Everyone On TV Was Once On Dawson's Creek. Proof Ahead.

Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
At one point or another, we have all fallen irrationally, intensely into an all-consuming love (or lust, as the case may be). And, after those relationships came to a dramatic end, we promised ourselves we would never look back. What would be the point of wasting our lives thinking about the past? The only exception: Our brightly burning love affair with Dawson's Creek. That show was The Best, and despite the fact that it toyed with us for a few years too many and then abandoned us with no concern for our feelings, we still care. A lot.
After all, it gave us so much while we were together. We fell in love with a perfectly flawed boy named Pacey, wanted to throw things at identified with a smarty-pants tomboy named Joey, befriended the too-cool misfits that were Jen and Jack, and felt some very intense pangs of jealousy around our lost invitation to Sunday-night dinners with Grams.
The finale aired, we shed many a tear, and we most adamantly refused to move on. Instead, we continued to look for our Dawson’s fix. (Netflix helped. As did TBS.)
Life updates on Joshua Jackson, Michelle Williams, Katie Holmes, and James Van Der Beek abound. Those four main stars have been in and out of the spotlight for the past 10 years. But, what about the characters who aren't on the DVD covers — those who befriended, challenged, and fell in love with the core four? Well, they're everywhere, too. Ahead, we have proof, in the form of 30 shows on the air right now (well, R.I.P. Dexter) that have all looked to the Creek for talent. Yep, when it comes to TV, all roads lead to Capeside.
1 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, ABC Studios.
Remember Jennifer Morrison from Dawson's Creek? Probably not. But, before playing Emma Swan, the "savior" of fairy tales, in Once Upon A Time, she played Pacey's summer fling, Melanie Shae Thompson (a.k.a. the girl with the boat).

If only Emma knew that before she was in the foster system, or the child of Snow and Prince Charming in Storybrooke, she was the wealthy niece of a ship owner. And, more importantly, that law degree would have really helped her avoid having Henry in jail.
2 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Showtime Networks.
David Monahan won Jack McPhee's heart senior year of high school as Tobey Barret. Recently, he was one of Travis Mitchell's victims on Dexter.

The residents of Capeside were forced into a lot of service hours/manual labor over the years (Jen, Pacey, and Dawson, we are looking at you). Yet, Tobey actually chose to be spend his time volunteering, so it makes sense Monahan's character on Dexter, Nathan, would also be a good samaritan. Unfortunately, that didn't turn out too well for him.
3 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Television.
Separating Jane Lynch from Sue Sylvester on Glee can be hard, but previously she played Pacey's mom, Mrs. Witter, on Dawson's Creek.

Someone should have told Sue that she was actually already the mother of the whole Witter brood back in Capeside before she made a big deal at McKinley High about having a daughter with Michael Bolton. But, it is nice to know she was always an expert at hilarious, slightly insulting zingers.
4 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Hallmark Channel.
Fans of Dawson's Creek probably recognize Dylan Neal as Pacey's brother, Doug Witter. But, did you know he will be appearing on Arrow this fall as Anthony Ivo?

After years of listening to his brother repeat the same gay jokes, we finally learned Doug's sexuality and saw his happy ending (and first romantic scene) in the finale. Here's hoping that we will not have to wait six seasons for Neal's next romantic storyline when he joins the cast of Arrow.
5 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Television.
Alexandra Breckenridge was in only one episode of Dawson's Creek, as Jack's ex-girlfriend, Kate Douglass. But don't feel bad, she was later in American Horror Story as the young Moira.

Breckenridge's Dawson's Creek character, Kate, was dumped by two men who later came out in high school. She definitely went back to Kate's pain when playing the young Moira, complete with a distrust of men that literally transformed her.
6 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Entertainment Home Pictures, 20th Century Fox Television.
Harry Shearer only spoke in two episodes of Dawson's Creek as Principal Peskin of Capeside High. But, he has lent his voice to The Simpsons as Kent Brockman, Ned Flanders, and Principal Skinner for the last 25 years.

