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Series / Gilmore Girls

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"Life is short. Talk fast."
Lorelai Gilmore

Gilmore Girls is a dramedy series created by Amy Sherman-Palladino that aired on The WB and The CW from 2000 to 2007. Roughly equal parts Teen Drama and Romantic Comedy.

The titular Gilmore girls are, more or less, two sides of the same coin. Mother Lorelai (Lauren Graham) was born to privilege, but saw her education get messed up by a Teen Pregnancy. Despite pressure from her parents Emily (Kelly Bishop) and Richard (Edward Herrmann), and a proposal from the father Christopher (David Sutcliffe), the 16-year-old Lorelai chose to strike out on her own, moving to Stars Hollow, Connecticut as a Glamorous Single Mother. Daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel), despite having been born in comparative poverty, is a gifted student. Both women are intelligent, witty, cynical, cute, and comically dysfunctional when it comes to men.

The show starts when 16-year-old Rory is admitted into the prestigious Chilton Academy for her sophomore year of high school. Lorelai, who now runs the Independence Inn with the help of her best friend, chef Sookie St. James (Melissa McCarthy), can't afford it... so she does the worst thing a fiercely independent woman could do, and asks her parents. Emily and Richard agree to finance their granddaughter's education, but only at the cost of weekly Friday-night family dinners. The result is a mother-daughter drama, contrasting the Different as Night and Day relationship between Lorelai and Emily with the Heterosexual Life Partnership of Lorelai and Rory.

The main characters are complemented by a strong ensemble in the townsfolk of Stars Hollow, including an assortment of quirky Nosy Neighbors: town selectman Taylor Doose (Michael Winters), who rules with an iron fist; Kirk Gleason (Sean Gunn), the village idiot who has dabbled in hundreds of professions; Paris Gellar (Liza Weil), Rory's Friendly Rival, and Lane Kim (Keiko Agena), Rory's Asian and Nerdy friend; and, of course, the Love Interests. Both Gilmore girls play the "All Girls Want Bad Boys" trope quite straight; Rory's father, Christopher Hayden, is of the Idle Rich, and Lorelai's other major romance, Luke Danes (Scott Patterson), owns the town diner and struggles with anger and communication issues. Rory, meanwhile, shuffles between Dean Forester (Jared Padalecki), Jess Mariano (Milo Ventimiglia) and Logan Huntzberger (Matt Czuchry), each with their issues and instabilities.

What really sets Gilmore Girls apart from other shows of its type is the heavy use of clever, fast-paced wordplay. Really fast. It's like if Aaron Sorkin wrote Seinfeldian Conversations on crystal meth. The show also seems to take a particular interest in music. In addition to a number of music-obsessed characters, numerous musicians—including rocker Sebastian Bach and Singer-Songwriter Carole King—have held recurring guest roles. Others, like Paul Anka and Sparks, have had cameos or guest spots. (King also provided the theme tune, "Where You Lead," re-recording it with—of course—her own daughter Louise Goffin.)

After the sixth season, contract disputes resulted in the departure of the creators and showrunners, Creator Couple Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino. The seventh and final season ultimately the entire town gathering for a bon voyage/graduation party for Rory, due to her graduating college and landing a plum journalist gig following then Presidential hopeful Barack Obama on his 2008 Election run. This ironically was the opposite of Palladino's plans for the series, which was to have the series end with a Downer Ending.. On October 19, 2015, Netflix announced that it has closed a deal with Warner Brothers to release a limited-series revival, titled Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life. This six-hour, four-episode mini-series was released on November 25, 2016. Basically every actor listed in the above paragraphs managed to make an appearance, though many had very limited screentime due to the compressed narrative and the actors' own commitments to other projects. All episodes were written and directed by the Palladinos, and included the specific four words with which Amy had intended to close the original show. It was announced in October 2020 that A Year in the Life would re-air on The CW over Thanksgiving week the following month, primarily to fill network time after the COVID-19 Pandemic impacted production of their ongoing series and delayed them to January 2021, marking a rare instance in which a Netflix Original is licensed to air off of the platform itself.

Now has a character sheet. Character-specific tropes should go there.

Gilmore Girls provides examples of:

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The original series

     A through D 

  • 10-Minute Retirement: Richard's retirement in Season Two lasts from Christmas until Rory's economics school project the following spring.
  • 555: Luke's lawyer works at Dewie, Cheetum and Howe. Their number is 555-5555. An intentional trope, as Luke hates lawyers and was just messing with the guy.
  • Aborted Arc:
    • Season two episode Hammers and Veils has Rory obsess about charity work she can do to make her more interesting to Harvard, but it never comes up again and her doing charity work is never a plot point again.
    • In season two, Taylor buys the locale next to Luke's diner to sell decorative plates, but that never comes up again and the next time we hear about that shop he wants to sell candy out of it.
    • One of the most notable was the lawsuit Jason brought up against the Gilmores. It was a major development in the plot, but once it served its purpose of breaking Lorelai and Jason up, it was never mentioned again.
    • Jackson being voted Town Selectman, ousting Taylor. He campaigned hard and managed to win the election, then immediately regretted it. It gets mentioned maybe twice more, then Taylor's back to the job with absolutely no warning.
    • Rory getting a job at the Stamford Eagle Gazette right before going back to Yale. This is never mentioned again.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Jess deduces that Rory actually does find his prank outside Doose's Market funny after she finishes yelling at him.
    Jess: So, did you at least think it was funny?
    Rory: [fails to keep a straight face] That is so not the point!
    Jess: Yeah, you thought it was funny.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal:
    • Rory's real given name is Lorelai Leigh.
    • Before her marriage, Lindsay Lister.
    • Michel's mother, Giselle "Gilly" Gerard.
    • Sookie Saint-James.
    • Max Medina.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys:
    • Rory and Dean. Although Dean is usually considered the "good" boyfriend of Rory's, he often shows signs of "bad boy" behavior. He is rough around the edges and often wears a leather jacket and even builds Rory a car. Later, he has an affair with Rory and treats his wife poorly.
    • Rory and Jess. Jess smoked (when he was a teenager), was sarcastic, and generally caused mischief in Stars Hollow, and encouraged Rory to take more risks. The trope is played with though, as Jess's intelligence, love of reading and wit was the main thing that attracted her, while his bad boy lack of dependability and poor communication led to them breaking up.
    • Later, Rory and Logan. Logan was a wealthy party animal and womanizer who took Rory out drinking, pulling crazy stunts and got her into trouble when they stole a boat, (which was her idea but he supported it). However, Logan did mature and their relationship managed to last 2 and half seasons, and ended only in the penultimate episode of the series, when Rory turns down Logan's marriage proposal.
  • Alone Among the Couples:
    • Rory doesn't have a boyfriend during her freshman year at Yale. When she's saying goodbye to her roommates, her single status is rubbed in her face. Tana is young and clueless with poor social skills who talks about how she and Paris are the only ones without a boyfriend on her photo collage. Paris, however, is secretly dating a professor and when they are alone, she tries to set Rory up with said professor's son. Rory gets increasingly uncomfortable. Later even her grandma comments on it and arranges a dinner date for her, that ends disastrously, and Rory calls her married ex-boyfriend for help.
      Tana: So I made a collage of photos of people in the building, and I'm having everyone sign. Will you two do me the honour? (...) Isn't it a great keepsake? There's Janet with her boyfriend and Lana with hers. That's Mark and Stacy — they're inseparable. And, oh, there's one of you, Rory.
      Rory: That's me.
      Tana And, um, Janet and her boyfriend again, and me with Chester. (...) And, uh, there you are again, Rory, with...oh, that's a lamppost. Oh, here's a bunch of couples from Valentine's Day. You're not in that one. And here you are with all the cafeteria ladies. I can make you a copy of that if you'd like.
      Rory: That's okay.
      Paris: Rory, you've had quite the dry spell this year.
      Rory: I have not had a dry spell.
      Paris: There's not one picture of you with a guy.
      Tana: Oh, no. No. There's one. See? That's Rory with the statue of Eli Yale.
    • In "Afterboom", Lane gets super lonely after a gig of her band Hep Alien, and she's alone among happy couples, happy friends and happy families. After they finish, Lane is excited and wants to celebrate, but Gil makes out with his wife, Zach is surrounded by hot female friends and goes to a bar with a girl on each arm, and Brian is with his family. Lane invited her best friend Rory, but she couldn't come. To make it sourer, Lane can't even talk to her family because she moved out her home against her mother's wishes and without her approval.
  • Alone Among Families: Lane feels lonely after she played with her band Hep Alien, and she's alone among happy couples and happy families. Lane is excited and feels like celebrating, but others are otherwise occupied: Gil makes out with his wife, Zach is surrounded by hot female fans, and Brian is with his family who came to see them play. Lane invited her best friend Rory, but she couldn't come. Lane can't even talk to her family because she moved out of her home against her mother's wishes and without her approval.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Viewers perceive Michel as such, though he is not intended to be gay. Though he has an obsession with Celine Dion, maintains an overly-close 'gal pal' relationship with his mother and worries about his carb intake, Amy Sherman often says in the scripts he does this for the ladies. He is intended to be a dandy. When venting his frustrations toward Tobin, the night desk clerk, he insults him for his homosexuality. It's subtle, but it's there, and that's what makes it even funnier. We occasionally see members of his family, they're all like that. The simplest explanation for newcomers is that he's not gay, he's just French.
    • Well, the script mentioned his interest in "the ladies" exactly once, and he was at a drag club for Lorelai's bachelorette party at the time. In season one he speaks amorously to someone on the phone and explains that he has a date, but the gender is never clarified.
    • Confirmed as of A Year in the Life. Well, confirmed that he has a husband and is attracted to men. His specific orientation is not specified.
  • Amicable Exes:
    • Lorelai and Christopher, most of the time. While it's clear that Christopher still has feelings for Lorelai and they do try to make an adult attempt at their relationship, the disastrous marriage that followed became a indication for both of them that it was never going to work out. At the end of the series, they managed to be civil at Rory's graduation.
    • Rory and Dean in season 3. Subverted in that while he puts this facade up in front of her, he never got over it and attempts to try to win her back by threatening Jess, the boyfriend who replaced him.
    • Rory and Jess in season 6. He visits Rory to give her a copy of his book, and his outburst at her about how much she has changed leads to her getting her life back on track.
  • Anachronism Stew:
    • At Sherry's baby shower, Lorelai states that she got her information about child raising from For Keeps, a film about a teen pregnancy which came out the year Rory was four and Lorelai twenty.
    • Paris feels that the Bracebridge dinner is this, and that she is very polite not to point it out.
  • Ancestral Name:
    • Lorelai is the name of both the main Lorelai's paternal grandmother and her daughter.
    • Discussed when Rory explains that her mother was probably a little high on all the painkillers when she named her for herself.
  • And Starring: In an unusual case for this trope, Kelly Bishop is given the "And" credit, but is then immediately follwed by Edward Herrmann, who gets a "Special Appearance by" credit.
  • And That's Terrible: The Dragonfly Inn sexual harassment seminar consists of pointing out that it is bad.
  • Angrish: Jackson in "Tippecanoe and Taylor Too".
    Sookie: OK, that's not English, hon.
  • Apron Matron: Mrs. Kim's loving-but-firm control over Lane's social life borders on My Beloved Smother.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • At a town meeting where the citizens of Stars Hollow list the crimes that Jess might have done, Lorelai pipes in at the end.
      Lorelai: I heard he controls the weather and wrote the screenplay to Glitter!
    • After being told by Rory that she's going to a movie with Dean and Lane: "Nothing sexual, violent, or French!"
    • At the festival of living art, Kirk, who plays Christ, has it in for the guy who plays Judas. Kirk accuses him of being a blasphemer, a traitor, and unattractive.
  • The Artifact:
    • Luke's diner still has a large sign that says "Williams Hardware" on it (with a small one that says "Luke's"), in addition to the shelves and other remnants from his father's hardware store.
    • After Rory graduates Chilton and the Independence Inn burns down, the Title Sequence still includes shots of Rory in her Chilton uniform and of Lorelai and Michel working at the Independence Inn.
  • Artistic License – Education: Rory gets rejected for financial aid at Yale because Lorelai recently got a big check from her dad that made her ineligible. Financial aid would have been set by that point and there’s no way Yale would have known about the check unless Lorelai put it in her taxes which would affect financial aid the following year, not the current year.
  • Artistic License – Geography: In "Like Mother, Like Daughter", Luke says that the quickest way to get from Stars Hollow to Hartford involves taking I-5. The Real Life Interstate 5 runs from all the way from the Canadian border in Washington State to the Mexican border in California, meaning that it's on the opposite side of the country from Stars Hollow.
  • Artistic License – Law: Luke's lawyer, due to Rule of Drama, tells Luke there's no way he'll get partial custody of April because the court would slant heavily in favor of the existing situation being in the best interest of the child, and it didn't matter that the situation existed only because Anna hadn't bothered to tell him he had a daughter. The courts in Connecticut do give preference to existing custody arrangements that have been decided by previous agreement or court decision. There was no previous agreement and no previous court decision. So in fact, Anna's actions did matter.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: When Paris is talking to her Portuguese nanny on the phone, what she says is mostly correct, although she says "mucho mac and cheese" at one point, probably due to Rule of Funny.
  • As You Know: Subverted. The show banks on the arrogance of Emily and Richard ro make them ask about stuff they already know, but just can't be bothered to remember.
  • The B Grade: Paris gets an A-minus on a science test and forces Rory to have an emergency study session with her.
    Paris: All I had to do was move a decimal point, and none of this would have happened.
    • Inverted when Rory received an A in Asher Fleming's course and believed she only got it due to favouritism.
  • Back to School: Lorelai is working toward her AA in Business degree in the first two seasons. She graduates in season 2, and the degree is referred to as an AA in season 3.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Subverted in the very last episode. When Stars Hollow learns that Rory won't be there for the reenactment of her Yale graduation, they get very upset, so Lorelai stages an impromptu reenactment where she hums "Pomp and Cricumstance", hands Rory a menu, and declares her one of tomorrow's leaders. Rory plays along as best she can. It's pretty realistic bad acting.
    • Kirk's short films also include pretty excellent bad acting.
  • Bad Butt: The show's attempts to depict Jess as a bad boy from New York is to have him pull childish pranks like stealing a lawn gnome and drawing chalk outlines on sidewalks.
  • Bare Midriffs Are Feminine: Despite being a show starring young women, this trope was meticulously averted. The show's costume designer, Valerie Campbell, stated that Amy Sherman-Palladino strictly enforced a "no bare midriffs" rule for the female characters, to the point where it was responsible for Lorelai and Rory's shared character tic of constantly pulling at the bottom of their shirts (Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham did that to avoid exposing skin). This was done partly for authenticity's sake (the show averted It's Always Spring, and Connecticut winters are very cold), and partly as a backlash against fashion trends in the early '00s, a time when crop tops and low-waisted pants for women were in fashion.
  • Behind the Black: Paris is hiding to the left while having Madeleine ask Rory for her PSAT scores.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Paris and Doyle, although Rory and Jess and Rory and Logan were milder forms.
    • Luke and Lorelai in early seasons. Emily, Rachel and Sookie confronted either one of them (or both) rather often about it, but they kept denying it and a lot of their interaction consisted of teasing or berating each other.
  • Berserk Button: For Emily, quiet people. She feels being around them is akin to being stalked by an elf.
  • Best Woman: Rory acts as best "man" when her grandparents renew their vows. She even wore a nice pantsuit.
  • Beta Couple: Sookie and Jackson, possibly the Gilmore grandparents. Interestingly, both Lorelai and Rory would mirror each other's couplehood and act as the mutual Beta Couple to each other.
    • Lane and Zach also fill this role.
    • Paris and Doyle filled that role in later seasons, helped by Doyle being played by Danny Strong.
  • Better than Sex: In a Season One episode, Miss Patty tells Rory that the plums in Doose's Market are better than sex.
  • Betty and Veronica: Wow, do the writers love this trope. With Rory alone, we have:
    • Dean (B) vs. Tristan (V), Dean vs Jess. Dean vs Logan. Marty vs Logan. Jess vs Logan. And in every one except Dean vs Tristan, Rory went with the Veronica. Sheesh, are the writers trying to tell us something? Logan eventually gets compared to each of Rory's romantic interests, except for Tristan. And Logan can be seen as a more developed version of Tristan.
    • Luke plays Betty to most of Lorelai's love interests: Max in Season 1, Jason in Season 4 and Christopher throughout the series. He survives better than Rory's Bettys though.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: On the very rare occasions Rory loses her temper you don't want to be in the blast zone.
  • Big Eater:
  • Big Fancy House: Emily and Richard's home. Sookie is impressed when she and Lorelai do a job there for Emily.
    Sookie: This is Citizen Kane's house! Is there a moat?
    • Same thing happens when Rory takes Lane to a Chilton party at Madeline's house, then Lane asks Rory whether her grandparents' house is just as big.
    • The Huntzberger Mansion, home of Rory's rich boyfriend, Logan.
  • Big "NO!": Lulu when Kirk asks for her pink ribbon back. She might not have been wearing it in support of Lorelai.
  • Bilingual Dialogue: Kyon and Lane have an argument in Korean and English respectively when they first encounter each other.
  • Black Sheep:
    • Lorelai, at least in Hartford society.
    • Logan, to the Huntzbergers.
  • Blatant Lies: In Wedding Bell Blues, Rory assures Logan that she is not, and never will be, interested in a relationship with him and they can just have some no-strings-attached fun. Five episodes later, she's drunk and sobbing on her mother's bathroom floor because Logan is still dating other women and doesn't want to be exclusive with her.
  • Book Ends:
    • The TV show's pilot episode, credits, and finale all end with the same shot: Rory and Lorelai at Luke's Diner, the camera slowly zooming out.
    • Paris appears in the second and penultimate episode.
    • A specific example of season three: the first episode of the season starts with Lorelai having a dream of romantic undertones about Luke; the last episode of the same season has Luke having a similar dream about Lorelai.
  • Book Worm: Rory and Jess. Rory's interest in Jess is piqued when they discover they share a mutual love of literature. Jess's pseudo-stepsister who hides in closets while reading and Jess's cousin April are also this
  • Breakout Character: Paris.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy:
    • Jess. Reasonably intelligent but arrogant.
    • Logan is apparently an excellent writer for the Yale Daily News when he wants to be, and is fairly successful in Season 7, but spends a lot of time drinking and partying instead of working.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Reconstruction with Jess and Rory. They set up this dynamic with sweethearted golden girl Rory encouraging brooding, town pariah Jess to open up about his issues and do more with his life. However in a cynical take on this trope he shuts her out and doesn't communicate causing them to break up. But he later returns having got his life together and matured, and acknowledged that he couldn't have done it without her support, so her influence did have an impact it just took a while.
  • But I Can't Be Pregnant!: Sookie's third pregnancy. She was led to believe that Jackson had a vasectomy after her second child.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Taylor is basically the town butt monkey of Stars Hollow and is even the butt monkey amongst his family. Shockingly enough, Lorelai seems to be the only person to have any sympathy for him.
    • Kirk seems to be on the same path, but is actually somewhat likable. Rory tells Lorelai she should just let him win the dance contest because he has nothing going for him - he has no real career, no friends or girlfriend, no pets, and still lives with his mother . When he went on his first date with Lulu, he was shocked that the date went well and she stayed; most of his dates had him run out of conversation topics and the girl sneaking out of the bathroom window.
    • Michel to Lorelai, Sookie and Rory.
  • California University: Despite being a real university, Yale fits this trope as it keeps Rory and high school rival Paris close to each other and also close to Stars Hollow despite earlier indications that both girls were Harvard-bound. The switch from Harvard to the more-nearby Yale was justified by it being Richard Gilmore's alma mater.
  • Call-Back: When Rory tells Logan she loves him, she mentions the time Dean told her that and assures him she doesn't expect him to say it back.
    • Rory mentions her debutante ball/coming out party from season 1 in season 7, when Emily has a girl from a manners class pretending to be the maid of the week.
  • Cassandra Truth: Lorelai tried to tell Richard and Emily that Logan's family was no good, but they just dismissed it, thinking she was being overdramatic and didn't like rich people. It takes them a while to realize she's right.
  • Cast Herd: The show basically has three main storylines: Friday Night Dinners at the Gilmore house, the going ons of Stars Hollow and Rory's school life. There's a lot of overlap with major characters, of course, but Rory is really the only character who is involved in all three stories.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Someone delivers unexpected news, gets an unexpected question in return, asks "what?", and the person says: "I don't know, I don't know what to ask when [weird news happens]".
    • Emily and Richard are fond of telling Rory she's "a Gilmore through and through". When she makes it into the top 3% of her school year, when she graduates from college…
  • Celebrity Paradox:
    • A season 2 episode has Lorelai quote the famous "Nobody puts baby in a corner" line from Dirty Dancing, suggesting that movie exists in this universe, which is funny when Kelly Bishop plays the main character's mother in that movie as well.
    • In a season 6 episode, Lorelai references Desperate Housewives by accusing Luke of being as dramatic as someone from Wisteria Lane and referencing an episode with Susan. At least three actors who plays in Desperate Housewives have also shown up in Gilmore Girls, those being Brenda Strong (Mary Alice), Emily Bergl (Beth Young), and Kathryn Josteen (Karen McClusky).
  • Character Filibuster combined with That Makes Me Feel Angry, mostly in the last season.
    • Toward the end of the series run, the fast, snappy dialogue that Gilmore Girls was famous for slouched into a 7th Heaven-esque series of conversations in which all the main characters were having extended conversations with all the other main characters about exactly how they felt regarding everything, inverting the Show, Don't Tell principle.
  • Characterization Marches On: Dean was originally written to have more indie tastes (he was a Nick Drake fan, for example), but then when Jess comes along, Dean gets recast as having more conventional tastes so that rival love interest Jess could provide contrast by being more cosmopolitan and intellectual, liking obscure books and music.
  • Chekhov's Gag:
    • There was a Running Gag about Emily being unable to keep a maid, which became a plot point when she was sued for wrongful termination by one of her former maids.
    • When she was a teen, Lorelai went into labor and went to the hospital by herself, leaving a note for her parents instead of telling them where she was. Emily complained about how ridiculous it was that she just left a note, and later in the episode, her parents find that Lorelai left another note when she ran away from home.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Jason kept asking Lorelai to go out with him, and, though she kept declining, set up a reservation at a restaurant, just in case she changed her mind. He also previously mentioned the fact that it would upset her mother if she went out with him, since Emily hated him. After having an argument with her mother, Lorelai decided to go on the date.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • Drella, Independence Inn’s snarky harpist, that never appeared again after the fourth episode of the show.
    • Lorelai's boyfriend Alex, which may have been due to Max showing up.
    • Jason Stiles, Lorelai's season four boyfriend. He showed up in Stars Hollow and tried to get back together with Lorelai, but Sookie prank-called him, saying he had a problem at home, so he went back home. Lorelai and Luke became official that night, so Jason must have realized he didn't have a chance and moved on.
    • Eventually happened to Dean, as well, who never really got a proper sendoff and just disappeared to make room for Logan and Rory's relationship. After breaking up with Rory, he showed up in a couple of scenes with Luke late in season 5, telling him that his relationship with Lorelai is doomed like his and Rory's.
  • Class Trip:
    • Rory and Paris spend the summer before their senior year in Washington D.C. as part of student government.
    • Luke chaperoned one of these from Connecticut to Philadelphia, allowing him to meet up with his nephew Jess, too.
  • Cock Fight: Dean and Tristan get close to a full-on fist fight over Rory in the season 1 episode "Rory's Dance". Dean and Jess have it out in a party in the season 3 episode "Keg! Max!". Some episodes in Seasons 2 and 3 have Jess trying to pick a fight with Dean, Dean trying to pick a fight with Jess, and Rory mistakenly believe that Jess' black eye was caused by Dean.
    • Logan tries to goad Jess into one in season 6 (albeit a verbal one). Jess, having had a dose of Character Development in recent years, does not accept and instead shuts Logan down with few words.
    • Luke and Christopher share in some brief fisticuffs in season 7.
  • Companion Cube: One of Lorelai's favorite pastimes is to chat with inanimate objects, occasionally trying to get other people to join in the conversation. Rory mostly talks to her clothes, and thinks her mother is nuts for talking to non-clothes.
    • Special mention goes to Bert the toolbox. He lives with Luke.
    • Gil's van is named Martha.
  • Concert Episode: "Concert Interruptus" revolves around Rory, Paris, Madeline, and Louise attending a concert in New York of real-life band The Bangles after Lorelai managed to secure tickets for amazing seats. The original plan was for Rory, Lorelai, Lane, and Sookie to go but after Lane's mother banned her from going Lorelai encouraged Rory to invite her school rivals while she and Sookie bought cheap tickets in the back.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: Emily's Retail Therapy as shown in "Scene in A Mall", where she just buys everything in a department store, while also buying many expensive things for Lorelai and Rory, including a globe that's actually just a store display, due to going through problems related to Richard.
    • In one episode, Emily is about to buy a private plane, before Lorelai stops her.
    Emily: Just let me buy my plane, Lorelai. Let me be frivolous and shallow, will you, please?
  • Continuity Nod: In season 5 Lorelai observes that Richard is reading Proust and remarks that she tried to read him once, referring the time in season 1 when she borrowed Max's copy of In Search of Lost Time.
  • Continuity Snarl:
    • Minor one. Late in season 5 Rory excitedly tells a woman she's never had a photo ID before, forgetting that it was a minor plot point early in season 4 that Yale gave everyone ID cards with bad photos. Not to mention she has a car and drives it, meaning she has a driver's license, and she went to Europe as a Chilton graduation present...meaning she has a passport, the Ur-Example of a photo ID.
    • In Rory's Birthday Parties, Lorelai mentions that her parents would visit her occasionally when she lived at the inn. In Emily in Wonderland Emily has never seen where they lived before.
    • Happens in back-to-back episodes in the first season. In the pilot and the second episode, it's explained that Rory is named after Lorelai, specifically because teenage Lorelai thought it was unfair that it's socially acceptable for men to have children named after them, but not women. In the third episode, we find out that Lorelai herself is named after her grandmother. Not only is Trix referred to as "Lorelai the First," making Lorelai the namesake she thought wasn't acceptable for women, it technically makes Rory Lorelai III.
  • Collapsed Mid-Speech: Rory's grandfather has a heart attack and goes down in the middle of a lecture, but he makes it. This also happens off-screen to Asher Fleming during a Shakespeare class at Oxford ("He was doing Puck, and then suddenly he wasn't"). This one sticks.
  • Contraception Deception: When Sookie is in the hospital giving birth to their second child, she demands that Jackson has a vasectomy done on the spot. Though he seems to go through with it, later in the series it turns out he lied about getting the vasectomy, and Sookie ends up pregnant again. This was a case of Real Life Writes the Plot, as Sookie's actress had become pregnant and the producers didn't want to engage in any pregnancy-hiding antics.
  • Convicted by Public Opinion:
    • In season 1, Lorelai angrily confronted Dean for breaking up with Rory, and Dean got angry as well, saying that it wasn't fair that everyone in town was mean to him without hearing his side of the story. Rory told her mother about the break-up, but didn't explain why it happened.
    • Jess, who is summarily convicted for getting in a car accident and Rory's wrist being broken, despite the fact that anyone could have had an animal run out in front of them and swerved.
  • Coordinated Clothes: In "Application Anxiety", Lorelai suggests to Rory that the siblings they just met are acting like they're together too much to just be brother and sister. Once they come back having changed their clothes, Lorelai notes to Rory that they're color-coordinated as further proof.
  • Crazy Cat Lady:
    • Lorelai is once worried she might became a crazy cat lady if she stays alone. She thinks that stray cats sense it when a woman lives on her own and that eventually they would find her house. One cat comes to her door and Lorelai brings her some food, but eventually she shoos her away.
    • A not-single example is Babette, who is as obsessed with cats as she is with garden gnomes.
    • Also - Kirk, for a brief moment on season 3. Rory comments that "Kirk has always been a cat person, he just never had a cat". Kirk, main Cloud Cuckoolander in a very nutty town, fits the trope down to a tee, except for being male.
    • Invoked by Rory when Paris is angsting about not being attractive to guys.
      Paris:What if he doesn't like me?
      Rory: Then you'll find someone else.
      Paris: What if there is no one else?
      Rory: Then you'll get a cat.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy:
    • Dean towards Jess and Logan, and to Tristan before he was Put on a Bus.
    • Luke towards Christopher and vice versa. Luke says less about it, but is more likely to engage in fisticuffs.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Most of the inhabitants of Stars Hollow.
    • Lorelai is a mild case compared to her neighbors, though many find her to be eccentric.
    • Babette is a major example.
    • Kirk, who does the impossible and is deemed local weirdo in a town of full of weird like Stars Hollow.
  • Crosscast Role: An In-Universe example. Paris plays Romeo to Rory's Juliet for a class project after Tristan – who was supposed to be playing Romeo - gets expelled at the last minute. Dean is… intrigued.
    Dean: So, did you and Paris actually kiss, or was it, like, a stage thing?
    Rory: A lady never kisses and tells.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The list is a mile long but primarily Lorelai, Rory, Luke, Paris and Jess. It is after all a World of Snark.
  • Dead Sparks: Some fans have opposed the Luke-Lorelai ship due to their lack of chemistry. (They have a point: Lauren Graham isn't super fond of Scott Patterson.)
  • Deep-Fried Whatever: Poor Sookie in the Thanksgiving episode. Jackson and his family get drunk and start deep-frying everything (one even suggests deep-frying a baby), and Sookie copes by getting absolutely trashed on margaritas. Luke notes at the end of the episode that he thinks saw flames erupting - they burned the lawn.
  • Dinner and a Show: Lampshaded by Lorelai when she and Rory arrive for Friday Night Dinner and they watch an argument between Richard and Emily.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Luke and Lorelai… seriously?
    • Also, in an episode of season 1, Jackson catches Sookie looking at strawberries at the market, and gets mad that she is trying to buy produce from someone else. He confronts her about it, and she says she was desperate for it, since she wasn't getting any from him. He didn't have any strawberries good enough to give to her, so he tried to give her something else.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: On at least two occasions, Rory writes a piece containing her honest opinion, and is later shocked at how mean they sound.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: Emily convinced Luke to get back together with Lorelai and just expected Lorelai to just forgive her and continue going to Friday night dinners again. She didn't understand that Lorelai was still angry about her breaking them up in the first place.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Asher Fleming has a very convenient heart attack between seasons 4 and 5.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Just about every main character has had a turn.
    • Lorelai after Emily has a non-reaction to her engagement to Max.
    • Luke when Jess gives him a "Reason You Suck" Speech. Albeit off camera, but he gets drunk, falls out of a tree, and cuts his hand on Lorelai's window.
    • Richard after his mother dies, and Emily in the same episode but for different reasons.

