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‘Gilmore Girls’: Top 10 Best Characters

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A List of Our Favorite Stars Hallow Residents

Fall is officially here, and the iconic “La La La” of the Gilmore Girls‘ transition music is already floating through the air, sending all fans flocking to Netflix to immerse themselves in the comfort show of the season. The story follows young mother Lorelai Gilmore and her sixteen-year-old daughter Rory Gilmore throughout the course of their messy lives in Stars Hollow. Viewers see Rory and Lorelai growing up, learning from each other, and making mistakes as they try to navigate the world and new relationships. The mother-daughter, best-friend duo can be difficult to capture on screen, but Alexis Bledel’s Rory and Lauren Graham’s Lorelai bring immense life to their characters, and their chemistry is off the charts. 

The show, which debuted almost 24 years ago, was written by Amy Sherman-Palladino and David S. Rosenthal. Despite the long time since its debut and some outdated jokes, the cozy atmosphere and heartwarming storylines solidified the series as a fan fall-favorite. The comedy-drama gave everything it needed to through its seven-season run. The best part? The wacky characters introduced made the blend of comedy and heartfelt moments more impactful. So it’s time to dive back into Starshollow, from breakfast at Luke’s to Friday night dinners, and rank the top ten best characters in Gilmore Girls!

10. Logan Huntzberger 


Many argue that Logan Huntzberger was Rory’s best boyfriend, and while in some cases that was true, his faults were ever-present. This makes him an interesting character to watch on screen. Matt Czuchry brings a charismatic yet chaotic young man to the screen, which changes many character dynamics in the series. Logan’s late introduction comes at a perfect time for Rory’s character development; his traits and arc only work to enhance the drama within the show. The best thing about Logan is that he challenges Rory. The worst thing about Logan is that he doesn’t challenge her at the right moments (not to mention cheating on her). This is his biggest issue as a character. When he first came into Rory’s life, he allowed her to experience new things. He pushed her to experience life and step outside her comfort zone, but when she dropped out of Yale, he was the only one who did nothing. Much like her grandparents, he coddled her instead of giving her the tough love she needed to get back out into the world. 

Logan could’ve done more for her and pushed her to be great. He was a temporary person that she needed during the time to see the world for what it was, and he gave her that most times, but overall, he was not the best person on the show. He could’ve been something great, and Matt Czurchy’s performance was commendable, but the character fell short in terms of development and likability.

9. Emily Gilmore 


The third Gilmore girl, played by Kelly Bishop, came across as an unlikeable character most times. Emily was manipulative and harsh, especially with her daughter, Lorelai. Their relationship was complex and strained most of the time. Lorelai never truly fit into Emily’s world, and all Emily did was try to force her to conform to her standards and expectations. Throughout the course of the series, it proves difficult to sympathize with Emily after seeing her arguments with her daughter, mainly in the later seasons when Emily breaks Luke and Lorelai up. However, Emily does have heartbreaking moments where we see the true woman underneath the harsh exterior. Nothing could prepare viewers for Rory’s sixteenth birthday episode, where Emily realizes she’s missed out on both Lorelai and Rory’s lives, saying, “I really don’t know my daughter at all.” It’s obvious she cares about her family, but the way she goes about showing that care is questionable. 

Emily is a complex character with great depth, and Kelly Bishop’s performance only brings more to the table. She delivers her lines flawlessly, whether they be comedic, angry, or dramatic. She has earned her place in the top ten best characters and only ranks on the lower end because of all the horrible things Emily has done. 

8. Richard Gilmore


Richard Gilmore, played by the late Edward Hermann, was a beloved character who rarely did anything wrong. Hermann’s portrayal of Richard brings forth a kindhearted yet tough realist who works hard for his family. His only major character flaw was how absent he was, especially in his daughter’s life. Throughout the show, he seemed to struggle to let himself emotionally connect with many; he even came across as stoic when interacting with Emily sometimes. His emotional absence was illustrated further when he didn’t know how to react when Rory dropped out of Yale and came crying to him. So far, it may seem confusing as to why Richard is on the top ten list, but what really makes him shine are the moments where he shows how much he truly cares. 

A few of his standout moments are when he and Rory go to the country club together early on in the show. At first, he is reluctant, but throughout the day, viewers see how caring and endearing he can be as they spend more time together. Another standout moment is when Richard and Emily renew their vows, and he remembers “their song” from many years ago. Those little details and actions solidify him as a great character on the show. 

