A TV show about a family and its complicated relationships was certainly nothing new or innovative when Gilmore Girls premiered in 2000 and forever changed our lives for the better. But, the way the show approached family was decidedly unique and it's one of the many things that makes it so memorable and timeless (although some of the pop culture references are hilariously outdated). The core family at the center of the show was an unconventional one — not just because it consisted of solely a mother and daughter, but because they were best friends and that's wasn't something we got much of in our teen show diet. Although the Gilmore mother-daughter duo will rightfully go down in history, all of the family relationships on Gilmore Girls were explored with sensitivity, depth, and a healthy dose of sarcasm.
Rory's acceptance to Chilton was important on many levels — namely because it brought her one step closer to achieving her Ivy League dreams. But I would argue that, even more importantly, it brought the fractured Gilmore family back together. Lorelai, Richard, and Emily were forced to put aside their differences and ultimately come to grips with the fact that, although they'd all made mistakes, being in each other's lives was infinitely better than the years they'd spent estranged. There were plenty of ups and downs in all these relationships — even Lorelai and Rory's — but seeing the family dynamics evolve throughout the seasons was definitely the show's biggest strength.
And, along the way, they made plenty of comments that ranged from sweet to sarcastic to downright hilarious. Here are the nine most spot-on quotes about family, courtesy of the Gilmores themselves:
1. On How To Properly Discuss Family In A Therapy Session
Lorelai: I can't believe you're going to a therapist. You know, they're totally going to ask you about me.Rory: What?Lorelai: They always want to ask about your mother. It's OK. Say whatever you want. But make sure you start with "my mother's very hot."Rory: Yes, that won't seem at all disturbing to the doctor.
And that, my friends, is the only correct way to begin your first session with a new therapist.
2. When You Know Your Family Is Just As Good As The Kennedys
Emily: Do you know that every night at dinner the Kennedy clan would sit around the table having lively debates about everything under the sun. They would quiz each other about current events, historical events and intellectual trivia. Now the Gilmore clan is just as smart and worldly as the Kennedys so come on someone say something.Lorelai: Did you know that a butt model makes $10,000 a day?
Come on, Emily — how do you know that Jackie O. wasn't deeply interested in the salaries of butt models?
3. When You Forbid Your Spouse From Dying Before You
Emily: Richard Gilmore, there may be many things happening in this hospital tonight, but your dying is not one of them. I did not sign on to your dying. And it is not going to happen. Not tonight, not for a very long time. In fact, I demand to go first. Do I make myself clear?Richard: Yes, Emily. You may go first.
This scene made many of us tear up every time we re-watched Season 1, but since Richard Hermann passed away it's just an unfairly sad moment — and undeniably one of the sweetest from the entire series.
4. When You're Worried The World Won't Recognize How Special Your Granddaughter Is
Lorelai: Mom, everything's gonna be fine. Rory's special.Emily: Well, I know that and you know that, but those idiots at Harvard might not necessarily know that.
You just can't trust the admissions offices at Ivy Leagues these days.
5. When Your Valedictorian Speech Is On Point
Rory: Richard and Emily Gilmore are kind, decent, unfailingly generous people. They are my twin pillars without whom I could not stand. I am proud to be their grandchild. But my ultimate inspiration comes from my best friend, the dazzling woman from whom I received my name and my life’s blood, Lorelai Gilmore … My mother never gave me any idea that I couldn’t do whatever I wanted to do or be whomever I wanted to be. She filled our house with love and fun and books and music, unflagging in her efforts to give me role models from Jane Austen to Eudora Welty to Patti Smith. As she guided me through these incredible eighteen years, I don’t know if she ever realized that the person I most wanted to be was her … Thank you, Mom. You are my guidepost for everything.
I mean, come on — this speech even made Luke blubber.
6. When You're Above Parents' Weekend
Lorelai: Parents' Weekend is for lame-o parents whose kids hate them so they need a school sanctioned event so they all spend some time together. My kid likes me. I can go to Yale anytime I want. Fifty one weekends of the year is my parent's weekend.
Who needs a school sanctioned event when your daughter is your BFF? Certainly not Lorelai.
7. But, Sometimes You Have To Be Brutally Honest
Rory: If the house was burning down, what would you save first, the cake or me?Lorelai: Not fair! The cake doesn't have legs!
Never come between a Gilmore girl and her food.
8. When You Need To Make Family Burial Decisions
Lorelai: Why don’t we move Aunt Cecile? She was always so annoying at parties. She loved the knock-knock jokes.Rory: Mom! You can't just kick out Aunt Cecile!Lorelai: Knock-knock. Who’s there? Pineapple. Pineapple who? That’s where it ended. Never fully grasped the knock-knock concept.Emily: She was a complete idiot. OK, it’s decided – Cecile goes.
Harshness is sometimes necessary — especially when you're deciding who gets space in the family mausoleum.
9. When You Need To Sum Up How Much Your Mom Means To You
I'm not crying; there's just something in my eye.
These quotes prove that, even though the Gilmore family didn't always see eye to eye and they had many a contentious Friday Night Dinner, they always had each other's backs when it came down to it.