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Jen Lindley

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Jen Lindley
Jen in Season 3

Birth name

Jennifer Lindley




High School Student (Capeside High)




Kind, caring, guarded, introverted, private, smart, funny, witty

Portrayed by

Michelle Williams

First appearance

Pilot (episode)

Latest appearance

...Must Come To An End (episode)

"You can't rely on somebody else to make you feel alive. It's an inside job." – Jen talking to Pacey.
Jennifer 'Jen' Lindley is a main character on Dawson's Creek. She is portrayed by Michelle Williams.


Jen grew up with her parents in New York and perhaps a little too fast.  She lost her virginity at only 12 years old, and she experimented with drugs and alcohol at a young age. Her parents sent her to live with her conservative Christian grandmother (whom she calls "Grams"), and they often clash due to the fact that Jen is an Atheist. As the series progress, Grams loosens up and becomes more tolerant and loving in her ways.

The only child of Theodore Lindley and Helen Ryan, Jen was introduced to the show in the first episode when she arrived from New York City to live with her grandmother, Evelyn "Grams" Ryan, after her parents realized just how out of control she was. Jen initially provided a love interest for Dawson Leery, and the two dated throughout the first season, which caused tension between Jen and Joey Potter. Jen was the girl who grew up too fast and Joey was the girl who wondered what it would be like to do the things that Jen had done, so Joey was immediately threatened by the "City Girl". 

In the second season, Jen falls back into her bad girl ways, befriending the school's bad girl Abby Morgan, attempting to steal Dawson from Joey, and getting drunk at parties most days. After she befriends Jack, another outsider, she gets her life back on track and begins to mature. During third season, she and Joey become friends, Dawson is no longer between them. 

Jen really comes into her own once she goes to college, becoming more serious about her studies and taking up new interests such as hosting a radio show. 

At the end of season six, the gang learn of Jen's heart disease. Whilst at the hospital, Jen leaves her daughter, Amy, in the care of Jack, and later on, she dies peacefully, on 14th May 2008, with Grams at her side.

Season 1Edit


Jen and Joey in the Pilot

In the first season, Jen is shown to be the reformed bad girl, who just wants a shot at a normal life. Dawson sees her as the image of perfection, which causes his best friend Joey (who has feelings for him) to despise Jen from the get-go. Jen and Dawson date briefly, but break up after Jen realizes that she needs to learn to be happy without a boyfriend. However, she later regrets this, when this causes him to turn his attention towards Joey.

Jen and Dawson break up when Jen's ex-boyfriend Billy came to Capeside to win her back. Billy caused immediate tension between Dawson and Jen, as Jen's past was coming back to haunt her and Dawson. Dawson in the heat of the moment basically called Jen a "slut", and she broke up with him because she had never been made to feel so cheap by anyone. By the end of the season she was regretting her decision to break up with him, and wanted Dawson back, especially as her Gramps passed away.

Season 2Edit

After Jen and Dawson's break-up, Jen became isolated from the rest of the main characters for most of the second season, especially as Jen attempts to win Dawson back while he's dating Joey. Jen befriends Abby Morgan, the cynical and trouble-making girl everybody hates and they often drink and party. Later in her sophomore year Jen briefly dated a conservative Christian, but broke up with him after he was revealed as both a hypocrite and a homophobe; this came about when gay rumors were circulating about Jack McPhee.


Dawson and Jen skinny dipping

Dawson and Jen eventually spent some time together, Jen mentoring Dawson in bringing out his inner kid, and was also his shoulder to cry on while his parents were going through their marriage troubles. When Abby Morgan died, Jen suffered tremendously and gave a brutally honest speech at Abby's funeral, which prompted Grams to kick Jen out of the house.

Jen briefly stayed with Gail and Dawson before she attempted a reconciliation with her parents, who again rejected her. Jen then went to live with Jack McPhee, as Andie and his father left for Providence to get Andie some help. But eventually they decided that they couldn't live in the house by themselves, and so Jack and Jen moved in with Grams.

Season 3Edit


Jen and Jack in Indian Summer (episode)

After a summer of living together with Grams, Jack and Jen have become best friends. Jen becomes Head Cheerleader and Homecoming Queen, after a mock cheertryout intended to ridicule the institution. In the process, a freshman named Henry is smitten with her, but she rejects him, leaving her feeling bad for hurting him and soured with love. After Pacey breaks up with Andie, he too, is destitute and while trapped on Witch Island with Joey and Dawson, the two proceed to make out, deciding to pursue a friends-with-benefits relationship.

Henry the quaterback, Jen the head cheerleader

Jen's mother, Helen, unexpectedly shows up at Grams' house for Thanksgiving dinner. Jen is unsure how to handle her mother's appearance, and becomes almost inconsolable after her mother relays that Jen has a half-sister, making her mother's actions of sending Jen away hypocritical. They reach an understanding, and Jen feels a sense of relief moving forward. Pacey and Jen ultimately call quits on the friends-with-benefits situation before anything happens.

Stolen Kisses (episode)

Henry and Jen's relationship is the main focus of her storylines, as well as her increasingly loving relationship with Grams, and the new experiences that Jen have with Henry, who provides her the kindness, respect and love that she had thus far never had, and been afraid to experience.
"I think, after all this time, you finally believe that you really do deserve to be loved." – Grams to Jen in Season 3.