7. Sookie St. James


Sookie St. James has been a consistently lovable character throughout the show. Most of this is due to Melissa McCarthy’s portrayal of the character, which made her a sweet, endearing, clumsy, and comical individual. Sookie’s and Lorelai’s friendship throughout the show is a vital part of the characters’ world-building. It allows us to see Lorelai outside of her relationship with her daughter. Still, there are a few big moments in the show that keep her character from ranking at the very top. One of which was her immediately blaming Lorelai after the news came out that Luke and Lorelai’s wedding was off. Another is Sookie orchestrating a surprise meet-up with Rory and Lorelai during her children’s baptism while the mother-daughter duo were fighting. She does not consider Lorelai’s feelings, making her seem inconsiderate, but no friendship is perfect, and the good moments do outweigh the bad. Sookie ends up being Lorelai’s rock and a great business partner as the two achieve their dream of opening an inn together. 

There is so much more to Sookie that makes her an interesting character to watch throughout the series. She is an important character to look at through the lens of motherhood. Her relationship with Jackson flourishes in an awkward yet heartwarming frenzy. We see their relationship and marriage struggles, but more importantly, we see Sookie grappling with the difficulties of motherhood. Her vulnerability and worry make her extremely relatable during these moments. Sookie is not only fun to watch on screen because of her comedic relief moments, but she also touches many viewers’ hearts with the real-life struggles of those becoming parents and going through changes in their lives. 

6. Rory Gilmore 


Rory Gilmore was the show’s biggest failure. It’s harsh to say, but it is true. This has nothing to do with Alexis Bledel’s performance; in fact, she encapsulated Rory’s personality perfectly. At the start, she was a shy and awkward kid figuring out normal teenage things. Boys, school, making new friends, and figuring out family dynamics were all part of Rory’s upbringing. She was at her peak before she went to Yale. Viewers watched her grow up and make mistakes. We see her struggle while dating Dean and having feelings for Jess (which was the most problematic point in her teenage years). It’s messy and fun, but that’s how it’s supposed to be. After graduating from Chilton, she becomes entitled and infuriating. The character that everyone once knew began to fade away. Her drive and determination fade away; she drops out of college and loses most of her character. The writers should have rethought her direction. It’s fine to make a character struggle, but there was essentially no payoff at the end. It would’ve been nice to see more of Rory’s growth in terms of her career and see her engage in better relationships throughout the show. 

The best part of Rory’s character is her relationship with her mother; she wouldn’t be the character she is without Lorelai. Rory compliments her mother’s personality perfectly; they balance opposites and likeness perfectly. Lorelai is extroverted, Rory can barely hold a conversation, and they navigate her adolescence one step at a time together in the most beautiful way. These two together bring out all the best parts of the series, and the actors’ chemistry is out of this world. 

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5. Paris Geller 


Paris Geller, played by Liza Weil, should have had more screen time. Her energy on screen and her performance were truly unmatched. Paris is driven and ambitious, almost terrifyingly so. She is everything Rory should have been in terms of growth during college (we can just ignore the affair she had with a professor because why was that even written in?). Paris is a force to be reckoned with, but deep down, she’s just a person growing up and scared of that. We see that she struggles to fit in with the other students during the Chilton days. She is complex, but she still knows who she is. This is how you write a character with layers. Paris’ lines and Weil’s delivery were also perfect. Nothing was better than hearing her say the most absurd thing in the most nonchalant, deadpan way. 

Her transition to Yale was even better than her moments in high school. She already knew the path she was going to take, but viewers see her grow socially; granted, she still has that anger that comes out sometimes. Yet, seeing her relationship with Doyle grow as she became more comfortable being vulnerable was sweet. Even her relationship with Rory gets better over time; despite Rory complaining about her most of the time, they build a strong bond. One of Paris’ best moments is her trying to convince Rory to go back to Yale. From an academic rival to one of her best friends, Paris’ journey is satisfying to watch. Having more episodes with Paris’ character would have been a win.

4. Jess Mariano


Jess, played by Milo Ventimiglia, was a reckless teen. At first glance, he seems terrible for Rory, but viewers learn that Jess is very similar to her, and they actually make a good match despite his flaws during his younger years. He was misunderstood and not well-liked by the town, but he was more mature than everyone gave him credit for. He worked hard and bought himself a car (even though he blew off school to do so). He, much like Paris, knew what he wanted and went out and got it for himself. His fatal flaw was his anger and impulsive personality. During his time at Stars Hollow, he did not always treat Rory right. He constantly confused her and eventually ghosted her during her graduation day from Chilton. He left her hoping and wondering what went wrong when he knew that wasn’t what she needed. 

In the end, though, he shows immense growth. He works hard and publishes a book. When Jess returns later in the show, we see a grown man who has learned from all his wrongdoings. He’s also one of the few who tries to knock some sense into Rory after she drops out of Yale. Who could forget the “Why did you drop out of Yale” line? He truly did care about her and wanted the best for her. Dean and Logan do not compare to the man Jess became. He may not be Rory’s boyfriend, but he is the best of them in the long run. 

