Raised in Hartford, Connecticut, Lorelai is a highly talkative, free-spirited woman, a child of the eighties and part of the MTV generation.
Her wealthy parents, Richard and Emily, raised her to be a proper young lady of good breeding. They had her future all planned out and arranged for her to come out to society after her sixteenth birthday, but Lorelai was always rebellious and resentful of her structured, sheltered and silver spoon upbringing and became pregnant. Shortly after Rory's birth, she left home, which further put on a strain in her relationship with her parents.
Lorelai's eating habits are famously unhealthy; she is a caffeine addict and subsists mostly on diner food and takeout. She and Rory had regular food-and-movie nights (in the early seasons), during which they would buy enough junk food for several people and proceed to eat most of it. The only time she is noted to have desired fruit and vegetables was when she was pregnant with Rory. She does not cook; when not eating leftover takeout or junk food, she frequents Luke's diner. Rory and Lorelai usually enjoy breakfast at Luke's daily, and sometimes eat lunch or dinner there as well. For those times when Lorelai is required to prepare something domestically, such as the Chilton bake sale, she turns to her chef friend, Sookie St. James, to do the cooking (Cinnamon's Wake).
Lorelai is innately humorous and has a witty remark for every situation, often with a pop culture reference. Her remarks can either confuse or charm those who aren't familiar with her. She is also known for being very talkative and having a way with words; Max Medina calls her a "wordsmith" (Cinnamon's Wake). Additionally, as the manager of the Independence Inn, she is able to think quickly on her feet and handle various situations, such as improvising rooms for people when the inn catches fire (A Tale of Poes and Fire).
As a teenager (played in flashbacks by Chelsea Brummet), Lorelai dated Christopher Hayden, son of Straub and Francine Hayden, while in high school, (whom she met at age 6, who soon became her best friend), and became pregnant right before her society debut (at age 16), which embarrassed and disappointed her parents. Although she usually defends her circumstances, deep down she knows how they felt.  After Straub tried to convince Emily and Richard to have Lorelai have an abortion, Emily completely refused, and they decided to have them marry instead. Christopher was amenable, but Lorelai realized they weren't ready. Lorelai is known for being stronger and more independent than Christopher; when she realized she was in labor, she drove herself to the hospital despite not having a driver's license.
After her daughter, Lorelai "Rory" Leigh Gilmore, was born, she lived with her parents for a year before running away to find a job at the Independence Inn in Stars Hollow. The owner of the inn, Mia, took her in, gave her a job as a maid, and let her and Rory live in the back in a renovated potting shed. Lorelai was very efficient at her job, and gradually worked her way up over the years to the manager position. The inn is where she met her best friend, Sookie St. James.
Lorelai attended Hartford Community College and earned an Associate of Arts degree in business while running the Independence Inn. After the inn burned down, she and Sookie owned and operated the Independence Catering Company in order to fund renovation of the Dragonfly Inn, their long-term dream, which opened to rave reviews on May 6 during Season 4.
For many years, Lorelai had almost no contact with her parents, except for visits during major holidays. The rebelliousness of her teen years stayed with her in adulthood. As they both grew up, Lorelai and Rory's relationship evolved into the relationship of two best friends or sisters, rather than a parent to her child. Lorelai stated the fact that their relationship was best friends first, mother daughter second. Lorelai would only use the "mom card" as a last resort. It wasn't until she needed to borrow a very large sum of money for Rory's education at the exclusive Chilton Academy that she bowed down to her parents and started seeing them regularly at the mandatory "Friday night dinners".
Lorelai repaid her parents for the loan when a real estate investment that Richard had made in her name at the time of her birth paid off, but Rory also made her own bargain with her grandparents for Yale tuition. Lorelai continued to attend occasional Friday night dinners, partly as a way to see Rory while she was busy at college.
