck. However, afterwards, Blair arrives willing to take Chuck back and Jenny sneaks out. She breaks down in tears to Eric, telling him that everyone hates her and that she slept with Chuck. Eric tells Dan, who confronts Chuck just as he is about to propose to Blair. Jenny, in tears, leaves with Rufus and Lily. A week later, she says her goodbyes to her family and leaves to finish out high school with her mother in Hudson.[24]

Season 4[edit]

Jenny has been living in Hudson with her mother since May due to the troubles that occurred in "Last Tango, Then Paris", where she caused an uproar with Serena and Dan when she sent a picture of the two of them in bed together, which led to the breakup of both Dan and Vanessa & Serena and Nate. As she was upset, she later went to Chuck’s apartment and slept with Chuck, which led to Blair breaking up with Chuck and banishing Jenny from New York City.

The end of episode "Goodbye, Columbia" shows Chuck talking on the phone to Veronica (a woman who works with Tim Gunn) regarding an interview with Gunn for a returning Jenny.

Jenny is back in episode "Easy J" and returns to the upper east side with a bang. She is preparing for an interview with Tim Gunn and wants everything to be perfect. Blair visits the Van Der Woodsen/Humphrey apartment to discover Jenny is hiding out there. She instantly decides to send her back to Hudson but Jenny asks for a special one-off visit, and Blair allows it agreeing to her never setting foot in New York for the rest of the year. But when Chuck steals Jenny's portfolio she is forced to break her promise and go the Empire hotel which Blair had forbidden her to go. Blair and Jenny start scheming against each other again. And Jenny tells Gossip Girl that she lost her Virginity to Chuck, which makes Blair embarrassed and defeated. She tells Blair and Chuck that she wants to become a better person and is fed up of the scheming and games. She then returns to Hudson after telling Chuck and Blair that if their vindictive games towards each other continued, they would destroy each other.

In the next episode, Jenny lies and says she has a test to study for and that is why she can't make it to the Upper East Side for Lily and Rufus' anniversary. Eric and Dan know that she is afraid to come home because she is afraid of Blair and Chuck and of turning into the person she used to be. So Dan tries a few schemes himself but realizes that he is turning into Blair and Chuck as well.

In "Juliet doesn't live here anymore" Juliet and Vanessa skype Jenny asking for help to take down Serena. Jenny knows that she doesn't want to go back to her old tricks but also feels like Serena is the one to blame for everything that happened last year and how she can never take blame for anything, so, Jenny agrees and a few days later gets to the train out to New York to help with the scheme.

Jenny later becomes involved in a scheme with Juliet Sharp and Vanessa in order to bring down Serena and turn everyone against her. But when Serena ends up in the hospital after being drugged by Juliet, Jenny tells Juliet that she is going to come clean with everyone about their scheme, but Juliet warns her that she will be going down alone. When Jenny appears at the hospital, Vanessa has already pinned the entire scheme on her and unable to defend herself, she leaves, showing up at Blair's later that night, telling her that Juliet was behind everything and that she and Vanessa were merely accomplices. To prove her story, she hands Blair Juliet's masquerade mask and has temporarily earned Blair's forgiveness. After confessing to Blair, she says that she would love to help her take down Juliet, but she should instead return to Hudson, rather than become involved in another scheme.

Season 5[edit]

In the premiere episode of season five, "Yes, Then Zero," it is revealed by Rufus that Jenny moved to London to attend Central Saint Martins.

Season 6[edit]

In the final episode of the series, it is revealed that Jenny knew that her brother, Dan Humphrey, was the mysterious blogger behind Gossip Girl. She returns to the Upper East Side, appearing in the five-year time jump for her brother's wedding to Serena van der Woodsen. Jenny works as a designer for Blair's fashion empire, implying that they have gotten over their past animosity. Together they created their own clothing line called "J for Waldorf".

