‘Gilmore Girls’ A to Z: From Al’s Pancake World to Zack Van Gerbig

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The cast of ‘Gilmore Girls’ (Credit: WB)

Where the Gilmore Girls lead, we will follow! It’s been nine long years since super mother-daughter duo Lorelai and Rory Gilmore drank all the coffee in Stars Hollow, gorged on junk food and Chinese takeout, fell in and out of love, and dropped every pop culture reference imaginable in their rapid-fire banter. Now the Gilmores are back to drink even more coffee, talk even faster, and charm us more than ever in Netflix’s continuation of the series, which premieres Nov. 25.

In four 90-minute episodes, titled “Winter,” “Spring,” “Summer,” and “Fall,” Lorelai (Lauren Graham), Rory (Alexis Bledel), and grandmother Emily (Kelly Bishop) all face big changes in their lives. To get ready for the revival, we’re highlighting all the things we love about the show with our official “Return to Stars Hollow” coverage, from the wacky supporting characters to the insanely clever dialogue to the girls’ complicated love lives. Check back here every day until Nov. 25 to obsess with us over all things Gilmore.

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Whether you’re a longtime Gilmore Girls fan, or a newbie trying to catch up before the premiere of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life on Netflix, our A to Z guide of all things Gilmore-ian is the perfect primer to get you in that Gilmore frame of mind. Think of it as the perfect entry, or re-entry, to their little corner of the world.

A

Al’s Pancake World – one of the Stars Hollow eateries favored by Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. As fits in with the quirkiness of most businesses in Stars Hollow, Al’s no longer serves pancakes; it specializes in international cuisine, and is where the Gilmore girls go for Chinese food.

Andrew – played by Mike Gandolfi, Andrew is the owner of Stars Hollow Books, a member of the Battle of Stars Hollow re-enactors group, and a regular participant in the annual Stars Hollow dance marathon, where he always quits within the first 15 minutes after fighting with his girlfriend.

Related: ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life’ Review: Let It Snow in ‘Winter’

Asher Fleming – played by Michael York, he’s an author and Yale literature professor — and friend of Richard Gilmore — who begins an affair with Paris Geller during her freshman year at Yale. Fleming, known for having flings with his much, much younger students, dies before Paris’s sophomore year, and, after dedicating his novel Jaglon to her, leaves her an antique printing press in his will.

(Credit: The WB)
Michael York (Credit: The WB)

A Year in the Life – the Netflix revival series, which will consist of four new episodes of Gilmore Girls. Each episode covers one season in the Gilmores’ lives, beginning with winter.

B

Babette Ate Oatmeal – a “humorous topical headline” of something that happened around town, and featured on a series of T-shirts hawked by entrepreneurial Kirk. The tees, which featured nothing but white text on black shirts, were updated on a daily basis, and included one that said, “Rory’s going to Yale!”

Babette Dell – played by Sally Struthers, the diminutive Babette is Lorelai and Rory’s next-door-neighbor and protective friend. Wife of Morey and BFF of Miss Patty, Babette is a beloved Stars Hollow resident, despite (because of?) her penchant for saying whatever is on her mind and being one of the town’s biggest gossips.

The Bangles – one of Lorelai’s favorite bands. She and Sookie take Rory, Paris, Madeline, and Louise to a Bangles concert in New York in Season 1’s “Concert Interruptus.”

Bid on a Basket – an annual Stars Hollow event in which women pack picnic baskets and local men bid on the chance to enjoy the basket’s contents and the company of the woman who made it.

“Big head want dolly” – Lorelai claims this was her first complete sentence, sparked by the fact that Emily constantly reminded her as a child that she had an unusually large head.

Bracebridge Dinner – a formal, multi-course feast presented as a meal with Renaissance era royalty, including period-appropriate food, language, costumes, and customs. Lorelai and Sookie plan one for a group of clients at the Independence Inn, but when a snowstorm prevents the clients from travelling to Stars Hollow, Lorelai invited the town’s residents to enjoy the event instead.

Brad Langford – played by Adam Wylie, Brad is a skittish Chilton student who is totally intimidated by Paris. Even after he returns to the school after starring in Into the Woods on Broadway, he is still totally afraid of Miss Geller.

Brian Fuller – played by John Cabrera, Brian is Zack’s best friend, Lane and Zack’s roommate, and the bass player Hep Alien.

C

Caesar – played by Aris Alvarado for most of the character’s on-screen appearances, Caesar is the cook at Luke’s Diner. He once tried to make cold bananas a dish at Luke’s, and was bummed that he created a salad that he couldn’t name after himself.

Carole King – the legendary singer and songwriter performs — with her daughter, Louise Goffin — a cover of her own classic “Where You Lead” as the series’ theme song. She also plays grumpy Stars Hollow music store owner Sophie Bloom, who helps Lane become a drummer by letting her secretly practice on the drums in Sophie’s Music.

Cat Kirk – when Kirk gets a cat from a lady at the grocery store, he names it Kirk. Rory and Lorelai point out the potential for that to be confusing, so Kirk decides to refer to the cat as “Cat Kirk,” and himself as “Human Kirk.” As Rory pithily observes, “He’s always been a cat person, he’s just never had a cat.”

Chilton – the prestigious prep school Rory attends. Lorelai had to borrow money from her parents to pay Rory’s tuition, with Emily insisting Rory and Lorelai attend Friday night dinners at the Gilmore home as part of the deal. Rory previously attended Stars Hollow High, where she met first boyfriend Dean.

Christopher Hayden – played by David Sutcliffe, Christopher is Rory’s father, whose presence in her life has been inconsistent. As he gets older, he gains more stability in his life, though bad timing prevents he and Lorelai from becoming a couple, until she breaks up with Luke in Season 7. Lorelai and Christopher get married spontaneously during a trip to Paris, but divorce a few months later after realizing they were never really right for each other.

