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The Worst Things The Gilmore Girls Have Ever Done

If you watched "Gilmore Girls" growing up, there's a good chance you longed for a mom just like Lorelai and dreamed of being Rory. Stars Hollow's darling daughters are smart, driven, and passionate, with killer taste in movies, books, music, and TV. However, once you re-watch the series a few times as an adult, one thing becomes clear: Rory and Lorelai are awful at least half of the time. Sure, the pair have fleeting moments of self-awareness, but they usually immediately forget any lessons learned so everyone can do the dance all over again the following week.

Now, that's not to say that "Gilmore Girls" isn't also heartwarming, lovely, and incredibly witty. But it's about time someone holds the Gilmore girls accountable. Between Richard's mother (the original Lorelai Gilmore), her daughter-in-law Emily, and, of course, Lorelai and Rory, the women of this family have indulged in a whole lot of bad behavior. These are the very worst things the Gilmore girls have ever done, from breaking up marriages to bailing on a wide variety of important life events.

Lorelai becomes a runaway bride

Most people who just aren't feeling a relationship don't immediately get engaged, right? Well, most people aren't Lorelai Gilmore. When she makes the irresponsible decision to date Rory's teacher, things go wrong. That'll happen when you can't keep your hands off your daughter's teacher in the classroom. After a forced cool-down period after Lorelai gets caught, Max proposes marriage to solve their problems. Wait, what?

That sums up Lorelai's response when Max proposes the idea (literally) on the phone. He follows the impulse up with yellow daisies, but it still takes Lorelai a while to say yes. She clearly doesn't love Max, as they barely know each other, but still, she assents. Then, after allowing Rory to grow accustomed to having a father figure around, the gravity of the upcoming marriage hits her. So she flees from all consequences and responsibility right before her wedding in Season 2's "The Road Trip To Harvard." 

We never even see Lorelai confront Max, which implies that she broke up with him on the phone — or possibly even had someone else do it. That's the icing on the trashed wedding cake.

Lorelai bails on Luke

Luke has long since proven himself as the kind of guy who will drop everything to help Lorelai by Season 1's "That Damn Donna Reed." Yet while Lorelai clearly cares for the grumpy diner owner, she doesn't reciprocate his level of selflessness. Sure, she'll help him when she feels like it — but she'll just as soon bail if it no longer works for her schedule.

Lorelai begs Luke to let her paint the diner with him, but she'd much rather hook up with Rory's dad, Christopher, than uphold her commitment. After a particularly volatile family dinner at her parents' house, she falls back into old patterns by rechristening the very same balcony that Rory was conceived on — at least, according to their banter. In typical Lorelai fashion, she completely forgets her night with Luke, who waits for her all night, looking like a lost puppy. While the two never defined the night as a date date, that intention was clear on Luke's end, at least. But let's face it: Luke's love language is to perform acts of service, while Lorelai's is to carry out acts of bailing.

Rory chooses a boy over Lorelai's graduation

The level of strength and grit it takes to be a single mom is unfathomable to anyone who's never been in that position. While Lorelai certainly makes her fair share of parenting mistakes, the fact that she had Rory at 16 and still manages to give her a pretty great life is an impressive feat. Though Lorelai is the first to say that her daughter is the best thing that's ever happened to her, the teen mom missed out on a lot of experiences due to Rory's birth — including college.

Rory is acutely aware of all her mom has given up for her. So when Lorelai is set to graduate from business school in Season 2, she strong-arms her mom into agreeing to walk across the stage. But in the end, Rory decides to randomly visit her crush Jess in New York that day, missing her mom's graduation and losing the signed record she got her as a graduation gift. Lorelai is rightfully heartbroken by Rory's absence.

Rory helps destroy a marriage

If you're Rory Gilmore, there's apparently nothing more romantic than losing your virginity to your now-married first boyfriend. Yep, Rory falls back into old habits during college in Season 4, when she's feeling lost and out of place at Yale. Dean, who muttered Rory's name at his bachelor party, has taken a page from Lorelai Gilmore's "Get Married Before You're Ready" handbook, leading to an unhappy marriage in which he is shockingly verbally abusive. This creates the perfect opportunity for a cruel backslide. 

In "Raincoats and Recipes," Rory treats her first time with her first boyfriend like some kismet-filled romantic moment, and not what it really is: cheating. She never takes accountability for hurting his wife Lindsay, who is desperately trying to make things work with her husband. Meanwhile, Dean is a skeevy, manipulative creep to both women. It takes two people to cheat, however, and Rory never seems to face any actual, long-lasting consequences for her selfish actions. She helps end a marriage and doesn't really feel guilty about it for more than 20 seconds.

