17 surprising things you didn't know about 'You'

Netflix‘You’ stars Penn Badgley as Joe.
  • Scenes in Mooney’s bookstore in the thriller series “You” are filmed in an actual book store in New York City.
  • Peach Salinger’s name is meant to sound annoying, according to the author of the book the series is based on.
  • Certain “You” filming locations, like the Greenpoint Avenue subway station and the Staten Island Ferry, are fictionalized versions of real places.
  • Warning: Spoilers ahead for “You.”
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more.

By now, you’ve likely heard about – or watched, or become wholly obsessed with – “You,” a thrilling Lifetime-turned-Netflix series featuring Penn Badgley, who plays Joe.

The creepy show was just renewed for a third season, so what better way to prepare than by learning some behind-the-scenes facts?

Here are some surprising things you might not have known about “You.”


The word “you” is said over 3,800 times throughout seasons one and two of the show.

NetflixEpisode one has the most ‘you’s.

The official Instagram for Netflix Australia and New Zealand calculated the times the word “you” has been said on the show throughout the first two seasons – and they got 3,857.

They also noted that the word was said a bit more often during season one than it was during season two.

According to the account, the first episode of the series features the word “you” the most.


Penn Badgley didn’t want to play Joe at first.

Roy Rochlin/GettyPenn Badgley really hated Joe.

At first, Badgley was reluctant to take on the role of Joe.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he said he was “conflicted” about the part, largely because the show is framed as a love story. “If this is a love story, what is it saying?” he said.

Ultimately, discussions with showrunners Sera Gamble and Greg Berlanti convinced Badgley the part and show had enough nuance to make it worth taking.


The show is based on a book — and the author of that book has written on a number of TV shows.

Facebook/The Secret Life of the American TeenagerCaroline Kepnes wrote for ‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager.’

The show is based on a book of the same name by Caroline Kepnes.

“You” was Kepnes’ first book, but according to her website, she’s written for shows including “7th Heaven” and “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.”

Kepnes also wrote “You Got Me Babe,” the eighth episode of “You.”


Kepnes came up with the character of Joe while in a coffee shop.

NetflixShe said she was partially inspired by being glared at as she used social media.

Kepnes told Refinery29 that she was in a coffee shop scrolling through Facebook and noticed someone glaring at her.

The voice clicked for me in that moment,” she said. “I was obsessing about social media, and I had wanted to write something like this. But it was in that moment that I really got it. Joe is someone who is always the one looking and judging. He’s very at ease with that in himself. That’s where I found this great outlet for my little frustrations.”


The facade of the bookstore where Joe works during season one is a real shop.

Google Maps/NetflixThe real store is Logos Bookstore.

Season one of “You” used Logos Bookstore, a specialty bookstore on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York, as the exterior and front interior of Mooney’s, according to Brick Underground.

Although little was changed about the actual bookstore, Logos does not have a cage in its basement. The basement scenes in “You” were filmed on a separate set in the Bronx.


Logos Bookstore has been featured in other productions, too.

Twentieth Century Fox‘You’ isn’t the first time the bookstore has been used as a set.

According to the American Booksellers Association, Logos is also featured in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” a movie starring Melissa McCarthy as an out-of-work writer who begins forging old literary texts to make money.


To film on the subway tracks during season one, some actors had to take an eight-hour-long safety course.

NetflixThe scene was actually filmed in New York City.

During season one, Beck (Elizabeth Lail) falls on the subway tracks and Joe helps her up.

This scene was no joke to film since it was actually shot at a New York City subway station and many safety guidelines were in place.

“I had to take an eight-hour course to be on those tracks,”Lail told BUILD series. Badgley said he also took this course.

Badgley also said that after the training course he and Lail received cards certifying them to go on subway tracks for a year and a half.


The season-one scene at the Greenpoint Avenue subway station likely wasn’t filmed at the actual station.

NetflixThe colours are different in the series.

The real-life Greenpoint, Brooklyn, subway stop is accented with green. In the show, the stop is accented with red.


The scene on what’s alluded to as the Staten Island Ferry was not filmed on the Staten Island Ferry.

