It’s been over ten years since the finale episode of Sex and the City aired, but the highly respected HBO series continues to gain new fans to this day. The show’s timeless storylines and relatable characters appeal to wide audiences and continue to attract viewers as reruns are often aired on other networks. Over the course of the show’s six seasons, you may have kept track of Samantha’s flings, Carrie’s boyfriends, Miranda’s career, and even how many times Charlotte thought she’d met ‘the one’ but you’ve likely missed a few small details along the way. These amazing tidbits of information will have you itching to watch the show from start to finish again just so you can point them out.
Justin Theroux played two different characters on the show
Long before he was set up with Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation, and before his girlfriend’s entire family vanished on The Leftovers, Justin Theroux was still trying to make it big in Hollywood. As most actors do before they become well known, Theroux made appearances in many big name shows including Sex and the City, where he was actually cast as two of Carrie’s male interests. Since both were small roles, few people have recognized him as the same person playing these two men Carrie lusts after.
Theroux first made his first appearance on the show in season one, when you might recall Carrie was struggling to understand what she meant to Mr. Big. In episode seven, titled “The Monogamists,” Carrie discovers that Big is dating other women, causing her to not only view her budding relationship through different eyes, but to also want a monogamous relationship now more than ever. Before she’s able to express these feeling to Big, however, she’s introduced to Jared, a friend of Stanford’s who also happens to be a writer and one of New York Magazine‘s 30 coolest people under 30. Jared is played Theroux whose character is, of course, used by Carrie to make Big jealous.
Theroux then appears again in season two, yet again playing a writer. It seems Carrie simply can’t get enough of those creative types. Appearing in the episode “Shortcomings,” Theroux plays Vaughn Wysel, a fiction writer who introduces Carrie to his family after a few dates, and she’s in love. Unfortunately, after a few awkward occurrences in the bedroom, she sees a different side of Vaughn, forcing her to end things with both him and his family.
A song at the beginning of Charlotte’s wedding foreshadowed their split
Charlotte’s relationship with Trey MacDougal seemed picture perfect at the start, but fans learned the truth about what was going on behind closed doors (or what wasn’t going on rather) in season three. In the episode titled “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” we learn that Charlotte and Trey hadn’t actually slept together yet, and when she tries to sleep with him the night before their pending nuptials, things don’t exactly pan out. To anyone unfamiliar with the Scottish culture, having bagpipes playing in the background of the wedding as the men (in kilts) and the bridesmaids entered the church doesn’t seem abnormal, but the kind of song that was played might actually shock you.
Any fan of the show probably owns a few seasons on DVD, and I personally own the collection that gifts us with commentary from writer and producer Michael Patrick King. In his commentary for this episode, he reveals that the bagpipes being played are actually a Scottish funeral dirge, as he explains that Charlotte is basically walking to her death. Such a small detail that most people don’t catch, but the song was used to symbolize that Charlotte was entering a bad marriage — which we all find out eventually.
Berger’s post-it note was inspired by a writer’s real life breakup
Let’s face it, we’ve all either been dumped, dumped someone, or likely a little bit of each. If you’ve ever been on the other end of a breakup, you know how hard it can be to find the right way to tell someone it’s over. While there’s no great way to dump someone, there are some obviously wrong ways to end a relationship. A prime example being: on a post-it note.
Every SATC fan remembers the infamous message Berger left for Carrie on a post-it note but in case you need to refresh your memory it read, “I’m sorry. I can’t. Don’t hate me.” Super harsh, but it’s only television right? Well, apparently this scenario was inspired by a writer’s very own real-life breakups. One of the writers who worked on this episode, Liz Tuccillo, revealed in an interview with The Daily Beast just how the storyline came about. “All the writers pitched our worst ones and then came up with the most dismissive way you could break up with someone: it’s not even a piece of paper, it’s a post-it.” In regards to which writer was put through this awful experience, Tuccillo and all other SATC writers have kept it quiet.
Natasha was (almost) always seen wearing white
Fans weren’t very shocked when Big ended up marrying Natasha, as he was constantly doing his best to screw Carrie over. When you think of Natasha and her character, you might automatically think of her as boring or bland, something the costume designer intended. By dressing Natasha in only white, viewers perceived her as vanilla, the complete opposite of Carrie. There are only two instances when she was filmed in other colors.
The first was when we catch a glimpse of Natasha leaving her Big’s engagement party in season two in the episode titled “Ex and the City”. In this scene she’s wearing a black gown and Carrie is actually wearing the white dress, perhaps symbolizing that Big is making a mistake. In the background, all of the women are wearing black dresses in this scene, likely an intentional decision to make Carrie’s white dress stand out.
The second time Natasha is seen wearing something other than white is at the end of season three. In the episode titled “What Goes Around Comes Around,” Natasha is seen wearing a light pink dress when Carrie crashes her lunch to apologize for having an affair with her husband. Seen earlier in the episode in white, it’s safe to assume that Natasha’s wardrobe changed to a pink only after Carrie discovered that she had left Big, making her a slightly less boring woman.