Rory body-shames a ballerina

We've all been there: The lights dim, a live performance starts, and we wish we could escape after the first minute. It's a uniquely frustrating position to be in, to be sure. However, when most people are forced to sit through a terrible production, they don't cope by trashing the actor's weight. Yet when Rory wants to impress her Yale Daily News editor with an edgy review, she leans into cruelty, commenting on things like "the fat roll around [a dancer's] bra strap." A good chunk of Rory's published slights are taken directly from her mom's in-the-moment commentary, but even Lorelai is horrified by Rory's "journalism."

Fat jokes are never-ending on "Gilmore Girls," despite the titular girls' hollow insistence that looks aren't everything. Not everyone can have your impeccable metabolism while consuming copious amounts of sweets and take-out, Gilmores. Frankly, you can't even blame the ballerina for writing "Die, jerk" on Rory's door.

New daughter, who dis?

Lorelai had every reason to cut her parents out of her life after she had Rory: They were controlling, manipulative, and generally awful to her as she grew up. However, Rory deserves to know her grandparents, and they only live a half-hour away. So, after more than a decade of ignoring their existence, Lorelai reaches out to ask them to pay for Rory's private school. It's only then that she finally allows Rory to see her grandparents regularly. Rory ends up forging a pretty deep bond with them, especially with Richard. Still, it's hard to forget that she never got the chance to know them when she was younger. Ultimately, this means she lost 16 years of having a relationship with her beloved grandfather before his untimely death, as is revealed in the reboot series.

Throughout the original series, Rory secretly craves the glamorous life her grandparents represent. She wants to attend DAR functions and have a coming-out ceremony, even though she doesn't fully vibe with the lifestyle. Moreover, though Lorelai's parents hurt her, she hurt them right back: In Season 3's "Dear Emily and Richard," we watch Emily yell at a 16-year-old Lorelai for leaving a note saying she was in labor. And, despite her hard exterior, Emily is revealed to have been inconsolable when Lorelai left her and Richard in the dust. In the end, even Lorelai  admits that choosing what she wanted instead of letting her daughter experience both worlds was selfish.

Emily's snobby attitude ruins Lorelai's relationship

It's no secret that Lorelai's mom Emily hates Luke. As a simple diner owner, he does not possess the status she wants for her daughter (read: herself). She would rather Lorelai be with Rory's absent father, who's jerked her around more times than you can count, than see her daughter be in a stable relationship with someone who loves her. But when it comes to the Gilmores, your name is more important than your actions. Luke shows up when he's needed, but Chris has a better name.

In Season 5's "Wedding Bell Blues," Emily not only invites Chris to her vow renewal, she flat-out tells him to win her daughter back — despite her happy relationship with Luke. This manipulation leads to a dramatic public scene at the ceremony, causing Lorelai to lose the only stable relationship she's ever had. Eventually, Emily goes to smooth things out with Luke ... but only because her husband forces her to make things right.

Even Gran has tried to break up marriages

Richard's mother Trix is ultimately revealed to have a lot in common with Emily, despite their keen hatred for one another: She's also eager to break up her child's relationships. Except when Trix tried to break up Richard and Emily, she did it right before their wedding, not her own.

After Trix dies in the Season 4 episode "The Reigning Lorelai," Emily and Lorelai go through her belongings. In addition to finding the slew of heirlooms they expect, they discover a devious letter she sent Richard on his wedding day. Not only did Trix write the letter, she kept a carbon copy! Pretty savage move, Gran. When Emily reads the hurtful letter, she's properly scandalized, despite the fact that she has tried (and succeeded) to do the exact same thing to her own daughter. We also find out that Gran married her second cousin (also a Gilmore), so, uh, the day is full of uncomfortable truths. 

Creating the perfect (grand)daughter

It's not often that Lorelai goes to her parents for help that doesn't revolve around their checkbook. Yet when Rory decides to drop out of Yale in Season 6, Lorelai is desperate to get her daughter back on track. All three Gilmores make a plan to hold a united front at dinner to talk her out of it. Given Rory's decision to ditch Yale is an impulsive one, fueled purely by one guy telling her she isn't going to be successful, there's no solid reason for her to throw her life away. If women quit their life's calling every time a man told them they would fail, there would be no women in the workforce!

Yet instead of standing with Lorelai as promised, Emily and Richard betray the plan by coddling Rory: They let her stay in their renovated pool house and watch her dreams slip further away. It quickly becomes apparent that they view Rory as a second chance at raising the daughter they wanted, one who won't entirely reject their lifestyle. They don't think for a second what this could do to Rory's future. Now, Lorelai has an equally ridiculous temper tantrum and cuts Rory out of her life until she goes back to school. But none of this would have happened at all if the Gilmores had the dinner they were supposed to have.