If only Jack, Pacey, and Dawson had known the principal they were pranking was a regular fixture on The Simpsons, they might have changed their mind about putting his dog on a sailboat in the middle of the school's pool. But then again, we are glad they didn't know. It was nice to briefly see Dawson and Pacey as partners in crime again.
7 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, ABC Studios.
While we all knew that Joey's relationship with Eddie Doling would never last, we were sad to see Oliver Hudson go. It is nice to see him again as Jeff Fordham on Nashville.

Eddie may be the only one of Joey's love interests, outside of the Capeside love triangle, we were okay with taking up screen time. As both a writer and a quick-tempered fighter, he was the perfect blend of Pacey and Dawson. His only problem was that he kept disappearing on Joey. Sadly, it won't be much longer before Jeff disappears from Nashville — come on, nobody messes with Connie Britton without facing the consequences.
8 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, ABC Studios.
Starting in the fifth season of Dawson's Creek, the antics of Audrey Liddell shook up the lives of the core four. She is now continuing these antics as Laurie Keller in Cougartown.

Audrey was the roommate we all secretly wished we had. While it's hard to imagine Audrey growing up and starting a bakery called Krazy Kakes, the fact Phillipps' latest character makes boob-shaped cupcakes sounds just right.

Now, excuse us while we decide if we would prefer Phillipps to get busy (couldn't resist) with a Dawson's Creek or a Freaks and Geeks reunion first.
9 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television.
Today, we watch Jeremy Sisto's character George Altman raise Tessa on Suburgatory, but once he almost married Joey Potter on Dawson's Creek.

Poor Christopher. He bought a ring for Miss Potter without knowing anything about her — really, what stories could she tell that didn't include Pacey or Dawson? In return Potter finally followed her heart, kicked him out of her Manhattan apartment, and moved in with her true love. Since Joey seems to have a lasting effect on men, it takes no stretch of the imagination to realize George Altman moved from New York to suburbia to escape his Potter-sized-heartbreak, years and years later.
10 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television.
Remember when Hilarie Burton was a VJ on MTV's TRL? Yeah, we don't either. But it helped her land a guest star gig on Dawson's Creek — as herself. Most recently, she helped out Seattle Grace Hospital as Dr. Lauren Boswell.

While the gang was on spring break Joey talked Hilarie out of hooking up with Chad Michael Murray's character, Charlie. If only Joey Potter had been around in Grey's Anatomy to convince Dr. Boswell to not hook up with Arizona. (Editor's Note: This writer loves that Hilarie Burton's and Chad Michael Murray's first scene together was actually on Dawson's Creek, not One Tree Hill.)
11 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television.
Jensen Ackles fights for mankind in Supernatural, but once he spent his days fighting for Jen's heart.

Not only did C.J. work on a college campus' helpline, but he was able to do the what seemed impossible by helping Jen let down her guard and fall in love. Naturally, in order to find a bigger challenge he had to literally save the world by hunting demons in Supernatural.
12 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, American Movie Classics.
Melissa McBride is so amazing as the strong Carol Peletier in The Walking Dead, it's a bit jarring to see her play an older woman being seduced by a high school boy in Dawson's Creek.

It is not easy surviving a zombie apocalypse, so we hope during the really hard days Carol can remember how 10 years ago Dawson restored her faith in men. Only the boy across the creek could show up (underage) at a bar to pick up a woman and end up turning her down in the name of true love.
13 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Television.
Thanks to growing up with Joey Potter for six years, she is close to our heart. But, it was nice to see Katie Holmes play a comedic role as Naomi on How I Met Your Mother.

After Joey took six seasons to decide between her two high school boyfriends, we thought the friends down the Creek would be the most drawn out love story in our lives (because Felicity only lasted four seasons). But, then we all became addicted to How I Met Your Mother. We are still disappointed Kerri Russell never made a guest appearance to complete the indecisive, drawn-out trifecta.
14 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, ABC Studios.
Scott Foley traded Cliff Elliot's Capeside High varsity jackets for uniforms and holsters as Jake Ballard in Scandal.

Few jocks got a good rep with the our favorite high school gang. However, they probably should have given Cliff some credit since he would one day become an assassin, friends with the president, and one of Olivia Pope's love interests on Scandal.

