For six seasons on The WB, one polarizing season on The CW, and one even more polarizing revival miniseries on Netflix, Gilmore Girls followed the lives of single mother Lorelai Gilmore and her seemingly perfect daughter Rory. Set in the idyllic small town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut, the series was filled with larger than life characters, fast paced dialogue, and lots and lots of love – and also coffee.
While it was never a major audience draw for any network it was on, nor was it really a critically acclaimed series, it was a niche hit that soon became a cult classic. Thanks to the success of streaming platforms like Netflix, the series has been given a whole new life in the form of binge watchers, even long before the streaming giant picked the series up for an additional season.
When the series was really in its stride, it produced countless iconic television moments, pitch perfect pop culture commentary, and genuinely endearing, not overly dramatized romantic relationships and friendships – a rarity for series that was arguably targeted to the same demographic as soapier fare like Dawson’s Creek or One Tree Hill. However, even for everything Gilmore Girls did right, there’s unfortunately still a lot the series just got plain wrong, whether in the form of out of character behaviors or storylines that made absolutely no sense.
With that said, here are the 20 Things That Make No Sense About Gilmore Girls.
It wouldn’t be hard to make the case that Rory Gilmore is really no more than a spoiled brat. Whether through her mother’s hard work or the many loans her wealthy grandparents and father gave her, she always wound up getting what she wanted.
However, no matter how privileged she may have been in the original series, she at least always had the skill and work ethic to back up her achievements.
In the revival, however, none of that is true – except for the fact of how utterly, embarrassingly entitled she proves herself to be. Rory expects job offers to be thrown at her after having one article published in The New Yorker. When given an assignment to interview someone, she even falls asleep in the middle of listening, proving that she really has no concept of work ethic whatsoever anymore.
Throughout her whole life, Rory has wanted to be a journalist. So with that in mind, you would think she’d want to pick a college to attend that actually has a program in journalism. In the world of Gilmore Girls, Yale has a seemingly robust journalism program, in addition to the newspaper whose staff Rory works her way to the top of. However, in reality, Yale doesn't have a journalism program, so Rory would have been hopelessly adrift there.
For what it’s worth, Harvard – the original college of Rory’s lifelong dreams – doesn’t have a journalism program either, although their extension school does offer a Masters program centered on journalism. You would think that someone who’s so in love with academia and the pursuit of knowledge would have learned this a long time ago.
The story of Lorelai leaving her parents’ world of riches to raise baby Rory as a sixteen-year-old single mother always leads to some of the series’ most emotionally fraught moments. While flashbacks are sparing, the series nevertheless manages to make the most of the hurt that lingers beneath the surface – and sometimes breaks through to the surface – in its interactions between Lorelai and her mother, Emily. One of the most heartbreaking moments of all comes in the episode “Emily in Wonderland”, when Rory brings her grandmother to visit the home she and her mother lived in.
As it turns out, it’s not a home at all, but rather a small shed out back of the Independence Inn, where a young Lorelai worked as a maid. However, this entire premise, while heart wrenching, is ludicrous. How did anyone let a mother and an infant live in a shed?
It’s one of the storylines that marked a real turn for the worst in the series: season six finds Rory dropping out of Yale because she can’t deal with the stress of no longer being the smartest in the room and the heavy course load she signed herself up for. However, once she returns to Yale in the second half of the season, she’s as motivated as she ever was to get back on track.
Not only does she get back on track, but she somehow goes above and beyond, graduating on time as originally planned by the end of the following season.
Perhaps this was, in part, necessitated by the series’ impending cancellation that Rory was able to finish her studies on time. However, we’re never shown Rory working any harder than usual or attending any more classes than usual – especially when those were the very things that led her to drop out of Yale in the first place.
If you ignore Michel’s moody days (which are almost every day), Sookie’s tendency to scream in the kitchen, and all the fights that go on in the lobby, the Dragonfly Inn really does seem like a wonderful place to stay. However, we can’t help but wonder how the inn managed to succeed as well as it has – and for as long as it has – when it’s located in so remote a small town as Stars Hollow and has so few rooms to boast.
It’s not unlikely that people would enjoy a stay at a hidden gem of a bed and breakfast type place (although Lorelai passionately hates the term), but the Dragonfly has quite the large staff, especially in the kitchen, and scarcely more than ten rooms at its disposal. Plus, the inn is located so far off the main roads of the town that people have to be golf carted in for its opening night.
For the entire series, Paris is working her way towards becoming a lawyer, hoping to get into Harvard and Harvard Law like so many of her family members before her. By the end of the series, however, she totally changes course and, despite being accepted into many prestigious law schools, she decides instead to become a doctor – no matter her own repeatedly stated aversion to germs and sick people.