Lorelai is somewhat insecure when it comes to the relationships between herself, her parents, and Rory. Because her daughter gets along better with her grandparents than she herself ever did, Lorelai often feels that her parents prefer Rory over her. She thinks they view Rory, who is considerably more subdued and more classically "feminine" than her mother, as the daughter they should have had. This seemed very evident when Rory moved in with her grandparents who welcome her with open arms following a rift between Rory and Lorelai after Rory attempted to steal a yacht and dropped out of Yale. Her fears were further cemented when Rory adapted very well to her grandparents' lifestyle, even joining the DAR. Lorelai and Rory later reconcile when Emily becomes too controlling of Rory's life, as she was of Lorelai's.
By the end of the series, Rory goes off to Iowa to begin a career reporting for an online magazine following Barack Obama on his campaign trail. Emily believes that since Lorelai and Rory no longer need her money for any tuition, that their routine Friday night dinners will end, so she proposes that she and Richard are willing to pay for some works of extension to do at the Dragonfly Inn as an excuse to keep frequenting her daughter. Lorelai is against this idea, but she learns to spend time with her mother and accepts to keep going to their usual Friday night dinners, implying that she will maintain a friendly relationship with her parents.
Besides an on-again, off-again relationship with Christopher, Lorelai's romantic relationships have included Alex Lesman, an outdoorsy coffee house entrepreneur, Max Medina, a teacher at Chilton who she almost wed, Jason Stiles, and Luke Danes, the owner of the local diner.
Alex is Lorelai's second boyfriend (not including Christopher) of the series and the least serious. Alex is a divorced dad of two and Lorelai and him find many things in common, including their mutual love for coffee. Lorelai meets Alex (played by Billy Burke) at a seminar in which Sookie reunites with a former friend. They go on a casual first date, in which they test coffees for Alex's up-and-coming coffee shop. They agree to go on a fishing date, although Lorelai has never fished. Lorelai enlists Luke Danes to teach her how to fish. Their entire relationship was more of a casual relationship than a meaningful one. The final time we see him in the series is the episode 3.14 in which he acquires 4 tickets to see the musical Levittown in New York. He invites Lorelai, Sookie and Jackson to join him. The musical is a bust but the four of them have a good time anyway. Alex is shown to be kind and considerate to Lorelai and her eccentricities. The moment when the two of them stop seeing each other is not portrayed in the series, but Lorelai kind of confides her cold feelings about her relationship with Alex to best friend Sookie.
Jason was Lorelai's third boyfriend of the series (not including Christopher). Jason and Lorelai know each other from childhood. Jason's father is one of Richard's partners and Lorelai and Jason both attended camp together. Jason pursues Lorelai and they begin a secret affair, partially fueled by the rebellious nature of the affair. Upon discovery by Richard and Emily, Lorelai continues to date Jason until dealings with Richard's company find Jason pitted against Richard. Lorelai refuses to support Jason's suit against her father and breaks up with him.
Max is Lorelai's first boyfriend (and fiancee) of the series, and one of the most serious. Max is a well-read teacher at Chilton to whom Lorelai is instantly attracted. Despite the forbidden nature (he is Rory's teacher), Lorelai agrees to date Max. Their relationship becomes serious over the course of the first season, and Max proposes to Lorelai twice. The first time was deemed romantically inadequate and he was refused; on his second try, he takes Lorelai's advice and sends her one thousand of her favorite flower, the yellow daisy ("Love, Daisies and Troubadours"). Lorelai accepts and their relationship continues until Lorelai's bachelorette party one week before the wedding, at which she realizes he is not "the one" and she can't marry him ("Red Light on the Wedding Night"). They run into each other two more times in Season 3, in the episodes 3.16 and 3.19. They share a kiss and reconcile feelings for one another. However, Max wants to move on and states that he never wants to see Lorelai again.