Netflix/Wikimedia CommonsThe ‘You’ version of the Staten Island Ferry’s upper deck versus the actual upper deck.

On episode eight, Beck asked Joe if he’d ever been to Staten Island.

They go on to have a romantic ride on what is not actually the Staten Island Ferry, the only major way to travel by boat from Manhattan to Staten Island.

“What could happen on the upper deck of an immensely popular tourist destination?” Joe asked as he boarded what was supposedly the ferry.

It is possible to film on the Staten Island Ferry, and movies and shows have done so in the past – but this scene likely didn’t do so. The real-life Staten Island Ferry is much more orange than its TV counterpart.


Peach Salinger (Shay Mitchell) got her name because author Caroline Kepnes thought it was “annoying.”

NetflixHer name is supposed to be annoying.

Kepnes told Refinery29 that she wanted the character to have a name that would be “kind of annoying.”

“I also thought peaches were perfect because they’re ripe and delicious, and then they’re spoiled, poison, they attract flies, they can make you sick,” she added.


Candace (Ambyr Childers) wasn’t always supposed to come back.

NetflixThere’s a reason viewers thought she was dead.

During the final scene of season one, Candace – Joe’s subject of obsession before Beck who viewers were led to believe was dead – returns.

This is a departure from the book, and one that wasn’t initially going to happen on the TV show.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Gamble said she and Berlanti decided at about the middle of the first season to bring Candace back, and they started to “misdirect” viewers to make them think she was dead.


Candace had a different fate in the book.

NetflixIn the book, she was dead.

Part of the reason some viewers may have been surprised by Candace’s return is that, in the novel, Joe drowns Candace at Brighton Beach in Brooklyn after she breaks up with him.


The necklace that Ellie (Jenna Ortega) wears on the show is from a thrift shop.

NetflixJenna Ortega as Ellie on ‘You.’

Jenna Ortega, who played Ellie on season two of “You,” told Insider she wanted to take Ellie’s nameplate necklace home, but was not able to because there is only one copy of it, and showrunners needed to keep it in case Ellie returns for season three.

“I was so disappointed when I couldn’t take it because they only had one that they found at some random thrift shop, and I was like, ‘Ahh, alright,” she told Insider. “If they had multiple options then maybe I could have taken one.”


The band Nirvana has a large presence on “You.”

NetflixYou can see the Nirvana shirt under her cardigan.

On the first episode of the show, Beck buys “Desperate Characters” by Paula Fox. Fox, as Joe tells her, is the grandmother of Courtney Love, who was married to Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.

During the show’s finale, Beck wears Joe’s Nirvana T-shirt. There’s also a nail salon called Nirvana next to the onscreen and real-life location of the bookstore.

And, during season two, the show centres around the grocery and wellness store Anavrin, which is Nirvana spelled backward.


Victoria Pedretti, who plays Love, said the most awkward scene to film was a sex scene.

NetflixShe said the scene didn’t seem real.

Victoria Pedretti, who played Love during season two, said that the most disturbing scene to film was a sex scene between her and Joe.

“I think the most unsettling thing is probably when we shot the sex scene where we were both meant to start having sex and come simultaneously in five seconds. I found that really disturbing,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. “I was like, ‘How are we … ? That’s not real.'”


Some of the show’s scenes were improvised.

NetflixPenn Badgley and James Scully on ‘You.’

One of the most notable improvised scenes is from season two, when Forty (James Scully) opened up about his childhood and how he believed he killed his au pair.

In a somewhat surprising move, Joe gets down on the ground and holds Forty as he cries.

“That was a version of that scene that Penn and I sort of created together,” Scully explained in an interview with Glamour. “It’s not what was written in the script, but we talked a lot about the relationship between Forty and Joe, which at that point was a little more than a friendship, obviously.”


The show was mostly written, directed, and created by women.

Jamie McCarthy/Getty ImagesCaroline Kepnes, the author of ‘You.’

In 2018, Badgley told The Daily Beast that “by and large, all of the people responsible for this thing are women.”

He added that the majority of the show’s cast, directors, and writers are women.

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