We love Gilmore Girls even when we hate Gilmore Girls after looking at it through the lens of 2018, a time when we're a little older and wiser than we were in the early-'00s, because there's something about its small town charm and naive idealism that makes everything feel warmer. It's the television equivalent of drinking a mug of tea before bed or putting a sweater on right out of the dryer, and that's why we keep coming back to it even when we know that Rory grows up to become the worst version of herself or realize that it isn't okay that most of the black characters on the show don't have names, let alone lines.
Most of us know what's wrong with the show, but not everyone knows what we all get wrong about it. When a show has been around for as long as Gilmore Girls, some details get lost in translation, even to some of the writers. We forget that Mr. Kim has been around the whole time, and instead, we assume that Mrs. Kim is a single mother like Lorelai because that's the easiest mental shortcut to take.
Read on to remember all of the things you've forgotten or just never noticed about the show, and learn what it is that everyone has been getting wrong about Gilmore Girls.
Here are the 20 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Gilmore Girls.
20 Lorelai and Rory Weren’t Poor
When Lorelai’s house had termites in season two, she didn’t know where she’d get the money to fix it. When Rory needed a dress to go to cotillion, it was homemade. Throughout the series, it was hammered into viewers’ heads that the Gilmores were actually at a below-average income level.
In reality, though, the Gilmores were a middle class family.
In fact, they were a family that reasonably wouldn’t be given financial aid at Chilton. The Mayflower Grace in Connecticut that inspired the Independence Inn isn’t one of the B&Bs the Gilmores loved to mock – a one night stay costs $1000. When growing up with immense wealth like Lorelai, the life of a middle class citizen would probably feel like a struggle, especially after she had to claw her way up from nothing. However, make no mistake: the Gilmores could afford their $2.8 million home.
19 It Didn't Have A Completely White Cast
Gilmore Girls has rightfully come under fire for its cast's lack of diversity. There’s even a Tumblr devoted to counting the number of black characters who appear on the show. These characters are rarely ever given names, even in the revival, and the stories mostly revolve around cis, straight white people problems.
Still, for all of the rightful criticism it has received, there is still some diversity in Gilmore World. For example, Keiko Agena and Emily Kuroda were born in the U.S. and have family from Japan (though they both portray women from Korea, so they might not be the best example). Yanic Truesdale was born in Canada and has family in Africa, Liz Torres has family from Puerto Rico, and Rose Abdoo has family from Lebanon and the Dominican Repiblic. While viewers shouldn’t be able to count the number of non-white characters in a show on one hand, Gilmore Girls is slightly more diverse than most people assume.
18 It’s Not Rory’s Fault That She’s The Worst
Many fans have noticed that Rory is the worst. She doesn’t respect Lorelai’s boundaries, she makes selfish decisions, and she gives up when things don’t come easily. Still, many of Rory’s personality defects come from the way she was raised. She’s led to believe that she exists in the working class, when really she benefits immensely from the money and privilege given to her by her grandparents.
Her mother, her grandparents, and society have allowed her to believe that she’s entitled, and that entitlement impacts how she deals with real world problems.
Viewers should analyze their issues with Rory and decide if they really hate her, or the corrupt system that created someone like her.
17 It Is Rory's Fault That She’s Broke In The Revival
There’s no excuse for a healthy 32 year old woman to have absolutely no job. Setting aside the fact that she’s a horrible freelancer who never adapted to the changing medium of journalism, it's hard to understand why she never had a day job. Rory could have written at night while working retail during the day, obtained an internship at a low-level magazine, or applied for a job as a personal assistant or a temp to make ends meet.
Rory represents what people think millennials are like – self-absorbed, unwilling to work, and freeloading while talking about pursing their dreams but never really putting any effort into them. In reality, it’s more likely for a young person to have three jobs than for them to have none.
16 Lorelai Would Have Never “Done Wild”
Lorelai Gilmore does not like nature. In season three, she barely likes learning how to fish in a kiddie pool in her own front yard. The thought that her midlife crisis would take the form of running into the wild alone for multiple weeks is laughable. It’s like the writers made one bad joke, couldn’t think of anything else, and felt like they had to stick with it.
She’s always had a habit of running away from her problems, but running into the wild isn’t where Lorelai Gilmore would have gone. Her catharsis could have come just as easily in New York, London, or San Francisco. Even the North Pole would’ve been better, because at least it would have snow.
15 Putting your daughter's friendship first isn’t healthy
Lorelai wasn’t mature enough to have a kid, understandably. Her parenting style is a direct rebellion against her mother’s controlling tendencies, and as such, it’s exactly the parenting style that a rebellious teen would want when she thinks she’s old enough to make her own decisions. Lorelai didn’t mature past her teen years, really.
Lorelai learned to provide for her daughter and put someone else first, but she didn’t learn how to be a grown-up.