Related: ‘Gilmore Girls’: A Journey Through Lorelai’s Love Life

Coffee cake – the special dessert Luke makes for Rory on her birthday, surprising her with the cake and balloons when she meets Lane at Luke’s Diner for breakfast.

“Coffee, coffee, coffee!” – the epitome of Lorelai’s love, and possible addiction to, java. She enters Weston’s Bakery one day, proclaiming she needs “coffee, coffee, coffee!” to an unfamiliar clerk, who brings her three coffees. Lorelai tries to explain she didn’t actually mean to order three coffees, but, of course, she takes all three coffees.

(Credit: The WB)
(Credit: The WB)

Colin McCrae – played by Alan Loayza, Colin is one of Logan’s best friends, a fellow Yale student and member of the Life and Death Brigade. He is the snootiest, and least charming, of Logan’s crew.

“Copperboom” – while packing her makeup bag for her move to her Yale dorm, Rory is surprised by how much makeup she wears. “When did I become one of those girls with dozens of beauty products, none of which are expendable? It used to be a touch of mascara, dab of Coppertone, zip, bam, boom, out the door,” she says. Lorelai says all she heard of that sentence was “copper” and “boom,” leading them to create “copperboom” as shorthand for a situation in which one should rush.

Crazy Carrie Duncan – played by Jill Brennan, Carrie is a friend of Liz’s. Though she’s married, she makes Luke uncomfortable by flirting with him any time she’s around him, and by calling him by his high school nickname, “Butch.” Carrie also insists she and Luke once made out in high school, under the bleachers during a Homecoming football game. Luke insists it never happened. Meanwhile, Carrie is friendly with everyone… except Lorelai, who she tries to ignore.

D

Dance marathon – Stars Hollow hosts an annual dance marathon, in which the last couple standing is declared the winner. Despite Lorelai’s desire to win, Kirk usually emerges victorious, and celebrates by hoisting the big trophy over his head and running around the gymnasium where it’s held, with the Rocky theme song accompanying him.

DAR – Daughters of the American Revolution, Emily’s main social group, which Rory eventually joins.

Dave Rygalski – played by Adam Brody, Dave is Lane’s first boyfriend, a fellow music lover who meets Lane when he’s looking for a drummer for his band. Sweet and funny, he pretends to be a Christian guitarist and reads the whole Bible in one night to impress Mrs. Kim, but he and Lane break up when he moves to California to attend college. In real life, Brody had been cast in The O.C., and couldn’t continue on Gilmore.

Related: 15 Gifts for the ‘Gilmore Girls’ Fan in Your Life

Dean Forester – played by Jared Padalecki, Dean and his family move to Stars Hollow from Chicago, and Rory catches his eye the first day he sees her at Stars Hollow High. He becomes her first boyfriend, and they break up in Season 3 after she falls for Jess. A bag boy at Doose’s Market and later a member of Tom’s construction team, Dean rebounds with Lindsay Lister, and the two get married in Season 4. The marriage is short-lived, as Rory uses Dean as a crutch when she experiences self-doubt during her freshman year at Yale, and the two have an affair. Lindsay finds out and dumps Dean, and Rory and Dean discover they were not meant to be together, either, after they begin dating again. Dean is last seen in Season 5, bitterly telling Luke that he is not right for Lorelai, just as Dean wasn’t right for Rory.

(Credit: The WB)
Jared Padalecki (Credit: The WB)

“Do you see her face?” – the catchphrase of the relationship advice audiotape Luke listens to in Season 4, the one that makes him realize he’s in love with Lorelai.

Doose’s Market – the town grocery store, owned — like much of Stars Hollow — by Taylor Doose.

Doyle McMaster – played by Danny Strong, Doyle is the editor of the Yale Daily News when Rory and Paris join the paper. He and Paris begin an intense relationship after bonding at a speed-dating event.

Dragonfly Inn – the inn, once owned by Fran Weston, that becomes the dream business Lorelai and Sookie have wanted to build, after they became best friends working for the owner of the Independence Inn. The Dragonfly becomes so successful that a large corporation wants to purchase it, but Lorelai and Sookie remain the owners. The building first came to their attention in Season 1, when Luke’s ex, Rachel, showed it to Lorelai.

E

Eat Like a Gilmore – the 2016 unofficial cookbook of the series. Author, and Gilmore fan Kristi Carlson, includes recipes for such Gilmore-ian delights as Founders Day Punch, Paris’s Yale cafeteria cereal combos, dark chocolate espresso cake (like the one Sookie made for Lorelai’s business school graduation), dessert sushi, pudding, Mock Turtle Soup, and several coffee-flavored beverages.

Emily Gilmore – played by Kelly Bishop, Emily is the female head of the Gilmore family, a society woman who devotes her time to social events, charity work, and her family. Emily dotes on Rory, but she and Lorelai have a contentious relationship, partly because they’re more similar than either likes to admit, partly because Emily can be controlling and judgmental, and partly because Lorelai broke her heart when she ran away with baby Rory when Lorelai was 16. Emily sees Lorelai’s rejection of the Gilmore wealth and social standing as a comment on her life, though both are fiercely funny, smart, devoted, fast-talking women. Emily is a very respected member of her social circle, has impeccable taste, is well-traveled, and enjoys gardening, shopping for designer goods and frequently redecorating parts of the Gilmore mansion.

(Credit: The WB)
Kelly Bishop (Credit: The WB)

F

Finn – played by Tanc Sade, Australian Finn is the sweetest, most eccentric, and most charming of Logan’s best friends, and a member of the Life and Death Brigade.

 

Four wordsGilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino famously teased fans she would end the series with a final four words that would be spoken between Lorelai and Rory. When she didn’t return as showrunner and writer for the series’ seventh — and final, until the Netflix revival — season, she refused to share what those four words would have been. Now, fans will finally get to hear them, as they are the final four words of the fourth installment of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.

