Julie Taylor-Saracen is the eldest daughter of Eric Taylor and Tami Taylor and the older sister of Gracie Belle Taylor. At the opening of the series, she had no interest in the Dillon Panthers or its players. But when she met Matt Saracen, that all changed. Their relationship developed very quickly throughout the first season. In the first season, Julie also develops friendships with Landry Clarke and Tyra Collette. Julie, however, entered a rebellious phase in season 2. She begins to develop romantic feelings for The Swede, a fellow lifeguard, over the summer following her freshman year. Matt and Julie's relationship ends shortly into the season. Julie's relationship with the Swede ends quickly, but her relationship with Matt does not reignite until the following year. She continues rebelling against her parents, especially her mother, who has just given birth to Gracie Belle. With the assistance of Tyra, Julie gets a tattoo, which infuriates Tami. Julie and Tami's relationship remains rocky for quite some time, but they eventually regain their close bond.
In the third season, Matt and Julie begin their romantic relationship once again. With this, their sexual relationship also begins. When her parents discover this, they are concerned. They believe she is too young for this, but are not overbearing and trust Julie's judgment. Julie and Matt's relationship develops into an extremely serious one. Since Matt is a senior, he planned to head off to art school in Chicago. This makes Julie question her relationship with Matt. But when he decides to stay in Dillon for his grandmother, Julie is thrilled.
In the fourth season, Julie attends East Dillon High School to prove to the district's other families that it isn't a bad school. The school was formed as a result of Dillon's zoning into East and West Dillon. Some of her friends like Landry are also the driving force of her transfer. She continues to date Matt due to his decision to stay in Dillon, until his father dies in combat and his family receives a veteran's bonus. This means that Matt's grandmother will be taken care of for the rest of her life. Matt takes off for the Art Institute of Chicago without as much as a goodbye. Julie becomes upset and joins many clubs to fill the void. In one club, Habitat for Humanity, Julie meets Ryan Lowry on a local project. They have a brief fling until Ryan leaves for another project in Arizona. Soon Julie receives a call from Matt, asking how she's been, but Julie says she can't talk to him. When Matt returns to Dillon for Thanksgiving, he and Julie discuss their relationship and love for one another, ending it amicably.
In the fifth season, Julie heads off to Burleson College, a fictional university in Texas. But once she arrives, she feels like a social outcast. She sees her Derek Bishop T.A. watching "36 Throwback" and the two begin to bond. Julie discovers that Derek is married, but he claims that he is separating from his wife. The two begin a short-lived affair. When Derek's wife, Allison, discovers their affair, she finds Julie in her dorm and slaps her across the face, exclaiming, "Julie slept with Derek Bishop, head T.A. of the History department, and my husband." She then repeatedly screams, "Julie Taylor is a slut!" After this humiliation, Julie returns home to Dillon for the weekend, surprises her family, and acts as if nothing is wrong. When she "goes back to college," she intentionally crashes her car to avoid returning to Burleson. Julie is still hesitant to tell her parents about the affair, but as usual, Tami suspects something is wrong. Julie confesses to her Mom that the whole affair, and Eric says that she has to go back. She refuses, as she sulks around the house, refusing to do anything. Then, Derek shows up in Dillon at the Taylors' house, which leads to a confrontation between Derek and Eric, and at Tami's office. Julie finally agrees to go out to dinner with Derek, and he says to go back to college, that he resigned, and his door was always open. Julie finally decides to go back to college, but on her way, she calls Derek and he admits he just wants her back. She heads up to Chicago instead to see Matt. She feels she no longer fits into Matt's life, and Matt kisses her right after she says that, saying, "I've been waiting to do that since you showed up." The two rekindle their relationship, but Julie tells Matt about the affair, and is at first unaffected by the news, but then realizes that he's just Julie's "safety net" and tells her she should go back to college. As shes driving away, Matt runs up to her car, kisses her, and says that they'll find a way to make it work out. In the Finale, Matt shows up for Christmas and proposes to Julie, and Julie accepts. They attempt to convince Eric and Tami that they're making the right choice, and convince them near the end of the episode. Eight months later, Julies is happily living with Matt in Chicago.
Considering her surroundings in Dillon, Julie is a very liberal and free-thinking teenager. She doesn't eat meat, much to her father's dismay. She went to a gay bar to support her friend, Devin. She had a flirty relationship with her high school English teacher and then went on to have a full-fledged affair with her married TA.