Carrie’s nameplate necklace had a huge significance
Throughout the series Carrie wore a nameplate necklace. Fans don’t find out the significance of the piece of jewelry until the end of the series when she’s already in Paris and slips on a puddle of water while shopping in Dior. It isn’t until later that she realizes that her necklace must have fallen out of her purse, she explains to Petrovsky that it was purchased while shopping with the girls in New York and has become especially important to her being so far away. Throughout the series, she doesn’t always wear the necklace, but when she did, it was said to symbolize that she was feeling most comfortable in her own skin.
King explained that after the premiere of “An American Girl In Paris: Part Une,” that many of the fans expected Big to fly to Paris and magically find her necklace, saying in the commentary, “People thought she needed Big to find her identity.” To their surprise, however, she didn’t need him at all. While sitting alone at Petrovsky’s gallery opening she finds her necklace in a small hole in the lining of her purse.
Carrie and Aidan broke up twice while she wore a white dress
Carrie and Aidan’s relationship in season four appears to be on the rise, that is until Aidan gets the crazy idea to actually propose. Deciding to spend the rest of your life with someone is a huge adjustment for anyone, but for Carrie it’s a death sentence. There are so many signs that she isn’t ready to walk down the aisle throughout the season, from her puking after finding a pear shaped diamond ring in Aidan’s bag, to her breaking out in hives and having a panic attack after trying on a wedding dress. Then, of course, there’s the fact that she refuses to wear the ring he ultimately presents her on her finger, and wears it on a chain around her neck instead.
In episode fifteen, “Change Of A Dress,” Carrie runs into a friend of hers, Susan Sharon played by Molly Price, while out with Charlotte and Aidan. You might remember Price’s character from an episode in season two when she asks Carrie marital advice that leads to her divorce. It’s during this run-in that Carrie is caught forgetting about her engagement, and as King points out in his commentary, she’s hiding her engagement ring behind a ton of pearls so symbolizing her discomfort with the idea. To further illustrate that marrying Aidan isn’t right for the writer, she’s wearing a white gown when the two are discussing their decision to hold off on getting married and ultimately break up for the final time. If you remember the first time they broke up at Charlotte’s wedding to Trey, Carrie’s was also wearing a white dress.
At the end of the series, Carrie stops asking questions
Throughout the series, we get a peek at many of Carrie’s columns as she types away on her laptop, which all address questions surrounding relationships. Likely you noticed that a different question was asked in every episode — until this one. In season six, one of the final episodes of the series titled “Splat” Carrie reveals to the girls that she quit her job and will be moving to Paris with Russian artist, Aleksandr Petrovsky.
King revealed in his commentary that the writers sometimes knew the question before they even knew what the episode would be about, and in this particular episode they chose to stop asking questions. Carrie asks the ultimate question: Is it time to stop questioning? She’s questioning her career at this time where she spends her life examining life, rather than living it. While she’s typing the final sentence, she changes the question mark to a period and, according to King, this is the last time Carrie questions anything. In fact, it’s the last time she’s seen typing in the series until a montage at the end of the series, signifying that Carrie had nothing left in her life to question.
Carrie’s flowers in Paris symbolize her disappointment
In one of the best season finales of all time, “An American Girl in Paris: Part Deux,” Carrie is adjusting to her new surroundings. You might remember her visiting museums, cafes, and even stepping in a huge pile of dog crap, but do you remember her carrying around some flowers? They were violets, to be exact, which can be seen in her arms throughout the scene when she’s forced to spend the day alone in Paris after Petrovsky once again left her to work on his gallery installation. Most viewers didn’t think twice about the appearance of the flowers, but the show’s producer had a more meaningful reason behind Carrie’s floral choice.
Once again, producer King gifts us with his commentary for this episode, explaining that Patricia Field, costume designer for the show, came up with the idea that Carrie would be walking around with violets in this scene. Coincidentally, one of the French directors working on these last two episodes explained that traditionally in France, the violet is the kind of flower a husband will buy his wife when he has disappointed her. King explains how it symbolizes the tragedy of her relationship with Petrovsky since they’ve moved to Paris, and her disappointment with not only him but her entire experience. However, Petrovsky hasn’t recognized her disappointment, so it’s tragic that she bought the flowers for herself.
The book she moves in the first movie represents her wedding disaster
Moving on to the Sex and the City movie, there is a scene after Carrie gets home from her “Mexi-coma” where she calls Samantha with her new phone number. If you recall, her old phone was thrown into the ocean during her honeymoon disaster down in Mexico. While she’s on the phone with Samantha, Carrie is shown strolling around a bookstore where she takes a book off display, replacing it with her own.
The book she removes is Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani, which is about a woman who plans an extravagant wedding before being left at the altar. The book is described by Publisher’s Weekly to be about a woman who meets the man of her dreams only to be “jilted on her wedding day” when her fiancé doesn’t show up. Sound familiar? While the book doesn’t foreshadow Carrie being stood up by Big as this scene occurs in the movie after their wedding disaster, perhaps it reinforces the fact that, similar to the book’s main character, Carrie is a strong woman who will survive this tragic moment in her life.
Rewatch SATC with a new perspective
If you missed any of these details while watching the show, no worries! What makes Sex and the City a favorite for so many men and women all over the world is that these episodes never go stale. You can watch the series dozens of times and still catch something new. So, next time you’re in a binge watching mood, look for these and all of the other small details the show’s writer’s sneaked in there. It’ll completely change your viewing experience.