     E through M 
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: In a couple of the early episodes there is a town mayor, played by David Huddleston. Taylor is one of the town selectmen but not as important as he later became.
    • In the second episode, Sean Gunn plays a DSL installer named Mick, who Lorelai has never met before. In another early episode he brings swans to the inn and again, Lorelai has no idea who he is. It's not until the episode Cinnamon's Wake that his character is named Kirk but even then he does not know who Miss Patty is, while later on in the show it is well established that he has lived in Star's Hollow his whole life and used to take dance classes with Miss Patty.
    • References are made several times to Lane's father—or parents, plural—through the first season, in the context of him clearly being alive and present in Lane's life. He is never seen for some reason, and eventually ceases to be mentioned.
    • In the early episodes, Rory has a very different attitude than later on when she is sweeter and more inclined to go along with things. Even so, later on everyone behaves like she has always been this sweet, easy to get along with girl.
    • In the third episode, Richard's mother, the first Lorelai, is apparently dead, since she is described in the past tense.
  • Easter Egg: Paris rants about a fellow Chilton student taking too much time to film her video yearbook segment towards the end of season three. Not too interesting a scene… until you look at the episode credits and realize that the girl is played by Liza Weil's sister.
  • Eating Lunch Alone:
    • Rory was shown to prefer eating alone with her headphones and a good book. The headmaster of Chilton thought she wasn't being social enough and pushed her to reach out to her peers. Hilarity Ensues.
    • Kirk states that he used to eat lunch alone in school as well, causing Lorelai and Rory to immediately panic.
  • Effeminate Misogynistic Guy: A possible interpretation of Michel.
  • Elaborate University High: Chilton for the first few seasons. It should be noted, the school is based on Real Life high school Choate, and in many respects the portrayal is fairly accurate.
  • Embarrassing Nickname:
    • Jason "Digger" Stiles.
    • Lorelai's camp nickname is "Umlauts." Apparently there was a problem with an unsteady canoe and an absent bra.
    • Lorelai apparently once called Rory 'Droopy Drawers' as a baby.
    Lorelai: That's right. Once you had these little Oshkosh cords and they were way too big. Once at the mall they fell right down to your knees and I said, "Whoa there, droopy drawers".
    • Rory was called "Mary" when she first came to Chilton, mostly by Tristan. It refers to the Virgin Mary and that she is seen as a goody-goody.
    • Luke had the nickname Butch in high school. Hes's not very happy when Lorelai finds out.
  • Exposition: Lorelai comments that the Civil War reenactment is "so expositional", as the narrating children let none of the acting be self-explanatory.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Exploited by Lucy and Olivia in season seven. They call everyone by a moniker and it eventually gets on Rory's nerves that they never call anyone by name.
  • Everyone Can See It:
    • Luke and Lorelai, for the first four seasons.
      • Emily noticed Luke and Lorelai had a thing for each other within seconds of meeting him. She noticed the way they look at each other. When she repeatedly asked Lorelai if she had feelings for Luke, she eventually stopped saying no and admitted that she wasn't sure how she felt.
      • Max asked her if she dated Luke while they were broken up and thought she was lying when she denied it.
      • Jess even asks Lorelai point blank if she's sleeping with Luke. Granted, he was annoyed about other things and Lorelai's clumsy attempt to be friendly wasn't helping, but Jess has only been in town for a single day and even he assumed they were a couple, however crudely he said it. He also calls out Luke for not admitting his feelings for Lorelai and just doing whatever she asks instead.
      • Almost an Exaggerated Trope - while picking the vibe by Lorelai's mother and some other outsiders, as well as the common knowledge on the matter by the pair's friends are plausible, the scene where Lorelai heading to tell Luke she's gotten engaged gets stalked by a large crowd of townspeople (most of them being not their close friends, but never to be seen again extras) curious what's going to happen like it's the hottest soap opera on TV, is not. Also, after Lorelai accidentally walks down to the diner full of people, when dressed in Luke's shirt, after the sex for the first time, no one bats an eye, as if just the obvious has happened. Shortly after that it's revealed that it was perceived this way to the point that there was a town's meeting about "the union everyone had feared by a long time" (by Taylor's words) organized.
    • Jess and Rory's feelings are also pretty obvious and frequently commented on during Season 2 and 3. Dean when dumping Rory – in front of the entire town of five or so half-asleep dance contestants and not many more and fully asleep observers) – because he's fed up with her blatant interest in Jess actually uses those very words.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Quite a few characters are introduced at Chilton and then Yale.
    • Also happened with Luke and some other adults in Stars Hollow, since it's a small town.
  • Evil Matriarch: Both Emily and her mother-in-law. Shira Huntzberger tries hard to be one, but comes off as more Upper-Class Twit.
  • Exact Words: When Jess first meets Rory, he says that he doesn't read much. When she asks him about it later, he says "What is much?" i.e. "much" can mean different things to different people.
  • Fake Guest Star: "Special appearance by" Edward Herrmann. In at least 82 episodes.
  • Fan Disservice: Kirk is sometimes shirtless or partially nude. Not that Kirk is all that hideous from the neck up, but from the neck down... well, he's no buffed hunk. Though the actor himself has never mentioned his condition, the general consensus among fans is that Sean Gunn has pectus excavatum; which is literally a sunken chest. The fact that he was brave enough to go shirtless on a popular TV show seems like more of a Take That! to the media's beauty standards more than anything else. Noted in-universe by Rory.
    Lorelai: So, how are you feeling?
    Rory: Haunted by the sight of Kirk's bare chest.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Pretty consistently averted. The only woman on the show who can cook is professional sous chef Sookie St. James, everyone else who can cook is a man. Lorelai can make coffee and heat pop tarts, but that's about it. She and Rory are awed and amazed when Max knows how to use the broiler, a part of their oven they were unaware existed.
  • Fiction Business Savvy: Bedazzled first-aid kits.
  • Fight Scene: Two over the course of the entire show. First was Jess vs. Dean (after Rory left Dean for Jess), when Dean thought Jess had just forced himself on an in-tears Rory upstairs at a party (he wanted to have sex, she didn't and got upset, and Jess was frustrated but ok with it and didn't pressure her). The second was between Chris and Luke (and the fans rejoiced). There's not even any dialogue in that scene, they just see each other across the square in the middle of the night and both seem to understand that it's time to beat the crap out of someone they really dislike (each was pretty pissed off about something else in their life right then). The fight ends wordlessly as well, with them just stalking off in opposite directions after trashing the town's Christmas scene, and neither ever talks to anyone else about it.
  • First Guy Wins:
    • Sort of between Dean (introduced in the first episode) versus Jess. Rory eventually hooks up with Jess, but since Dean broke it off with her as abruptly as he did, she never really got the chance to get over him. Eventually, Jess suddenly disappears after problems with school, causing Rory to lose her trust in him and miss the reliability she always had with Dean. Because of this, she rejects Jess' advances when he returns, and eventually sleeps with Dean despite the latter being married at that point. However, after Dean has left his marriage, it doesn't take long before Rory remembers the lack of excitement Dean had eventually failed to offer her, and he ends up Put on a Bus to make way for her relationship with Logan.
    • Played straight for Luke. The show's very first scene is Lorelai at his diner, many boyfriends before they got together. The final episode includes Luke and Lorelai kissing and most likely getting back together, and near the end of the revival Luke and Lorelai get married.
  • First-Name Ultimatum: Emily has a very pointed way of saying Lorelai's name when she's annoyed with her, summarized hilariously in this compilation.
  • Flanderization: Name someone who wasn't flanderized in the last two seasons of Gilmore Girls. Lauren Graham expressed her distaste for the way her character was being written in an early interview about the CW.
    • Emily started out as controlling and somewhat snobby, but mostly old-fashioned and concerned about her daughter living "properly", not being a single mother and finding a husband. She even approved of Luke, recognized his feelings for Lorelai before her, and called them "a match made in Heaven". Cue Season 5, and she acts like a social class-obsessed stereotypical Evil Matriarch and makes ridiculous schemes to break Lorelai and Luke up to make space for Christopher. And fails to understand why her daughter could be possibly mad at her.
    • Much like in Northern Exposure, the town folk went from being cute and quaint to ridiculously quirky for the sake of being quirky. Their festivals, rituals and tour attractions also became increasingly bizarre.
  • Flat "What": Rory to Pete from Pete's Pizzeria when he tells her that the world's biggest pizza she's having made for Lorelai's birthday has to be cheeseless after Kirk suffered a hot cheese incident when trying to put it on the pizza rack on his car.
  • Foil: Liz is one to Lorelai. Both are woman children who had a kid extremely young and for various reasons the father wasn't in the picture. However, where Lorelai is independent and strong-willed, Liz is flakey, unreliable, and more of a Cloud Cuckoo Lander.
  • Forced into Their Sunday Best: often, particularly Lorelai Sr.
  • Foreign Exchange Student: Mrs Kim takes in Kyon, from Seoul for what appears to be an inordinately long amount of time, first appearing in season 4, and lastly at the end of season 6. There are some moments where Kyon is used as the Funny Foreigner, such as being enamoured by a bowl of fries. It's extremely unlikely that someone from Seoul, a huge vibrant metropolis, had never encountered french fries before.
  • Foreshadowing: Lorelai and Sookie get into an argument in season 1, with Lorelai saying she doesn't want dating advice from someone who hasn't dated in a while. Sookie says that she has reasons for not dating, like not having time due to being at work and the hospital, but seems to be unhappy about it. At the end of the episode, she asks Jackson out for the first time.
    • In season one, Luke proposes to Lorelai to shut her up.
    • At her baby shower, Sherry says she is not a baby person, and that until the girl "has the legs to dance", Christopher will have to take care of her. A few seasons later, she up and leaves her baby daughter.
    • When Rory meets Logan he is in open relationships with about a dozen girls. When we meet him again in A Year in the Life, he is cheating on his fiancee with Rory.
    • In Season 4, Luke marries Nicole and tells Lorelai about it. She assumes he knocked her up. In Season 6 we find out that Luke has a daughter with an ex-girlfriend
      Luke: Actually, there's a little more.
      Lorelai: And she's pregnant. Oh my God, you finally reproduced.
    • In Season 3, Paris and Rory talk about Rory being valedictorian over Paris, which Paris is fine with, because according to her research many "don't necessarily do too well in later life". Rory proves this true in the revival.
  • Four-Girl Ensemble: Paris' Chilton clique when counting in Rory. Paris is the Deadpan Snarker, Louise the sexy Really Gets Around type, Madeline is The Ditz and Rory is the admirable narrator.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble:
    • The Gilmores: Lorelai (sanguine), Rory (melancholic), Emily (choleric), Richard (phlegmatic).
    • Lorelai's love interests: Max (melancholic), Christopher (sanguine), Jason (choleric), Luke (phlegmatic).
    • Rory's love interests: Dean (choleric), Tristan, Logan (sanguine), Jess (melancholic), Marty (phlegmatic).
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Parodied.
    Lorelai: My life stinks. Hey, let's look into each other's eyes and say "I wish I were you" at exactly the same time - maybe we'll pull a Freaky Friday!
    Rory: OR! We can just pretend we did, and you can go around acting really childish and immature – oh, wait!
  • French Jerk: Michele Gerard plays up the stereotypical French rudeness to callers, guests, and his boss. In one episode, he even plays it to a group of French guests, claiming to be "a simple farmboy from Texas" in his heavy French accent.
  • From New York to Nowhere: A few examples.
    • Lorelai (and Rory) move from Hartford to Stars Hollow about fourteen years before the show starts.
    • Dean moved from Chicago to Stars Hollow at the beginning of the series.
    • Jess lived with his mother in New York before he came to stay with Luke. Then he lived in New York again for a bit before moving back to Stars Hollow.
  • Funny Background Event: Lorelai and Rory discuss Dean and Rory's breakup… while Luke has Dean in a headlock outside the diner.
  • The Gadfly: Lorelai. It's her main coping mechanism when it comes to her parents. In season 3 she even admits this to her mother, and "teaches" her the trick so she could cope with Trix, her mother in law. As Lorelai later tells Rory, Emily has done it beautifully.
    • One episode has Emily do it to Lorelai, who accused her of not being able to take a joke.
    • Jess is a rare male example, another way Lorelai and Jess are Strange Minds Think Alike.
  • Gaslighting: When Lane discovers she is having twins, she panics about her mother being able to convince her she had sex before marriage, even though she knows she didn't.
  • Generation Xerox: Elements of Rory's life parallel those of Lorelai's:
    • A quirky best friend with highly specific expertise (Sookie/Lane) as well as a Vitriolic Best Buds relationship (Michel/Paris).
    • A romantic relationship with a wealthy, carefree guy who is part of high society that is thrilling and grandly romantic but never seems to quite work out. He also fathers her child. (Christopher/Logan).
    • A grumpy, cynical guy with a temper who somehow understands her better than almost anyone. He also never falls out of love with her, and is positioned to get the girl when the series ends. (Luke/Jess)
    • Parallels can also be drawn between Lorelai and Emily, as much as Lorelai would hate it being pointed out. The are both incredibly stubborn and want things their way. Lane would be the generation after that.
      • An episode in season 7 has a subplot with a group of girls learning manners, and Emily just happens to take on the one whose personality resembles Lorelai's.
    • It's easy to forget that they are different generations, but Mrs. Kim is Lane's Emily, possibly contributing to Lane being her generation's Lorelai.
      • Mrs. Kim's mother, who is as controlling as her daughter.
    • Lorelai and Rory sabotage relationships by cheating on their boyfriends and are very immature when they can't get their way.
  • The Gentleman or the Scoundrel: Rory's choice between Dean and Jess, and later, between Marty and Logan. In both cases, she goes for the Scoundrel.
  • Get Out!: Lorelai does this to Emily the day after Rory's dance at Chilton when she doesn't come home and Emily says that she will turn out like Lorelai, pregnant at sixteen and throw her life away.
    • Emily does this to Lorelai after Richard's funeral in the revival.
  • The Ghost:
    • Mr. Kim (Lane's dad) is never seen or mentioned directly during the seven seasons, although Mrs. Kim has little sympathy for single mothers so it's unlikely she is one.
    • Al from Al's Pancake World.
    • Kirk's mother.
  • Girl Posse: Unusual, in that their leader, Paris, is an Academic Alpha Bitch.
    • Francine, a fellow Chilton classmate, led a more typical high school version.
  • Glamorous Single Mother: If Lorelai ever suffered serious hardship having to drop plans for higher education to raise a child by herself as a teenager, the show gives little indication of it.
    • At least on the show. Pre-series had Rory and Lorelai living in a potting shed at the Independence Inn until they bought their house. Lorelai only went to her wealthy parents as a last resort to pay for Chilton. By the beginning of the series, she's the manager of a successful inn, but it took her years to get there, as she originally started out as a maid and had to work her way up.
    • One episode had Lorelai come in as a career day speaker at the local high school (after Rory was in college) where she gets ambushed by the girls in class who are far more interested in her infamous teen pregnancy and single motherhood. She's gets backed into a corner and outright states that she does not regret her past because it resulted in her amazing daughter. Later, when the mothers of these girls confront her on the street as if she had been extolling this trope as Truth in Television, Lorelai tries to be diplomatic. But when they cross the line (implying she should have told their daughters she regretted Rory) she goes full Mama Bear on them.
    • Subverted with Liz, as Luke makes frequent comments about her poor choices in money-management, drugs, alcohol and men, and Jess's numerous issues and baggage are thanks to her neglectful and poor parenting. Liz herself acts oblivious to this most of the time.
  • Gleeful and Grumpy Pairing: Lorelai is the gleeful to Luke's grumpy. Downplayed with Rory and Paris.
  • Godwin's Law: Subverted a lot, and never played straight. No one on the show ever compares anyone to Hitler, but they compare people to a lot of other dictators. Notably, Lorelai once compared Emily to Pol Pot, Stalin, and Mussolini all in one interview. It came back to bite her when a Russian man read the article.
  • Going Commando: Lorelai is not above doing this if it means she doesn't have to do laundry.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: In the backstory (as shown in the flashbacks). Apparently, a 16-year-old Lorelai never even considered abortion although she didn't want to marry the father, having the baby meant she had to quit school, and it not unexpectedly turned living with her family into such a nightmare that she eventually ran away. It could be she simply left it too late - she was already "starting to show" by the time she realised she was pregnant. In a flashback, Christopher's father makes some oblique reference to " taking care of it", everyone in the room acts shocked and it's never brought up again. Interesting to note that Lorelai wasn't even in the room, so her opinion on the matter is never touched on.
  • Good Old Ways: Luke. Runs a small diner out of his late father's hardware store, lives in the building's attic, and tends to be oblivious to/annoyed by Lorelai's constant pop culture references.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Mostly played straight in the original run, very averted in the revival, which seemingly had more swearing than the entire original series. Justified, since the show is no longer on network TV.
  • Gossipy Hens: Miss Patty and Babette. It's mentioned that nothing gets past them. Especially Patty, there have been times where people will tell her something if they want the news to travel fast.
  • Grandparent Favoritism: Emily and Richard adore Rory and put her on a higher pedestal than they do Lorelai.
  • Grandparental Obliviousness: Richard and Emily had no idea for the longest time that Rory had been having sex with Logan while living in their pool house.
  • Happy Rain: At Rory's party in the series finale, it's pouring rain - and it's also one of the happiest moments in the show.
  • Heroic BSoD: Rory has one after Mitchum's evaluation of her, leading into most of the conflict for the sixth season.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
    • An odd case being that Lorelai and Rory are mother and daughter.
    • Rory and Paris.
    • Rory and Lane.
    • Lorelai and Sookie, an inn manager and a supreme chef.
  • Hidden Depths: In season seven, it turns out Liz and TJ are into quantum physics and can weave alternate dimension metaphors.
  • High School: Chilton, adhering to type mostly in that classes always seem to last exactly the length of one scene.
  • Higher Education Is for Women: Rory was attracted to each of her three boyfriends because of their intelligence but they would disappoint her with their lack of interest in college. Even her college boyfriend. Her close frenemy Paris dated a Princeton student while still in high school, a college professor while she is a Yale student (no less) and one very avid college newspaper editor. She's still more driven academically than her boyfriends (except maybe the professor).
  • Hired Help as Family: Paris is a prep-school trust-fund kid who has a much closer relationship with her childhood nanny than with either of her parents. When she graduates from high school, neither of her parents attend the ceremony but the nanny does with a bunch of her grandchildren. Paris is often harsh and annoying but she is very nice to her nanny and the kids.
  • Holiday Volunteering: One episode has Paris attempting to volunteer at a soup kitchen over Thanksgiving so she can put it on her college application, only to be told they don't need any more.
  • Hollywood Board Games:
    • "The Bracebridge Dinner": Paris, a Lonely Rich Kid and an Academic Alpha Bitch, mentions that she beats her nanny at Monopoly every time. Left hanging in the air is that, other than complimenting her own intelligence, she doesn't play board games with her parents because they are not interested in spending time with her.
    • "Eight O'Clock at the Oasis": Lorelai and Rory's new neighbor, Dwight, is a man who engages in a lot of introverted pastimes and his house and lawn show it. According to Lorelai, he "took the lounge craze very seriously". When they open a closet, they find a vast collection of board games, which prompts Rory to comment that he owns Monopoly boards from "every country in the world". This is justified in that he's just gotten out of a toxic marriage and abusers often isolate their victims from friends and any kind of social interaction. Add to it that his former neighbors weren't very kind to him. Dwight's ex-wife claims that the board-game collection belongs, in fact, to her, especially the Trivial Pursuit sets. It's ambiguous how true this statement is but it wouldn't be out of character for an abuser to try and appropriate their victim's sources of comfort.
    • "A Messenger, Nothing More": Neither Lorelai nor Michel are fans of kids. Unfortunately for them, the Krumholtz family is staying in the Dragonfly Inn's most expensive room. The parents want to go out for a tour but the children want to stay. Lorelai convinces Michel, who is Only in It for the Money, to be friendly to the kids. His reluctance shows when he offers the kids to "play some insipid boardgames with [him]". Obliviously, they enthusiastically agree and ask for Chinese checkers.
    • "Bridesmaids Revisited":
      • April and Lane have built a friendly rapport despite April's Brutal Honesty since both frequent Luke's diner. April has Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness, so it makes sense she'd kick everyone's butt at Scrabble, even when she plays against other smart people who are older than her, such as Lane. On the other hand, April is still a kid, so she doesn't quite grasp the necessary Economy concepts to play Monopoly well.
      • Rory and Lorelai used to play Battleship a lot when the former was younger. Their Wacky Parent, Serious Child dynamic also shines there — Lorelai sees nothing wrong with cheating, while Rory gets very upset when she realizes what her mother is doing. Furthermore, that Lorelai needs to bend the rules to beat her daughter highlights said daughter's intelligence and cunning. Both are The Ace, but Rory's maturity gives her an edge — that, and the fact Rory is competitive as hell. When she recounts this to Lane, she answers that April reads the game's manual out loud before starting a game, making it impossible to cheat. Later in the episode, Lorelai gets the idea to create a wacky, hybrid board game, which also goes to show how she's more childish than her own daughter.
    • "Go, Bulldogs!": Lane knows that she sucks at chess, so she harasses April with seven-letter rare words until the latter agrees to play Boggle, which is the game Lane was told they were going to play. Understandable, since April has been roasting Lane's every chess move up until now.
  • Hollywood New England: The show takes place in a Connecticut where Hartford is a gleaming state capital and New Haven is the home of intellectuals with everyone being happy, while in real life Hartford has an incredible amount of problems, while Yale is contained within a literal Green Zone that can pretty much do whatever the heck it wants to fix crime-ridden New Haven, seeing as its citizens have given up on their government.
    • In all fairness, Lorelai once describes New Haven to Rory by saying she should "take a look at the coffee pot tomorrow before I clean it."
    • We actually don't see much of New Haven outside of the Yale campus, making this possibly justified. When the characters do venture off campus, there are subtle but repeated references to how dangerous the town is (not so subtle when Paris moves off-campus, and promptly installs three locks and learns Krav Maga).
    • Stars Hollow is mentioned as being right near New London, and about half an hour from New Haven. New London is almost an hour away from New Haven. Woodbridge is also frequently mentioned as a town near Stars Hollow. In real life, Woodbridge is a neighboring town to New Haven, making it probably much closer to Rory's school than Rory's home.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: During the party after Lane's wedding, Jackson keeps worrying that their babysitter is secretly a drug addict or worse. He makes Lorelai call her and asks if it sounded like there was a pimp in the background. Lorelai sarcastically replies that it did, but he sounded like he had a heart of gold.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Marty for Rory, who didn't have any romantic feelings for him.
  • Horrible Honeymoon: Lane and Zach honeymoon in Mexico at a place called "Pedro's Paradise", which turns out to be anything but. As told by Zach and Lane after the fact in "That's What You Get, Folks, For Makin' Whoopee", the place turned out to be a scam in some dude's apartment, far from the "ocean views" that were promised, Zach became paranoid about Pedro and his friends speaking Spanish around them, and the couple comes back feeling nauseous though, it turns out, for different reasons. Even worse, in a subversion of the usual Their First Time trope, their attempt to replicate the beach scene in From Here to Eternity ends with them dirty and cold with crabs crawling all over them, causing Lane to believe that good sex is a myth. The honeymoon has long-term ramifications, as Lane, after only a brief brush with freedom from her Beloved Smother and a terrible first sexual experience, ends up pregnant with twins due to a poor-quality Mexican condom.
  • Hot for Student: Asher Fleming. He has quite a reputation for this, having a new love interest every semester, but genuinely loves Paris.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Lorelai begins giving the speech to Dean, but he interrupts to tell her he knows what she's going to say. She then tells him that Rory is beloved by the whole town, and there would be nowhere to run if he broke her heart. Sure enough, when he breaks up with Rory, everyone in town hates him and Luke refuses to let him in the diner.
    • When Kirk complains to Luke that he's feeling smothered by Lulu and plans to break up with her, Luke invokes this trope almost literally.
  • I Got You a Drawer: Luke did this for Rachel once he decided to give her another chance.
  • In-Joke: Lane's band, not named onscreen until "Tippecanoe And Taylor Too," is called Hep Alien - an anagram of Helen Pai, one of the show's producers and pal of creator Amy Sherman-Palladino (and the woman on whom Lane is based).
  • I Need a Freaking Drink:
    • Emily when she's distressed.
      Emily: Richard! I need a gimlet!
    • Frequently Lorelai in order to get through the weekly Friday Night Dinners.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Rory. Averted with Tristan.
  • Instant Expert: In season five, Lorelai can't sleep so she reads an oven manual and later instructs Luke on how to connect a thermostat to his without looking.
  • Ironic Fear: Paris is second-year pre-med before she reveals that she is uncomfortable around blood and is afraid of germs.
  • Irony: In season five, Rory tried to break up with Logan because she can't handle being in an open relationship.
  • It Tastes Like Feet:
    • Sookie and Lorelai just had a rather useless class about opening an inn and they reach a refreshment table, hoping to make up the admission fee in cookies. Sadly, they taste like feet.
    • Sookie's cooking while in first months of pregnancy tends to suffer from said taste.
  • Ivy League for Everyone: A rare justified example as the writers emphasize exactly how hard it is to get accepted into Harvard and Yale, with Paris participating in numerous extra-curriculars and charities to add to her application and Rory actually moving schools to improve her grades. Those who just don't work as hard don't go there—like Madeline and Louise. It's also acknowledged that kids at state schools like Stars Hollow High (Lane, Dean, Jess) don't have a fraction of the chance as students at schools like the wealthy, prestigious Chilton; in fact, the edge that Chilton would give Rory in applying to Harvard was Lorelai's entire reason for sending her there.
    • Adjacent to this trope is the show's avoidance of Elite School Means Elite Brain. Paris and Rory are intelligent, but not prodigies; their time at Chilton and Yale are marked more by their struggles with their work than their successes—particularly Rory, who has a difficult time when confronted with the higher expectations of both institutions. Paris goes on to have a successful career, but in the revival, Rory is unemployed and unable to establish herself in her career. Jess is intellectually on-par with Rory and Paris, but dropped out of high school and becomes a Self-Made Man working in publishing. In contrast, Logan attends Yale only because of his father's name and money.
  • I Warned You: Lorelai warns Rory whenever she can see that Richard and/or Emily are trying to manipulate her. Rory always says she knows and that she can handle it, but it always turns out worse than they expect it to be.
  • Jerkass:
    • Mitchum Huntzberger.
    • Floyd Stiles (Jason's father).
    • Francie, who outshines Paris as Chilton's primary Alpha Bitch.
    • Christopher's parents. They appeared in one early episode and were abysmal not only to Chris and Lorelai, but also to Rory. Richard almost got into a fight with Christopher's father for insulting Lorelai. When they appeared in the flashback to Lorelai's pregnancy, they also insulted her and blamed everything on her.
    • Paris's mother, who also appeared on one episode.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Mitchum Huntzberger sends Rory into an existential crisis in Season 5 by telling her bluntly that he does not think she has got what it takes to succeed as a reporter. This enrages Lorelai and Richard, however in the Distant Finale we find out that Rory's career as a reporter indeed has never really taken off and she ends up deciding to change course and become an author instead.
    • At the Bracebridge dinner, Jess grumbles to Luke that they should have eaten before they came. Luke shushes him, a second before quietly agreeing with him.
  • Karaoke Bonding Scene: "Lorelai? Lorelai?": Lorelai does karaoke at Rory's sendoff with Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You". What begins as a cute, awkward farewell to her daughter turns into a Torch Song for Luke in the middle, making this an example that emphasizes two relationships.
  • Karma Houdini: Francie manipulates Paris and Rory into renewing their hostile attitude towards each other and is never seen again afterwards. Paris and Rory do eventually make up however.
    • Liz neglected Jess growing up, filling his childhood with various horrible boyfriends, had vaguely-alluded to drug issues and eventually shipped him off to Luke's - including refusing to take him home for the holidays. While Jess is left with a ton of self-esteem issues and hated by everyone, Liz happily moves into Stars Hollow, Luke continually bails her and TJ out of their mistakes and even Lorelai - who loathed Jess - bonds with her like they're best friends and no one ever seriously calls her out on the damage she did.
    • Rory sleeps with Dean for the first (and second) time when he's married to Lindsay and living in Stars Hollow with her. She shows very little, if any, remorse for this act. Lindsay's discovery of this infidelity devastates her and leads to her divorce from Dean. Rory dates Dean in the immediate aftermath of his divorce; including going with him to a movie in town. In one episode, Dean tells Rory that he doesn't want to go out in public with her because it's insensitive to Lindsay- a consideration that appears to have never crossed Rory's mind. Despite the fact that Lindsay's mother verbally attacked Rory in the town square and called out her affair with Dean, and despite the fact that Dean divorced Lindsay and immediately started dating Rory, Rory's reputation in Stars Hollow remained pristine- right up until the last episode, in which the entire town held a good-bye party for her in the town square. No one, other than Lindsay's mother, ever suggested that Rory was anything less than a saint.
  • Keep It Foreign: Michel is Italian in the French dub.
  • Kissing Cousins: The original Lorelai ("Trix") — our main character's grandmother and Rory's great-grandmother — had the maiden name of "Gilmore." She married her cousin. This squicks out the youngest two Lorelais to no end.
  • Last-Name Basis: Mrs. Kim is the only Stars Hollow resident who isn't addressed by her given name.
  • Late for School: Rory, on several occasions, more so at Chilton than at Yale. One notable episode had her running late because a deer hit her car. No, you didn't read that wrong.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Lorelai often treats the drama in her life like it's a tv show.
    Lorelai: (relatively often) ...End scene.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Lane calls Rory and Jess "a sweet old agoraphobic couple" after she witnesses them snark at their movie night choices. Jess takes it as a compliment.
    • Hilariously enough, Luke and Lorelai have the same dynamic, which amuses everyone else in town who witnesses it.
  • Like Mother, Like Daughter:
    • A central conceit of the series is continuously reconstructing this over several generations of Gilmore Girls in how they relate to one another and the men in their lives. Lampshaded in the pilot episode when Lorelai learns that Rory met a cute boy shortly before having second thoughts about going to Chilton.
      Lorelai: God, I'm so dense. That should have been my first thought. After all, you're me.
    • On the day that Lane gets married, she learns that her mother has been hiding her Seventh Day Adventist faith from her Buddhist mother in much the same way that Lane had been hiding her pop music collection from Mrs. Kim.
      Lane: I just discovered today that I'm simply the latest link in a chain of Kim women who hide their real lives under floorboards, away from their mothers.
  • Little "No": Lorelai when Luke breaks up with her in season 5.
  • Loose Floorboard Hiding Spot: Lane hides her concert tees, her makeup, and more individual, less conservative clothing under the floorboards of her bedroom from her strict mother. By the 2016 revival, she hides food from her sons in the same place.
  • Love at First Sight: Dean and Rory. She is very smitten when she first sees him in the pilot. So much that she balks at transferring to Chilton. And he didn't even have a motorcycle.
  • Love Redeems:
    • Deconstructed and then reconstructed with Rory and Jess. Their relationship initially fails because he has too many issues that get in the way and she is not equipped to handle that; a Surprisingly Realistic Outcome. Jess gets his life together over the next few years, including writing a novel, and credits Rory with some of that success, since she was the first to express unwavering confidence in him. However, his Character Development not only happens independently of her, it's also Luke's love and support that's shown to be a big part of Jess's transformation.
    • Played straighter with Logan and Rory, though he does not retain his Character Development in the revival, so one could argue it's also a deconstruction, as it's realistic he would go back to his old ways after they break up at the end of season 7.
  • Love Triangle:
    • While still with Dean, Rory develops feelings for Jess, who is also interested in her. She and Dean break up, and she hooks up with Jess.
    • Later on in the series, with Jess out of the picture, Rory gets back together with the married Dean. That created another triangle, somewhere between a 4 and a 7 - Rory and Dean hooking up with Lindsay, the forgotten wife, as the "spare".
    • Lorelai, Luke and Christopher. Type 4. Lorelai is very happy with Luke, until Emily pushes Christopher, who just can't get over Lorelai, to Lorelai's direction. It ends badly.
    • Luke had to deal with another one of those with Digger Stiles, who also made a point out trying to win Lorelai back when she and Luke were just getting started. Luckily, Digger struck out, and we got one of the best Relationship Upgrade moments ever.
    • Another type 4 triangle was with Rory, Dean and Tristan, though it's hard to say if Tristan had actual feelings for Rory or if he just enjoyed the challenge. (Pre-series, there was a type 5 triangle revolving Tristan, when he was with the indifferent Summer, while Paris was pining for him).
    • Paris was on the less dramatic end of a type 5 triangle when she started an affair with professor Fleming while still with Jamie.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: April finds out that Luke is her father through a DNA test she did for a school science fair.
  • Mama Bear: Do not get between Lorelai and Rory.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl:
    • Appears to be part of what attracts guys to Lorelai besides her looks. Discussed in the early episode, Cinnamon's Wake.
    • Certain boys seem to think of Rory this way, too, despite her being pretty level-headed. Marty falls for her because of this.
    • Liz Danes is a straight example.
    • Jess's pseudostepmom, Sasha, collects stray dogs and names them for characters from Fantasy novels.
    • Lucy and Olivia may be this or are trying to be this. Marty dates Lucy, too.
    • Subverted with Lulu, Kirk's girlfriend. She is just a bit weird, such as how possessive she felt about her pink ribbon. Kirk doesn't really need one, though.
  • Manipulative Bastard:
    • Mitchum Huntzberger
    • Floyd Stiles.
    • Emily can be a manipulative bitch at times.
    • Richard manipulated things so Jason would lose his job, which led to Jason and Lorelai breaking up. (That was the result of Jason's father putting Richard in jeopardy of losing a lot of money. Richard then manipulated things and backstabbed Jason, who had been loyal to him, so Jason got screwed rather than himself.)
    • A "minor league" example: Francie. Jerk Ass With A Heart Of Gold also has her moments.
  • May–December Romance: Paris and professor Asher Fleming. While Paris did not make a secret of their relationship, when Asher died she was at pains to stress he did not go Out with a Bang:
    Paris: No, this great man was not brought down by my vagina!
  • Metaphorgotten: In an early episode, Rory tells Lane she wants to give Dean a copy of Kafka's Metamorphosis as a present, but Lane says she should reconsider since he might take the gift the wrong way, comparing it to Dean giving Rory a football. She concludes by calling the present a "Czechoslovakian football".
  • Military School: Where Tristan was exiled to. In North Carolina. Har har.
    • Although, One Tree Hill didn't start filming for over a year after Tristan left. The actor was, however, leaving for Wilmington to guest star on Dawson's Creek.
  • Mirror Character:
    • Lorelai and Emily. This, of course, upsets Lorelai on the occasions that she sees it. In a classic scene from season 2, Rory sees Emily and Lorelai in their nighttime beauty routine, which happens to be creepily identical. She then notes: "Ladies and gentlemen... my future". Lorelai is mildly horrified and stops immediately. A few episodes later, it's shown that Emily drinks a lot of coffee as Lorelai and Rory do.
    • Luke and Jess, for all their clashes, are actually quite similar. The titular Gilmore girls are their love interests, share similarly blunt personalities and communication problems, and had quiet ways of pulling off romantic gestures. And "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" paralleled both Gilmores' lunch dates.
    • Rory and Jess. Both the product of teen pregnancies and raised by single mothers with absent fathers, they share a Commonality Connection of literature, music, and pop culture. They're both highly intelligent and skilled writers; by the end of the series, they are both novelists. They even go through similar character arcs, as illustrated by this video.
  • Mood Dissonance: When Babette talked about finding her cat Cinnamon's dead body: They poked her to check if she was alive, and she fell off the couch, slid across the room on the freshly waxed floor, and crashed into a table, causing the vase on it to fall and break. When Lane hears about it from Rory, she asks "Did you laugh?" (Rory shakes her head) and "Did you want to?" (Rory nods).
  • Mood Whiplash: Notably, the season 4 finale, which combines Luke and Lorelai finally getting together while also having Rory sleep with a married Dean.
  • Mondegreen Gag: One of Lorelai's favorite jokes is to misunderstand sentences as something that sounds similar but is nonsense. Rory has learned from this, as shown when she tries to rationalize Mrs. Kim's (non)reaction to Lane's drunken phone call.
  • Motor Mouth: The scripts for each episode were usually twice the length of a standard script.
    • Despite this, in "It Should've Been Lorelai", Paris is preparing for a school debate and thinks Rory doesn't talk fast enough.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Both Madeline and Louise seemed to fit the role, especially during college when they discovered that they can get boys to do what they want by kissing each other.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Lorelai and Rory live off of it. So much that Alexis Bledel, who played Rory, became sick of coffee. When Rory is drinking coffee onscreen, she is actually drinking cola or tea. When Richard retires, he notices that Emily drinks a lot of coffee as well, noting that she drank at least 3 cups of coffee every morning that week. When he visited Lorelai, he observed that she also had 3 cups of coffee that morning.

