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Lorelai Gilmore

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I need coffee, in an IV
—Lorelai to Luke[src]
Lorelai Gilmore is one of the two protagonists on WB drama Gilmore Girls. She is portrayed by Lauren Graham.

Character Edit

Lorelai was named after her paternal grandmother, Lorelai "Trix" Gilmore, and is mother to Rory. 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 Gilmore, 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, to create her own, independent life suited to her personality and wishes.


Lorelai's eating habits are famously unhealthy; she is a caffeine addict and subsists mostly on diner food and takeout, which influences her daughter, Rory. She and Rory have regular food-and-movie nights, during which they buy enough junk food for several people and proceed to eat most of it. The only time Lorelai 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 asks chef friend, Sookie St. James, to do the cooking.[1]

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".[1] Additionally, as the manager of the Independence Inn (later as a co-owner of the Dragonfly Inn with Sookie St. James) she is able to think quickly on her feet and handle various situations, such as improvising rooms for people when the inn catches fire.[2]


As a teenager, Lorelai dated Christopher Hayden, son of Straub and Francine Hayden, while in high school, and became pregnant right before her society debut (at age 16), which embarrassed and disappointed her parents. Although Lorelai is aggrieved by her parents' lack of understanding, deep down she knows how they felt.[3] When Straub tried to convince Emily and Richard that Lorelai should have an abortion, Emily completely refused, and they decided to have them marry instead. Christopher was amenable, but Lorelai knew 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,[4] 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.[5] 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, 2004.[6]


For many years, Lorelai had almost no contact with her parents, except for visits during major holidays. In spite of the strained relationship she has with Emily and Richard, Lorelai is aware of how much she hurt her parents by running away. 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 parent and child. Lorelai states that their relationship is best friends first, mother daughter second.[7] Lorelai would only use the "mom card" as a last resort.[8][9] In 2000 Lorelai needs to borrow a very large sum of money for Rory's education at the exclusive Chilton Academy and accepts her parents' terms for the first time, beginning to see them regularly at the mandatory Friday Night Dinners.[8] Lorelai repays 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[10], but Rory makes her own arrangement with her grandparents for Yale tuition. Lorelai continues to attend occasional Friday night dinners, partly as a way to see Rory while she is busy at Yale.

Lorelai is insecure when it comes to the relationships between herself, her parents, and Rory.[11] Partly because her daughter gets along better with her grandparents than Lorelai ever did and she often feels that her parents prefer Rory over her, partly because she's afraid of losing Rory and their relationship to 'her parents' world'. 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 is very evident when Rory moves in with her grandparents who welcome her with open arms following a rift between Rory and Lorelai after Rory attempts to steal a yacht and drops out of Yale. Her fears are further cemented when Rory seemingly adapts 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.

Max Medina

Main article: Lorelai and Max
1x05 lorelai max1

Max is Lorelai's first boyfriend (and fiancé) 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.[12] 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.[13] 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 Hayden

Main article: Chris and Lorelai

Christopher and Lorelai met at age 6 and soon became 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 continually push her to pursue a relationship with him. Lorelai, however, waits for the day when Christopher takes responsibility for his life and is ready to be a father. After Christopher gets a steady job and a Volvo (in place of the motorcycle he often appeared on in earlier years), Lorelai becomes interested in settling down with Christopher. They almost become a serious couple, but Christopher finds out that his girlfriend Sherry is pregnant.[14] By the arrival of Christopher's new daughter Georgia, nicknamed Gigi, Lorelai is still trying to get over the failed relationship, again.

After a while with minimal contact, Lorelai comes to Christopher's aid after Sherry leaves Christopher and Gigi for a job in Paris. Christopher and Lorelai eventually rekindle their relationship following Lorelai's disengagement to Luke Danes. Christopher is convinced that Lorelai is the one and convinces her to marry him in Paris, but a few of Lorelai's chance encounters with Luke are the catalyst for Christopher's jealousy and Lorelai's denial. 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.

Alex Lesman

Lorelai---Alex-gilmore-girls-139988 533 400

Alex is Lorelai's second boyfriend on 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 Stiles


Jason was Lorelai's third boyfriend of the series. 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.