Christopher was probably the most important man in Lorelai and Rory's life throughout the series. Christopher and Lorelai met in childhood and were best friends. They began dating in their teenage years and Lorelai became pregnant at 16. Because he is Rory's father and comes from "good breeding", Lorelai's parents approve of Christopher, and have continually pushed her to pursue a relationship with him. Despite several marriage proposals, Lorelai maintains a casual, friendly "no-strings-attached" affair with Christopher throughout the years. However, after discovering Christopher with a steady job and a Volvo (in place of the motorcycle he often appeared on in earlier years), Lorelai starts agreeing to the idea of settling down with Christopher. They almost become a serious couple in 2.22, however, the idea is crushed when Christopher finds out his girlfriend Sherry is pregnant. By the arrival of Christopher's new daughter Georgia, nicknamed Gigi, Lorelai is still trying to get over the failed relationship (again).
Lorelai decides to keep Christopher at arms length, but continues to come to his aid after Sherry leaves Christopher and Gigi to work in Paris. Christopher and Lorelai eventually rekindle their relationship following Lorelai's disengagement to Luke Danes. Christopher tells Lorelai he still loves her, has always loved her and would never stop loving her, and that he didn't want to spend the rest of his life without her. He is convinced that Lorelai is the one and finally convinces her to marry him in Paris, but a few of Lorelai's chance encounters with Luke are the catalyst to Christopher's jealousy and Lorelai's denial. The final straw in the relationship is in the form of a character reference Lorelai writes for Luke that Christopher discovers. Although Lorelai wishes to commit to Christopher and their marriage, she cannot keep lying to herself and to him. Lorelai confesses that not only does she still have strong feelings for Luke, but that Christopher is not 'the one' for her. They decide to divorce.
Although Lorelai is perhaps Luke's Diner's best customer, Luke and Lorelai's relationship is platonic for many years. At first Luke is just "the guy that pours her coffee". However, he is consistently there for her as a loyal friend and Rory's surrogate father, while admiring Lorelai from behind the counter. Lorelai and Luke's friendship goes way back to before the series began. When Lorelai and Rory first moved to Stars Hollow, Luke was one of the first people they met when Lorelai, frantic for coffee, harangued a busy Luke until he gave her some coffee. Luke is presumably attracted to Lorelai from their first encounter as it is discovered that he has kept a memento from their meeting years later; the hand-written Scorpio horoscope stating "You will meet an annoying woman today, give her coffee and she will go away" that Lorelai gave to Luke eight years earlier is brought out and mentioned during their first date, and signifies Luke's commitment to their relationship.
Their relationship becomes serious towards the end of Season Four. The first step is taken by Luke after he listens to self-help tapes on how to love and recognize the woman you want. Lorelai is impressed by the change and both surprised and flattered. They date for a year before Lorelai, after losing contact with Rory over a major disagreement, is so deeply touched by Luke's dedication to her and Rory that she makes a wedding proposal to Luke. He accepts instantly and they begin expanding and renovating Lorelai's two-story home. The wedding date is postponed until Lorelai reunites with Rory. However, Lorelai senses hesitation in Luke when she begins planning the wedding. April Nardini, Luke's secret source of hesitation, is a daughter that Luke unknowingly conceived in a previous relationship with Anna Nardini. Lorelai discovers that Luke has been hiding knowledge of April's existence (although he had tried to tell her but the moment never seemed right), and they eventually postpone the wedding again in order for Luke to be able to concentrate on building a relationship with his daughter.
Adding to Lorelai's doubts and fears over their relationship, Luke requests that Lorelai have no contact with April. Lorelai respects his wishes until he requests her aid in planning April's party. Unfortunately, Anna disapproves and adds to Lorelai's doubts over her and Luke's relationship. Lorelai eventually grows impatient and resentful towards Luke for making impossible demands of her and putting their lives of hold for so long. Having had avoided him for some time, she finally gives Luke an ultimatum—elope with her and get married now or never—to which Luke's inability to answer ends in Lorelai's departure, possibly from the relationship entirely. Lorelai, hurt and distraught, goes to Christopher for comfort and, after waking up in Christopher's bed, leaves the next morning looking guilty and disgusted with herself. Luke appears on her porch the same morning, his truck packed and with plans for their elopement and marriage. Lorelais is forced to tell Luke that she slept with Christopher last night. Luke says nothing but drives away.