Rory goes down with her ship

"Gilmore Girls" paints Rory as a darling angel who can do no wrong, but her selfishness is apparent throughout the show. Her tantrum-to-end-all-tantrums comes at the end of Season 5, when newspaper guru Mitchum Huntzberger tells her she "doesn't have it." What's the "it" she doesn't have? Well, according to Mitchum, who happens to be her boyfriend Logan's dad, "it" is what it takes to be a journalist.

One person tells the almighty Rory Gilmore no, and she feels entitled to steal a yacht to stick it to the man — and it's not even Mitchum's yacht! Rory has had pretty much every opportunity handed to her (including an internship with Logan's father), and yet she's willing to throw her entire life away because of one pompous guy's opinion.

In "A Year In the Life," she proves Logan's dad right when she hooks up with a subject during her assignment with Condé Nast, and turns her nose up at a blog site that wants to hire her. You'd think she'd have learned from Mitchum's reality check when she was a 20-year-old, but she's still pulling bad behavior as a professional journalist. Rory's hero, Christiane Amanpour, would never.

Rory throws women under the bus

The Gilmore girls certainly like to paint themselves as feminists. Yet for all they preach girl power, they consistently throw successful women under the bus. In the Season 7 episode "The Great Stink," Rory's motivation for doing so is ... ding, ding, ding, you guessed it! It's jealousy!

Rory, who's tired of doing long distance with her former-playboy boyfriend, takes her insecurity out on Logan's female coworker Bobbi during what should be a lovely dinner. Not vibing with Bobbi's flirty personality, Rory makes a scene at the dinner table instead of just being proud of Logan for finally growing up and being excited about his job.

During her flirtatious moments, Bobbi doesn't specifically target Logan with anything she says. But Rory, feeling threatened, makes the whole table uncomfortable with an ice queen act. Making matters worse, Rory says, "It's America, speak English." As a hopeful international reporter, that's an extra awful thing to say — even if it is framed as a joke about British slang.

Lorelai flip-flops on marriage

Is Lorelai making bad Chris-related decisions again? Oh boy, what a surprise! It's understandable that in Season 6, Lorelai, who's already had one broken engagement, wants Luke to elope with her after putting off their perfect wedding. But come on, Lorelai: You've got to give a guy a little more time to process this, instead of dictating "now or never." Directly after ending things with Luke, Lorelai immediately hooks up with Chris. By the time Luke has his truck packed to elope, it's too late.

Not only is sleeping with Chris cruel to Luke, Lorelai basically uses Chris to fill the emptiness from her break-up, almost immediately marrying him even though she's not in love with him anymore. Now, Chris isn't exactly Prince Charming in their shared history, but he's finally gotten his life together and is truly ready to share it with Lorelai ... who ends up halfway out the door before the wedding bells even ring in Season 7. This is the second time she's strung someone along with a wedding. Things fall apart, naturally. "You're the man I want to want," Lorelai tells him. That's a great line and all, but girl, shouldn't you have known that before you married your daughter's dad?

Rory forgets her boyfriend exists ... a lot

Paul is one of the most forgettable characters in the series, but that doesn't excuse Rory's downright pathological treatment of him in the reboot miniseries, "Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life." Rory spends the entirety of the series forgetting to break up with her boyfriend as she repeatedly cheats on him and treats him like trash, despite his clear devotion to her.

He may be bland and boring, but he's still a person, and Rory's utter disregard for his feelings and mere existence highlight her selfishness. As a 30-year-old, this behavior just isn't cute anymore. If you don't like the guy, be an adult and break up with him. Him being so dull that she forgets he exists is meant to be funny, but this plotline is toxic and cringe-y on so many levels. Though, as it turns out, Paul gets the last laugh when he breaks up with her through text. Have you reached rock bottom yet, Rory?

Lorelai makes her dad's funeral awkward

Due to the real-life death of Edward Herrmann prior to the revival series, Richard's death had to be written into "Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life." During the late-night post-funeral memorial, Emily asks everyone to share a fun anecdote about Richard. 

Instead of acting like a grown-up, a very drunk Lorelai decides to play musical chairs, trying to get people to go ahead of her because she can't think of anything. She could come up with something sweet and short: "He saved my childhood dollhouse when my mom was going to throw it away," perhaps. Heck, she could say that she's too upset to think of something. Instead, she tells a slew of awful stories, scandalizing her grieving mother and the rest of Richard's close friends. Sure, Lorelai didn't have the greatest relationship with her dad, and that's never fully resolved. But there's a time and a place to work through those feelings, and it sure isn't right after the man in question dies.

Lorelai does make up for it by telling her mom a truly heartwarming story on the phone months later. And, despite the awful things she says, she really, truly doesn't intend for them to come out. Emily puts her on the spot, and she makes a bad, impulsive choice. But it's still a choice, and it's a pretty awful thing to do at her father's funeral.