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14 Ways 'Dawson's Creek' Ruined Your High School Experience

No one bought me a darn wall.

Controversial statement alert: as much as we love them, the iconic TV series of our youth can actually straight up ruin said youth itself. (Okay, maybe not ruin, but cause a serious amount of disappointment and disillusionment at the very least).

Shows like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" taught me that high school would be full of rad '90s crop tops (nope, not allowed), actually cool 16-and-over nightclubs (never), and boys who were as handsome as the 30-year-old men who played them (LOL), while "Gilmore Girls" tricked me into wishing for fast-paced dialogue and idyllic small town hijinks with a crazy cast of characters. Humbug.

But nothing -- NOTHING! -- tricked me quite like the beloved "Dawson's Creek," which led many a '90s teen to believe that high school was all halcyon days and impossibly cozy nights spent giving confessions of love while "Jaws" played in the background.

Below, some of the most insidious lies that Dawson (James van der Beek), Pacey (Joshua Jackson), Joey (Katie Holmes), Jen (Michelle Williams) and the gang forced you to believe about life as a teen:

  1. You thought everybody would speak in soliloquy.

    ... When in reality, everyone just kind of mumbles "hi" in the morning then goes back to checking their smartphones.

  2. ... And specialize in grandiose statements on love.

    Modern day equivalent: "You up?"

  3. You thought the bad boys would have hearts of gold.

    When in reality, they just use you then go full Charizard and leave you.

  4. You thought singing showtunes in public would win you friends and lovers.

    In actuality, it's just annoying.

  5. Love triangles. Where are the love triangles?!

    The closest thing you have to a "love triangle" is your daily battle between cafeteria pizza and cafeteria nachos.

  6. You thought you'd hang out in idyllic, waterfront locations.

    The parking lot outside the local convenience store is basically the same thing, right?

  7. You thought you'd have cool stomping grounds, like The Icehouse.
    The WB

    Nah, man. You get a Jersey diner, your friend Kim's house, or nothing.

  8. You thought literally everyone in your friend group would get together, break up, then get together again with no long-lasting consequences.


  9. You were expecting to see a lot more muted earth tones.
    The WB


  10. You were hoping to meet a whole gaggle of film buffs.
    The WB

    Sigh. Is no one so unique as to stan for Steven Spielberg anymore?

  11. You assumed you'd spend most of your time talking about your love life, and very little of it going to class.
    The CW

    Turns out, you need to attend AP bio to pass.

  12. You figured SOMEONE would care enough to buy you a wall.
    The CW

    No one seems to believe in the simple things anymore.

  13. You were expecting a serious amount of self-awareness and thoughtful introspection.

    Instead, you found Instagram filters.

  14. And finally -- most importantly -- you thought PACEY would be there.