In season one, episode seven - 'Detention' Dawson compares the group's Saturday detention to the film, 'The Breakfast Club.' He mentions the cast are now languishing in TV obscurity. Pacey then mentions Emilio Estevez from the film, saying 'he was in those duck movies, remember? God those were classics. So funny.' Joshua Jackson was in fact in all 3 of 'The Mighty Ducks' with Emilio Estevez.
The character of Joey is inspired by Fannie Norwood, a long-time friend of Kevin Williamson. According to Williamson: "If Fannie watches, she will know exactly where I got some stuff. It's nice because only she will know."
Paula Cole's "I Don't Want To Wait" was not the theme song that was initially chosen for the show. Executive producer Paul Stupin originally wanted Alanis Morissette's "Hand In My Pocket" as the theme song. However, the song was too expensive to use so Stupin commissioned songs Canadian folk artist Jann Arden. Her song "Run Like Mad" was written specifically for the show and was chosen as the theme. The Arden song is used in every streaming episode of the show on Hulu except the last 2 episodes (6.23 "All Good Things..." and 6.24 "Must Come to an End").
There are a few references to Tom Cruise in the early seasons. Joey and Dawson is watching a scene from Jerry Maguire. Later, during a suspension from school, Pacey is seen watching Jerry Maguire. Pacey and the mysterious Eve (Jen's half-sister) convince Dawson to let them use his house for a Risky Business-inspired fundraiser to pay for a boat mishap Eve led him into. Katie Holmes (having had a relationship with Joshua Jackson during the series) later became Mrs. Tom Cruise number 3.
Dawson's creek was actually written about a small place on North Carolina coast and most cities referenced are in that area. However, due to its location, TV officials deemed it was unspectacular to use it as the setting for the show because it's a very sparsely populated area.
Meredith Monroe's character, Andie McPhee, left the series in November 2000 almost halfway through the 4th Season. Her name remained in the opening credits until the end of that season, even though she wasn't in any of those episodes.
In Season 6 episode 6 "Living Dead Girl" Jensen Ackles (C.J) mentions to Jen Lindley over a phone call he will be watching Halloween H2O later. Michelle Williams starred in "Haloween H20: 20 Years Later" as Molly.
None of the characters ever refer to their partners as Babe, Honey, Sweetheart, Darling etc. They always use their first names or a shortened version of their first name except for Pacey who has used their last names at times. Except for Pacey calling Andie "Honey" in Season 2 Episode 16, "Be Careful What You Wish For" and later on in the same season, when Pacey calls Andie 'sweetheart' as they are walking out of the kitchen when they are helping Joey with a catered wedding, and Joey calling Pacey "sweetheart" in the episode "A Winter's Tale."
In the scene where Joey and Jen are talking about how they plan on getting back at Warren Goering,Joey Mentions that it's not going well cause her teacher Mrs Tingle wants her to take a class on how to take care of babies well this is a reference to her movie Teaching Mrs Tingle in which she starred in with Barry Watson from 7th Heaven another show on the WB
Sasha Alexander who played Gretchen Witter (20 episodes 2000-2001) Pacey's sister and Pauley Perrette who played Rachel Weir Ph.D. (2 episodes 2001) Dawson's therapist both appeared in N.C.I.S (2003-Current) as Caitlin Todd (52 episodes 2003-2005) and Abby Scuito (281 episodes 2003-2015).
Meredith Monroe (Andie McPhee 69 episodes 1998-2003) Scott Foley (Cliff Elliot 5 episodes 1998) and Jennifer Morrison (Melanie Shea Thompson 2 episodes 2001-2002) all appeared in 'House M.D 2004-2012'.
In season 1 episode 9 "Road Trip", Billy takes Dawson and Pacey to a bar. The girl Dawson decides to talk to is named Nina and played by Melissa McBride. In season 6 episode 24 "...Must Come to An End", Joey's boss is named Melanie (credit only) and also played by Melissa McBride.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
Abby's Morgan's death happened after Monica Keena requested her character to be written out of the series, as her boyfriend at the time was living in New York and she didn't like being in Wilmington, North Carolina, where the show filmed.