Depending on when you first watched Gilmore Girls your opinion on Emily Gilmore may have evolved over the years. Sometimes the show paints her as the villain and frequent antagonist in the lives of Rory and Lorelai. Lorelai would especially have you believe that Emily Gilmore is evil, at least during the early seasons of the series.
But when watching the show now it's easier to understand what Emily's motives were for certain choices she made. Sometimes you can even agree that Lorelai is acting immature over her distaste for her own mother. That's not to say Emily was always a saint, she did make some bad decisions during the show's run. We're looking at some of her best moments, and some of her worst.
10 Best: She took care of Lorelai when she had a back spasm.
During the first season of the show there is an episode where Rory attends her first formal dance at Chilton. It's a big night for Rory and of course Emily wants to be part of it. She comes over to get some photos of Rory in her dress.
When she arrives, she discovers that Lorelai is stuck on the couch due to a back spasm. She decides to stay overnight and take care of her daughter. The moment also holds one of the best moments between them when Emily tries to get Lorelai to eat a piece of toast with mushed bananas on top. Both of them agree it's disgusting.
9 Worst: But then she kind of ruined it when she insinuated Lorelai was a terrible mother.
It's a shame that such a nice night between Lorelai and her mother was ruined by one mistake. Rory and Dean accidentally fall asleep while reading a book at Miss Patty's. Since Rory doesn't come home until the morning, Lorelai and Emily immediatlely jump to the worst conclusion.
They both panic that Rory and Dean were doing more than reading together and Emily clearly has flashbacks to the discovery that Lorelai was pregnant at 16. The two get into a terrible screaming fight in the kitchen. While their fear is understandable, Emily does make some terrible comments about Lorelai's parenting style. Lorelai gets some low blows in herself, it's a sad ending to what was a nice moment between them.
8 Best: Emily ensured that Rory knew she was never considered a mistake.
Once Christopher is back in Rory and Lorelai's life for a little bit, the Gilmore's decide to host a dinner party where they invite Christopher's parents over so they can appear like one big happy family for once. Unfortunately the night turns sour after one ill-timed comment from Lorelai that sparks a heated argument between Christopher's dad and Richard. Lorelai asks Rory to go in the other room as the fight gets heated.
But Emily decides to comfort Rory and ensures that she understands no matter what they all fight about in terms of the past, Rory was never considered a mistake, not for a single second. It's a really sweet moment between the two. Plus it's kind of hilarious to hear Emily use a curse word to describe Christopher's dad, one he totally deserves.
7 Worst: Inviting all of Rory's Chilton friends to a party without asking.
Another season one moment that wasn't Emily's finest is when she throws a birthday party for Rory and invites everyone at Chilton without asking her.
Emily couldn't have known Rory was on bad terms with people like Paris and Tristan at the time but she could have done the decent thing and simply asked Rory about it. Her heart seemed to be in the right place but it turned out to be a bad mistake and triggered a rare fight between Emily and Rory.
6 Best: She tried her best to be polite to Jess at dinner.
Once Rory and Jess officially become a couple, Emily asks Rory to invite Jess around for dinner. She does but when Jess shows up he is sporting a large black eye and acting extra surly.
To Emily's credit, she is extremely polite. She's not even passive-aggressive as we've seen her be in the past towards people like Luke. She genuinely tries to make the evening as pleasant as possible. Eventually, Rory and Jess get into a fight and Jess storms out. Emily comforts Rory and allows her to spend the night.
5 Worst: Trying to get Rory to date someone new when she was with Dean.
In season five, Emily and Richard learn that Rory is dating Dean once again. Instead of respecting her and her relationship, they throw a party and dress Rory up. It's basically like a meat market to show Rory off to all the single and suitable young men they know.
It's clear they don't think Dean is good enough for Rory and would rather she date someone from their own social circles. While the night is a good one for Rory and Logan fans, it's still a shady thing for Emily, and Richard, to have done.
4 Best: That time she snapped at Shira Huntzberger.
There's no question that the time Emily snapped at Logan's mother, Shira Huntzberger, is one of the best in the series and certainly one of Emily's crowning moments. It comes after Mitchum discourages Rory by telling her she'll essentially never be good enough to pursue her dreams of becoming a journalist.
It's not just Mitchum who is cruel to Rory either, Shira also doesn't think Rory is good enough for her daughter. At a DAR function, Emily ensures Shira knows exactly what she thinks of her by calling her out on her drinking problem and fluctuating weight.
3 Worst: When she tried to break up Luke and Lorelai.
If you ask someone what the worst thing Emily ever did was, most fans of the series will probably say the time that Emily tried to break up Luke and Lorelai for good. She recruits Christopher to come to her and Richard's vow renewal and implies that this is his last chance to get Lorelai before she settles down with Luke.
The entire results in a terrible falling out between all parties involved. Emily does wind up getting her wish granted as Luke breaks up with Lorelai and leaves her devastated. It also leads to a terrible falling out between Lorelai and Emily.
2 Best: When she picks out a house for Luke and Lorelai.
As a way to make amends for her past deeds and to try and come around to the idea of Luke and Lorelai getting together, Emily does something extremely touching in season six. After she has surgery on her eyes, Lorelai has to help take care of Emily for a day. They go to an open house where Lorelai panics, thinking Emily is going to move to Stars Hollow.
But then she finds out that Emily was actually planning to buy a house for Luke and Lorelai as a wedding gift. She even thinks it through in terms of location and bedrooms should they have more children. It's an extremely sweet and thoughtful moment, even though Lorelai is then forced to admit she and Luke may not be getting married after all.
1 Worst: When she tried to get too controlling with Rory.
Not many people are fans of the season six storyline where Rory drops out of Yale and goes to live with her grandparents. For a while, Emily and Richard are nothing but kind to Rory but during the end of Rory's stay, things get intense.
Emily even forgets that Rory isn't her daughter and calls Richard "her father." They also move Rory back into the house as if she's a child. Rory is extremely immature during most of these episodes too but it was pretty cringey to realize how much control Emily wanted to have over Rory at the time.