Every girl wanted to be a Gilmore Girl as fans watched their whimsical lives unfold on screen for seven years. Our favorite mother and daughter duo sucked us into their colorful world of books, music and unusual entertainment as they navigated their way between the worlds of quaint, small town Stars Hollow and high society Hartford. What made this show so successful on the WB network was how rich each scene was in details and jam-packed with witty line delivery.
Fans not only got hooked, but could easily picture themselves in a day in the life of the Gilmore Girls. For how easy it was to admire Lorelai and Rory Gilmore’s lives, viewers were just as drawn in by the drama sparked by relationships and family feuds.
Here are some surprising things that you didn’t know about Gilmore Girls. Click next to learn about the talented script writing needed to deliver high speed lines.
Just How Fast the Gilmore Girls Talked
One thing that gave the show its hallmark was the collection of Gilmore-isms, which fans used to test their knowledge. Gilmore-isms combine witty banter, jargon unique to the characters and dozens of pop culture references. This made for fast-paced talking that would give seasoned actors a run of their money without enough rehearsal. What we don’t generally think about is just how much writing it takes to create such dialog dense scenes.
We got used to the speed after spending weekends watching a marathon of episodes, but the amount of work behind the script writing is impressive. Not only did it have to be humorous and true to each character, but the writing also had to be substantial. Each script was about 75 pages, which is 20 pages longer than the average TV script. Each page was less than a minute of dialogue, with the majority of the pages barely covering 30 seconds. Click next to learn more about the show’s success.
No Emmy for Gilmore Girls
Gilmore Girls quickly became the second most popular TV show on the WB network and earned a spot on the Time magazine’s list of 100 greatest television shows of all time. Yet, the hard work of the producers and actors went overlooked for major awards due to the bias against smaller networks like The WB. Gilmore Girls went without nominations for major categories in the Emmys, walking away with one mere win for Outstanding Makeup in 2004.
As previously mentioned, scripts for the show were dense in wit and charm, not to mention twice as long as a standard script. Each episode had a run time of 45 minutes, yet none of these qualities were enough for the show to get a nomination for its script writing either. If this sounds unjust, you can rest assured with Lauren Graham’s nominations from the Screen Actors Guild and the Golden Globe.Click next to reveal the backstory behind pop culture references packed into every episode.
Endless Pop Culture References
Young fans may love watching character interactions and new relationships blossom, but may be missing out on dozens of classic Gilmore lines. This is because every scene and comment is tied into a pop culture reference and delivered so fast, only seasoned fans with true wit will catch onto it, but barely have time to snicker before the next zinger comes. You shouldn’t feel too out of touch if a few things go over your head – in fact, it may surprise you to find out who else didn’t quite get everything written in the script.
While Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel evolved into great actors throughout the series to deliver the bits without missing a beat, they didn’t always understand the true humor. Both actors had to comb over each script and update each other on what the references really meant. Let’s hope Bledel really read up to truly understand Rory, as there were 339 book references alone. Click next to find out the truth about Friday night dinners with the Gilmores.
Friday Night Dinners Were the Best
We all know the reason for Friday night dinners with Lorelai’s rich parents was a collateral move to keep the girls close year round while the Gilmores paid for Rory’s private school tuition. Lorelai and Rory park in the driveway for a pep talk before making that long walk up the driveway and ditching their coffee cups before reluctantly ringing the doorbell. We all hold our breath with our girls and can practically feel the tension cut the air as they start dinner night with cocktail hour.
For how well Lorelai convinced us that she distains Friday night dinners, they were actually Lauren Graham’s favorite scenes in the series. She loved working with TV mother Kelly Bishop, especially in the scenes where they argued. Because these dinners were full of drama, the shoots were long and had multiple camera angles. Click next to find out what made Lorelai and Rory so close on camera.
Rory was Alexis Bledel’s First Role
Alexis Bledel made her debut in Gilmore Girls as a professional actor. Starting out in show business is tricky for anyone, but to land a major role as a first time actor is even more daunting. Luckily for Bledel, she had co-star Lauren Graham there to show her the ropes. Not only did the two have perfect mother-daughter chemistry that made fans envious of their relationship as best friends, but this helped out in filming as well.
Because of the high level of camerawork involved, Lorelai often stayed close to Rory with her arm around her shoulder, not so the two seemed very close, but so Bledel could learn a sense of direction when acting in front of the cameras. This explains why the two become more distant in later seasons, since Bledel became more experienced, the writers had more freedom to take their relationship onto a different path. Click next to find out the truth about another dramatic relationship.
Luke and Lorelai Weren’t Meant to Be
To infuriate fans who have high hopes for a happy romance, Luke and Lorelai are constantly missing opportunities to be with each other and are all too easily dissuaded from pursuing one another by off the cuff comments and subtle hints. To keep up the drama, characters were deliberately written into the show just to keep Luke and Lorelai apart.
