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The Most Relatable Moments In Gilmore Girls

"Gilmore Girls" ran for seven seasons, during which viewers remained captivated by the mother-daughter duo of Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, played by Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel, respectively. Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, the series introduces Lorelai and her teenage daughter, Rory, who are a mere 16 years apart in age as a result of Lorelai getting pregnant as a teen and deciding to raise the baby. Due to their closeness in age, Lorelai and Rory are extremely close — as Lorelai puts it in one episode, she and Rory are "best friends first, mother and daughter second."

While many people might not find Lorelai's friendship-over-parenthood dynamic relatable, the series otherwise is full of familiar moments that connect viewers to the characters. To start with, many of us can relate to the Gilmores' urgent need for coffee first thing in the morning or, for some people, their strong dislike of vegetables.

But beyond their eating habits, Rory and Lorelai — and the other residents of Stars Hollow — go through many of the same situations that viewers themselves have grown through. With two eras of life represented through the protagonists — Rory's late teenhood to early adulthood and Lorelai's early to mid thirties — there's something for every viewer to engage with.

Read on as we break down some of the most relatable of these "Gilmore Girls" moments.

Rory has to adjust to a new school

The series kicks off with the news that Rory has been accepted into an elite private school called Chilton. As a straight-A student with ambitious goals to attend Harvard, Rory didn't feel challenged enough at Stars Hollow High. Rory and Lorelai are both very excited for Rory's new academic chapter — however, it proves to be a bit more complicated than Rory expected.

Right away, the dean firmly informs Rory that, even though she was the smartest kid at her school in Stars Hollow, things will be different at Chilton due to it having "one of the highest academic standards of any school in America." He then tells her that because she is starting the school late — not only is she coming in during her sophomore year, the semester is already a full month in — and because she isn't used to the high standards, that there is a "good chance" she will fail.

Granted, the dean is incredibly harsh with her — arguably too harsh — but Chilton is undeniably different than what Rory is accustomed to. Thus, it makes sense that she wavers a bit at first — she ends up facing academic challenges, as well as finding it hard to fit in socially. In a later episode, she's late for a test — as just about the only student commuting to Hartford from a different town — and has to take a failed grade. All in all, the fact that it takes time for Rory to adjusts sets her up as a smart and ambitious but not perfect character, as well as one capable of having viewers relate to.

Rory has a hard time moving on from her first love

As soon as Jess (Milo Ventimiglia) arrives in Stars Hollow, the chemistry and attraction between him and Rory is evident. Jess is the bad boy — the type to skip school, to talk back to adults — but with a gentle interior. He reads as much as Rory does and understands all her pop cultural references — naturally, the two quickly bond.

The only issue is that Rory has a boyfriend, Dean (Jared Padalecki), who moved to Stars Hollow around the time Rory began school at Chilton. Because she is already in this relationship — and has told Dean that she loves him — Rory doesn't act on her feelings for Jess. There's an implication that Rory feels that because she once loved Dean, she must still love him. This implication is furthered when, after Rory finally does kiss Jess (impulsively, while she's still in a relationship with Dean), she then reacts by ignoring Jess and continuing her relationship with Dean. It ends up taking Dean, fed up with Rory's clear feelings for Jess, to end their relationship for Rory and Jess to finally get together.

Even after she's with Jess, in one episode Rory laments to Lorelai that she feels weird showing PDAs with Jess because people in the town are used to seeing her with Dean. Rory's hesitation to begin a new relationship — and the weirdness she feels flaunting the new one — is a typical way for a teen girl to feel during her first taste of new love, especially considering that it's so easy to think your first love is the one that will last forever.

Dean worries about Rory going off to college

There's a lot about Dean that isn't relatable — as has been extensively written about over the years, Dean is controlling and emotionally abusive toward Rory, despite the fact that the show doesn't frame him as such. Still, there is one Dean moment that rings true for a lot of high school couples.

While the two of them are still together, Dean expresses some doubt over whether or not he and Rory will make it as a couple after Rory heads off to college. At the time, she's intending on going to Harvard in Boston and Dean expects to stay in Stars Hollow and continue working while going to junior college. While Rory is working on her application, Dean asks her, "What happens when you leave? ... Do we break up?" Rory is adamant that they won't have to, that they'll see each other on weekends and talk on the phone during the week. She then suggests that he can go to junior college in Boston, to which Dean replies that he won't have money to rent an apartment.

