It's practically a fact of life at this point: All Gilmore Girls fans have an opinion on who Rory should have ended up with, and that opinion generally centers around either Dean, Jess, or Logan. However, as a diehard Gilmore Girls fan, I have to point out that those are but the usual suspects — and I have to ask the eternally unasked question... what about Marty and Rory ending up together? First introduced as "Naked Guy" back in Season 4, Marty was sweet, shy, and totally charming. He was not as much of a show off as Logan, who could be a little haughty sometimes with all his cash and secret society shenanigans, he wasn't as carefree as Dean, or as well... let me put it this way, he definitely wasn't Jess. Marty was so great though! He also had chemistry with Rory from the moment they had their first, awkward meeting in the hallway where she found him passed out naked — and that, my friends, is not an easy situation to turn into a chemistry-charged moment.
Marty was permanently Rory's friend by Season 5, and when he returned during Season 7, he wasn't the Marty I knew and remembered (making Rory lie to her friend? Not cool, bro) — but before that, the kid had so much promise with Rory. Sure, Marty was only a blip on Rory's radar during her early college years, but he could have been so much more.
He's too often is lost in the Gilmore Girls conversation these days, and it is a shame because he is one of the show's few unsung great characters. Here are a few reasons why:
1. He Was The "Naked Guy"
Any character whose initial introduction involves drunken nudity and hubris earns my respect. Marty's entrance into Rory's life was memorable (even though she technically first sees him in her Japanese Lit class), and it introduced his self-deprecating humor. "I am officially stupider than my brother. I never thought that would happen," Marty bemoaned. The whole scene was a hilarious, perfect meet-cute.
2. Richard Liked Him
How many of Rory's guys did Richard actually like? None, unless Marty counts. While Rory and Marty never dated, Richard instantly bonded with Marty over the "Naked Guy" incident. Not only did Richard share old Yale prank stories with Marty, he also assured him, "One night in the hallway does not a true naked guy make." Marty then called Richard his Yoda. Think of all the bon mots that could have been!
3. He Snagged The Best Food
Any character who had a healthy appreciation of food deserves a place in the Gilmore Girls pantheon. Not only was Marty a kickass bartender, he totally brought Rory fancy, rich people chocolate all the time.
4. He Expressed The Realities Of College Flawlessly
Marty had a keen understanding of the college experience. Whether he was waxing poetic about the arbitrary social hierarchy or just expressing how often college made him feel dumb, he totally understood how bizarre the whole system could be.
5. He Wore His Heart On His Sleeve
Marty presented himself as this shy, cautious guy, but he was also pretty refreshingly honest. Even though he had a feeling Rory would shoot him down, he was upfront about how he felt for her. The situation did not go his way, but at least he told her the truth and didn't spend the rest of his life wondering "what if" or expecting her to just pick him because he was there.
6. He Spoke The Language Of Pop Culture
Marty was fluent in all things cult, especially the retro kind. This is the guy who loved the Marx brothers and was thrilled to indulge Rory in a theme night, even though she had been spending copious amounts of time with her new friends. Who wouldn't love a guy with a passion for Duck Soup?
7. His Life Was A Soap Opera, But He Was Super Casual About It
Marty took life in stride, and I appreciate that in a character. He had money issues, but he was upfront about working his way through college. He also went home over summer vacation and discovered his uncle was his father, and did not make a big deal out of it. Marty was quietly cool, and while he wasn't "the one" for Rory, he was still a blast to watch.