At first, Lorelai and Luke remain somewhat detached but supportive after their break up. Lorelai avoids his diner and Luke until he asks Lorelai for help with April's appendicitis. At the hospital, Luke discovers that Lorelai has married Christopher. He later asks her for a character reference in order for him to win a custody battle with Anna over April. He comes to Lorelai's aid when Richard is in hospital and Christopher is missing in action. Eventually, after Lorelai's divorce from Christopher, they have a discussion about their relationship in the maze made of hay during the Stars Hollow spring break festival and both apologize for their mistakes. In the end, after coming through for her and Rory on many occasions - the most relevant being the one depicted in the finale where Luke organizes a big "bon voyage party" for Rory before she leaves Stars Hollow - Lorelai and Luke return to each other. Lorelai knows Luke is the one for her and that she can depend on him to always be there for her and Rory. In the final scene at the diner, Rory notices that Lorelai is wearing a necklace that she's never seen before. We learn that the necklace has just been given to her by Luke after a reuniting kiss in front of the diner. Rory remarks on the necklace and Lorelai, while saying she loves it, looks behind her to where Luke is standing. He later enters the frame and asks the Gilmore girls what they want from the menu. Lorelai tells him she needs some time to think to which Luke responds, "Take all the time you need". This becomes an obvious indication that she and Luke have spent some moments together off-screen discussing their future. Having learnt from their own experiences that being hasty brings nothing but trouble, the couple are reunited and decide to finally settle down and have a serious relationship.
- Her favorite song in Junior High was Shadow Dancing.
- Her favorite band in high school was the Bangles. ("Concert Interruptus")
- According to Season One DVD trivia book, Lorelai Gilmore is 5 feet 8 inches tall, but the actress portraying her, Lauren Graham is slightly taller than this at 5 feet 9 inches tall. Chelsea Brummet, who played the young Lorelai, is 5 feet 4 inches tall.
- Her feet are size nine.
- She is addicted to coffee.
- Her favorite flowers are yellow daisies.
- Her favorite band in high school was The Go-Go's, but in season one, she cites Metallica as one of her favorite bands. Also high on that list would be The Bangles.
- She went through a Flashdance phase. ("The Deer Hunters")
- She almost named Rory Susanna after her love of the Bangles. ("Concert Interruptus")
- As a baby she had a big head. ("My first complete sentence was 'Big Head want dolly.'" — "Emily In Wonderland")
- She burnt all of her baby pictures because of her big head. However, at least one still remains, as evidenced when Rory found a picture of Lorelai after she had been baptized.
- She can smell snow before it falls; she had a special relationship with snow because many things happened during the snow (Rory born during a snow storm, Lorelai's first kiss, Rory's first steps, when Lorelai was a little girl and she was sick with an ear infection she wished that something wonderful would happen; the next morning snow fell and she was convinced that some fairy godmother sent it just for her.) Her relationship with snow falls apart, however, during season five when a bunch of problems occur because of it.
- A recurring joke in the first few seasons is Lorelai asking other people (usually Luke) if they have a pen. ("Where's the pen you take orders with?")
- She wears glasses in Sadie, Sadie..., Secrets and Loans, The Fundamental Things Apply, and We Got Us a Pippi Virgin!
- Throughout the series, Lorelai's political views seem to get along with Democrats. According to flashbacks in the episode "Dear Emily and Richard", Lorelai claims she intends to register Democrat, mainly because it would go against her parents will; in a similar occasion, in the Season one episode where Chris and his parents show up at the Gilmore mansion after more than a decade, Lorelai makes one of her funny bits and declares she hates George W. Bush's face, to everyone's shock and dismay; in another episode in season 3, the episode intro has Lorelai making a funny bit with Rory where she says "I think I'm in touch with the other side" and Rory thinks she's speaking politically by giving the funny answer "..With the Republicans?"; in the final episode, Lorelai's daughter goes off into the world pursuing a career as an online reporter for Barack Obama's campaign, both women seem enthusiastic about this not only because it's Rory's first important job, but also because it fits their mutual views on politics.