Of course, Dean's anxiety has a lot to do with his relationship with Rory not being solid (he breaks up with her because of her feelings for Jess just a few episodes later), but it still showcases a tough conversation that a lot of high school couples are forced to have. Dean's fears are prevalent amongst high schoolers and, in many cases, lead to plenty of high school couples breaking up in college.

Rory and Lorelai spread themselves too thin on Thanksgiving

The holidays can be stressful, especially if you find yourself invited to several different Thanksgiving celebrations, as sometimes happens, especially to couples who have to appease both of their families. In the "Gilmore Girls" Thanksgiving episode, we see Rory and Lorelai tread their way through four Thanksgiving dinners — Lane's (Keiko Agena), Sookie's (Melissa McCarthy), Luke's (Scott Patterson) and Emily's (Kelly Bishop).

Of course, this is the Gilmores we're talking about — the mother-daughter duo is known for their exorbitant appetites, so they end up doing just fine in terms of not getting too stuffed. Still, they have to basically rush through each visit because they have so much to do in just the one day. In fact, at the beginning of the episode, they consider skipping Luke's, but ultimately decide to go because they don't want to make him feel left out — a sentiment that many can relate to on a holiday like Thanksgiving.

It takes time for the Dragonfly Inn to open

When the show begins, Lorelai is the manager of the Independence Inn, where her best friend Sookie works as the chef. Early into the series, we find out that Lorelai and Sookie have plans to eventually open their own inn — which they do, at the end of Season 4. However, the road to open their Dragonfly Inn was no easy feat, and the series does a nice job of showing the hurdles it takes to open your own business.

In Season 2, Lorelai attends and graduates from business school. Early in the next season, Lorelai and Sookie attend a lecture about running a business. Further, they face difficulties in nabbing the property that they want for the inn. After all of that, they end up being able to buy the property that they want, opening the Dragonfly Inn and finding success. But the fact that we saw them have to work up to their success makes it all the more relatable. It definitely would have been tempting for the show to gloss over the difficult parts of opening a business, but letting viewers into the process — and into Lorelai's struggles — makes it all the more satisfying when the Dragonfly Inn finally opens.

Lorelai has a complicated relationship with her mother

In the pilot episode, Lorelai and Emily make a deal: Emily and Richard (Edward Herrmann) will pay for Rory's tuition at Chilton if Rory and Lorelai attend dinner at their house every Friday night. Because of this deal, it's clear from the get go that Lorelai and Emily have a complicated and fraught relationship — Emily literally has to pay for the company of her daughter.

The two are incredibly different and butt heads frequently when it comes to their parenting styles (Emily, for one, doesn't always agree with the way that Lorelai considers Rory a "best friend"). Further, Emily tries to control Lorelai's life (and always has), while Lorelai tries to shut Emily out of her life as much as possible. As a viewer, we can see both of their sides in any given argument — even if each argument usually does have one clear side that is more "right."

In any case, their dynamic is something many viewers can relate to — after all, being best friends with your mother is not exactly the norm for most people, even if it is for Lorelai and Rory. For a lot of people, the mother-daughter relationship they experience looks a whole lot closer to Emily and Lorelai's experience — frustrating and maddening at times, but also clearly filled with love for one another.

Rory and Logan begin their relationship wanting different things

When Rory meets Logan (Matt Czuchry) for the first time, in Season 5, their chemistry is instant, despite Logan's air of arrogance and the fact that Rory has a boyfriend. The two become friends, however, and Rory quickly develops a crush on Logan following her (third) breakup with Dean. When Rory asks Logan why he hasn't asked her out yet, he responds that it's because he doesn't want anything serious and Rory is "girlfriend material" — aka too "special" to date casually. Still, Rory insists that she can go along with a casual relationship, and so the two start seeing each other.

However, Rory soon realizes that she is not cut out for casual dating and doesn't like the fact that she sometimes won't hear from Logan for days or occasionally has to see him out with other women he dates. Rory decides to cut it off, explaining all of this to Logan — who responds in a surprising way, by saying he does wants to be in a relationship with her after all.

Considering that they're young and in college, it makes sense that Logan doesn't initially want to be tied down. However, with the strong connection and palpable chemistry these two have, it's also natural that their casual relationship would progress into something more.

Lane hides her interests from her mother out of fear

In the early seasons of "Gilmore Girls," Rory's best friend, Lane hides nearly everything about her life from her mother, Mrs. Kim (Emily Kuroda). To begin with, Lane doesn't have much interest in religion, but pretends she does to please her ultra-devout mother. Secondly, Lane hides her interest in music from her mother — literally. As in, she keeps all of her records underneath a floorboard in her bedroom. 