Luke Danes

Main article: Luke and Lorelai
Ep01x10 1

Luke and Lorelai meet after Lorelai's lived a few years in Stars Hollow. At first mere acquaintances, the two build a friendship of sorts which is where they are introduced. Even early on, Lorelai ponders the idea of dating Luke,[8] showing that she's interested in more than a friendship, while Luke is later revealed to have held in high regard the significance of first meeting Lorelai.[15] Throughout the series, Lorelai is shown to be incredibly awkward or passive-aggressively jealous of anyone interested in[16] or dating Luke,[17][18][19] while Luke is confrontational[20] or dismissive[21] of the men in Lorelai's life, although he is polite and friendly upon meeting Jason Stiles.[22]

The hesitancy with both Luke and Lorelai to start a relationship with one another is evident in the obstacles they face once they start dating: they're afraid of rocking the status quo of their lives, particularly losing each other. Lorelai's reaction when Luke breaks up with her is evident to that fact and as Emily notes, "I know your handiwork when I see it. Playing cautious, when you should be diving in",[23] Lorelai doesn't necessarily have any experience with being in a committed relationship with someone she truly loves.[24]

Luke got badly burned by Rachel and so is hesitant to risk his heart again, but is aware early on that when they opportunity comes along again, it is Lorelai.[25] Even his relationship with Nicole Leahy is brought on by Jess' encouragement and, at times, teenage-blunt truth-telling regarding Luke's affections for Lorelai.[26] Luke and Lorelai have one of the great love stories of the series and throughout, they are always there for each other, lending love and support at every turn. Luke is also the only man Lorelai is involved with who is not afraid of calling her out on her stuff.[27][28]

Quotes Edit

Please, Luke. Please, please, please? (first line of the series)
I'm afraid once your heart is involved, it all comes out in moron
Kiss and Tell
It's all any of us want – to find a nice person to hang out with 'til we drop dead. Not a lot to ask!
An Affair to Remember


  • Spoke the first line of the entire series
  • Her favorite song in Junior High was Shadow Dancing.
  • Her favorite band in high school was the Bangles.[17]
  • Another favorite band in high school was The Go-Go's. She's also 'into Metallica'.
  • 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.[20]
  • She went through a Flashdance phase.[29]
  • She broke her leg while attempting a headstand in yoga class, when she was roughly around the age of 29.[30]
  • She almost named Rory Susanna after her love of the Bangles.[17]
  • As a baby she had a big head. ("My first complete sentence was 'Big Head want dolly").[5]
  • 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.[5]
  • 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 briefly 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 a 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."
  • 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.
  • Her dollhouse was given to her with the glass still on[30], 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.
  • She never wanted the "country club" life, but has to join the Chilton Booster Club and ingratiates 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.[31]
  • She owns 64 pairs of shoes.
  • When her house has to be tented, she freaks 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.[32]
  • 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.[33]
  • She doesn't like avocado.[34]
  • 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.[21]
  • Christopher is the only one who calls her "Lor".

Photos Edit

Lorelai Gilmore/Gallery


  1. 1.0 1.1 Cinnamon's Wake
  2. A Tale of Poes and Fire
  3. 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)
  4. 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"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 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"
  6. Dragonfly Inn – 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"
  7. There's the Rub
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Pilot
  9. A House Is Not a Home
  10. Happy Birthday, Baby
  11. Kill Me Now
  12. Love, Daisies and Troubadours
  13. Red Light on the Wedding Night
  14. I Can't Get Started
  15. A Messenger, Nothing More
  16. Like Mother, Like Daughter
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Concert Interruptus
  18. Star-Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers
  19. In the Clamor and the Clangor
  20. 20.0 20.1 Love, Daisies and Troubadours
  21. 21.0 21.1 Christopher Returns
  22. Raincoats and Recipes
  23. The Real Paul Anka
  24. Partings
  25. P.S. I Lo...
  26. One's Got Class and the Other One Dyes
  27. The Ins and Outs of Inns
  28. Teach Me Tonight
  29. The Deer Hunters
  30. 30.0 30.1 Rory's Birthday Parties
  31. Love and War and Snow
  32. Secrets and Loans
  33. Haunted Leg
  34. Rory's Dance

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