Rory’s Ruined Reputation 

By Donya Vandersteen & Sophia Doan


The leaves change color from a luscious green to deep amber. The crisp, chilling breeze flows through the air. It can only mean one thing. It’s finally time to watch Gilmore Girls. A comfort show for many and an even better first watch, Gilmore Girls is the perfect dramedy to kick back, relax, and enjoy. That is until the ruination of the main character, Lorelai “Rory” Gilmore, where we witness her take a turn for the worst. Throughout the beginning seasons, Rory is a fun, relatable character who always has the audience laughing along with her one-liners. Displaying her intelligence and love for books, she became the motivation and inspiration viewers needed to do their homework, as well as a well-rounded person everyone aspired to become. Specifically, towards the end of season 3, the innocent character we all knew and loved takes part in some questionable actions, leading to her overall downfall.

Her first high school boyfriend was Dean Forester. He was sweet, kind, and charming. Even we, as an audience, started to fall in love with him just as Rory did. After she shatters their relationship by cheating on him with Jess Mariano AND Tristan Dugray, we follow her journey to her many, future love interests. Just when you least expect it, she rekindles the relationship she ruined by starting an affair with her recently married ex-boyfriend, Dean, in season 4. After losing her virginity to him in the episode “Raincoats and Recipes.” and later being confronted about the affair, she declares, “but he was my boyfriend first!” Simply with this one appalling and selfish line, we watch the innocent, kind girl we all loved, slowly become a complete monster. 

Rory and her mother, Lorelai, have always had a near-perfect mother-daughter relationship. Some may say they were more like best friends. On the day of Lorelai’s graduation from community college, Rory makes the unforgivable decision to go to New York with Jess–her boyfriend at the time–instead of showing up to support her mom’s hard-earned accomplishment. Seeing as they would do anything for each other, it came as quite a shock when Rory had disappointed her mother, and it caused the audience to lose a great deal of respect for her character. 

The most shocking turn of events. An absolute surprise to everyone. Rory dropped out of Yale. The endless hours she spent studying, the goals she forced herself to meet, everything she worked so hard to achieve, and she threw it all down the drain. The main reason was the one negative review she received from Mitchum Huntzberger–the big-shot reporter, editor, and CEO– who told her, “you don’t have what it takes to be a journalist”. Although you can understand how it would offend Rory and take a toll on her self-confidence, was it really enough for her to drop out of Yale? From being such a hard-working and dedicated student to dropping out of an Ivy League school, it was upsetting to admit Rory was no longer the role model we looked up to and all strived to become. 

In the revival of Gilmore Girls, known as A Year in the Life, Rory is a complete disaster. Although she did end up continuing her education and graduating from Yale, she went right back to her hometown, Stars Hollow, working for the town’s newspaper. She also had a boyfriend named Paul, who she would constantly forget about and continuously had to remind herself to break up with. In seasons 5-7 of the original Gilmore Girls, Rory was dating Logan Huntzenberger, whom she had met during her time at Yale. Out of all her relationships, this one was definitely the most steady until the end of season seven when Logan proposed to Rory. She took some time to think before giving him an answer and ended up rejecting his proposal. On top of all that, in the revival, we find out Rory is having an ongoing affair with Logan while he is engaged to another girl. Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse, the last line in the final episode concludes with Rory hesitantly announcing, “Mom? … I’m pregnant.” Lorelai worked so hard to make sure Rory wouldn’t end up like her. Although she did not get pregnant at 16 like her mother, Rory was now pregnant without being in a committed relationship as well as being financially unstable. 

Throughout the journey of The Gilmore Girls, we watch Rory, who once used to be incredibly well-rounded, determined, and genuine, progressively become snobby, disloyal, and lazy. It was truly disappointing watching everyone’s favorite teenager, everyone aspired to be, transform into the exact opposite. The downfall of Rory Gilmore will always be just as devastating, no matter how many times you watch the show.