     N through R 
  • Named After Someone Famous: Invoked by Lorelai, who on separate occasions claims she almost named Rory Susanna and Quincy.
  • Never Grew Up: Lorelai is a sixteen-year-old teen mother in an adult body.
  • Never My Fault:
    • Emily Gilmore, to the point that in season five, after she instigates Luke and Lorelai's breakup, she thinks it's acceptable to show up at Luke's place of business and verbally berate him with no evidence whatsoever, simply because the idea that Lorelai is justifiably pissed with her and refuses to forgive her for what she did is beyond her comprehension.
    • Rory has a tendency to do this too; whenever she gets caught doing something that someone else doesn't approve of, she insists that it 'just happened' and that she had no agency whatsoever to stop it, even when she did.
  • New Transfer Student:
    • Rory transfer mid-year to Chilton. Predictably, it takes a lot of time and work for her to catch up on her assignments and start getting good grades.
    • Dean moves to Stars Hollow in the first episode.
    • Brad goes back and forth between Chilton, another school, and portraying Jack in the then revival of Into the Woods. This was a reference to the actor, Adam Wylie, who actually was playing Jack onstage in real life.
  • Nephewism: The reason Jess was created was to give Luke some backstory and family. So when he shows up in Stars Hollow, it's because his mother gave up on parenting him and decides to ship him over to her brother Luke's care, except that she never bothered to tell Luke until the day Jess arrived. Naturally, both uncle and nephew clash.
  • New Old Flame. Though it rarely holds:
    • Christopher and Lorelai.
    • Rory and Dean.
  • No Party Given: Averted when Lorelai refers to Republicans as "the other side" ("One's Got Class and the Other One Dyes") and says in a flashback that she'll register as a Democrat with the implication that her mother would disapprove of this ("Dear Emily and Richard"). Even setting this aside, the stands the characters take on various political and culture-war issues make it rather obvious that Lorelai, Rory, Luke, Lane, and Paris lean to the left while Richard, Emily, Taylor, and Mrs. Kim lean to the right.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: When Rory complains about Lorelai being too stubbornnote , Dean starts to say something, but stops himself. She realizes he meant to say that she is just as stubborn as her mother and agrees.
  • No Social Skills:
    • Rory in the early seasons is very awkward around other people. So much so that the school decides she needs to socialize more, or they won't recommend her for Harvard. She takes it very literally and once again...
    • Paris's first relationship was also pretty awkward and seemed to be based on her boyfriend finding it cute that she rarely had a clue what to do in social situations.
  • Obsessed Are the Listmakers: Rory and Paris are able to write up quite elaborate lists.
    • Rory's love for pro/con lists is actually a running gag in the series. It's how she decides to go to Yale.
      • Logan encourages her to make a pro/con list about whether to get back together with him, feeling that it will come out in his favor.
        Rory: [miffed] Do not mock the pro/con lists!
    • Paris is prepared enough to make her own whiteboard charts over potential career paths when she graduates from college. It's an important enough decision that she lists every option.
  • Old Money:
    • The Gilmores, or rather usually Emily, would like to let you know that their family is considered Connecticut old money, dating back to coming over on the Mayflower. One of Lorelai's main contentions with her parents is that she would rather make her own money in life rather than relying on the Gilmore money. Rory appears to waver between the two perspectives, especially her Yale years.
    • The Haydens, Christopher's family come from the same background which is a major reason Emily wants Lorelai and Christopher to make it work.
    • The Huntzbergers are even more old money than the Gilmores and are portrayed as above the Gilmores' station, despite sharing social circles. (Not that it stopped Richard and Emily from ripping Mitchum and Shira a new one when it came to defending Rory.)
  • Once a Season:
    • Every season has Rory's first day of school.
    • Founders' Day and the Civil War Reenactment.
  • Once per Episode: Lorelai or Rory will sit down with a plate full of food, take one bite, get distracted, and abandon the food. Lorelai usually gets coffee and/or a burger each time she goes to Luke's.
  • One Head Taller:
    • Rory and Dean. Rory is rather tall, but her boyfriend Dean is very tall.
    • Emily and Richard. Emily is a petite woman and Richard is impressively tall. (Kelly Bishop is 5'6", while Edward Herrmann is 6'5").
    • Babette and Maury. They also fit Chubby Mama, Skinny Papa, even though they are not parents, but they have pets. And gnomes.
  • One-Hour Work Week: Despite being the manager and the chef of the Independence Inn (and later co-owners of the Dragonfly Inn), Lorelai and Sookie spend an awful lot of time out and about. Lampshaded by Luke when they have lunch in his diner in an early season one episode.
    Luke: How do you guys get any work done?
  • The Oner: almost Once an Episode there's a long shot of at least a minute as characters spout off their Motor Mouth dialogue. This isn't super-impressive compared to some of the other long shots on the page, but the fact that it happens so frequently speaks volumes about the cast and crew.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted. The series has three characters named Lorelai Gilmore. Lorelai Leigh "Rory" Gilmore is named for her mother, Lorelai Victoria Gilmore, who is in turn named for her paternal grandmother Lorelai "Trix" Gilmore, aka Lorelai I.
    • While part of the main cast have fairly unique names which would have justified this trope — Lorelai, Lane, Paris, Kirk — there are several aversions of the trope in the rest of the cast. For instance, "Francine" is the name of both the rich bitch bully at Chilton and Christopher's mother.
    • Played almost straight with Emily's countless maids, who all seem to have entirely unique names, the only maybe-exception being the two named Sarah, who may have been the same Sarah, seeing as they're played by the same actress.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • When Rory was running late to school and couldn't take her English exam, The Headmaster told Lorelai that Rory threw a fit very similar to Lorelai's, and Lorelai was shocked and said it was unusual for her.
    • When Lorelai and Rory argued in the first episode (she wanted to stay at her high school to be with Dean), Lorelai said it was the first time they had a big argument. They have arguments later on, but they're not that common. Whenever they got into very big arguments, Rory would be uncharacteristically mean and say hurtful things to Lorelai.
    • Sookie and Lorelai had an argument in season 2, with Lorelai being reluctant to start their new inn and calling Sookie unreliable. Lorelai was afraid of leaving the Independence Inn, which she considered her home, and said that she and Sookie never fought. They also got into an argument in season 1, when Sookie told Lorelai that she only wanted to break up with Max because she was afraid of getting too close to him. Lorelai got really defensive and snapped at her, saying she didn't want relationship advice from someone who hadn't dated in a very long time.
    • When Richard is under a lot of stress at work and close to being "phased out", he and Emily argue a lot, even in front of Lorelai and Rory. Lorelai says they never argue in front of other people.
    • In season 2, Rory skipped school and accidentally missed Lorelai's graduation because she went to visit Jess in New York. When she apologizes about it profusely and wonders why she did something that was so unlike her, Lorelai told her she must have fallen in love with Jess.
    • Discussed, when Rory got arrested for stealing the yacht with Logan and decided to drop out of school. Lorelai couldn't believe that someone who once grounded herself for returning a library book late, could have committed a felony, and someone who loved school and worked hard could just quit, so she knew she must have been really distressed.
  • Open Secret: The Puffs are supposed to be a secret society/sorority, but all the students know about them. The Life and Death Brigade at Yale is also a secret society, and Rory writes a story about them for the school paper.
    • Trix is aware that Emily keeps their gifts from her in the basement and only takes them out when she comes to visit.
  • Opposites Attract:
    • Played with, in terms of Town Princess Rory and Bad Boy Jess. The town is initially horrified they'd even talk to each other. However they are ultimately revealed to be Birds of a Feather with their shared passion for reading and alternative music.
    • Luke and Lorelai, the couple that redefined Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl.
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: The series uses this colour scheme a lot, especially in its first season.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: Rory meets Francine in a Parking Garage in a scene that parodies several Film Noir tropes.
  • Out with a Bang: Conversed when Paris mentions that her paramour, aged professor Asher Fleming, has died between seasons.
    "No, Rory. This great man was not brought down by my vagina!"
  • Over-the-Top Christmas Decorations: In season 7, Lorelai and Rory celebrate Christmas in January because Rory spent the actual Christmas in London with her boyfriend Logan. They insist on a Christmas tree in every room and they decorate all their downstairs rooms with garlands. Christopher gets enormous stockings for the whole family, too.
  • Pair the Smart Ones: Rory and Jess's mutual interests in literature and music drew them together. But Jess's personal issues drove them apart.
  • Parents Walk In at the Worst Time: Lorelai walks in on Rory and Jess making out on the couch in Jess and Luke's apartment. It's uncomfortable for all three of them, and Luke admitted that he set up a deliberate Moment Killer system of walking in every 10 minutes or so to make sure nothing gets past the kissing stage. In hindsight, that was fairly harmless. Lorelai and Christopher would end up walking in on Rory and Logan half-undressed. It sends Christopher into a rage at Logan.
  • Parental Hypocrisy: Lane's mom eventually found out that she was hiding her life away from her. How she found out was a mystery to us for a long while (how did she know to look under the floorboards?). Then, on Lane's wedding day, we find out that Mrs. Kim hid her life away from her mother under the floorboards, and still does to this day! And she needs to hide her lifestyle fast before her mother arrives for the wedding!
  • Pass the Popcorn: Lorelai and Rory show up to their weekly dinner with Lorelai's parents and walk into the middle of an argument.
    Rory: Wow, this is bad.
    Lorelai: I know. I wish we had popcorn.
    Rory: Mom!
  • Paying in Coins: At one point, Rory is short on cash and has to pay for a coffee in coins. She winds up spilling them, and Logan stops to help her gather them up.
  • Photographic Memory: Rory claims to have this when arguing why everyone in America would remember Mitchum's remark about in an interview to the Wall Street Journal.
    Rory: I remember everything I read. Front page, op-ed, concert reviews, it never leaves. My eyes accidentally flit over an obituary as I'm hunting for the metro section and I can remember the deceased's first wife's name a full month afterward. And that's just a flit. Not even a perusal. If I perused it I could give you his grandkids in alphabetical order five years later.
  • Poorly-Disguised Pilot: For an aborted spin-off about Rory's ex-boyfriend Jess moving to California and meeting his new family
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: In the school production of Romeo and Juliet, the last act ends after Romeo kills himself, leaving out Juliet waking up, realizing he's dead, committing suicide, and the driving home of the Aesop.
  • Pregnancy Makes You Crazy: Changes is behavior often replace an actual pregnancy test. Sookie's first pregnancy had her unable to taste how bad her food was, whereas Lorelai's first pregnancy made perfectly fine food taste like bleach.
  • Pregnancy Scare: Lorelai has a sudden craving for fresh fruit, which hadn't happened since she was pregnant with Rory. She starts to think she might be pregnant by Luke but later finds out she is not. He never finds out about the scare.
  • Product Placement:
    • The season 4 episode "The Hobbit, the Sofa, and Digger Stiles features Lorelai and Sookie catering a child's Lord of the Rings style birthday party. A significant amount of the episode is set during the party, which has over-the-top themed decorations, notable nylon table cloths with the face of Orlando Bloom as Legolas printed on them. There is also a small clip from the movie shown in a scene where the kids attending the party are watching the movie together on the television.
    • The sixth season episode I Get a Sidekick Out Of You which... well, as you can imagine, really concentrates on the Sidekick, a T-Mobile phone.
    • April praises the wonders of Target when she convinces Luke to decorate his apartment. Cut to several scenes later, decorating with said Target merchandise and Luke (yes, the very same grumpy, corporate-hating, doesn't-give-a-damn Luke) marveling at their purchases with almost child-like wonder. Pick wall and proceed accordingly.
    • The Aerie Girls as part of the CW's incredibly awful "content wrap" strategy which meant viewers had to peek in on these girls for three minutes instead of a non-offensive commercial break. These "real girls" were torn apart by the most vocal parts of the fandom for having about the most inane responses to the show, mostly involving the subject of their wish that Matt Czury was shirtless and Rory would be stupid to dump him. And all this? To sell underwear.
  • Properly Paranoid: After overhearing her husband's ex-girlfriend verbally trashing her in the town market, Lindsay tells Dean she doesn't want him talking to Rory anymore. Four episodes later, their affair starts.
  • Pun: Several episodes are titled this way, such as "Pulp Friction".
  • Punny Name: Kirk's entire personality is made up of quirks.
  • Pursue the Dream Job:
    • Lorelai and her best friend Sookie share a dream of opening their own hotel one day, and they are slowly working on it. At the beginning of the series, Lorelai is a hotel manager, while Sookie works at the same hotel as a very talented chef. Later they buy a historical inn called Dragonfly, they renovate it and start running it to a great success.
    • Rory Gilmore has longed to study at Ivy League and become a journalist since the beginning of the series. She works diligently on her dream. She wrote articles for Franklin, a Chilton Academy newspaper, and also worked as an editor for students' newspaper at Yale. The series ended with her landing a job as a journalist for an online magazine covering Barack Obama's campaign. In revival miniseries, her journalism career did not look so bright — she wrote a stellar article for New Yorker, but otherwise she was struggling to find new topics for herself.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Jess, literally, but is Commuting on a Bus, appearing for two to three episodes in season 4 and 6 and briefly in the revival.
    • Tristan left for military school. The actor did a recurring role on Dawson's Creek and starred in "One Tree Hill", both were filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina.
    • Dave (played by Adam Brody) left to go to college in California. Adam Brody began starring in "The O.C.", set in Orange County, California.
    • Marty was set up as a very possible love interest for Rory and even given quite a bit of attention, but then got completely dropped in favour of Dean and Rory having an affair, and then for Logan. He did tell Rory that he didn't really want to be friends with her anymore because he had an unrequited crush on her, and became increasingly more uncomfortable around her once she started hanging out with Logan and his friends.
    • Dean, and a somewhat infamous case at that. While it's great that in mid-2005 he went on to kick demon ass, the writers never gave Jared Padalecki's character a proper send-off as already mentioned above. In fact, Dean is never heard from again after his final appearance in "To Let Live and Diorama"; so viewers are left to wonder if he left town, or if he stayed but decided to keep a very, very low profile.
  • Purely Aesthetic Era: Hoo boy, the Bracebridge Dinner. Characters keep insisting that it's an "authentic 19th-century" event, but then then make repeated references to "Old English" (which is more like 5th-12th century — think Beowulf) and then just sort of speak in generic Shakespearean-type language, with lots of "methinks" and "verily." Even more baffling because resident pedant Paris points out inaccuracies like the use of cubed ice and a server's modern wristwatch, but fails to notice the other stuff.
  • Quirky Household: Lorelai and Rory, while being an only child with a single mother: they have a water cooler in the kitchen, are capable of having conversations made up entirely of movie quotes, and talk to their clothes. Non Sequiturs are par for the course.
  • Quirky Town: Pretty much everyone in Stars Hollow seem to have some kind of ambiguous disorder, and the ones that don't will just have to be okay with it.
  • "Reading Is Cool" Aesop
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: A Discussed Trope throughout "That Damn Donna Reed".
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech: In season 3, episode 2, Jess gives Rory one when she's put out that Jess started dating Shane over the summer. Jess points out that Rory kissed him and then told him not to tell anyone, disappeared for the entire summer, never contacted him, and is still dating her boyfriend.
  • Rebel Prince: Logan.
    • Also Lorelai.
    • Colin is also implied to be one.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Paris Gellar and Rory Gilmore: Paris is very intense and a bit abrasive, whereas Rory generally comes across as much calmer and comparatively more laid-back.
  • Reference Overdosed: Lorelai, Rory, Paris, Lane, and Rory and Lorelai's boyfriends all frequently use singers and other celebrities as metaphors for their current situations.
  • Relationship Upgrade:
    • Luke and Lorelai are friends for many years and eventually begin a relationship after much Unresolved Sexual Tension in the first few seasons.
    • Rory and Jess are friends for a little while before they begin dating.
    • Lane and Zach are in the band for quite a while before they get together.
    • Paris and Doyle work on the paper together for a while and then meet at a speed-dating event.
    • Sookie and Jackson. Jackson is originally the Independence Inn's vegetable supplier and starts dating Sookie after that.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Jason "Digger" Styles is introduced in the fourth season, but it turns out he has known the Gilmores his whole life and works at the company his father owns, where Richard worked until halfway through season two.
  • Replacement Goldfish:
    • Emily sees Rory as a new and improved Lorelai, and Lorelai repeatedly calls Emily on it, as early as the second episode. It's most obvious when Rory moves in with her grandparents. When Rory starts "rebelling" by getting her life back on track, Emily throws a verbatim "Wait Till Your Father Gets Home" her way, and Rory snaps back that she must mean her grandfather.
    • Mrs. Kim gets one in the form of a Korean exchange student after Lane moves out to live with her band. Lane is jealous at first, but starts bonding with her and introducing her to junk food and television, things her mother forbids, and teaches her how to hide things from her.
    • Paul Anka the dog was adopted by Lorelai during her estrangement from Rory. She treats him as if he's her second child and when he gets sick, she cries to Luke about being a poor mother, clearly referencing the strain in her and Rory's relationship.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder:
    • Emily and Richard are having a fight while they, and Rory and Lorelai, are staying at the Independence Inn. Emily asks to spend the night in Lorelai and Rory's room, but then goes to the lobby and meets Richard, and they make up. The next morning:
      Lorelai: Hey, Mom. You didn't make it back to the room last night. Did you get lucky?
      Emily: Could you be any cruder?
      Lorelai: Yeah, I could be cruder. Hey, Mom. Did you get lai-
      Rory: Thanks for coming!
    • In "Tippecanoe and Taylor Too":
      Lorelai: How many other Lorelai Gilmores do you know?
      Taylor: Your daughter?
      Lorelai: Yeah... bet ya don't know two, unless you knew my grandma!
  • The Rival: Paris is this to Rory, though they eventually become close friends. Paris said that she needed Rory because, in addition to being her best friend, she challenged her to do better (as the only real competition she had) and without her she would have gotten lazy.
  • Romantic False Lead:
    • Any of Luke's romantic interests.
    • Christopher. He went on about he and Lorelai "belong together and everyone knows it".
    • Jason Stiles, though his storyline was very much built into the elder Gilmores' before he was unceremoniously Put on a Bus to make way for the Luke/Lorelai relationship.
  • Rom Com Job: Lorelai runs a historical inn, Luke owns a bistro, Rory is a journalist, Jess joins a small publishing house and writes, Sookie is a chef, Jackson grows fruit and vegetables; Logan probably ends up working for his family business, which involves newspaper and media. Lorelai also dated Max Medina, a teacher. Paris owns a fertility clinic (she's a doctor and a lawyer), Doyle is a screenwriter (they met when working for Daily Yale News; despite their glorious Rom Com jobs, they are getting divorced in the revival miniseries.)
  • Roofless Renovation: In season 7, Kirk drives a car through Luke's diner wall.
  • Rule of Three: Dean and Rory break up three times before it sticks.
  • Running Gag:
    • Season one has one about how Emily reads the Chilton newsletter, but Lorelai doesn't know what's going on at Chilton because she neglects to read it.
    • Every time Rory's hometown comes up, Paris makes some sort of comment that makes it sound like she thinks it's way more rural than it is.
    • "Dirty!" which is essentially a classier version of "That's what she said." It is most often uttered by Lorelai, but Luke and Rory get their own moments, as well.
    • Lorelai telling jokes that completely pass over the heads of people or leads to people taking her literally.
    • Al's Pancake World, which was the never-seen competitor to Luke's served all kinds of cuisine from across the world, but never pancakes, a point made often by the Gilmores and the townspeople.
    • Emily Gilmore's inability to keep a maid. It's pointed out to her at one point (and revealed that other people sometimes snicker about it behind her back) so she tries to not fire her current maid (whose blundering and poor performance become a running gag for the episode until Emily gives up and just fires her anyway). Averted in the revival. Emily not only keeps the same maid for at least a year, but lets her entire family move in and brings them with her when she moves to Nantucket.
    • People telling Lorelai she has to be at a place several hours before she actually has to be there to account for her tendency to be late.
    • Paris keeps forgetting who Luke is between every time she sees him.
    • Emily keeps forgetting who or what Gigi is (Christopher's second daughter).
    • Emily's ever-changing opinion of paella.
    • Richard reading the newspaper everywhere, like at the dinner table, and in the sauna, especially early on.
    • Michel working in hotel service and being considered great at his job despite always being rude to people.
    • Both Lorelais have a habit of flirting with service people on the phone to get what they want. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.
    • People addressing Reverend Skinner as "Father" and him correcting them. "Father" is how you address a Catholic priest, "Reverend" is for Protestant pastors. There seems to be no Catholic priest in Stars Hollow.