While it seems like Jess’ character was there to create trouble – or excitement in Rory’s love life, he initially showed up in Star’s Hollow to keep Luke distracted and give him yet another reason to think of Lorelai as nothing more than a loyal customer at the diner. April also came into Luke’s life as his long-lost daughter to create another road block in their blossoming relationship. It seems like the creators did everything possible to make it anything but a happy ending for our hopeful couple. Click next to reveal the true secret about Luke.
Luke’s Diner Almost Never Existed
Scott Patterson appeared as Luke in the pilot, but was only supposed to make appearances as a recurring character. However, the creators became hooked when they saw how dynamic Patterson’s and Graham’s chemistry was, and they wrote him in as a permanent character. Originally, another character named Daisy was going to be the proprietor of the diner, but everyone had second thoughts about this since the whole show was already female strong.
Not only did we find Luke’s rough around the edges persona endearing as we got to know the guy, but Patterson added a rugged touch to make our favorite small town hardware store turned diner iconic. Just make sure to put away your smart phones to stay on his good side! Patterson got to sport a baseball cap in every episode as homage to his former career as a minor league baseball player. Click next to find out the truth about Jess and Rory.
Rory and Jess Were Really in Love
When long awaited romance unfolds between favorite characters, we can’t help feeling happy and giddy inside. But when fans catch wind of an off screen romance that validates relationship goals, people lose their minds. This is probably why there weren’t many tabloid stories revealing the truth behind Milo Ventimiglia’s and Alexis Bledel’s relationship. If you were on Team Jess as your favorite for Rory’s boyfriend, it’s probably because you realized there was something extra special going on between the two.
Outside of work, the couple kept their relationship under wraps the best they could, but ended up dating for four years, even after Ventimiglia’s role on the show ended. This probably made it especially intense when their characters met up again long after Rory attended Yale. Understandably so, this could have been the reason why Rory didn’t have a boyfriend her first year away from home. Click next to reveal another way Jess could have made even a bigger comeback.
Jess Almost Had a Spinoff
We know that Jess makes his exit from the show after going to California to look for his dad. Some fans loved getting a glimpse of what became of Jess right after leaving Stars Hollow, but others found these extra scenes pretty much unnecessary since there weren’t any other familiar characters along for the ride. The real reason why Jess got these special scenes all to himself was as an attempt to create a pilot.
The Gilmore Girls episode “Here Comes the Son” was supposed to be the beginning of Jess’ spinoff, which would take place in Venice Beach. The WB network found it too expensive to shoot there in the long run, so the new show didn’t take off. There was also talk of Rory getting her own spinoff in 2008, but Alexis Bledel stated that she had no interest in starring in her own show without Lauren Graham. Click next to find out what happened to other characters.
Why Supporting Cast Left the Show
Friends and classmates that became important supporting characters seemed to move away from Connecticut for legitimate reasons that most of us didn’t think twice about. It just so happens that friends of the Gilmores weren’t deliberately written out of the show, but there were actually several minor actors who left for other roles they landed. Once creators found out they would be losing cast members, they wrote reasons for their move into the script that paralleled the actors’ next gigs.
Chad Michael Murray left for One Tree Hill, so his character Tristan went to military school. Adam Brody was set to join The O.C., so his character Dave moved to California. Even Chilton classmate Brad had a leave of absence and later came back after performing on Broadway. No coincidence there, since actor Adam Wylie was actually on Broadway performing in “Into The Woods”. Rory’s first boyfriend Dean stopped appearing as well, since actor Jared Paladecki moved on to star in Supernatural. Click next to reveal who else went on to TV success.
Melissa McCarthy’s Success After Gilmore Girls
Melissa McCarthy first gained nationwide attention when she started her role as bubbly chef Sookie St. James and doubled as Lorelai’s best friend and business partner. McCarthy made film appearances during her run on Gilmore Girls, which only permitted a few nods. She reached her real breakthrough after starring in the 2011 film Bridesmaids, which earned her an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress. McCarthy found a new home on our TV screens starring in her series Mike and Molly, which ran until 2016.
McCarthy can credit her successful acting career to her start of Gilmore Girls, which is substantially more than what can be said of her fellow cast members. In 2016 Forbes listed her as the world’s second highest paid actress, earning a grand total of $33 million. While her character on the show caused McCarthy to be highly underestimated, a fellow cast member’s future roles may be just as surprising. Click next to discover who else had a big television role after Gilmore Girls ended.
From Gilmore Girls to Bunheads
After show creator Amy Sherman-Palladino left Gilmore Girls before the final season, she soon after began working on her next television venture. Bunheads aired on ABC Family in 2012 and co-starred another Gilmore famous face, Emily Bishop. Back in the day, Bishop had studied ballet, which made it fitting for her to play character Fanny Flowers, the owner of a ballet school. The show was cancelled after only one season, and didn’t make the impact that Sherman-Palladino was hoping for in her bounce back from Gilmore Girls.