- Lorelai, when asked by the Reverend about her religious affiliation, said that she and Rory had lapsed from religion despite their celebration of Christmas and Easter. However, she was raised as an Protestant - in episode "How Many Kropogs to Cape Cod?", when Emily suggested that Lorelai will appear at Friday night dinner only if they would have an important guest over, like the Pope, Lorelai replied: "You're Protestant, Mom". When Lorelai was pregnant with Rory, her parents rejected Straub's idea of an abortion outright. For example, she did not want to accept a wedding gift after her break up from Max Medina for fear of Saint Peter showing it on a movie screen while her soul hung in the balance. Also, a phone call trying to return it incurred the wrath of a distant aunt, who claimed that having a child out of wedlock would send her to hell.
- Emily's dream wedding for Lorelai was a White Russian themed one. She would have had white roses and trees with white candles and arrived in a silver sleigh. When she asked Luke what he thought about the Romanovs, he answered "They probably had it coming," to which she replied "A match made in heaven."
- Kirk called her a "pretty spinster."
- She doesn't like blood, as evidenced when she tried to clean Luke's cut that he got from fixing her window.
- She is slightly scared of Mrs. Kim.
- Lorelai would have gradated had her school allowed her to breastfeed Rory during the ceremony.
- Her dollhouse was given to her with the glass still on, and is considered by Sookie to be the only happy part of Lorelai's childhood.
- Her savings are never explicitly stated, though it can be assumed that it's less than the amount needed to pay for an upscale private school and university.
- Lorelai is closer to her father (or at least trusts him more) than her mother.
- She never wanted the "country club" life, yet she joined the Chilton booster club and ingratiated herself among the members, much to her mother's delight.
- Her baptismal dress was bought in London and had 12 petticoats; she ended up spilling grape juice on it, effectively ruining the dress.
- She owns 64 pairs of shoes.
- When her house had to be tented, she freaked out over the potential cost of $15,000. She had never had that much money, hence why she had her parents pay for Rory's education.
- There are at least three rules she created in the Gilmore survival guide: never run with scissors, get a pageboy cut, or have lunch alone with Emily Gilmore.
- She doesn't like avocado.
- She's not on speaking terms with Christopher's parents; before a horrendous Friday night dinner she hadn't seen them since she was 18 and Rory was two.
- Christopher is the only one who calls her "Lor".
- She calls Rory "sweets."
- ↑ Lorelai: I humiliated them. The two proudest people in the world and I humiliated them. I spoiled their plans. I took their fine upbringing in a world of comfort and opportunity and I threw it in their faces. I broke their hearts and they'll never forgive me. I guess I can't expect them to. Season 2, Ep. 21 "Lorelai's Graduation Day" She was graduating from the business college she had been attending)
- ↑ Lorelai: I'm Lorelai Gilmore. This is my daughter, Lorelai Gilmore... 'cause I named her after me. I was in the hospital all whacked out on [Demerol. Never mind. Um, but we call her Rory. It's short for Lorelai, but she'll answer to either one, or even "Hey, you" depending on the... is the Headmaster here? Season1, Ep. 2 "The Lorelais' First Day at Chilton"
- ↑ Rory: I know it looks small, but it's really pretty. Come on. See, we had our bed right over there, and mom put up this really pretty curtain around the tub so that it looked like a real bathroom. And we would just sit outside at night when the inn would have parties and we'd just listen to music and feed the ducks and..." Season 1, Ep. 19 "Emily in Wonderland"
- ↑ Michel: But you wrote [the first reservation] down on a gum wrapper. Lorelai: So? Michel: It's embarrassing. This is an historical document. Sookie: Who cares what she wrote it on? Michel: Big Red wrapper. Sookie: Juicyfruit would have been better? Michel: Well, I'm going to go out and get a value pack for when things really start getting busy around here. Season 4, Ep. 14 "The Incredible Shrinking Lorelais"