Indeed, some of Richard and Emily's behavior towards Lorelai can be seen as borderline abusive. Emily never seems to run out of cutting remarks to make towards Lorelai and - on the rare occasion Richard and Lorelai have an actual conversation - he's not much better. Both of them rarely let Lorelai forget how much they disapprove of her and how much of a disappointment she is to them. Yet they wonder why Lorelai is hesitant to tell them anything or let them in on her life.
Lorelai (sarcastically describing Friday Night Dinner): Friday Night Dinners, cocktails, Mozart, mind games — good times!
- The truth is probably somewhere in the middle for all characters. Lorelai can be immature sometimes, Rory can be spoiled sometimes, and Richard and Emily do show that they love and respect their daughter sometimes. Part of the series' charm is exactly that: the characters act like real people, not like sitcom characters.