Also, can we congratulate Scott Foley on (temporarily) winning the hearts of Michelle Williams Jen Lindley, Kerri Russell Felicity Porter, and Kerry Washington Olivia Pope? Talk about a list of amazing ladies.
15 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, CBS Paramount Network Television.
Pauley Perette steals the spotlight as Abby Sciuto on NCIS with a wardrobe that always stands out, so it is strange to see her wearing neutrals and polished blazers as Rachel Weir on Dawson's Creek.

First and foremost, Abby is the true heart of NCIS, and seeing her with blonde hair really freaks us out. But, it is nice to know that she wasn't always solving international crime. As Dr. Rachel Weir she helped families cope with loss, and served as a catalyst for Jen and Dawson's short-lived attempt at rekindling their romance in college.
16 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Television.
Madchen Amick's character, Nicole, disappeared from Dawson's Creek once Mitch Leery ended things to reunited with his ex-wife. Now Amick plays Wendy Beauchamp on Witches of East End.

Nicole Kennedy was far from the best teacher Capeside ever has (that award clearly goes to Mr. McPhee), considering she continually trashed Dawson's dreams. When you think about how often we saw those students skip school, she should have congratulated him for even attending. Hopefully, she will have a better time mastering her skills as a witch in one of this season's new pilots, Witches of East End.
17 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Alliance Atlantis Productions.
We have watched Eddie Cahill as Don Flack on CSI: NY for nine seasons, so it's hard to think of him as any other character. But, he once played the actor Max Winters on Dawson's Creek.

It's a good thing Don sticks to solving crimes. His role as the famous, young actor, Max Winters, on Dawson's Creek showed us how bad he can be at starring in horror movies. Everyone should be glad Dawson was allowed another chance in a studio after helping out with that film.
18 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Scott Free Productions.
We will never forget Mary Beth Peil's portrayal of Everlyn 'Grams' Ryan. She became so loved by the characters (and us), she moved to college with the gang. We are glad we can still get our Grams fix by watching Peil play Jackie Florrick on The Good Wife.

Over the course of the show Grams' home went from being rumored as haunted, to everyone's sanctuary. The meddling behavior of Jen's grandmother was just what the kids needed to stay together — even if their resistance, led by Jen, lasted for years. We are not quite sure Alicia sees Jackie's meddling in the same light on The Good Wife. However, shout out to Peil for embracing the grey and not coloring her hair this time around.
19 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Entertainment.
Before, Ken Marino decided to solve crime in Neptune with Veronica Mars, he taught Joey how to write as Professor Wilder. Now, he hangs out with a younger set as Dr. Glen Richie on Children's Hospital.

It might not be the best idea for a Children's Hospital to hire someone who kissed one of his students in a past life. But, we will choose to ignore that since Ken Marino is always welcome on our television screens (and, for that matter, our movie screens, too).
20 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television.
Bianca Lawson went from playing Principal's Green's daughter in Dawson's Creek to a 19th century witch in Vampire Diaries.

Nikki reminded Dawson he wasn't the only one who could set up a camera and distracted him long enough for Joey and Pacey to fall in love, winning our eternal approval. That made it all the harder when she was burned at the stake in one of her next roles.

(Editor's Note: Lawson is the overachiever of television shows. She alone could have connected Dawson's Creek to Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, Teen Wolf, 2 Broke Girls, American Horror Story, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and Beauty and the Beast...and those are just the shows currently on air.)
21 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Television.
Before making us laugh in Modern Family as Claire Dunphy, Julie Bowen touched our hearts as Dawson's free-spirited Aunt Gwen.

It took only one weekend with Aunt Gwen for all of us to fall in love with Dawson's karaoke-singing, bohemian, professional artist aunt. Surviving a weekend with the exceedingly hormone-driven Dawson, Joey, Andie, and Pacey prepped her perfectly for becoming part of any Modern Family.
22 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Kaling International.
Was Seth Rogen really in Dawson's Creek? Yes, he played Bob, Audrey's pre-rehab hookup. 10 years later he appeared alongside another funny lady, Mindy Kaling, in The Mindy Project.

Rogen seems to never get lucky in (fictional) love. He guest starred in Dawson's Creek as Audrey's last fling before rehab (and the worst road trip partner ever). His pattern of failed love continued when he guest starred as Dr. Lahiri's former flame. It looks like Rogen needs to look outside of his former co-star's shows to find lasting love.
23 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Home Box Office.
Before Tony Hale won an Emmy for his portrayal of Gary Walsh in Veep, he played Dr. Bronin in Dawson's Creek.