Francie Jarvis – as played by Emily Bergl, Francie is a Chilton student who’s the leader of the all-female secret society The Puffs. Francie wants to control the student government as a senior, and butts heads with senior class president Paris along the way. Francie even briefly makes socially insecure Paris believe friend and class vice president Rory has stabbed her in the back, but Paris ultimately gets her way and leaves Chilton with a new telescope as their class gift, instead of the lame tree Francie had wanted.

The Franklin – the student newspaper at Chilton. Paris is the editor, Rory is a reporter, and both care tremendously about the quality of the paper, and spend many afternoons, evenings, and weekends working on it.

Friday night dinners – a signature of the series, Lorelai and Rory join Richard and Emily for weekly dinners at the Gilmore mansion. The dinners are often contentious, depending on recent developments in the family’s relationships, but are just as often light and funny, as Lorelai tries to shock her parents with her over-the-top sense of humor, and Emily tries to keep Lorelai on her toes, sometimes serving her gross food like animal pancreas and at other times serving pudding, a food she detests but which she knows Lorelai and Rory love. In the end, the dinners are what keeps the Gilmores together through the seasons, despite some serious dysfunctional moments and painful history between them.

G

Gazebo – a beautiful one sits in the town square of Stars Hollow, and has served as the location for many great moments, including Luke and Lorelai bonding after he bought her Bid on a Basket lunch, and the duo celebrating with Zima — “chick beer,” as Luke called it — after she asked him to marry her.

(Credit: The WB)
Scott Patterson and Lauren Graham (Credit: The WB)

Gigi – as last played by Nicolette Collier , she’s Christopher’s youngest child, his daughter with Sherry. Gigi, whose name is Georgia on her birth certificate, is a beautiful, but high-strung little girl, who’s rebelling against the upheaval in her life after her mom abandoned her and her dad proves to have a definite dearth of parenting skills.

Related: ‘Gilmore Girls’: We Look Back at the Series Finale

 

Gil – played by Skid Row rocker Sebastian Bach, Gil is a sandwich shop owner and former rock star who answers an ad and auditions to replace Dave in Hep Alien. Brian and Zack think Gil’s too old at first, but Lane has a soft spot for him and his serious guitar skills, and he becomes a member of the group for local performances and for a Mrs. Kim-arranged tour of Seventh Day Adventist churches.

Glenn Babble – played by Ethan Cohn, Glenn is a nerdy, neurotic Yale student and Yale Daily News reporter who can’t fashion a hat out of newspaper and frequently thinks everything sucks. He joins Rory and Paris on a Spring Break drive to Florida, and inspires jealousy in Doyle and regret in Rory when one of his Daily News stories is picked up by The New York Times.

 

Gypsy – played by Rose Abdoo, Gypsy is the town’s auto mechanic, a witty, sarcastic woman who fixed cars for Dean, Jess, and Lorelai, among others. In fact, when Luke and Lorelai break up and Taylor asks the townsfolk to vote on whose side they’re on by choosing a pink or blue ribbon, Gypsy says she’s on Team Lorelai. “ It was no choice for me. Luke fixes his own truck, so I make bupkis off him,” she says. “But you, you don’t know a piston from a pepperoni. Lots of money in ignorance. I’m with you.”

H 

Hartford – the Connecticut town that is the home of the Gilmore mansion, Chilton prep school, and Lorelai’s business school.

Harvard – once Rory’s dream school, inspiring a whole wall of paraphernalia in her room, and a road trip for her and Lorelai after Lorelai broke up with Max.

Hay bale maze – Taylor upsets the town when he spends the entire budget for the annual Spring Fling festival on an elaborate hay bale maze, but once people start to walk through the maze, they’re won over by how fun it is. The Season 7 setting was also the site of Luke and Lorelai’s apologies to each other after her short-lived marriage to Christopher, and the beginning of what seemed destined to be a Luke and Lorelai reunion.

Headmaster Charleston – played by Dakin Matthews, Hanlin Charleston is Headmaster of Chilton, and a good friend of Richard and Emily’s. Charleston has several tense meetings with Lorelai, especially when Lorelai thinks Charleston and other Chilton figures are judging Rory unfairly, and trying to force her to socialize with people who aren’t kind to her. Of course, it doesn’t help that Charleston knows Lorelai dated teacher Max, and, for her first meeting with Charleston, arrived wearing cut-off jean shorts and a T-shirt.

Hep Alien – Lane’s rock band, featuring Lane on drums, Dave and Zack on guitar, and Brian on bass. Gil replaced Dave when he went away to college. The band’s name is an anagram of Helen Pai, a Gilmore producer and Amy Sherman-Palladino’s BFF.

Hep-Alien
John Cabrera, Keiko Agena, Todd Lowe, Joel Gion, and Sebastian Bach (Credit: Warner Bros./Everett Collection)

I

“I love you, you idiot” – what a frustrated Rory tells Dean, after he mistakenly thinks she wants to be with Tristan in Season 1. It’s also the first time she tells Dean she loves him.

Independence Inn – Lorelai, Sookie, and Michel’s workplace, until it burns down in a fire. The Inn, owned by Mia, is also the first job Lorelai gets after running away from home with baby Rory when she was 16. Mia was so sympathetic about Lorelai’s situation that she allowed the Gilmore girl and baby to live in a potting shed on the Inn’s property, a fact that breaks Emily’s heart all over again when she learns Lorelai chose to live in a potting shed instead of with her and Richard.

“In Omnia Paratus” – the motto of the Life and Death Brigade, meaning “ready for anything.”

J

Jackson Belleville – played by Jackson Douglas, Jackson is Sookie’s husband, a farmer, and the produce provider for the Independence Inn and the Dragonfly Inn. That’s how he and Sookie meet and eventually fall in love. Jackson briefly served as town selectman, after destroying Taylor in the election, but he hated the job and gave it back to Taylor. Jackson and Sookie frequently squabble about the quality of his produce, and about how many children they should have. He wants “four in four” — four kids in four years (she does not), and even fakes getting a vasectomy, unbeknownst to Sookie, which results in a surprise pregnancy.