When we pick up with Paris in the revival, however, it’s clear that her career has changed yet again - from doctor to boutique fertility clinic owner. It’s certainly got something to do with the medical field, but it’s still not at all what the series originally planned for her.
Mention the name April Nardini in the presence of any devoted Gilmore Girls fans and you’ll likely earn either a groan of dismay or a lengthy explanation as to why that was the plot that entirely ruined the series. In the sixth season, Luke learns that he fathered a young prodigy daughter with an old ex-girlfriend, one whom he very clearly did not end on good terms with.
However, rather than share any of this news with his then fiancée Lorelai, Luke decides to take this journey all by himself, forcing Lorelai to learn the truth in a very public, humiliating manner.
Not a single part of this plot makes sense, nor does it reflect well on any of the characters involved. April is always a nuisance during and after the storyline, and it reveals uglier sides of both Luke and Lorelai.
Gilmore Girls is a series primarily about the different forms the relationship between mother and daughter can take, whether it be in the example of Lorelai and Rory, Lorelai and Emily, or Mrs. Kim and Lane. The relationship between Lane and her mother is one that the series spends a great deal of time building, deconstructing, and reconstructing, given their total difference in opinions about the world and how life should be lived.
However, throughout the main series, viewers never get to meet Mr. Kim. He’s occasionally referred to in earlier seasons, but never seen or heard from during the entire run. In the revival series on Netflix, a mysterious Mr. Kim appears at the fair that Lane and her mother are working at, but beyond a smile and wave, his character is never explored any further.
For three long, torturous seasons, and much of the revival miniseries, valuable screentime is taken up by the odious gang of rich kids known as the Life and Death Brigade. Populated by Yale’s richest, whiniest, and most privileged, this gang of frat bros and sorority girls corrupt Rory’s world view by exposing her to their life of opulence and risk taking. She befriends some of the most childish members of the group, Finn and Colin, who are essentially her future boyfriend, Logan’s, henchmen.
What makes no sense about this group’s inclusion in the series is that never once are we expected to do anything but go along for the ride with their harebrained schemes. They play key roles in Rory’s future falling apart, leading to her dropping out of Yale, but still, they’re her friends, and we’re meant to like them, no matter how horrible they may actually be.
Coffee is one of the staples that holds the world of Gilmore Girls together. After all, how could two people possibly talk that much, that fast if they weren’t constantly caffeinated? As it turns out, however, the coffee lifestyle Lorelai and Rory seem to maintain is, in fact, not at all possible. According to research by both Refinery 29 and Mashable, the reality of trying to drink like a Gilmore girl is pretty unpleasant.
By Refinery 29’s calculations, the Gilmore girls consume over 500 cups of coffee across the first five seasons.
When staffers at Mashable tried to imitate the rate at which they drink this coffee – six cups a day, black, for a week – they found that it led to bouts of dehydration, aches, and vomiting. Just because it happens on TV, it doesn’t mean you should try it at home.
Nothing says hokey, adorable, healthy married couples like a wife who forces her husband into agreeing to get a vasectomy, and a husband who reneges on the vasectomy he was forced into. Somehow, Gilmore Girls pretty much washes over the entire mess of Jackson’s failure to get a vasectomy, despite the fact that it winds up in a pregnancy that Sookie never wanted. Jackson lied to his wife, assuring her that there would be no more children in their future.
However, by lying to her, he allowed her to have a false sense of security about their future together, resulting in a surprise pregnancy that Sookie was guilted into continuing. It’s one of the more troubling storylines in the series – and for such a progressive, feminist series to do so little with acknowledging Sookie’s rights and point of view is deeply disappointing.
Every time Christopher, Lorelai’s high school sweetheart and Rory’s biological father, appears in the series, it’s made clear that he and Lorelai are just wrong for each other. For all of her childish behavior, Lorelai is miles ahead of Christopher in terms of maturity, and he’s never willing to own up to any of his mistakes or step up to the plate when Lorelai and Rory need him to.
So the decision in season seven to have a rebounding Lorelai and Christopher run off to Paris and get married is, by far, one of the most offensive and out of character choices the series ever made. First of all, the notion that Lorelai would ever get married without Rory present is apparently something the writers never considered. However, beyond that, it leads to a truly horrible storyline that eats up much of what would become the series’ final season.
Speaking of people not attending weddings they were meant to be attendees at... The revival finds Luke and Lorelai impulsively getting married in the middle of the night, the eve before their real wedding in the town square. In attendance for the small, spur of the moment gathering are, of course, Rory, serving as maid of honor, and Lorelai’s dear friend and coworker, Michel.
However, nowhere to be found are Sookie, Lorelai’s real best friend, and Jess, the nephew that Luke raised as though he were his own son.
The wedding was in town, as were both characters, so it’s unfathomable that neither of these characters were there – even if Sookie’s absence was likely dictated by Melissa McCarthy’s unavailability for filming.
