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Gilmore Girls Wiki

I need coffee, in an IV
—Lorelai to Luke[src]

Lorelai Gilmore is a principal character on Gilmore Girls. She is portrayed by Lauren Graham.


Lorelai Victoria Gilmore was born to Emily and Richard Gilmore in Hartford, Connecticut. Her life growing up was complicated due to an overbearing, neurotic mother and a workaholic father, who both expected Lorelai to live in their world of wealth and privilege. Lorelai is a highly talkative, free-spirited woman, a child of the eighties and part of the MTV generation. Her parents 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. She became pregnant with Christopher Hayden and left home shortly after Rory's birth, 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. Lorelai has an excellent metabolism. She is very childish and cannot grow up. Lorelai is sarcastic and funny like a comedian and she is very loyal to people and nice.

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, while Christopher would work for Richard's company. 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. She left a note addressed to her parents and then headed to the hospital. Emily and Richard arrived at the hospital just as Lorelai was being moved to delivery. After an agonizing delivery, Lorelai 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 Bass, 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] Years go by, Rory grows up and Lorelai has continued to stay in the inn business, working her way up to manager. The inn is where she met her best friend, chef Sookie St. James and Michel, the sarcastic concierge. The three share an odd, but loving relationship and grow closer as the years go on. Sookie and Lorelai's friendship has become a very intensely devoted friendship. Lorelai also creates a strong bond with another local resident, Luke Danes. He is the owner of the town's local diner, Luke's Diner. Their relationship is fun and extremely solid. Luke would do just about anything to help out Lorelai and Rory and vice versa. Some people in the town believe Luke and Lorelai are meant to be together but neither seem to want to ruin their relationship with romance or maybe the opportunity just hasn't arisen yet. Either way, Luke is a constant fixture in Lorelai and Rory's lives as they meet almost every morning at his diner for breakfast.


Lorelai is thrilled to find out that Rory has been accepted to the prestigious prep school, Chilton. However, there is one small problem. Lorelai cannot fund this educational venture on her own. She swallows her pride and resorts to returning to Emily and Richard for a favour. Lorelai's parents agree to pay their granddaughter's tuition on one condition: Both Lorelai and Rory must attend Friday night dinners every week. Lorelai reluctantly agrees and a tiny sliver of hope for a relationship with her parents begins. Eventually, through Rory, Lorelai meets Max Medina, an English professor at Chilton High. They begin to date and things start to heat up between them. After a few months of dating, Max proposes to Lorelai first in the heat of the moment after a fight which Lorelai refuses and then second after he realizes he can't live without her. Everything was set for the big day and all was going according to plan but Lorelai had a change of heart. She woke Rory during the early morning hours and suggested they take a road trip. Rory, confused, asked what was wrong and Lorelai replied that the wedding was off.

During the time of Sookie's wedding, Christopher returns, and he and Lorelai briefly get together, and plan to try to live as a family, with Rory. However, it does not last because Sherry, Christopher's girlfriend - with whom he had hit a rough patch, and was thinking of breaking up - announces that she is pregnant. Not wanting to ruin his relationship with his unborn child as he did with Rory, Christopher returns to Sherry. Lorelai is heartbroken and Rory is very upset with her father for hurting her and her mother a second time. A few months later, when Mia visits Stars Hollow, Lorelai mentions that she and Sookie had been thinking about opening their own Inn. Mia replies that the timing is perfect, as she is thinking of selling the Independence Inn. Lorelai is greatly troubled by this, as the Independence Inn was where she and Rory lived for many years when they first came to Stars Hollow, it is where Rory grew up and took her first steps. Consequently, Lorelai and Sookie temporarily abandon their project - but soon get back on track. The girls find the Inn of their dreams - the old Dragonfly Inn. However the current owner, Fran, is not interested in selling. In 2003, Fran, unfortunately passes on and her next of kin agrees to sell the Dragonfly Inn to Lorelai and Sookie. Lorelai and Sookie jump at the chance of a lifetime and the deal goes through. Lorelai, Sookie and Michel then take on the task of restoring the Inn so it can be as lively as it once was.