Because of this, she could never teach her daughter how to grow either, which created an unhealthy power balance between the two of them.
14 Lorelai Wasn’t A “Bad Mom”
Even though her parenting style was questionable, Lorelai was a great mom. She sacrificed her personal life during her peak dating years in order to comfort and provide for her daughter. She worked hard to provide for her family by doing whatever she had to and, eventually, she became a bit more mature, even if she didn’t know how to pass that skill on to her daughter.
Lorelai loves her daughter more than anything. In fact, all of her decisions orbit around Rory. She’s a good mother with a good heart, regardless of her age, and she isn’t afraid to use the “Mom Card” when the situation is dire. Lorelai Gilmore can be her daughter’s best friend and a good mother at the same time, even thought a different parenting dynamic may have worked in Rory’s favor in the long run.
13 Melissa McCarthy Didn’t Turn Down The Revival
Many fans assume that Melissa McCarthy was too busy being the reigning queen of crass comedy to return for the Gilmore Girls revival. However, McCarthy tweeted that she was never asked by Amy Sherman-Palladino to participate in Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life. Palladino denies this, however, and has said that McCarthy was always welcome to join.
McCarthy did ultimately appear in one all-too-short scene, but there was clearly a massive breakdown in communication between Gilmore Girl’s show runner and its plucky sidekick. The lack of Sookie St. James was cited as one of the many reasons why the revival missed the mark, and audiences missed the accident-prone cook and her comedic timing just as much Lorelai missed her.
12 Rory Isn’t Destined To End Up With One Of Her High School or College Boyfriends
Contrary to what television shows would lead us to believe, only two percent of recent marriages in North America involved couples that dated in high school. College relationships have a slightly higher retention rate at 28 percent, but fans who assume that Rory has to have forever love with Jess, Dean, or Logan are statistically wrong.
The revival did Rory a disservice by making her one long post-grad relationship be with someone so bland that neither she nor the audience could remember his name or anything about him.
Doing this sent a message that only relationships in high school and college are passionate and worthwhile. However, embarking on a relationship as an adult with a fully formed sense of self has a higher chance of success and is thus better than impulsive young relationships.
11 Rory’s Breakup with Dean Wasn’t Jess’ Fault
Yes, it’s absolutely sketchy to try to steal someone else’s significant other. Jess never cared much about people’s feelings during his youth (not even Rory’s, if you consider the way he left without saying goodbye), but this was no excuse to actively pursue Rory while also goading her boyfriend at any opportunity. Still, Dean was never able to handle the privilege gap between Rory and himself, allowing his insecurities to dissolve the foundation of trust in their relationship.
First, Dean was unable to handle Rory’s lifestyle at Chilton, and he was insecure about her intellect and ambition. Later, this youthful impulse would manifest itself during the couple’s second breakup. Just seeing Rory with her Yale friends made him feel so inferior that he decided to leave.
10 Rory’s Obsession With Jess Was Sketchy
Even if Dean caused many of the subconscious issues in his relationship with Rory, she should have never allowed her feelings for Jess to progress so far while she was still in a committed relationship. This would happen again, to a lesser extent, when she connected with Logan during her second relationship with Dean, and is seen in a different context when she has no issue with Dean developing a deep connection with her while he was still married to Lindsay.
Rory doesn’t seem to understand boundaries and she doesn't seem to have a basic sense of morality when it comes to established monogamous relationships, which is seen for a fourth time in the Gilmore revival when she has an affair with an engaged Logan.
9 Lorelai and Emily Are Very Similar
As much as Lorelai and Emily are aesthetic foils, the mother-daughter pair are more similar than either one would like to admit. They’re both judgmental, just of different things – Lorelai judges high society, while Emily judges the poor. The women are both immovably stubborn, which exacerbates their arguments, and they have high expectations for their children because they truly believe that they’ve given birth to special children.
The differences between the two are more based around when they went through adolescence. Emily grew up during a time when being a wife and mother was tantamount and when keeping a pristine reputation was a wife’s duty. Meanwhile, Lorelai went through her teen years in the 1980s, when pop culture movements lead to teenagers being seen as autonomous individuals capable of leading their own lives.
8 Liz Was A Terrible Mom
It’s tempting to think that Liz isn’t all bad after she’s introduced as a recurring character on the show. She loves her lunkheaded husband T.J., she makes jewelry at the Renaissance Faire, and she’s an early advocate for Luke and Lorelai’s relationship.
However, this doesn’t excuse the fact that this is the same woman who was so physically close to her troubled, kind-hearted son but never tried to be a mother to him.
She left him to work at the Renaissance Faire, for heaven’s sake. Even when Liz and Jess were both regular characters on Gilmore Girls, she barely put any effort into their relationship and seemed to consider it a lost cause, which isn’t acceptable. Being quirky doesn’t make up for walking out on your son.