Jason Stiles – played by Chris Eigeman, Jason is Richard’s business partner, and, unbeknownst to Richard and Emily, Lorelai’s boyfriend. He’s quirky, even by GG standards — he can’t sleep in a bed with someone, even a woman he’s dating, so his apartment contains a spare bedroom he’s tricked out in luxury for his significant other’s post-romance slumber. Eventually, Jason’s dad tells Richard and Emily that Jason and Lorelai are dating, then threatens to sue Jason and Richard over business matters, ruining Jason’s relationships with Lorelai and Richard.

Related: A Cheater’s Guide to the Ultimate ‘Gilmore Girls’ Reading List

Jeep – Lorelai’s car, a car she loves so much that, when its engine breaks down, she has Luke find an exact replica of the car and put its engine into the body of her old Jeep.

Jess Mariano – played by Milo Ventimiglia, Jess is Luke’s rebellious nephew, who’s sent to live with Luke when his mom, Liz, can no longer handle the teen. Jess, who hates school — and frequently skips it — reads more than Rory, which is one of the many things they bond over. Rory develops such strong feelings for Jess that she eventually hurts Dean, who breaks up with her at the marathon dance when he can’t ignore her obvious crush any longer. Jess and Rory’s relationship is a rocky one, as he frequently hurts her feelings and doesn’t always dote on her the way Dean does. After Jess learns he’s going to flunk out of school and isn’t allowed to attend his prom with Rory, he leaves town without telling Rory goodbye. He eventually becomes a published author, and he and Rory eventually reconnect as friends, but never romantically, despite the fact that many Gilmore fans remain #TeamJess.

Milo Ventimiglia and Alexis Bledel (Credit: Everett Collection)
Milo Ventimiglia and Alexis Bledel (Credit: Everett Collection)

Journalist – Rory’s dream job.

K 

Kim’s Antiques – a Stars Hollow shop owned by Mrs. Kim. The Kim family also lives in the building that houses the store.

 

Kirk Gleason – played by Sean Gunn, Kirk is perhaps Stars Hollow’s quirkiest resident, born and raised in town. He’s a grown man who lives with his mother, he’s had more than five dozen jobs, and he forms unlikely attachments to Taylor, his boss and reluctant father figure, and Luke, his friend and pseudo-mentor. Kirk is also known for his moviemaking — A Film by Kirk — his ongoing crush on Lorelai, and his interpretive dance of life and death.

Sean Gunn (Credit: The WB)
Sean Gunn (Credit: The WB)

Knit-a-Thon – the citizens of Stars Hollow plan to raise money to rebuild a local bridge, by earning money for each skein of yarn they knit. Despite elaborate preparations for the event, it’s quickly abandoned when wealthy Christopher simply donates the full amount it will cost to repair the bridge.

Related: ‘Gilmore Girls’: Revisit 10 of the Show’s Wackiest Storylines

 

Kwan and Steve Van Gerbig – Lane and Zack’s twin sons.

L

Lane Kim – played by Keiko Agena, Lane has been Rory’s best friend since they met in kindergarten and Lane shared her crayons with Rory. Raised by the strict and religious Mrs. Kim, Lane is a music and pop culture lover who has to hide her music, makeup, clothes, and non-Bible books from Mrs. Kim, setting up an elaborate hidden storage system under her bed and in the floorboards of her room at the Kim home. Lane attends Stars Hollow High, and occasionally rebels, secretly, against her mom’s rules, like when she briefly dyed her hair purple and begins to teach herself how to play the drums at Sophie’s Music. Lane attends Seventh Day Adventist college, but she eventually tells her mom she’s in a band and wants to pursue music as a career. She also moves out of the Kim home and shares an apartment with bandmates Brian and Zack, who will eventually become her husband and the father of her twin boys.

Keiko Agena (Credit: Everett Collection)
Keiko Agena (Credit: Everett Collection)

Le Chat Club – a Stars Hollow pet boutique (make a “k” sound for the “ch” in Chat), it’s where Human Kirk buys supplies for Cat Kirk.

 

Life and Death Brigade – a Yale secret society, led by Logan and his friends, which Rory investigates for a story in the Yale Daily News. The group’s big stunt involves jumping off a very tall platform wearing formal gowns and tuxedos, hooked to ropes and holding umbrellas.

Alexis Bledel and Matt Czuchry (Credit: The WB)
Alexis Bledel and Matt Czuchry (Credit: The WB)

Living Art Festival – another Taylor Doose-led Stars Hollow celebration, the festival features life-sized “re-enactments” of famous works of art, with live humans standing perfectly still to represent humans in the paintings. Kirk plays Jesus in The Last Supper (and fights with Grant the Town Troubadour’s Judas) while Lorelai, despite flinching during a previous fest, lands the role of Renoir Girl.

Liz – played by Kathleen Wilhoite, Liz is Luke’s troubled, flaky, but kindhearted younger sister. Liz’s life began to take some bad turns after her mother died. She had Jess with Jimmy Mariano, who left her right after Jess was born. A string of bad relationships with men, as well as an inability to steer Jess’s life, ended when Liz met T.J., married him in a grand Renaissance-themed wedding in the town square, moved to Stars Hollow, and started her own jewelry business.

 

Logan Huntzberger – played by Matt Czuchry, Logan is a member of one of the wealthiest families in the Gilmores’ social circle. The Huntzbergers are media moguls, and Yale student Logan is expected by his father Mitchum to take over the family business. Logan rebels against such plans, however, and would rather party with his fellow rich kids. He seems to take nothing seriously, though he is bright, and very well read. It’s only after he meets Rory and they begin a relationship that he starts to, still grudgingly, settle down and take his future more seriously. Despite some rocky patches and a couple of breakups, Rory and Logan’s relationship becomes serious, and he proposes to her on the day she graduates from Yale. She turns him down to pursue her career, instead, and they break up.