Lorelai's father, during this time, decided to quit his job and go into business for himself. He brings along the son of his former employer and together they create a large investment firm. Jason "Digger" Stiles, the son of the former employer, at first is not one of Lorelai's favorite people but soon the two become smitten with each other and begin dating. They both decide to keep this from their parents but after some time, the secret becomes known and Richard takes out his disappointment on Jason by returning to his old job and leaving Jason in the dust. Lorelai is furious with her father and tries to get him to reconsider but to no avail. She then learns that Jason has decided to sue her father for damages and that throws her for a loop. She tells him she can not date someone suing a member of her family and they break up. 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]

After some time, Lorelai, Sookie and Michel decide that they need to do a test run on their new Inn. Just to work out any kinks in the service before the big opening day. During the test run of the Inn, Lorelai asks for Rory's help in creating a memorable evening for various guests from around town such as Luke, Miss Patty, Taylor, Kirk and his girlfriend Lulu, Emily and Richard, and Babette. Unfortunately, the beginnings of a romantic relationship between Luke and Lorelai almost come to a halt, when Jason, Richard's ex-business partner and Lorelai's ex-boyfriend shows up to express his love for Lorelai. But Luke and Lorelai are able to work it out and finally share their first kiss. However, her excitement to share the news with Rory turns into disappointment when she goes to their house and realizes that Rory and her ex-boyfriend Dean, whom is now married, have had sex. Lorelai and Rory get into a fight over the fact that Rory is now the other woman in Dean's life and that she helped him cheat on his wife. Rory is very upset and leaves, only to realize her mom is right.

Lorelai's relationship with Luke quickly becomes serious - she even brings him home to meet her parents! However, Emily does not think that Luke is good enough for Lorelai, so she goes to Christopher, who has since broken up with Sherry, and tells him that he should try his luck with Lorelai, because they are 'meant to be together'. When Lorelai and Luke go to Emily and Richard's vow renewal, they find that Christopher is also attending. There, Christopher declares his undying love to Lorelai, stating that 'everyone knows we are meant for each other'. Luke leaves in a fury - telling Lorelai that he needs time to think. Over the next few days, Lorelai persistently tries to talk to him, and he finally snaps - saying that if she can't accept that he needs time, then they should break up. Lorelai is miserable, and we soon see that Luke is as well - and Lorelai stops going to Friday night dinners, furious about Emily's involvement. Finally, Emily goes to see Luke, and tells him that Lorelai really loves him and that they should get back together. Luke goes to Lorelai's house, they kiss, and make up. At the end of the 5th season, Lorelai proposes to Luke, and he accepts.


Lorelai as Emily's maid-of-honor

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.


Max Medina

Main article: Max and Lorelai
1x05 lorelai max1.jpg

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: Lorelai and Christopher

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


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

Main article: Jason and Lorelai

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

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]


Please, Luke. Please, please, please?
—first line of the series[src]
I'm afraid once your heart is involved, it all comes out in moron
—Lorelai to Rory[src]
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!
—Lorelai to Luke[src]
I'm here for you and your sexy beard, Taylor
—Town meeting[src]


  • Lorelai was named after her paternal grandmother, Lorelai "Trix" Gilmore
  • Her favorite song in Junior High was Shadow Dancing.
  • Her favorite band in high school was the Bangles.[17] Another favorite band was The Go-Go's.
  • 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. Lorelai's feet are size nine.
  • 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.
  • 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; on a similar occasion, where Chris and his parents attend dinner at the Gilmore mansion after more than a decade, Lorelai declares she hates George W. Bush's face to everyone's shock and dismay. Another time Lorelai says "I think I'm in touch with the other side" and Rory thinks she's speaking politically replying "..With the Republicans?".
  • 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, hence why she had borrow money for Rory's education.[32]
  • There are at least three rules she created in the Gilmore survival guide: never run with scissors, no pageboy haircuts, 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".
  • It is unknown how she got to Stars Hollow at sixteen years old.
  • Lorelai is very childish and never grows up. A lot of times with Rory, she is the daughter and Rory is the mother. Lorelai looks and acts more like a teenager.
  • Lorelai finds Roombas creepy as she states she could die and decompose and the Roomba could suck her up causing nobody to know what happened.


Lorelai Gilmore/Gallery

Notes and references

  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? 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