‘Sex and the City’: Infamous Post-It Breakup Arc Is Based on a True Romantic Failure

As rumors swirl that Sex and the City may be the next television show from the past to see a resurgence in the form of a reboot, fans of the envelope-pushing urban drama are getting the opportunity to relive their favorite moments from the series.

In the years since the show went off the air — and the memory of its lackluster movie follow ups has faded — there are definitely some scenes that stick out as more memorable than others.

While many of the show’s details would have to be updated for a new technological and social era, there’s one blistering scene that would still sting even with its archaic technology. 

The Post-It breakup scene was iconic, and it turns out it was based on a real-life event. 

‘Sex and the City’ focuses on the love life of Carrie Bradshaw

There are four women at the center of Sex and the City: Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte. It’s Carrie Bradshaw, though, that is the heart of the show. The relationship columnist uses her escapades through a tumultuous love life to turn her own missteps into riveting reading for her adoring fans.

That means that Carrie’s relationship woes are frequently the central driving point of the series. In fact, the love triangle between Carrie, “Mr. Big,” and Aidan is the most important plot of the entire six-season run. 

Along the way, though, Carrie has plenty of other less-noteworthy relationships that provide both fodder for her newspaper column and lots of opportunities for notable guest stars to take center stage for a short character arc. Carrie had brief flings and more substantial loves along the way, and these men helped form the ebb and flow of the show — providing the drama that kept viewers glued to the screen. 

Jack Berger was a significant relationship for Carrie 

RELATED: ‘Sex and the City’ Fans Once Campaigned to Get This Character to Return to the Show

Mr. Big and Aidan were definitely the most important men in Carrie’s life, but Jack Berger played a significant role in the show. Portrayed by actor Ron Livingston, Berger met Carrie in the office of their mutual publisher. The pair clearly had chemistry — so much so that Berger forgot to mention that he was already in a serious relationship with his live-in girlfriend.

Though the pair shared the career of being writers, Berger’s insecurities about Carrie’s success leaked through their interactions.

While Carrie and Berger definitely had a playful banter that demonstrated their wit and attraction to one another, it was pretty clear to viewers that it wouldn’t end well — and it really, really didn’t. Berger famously broke up with Carrie via Post-It note, a sad tale of woe she used to get out of a ticket when a sympathetic cop found her lighting up some weed to smoke her troubles away.

Even though the series ended nearly two decades ago, fans still cringe when they think about Berger’s break-up method. 

The Post-It scene has a real-life inspiration

Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker | Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

While the show is definitely fiction — how else could a columnist afford all those shoes and fashionable clothes — its appeal was rooted in the honesty that it portrayed about the loneliness and struggles of navigating relationships. Liz Tuccillo served as a writer for Sex and the City, and she told Elle how the inspiration for Berger’s bad break-up came from the real-life experiences shared in the writers’ room. 

“Basically, with Sex and the City there were always opportunities to talk about very relatable moments. And one of the things we had the opportunity to talk about in the room, as well as in the show, was your worst breakup—the worst ways people have broken up with you,” Tuccillo explained.

She continued: “We had the fun of just talking about the worst breakups that we had and then that ends up in the show—you know, our most humiliating experiences. I don’t remember exactly how it came up that it was a Post-it, but I’m sure it had something to do with us talking about the most dismissive way to get broken up with.”