Reception[edit]

Rumors have been made throughout Gossip Girl's first few seasons that Jenny would be given her own spin-off, in line with the character leaving for boarding school just like the novels. News later confirmed that producers did not pick up the spin-off.[25]

Jenny's character further gained prominence during the shows third season. Enid Portugez of the LA Times praised Jenny's fashionable skills, stating that "Jenny capped off the drama by showing us she's becoming extremely adept at becoming a drug dealer. Her brilliant idea to sew pills into jacket paillettes could have easily won her a "Project Runway" challenge! Despite the illegality of it all, it was nice to see Jenny put her wit and wiles to use..." [26] Following the dramatic events during the third season finale, Michael Ausiello praised both Leighton Meester and Taylor Momsen's performance.[27] L.J. Gibbs, from TV Fanatic, gave the episode a 3.5 rating star out of 5, and said that he felt that Chuck being shot at the end of the episode was a very "cheap move by the writers", and that the storyline involving Chuck and Jenny having sex was very "unlikely".[28] Mark O. Estes, from TV Overmind, had also praised Taylor Momsen's performance in the episode and said that he "wish that Jenny had of gotten her own spin-off", and questions that if her send-off in this episode means that the show's writers have a "Katherine Heigl" situation on their hands".[29] However, Jenny was included in TV Guide '​s list of The Most Loathed TV Characters.[30]

When asked during a Vanity Fair interview if "real" girls could afford the looks from the show, costume designers Eric Daman and Meredith Markworth-Pollack commented on Jenny's style and stated "Of course! Have fun with it like Jenny Humphrey does, and listen to your fashion sense. Go to a vintage or thrift store and have it tailored so it looks like Marc Jacobs [...] but it’s all about individuality." [31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gossip Girl - Cast - Taylor Momsen". CWtv.com. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  2. ^ "Pilot Episode Recap". TV.com. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  3. ^ "The Thin Line Between Chuck and Nate Episode Recap". TV.com. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  4. ^ "The Blair Bitch Project Episode Recap". TV.com. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  5. ^ "All About My Brother Episode Recap". TV.com. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  6. ^ "Summer, Kind of Wonderful Episode Recap". TV.com. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  7. ^ "The Serena Also Rises". TV.com. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  8. ^ "Pret-a-Poor-J". TV.com. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  9. ^ "There Might be Blood Episode Recap". TV.com. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  10. ^ "Bonfire of the Vanity Episode Recap". TV.com. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  11. ^ "The Magnificent Archibalds Episode Recap". TV.com. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  12. ^ "The Goodbye Gossip Girl Episode Recap". TV.com. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  13. ^ "Dan de Fleurette Episode Recap". TV.com. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  14. ^ "How to Succeed in Bassness Episode Recap". TV.com. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  15. ^ "They Shoot Humphreys, Don’t They? Episode Recap". TV.com. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  16. ^ "The Last Days of Disco Stick Episode Recap". TV.com. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  17. ^ "The Hurt Locket Episode Recap". TV.com. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  18. ^ "The Lady Vanished Episode Recap". TV.com. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  19. ^ "The Sixteen Year Old Virgin Episode Recap". TV.com. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  20. ^ "The Empire Strikes Jack Episode Recap". TV.com. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  21. ^ "It’s a Dad, Dad Dad, World". TV.com. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  22. ^ "Ex-Husbands and Wives Episode Recap". TV.com. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  23. ^ "Last Tango, Then Paris Trivia and Quotes". TV.com. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  24. ^ "Last Tango, Then Paris Episode Recap". TV.com. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  25. ^ "'Gossip Girl' Producers Considering Spin-off?". Entertainment Weekly. 2008-06-11. 
  26. ^ "'Gossip Girl': Reunited and it feels so good". Los Angeles Times. March 9, 2010. Retrieved March 3, 2011. 
  27. ^ Ausiello, Michael (May 10, 2010). "Exclusive: I've seen the 'Gossip Girl' finale and it's [major spoiler alert]!". EW. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  28. ^ Gibbs, L.J. (May 18, 2010). "Gossip Girl Season Finale Review: The End of the Beginning". TV Fanatic. Retrieved July 21, 2010. 
  29. ^ Estes, Mark O. (May 18, 2010). "Gossip Girl 3.22 "Last Tango, Then Paris" Recap/Review". TV Overmind. Retrieved July 21, 2010. 
  30. ^ "The Most Loathed TV Characters Pictures, Jenny Photos". TV Guide. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  31. ^ "Welcome Back, Gossip Girl". Vanity Fair. March 17, 2011. Archived from the original on April 21, 2008.