Lorelai and Rory's love lives were big talking points while Gilmore Girls aired — and with the Netflix revival. While Lorelai's endgame wasn't much of a question mark, she had quite a few love interests. Meanwhile, Rory's was very much an unknown. While each figured out their lives, their romantic entanglements led to couples that hurt and helped the series.
One of the problems was that stalling Luke and Lorelai or figuring out Rory's relationships led to love triangles. Love triangles often hurt a series. Sometimes, one party is obviously the loser (the man who wasn't Luke). Other times, the triangle leads to confrontations between the interested parties. The latter happened with both Lorelai and Rory.
Another problem came in temporary love interests for Lorelai while the show refused to put her and Luke together. Instead, the early seasons just had them flirting, while each had other relationships.
In some cases, a couple hurt the series because it — or how one or both of the parties — acted. While Lorelai and Rory were the main characters, that didn't mean they were automatically always the likeable ones.
Gilmore Girls featured other relationships outside of Lorelai and Rory's — or connected to them — as well.
The Stars Hollow residents — aka the supporting characters — often had the best and most stable relationships of the show. And the series needed that. By being in the background, their relationships didn't have most of the drama attached to the main romances. On a show where Lorelai and Rory's love lives were ever-changing, it needed that.
Here are the 10 Couples That Hurt Gilmore Girls (And 10 That Saved It).
20 Hurt: Lorelai and Jason
Jason's nickname was Digger; enough said. There were too many marks against Lorelai and Jason's relationship for it to last—or not hurt the series. They kept their relationship a secret from her parents until his father revealed the truth. Jason sued her father for leaving their business partnership. Was Lorelai really supposed to not side with Richard when she and Jason were never going to last?
Jason couldn't fit in with Stars Hollow or get along with Luke. Lorelai's relationship with the diner owner aside, Jason could never have been a permanent part of her life because of this.
Yet, he tried to get her back during the test run for her inn. Really, the only good thing he did was contribute in a small way to Luke and Lorelai getting together.
19 Saved: Paris and Doyle
Paris and Doyle might not have been the best couple to be around, but they were good for each other. They were the perfect college couple, ready to run the world together. Unfortunately, their relationship didn't last. By A Year in the Life, they had gotten divorced.
However, that didn't change the great aspects of their relationship. They were just as dynamic and entertaining as ever when they fought, even in the middle of a divorce. There did seem to be hope left for the two of them. Fans could only hope maybe they would work things out. Whether they would or not, they remained two characters whose scenes together were so enjoyable to watch.
18 Hurt: Rory and Paul
Remember Paul? Anyone who even has an inkling of who Paul was to Rory is already doing better than she did. Paul was Rory's boyfriend in A Year in the Life, not that she ever remembered he existed. The worst part was they dated for two years. She was cheating on him at the time with Logan (who was cheating on his fiancee).
She kept forgetting about Paul, even when he was around. He showed up for dinner at the house, she forgot he was coming. Paul ended up breaking things off via a text. Usually, that would be one of the worst ways to end a relationship. However, after Rory's lack of concern about him and their relationship, she was the bad guy, not him.
17 Saved: Lane and Dave
It's really too bad that Lane and Dave couldn't work things out and last. But they couldn't have done a long-distance relationship forever. He and Lane shared a love for music. They met when Lane posted a flyer as a drummer looking for a band.
When faced with Mrs. Kim, he tackled the issue head on. He pretended to be a Christian guitarist to win her over.
Plus, who could forget "This bible belongs to God but is being borrowed by Dave Rygalski"? He was not only good for Lane, but he was also good for Mrs. Kim. He was the perfect way to get Lane's mother used to her being with someone who wasn't Korean.
16 Hurt: Dean and Lindsay
Why Dean ever got married was a headscratcher. He knew he still had feelings for Rory before his wedding. He acted on those feelings after he and Lindsay got married. When he cheated on her, he tried to make her the bad guy. She deserved so much better. It was impossible not to be on her side once the truth came out.
Imagine if Gilmore Girls hadn't returned to Dean and Rory. Maybe Dean and Lindsay still wouldn’t have lasted. He was still hung up on his ex when they got together. However, at the very least, maybe they would have stood a chance. Instead, Dean and Lindsay could never have lasted and could only hurt the show. Rory was always the third person in their marriage.
