- „I realised that, all the things you wanna be, you already are”
- —Gretchen to Dawson
Gretchen is a 19-year-old sophomore college student, who decided to drop out and returned home to Capeside indefinitely following her freshman year. Gretchen is a smart, funny and witty girl, who loves music and is considered cool by most people she meets. She is the older sister of Pacey and younger sister of Doug.
Gretchen returns home to Capeside in late Summer 2000 and moves in with Doug. When Pacey returns from the sea, she asks him to move in with her in a rented summer house on the beach, which Pacey gladly accepts. Although her family are curious as to why she's home, Gretchen doesn't really feel like sharing her reasons. She starts working at Leery's Fresh Fish as a bartender and runs into Dawson, with whom she strikes up a friendship. They spend time together, Gretchen introducing Dawson to music that she loves and Dawson having Gretchen over for movie nights. In spite of himself, Dawson's preteen crush on Gretchen resurfaces and develops into something more. While aware, Gretchen affirms that she doesn't see Dawson that way, however, she has trouble convincing herself this is really the truth and begins to open up to the idea of something romantic with him, becoming hesitant due to Dawson's heartbreak over Joey Potter. When she and Pacey go to pick up her stuff at college, Gretchen runs in to her ex and ends up finally telling Pacey why she left — she got pregnant and had a miscarriage. Pacey supports his sister and begins to understand her wanting to leave behind that part of her past.