Related: ‘Gilmore Girls’ Pro/Con List: Should Rory Be With Jess or Logan?

 

Lorelai Gilmore – played by Lauren Graham, Lorelai is the center of the Gilmore universe. She broke her society fixture parents’ hearts when she got pregnant at age 16, derailing their plans (and hers) for her to receive an Ivy League education and travel the world. Shortly after giving birth to Rory, she ran away from home, rejecting Richard and Emily’s way of life. She ran to Stars Hollow, where she got a job as a maid at the Independence Inn, eventually working her way up to run the inn for owner Mia. Lorelai’s funny, friendly, fast-talking personality makes her a favorite among her fellow townsfolks, and she passes those traits, along with her pop culture obsessions and junk food-heavy diet, to Rory. Until she begins dating Rory’s teacher, Max, Lorelai keeps her love life private from Rory, and she has an ongoing relationship with Rory’s dad, Christopher, that is often on the verge of turning romantic, but in Season 4, she and Luke finally start a relationship that had been inevitable since the beginning of the show. Lorelai’s relationship with her parents remains fraught, as they’re constantly reminded of how she rejected them and their lifestyle, and she’s constantly reminded of how disappointed they are in some of her choices. Lorelai continues to be a successful businesswoman, even after the Independence Inn burns down, as she and Sookie realize their years-long plan to open their own inn, the Dragonfly.

 

Louise Grant and Madeline – Louise, played by Teal Redmann, and Madeline, played by Shelly Cole, are Chilton students and friends of Paris Gellar. Initially, they are rude to Rory, following Paris’s lead. But as Paris and Rory become friends, Louise and Madeline warm up to Rory, too. They start off on a bad foot with Lorelai, as the boy-crazy duo sneak off with a couple of college boys they meet at a Bangles concert Lorelai takes them to. She hunts them down at the boys’ apartment, and reports to their parents on their dangerous behavior. Post-Chilton, Louise attends Tulane, Madeline attends Wells College, but the two seem to drop out of college altogether to stay in Florida after Spring Break.

 

Luke Danes – played by Scott Patterson, Luke is the sometimes grumpy, but big-hearted owner of Luke’s Diner. Born and raised in Stars Hollow, backwards baseball cap and flannel shirt-wearing Luke is a loyal and proud resident, though it’s only when he begins dating the much more social Lorelai that he begins sometimes participating in town events. Well-liked and respected in the community, Luke is nonetheless sometimes a loner. He and Lorelai have chemistry from the series’ opening scene, when we see the first of many, many moments Lorelai spends drinking coffee at Luke’s. He’s also fond of Rory, and is always there for the Gilmore girls, from showing up at the hospital when Richard is rushed to the ER and loaning Lorelai money for the Dragonfly to making repairs around Lorelai’s house and being the main source of Lorelai and Rory’s non-junk food sustenance. Luke voluntarily takes in troubled Jess and defends him against townsfolk who think he’s just a punk, and he adapts relatively well after finding out he has a daughter, April, whose birth was kept secret from him until she’s almost a teen. His hermit tendencies sometimes interfered with his relationship with Lorelai, but they weathered family interference, the discovery about April, and Lorelai’s brief marriage to Christopher to end the series in a place where a reunion seemed like a certainty.

Scott Patterson and Lauren Graham (Credit: Everett Collection)
Scott Patterson and Lauren Graham (Credit: Everett Collection)

Luke’s Diner – where Lorelai and Rory spend eat most of their meals, thanks to their love of burgers, fries, pie, coffee, and Luke. Luke started the diner in a building that once housed his late father’s hardware store. Until he moves in with Lorelai, Luke — and Jess — lived in the apartment above the diner. Luke’s is unofficially the go-to eatery for most Stars Hollow residents.

 

Lulu Kuschner – played by Rini Bell, Lulu becomes Kirk’s girlfriend in Season 4. A sweet, seemingly sane woman, she’s a third grade teacher at Stars Hollow Elementary, and formerly dated one of Kirk’s brothers.

M

Magic risotto – in “The Deer Hunters,” proud chef Sookie gets a great review from magazine food critic Lucien Mills, but when he calls her “much lauded risotto” only “perfectly fine,” she freaks out. The perfectionist obsesses until she learns he drank the wrong wine when he sampled her signature dish, so she tracks down his home address and shows up on his doorstep with the correct wine and a bowl of the risotto, refusing to leave until he tries her food again. He does, and loves it.

Maids – Emily is notoriously tough on her maids (her friends and family make jokes about it), firing them for the smallest infractions. At one point, one of the fired maids even sues her, leading to Lorelai having to testify — unsuccessfully — that her mother isn’t an unreasonable employer.

Marty – played by Wayne Wilcox, Marty is a Yale student who Rory meets when he gets drunk and passes out naked outside her dorm freshman year. He becomes known on campus as “The Naked Guy,” but they become friends who share a love of The Marx Brothers. Marty, a scholarship student who works several jobs, develops feelings for Rory, but through a series of bad timing and missed opportunities, doesn’t tell her he’s interested in her until she starts dating Logan. Their friendship fades away, until Rory runs into him again senior year, when Marty is dating her new friend Lucy. Marty pretends he doesn’t know Rory, which she confusingly goes along with, but when the truth comes out, Lucy and Marty break up and Rory and Lucy have a temporary falling out.

 

Max Medina – played by Scott Cohen, Max is Rory’s English teacher at Chilton. He meets Lorelai during a parent-teacher event at the school, and they begin dating, causing issues for both Rory and Max at the school. Max proposes to Lorelai — those 1,000 yellow daisies — and they have a big engagement party, but as the wedding gets closer and closer, and after Luke handcrafts a chuppah for her, Lorelai realizes she doesn’t truly love Max and calls off the engagement. The two continue to run into each other, awkwardly, as Max continues to teach at Chilton.

