Steadfast fans continue to revisit Gilmore Girls on a regular basis for a dose of warmth. Thanks to streaming, the show finds new viewers daily who discover the wondrous joys of Stars Hollow.
The evergreen appeal of Gilmore Girls lies in the fast-paced, clever writing, quirky characters, and relatable relationships. And the show’s romantic relationships, the good and the bad, enthrall viewers. The Gilmore Girls couples seen throughout the original series (2000-2007) and the Netflix revival Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (2016) still inspire passionate opinions. Have a look at the best of them.
1. Lorelai and Luke
From their first scene together, Lorelai Gilmore and Luke Danes feel destined for coupledom. Their witty banter and solid foundation of friendship blossoms into romance slowly and steadily. So, by the time they share their first kiss in the season four finale (still a high point in the series), it feels earned.
Their relationship entertains and makes audiences swoon because they love and respect each other for their unique selves. No one understands Luke as well as Lorelai, and no one would go to the lengths Luke does for Lorelai. He builds a chuppah, creates a makeshift ice rink in her front yard, lends her money for her inn, and loves Rory as if she's his daughter.
They went through big troubles and a break up but ultimately will be there for each other through thick and thin. As Luke tells Lorelai in A Year in the Life , “The only way out is in a body bag.” She quips back, “And now we don’t have to write our vows.” Sharp but romantic, these two lines embody why they remain the most treasured of Gilmore Girls couples.
2. Emily and Richard
The longest and most lasting relationship award goes to Lorelai’s parents, Emily and Richard Gilmore. The pair met in college, and Emily seemingly stole him away from another girl. But what makes the couple work stems from their steadfast devotion to each other. They complement each other perfectly. And while they have their shouting matches occasionally and go through a separation, fans will never deny the depth of their love and even admit to longing for what they possess.
3. Sookie and Jackson
The title of sweetest Gilmore Girls couple goes to Sookie St. James and Jackson Belleville. The two begin dating in season one, get married in season two, and have three children throughout the rest of the series. The fun-loving pair feels well-matched. He grows and sells produce, and she’s a chef. They make each other laugh and protect one another fiercely, often to comedic results. They may not always agree and have trouble when they keep things from each other (i.e., Jackson never getting a vasectomy). But the pair never fail to make viewers smile.
4. Babette and Morty
The only pair that could compete with Sookie and Jackson for the sweetest among Gilmore Girls couples would be Babette and Morty. Stars Hollow’s longstanding pair live next door to Lorelai and Rory, providing many laughs with their odd but loving ways. Babette and Morty look and act like opposites. The short, loud, and brash Babette seemingly clashes with the tall, cool, reserved Morty.
And yet, they work as a fine example of a yin and yang couple. In one scene from the episode “They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They?” the couple dances for a few minutes at the town’s dance marathon. When Babette abruptly says, “I’m done, let’s go,” Morty replies, “Okay,” as he typically does. That pretty much sums them up.
5. Lane and Dave
Lane Kim always struggled with relationships because of her strict upbringing. Her crush on her fellow music enthusiast, Dave Rygalski, proved bumpy but sweet and genuine. The two devised a way to get her mother’s approval, with Dave getting a job as a guitarist at some Kim family events.
Dave willingly went to great lengths to have a chance with her, even staying up one night and reading the entire Bible when Mrs. Kim quoted, unbeknownst to him, Shakespeare. The two seemed destined for the long haul. But when actor Adam Brody became a regular on The O.C., Dave’s character went bye-bye, and many fans never got over the loss.
6. Kirk and Lulu
Stars Hollow’s local Jack-of-all-trades and lovable oddball finds his better half in season four, surprising many viewers. Truthfully, most fans don’t associate Kirk with romance, which makes his relationship with Lulu, a sweet elementary school teacher, so refreshing.