In one episode, she decides to dye her hair as an act of rebellion against her mother — only to freak out and dye it back before her mother can see. Plus, any time Lane wants to date someone (that her mother didn't pick out herself), she has to jump through hoops to hide it. In one episode, her boyfriend Dave (Adam Brody) pretends to be a Christian musician so that he can be near Lane on Thanksgiving (by being hired by Mrs. Kim to play hymns for the event).

All of Lane's secrecy makes for some of the show's best comedic moments, but, when you think about, it's sad that Lane feels she can't be herself around her mother. However, it is something that plenty of people can relate to — whether you're a teen like Lane or a grown woman like Lorelai, who also has issues connecting with her mother. Luckily, over the course of the series, Mrs. Kim turns out to be more understanding than Lane thought she could be and Lane is able to share who she really is. Mrs. Kim even helps Lane's band get their foot in the door with gigs, much to the surprise of Lane — and the viewer.

Luke and Lorelai are friends for a long time before they end up together

Luke and Lorelai have become an iconic couple, but, it wasn't exactly love at first sight for them. When we first see the two interact, in the opening moments of the pilot episode, Lorelai begs for another coffee pour while Luke begrudgingly obliges. Despite a moment of annoyance, it soon becomes clear that the two have a friends-like relationship, which only becomes stronger as the series progresses. While there are early hints that Luke is interested in Lorelai as more than a friend, Lorelai never reciprocates that interest and they remain just friends for over half the series.

Finally, at the end of Season 4, Luke discovers his true feelings for Lorelai while listening to a self-help tape. He then asks her to be his date for his sister's wedding, to which Lorelai accepts, at first not realizing it's meant as a romantic date. Regardless, the two soon share their first kiss on the opening night of Lorelai's inn, and begin their relationship.

By the time they get together, fans know that the two are perfect for one another — and their first kiss was one of the most satisfying moments of the entire series. Yet, it's also clear that the long buildup — and their foundation of friendship — was integral to their relationship working so well. For many couples, love at first sight is far from their experience, as being friends first is a fairly common experience for eventual pairs. With Luke and Lorelai, those couples get to see something akin to their own origin story play out on screen.

Rory's career doesn't go as planned, despite being a star student

Throughout the "Gilmore Girls" run, Rory is depicted as ambitious, studious and hard-working. She becomes valedictorian of her high school, lands a spot at an Ivy League college and, at the end of the series, lands a job as a reporter (which is her dream job) covering Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Even after her hiatus from Yale in Season 6 — after losing her motivation from a bad internship experience — she still manages to catch up and graduate on time.

Yet, when we see Rory nine years later in the revival, "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life," Rory's life does not look as she — or the audience — pictured. Her freelance career is not going well, she essentially has to move back in with Lorelai and we see her go through a string of failed job interviews. She ends up deciding to become the editor of the Stars Hollow Gazette, a newspaper that is barely holding on by a thread (and has no funds to pay her). Rory then ends up beginning the process of writing a book. It's hardly an easy feat for Rory to find a new endeavor she's excited about — and by the end of the revival, Rory (and the audience) have no idea if the book will even sell.

As so many recent college grads struggle to find work in a flailing economy — and especially in a career as hard to break into as journalism — it's refreshing to see stark honesty about the struggles of post-grad adulthood.

Lorelai needs a solo trip

When we catch up with Lorelai in "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life," she and Luke are still together (although they're not married), she is still reeling from the death of Richard and her relationship with Emily is as complicated as ever. At the end of the third episode, "Summer," Lorelai announces to Luke that she's going to do "Wild," referencing the popular memoir by Cheryl Strayed, in which Strayed details her 1,100-mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail as a self-discovery journey. Luke is confused, but Lorelai goes anyway.

In the next episode, "Fall," Lorelai, true to her word, has traveled to the trail for her solo hike in California. While the prospect of flying off to California to go on one specific hike may not be the most relatable thing ever (especially if you, like Lorelai, are not an outdoorsy person), her reasoning is something that people can easily connect with. Anyone who has lost a parent can relate to Lorelai's need to reevaluate her life and get away from everyday monotony.

The trip does her a lot of good; while there, she calls Emily and tells her a favorite story she has about Richard, and the mother and daughter have their first moment of connection in a long time. When she returns, Luke is worried Lorelai wants to leave him — instead, she wants to get married. Anyone who has ever communed with nature and found a moment of clarity can relate to the satisfying moment in which Lorelai has figured out what she needs out of her life, and sets about getting it by marrying Luke.