15 Saved: Sookie and Jackson
While fans were waiting to see which of her love interests Rory would pick and when Luke and Lorelai would get together, they watched Sookie and Jackson fall in love. As Lorelai's best friend, Sookie could have been a supporting character, mostly in the background, with a background relationship. Instead, she was her own person, with a relationship as entertaining to watch develop as any other.
Sookie and Jackson were entertaining, amusing, and heartfelt. Fans watched them banter over produce, get married and have kids — and become one of the most stable couples on the show. They both had their high-strung moments, but they were always there for each other, even if meant Jackson making sure his wife was on bedrest.
14 Hurt: Lorelai and Christopher
Christopher was always going to be part of Lorelai's life. He was Rory's father. He was Lorelai's ex. He might not have been that reliable in the early seasons, but sticking around wasn't the problem. The problem came when he became part of a love triangle. He tried to get Lorelai back — while she was with Luke. Then came the real headscratcher when Lorelai and Christopher did get back together and married.
Christopher could never truly fit in with the Stars Hollow crowd. He couldn't fit in with the Gilmore Girls, either, at least for an extended period of time. He was at his best — and the series used him best — when he briefly appeared then left.
13 Saved: Kirk and Lulu
In the beginning, Kirk was just that town weirdo with strange business endeavors and who annoyed Luke. Then he got a girlfriend, Lulu, who was just as strange as he was. Furthermore, she could handle his odd qualities and his night terrors.
Their relationship was never a main plot point, which was why it worked.
There were simply moments here and there that reminded viewers they were together—and Kirk was better for it. The Stars Hollow residents all fit into their boxes, and a relationship and Lulu added to Kirk's. He still fit in his box, still was the same Kirk. However, there was another layer, another way for him to add more humor to his scenes.
12 Hurt: Luke and Nicole
Luke and Nicole's relationship wasn't that bad when they dated in season 3. They dated after meeting through Taylor. That was fine, even though everyone knew it wouldn't last. After all, Luke and Lorelai were obviously going to get together at some point.
However, then Luke and Nicole went on a cruise and got married. That was one of the biggest mistakes of the series. Fortunately, they seemed to realize that and planned to get a divorce. Then for some reason, they thought they should try to make things work and bought a townhouse together. That only lasted until Luke found out Nicole was cheating on him. It's hard to root for a couple on a television show when one party cheats on the other.
11 Saved: Babette and Morey
Babette and Morey were the most stable, solid couple of the series. They were never the source of any drama or conflict because they were, for the most part, just the neighbors. But they were so much more. They were the ones with the most entertaining stories at dinners and events. Babette loved to talk, while Morey was her tall, silent partner at her side.
Babette could be loud and over the top, and Morey balanced her out as a calm and quiet presence. She was exuberant, while he was more serious. They were the perfect example of opposites attracting. Other relationships could end, but if ever there was a Gilmore Girls couple everyone wanted to see stay together, it was Babette and Morey.
10 Hurt: Rory and Dean
Dean was Rory's first love, and as a first love, he wasn't that bad. Their relationship wasn't a problem when they were together in high school. Sure, it wasn't one that could have lasted in the long run.
However, maybe if they had stayed together into college or hadn't gotten back together, it wouldn't be so bad. Maybe their relationship wouldn't have hurt the series.
The problem came when they got back together — during and after his marriage. Their affair and then brief rekindling turned them both into awful characters. Their affair strained Rory's relationship with her mother. The entire town knew. Yet, Rory thought she had some hold on him because he was her first love.
9 Saved: Emily and Richard
Emily and Richard were basically the King and Queen of Gilmore Girls. Lorelai might not have always gotten along with her parents — and her parents might not have always been right — but they were a steady couple. At least, they were until their brief separation. One of the best moments of the series was Emily asking Richard to come home.
Sometimes their best scenes came when they weren't on the same page because they were such strong-willed people. The two of them were probably the best teams — romantic or not — on the series. They were the best example of a long-lasting relationship and the problems that arise during one. Relationships aren't perfect, but Gilmore Girls portrayed theirs as close to perfect as it could have.
8 Hurt: Lorelai and Max
Lorelai didn't always make the best choices when it came to her dating life. One of her worst decisions was Rory's English teacher, Max Medina, at Chilton. Not only did she date him, but she also got engaged to him.
He wasn't a bad serious relationship with Lorelai early on. He just wasn't right for her or to be part of Rory's life outside of school. His proposal was sweet — all of those daisies — but that was him at his best. It was during Rory's first year at Chilton — when she had to fit in — Lorelai met and dated Max. It was bad timing. Maybe if their relationship had happened later on, closer to Rory's graduation, that wouldn't be a mark against it.