It is really nice to see Hale in a role where his advice is (mostly) appreciated. After having to tell the Leery gang and Grams that Dawson was responsible for deciding when Mr. Brooks should die, he needed a break. Although, the white house isn't exactly where we would go for some peace of mind.
24 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television
Meredith Monroe's Andie McPhee was always a little too high-strung for us. Naturally, she plays the mother of the uptight, blonde Lemon Breeland on Hart of Dixie.

If Alice Breeland had learned from Andie's pain after being abandoned by her parents, maybe she wouldn't have abandoned her daughters, Lemon and Magnolia. We are still hoping that this mother returns to the life of her first-born daughters and shakes up Bluebell. Her years at Capeside High proved that Monroe definitely has the acting chops required for the emotional scenes of a reunion.
25 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Warner Horizon Television.
Turns out Dawson fell for someone before Joey — Gretchen Witter played by Sasha Alexander. After her time as Pacey's older sister, she played Dr. Maura Isles in Rizzoli & Isles.

We thought that Gretchen had family problems as part of the Witter gang. With a closeted-uptight older brother, a constantly-failing, womanizer younger brother, several hard-to-differentiate nieces and nephews, and Jane Lynch for a mother, her family could have had its own spin-off show. But Dr. Isles makes Gretchen's family problems look minor with a notorious criminal father, and a half-brother she learns about while solving his murder.
26 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, MGM Television.
John Wesley Shipp gave his knowledge with his son Dawson for five seasons. Now he shares his wisdom with a classroom full of teenagers as Mr. Lahey on Teen Wolf.

Mitch was probably the most patient father in the history of TV dads. Sure, he got mad occasionally, but that can only be expected when your underage son throws a party in your house complete with strippers. After the antics of some of the teenagers in Capeside, teaching at a school with a werewolf really can't seem too bad.
27 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, ABC Family.
Now Torrey Devitto starred as Melissa Hastings, the older sister who always seems to be involved with the current A suspect, on Pretty Little Liars. But, previously she appeared as a co-ed on Dawson's Creek.

Devitto appeared on Dawson's Creek as a college student looking for sex advice from Dr. Drew. It is definitely good that she got answers from an expert since her Pretty Little Liars character, Melissa Hastings, is continually being linked with new male characters — Wren, Ian, Jason, Garrett, Wilden, and Wren, again. Wren better watch out since all the men who fall for Melissa end up leaving Rosewood one way or another.
28 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Television.
Tamara Taylor's current character, Dr. Camille Saroyan, has her work cut out for her managing the gang at the Jeffersonian on Bones. But, she used to play Laura Weston, Joey's art teacher.

We are pretty sure Dr. Saroyan learned how to give advice to Dr. Temperance Brennan, the queen of not being able to think with both her heart and head, by serving as one of Joey's early mentors and art teachers. Also, what happened to Joey's artistic talents? We watched them develop for two seasons just to be dismissed once she kissed Pacey?
29 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television.
Sarah Shahi played Sadia Shaw, the pretty girl who landed in bed with Pacey, on Dawson's Creek. It was nice to see her play more than a beautiful face and hot bod as Samantha Shaw in Persons of Interest.

We thought that Shahi's role as Sadia was complicated when she had to choose between her fiancé and Pacey (actually, that is a no brainer, we would always choose Pacey). That romantic struggle pales in comparison to Shahi's character on Person of Interest who constantly had to deal with poisoning attempts, shoot outs, and corruption.
30 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Home Box Office.
Michael Pitt's James 'Jimmy' Darmody on Boardwalk Empire is a far stretch from his role as Jen's boyfriend, the innocent, sappy Henry Parker on Dawson's Creek.

Henry may have been our least favorite of Jen's boyfriends (just a note: girls appreciate a little mystery and some sort of chase) but he definitely knew how to orchestrate an over-the-top love proclamation. It kind of broke our hearts to see him as a criminal. Gaining Jen's heart should have taught him that nice guys can win, there was no reason to go to the dark side.

More from Entertainment


R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.