     S through Z 
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl:
    • Luke and Lorelai, who pretty much own the trope. She's a Chatterbox, while Luke is a laconic Deadpan Snarker with a rather pessimistic approach to life.
    • CloudCuckoolander Babette and Murray, her very cool husband.
    • Jackson and Sookie.
    • Paris' first two relationships on the show were failed attempts at this. Jamie couldn't keep up, and was dumped for Asher Fleming. Asher has such a hard time keeping up it literally killed him.
  • Saying Too Much: At Emily and Richard's vow renewal ceremony, Christopher, who by that time was drunk and angry, let it slip that Emily is the reason why he came to try and get back together with Lorelai.
  • Sexy Shirt Switch: Lorelai wore Luke's plaid shirts when she stayed the night at his place.
  • School Newspaper News Hound: Rory herself, working for both the Chilton's paper and the Yale Daily News. But much more so are Paris and Doyle. To a lesser extent, Logan.
  • School Play: A memorable episode shows an elementary school production of Fiddler on the Roof… with Kirk as the lead because none of the children could pull off Tevje.
    • An early episode had Rory and Paris perform Act Five from Romeo and Juliet at Chilton. Rory was Juliet and Paris had to play Romeo herself, much to her chagrin. Brad was supposed to be Romeo, but he got such stage fright Paris had to take over. And that's only after Tristan backed out of the role due to being sent to military school.
  • School Uniforms are the New Black:
    • Rory is seen very often in her Chilton outfit, even when she's lounging around Stars Hollow and presumably has had time to change.
    • Rory agreed to let her roommate Tana borrow something to wear for the first party of the year at Yale. Tana winds up wearing Rory's Chilton uniform, which Lorelai had packed as a joke.
    • Rory even uses her Chilton skirt for a Tarantino-themed costume party while in college (she goes as Gogo from Kill Bill).
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!:
    • Logan repeatedly. When he and Rory get into trouble with the law, he suggested to Lorelai to get help from his father's lawyers since they have practice.
    • Defied by the judge who sentenced Rory when she agreed to a plea bargain. She said she was sick of spoiled rich kids getting off easy because of their parents, so she gave her 300 hours of community service to complete within six months and 1 year of probation with the option of having her record expunged after 5 years.
  • Science Fair: April discovers Luke is her dad while doing an elaborate project for the high school's science fair, testing the genetic material of three potential fathers.
  • Secret Relationship:
    • Luke and Lorelai try to keep their Relationship Upgrade (from close friends to boyfriend-girlfriend) when they had sex in Luke's apartment above his diner. They are found out immediately when Lorelai goes down to the diner for a cup of coffee early in the morning wearing one of Luke's shirts, forgetting the diner is open for breakfast and full of customers.
    • Lane Kim and Henry Cho keep their relationship secret, especially from Mrs. Kim. Ironically, Henry would probably be the perfect boyfriend for Lane in her mother's eyes, but Lane decides to hide the relationship since she thinks her parents would either never approve or approve of him so much that Lane wouldn't like him anymore. Eventually, Henry breaks up with her when he gets sick of all the effort and not being able to go out on a real date with her.
    • Lane and Dave, her bandmate. Dave really goes an extra mile on that one, and pretends to be really mean to her in front of their bandmates. In order to hide that specific relationship from her mother, she pretended to date Yung Chu (who uses Lane to hide his relationship with his secret Japanese girlfriend).
    • Lorelai Gilmore dates Max Medina and they keep it hidden because he's her daughter's (Rory's) teacher. They eventually date openly and get engaged. (Lorelai gets cold feet and calls off the wedding though.)
    • Lorelai and Jason "Digger" Stiles keep their relationship hidden from her parents because he works with her father, Richard, and her parents think they would not be suited to each other romantically. Digger strongly disapproves of Lorelai's decision and says he wants to be honest because these things always get revealed and it is only bound to be embarrassing.
    • Lorelai and her ex Christopher try to hide their return to each other because she thinks no one will approve.
    • Rory's roommate and friend Paris dates her much older professor Asher Fleming at Yale. Their relationship lasts quite long. He seems to have a reputation for dating young female students. Rory is very displeased that she has to be a Secret-Keeper, and Paris is annoyed when she finds out that Rory's friend Lane knows about them.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: This happens with delightful frequency.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • Richard and Emily for Christopher/Lorelai, even when it's clear the pair aren't going to work.
    • Richard and Emily remained strongly supportive of Rory/Logan, especially since the Huntzbergers were in a higher social tier than the Gilmores and could elevate them to a more desirable social status.
    • Lorelai pushed heavily for Rory to stay with Dean, long after it was obvious she had feelings for Jess.
    • Rory, Jess, Sookie, and seemingly the whole of Stars Hollow for Luke/Lorelai.
    • Jess also supported Luke and Nicole when he picked up on Luke's crush.
    • While most oppose Rory and Jess's relationship, a deleted scene reveals Paris was on board and Luke was supportive initially.
    • Amazingly, Emily, Richard, and Lorelai all like Rory/Marty.
  • Shipping Torpedo:
    • Lorelai is against some of Rory's boyfriends. Considering she's her mother, she has a right to worry and to her credit, she doesn't openly meddle in her relationships.
      • She is not fond of Rory/Jess and instead ships the rival pair Rory/Dean.
      • Later Lorelai opposes Rory/Dean since he cheats on his wife Lindsey with Rory.
      • Lorelai is not a fan of Rory/Logan because Logan brings Rory back to the rich life that Lorelai ran away from.
    • Richard and Emily are willing to undermine the girls' relationships if they happen to consider their boyfriends 'unsuitable', often to the point of Relationship Sabotage:
      • Everybody in Rory's life in Stars Hollow views Dean as a good boyfriend but Emily and Richard dislike his lower-class background and lack of interest in academic pursuit.
      • Emily is livid when she hears that Rory dates Jess and she's unable to see him as anything than a typical troubled bad boy.
      • Emily tries to break up Luke and Lorelai by bullying Luke and pushing Christopher back into the picture. They split up temporarily but get back together soon after.
      • Emily pulls a similar trick with Rory and Dean by introducing Rory to "better prospects" (including Logan). This time she succeeds. When Dean realized he couldn't fit into her world at Yale and her future career, he breaks up with her.
    • Rory quickly becomes anti-Christopher/Lorelai despite them being her parents. She soon realizes they're a poor match and ships the opposing Luke/Lorelai.
    • Marty is in love with Rory and thus not a fan of her and Logan.
    • In a humorous example, Taylor initially opposes Luke and Lorelai's relationship out of a fear of what the breakup would do to the town. He even draws up maps for a division in the event of a breakup.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Several in-universe examples.
    • Rory's boyfriends seem to be a free for everyone to chip in, with Lorelai shipping Rory/Dean while Luke likes Rory/Jess, and Emily and Richard oppose both and jump on the Rory/Logan ship (engineering Rory and Dean breaking up in the process).
    • Emily and Richard support Lorelai/Christopher, but Rory prefers Lorelai/Luke, and is furious when her grandmother breaks them up.
  • Shout-Out: The writers seem to love namedropping classic literature or film into their scripts. There is even a virtual Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge. Among the most frequent references are The Wizard of Oz, Sylvia Plath, and To Kill a Mockingbird. Various famous serial killers also get a few mentions. Rory basically speaks in literary references, and Lorelai in movie references, though they sometimes switch. Amy has said in an interview that these often come about because she likes to have the tv on in the background when she writes. Has its own page.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Rory and Jess's first kiss was a variation. Jess returns to Stars Hollow and finds Rory at a pond at the Independence Inn. In shock over seeing him back in town and after an awkward greeting, Rory pulls him into a kiss. Once they broke away, she realizes what she just did and runs away from him, leaving Jess looking a bit confused.
  • Significant Name Overlap:
    • The fact that Lorelai and Rory share the same name first and last name symbolizes how alike and attached at the hip they are, despite some key differences.
    • Having Emily's mother-in-law share the same name as her daughter highlights how Emily's negative treatment of her daughter Lorelai parallels that of the original Lorelai's to Emily. The irony is unfortunately lost on Emily.
  • Significant Reference Date: A lot of things get scheduled for June 3, including Lorelai's wedding dates and Rory's court hearing.
  • Silent Offer: Lorelai is receiving a loan from Luke and insists on writing numbers for a payment plan on a scrap of paper and passing it across the counter to Luke despite the fact that this seems to agitate him. When they finally come to an agreement, Lorelai writes one last thing which is apparently "Thank you," because Luke answers "You're welcome."
  • Small Reference Pools: Averted. Besides commonly seen Shout Outs, this show referenced obscure works and people as well. Some viewers might fail to understand references to Duck Soup or Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. And what other American TV show would have a character (Paris) admit to having had a crush on British politician Neil Kinnock?
  • Smug Snake: Logan and his mother Shira
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat/World of Snark: It's the Gilmore and Stars Hollow way of life.
  • Snow Means Love:
    • Lorelai loves snow and always thinks of it as a meaningful gift for her. In the first season, it snows heavily when her love interest Max Madina goes through Stars Hollow and is forced to stay there while his car is being repaired. Meanwhile, Max and Lorelai share romantic moments.
    • Emily knows about Lorelai's love of snow. Turns out she would love to throw a winter wonderland wedding for her daughter: A Russian royal winter theme, with snow-white roses, trees decorated with white lights and candles, with snow everywhere, and the bride arriving in a silver sleigh pulled by white horses.
  • Special Guest:
    • The late author Norman Mailer.
    • Christiane Amanpour.
  • Speech-Centric Work: The fast-paced, quirky Aaron Sorkin-esque dialogue which formed the backbone of every episode was the show's primary distinguishing characteristic.
  • Spy Speak: Parodied.
    Emily: I need a hat rack.
    Lorelai: The fish flies at night!
  • Stalker with a Crush: Marty borders on this with Rory, especially in season seven, and fully embraces it with Lucy, which (somehow) works, at least temporarily:
    Lucy (describing how they met): He stalked me.... I was playing Portia in 'The Merchant of Venice'' at the Rep, and every night, I see this guy in the front row — same seat, same intense gaze. And after the fifth show, I went up to him and I said, "next time I see you, you better bring flowers or have a knife and stab me." And...
    Marty: The next time I saw her, I had daisies and a butter knife.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Rory and Jess: Their initial attraction is clouded by the presence of Dean and even when they begin a relationship, it is plagued by the town's disapproval and Jess's own issues. He then runs away after failing school, leaving Rory heartbroken and relationship-less for almost a year. (A long time in Gilmore land). After several aborted declarations of love, Jess returns to find Rory back with Dean, leaving HIM heartbroken. He then remakes himself and returns again, as an accomplished author and publisher ready to redeem past mistakes, only by now RORY is a mess and with Logan. After he convinces her to 'fix' her life, they kiss for a final time only for her to decide to stay with Logan instead, causing Lit fans to lose all patience with the writers.
  • Stealing from the Hotel:
    • Lorelai mentions once they have "Holiday Inn" glasses at home.
      Lorelai: Mom, Dad, can I get you a drink?
      Emily: No, thank you.
      Lorelai: Oh, no, Mom, you're going to need one and I have wine glasses that say "Holiday Inn" on them.
    • Michel, an employee at the Independence Inn, spends one episode worrying that a pair of people who had stolen from them a while ago. He insists that Lorelai (the hotel manager) let him check their suitcases.
    • Lorelai decides that her bonding moment with Emily is going to be stealing robes from a spa. Her mother Emily and she stay at a spa resort and Emily just loves their robes. Emily later tries to sneak it back when Lorelai doesn't look.
  • Stop Being Stereotypical: Frquently inverted throughout the series, most notably when Sookie worries that their wedding and later their newlywed home are not macho enough for Jackson. Unnecessarily, as he thinks feminine things are just fine.
  • Student Council President: Paris, with Rory as her Vice President.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: While Lane and Zack are broken up in season 6, Zack thinks she's going out with a man whom he refers to as "Asian George Clooney" and "Brad Pitt".
    Zack: Pretty boy says "what"?
    Joe: What?
  • Super-Speed Reading: Rory claims to read newspapers like this, although she apparently takes her time with books.
  • Supreme Chef: Sookie. She's so obsessed with cooking and baking that she has minor meltdowns when someone other than her does the cooking or baking. Case in point? She drinks herself into a tizzy when Jackson revealed that his Thanksgiving plans for their turkey was to deep-fry it...along with a lot of other things.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Rory's whole personality is this in a nutshell. She was raised by a mother who had her as a teenager, raised her as more of a best friend/surrogate sister than as a daughter, and treats her as a paragon of pure perfection ("If you see a child walking around reading a book wearing a halo, that's my daughter."). Not to mention, she has rich, old money grandparents who constantly dote on her and buy her anything she ever wants. She grew up in a small town where everyone worshipped and adored her, had no trouble getting any guy she ever wanted, is naturally intelligent, and is constantly told what a great person she is. Therefore, for all her positive attributes (natural empathy, intelligence, curiosity), Rory is a spoiled, sheltered, self-centered person who is so used to being praised and worshipped for everything she does, so whenever she has to face real and genuine criticism in any way, shape, or form, she has a complete and total meltdown.
    • In "Keg! Max!", the Season 3 episode where Dean and Jess get into a Cock Fight over Rory, Jess is a good fighter and able to hold his own, but Dean is almost a full head taller, furious because he thought Jess hurt Rory, and is noticeably much stronger. Thus, he ends up getting the better of Jess—among other things, Dean is the one who throws the first and last punches of the fight.
    • Lorelai thinks of herself as the hip, cool parent all the other kids wish they had for a mom, and at times the show seems obsessed with portraying her that way. Not to mention, she thinks of and speaks of her daughter as the physical embodiment of pure perfection. Therefore, when she is forced to acknowledge that Rory is far from perfect and has shortcomings, that's when Rory and Lorelai have their worst fights—the two most notable examples being when Lorelai catches Rory and the married Dean after their first time, and when Rory drops out of Yale for a semester.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: In "A Tale of Poes and Fire", to a couple that just arrived at the Independence Inn.
    Lorelai: Let me assure you, there are no human body parts buried in the floor of your room to keep you awake tonight.
    • Although this is a specific joke: the inn is hosting the Edgar Allan Poe Society and Lorelai is referencing the events of "The Tell-Tale Heart". The couple are not part of the society and don't get the gag.