 

Michel Gerard – played by Yanic Truesdale, Michel is the concierge at the Independent and Dragonfly Inns. French, impatient, sarcastic, and sometimes downright rude, Michel suffers no fools gladly, including guests and co-workers. He is a health nut (who counts the number of nuts he eats a day), obsessed with fashion, Celine Dion, and his chow puppies, and he loves to dance and attend auctions. Michel seems to have an active social and love life, though we never meet any of his love interests or learn anything about him. He is very devoted to his dogs, and even throws a formal funeral when Chin-Chin dies. Michel once won $100,000 in prizes — including an RV he did not want — as a contestant on The Price Is Right, and in spite of pretending to hate everyone and everything, can become very hurt if he thinks Lorelai or Sookie aren’t including him in things.

 

Miss Patty – played by Liz Torres, Miss Patty is a former professional dancer who now runs Miss Patty’s School of Ballet in Stars Hollow. A BFF of Babette, the two are often seen gossiping together, as they know everything about everyone in town. Miss Patty also loves to share memories of her many relationships and years in “this business we call show” — she was Ricardo Montalban’s assistant at one point — and still is quite flirtatious around attractive men of any age.

(Credit: The WB)
(Credit: The WB)

Mitchum Huntzberger – played by Gregg Henry, Mitchum is the playboy leader of the Huntzberger clan. Father of Logan, with whom he constantly butts heads despite behaving as Logan does when he was Logan’s age, Mitchum interferes with Logan and Rory’s relationship when he offers her an internship at one of the newspapers he owns, then tells her he doesn’t think she has what it takes to be a professional journalist. The feedback shatters Rory’s confidence, leading her to temporarily drop out of Yale, have a falling out with Lorelai, and move in with Richard and Emily. Richard confronts Mitchum about his harsh words to Rory, and he eventually tells her he was wrong about her and offers to help her get a newspaper job.

 

Mock Turtle Soup – when his beloved mother dies, Richard talks about the “Turtle Neck Soup” she used to have made for him when he was a boy. No one knows what that is, but Lorelai turns to chef Sookie, who thinks he may mean Mock Turtle Soup, and whips him up a batch.

Morey Dell – played by Ted Rooney, Morey is the very tall husband of very petite Babette, which means he has to duck a lot in their home, which was constructed to fit Babette’s proportions. Quiet Morey, who has a special bond with Rory, is a musician who wears all black and is usually seen wearing a pork pie hat. He and Babette are also the parents to cats Cinnamon, who died and drew the whole town for her cat wake in Season 1, and Apricot, the kitten they adopted after Cinnamon’s death. 

 

Mrs. Kim – played by Emily Kuroda, Mrs. Kim is Lane’s mom, and the owner of the very successful Kim’s Antiques. Though Mrs. Kim is married, we never see Mr. Kim on the series. Mrs. Kim appears to make most of the decisions about raising Lane, and is a strict, no-nonsense mother who demands curfews, and Lane’s attendance at the Seventh Day Adventist church they belong to. Lane is not supposed to eat junk food, listen to pop music, or wear makeup, but does all those things secretly. Still, Mrs. Kim is a loving mother who has Lane’s respect, and who can sometimes surprise people with her sense of humor and pop culture awareness. She disapproves of Lorelai’s single mom lifestyle, but allows Lane to spend much time at the Gilmore home, and when Lane declares music is her dream profession, Mrs. Kim helps Hep Alien put together a tour of paying gigs, using her many Seventh Day Adventist contacts.

N

The Nardinis – Anna, played Sherilynn Fenn, is an ex-girlfriend of Luke Danes, and April, played by Vanessa Marano, is her daughter. As it turns out, she’s Luke’s daughter, too, but he doesn’t even learn about April’s existence until she’s 12 years old and tests her own paternity for a science fair project. He gets Anna to agree to let him be a part of April’s life, and he develops a close relationship with April. But when he finally tells Lorelai about his daughter, it becomes a sticking point in their relationship, as Anna doesn’t want Lorelai to spend time with April unless she knows Lorelai and Luke’s relationship is serious. Anna’s demands and restrictions for Luke and Lorelai are a factor in Luke and Lorelai’s breakup, and eventually lead Luke to sue her to formalize his parental rights.

 

Nicole Leahy – played by Tricia O’Kelley, Nicole is an attorney Luke meets when she’s working for Taylor. They begin dating, and during the summer Lorelai and Rory are backpacking through Europe, Luke goes on a multi-country cruise with Nicole and they decide to get married. They plan to dissolve the marriage once they’re back home, but then decide to give the marriage a chance. It ends when Luke catches her cheating on him by finding another man’s sock in their townhouse.

 

No Cell Phones – a sign hangs in Luke’s Diner, depicting a cell phone with a red circle and bar through it. Only Lorelai, occasionally, and Nicole have been allowed to use their cell phones inside the diner.

Scott Patterson and Milo Ventimiglia (Credit: The WB)
Scott Patterson and Milo Ventimiglia (Credit: The WB)

Norman Mailer – the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer guest starred as himself in “Norman Mailer, I’m Pregnant,” the episode in which he annoys Sookie because he spends several lunch times at the Dragonfly, but orders only iced tea instead of her famous dishes.

O

Obama – in the series finale, Rory gets a job covering the Barack Obama presidential campaign for an online magazine.

 

Our Little Corner of the World – the official Gilmore Girls soundtrack CD.

Related: ‘Gilmore Girls’: 10 Times Music Helped Make the Show So Epic

“Oy with the poodles already” – it’s the Gilmore Girls catchphrase, which sparked from one of Lorelai’s signature musings. Telling Rory that she thinks “oy” and “poodle” are two of the funniest words in the world, she suggests putting them together for a new catchphrase that would knock “Whatchoo talking ‘bout, Willis?” right out of first place.