7 Saved: Rory and Jess
Jess was easily the best of Rory's love interests. He might not have started off that way. Their romantic relationship didn't end the best way, either. But they were two people who could have grown together and grown to be great for each other. By the end of A Year in the Life, the series even set Jess up to be Rory's Luke, just like Logan was her Christopher.
Even after they broke up, Jess was there for Rory.
He yelled at her when she dropped out of Yale. He encouraged her when she was feeling low about her career in the revival. That was what Rory needed from someone in her life at those times, and no one else could do that.
6 Hurt: Paris and Asher
Intellectually, Paris and Asher were a good match. Now, if their relationship had never gone past that and had remained strictly platonic, it would have been better. Romantically? They could never have lasted, and that relationship was a bad decision on her part.
Asher was a professor at Yale when Paris and Rory attended the college. He was also Richard Gilmore's classmate — yes, he was Rory's grandfather's age. Not only was he a professor and she a student, but they had that massive age difference against them. They had too many marks against them and reasons why they had to hide their relationship. Unsurprisingly, Asher dated other female students as well. That fact alone meant he and Paris never could have lasted.
5 Saved: Lane and Zack
Zack may always be second-best to Dave, but if Lane couldn't be with Dave, he was a good choice. They might not have been the most romantic couple. After all, they also had a third roommate and bunk beds. Still, they clearly loved each other. He even proposed twice, pretending the first didn't happen, in order to get Mrs. Kim's blessing, which was obviously important.
Their two-part wedding was memorable, as they had to hold one ceremony for her grandmother and one for Mrs. Kim. They even had a wedding reception fitting of who they were, with the residents of Stars Hollow. They had their moments that hurt their relationship and the show — like Zack's jealousy — but Zack gave Lane her happily ever after. She deserved that.
4 Hurt: Jess and Shane
The only reason Jess and Shane were ever together was so Rory could be jealous. Maybe also because of their teenager hormones. Back when Jess first came to Stars Hollow, Rory was dating Dean. Yet, there was an attraction between her and Jess. When he returned at the end of season 2, Rory kissed him. However, she was still with Dean at the time. Even when she returned from her summer away, she still had a boyfriend, yet she was jealous when she saw Jess with Shane.
The thing is that there was no substance to Jess' relationship with Shane.
He didn't even know her last name and he didn't care to. She was only there to make Rory jealous. Even so, Dean played a bigger role in what led to Rory and Jess getting together.
3 Saved: Liz and T.J.
Two of the quirkiest characters on the show were two people who weren't original members of the town in the pilot. Viewers only heard about Liz through her brother, Luke, and son, Jess, but then she showed up in Stars Hollow. It was a fact that Liz had a string of bad relationships, and everyone thought her latest attempt at a marriage would be the same. However, that wasn't the case with T.J. He was good for her, even though he managed to continually find new levels of bizarreness every time he appeared.
Liz and T.J. balanced each other out. He treated her well, even if he seemed like quite the joker — and could have dressed as such at their wedding.
2 Hurt: Rory and Logan
Rory dating someone from her grandparents' world — even if his family didn't think they were — wasn't the problem. Rory and Logan's relationship even had its moments. They could have been good together. The problem was she made some bad decisions when she was with him. She stole a yacht, which led to her having to do community service and strained her relationship with Lorelai. She dropped out of Yale.
Then there was their entire relationship in A Year in the Life. They were both with other people and he was even engaged, yet they had an affair. Then came the final four words, as Rory revealed she was pregnant with Logan's baby. That made Logan Rory's Christopher. Just like Lorelai's relationship with her child's father, Rory's romantic entanglement with Logan should have stayed in the past.
1 Saved: Luke and Lorelai
Luke and Lorelai were inevitable, from the moment she begged him for coffee. They were the definition of friends becoming more. They were there for each other when each needed someone before they got together. The only marks against them came from the unnecessary drama forced on them due to television rules. Almost always, a will they/won't they couple needs to go through a breakup or some sort of conflict. That happened when Luke didn't tell her about his daughter.
Their wedding should have happened a lot sooner than it did. Because viewers had to see it, they had to come up with a reason to put it off until near the end of A Year in the Life.
What do you think? What was your favorite couple in Gilmore Girls? Let us know in the comments!