Season 4Edit


Dawson consoles Jen after Henry breaks her heart

Though the third season had ended with Jen's unreserved (and public) commitment to Henry, Michael Pitt, who had played Henry, felt the role to be artistically undemanding and he left the show. Henry, we learn in the first episode, had accepted a football scholarship to a private school and early in the season breaks up with Jen through Jack, devastating her.

Henry moves away and breaks up with Jen at the beginning of the fourth season indirectly (by telling Jack), causing her to feel depressed.  She gets into one bad situation after another at school because of Drue Valentine, a former friend who used to do drugs with her when they both lived in New York together.

She starts seeing a therapist to speak about all her issues from her past, which culminates in a visit to her father.  We learn during this visit about the incident that escalated her wild behavior - when she caught her dad cheating on her mother and sleeping with a teenage girl.

Season 5Edit


Jen & Jack looking at Charlie

Grams moves to Boston with Jen and Jack and the three live together until Jack joined a fraternity, which creates a rift in his relationship with Jen. While at Boston Bay Jen briefly dated musician Charlie (Chad Michael Murray) and ran a school radio show.


Jen and Dawson dating in Season 5

After the death of Mitch Leery, Dawson invites Jen to the Hookset Film Festival in New Hampshire after he learns that his father entered him in the competition, using his film about now-deceased-director A.I. Brooks. Dawson wins first place, and jokingly thanks "his girlfriend Jen Lindley".

After sleeping together, Dawson and Jen begin a relationship, but she breaks it off after realizing that it doesn't feel right. During the gang's spring break trip to Florida, Jen finds Joey spending time with Charlie and tries to warn Joey about him and speaks with Jack about his drinking problem.

At the end of the season, Jack relays to Jen that he's passed all of his classes, and the two friends prepare to take a vacation to Costa Rica. However, an unexpected phone call from Jen's parents in New York alter their plans. At first, Jen decides to spend the summer with her best friend, but when everyone collides at the airport in the finale, Jen ends up going to New York.

Season 6Edit

Jen meets and becomes interested in C.J. Joey's roommate Audrey ends up sleeping with C.J. when she gets drunk before a gig with Emma's band at Hell's Kitchen. Jen learns of C.J.'s sexual misadventures only after he tells her that he no longer dates. In the meantime, Grams is diagnosed with breast cancer and decides not to tell Jen. When Grams gives in and tells Jen of her illness, Jen dumps C.J., who refuses to let her off the hook until she tells him that Grams is sick and he consoles her. When the pressure gets to be too much, Jen calls on her mother Helen (Mimi Rogers) to talk things out with Grams, mainly so Grams can tell her own daughter about the cancer. Eventually, Grams' boyfriend, Bill Braxton (also C.J.'s uncle) breaks the ice and tells Grams that she can't give up the fight. Grams, Jen, and Jack decide to move to New York to live with Jen's mother while Grams undergoes treatment, and Jack and Jen end up attending NYU.

Series FinaleEdit

In the two-part series finale, set in 2008, the gang learns of Jen's fatal heart condition, pulmonary congestion, after she faints during Gail Leery 's second wedding. Jen, now the single mother of a one-year-old daughter, Amy, ends up hospitalized and reveals to Jack, her best friend, that there is nothing to be done to save her. Leaving Amy in Jack's care, Jen dies with Grams at her side on May 14, 2008.

Notable romancesEdit

Billy Conrad Edit

  • Boyfriend
    • First Relationship:
      • Beginning: "Pre-show"
      • End: "Pilot"(1.01)
        • Reason: She moved to Capeside after getting caught in father's bed having sex.
  • Kissed
    • "Boyfriend"(1.08)
      • Reason: She was still with Dawson, it was just a goodbye kiss

Dawson Leery Edit

  • Boyfriend
    • First Relationship:
      • Beginning: "Kiss" (1.03)
      • End: "Boyfriend" (1.08)
        • Reason: She breaks up with him when her ex-boyfriend comes into town.
    • Second Relationship:
      • Beginning: "Hotel New Hampshire" (5.08)
      • End: "Highway To Hell" (5.17)
        • Reason: They both didn't really feel anything romantic for each other anymore.
  • Fling
    • Beginning: "High Risk Behavior" (2.10)
    • End: "Sex, She Wrote" (2.11)
      • Reason: They almost had sex, but didn't go through with it.

Cliff Elliot Edit

  • Ex-boyfriend
    • Beginning: "Double Date" (1.10)
    • End: "The Scare" (1.11)
      • Reason: She wasn't over Dawson and wanted him back.

Vincent Edit

  • Fling
    • Beginning: "Full Moon Rising" (2.05)
    • End: "Full Moon Rising" (2.05)
      • Reason: He found out she was 16.

Chris Wolfe Edit

  • Fling
    • Beginning: "The All-Nighter"(2.07)
    • End: "The Reluctant Hero" (2.08)
      • Reason: He was a bad influence on her.

Tyson "Ty" Hicks Edit

  • Boyfriend
    • Beginning: "His Leading Lady" (2.13)
    • End: "Be Careful What You Wish For" (2.16)
      • Reason: They had different ideals and he basically called her a slut.

Pacey Witter Edit

  • Fling
    • Beginning: "Escape from Witch Island"(3.07)
    • End: "Four to Tango" (3.09)
      • Reason: They both realized that there was nothing between them.

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