Sherman-Palladino’s career has since quieted, but briefly picked up once she committed to writing the episodes for the Gilmore Girls revival special. The mini-series was once again unsuccessful in building off of the momentum created by the hype of prodigal daughter’s return and faced harsh criticism from long-time fans. The insult that perhaps hurt the most was the lazy writing with Lorelai and Rory idling around, doling out unfunny body shaming remarks. Click next to find out the real reason why Sherman-Palladino left the show.
Why Show Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino Left
Amy Sherman-Palladino created Gilmore Girls and took it quite literally as her brain child. She wanted the show to be quick-witted and highly saturated in pop culture to create memorable character chemistry that viewers would come back for every week. Because of this, she created a highly regimented set, working with a small writing staff and making sole decisions in production. If this sounds a bit controlling, her reasoning for reading every script and controlling the sets was so the tone of the show stayed consistent in every episode.
However, things changed once the show switched networks and continued to run on The CW. Sherman-Palladino couldn’t come to terms with the new network and left the show after her contract expired before the final season. This change of hands brought on new collaborations with the next showrunner, David S. Rosenthal. Click next to reveal how else the show changed.
How the Show Changed in the Final Season
After Gilmore Girls had a new network and showrunner for season 7, gears switched again as everyone had to prepare for the series finale to come. The show ended since Graham’s and Bledel’s contracts were to expire and new terms weren’t panning out in negotiations. Since Rory was due to graduate Yale, it seemed best for everyone to let fans imagine how Rory was to start the next chapter in her life off camera. Cast remarked how the final season had changed in overall direction.
With Sherman-Palladino leaving Rosenthal as new showrunner, actors got to bring more input in production, which created a very different vibe compared to all previous seasons. Lauren Graham even contributed as a co-producer, and requested that the finale have a more meaningful conclusion than the originally proposed lighthearted script. Despite the rush to finish off the last season, fans recognized how Rory’s fast packing to cover Obama’s campaign trail paralleled the same vibe right before she started Yale. Click next for the truth about Stars Hollow.
The Truth About Stars Hollow
While true fans may be familiar with the magical, fictitious town of Stars Hollow that was founded in 1779 and its name was inspired as the meeting place of two star-crossed lovers, it was actually based off a real place. We may be familiar with its location near real-life towns Danbury and Woodbury, approximately an hour away from the capital city of Hartford. The show creators had actually visited Washington Depot and were so taken with the small town charm, that they modeled Stars Hollow after it.
This is where the inspiration came from to make it a quintessential place where everyone is on a first name basis and jump into conversations about town happenings. Lorelai becoming a quirky contributor to Stars Hollow life and even serving herself at Luke’s isn’t too far of a stretch if you pay these welcoming coves a visit. Click next to reveal more about the Gilmore Girls set.
Gilmore Girls Set Ties
While the show creators drew inspiration from western Connecticut to bring Stars Hollow to life, the sets also have shared history. No matter how convinced we were that the Gilmore Girls were in sleepy small town Connecticut for all those years, the town square is actually located in the Warner Bros, studio back lot. Other iconic places in fictitious Stars Hollow are also shared sets for other past films and television series.
The Waltons’ house was what later became Lorelai’s Dragonfly Inn, and other sets were used in The Music Man and The Dukes of Hazzard. All three of these productions were regularly referenced on the show, which in hindsight makes the Gilmore Girls suddenly seem much more insightful than skittish gabbers. Subsequently, the set has become home to Pretty Little Liars. Luke’s Diner makes regular appearances, but first got a makeover as the sleek Rosewood Café. Click next to reveal more cast connections.
Lasting Cast Connections
As expected in show business, cast connections set actors up for future roles, which is why audiences recognize and intertwining of television or film casts. Gilmore Girls is no exception when it comes to long lived ties of recurring acting roles. Busy body Stars Hollow regulars Miss Patty, Liz Torres, and Babette, Sally Struthers, go way back to their time together on the 70’s show “All in the Family”. Torres likewise worked with co-creator Daniel Palladino on the short-lived show “Over the Top”.
Jackson Douglas got to keep his name as Jackson Daily, the produce farmer, and his wife Alex Borstein was originally offered the role of Sookie St. James. They would have made for an authentic on-screen couple. Despite Borstein not continuing with Gilmore Girls, she remained in her steady voice work niche as Lois on Family Guy. Click next to find out what other ties Gilmore Girls has to Family Guy.
Gilmore Girls and Family Guy
Amy Sherman-Palladino’s husband Daniel Palladino also worked as a producer on Family Guy from 2000 to 2002. Actor Alex Borstein who voices Lois Griffin also worked as a producer from 2005 to 2007. In season 4 of Family Guy, Brian and Lois watch a parodied episode of Gilmore Girls, which involved cartoon versions of Lorelai and Rory speed up their banter and ended with them making out on the couch.
Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane also made a cameo appearance in a couple Gilmore Girls episodes, most notably as a fellow classmate in Lorelai’s graduation from business school. Fans who caught onto this appearance still remember the time that MacFarlane was mean to Lorelai Gilmore. What they may not recall is how he later lent his voice to the lawyer that called Lorelai about the deposition for her mother’s legal case against a former maid.