3. Lane Kim 


Lane Kim deserved better. Keiko Agena’s character as Rory’s best friend always seemed to fall into the shadows. Then, her interest in music became a much bigger storyline, in which she tried to pursue a career as a drummer in a band. Her love and determination for it pushed her to move out and rebel against her mother to pursue her passions. Lane is the poster child for following your dreams, regardless of how slim the chances are. Sadly, Lane’s chances were extremely slim due to the writing direction that destroyed her character arc. Lane was a fun character with a lot of potential. We see her adapt to her new living situation with two guys, and we even see her struggle with her relationship with her mother as they accept each other for who they are. Still, all that was crushed when the writers decided to have Lane get married and have twin boys. She lost the spark and drive that made her story interesting to follow. 

What makes Lane such a great character is the potential she could have had. Agena already sold her performance as Rory’s best friend, but when she started standing in the spotlight, that’s when she truly became someone to watch. Her relationship with Rory was sweet. It was sad to see them drift apart in later seasons, especially due to their story arcs, but the remnants of their bond still lingered throughout the show. They always came back together, but it’s a shame one got to start living their dream while the other did not. 

2. Lorelai Gilmore


The heart and soul of the show, Lorelai Gilmore, naturally had to be high up on the ranking. Lauren Graham’s performance as Lorelai is arguably one of the best casting choices on television. From the mannerisms to the line delivery (especially the super-fast monologues), there is no question that Graham was made for this role. She brought the character to life in a truly unforgettable way. Not only was her performance captivating, but Lorelai’s story itself was complex and beautiful. We see this young woman grow up alongside her daughter and make it out of the tough situations she is in. Yes, Lorelai is probably the most flawed character in the show. She finds trouble navigating romantic relationships and balancing her life alongside her daughter’s, but she does it all regardless. 

Lorelai is as tough as they come. Every relationship she has with every other character has depth and complexity, making her one of the most compelling characters on the show. She is the center of it (even more than Rory). Her character arc is the perfect mix of heartbreak, losses, and wins. Lorelai Gilmore’s journey is a rollercoaster of emotions and growth, from leaving Max Medina on their wedding day to fighting with her daughter for weeks. She is the epitome of resilience, which translates through her journey as a single teen mom. Lorelai never gave up on Rory or herself. She worked hard and started her own business, and despite having a tough relationship with her parents, Lorelai made sure to give her daughter a loving home that was nothing like the cold one she grew up in. She, as Rory once said, “filled our house with love and fun and books and music.” Lorelai’s story reminds us all that we are only humans and mistakes are bound to happen, but staying on the path you believe is best for you will eventually lead you to where you need to be. 

1. Luke Danes 


There is no Stars Hollow without Scott Patterson’s Luke Danes. At first, his character comes off as a short-tempered, hateful man who wants nothing to do with the town he has grown up in. Yet, he always seems to prove everyone wrong. He cares deeply about Stars Hollow and its residents. That’s pretty evident when he puts up with Kirk’s weird shenanigans and sleepwalking. He also cares about the resident Gilmore girls. Both Lorelai and Rory are vital parts of Luke’s life. It’s easy to lose count of everything he’s done for both of them, such as helping move Rory to Yale. Chris may be Rory’s biological father, but Luke has been there every step of the way (which he rightfully tells Chris when they get into an argument). Luke is always there when he is needed, and even when he is not, he is still there to extend a helping hand. He is the guardian of Stars Hollow, even if he pretends not to be. 

If Lorelai is the heart and soul of the show, then Luke is the backbone, keeping everything together. He is a constant source of support for everyone and is always willing to lend a helping hand, even if he complains about it. Without Luke, the show would be hollow. His slow-burn relationship with Lorelai allows viewers to learn more about the mysterious man just as Lorelai gets to know more. He hurts just like everybody else; he has his “dark days” and can be vulnerable when needed. Compared to all the other characters, Luke has one defining trait that makes him stand out: he is selfless and content with his life. He is in Stars Hollow with his loved ones; that is all he needs. 

The show is full of fun characters, but in the end, these are the ten that truly stand out. Each person on this list is unique in their own way and adds something vital and exciting to the storyline. Gilmore Girls would not be what it is without them. Flaws and all, they make a great cast and engaging characters to watch on screen, as they brought the show to life in a way that made it a lasting favorite for fans. 

Gilmore Girls is streaming on Netflix and ready to get you in the mood for autumn! 

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (2016) Netflix Official Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Author at Dead Talk News | Posts

Yasmine, a talented intern in TV and film writing, possesses a deep-seated passion for storytelling. She is pursuing her degree in Cinema and Media studies and Creative Writing with a clear objective of becoming a screenwriter. Her primary creative outlets include film, reading, and writing, and she holds Little Women as her favorite movie.

Matt Keyser is a recent graduate of Cal State Fullerton University with a bachelor's in Communications-Journalism. He is a freelance entertainment reporter with a focus on film and television. As a former senior programming coordinator for the Newport Beach Film Festival, Matt's experience with critiquing narratives and documentaries has helped showcase his passion for television and cinema through his writing.