(Credit: The WB)
(Credit: The WB)

P

Panic room – Emily buys a panic room unit for the Gilmore mansion when she and Richard briefly separate, and she gives Lorelai the password — 1111 — making her promise not to share it with anyone. Both Lorelai and Rory make Jodie Foster jokes when they learn of the panic room, but Emily doesn’t get the reference.

 

Paris Geller – played by Liza Weil, Paris is Rory’s best frienemy. They met as Chilton students, where super motivated, competitive Paris quickly sized up Rory as a threat to her goal of being the valedictorian of their class. But the two eventually became uneasy friends, and the relationship only grew as they became roommates at Yale. Paris, whose parents were too self-involved and troubled to pay attention to her, also turned to Lorelai on occasion for advice and a listening ear. Paris lost her virginity to her first boyfriend, Jamie, when she was a Chilton senior, a fact that she blamed for her not gaining admission to Harvard. Another fun fact: She kissed Rory twice, once during a Romeo and Juliet re-enactment for a class project and once on Spring Break.

Paul Anka – he’s Lorelai’s adopted dog, which she gets when she and Rory are estranged during Season 6. Paul Anka, like his owner, has some unusual habits: He’s afraid of peas, he doesn’t like anyone to watch him eat, and he can lock a car door. The real Paul Anka, the singer who inspired Dog Paul Anka’s name, also guest starred on the series, as himself, appearing in Lorelai’s dream.

Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham (Credit: Everett Collection)
Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham (Credit: Everett Collection)

Pennilyn Lott – played by Linda Gehringer, Pennilyn is Richard’s ex-fiancé, who he broke up with to be with Emily. Unbeknownst to Emily, Richard and Pennilyn have maintained a friendship since their days at Yale, and get together for lunch once a year to keep updated on each other’s lives. In the letter Richard’s mother wrote him begging him not to marry Emily, she urged him to reunite with and marry Pennilyn instead.

 

Pop-Tarts – one of Lorelai and Rory’s main food groups.

Q

Queen of ice cream – when Taylor opens Taylor’s Olde Fashioned Soda Shoppe, he names Rory the queen of ice cream and plasters her photo on promotional materials. Too bad he didn’t ask her if she wanted to be the queen of ice cream… she didn’t.

Alexis Bledel (Credit: Everett Collection)
Sean Gunn and Alexis Bledel (Credit: Everett Collection)

R

Rachel – played by Lisa Ann Hadley, Rachel is Luke’s ex-girlfriend, a photographer who likes to travel and gets restless in Stars Hollow. She returns are reunites briefly with Luke, but leaves for good in the Season 1 finale when she realizes he’s in love with Lorelai.

Red Vines – a favorite movie night snack of the junk food-obsessed Gilmore girls.

Richard Gilmore – played by the late, great Edward Herrmann, Richard is the head of the Gilmore family, as Emily’s husband, Lorelai’s dad, and Rory’s grandfather. He, like Emily, is committed to living his life by the traditional standards of high society, though he has a more obvious sense of humor — sometimes — than Emily does. Born wealthy, Richard is also a very successful businessman, adding to the family’s wealth as an executive at the Gehrman-Driscoll Insurance Corporation , and then launching his own insurance company after Gehrman-Driscoll forced him out. Richard is also a Yale grad and a member of the college’s all-male singing group, the Whiffenpoofs. He has a special bond with both Rory and Lorelai; despite his lingering hurt that Lorelai got pregnant as a teenager, he’s impressed with her independence and successes as an adult.

Alexis Bledel and Richard Hermann (Credit: The WB)
Alexis Bledel and Richard Herrmann (Credit: The WB)

Rory Gilmore – played by Alexis Bledel, Rory (actually, Lorelai III) begins the show as Lorelai’s teen daughter, who’s around the same age Lorelai was when she got pregnant. Rory is extremely bright and well-read; she never goes anywhere without something to read. Committed to attending an Ivy League college, Rory leaves Stars Hollow High to attend Chilton. She doesn’t fit in with her schoolmates at first, and this is her first extended exposure to wealthier lifestyles. She gets into Harvard, her dream school, but decides to attend Yale. She’s a journalism major who aspires to have a career like her idol, Christiane Amanpour, and like her mother, she is obsessed with pop culture and junk food.

 

Rune – played by Max Perlich, Rune is Jackson’s obnoxious cousin, who thinks he’s getting the bad end of the deal when Jackson asks him to be Lorelai’s escort for a double date with Jackson and Sookie. Despite Rune’s rudeness (and Rune-ness), Jackson and Sookie have a wonderful time, and Lorelai gives Rune a job at the Independence Inn.

S

Sam Phillips – the singer/songwriter who performs several songs throughout the series, and who provides the signature “la la las” score that punctuates so many of the show’s pivotal moments.

Sherry Tinsdale – played by Madchen Amick, Sherry is Christopher’s ex-girlfriend, the one whose pregnancy quickly ended his reunion with Lorelai at Sookie’s wedding. Sherry and Christopher broke up when she ran off to France and left him to raise their baby alone.

 

Sookie St. James – played by Melissa McCarthy, clumsy, a little absentminded, but bighearted Sookie is Lorelai’s best friend, wife of Jackson, and mom to Davey, Martha, and the baby she was pregnant with at the end of Season 7. She is also a master chef, obsessed with coming up with new recipes in her job as chef at the Independence Inn and chef/co-owner at the Dragonfly.

Melissa McCarthy (Credit: The WB)
Melissa McCarthy (Credit: The WB)

Stars Hollow – the small, quirky, wonderful Connecticut town where the Gilmore girls and their many loved ones live.