Money is a recurring problem for the Gilmore girls. The series begins, after all, with Rory getting into the school of her dreams, but receiving insufficient financial aid, so Lorelai is forced to seek financial support from her wealthy parents, with whom she has had a long-fractured relationship. However, beyond the various loans the Gilmores lend to one another, it’s pretty clear that no matter how hard Lorelai works, she never has enough money for the things that matter.
It’s only after careful consideration that some of the causes of this financial insufficiency become incredibly apparent: Rory and Lorelai eat out for every meal, every day. Whether at Luke’s, Al’s Pancake World, or a quick stop at Doose’s Market, these women never cook for themselves. They also engage in their fair share of retail therapy, rather than saving away for the future.
In Luke’s nephew, Jess, Rory finds a kindred spirit – so it’s understandable that she would be upset when he’s forced to suddenly leave town at the end of the second season. Being a perfectionist who wants to be in control of her relationships whenever possible, it also makes sense that she sets out to find him in New York. However, what makes no sense at all is that, of all of the days she chooses to do this, she does so on the day her mother is graduating from the night business school classes she’s been taking.
Kindred spirit or no, Jess is nowhere near as important to Rory as Lorelai, her mother and best friend, is. Her decision to do something so rash and impulsive is troubling enough to begin with, but doing so on a day that should have been all about Lorelai – and a day that she should have been there for her on – is unforgivable.
If ever there was a character in Gilmore Girls who deserved bigger and better than what the quiet life of Stars Hollow could offer, it was Lane Kim. Empowered, persistent, and passionate about seeing the world and its music, Lane went so far as to form her own rock group, Hep Alien. It seemed, for a while at least, that the band would finally make it big enough to sustain themselves on their music. They did a few small tours, and booked a performance at CBGB – which was, unfortunately, bumped, but still.
However, in the series’ seventh season, Lane was dealt a blow in the form of a plotline that felt entirely contrary to the nature of her character’s journey.
After marrying fellow bandmate, Zack, Lane winds up pregnant after an awful honeymoon in Mexico, having not one, but two babies as a result of it – and, at least for a long while, putting a sudden, unexpected end to her dreams of rock and roll greatness.
In early seasons, whenever Luke and Jess talk about Liz Danes, Luke’s sister and Jess’ mother, it’s clear that she’s pretty much a neglectful, selfish mother who abandons Jess for stretches at a time and never owns up to any of her responsibilities. Based on Luke’s descriptions, she’s always been a bit man-crazy, moving from one abusive relationship to the next with little to no care for herself.
However, when Liz finally arrives in the series’ fourth season, she’s treated as an adorable ditzy source of comic relief, and Jess is no longer a main character who can provide any voice to the contrary. In the few scenes they do share together, however, Jess is always consistently uncomfortable around her – but the narrative always frames him as being in the wrong.
It’s one thing for children to rebel against their parents and the lives they have provided for them - after all, the central tension at the heart of Gilmore Girls only exists because Lorelai did just that by leaving her parents’ world of privilege and riches. However, in raising Rory, Lorelai has deliberately taught her daughter to respect hard work and hard-earned money and not just take the easy way out.
Except, somehow, Rory seems to have missed every single memo, routinely showing that she prefers the easy way out and whatever the highest price tag provides her. When she drops out of Yale, she stays in her grandparents’ mansion. When she dates Logan, and cheats with him on his fiancée in the revival, she always lets him pay the bill for whatever ridiculously opulent journey they embark on.
Except for Kirk, who means well but essentially occupies the space of the town’s resident idiot, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone in all of Stars Hollow who can stand Taylor Doose, never mind openly liking him. Somehow, some way, however, Taylor remains in charge of the sleepy little town year after year.
Even when Jackson runs against him and wins, he soon forfeits the position, ceding it back to Taylor when he realizes he can’t do things the way Taylor is able to.
So we can’t help but wonder, then, how Taylor ever rose to power in the first place – and how he stays in power, at that. Does no one else ever run against him? Was Jackson’s campaign and election really so monumental?
Small town teenagers getting married far too young is a cliché that television shows and movies like to return to time and again. Sometimes, it works, but other times, as is the case of Gilmore Girls’ Dean and Lindsey, it most decidedly does not. Dean had just recently gotten out of a two-and-a-half-year long relationship with Rory when he started dating Lindsey, and suddenly, only a few short months later, the two were engaged.
To be fair, they did wait a whole few episodes before they got married, announcing their engagement at the end of season three and marrying at the start of season four. Also, hey, Dean waited almost a whole season before he regressed and cheated on Lindsey with Rory, since he’d never really gotten over her. So… well, we’re not entirely sure what the point here is. However, what remains clear is that the decision to have these two dumb kids get married in the first place was short-sighted at best.
What do you think makes the least sense about Gilmore Girls? Let us know in the comments!