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10+ 'Dawson's Creek' Behind-The-Scenes Secrets Fans Didn't Know

Jordan Claes 17 Sep 2020

I still remember the feeling of rushing home after school to watch Dawson's Creek. It was one of the first shows to take an honest approach to teenage angst and coming of age.

To help honor this incredible piece of TV history, check out these 10+ Dawson's Creek behind-the-scenes secrets that fans didn't know!

1. The show wasn't allowed to use the word 'masturbate.'

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In the original pilot episode, Joey was going to plainly ask Dawson "How much do you masturbate?"

The censors didn't like this and the dialogue was changed to "How often do you walk your dog?"

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2. Joshua Jackson had a cheeky way of cutting the tension.

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Before filming, Joshua used to walk around set and drop his pants. He thought that he was doing everyone a service by mooning them.

It didn't matter who happened to be directing or who was on set, nothing deterred him from getting a laugh.

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3. Dawson's look was partially inspired by Brad Pitt.

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According to James Van Der Beek, he was rocking an absolutely horrible haircut at the time and the network insisted that he change it.

They saw an ad for The Devil's Own and never looked back.

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4. Michelle Williams was often insecure.

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As she puts it, the show largely revolved around the tumultuous love triangle of Dawson, Pacey, and Joey.

At her lowest point, Michelle would often question if the decision was personal or if she wasn't good enough.

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5. Katie Holmes mother helped out a lot during the audition process.

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Katie had an incredibly awkward and unique interview. She auditioned via home-video recording.

There wasn't anyone else around to run lines with, so her mother had to be the stand-in for Dawson!

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6. Death was always part of the plan.

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Creator Kevin Williamson had created a show that dealt with 'firsts.' First kiss, first love, but the one topic they'd never tackled was dealing with death.

He felt that Jen's death would be the catalyst to propel the core characters into adulthood.

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7. There's a slasher movie connection that you may have missed.

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Kevin Williamson wrote the screenplays for two of the biggest horror hits of the '90s — Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer.

In the episode "The Scare," Dawson and Joey are watching IKWYDLS and the ghost-face mask from Scream also makes a cameo appearance.

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8. Some of the actors were a lot older than the characters they were portraying.

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For example, Meredith Monroe (who played Andie McPhee) was 29 playing a 16-year-old! She was a full decade older than both Katie Holmes and Michelle Williams.

I wish I could pass as someone ten years my junior...

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9. Dawson's dad asked to be written-out of the show.

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John Wesley Shipp didn't like the direction the show was taking. He felt that too much emphasis was placed on the kids and not enough on the parental relationship.

He left after two episodes in season 5.

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10. The inspiration behind the theme song isn't what you think.

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Would it surprise you to learn that the Dawson's Creek theme song isn't about unrequited love or losing your virginity, or true love — or anything even close to that.

It's a song about WWII. Don't believe me? Then read the lyrics. "She had two babies. One was six months, one was three. In the war of '44."

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11. Joshua Jackson put a studio executive to sleep during his audition.

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Sometimes reading a room can be difficult. But if you lull someone to sleep in the middle of an audition, then chances are you didn't get the part.

That's what Joshua thought. He was floored to receive the call telling him he'd booked the gig.

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12. Busy Phillips was a bad influence.

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During an appearance on The Wendy Williams Show, Busy admitted that she got drunk and dislocated her knee while out at a bar.

The crew was forced to rewrite the show to accommodate her injury.

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13. James Van Der Beek's classic crying meme wasn't in the script!

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At least, he doesn't think that it was? According to James, the scene called for lots of high energy drama. After they cut, he just instinctively did his pout.

Since then, it's become one of the most overused and adored memes on the internet.

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14. The "True Love" episode was the first openly gay kiss between two men on television.

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Dawson's Creek helped pave the way for inclusion in mainstream media. The show was heavily praised and even the actors involved knew how impactful the moment was.

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"We knew that it was important and that a lot of people were going to be looking up to the show now for this particular type of storyline."

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That's an excerpt from an interview that Kerr Smith gave with The Los Angeles Times.

He goes on to say how he genuinely feels that the show helped a lot of people through that storyline.

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