  • Sustained Misunderstanding: Lorelai does this several times on purpose.
    Emily: [So] you were on the phone...
    Richard: Long distance.
    Lorelai: God?
    Richard: London.
    Lorelai: God lives in London?
    Richard: My mother lives in London.
    Lorelai: Your mother is God?
    Richard: Lorelai…
    Lorelai: So, God is a woman.
    Richard: Lorelai…
    Lorelai: And a relative! That's so cool. I am gonna totally ask for favors.
    Richard: Make her stop.
    Rory: Oh, that I could.
  • Swans A-Swimming:
    • In a season one episode, Sean Gunn, before he was Kirk, plays a character who delivers swans to the Independence Inn for a double twin wedding.
    • Michel states in that same episode that he was attacked by swans once: "I was attacked by a band of swans in the Luxembourg Gardens when I was a boy. No one forgets that."
    • Luke doesn't believe that Jess was attacked by a swan, so Jess convinces him to come with him to the park where the swan was swimming. They fail to combat it (with a ladle of all things) as the swan in question just swims by and ignores them.
  • Sweet Tooth: Combine this with being Big Eaters and you have the Lorelais' eating habits. When they have movie night, they eat a bunch of junk food, mostly sweet stuff. In one episode when they are walking around town with Max and Dean, they run off to get ice cream cones.
  • Sweetheart Sipping: Referenced in the Season 6 episode "Let Me Hear Your Balalaikas Ringing Out", when Logan is quizzing Jess about his past relationship with Rory.
    Logan: So, were you two high school sweethearts? Rock around the clock, two straws in the milkshake?
  • Talking in Your Sleep:
    • Rory and Paris share a hotel room during a summer internship in Washington, and Rory discovers that Paris has a tendency to say things like "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" in her sleep.
    • Kirk talks in his sleep at times. He walks in his sleep, too. And bites people. And runs through the town naked.
  • Tastes Like Purple: Emily commissions a pink drink to commemorate Rory's 21st birthday party. Luke takes a sip and says "it tasted really pink… like drinking a My Little Pony."
  • Teachers Out of School: Max Medina's relationship with Lorelai is complicated because he's Rory's teacher. Max insists there's nothing in the Chilton rules against it, but Lorelai has concerns about how inappropriate it might look.
  • Teacher/Parent Romance: Lorelai dates Rory's English teacher, Max Medina.
  • Teen Pregnancy:
    • After raiding her parents' drinks cabinet with her boyfriend on a day the most recent maid has been let go but the replacement is yet to be found, Lorelai got pregnant at fifteen and gave birth at sixteen.
    • Liz Danes is about Lorelai's age, and has a son who is Rory's age, implying this trope.
  • That's What She Said: Sookie and Lorelai say it in regards to a massive house Lorelai is contemplating buying. Lorelai means this whenever she comments "dirty".
  • The New Rock & Roll: Lane hides her music collection and her band from her mother because Mrs. Kim believes Rock is a tool of the Devil.
  • This Is Reality: In the Summer episode, Rory tells her mother that she is going to write a non-fiction book about their lives.
  • Themed Party:
    • In "That Damned Donna Reed", Rory prepares a dinner party for her boyfriend Dean. She wears a 50's dress and make-up, and she makes a very traditional meal for them, acting like a typical housewife from the time period. She also picks music, borrowing is specifically from her friend Lane.
    • In "Here Comes the Son", Jess assures his Disappeared Dad Jimmy he doesn't want or need a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles themed party.
      Jess: Raise me? I'm eighteen! I'm raised. I can vote, I can be drafted. It's a little late to throw me a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle birthday party.
    • Lorelai and Sookie start a catering business. One of the parties they organize is a Lord of the Rings party. Lorelai does make-up for the kids, and they have costumes and swords for them as well. Sookie is a Supreme Chef, but she doesn't realize what kind of food kids like.
    • Logan takes Rory to a Life and Death Brigade (a Yale secret society) gathering. It's somewhere in the middle of the woods. The dress code is safari Adventurer Outfits from the turn of the century. In the morning, they all wear formal attire: tuxedos and ball gowns, still in tents in the wood.
    • Rory goes to a Quentin Tarantino-themed party at Yale. She goes as Gogo from Kill Bill because she has a very similar skirt from her old high school uniform. Most people wear costumes from Kill Bill or Pulp Fiction. The music is from those two films as well.
    • Rory throws a Marx brothers' movie viewing party for herself and her friend Marty at their Yale dorm. She gets tons of food, decoration and hats and wigs for them to wear.
    • Lorelai throws an Asian-themed party for Rory because Rory's upset. She and her boyfriend have been planning a trip to Asia and it has been cancelled. Lorelai wants to cheer her up so she turns their house into an Asian wonderland.
    • Logan takes Rory (who has been arrested for joyriding in a boat) to a Surprise Party where their friends are dressed in old-school Institutional Apparel with black and white horizontal stripes and pillbox hats. They sing "She's a jolly good felon" for her.
    • Rory's throws a very successful USO slash World War II-themed social event for Daughters of American Revolution. The hired staff, musicians and Rory herself wear costumes (e.g. Rory rocks a United Service Organizations uniform, a styled 40's hairdo with locks and she has very bright red lipstick). The guests are upper-class Americans who wear normal formal clothes.
    • Rory organizes a British "bon voyage" party when her boyfriend Logan goes to work in London and they're gonna have a long-distance relationship. She's dressed up and tries to talk with a British accent. Their apartment is decorated with Union Jack flags, London sights and souvenirs. Logan jokingly calls her Mary Poppins to which she retorts she was going for Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare in Love. She's actually some sort of a 1960s British Mod girl.
    • Luke throws a birthday party for his pre-teen daughter April. Everyone is super bored because he didn't think of activities for the girls. Lorelai saves the day by organizing a make-up party. She takes the girls shopping and then they are allowed to experiment with nail polishes, eye shadows or lipsticks.
  • Themed Wedding:
    • Discussed when Emily mentions her imaginary plans for her daughter Lorelai's wedding because she knows Lorelai won't ever let her plan her wedding. It was going to be a Russian royal winter theme, with snow-white roses, trees decorated with white lights and candles, with snow everywhere. Lorelai would arrive in a silver sleigh pulled by white horses. Given how much Lorelai loves winter and first snow, Emily absolutely nailed it.
    • Liz and TJ's Wedding is renaissance-themed because they travel together selling Liz's jewellery at Renaissance Fair. Men wear vaguely old-timey clothes and tights, women have dresses and flower crowns. Though some choose to have normal formal wear. The music is fitting the period, too. People of Stars Hollow find it surprisingly sweet.
  • Those Two Guys:
    • Madeline and Louise are those two gals, Rory's classmates from Chilton. They always appear together.
    • Finn and Colin, Logan's pals from Yale. Almost always paired and hard to distinguish.
    • Rory's "artsy" friends, Olivia and Lucy from the final season, who are better known as Madeline and Louise Lite. Their personalities are pretty identical, although the latter two are more annoying.
  • Three Successful Generations: Rory harbours a long-held dream to study at Harvard University and become a journalist, Lorelai's legacy is her daughter Rory and the goal of owning her own Inn that she's been working toward for twenty years, and Emily invests in Rory's education and seeks to bring her into their lifestyle.
  • Title Drop: Christopher says the episode's title in season 1 episode "That Damn Donna Reed".
    Christopher: Well, my folks are back in Connecticut, so I'm here to see them and on the way I thought I'd stop by and surprise the Gilmore Girls.
  • Truth in Television: Jess being attacked by a swan is played for laughs...except swans really are that vicious and will totally attack people. They're dangerous, to the point that rowing teams will cancel a meet if there's a swan in the way. In an earlier episode, Michel says that he was also once attacked by swans: "I was attacked by a band of swans in the Luxembourg Gardens when I was a boy. No one forgets that."
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: Richard's cousin Marilyn looks exactly like Richard's mother, Lorelai (as they are played by the same actress).
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Christopher and Lorelai. To their defense, it did get complicated. He asked Lorelai to marry him in season 1, but she saw him as being too irresponsible and did not want to be forced into marriage.
  • Unusual Pop Culture Name: Subverted. While Rory is name Lorelai for her mother, she is named Lorelai Leigh in reference to the protagonist of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Lorelei Lee.
  • Uptown Girl:
    • Lorelai for Luke. Even though Lorelai has run away from her wealthy background, her parents' mistreatment of working class, blue-collar Luke is enough to break them up for a while. They work through it and agree avoid her parents as much as possible.
    • Dean struggles with Rory falling into the high society lifestyle. Again Richard and Emily highlight this to try and split them up - and succeed better than their Luke/Lorelai attempt.
    • This is one of the (many) obstacles Rory and Jess face, as she's headed for a bright Ivy League future, while he doesn't even graduate high school and basically becomes a bum in Seasons 4 and 5. Even when he comes back as a successful Self-Made Man, she's completely entrenched in Logan's upper-class world, much to his distaste.
  • Visit by Divorced Dad: Though Lorelai and Christopher were never married, he starts showing up more frequently after the first season because he wanted to have a larger role in Rory's life.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Season 1's "Christopher Returns". As the name implies, Rory's dad Christopher, as well as Rory's estranged paternal grandparents, appears for the first time, and the result is one of the most dramatic and darkest episodes of the series. It's revealed that Christopher is not as successful as Richard seems to think; Richard and Rory's paternal grandfather nearly come to blows over Lorelai; Richard reveals his deep disappointment and embarrassment to Lorelai; Emily, with uncharacteristic tenderness, assures Rory none of this is her fault; Lorelai and Christopher sleep together on a balcony; and, finally, Christopher asks Lorelai to marry him, and Lorelai tells him to leave.
    • Season 5's "A House Is Not A Home" has a dejected Rory decide to quit Yale, give up on being a journalist, and move in with her grandparents. Also, Lorelai asks Luke to marry her.
  • Wham Line: "A House Is Not A Home" ends on a pretty big one:
    Lorelai: Luke, will you marry me?
    Luke: (stunned) What?
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Lorelai briefly dates a guy named Alex in season 3 and they seem to hit it off, but he eventually disappears and it's never mentioned what happened.
    • Jason simply disappears from the story after suffering a bad Humiliation Conga, it's never mentioned what happened to him and no one seems to care.
    • Lorelai's eccentric new neighbor Dwight shows up in one episode of season three, then is never seen or heard from again.
    • Jess's girlfriend Shane only exists in the seven episodes where they are together.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Mitchum Huntzberger verbally rips into Rory after she demands to know why he is sending Logan to London. He is quick to point out that Logan needs to grow up and stop partying and so does Rory.
    • Jess, of all people, gives one of these to Rory to point out the complete mess she's made of her life in season 6.
    • In season 7, Liz, of all people, gives one of these to Luke after Lorelai breaks up with him and sleeps with Christopher, pointing out that Luke and Lorelai were on "different emotional planes in the space-time continuum" because Luke delayed moving in with Lorelai, didn't tell her about April for months, postponed the wedding, and just generally wasn't considerate of Lorelai's emotional state.
  • Where Everybody Knows Your Flame: Lorelai's bachelorette party in season two is held at a drag club.
  • Where There's a Will, There's a Sticky Note: Emily and Richard Gilmore ask Lorelai and Rory to put Post-It notes on anything they'd like to inherit in one first season episode.
  • Will They or Won't They?:
    • Lorelai and Luke. This particular plot point was established in the first episode and did not resolve until the final scenes of the series finale. Much like the infamous case of Ross and Rachel from Friends, it literally could not have been dragged any further. The town considered Lorelai's relationship with Luke a constant source of entertainment. They finally marry in "Fall", with Rory, Lane, and Michel as their witnesses.
    • Rory and Jess during Season 2. Rory dates Dean at this point, but shows strong hints of attraction to Jess. They do end up together but break up at the end of Season 3. Come and go, during Season 4 and 6 as Jess reappears a few times, leaving the question of them dangling.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: In season 3, in a series of flashbacks to Lorelai's pregnancy/Rory's infancy, Emily says that Lorelai lived with them for more than a year after Rory's birth. In season 6, episode 17, at which point Rory is 21, Lorelai states that she has lived in Stars Hollow for 21 years, although it's 20 at most. In season 2, around the time Rory turns seventeen, Mia states that it has been fifteen years "almost to the day" since Lorelai came to the inn with Rory to get a job, making Rory two at the time.
    • A case of Writers Cannot Check Calendars. In season three Lorelai's birthday, April 26, is on a Friday. That date fell on a Monday in 2003, the year Lorelai turns 35.
    • Another case of Writers Cannot Check Calendars, also from season 3: the episode after Jess and Rory get together, Lorelai gives Luke her opinion as "I think Rory’s 17 and it’s probably about time for a Jess." Given this episode is one episode before Thanksgiving and Rory's birthday has already been established as being in October...she should be 18.
    • Yet another case of Writers Cannot Check Calendars, this one from season one: in "The Deer Hunters," Lorelai insists Rory drive the Jeep to school so she isn't late for her big exam. This is treated like a totally normal thing to do, except despite Lorelai constantly rounding up her age, Rory is 15 in that episode as her birthday isn't unti a few weeks later...meaning she isn't old enough for a driver's license and isn't legally allowed to drive the Jeep to school.
    • In A Year In The Life we learn that Michel was 29 when he and Lorelai met – turning fifty in 2016 means born in 1966 – and that he's one or two years older than Lorelai, but in season three we learn that Lorelai was thirty when she first met Michel, and she can only have turned thirty in 1998.
    • Possibly averted in season four, when Rory is nineteen and Lorelai thirty-five, and Emily says she's been married for thirty-nine years, putting her wedding sometime in 1964. In A Year In The Life, which takes place ten years later, seven-eight years after season seven, she says it was fifty years. It's possible Richard didn't live until their wedding anniversary in 2015, and if he did it's still reasonable to round it.
    • Kirk's age as well. In season three he says he's thirty (or at least that he'll be seventy in forty years). In season four, Mrs. Kim says she's been living in the USA for twenty years, but in season one she said that she has known Kirk since he was two.
  • X Meets Y: In-Universe, any song pitched by any member of Hep Alien is described as "genre X meets genre Y", or "band X meets band Y meets band Z meets band V meets band W..."
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Just when it seems like Trix and Emily are about to have a nice moment together, Trix manages to ruin it by sending the maid to tell Emily how to make tea. Whenever Lorelai starts getting along with one of her parents, something always manages to start them arguing again.
  • You Are Worth Hell: How Lane feels about her music career.
    Lane: Eternal damnation is what I'm risking for my rock'n roll!