T

Taylor Doose – played by Michael Winters, Taylor is the owner of the town’s main grocery store and the local soda shop. He’s also the town’s main political leader and the planner of many a festival and town celebration. Though overly impressed with himself and definitely on a power trip much of the time — attributes that make him a definite frienemy of Luke, whose life and business Taylor constantly tries to meddle — Taylor is the underappreciated (by others) town cheerleader and a big reason why it remains such a desirable place to live.

Termites – termite damage on Lorelai and Rory’s house — as diagnosed by termite guy Kirk — forced Lorelai to ask her mother for help in securing a bank loan so the wood-devouring creatures could be eliminated.

T.J. – played by Michael DeLuise, T.J. (real name: Gary) is the somewhat hapless, but likeable husband of Luke’s sister Liz, and the father of her daughter, Doula. T.J., who likes to think of himself as a skilled craftsman, tried to help Luke and Lorelai remodel Lorelai’s house, and was Liz’s partner in her Renaissance Faire jewelry biz.

Tom – played by Biff Yeager, Tom is Stars Hollow’s busiest contractor, and the one who renovates the Dragonfly Inn for Lorelai and Sookie. Tom also renovates Lorelai’s house for her and Luke to live in, and repairs Luke’s diner window after Kirk drives a car through it.

Town meetings – one of Stars Hollow’s traditions, town meetings are led by Taylor Doose and held in Miss Patty’s dance school building. Lorelai and Rory usually attend, and often it’s to poke fun at Taylor and whatever town celebration he’s touting or new town ordinance he’s trying to implement.

(Credit: The WB)
(Credit: The WB)

Town troubadour – played by musician Grant Lee Phillips, Grant is the official Stars Hollow town troubadour, so elected by the townsfolk during a town meeting.

Related: ‘Gilmore Girls’: How to Throw the Best Revival Viewing Party

Tristan DuGrey – played by Chad Michael Murray, Tristan is a rebellious Chilton classmate of Rory’s. Tristan has a crush on Rory, and to annoy her, insists on calling her “Mary” (as in Virgin Mary). Rory doesn’t return his feelings, and sets him up on an ill-fated date with Paris, who has a crush on him.

Trix Gilmore – played by Marion Ross, Trix is Richard’s widowed mother (who had been married to her second cousin), and the original Lorelai of the Gilmore family. Trix is a gruff, no-nonsense, but colorful woman who has accomplished much in her life, traveled the world, and expects her entire family to live up to her social standards; she is a particularly harsh critic of Emily, not unlike Emily’s treatment of Lorelai. Trix once rented out her home to the band Korn, and was caught by Emily making out with an older gentleman who was wearing a velour track suit. Trix died of a heart attack during Season 4, cruelly leaving behind a letter than revealed she had begged Richard, unbeknownst to Emily, not to marry Emily.

U

Urine mints – Rory, while making small talk during an awkward first date with a Yale classmate, shares this pleasant nugget of info: “You know, I read this article once about restaurants like this where they have an open bowl of mints that you grab on your way out. And when people come out of the bathroom, a lot of them don’t wash their hands. They’ll grab a mint and walk out, and people have studied the mints, and they found traces of urine in them, so they’re urine mints.”

(Credit: The WB)
(Credit: The WB)

V

Valedictorian – despite not entering the school until her sophomore year — and with some tough competition from equally impressive students like Paris, Rory graduates from Chilton as the valedictorian of her class, and makes a lovely speech with special shout-outs to Lorelai, Richard, and Emily.

Alexis Bledel (Credit: The WB)
Alexis Bledel (Credit: The WB)

W

Weston’s Bakery – owned by Fran Weston until her death, the Stars Hollow bakery is a frequent stop for Lorelai and Rory for cakes, pies, and cupcakes. Fran, played by Linda Porter, was also the owner of the Dragonfly Inn, which Lorelai and Sookie bought from her estate after Fran’s Season 3 death.

(Credit: The WB)
(Credit: The WB)

Windward Circlethe planned Gilmore Girls spinoff would have revolved around Jess, as he moved to Venice Beach to get to know his dad, Jimmy (played by Rob Estes). The WB decided not to move forward with the show because of its high cost, but the Season 3 Gilmore episode “Here Comes the Son” introduced viewers to Jimmy when Jess fled Stars Hollow after flunking out of Stars Hollow High.

X

Xenodochy – an ancient Greek word meaning, hospitality, which is the business Lorelai, Sookie, and Michel are in.

Lauren Graham (Credit: The WB)
Lauren Graham (Credit: The WB)

Y

Yale – the alma mater of Richard Gilmore, and the New Haven, Connecticut university Rory ultimately decides to attend, despite a life-long obsession by her and Lorelai that she would attend Harvard.

Yale Daily Newsthe Yale student newspaper, of which Doyle, Paris and Rory are the editors at various times.

Alexis Bledel and Liza Weill (Credit: The WB)
Alexis Bledel and Liza Weil (Credit: The WB)

Yellow daisies – Lorelai flippantly suggests 1,000 yellow daisies would be an appropriately grand way for someone   to propose marriage, and the next day, Max sends 1,000 — exactly — yellow daisies to her at the Independence Inn. She accepts the proposal that follows, though her engagement to Max is short-lived when she realizes — after the very large and elaborate engagement party her fellow Stars Hollow-ans throw for them — that she doesn’t really love Max.

Alexis Bledel, Lauren Graham, and Sean Gunn (Credit: Everett Collection)
Alexis Bledel, Lauren Graham, and Sean Gunn (Credit: Everett Collection)

“You’ve been Gilmored” – Lorelai’s answer to Luke, who asks, after a dizzying dinner in which Richard and Emily pepper them with horror stories about the many ways they could lose everything they own, “What is this feeling, this tightness in the chest, this anger mixed with paralyzing weakness?”

Z

Zack Van Gerbig – Lane’s husband, a server at Luke’s Diner, and the lead singer of Hep Alien.

(Credit: The WB)
Todd Lowe (Credit: The WB)

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life premieres Nov. 25 on Netflix.