7 Dean Isn’t A Farmer
Why did Gilmore Girls decide out of nowhere that Dean was going to be the series resident Podunk? Jess calls Dean “Farm Boy” over the course of multiple seasons, and everyone just seemed to kind of accept that Dean was the poster child for small town agriculture.
Neither of his parents work on a farm or happen to own one according to the seventh episode of season one, and it’s clearly stated early on that Dean moved to Stars Hollow from Chicago, which isn't exactly a small town. Amy Sherman-Palladino seemed to want Dean and Jess to be opposites and stopped mentioning Dean’s original city boy characterization, but farming never was part of the equation.
6 It Was Always Obvious That Rory Would End Up Pregnant
People were surprised that the final four words that we’d been waiting for involved Rory telling her mother that she was pregnant. However, in hindsight, we all should have seen it coming. The show was always setting up Logan and Christopher to be parallel characters, which can be seen by their immediate chemistry as twin boarding school-averse souls and their personalities as wealthy, flighty men who are deeply in love with a Gilmore girl despite their fear of commitment and heavy familial responsibilities.
The first conflict between Rory and Lorelai, all the way back in the pilot, was about Rory’s first instinct to throw her life away for attention from Dean, and Lorelai points out the similarities between Rory and her younger self right off the bat.
5 It Isn’t A Feminist Show
Gilmore Girls is a female-driven show, and we love the focus on women’s stories that don’t entirely revolve around their love lives, but it isn't a feminist show.
In fact, women are treated horribly on the show.
Lane becomes pregnant with twins after one unsatisfying romantic encounter that convinces her that all women are conspiring against each other so that everyone has to suffer together. Jackson violates Sookie’s rights after lying about his vasectomy, after which Sookie also becomes pregnant. Also, all of the minor female characters on the show are either villainized or victimized. Sherri is a romantic rival to Lorelai, which means she must be evil,. Not to mention the fact that Paris is driven and focused, so she must be “crazy.” Women are karmically punished for traditionally looser morals on the show, and the women rarely have control over their own bodies.
4 Mitchum Huntzberger Wasn’t An Unfair Boss
Setting aside the fact that Mitchum was apparently right, and Rory didn’t have “it,” he wasn’t as much of a monster as the Gilmore Girls fandom made him out to be. He treats Rory with the same bluntness that she treats the struggling ballerina in “Die, Jerk". When Rory tells it like it is, she’s met with praise, but when she’s put on the receiving end, she steals a yacht.
Moving past the professional aspect of their relationship, the way the Huntzberger family treats Rory when she comes home for dinner with Logan is the same way her grandparents treat Dean earlier in the series. The Huntzbergers and Gilmores run in the same circles and have the same values, but when they treat Rory unfairly, suddenly everyone has a problem with it.
3 Lucy Had Every Right To Be Mad At Rory
Marty instigated this problem by panicking and pretending not to know Rory when she’s finally introduced to Lucy’s nameless “Boyfriend.” In the moment, it was fine not to cause a scene and to go along with Marty’s gaffe. For the rest of the multiple months that she lies to Lucy, however, Rory is mistreating her friend.
Concern for Marty was no reason to lie to a new friend who had been kind and welcoming to her, and it was really sketchy of Rory to not show more concern for Lucy. Marty’s past feelings for Rory, even though they weren’t reciprocated, were obviously still there if he felt the need to lie, and Lucy had every right to be upset when the truth finally came out. Just because most men on the show are horrible doesn’t mean Rory had to be.
2 Not All Of The Series' Worst Episodes Are In Season 7
Season seven as a whole was definitely the worst of the original series. Because of this, fans often forget that there were some episodes in past seasons that were just as bad as those in the show’s Sherman-Palladino-less era.
For example, some of the really bad episodes came in season six, when Amy Sherman-Palladino seemed to ruin things for her characters with the hopes that The CW would need her to stay for season seven to clean up the mess.
This is just our theory, but the fact that she left the show with a trail of destruction behind her seems to support it. The season one episode “That Damn Donna Reed” also leaves a bad tasted in many fans' mouths because of the antiquated ideals that are ultimately accepted during the episode.
1 Dean Wasn’t All Bad
Okay, in the end, Dean was mostly bad. He became consumed by bad life decisions in his adulthood and was overcome by his insecurities. However, during his first two relationships with Rory, he did a lot of things right. He was there for her and her mom, he found the Gilmores’ antics endearing and didn't judge them for their eccentricities, and he tried really hard to make Rory happy and be a great first boyfriend.
There a few people who are Team Dean (we’ve only met one, but have heard rumors of more), and Dean is a great example of a boyfriend who is a good but just isn’t the right man. He deserved a better character arc.
Are there any other common misconceptions about Gilmore Girls? Let us know in the comments!