     2016 Revival: A Year in the Life 
  • Aborted Arc: Nothing is said of the ending of season 7 where Rory went on a trip to cover Obama's presidential campaign for a magazine, which should certainly have opened some doors for her. Alexis Bledel herself was disappointed that after 9 years, Rory had nothing to make of her career.
    • Winter and Spring start off a Paris storyline indicating that, like Rory, she's suffering from a mid-life crisis and hinting at possibly reconciling with Doyle. That's how her arc ends.
    • The nasty letter that Emily brings up in joint therapy which she believes Lorelai sent her, but which Lorelai vehemently denies. The letter is made out as The Last Straw, setting up their distant relationship at the start of the original series, but it had never been mentioned before, wasn't mentioned after that particular therapy session, and we never find out who really wrote it.
    • The Stars Hollow Gazette plot seems meant to give Rory a purpose since her career is faltering and makes sense for her since she has proven herself as an adept newspaper director (even more than a writer) back in Yale when Paris became so overwhelmed she almost ran the newspaper to the ground leaving Rory to drag it out of the mud herself and earning the trust and respect of her staff along the way. But besides a somewhat disastrous single run of the gazette that Rory and Lorelai had to hand deliver themselves and some encouraging words from Jess it doesn't go anywhere and no mention is made of its future. The Thirtysomething Gang being a group of millennials wandering town with no purpose in life seems primed to join her and solve the understaffing problem but the show seems more interested in mocking them than using them so they're also never mentioned again.
  • Actor Allusion: Sophie the music teacher, played by Carole King, asks if she can audition a song for the Star Hollow Musical "that [she's] been working on" and starts to play I Feel the Earth Move, a Carole King hit from the seventies.
  • Aesop Amnesia: In the original show, Rory spent many episodes of season 4 cheating with Dean and eventually admitting how much she had screwed up and how ashamed she felt for it. In the revival, it seems to have had no lasting effect as she is now cheating on her boyfriend with Logan (who himself is engaged) and apparently doesn't give a flying fuck this time.
  • Ambiguous Ending: Not quite to the level of The Sopranos, but still up there. After the final four words, there are several possible outcomes:
    • 1. Downer Ending. History Repeats as Rory becomes a single mother, trapped in the same Cycle of Hurting both Lorelai and Emily tried to help her break out of. To find out what happens to Rory, one can more-or-less just rewatch the series, with Lauren Graham playing Rory this time and Scott Patterson playing Jess.
    • 2. Surprisingly Happy Ending. While Rory becomes a single mother, her and Lorelai's first love has always been Stars Hollow itself, so having to stay there is scarcely a Fate Worse than Death. Plus, Jess is waiting in the wings. And we get to rewatch the series!
    • 3. Earn Your Happy Ending. Rory, having managed to delay Glamorous Single Motherhood for an additional 16 years compared to her mother (and 10 years longer compared to what Amy Sherman-Palladino originally planned), may be able to avoid the same mistakes Lorelai did.
  • Amicable Exes:
    • Lorelai and Jason Stiles.
    • Rory and Jess. He's still on good terms with her and they share a drink in Stars Hollow while she assesses the state of her career. They haven't had contact since 2012. He gives her the idea to write a memoir about Lorelai and herself. Later, it's strongly implied from the last shot of him leaving the Gilmore house, that he's still not over her.
    • Rory and Dean. They hug, they laugh, they politely ask each other about what they're doing and discuss Dean's sister's whereabouts. There's a brief moment of awkwardness but they get over it rather swiftly.
  • Anachronism Stew: Maybe. At one point, Lorelai struggles to remember where her father went on a business trip when she was ten, at first thinking it was Holland and then Belgium before finally settling on Croatia. This would be some time during the 1970s, when Croatia did not exist independently and also was part of Commie Land. While Tito's Yugoslavia was more open to the West than the Warsaw Pact countries, it's hard to imagine what sort of business an American capitalist would have there or why he would have (apparently) referred to his destination as "Croatia" rather than "Yugoslavia". Of course, it's always possible that Lorelai still had the country wrong.
  • Blatant Lies: In the Summer episode, Luke declares that Lorelai made their lives separate in terms of family, even though he's the one who spent all of season six of the original show keeping April from her.
  • Book Ends:
    • Begins and ends with Rory and Lorelai talking in the gazebo.
    • On a meta-narrative level, the event that kicks off the show as a whole is Lorelai becoming a Glamorous Single Mother. The very last lines of the revival indicate that Rory is about to follow in her footsteps.
    • In the first episode of the original series, Rory and Dean bond over Moby Dick. The last episode of the revival shows Emily working in a nautical museum, telling a group of horrified children how whales got hunted and killed in that time period.
    • In the first episode, Emily and Richard agreed to finance Rory's education on the condition that she and Lorelai have dinner with them once a week. At the end of the "Fall" episode Emily agrees to finance Lorelai's expansion of the Dragonfly Inn on the condition that she, Luke and Rory visits her in Nantucket every summer for two weeks.
  • Brick Joke: In the original series Paris is unable to remember Luke even though she meets him several times. In the revival she meets him, to be pleasantly surprised that he remembers her... to which he responds that she is hard to forget.
  • The Bus Came Back: There isn't a full explanation given for Dean's disappearance during season 5, but "Fall" reveals that he's since moved out of state, remarried and has 3 kids with a fourth on the way. The reason he's back in Stars Hollow was because his kids got head lice and his wife told him to get out to avoid getting infected.
  • But Not Too Gay: Michel comes out by mentioning he's married to a man. We never see his husband, though.
  • Call-Back: Many, obviously, but some notable ones:
    • Rory points out corn starch during her conversation with Dean, since she accidentally stole a bag of corn starch after their first kiss.
    • Rory still remembers that Doyle told her adjectives are bad when she worked for the Yale Daily News.
    • Luke lists all his and Lorelai's most prominent exes right before she asks him to marry her.
    • When Rory spends some time alone in Emily's house, she remembers the Friday night dinners, starting with the one in season three where she and her mother are eating fast because they have dates.
    • "Reflecting Light", the song playing during Luke and Lorelai's wedding is the same song they danced to at Liz and TJ's wedding in season 4.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Not actually f-bombs, but Emily lets out quite a few "bullshit"s during one scene, in front of her DAR friends nonetheless. It's just as satisfying as it sounds.
  • Cult: The main reason Jess shows back up in town was because Liz and T.J. somehow got themselves roped into an six million-year membership with a vegetable-growing cult, thinking it was a co-op, so Luke enlists his help in trying to bail them out. Luckily for them, the cult thought Liz and T.J. were too weird for them and kicked them out.
  • Deconstruction: The entire special could be called "The Deconstruction of the Gilmore Girls." Many of the tropes the show operates on and the "quirky personalities" of the characters are given a Surprisingly Realistic Outcome. Such examples include:
    • Lorelai's Motor Mouth tendencies bite her hard in the ass when she can't come up with ONE nice thing to say about her father after the funeral despite having plenty of time to come up with something. Instead, she rambles on and on about he was never there for her. This despite the multiple nice things he did for her in the series, starting right with the first episode when he and Emily financed Rory's education at Chilton and giving lots of money so the mother/daughter pair could go to Europe. Emily calls her out on it, with Lorelai only able to feebly protest she was tired and had a few drinks.
    • Rory, having been coddled her whole life by her mother and grandparents, finds the real world a lot more difficult to deal with where no one is going to pat her on the ass and praise her for just coasting along as she always has. This has led to her being in a dead-end job with no prospects, a far cry from the intrepid reporter who had a promising future in the last season. Logan's father seems to be proven right in saying she didn't have what it takes.
    • The Will They or Won't They? tension that ruled the two Gilmores lives is still present. Only now it's keeping Rory even MORE mired in the past because she can't break up with Logan despite the fact their relationship is going nowhere. For Lorelai's part, the fact she and Luke took so long getting together means her desire to have a second child with him is unlikely to happen seeing as how she's pushing almost fifty.
  • Dry Crusader: Taylor has banned alcoholic establishments in Stars Hollow. Naturally, a speakeasy operates under his nose. This is part of the Flanderization of his character, as the original series featured alcoholic establishments operating openly and Taylor having no apparent objections to them.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Lorelai gets a great one at the end of Winter.
    Lorelai: Luke, look. My mother took my advice. Do you understand what I'm saying. The advice I gave her, she took it. That's never happened before. Ever. She's feeling good about it, and she just wanted me to come down and meet- Oh, crap! I'm going to therapy with my mother!
  • Foreshadowing: During the "Fall" episode, Rory asks her biological father Christopher if he ever objected to the fact that Lorelai raised their daughter by herself, and is mostly satisfied when he says it all worked out for the best. She's going to have to do exactly this with her own child by Logan, and Christopher, by way of Generation Xerox, is the closest she can get to actually getting Logan's permission to do so.
    • In the Spring episode, Paris mentions missing her last period as an aside. And in the very last episode, Rory reveals that she's pregnant.
  • Flanderization: The overly quirky characterizations of the townspeople are exaggerated.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Averted. Richard Gilmore was not able to return for the revival due to Edward Herrmann's death in December 2014. However, Richard is established to have outlived his actor by about eight months (he passed in August or September 2015note ), and his absence casts a pall over much of the miniseries' events. His portrait also appears in basically every scene of the Gilmore residence, and archive footage allows him to appears in Pensieve Flashback.
  • Funny Foreigner: Berta, Emily's new housekeeper, is clearly Played for Laughs, with Berta's dialogue requiring translation and with no other characters being able to identify what language she speaks. In fairness, Emily actually takes to her despite the language barrier — the final shots of the show suggest that the elder Gilmore has adopted Berta and her family in all but name — but the show's portrayal of them has been a sore point to some viewers, especially when compared to the (comparatively) nuanced Korean characters we got from the original run.
  • Gaslighting: Lampshaded by Lorelai in the first episode when Emily is making her doubt whether something really happened.
  • Generation Xerox: Pushed even further than the original show. Paris leads a busy life and lets her children be looked after by a nanny and is going through a very messy divorce from Doyle (despite the fact that her own parents messy divorce was very difficult for Paris herself). Logan ended up working in his father's company. Rory ends up single, job-less and pregnant with what is implied to be Logan's child, whom she has a relationship with similarly to Lorelai and Christopher. Jess is implied to still be pining for Rory like Luke did with Lorelai. Some fans found the revival to be more of a tragedy than anything thanks to all of it.
    • There's also Lorelai constantly throwing out chefs for petty reasons in the same way Emily used to fire maids in the original series. Ironically, the revival is when Emily finally finds a maid she likes.
    • Rory not telling Logan about the baby is like how Anna didn't tell Luke about April. He may find out years later having missed out on his child's life, unlike Christopher who wasn't involved because of his immaturity and Lorelai preferring to be a single mother.
  • Get Out!: Emily to Lorelai after Richard's funeral.
  • The Ghost:
    • Subverted. Lane's dad finally makes a one second cameo.
    • Michel's husband is never seen but often mentioned.
  • Glamorous Single Mother: Rory is poised to be one as of the final four words.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: While played straight with 16-year-old Lorelai in the original series, according to Amy Sherman-Palladino it could be subverted with 33-year-old Rory in the remake.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: As noted in "Cluster F-Bomb" above, finally averted, which seemingly had more swearing than the entire original series. Justified, since the show is no longer on network TV.
  • Guilt Complex: Subverted. Rory, despite being a generally nice and decent person who admittedly makes some tasteless jokes when the people she is talking about can't hear her, seems to feel no guilt about cheating on Paul or sleeping with Odette's fiancé.
  • Here We Go Again!: Amy Sherman-Palladino's famous last four words of the show imply that there doesn't need to be a sequel; you can just start over again at Season 1.
    "I'm pregnant."
  • History with Celebrity: Luke reveals that Kiefer Sutherland is his old fishing buddy.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Paul. Though ostensibly Rory's boyfriend, he only appears in the first five minutes of the show, and there's a Running Gag where the Gilmore characters keep forgetting he exists.
  • Hypocrite: Doyle asks Rory, newly minted editor of the Stars Hollow Gazette, what is wrong with using a lot of adjectives in his review of The Jungle Book. Rory informs him that he was the one who told her that when he was her editor at Yale Daily News.
  • I Should Write a Book About This: Rory's writing project. It's even called The Gilmore Girls.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Miss Celine, apparently, was attractive enough in her younger days to flirt with Eli Wallach and Elia Kazan.
  • Informed Flaw: Rory's boyfriend Paul is allegedly so boring that even she forgets he exists, but he just seems like a perfectly friendly, outgoing guy who makes pretty decent conversation despite everyone's rudeness.
  • It Will Never Catch On: When Naomi says, "I'm voting for Brexit. It's just a protest vote. It'll never win."
    • A variation in "Summer," where Sophie (played by Carole King) claims to have written "I Feel the Earth Move." However, Taylor doesn't think it's catchy.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Mitchum's criticism in the original series that Rory didn't have what it takes to make it as a journalist. He was harsh, but the revival shows she's struggling as a freelancer, apparently hasn't had a steady journalism job in years, is terrible at chasing stories (including falling asleep while interviewing a source), and is pretty unprofessional (sleeping with another source, having three different phones and not even preparing for an interview). It's hard not to think she should have taken his advice and investigated other career paths.
    • Ironically, Mitchum himself may have had a change of heart, as he offers to help set Rory up with the leadership of Conde Nast. He had a change of heart in season seven when he thought Rory was going to marry his son, and offered her her pick of newspapers to work at.
  • Last Guy Wins: The revival actually doesn't have a stereotypical Romance Arc for Rory, but as of its end, only one of her three major love interests is still single (Jess), so she either ends up with him or with some random stranger who the audience might not have met and possibly never will.
  • Left Hanging: The ending with the reveal that Rory's pregnant. There's also the implication that Jess still has feelings for her.
    • Paris' and Doyle's divorce is not final yet (nor is the possibility of them working out their differences or not... nothing's mentioned, simple as that), and it's never revealed who wrote the nasty letter to Emily.
  • Maybe Ever After: The end of the revival implies the possibility that Jess and Rory's story isn't over, with the feelings very clear on one side.
  • Monochrome Casting: Stars Hollow, Chilton, Yale, and the rest of Rory's environments are almost all white.
  • No Romantic Resolution: Rory gets closure with Dean and with Logan, but not with Jess, which did not go unnoticed by the Literati shippers.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Lorelai finds Emily wearing a T-shirt and jeans and getting rid of most of her things, causing Lorelai to realize how much her mother is clearly grieving and suggest that she go to therapy.
  • Out of Focus: All over the place due to the actors' varying schedules. The only ones not to fall prey to it in one form or another are Lorelai, Rory, Luke, Emily, Taylor, Michel, Kirk and Logan. Lane appears sporadically but doesn't get her own subplot, Paris dominates the first half of the year but is completely absent from the second half, and Sookie, Jackson and Dean are all Demoted to Extra, with about eight minutes' screen time between the three of them.
  • Parents Walk In at the Worst Time: Lorelai at one point tells a story about her father walking in on her and a high school boyfriend just after sex.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Rory, despite having no stable job, no credit, and even no underwear, drives a recent-model Prius, always flies back and forth between Stars Hollow and London, and also seems to never worry about finding a place to stay, as she can always stay at Paris's in New York, Lane's, her grandmother's mansion, Logan's in London (he even at one time gives her a key to his family's house in Maine), and at her old home in Stars Hollow (where she would later move back in).
  • Product Placement: Condé Nast is probably funding this series.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Sookie, due to Melissa McCarthy's superstar film career. She took a hiatus from the inn and moved to a farm in the woods with Jackson and the kids as part of an experimental food collective, and appears in only one scene towards the very end of the revival. (The Doylist explanation is that there was a failure in communication between the GG crew and Melissa McCarthy's people, who never told her that Stars Hollow had called. Subsequently, Amy Sherman-Palladino announced in a very clear and public manner that the cast and crew were willing to drop everything and make time for McCarthy if she could swing by. Sookie's scene looks like it required a bit more preparation than that, so everything seems to have worked out in the end.)
    • Liz and T.J. are The Ghost due to their actors not being called back, having accidentally joined a cult.
    • April is the most logical, now being a college student and only showing up briefly during "Summer". (Despite not being Switched at Birth, April is somehow more socially awkward than Bay Kennish.)
  • Remember the New Guy?: Inverted. Rory's boyfriend Paul has been in her life for a year (but is new to the show) and thus is someone people logically should remember, but no one seems to recall having met him.
  • Retroactive Stepsibling Relationship: Jess and Rory's Will They or Won't They? is restarted in the same episode they become related by marriage. Subverted in the fact that the relation has never been an issue on the show, and isn't here—Luke curiously inquires about Rory excitedly running out to show Jess her book, and when he asks Jess if he's "over that," the tone of his voice implies he wouldn't be surprised to hear Jess isn't.
  • The Reveal: Michel spend the entire original show as Ambiguously Gay. The first episode of the revival has him casually mention being married to a man.
  • Running Gag:
    • People expecting Rory to be in the thirty-something gang.
    • Emily's inability to keep a maid is finally averted this time around. Emily not only keeps the same maid for at least a year, but lets her entire family move in and brings them with her when she moves to Nantucket.
    • Rory's completely forgettable and dull boyfriend, Paul, that even she forgets that she's been with for two years. She keeps trying to break up with him and fails, only for Paul to do it over text in the final scene.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Colin, buying a tango club just to prevent them from playing tango music ever again.
  • Secret Relationship: Rory and Logan. He's engaged and she's ostensibly with Paul, but they have a no-strings-attached arrangement whenever she's in London.
  • Shallow News Site Satire: By this time, Rory is a young struggling journalist whose career has some ups and downs. She publishes a smashing hit article in the New Yorker and is being headhunted by Sandee from the SandeeSays website as a result. Rory reluctantly agrees it's worth a shot when her mother Lorelai says she should see the BrendaBlabs people even though it's no Washington Post. SandeeSays has hip open-space offices and the CEO claims they all work best in a hive, buzzing around each other, making word honey. Rory doesn't have a pitch prepared, and then suggests writing about something she recently experienced (sleeping with a guy in a comic-con costume). Sandee replies they did the story about loser girls who get drunk and do something stupid a bunch of times with different takes on it, and gets offended that Rory doesn't read their site.
  • Shout-Out: When the characters are at a town meeting discussing Stars Hollow's first gay parade, a man mentions that his only companion will be his dog "Sherlock". Babette misses the detail about it being a dog and questions "Sherlock's gay?!" which was likely a nod to the BBC series where Sherlock being gay is a popular fan theory.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Jess and Lorelai, a Continuity Nod from the series.
    • When Kirk runs into the Gilmore house panicking about ruining the wedding decorations and tries to go upstairs to throw up, he complains that the downstairs bathroom hurts his knees when Luke forbids him. Jess and Lorelai separately concur, although since it is Kirk, they're probably more aware of his quirks than Luke is.
    • They separately insist that film and book versions of Wild are totally different experiences.
    • They both think Luke looks really good in a specific shirt.
  • Suddenly Shouting: There is now a sign in Luke's Diner that says: "If I can hear your music through your headphones WHY ARE YOU WEARING HEADPHONES".
  • Take That!: The revival doesn't hesitate to take a couple of digs at modern entertainment: Lorelai calls Rory's boyfriend Paul as forgettable as the Marvel movies, and later, Paris reveals that she broke things off with Doyle because he's a screenwriter now, commenting "Have you seen the movies lately?"
  • Time Skip: The revival takes place in the present day, about nine years after the final season. It's also established that Richard passed away about six months prior; Emily's arc is her learning how to deal with the grief. There are long time skips between each episode, too.
  • Title Drop: Done with Rory's manuscript. Lorelai finishes Rory's manuscript and gives her advice in the sequel series, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.
    Lorelai: Drop the 'The.' Just 'Gilmore Girls.' It's cleaner.''
  • Token Minority: Michel Gerard, Lane and her family, several of Emily's maids, and Gypsy, are the only none-White characters in the series and revival.
  • Too Much Information: Rory's reaction to Paris explaining how she misses her and Doyle's "volcanic sex".
  • True Companions: When Jess drops in on Rory, they're able to rekindle their friendship within seconds; they're so close that they don't even have to go through the formalities of hugs and oh-hi-how-have-you-been. At least, that's one interpretation; other fans have complained that he got completely shafted on the romance front.
  • Wham Line: The final four words:
    Rory: Mom.
    Lorelai: Yeah?
    Rory: I'm pregnant.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Paris has the beginnings of a character arc in the summer, but never re-appears after that season.
    • Paul. Though ostensibly Rory's boyfriend, he only appears in the first five minutes of the show, and there's a Running Gag where Gilmore characters keep forgetting he exists.
    • Paw-Paw, Michel's surviving dog, is never mentioned.
    • Nor is Kirk's cat, Kirk.
    • Liz and T.J.'s daughter, Doula, isn't even mentioned (presumably she was roped into the cult with her parents, but it seems odd that Luke and Jess aren't concerned about this happening to a nine-year-old).
  • Writers Cannot Do Math:
    • In the original run, it is established that Lorelai was born in April 1968, and Rory in October 1984. In "Winter" it is stated twice that Rory is now thirty-two, putting us in the winter of 2016-17, with the remaining three parts taking place in 2017; however, Richard, who died four months before part one starts, has the year 2015 engraved in his headstone, in which case Rory would be thirty-one. (May or may not have been to make Rory the same age as Lorelai the first time we saw her.)
    • April says she is twenty-two in the Summer episode, and she turned thirteen in season six of the original run, when Rory was still twenty-one, putting her birth in April (probably) 1993 (certainly), meaning that if Rory is 31 as implied by Richard's gravestone, April has to be twenty-three in the Summer episode, while if Rory is 32 as stated, April must be 24 in that episode.

Alternative Title(s): Gilmore Girls A Year In The Life