While others may roll their eyes or make fun of Kirk’s personality and quirks, she finds them endearing. One example sees Lulu delightfully telling Lorelai how much she loves when Kirk dresses like the Brawny paper towel man. Lorelai replies, “Kirk is lucky to have found you, Lulu.” Fans of Gilmore Girls couples wholeheartedly agree.
7. Rory and Jess
Rory’s boyfriends always inspire the most passionate viewpoints, with every fan possessing a designated team. Jess may not be her best boyfriend, but he will always be her best match. They feel an instant connection with each other and bond over books and music. But when they begin dating, Jess still has much growing up to do. He lacks maturity and communication skills, has anger issues, and leaves town with no goodbye. While both move on, the two still share a deep bond and understanding.
Viewers see a fascinating flip in their relationship when Rory flounders and feels lost while Jess matures with wisdom. His impassioned speech to her, asking why she dropped out of Yale, catalyzes her return and remains a series highlight. Moreover, Jess inspires her to write a book in A Year in the Life, giving her direction for the first time in ages. The revival leaves the relationship open-ended, but the yearning looks Jess gives Rory through a window shows how the fire and love remain.
8. Paris and Doyle
Paris and Doyle may be the most intellectually well-matched of all Gilmore Girls couples. The two meet while working on the Yale Daily News. After bumping into each other at a student speed dating event, they agree that no one there holds a candle to themselves. After moving past the casual hookup stage, they become rather sweet together. The couple laugh and argue, matching each other quip for quip. These two seem perfect for each other, making their divorce in A Year in a Life so disappointing. Let’s forget that storyline exists.
9. Liz and TJ
Gilmore Girls has a knack for showcasing well-matched couples with funny eccentricities. These supporting characters pop up throughout the series and always provide a healthy dose of laughter. The audience can relate to Luke’s exasperation and affection for the couple because they can be both grating and adorable. But the core of Liz and TJ sees them bring out the best in each other, even when they fight and drive each other crazy.
10. Lorelai and Max
For many fans, Max Medina remains the only real contender for Lorelai’s heart besides Luke. As Rory’s teacher, dating presents a complicated dilemma. But after working through this issue, Max and Lorelai genuinely have a sweet rapport and terrific chemistry. And, even though marriage proposals should never be over the phone, sending a thousand yellow daisies goes down in TV history as one of the most romantic gestures for a fictional couple.
11. Paris and Jamie
Paris and Jamie’s relationship represents the sweet but imperfect first love many teenagers experience, at least as far as Gilmore Girls couples go. They meet on a school trip to Washington. Simply by being herself, Paris intrigues Jamie. Having someone interested in her shocks Paris, but they have a sweet time together once she gets over this.
Most viewers know about them from her telling Rory about their time together. Their relationship also ends poorly because of some immature and insensitive dumping on her part. But Jaime could have made an excellent long-term love interest for Paris.
12. Lane and Zack
As a couple, Lane and Zack present such a push and pull, good and bad, dichotomy for viewers. In many ways, the bandmates feel like an ideal match. They make each other laugh and bond over their music. Although Zack’s behavior can feel frustrating, especially his cavalier attitude, he also loves Lane deeply. One lovely moment involves Zack not wanting Lane to wear contacts instead of glasses. While her choice, this opinion feels undeniably refreshing.
On the other hand, Lane’s fate as a harried mom who never achieves her dreams to the degree she wants feels disappointing. She and Zack could be good parents and rock stars. Moreover, strangely enough, they seem mismatched at times. Many fans feel this conflicting back and forth.
13. Rory and Dean
Overall, few would call Dean Rory’s best boyfriend. But if viewers only consider their early relationship, that would change. Indeed, their sweet love story moves and delights in the first two seasons. Dean indulges her, protects her, stands up to her grandfather, takes her to her first dance, and builds her a car from scratch. Early Dean’s most significant faults lie with his immaturity and reactionary behavior, which feels natural for a teenage boy.
Of course, later Dean exhibits deplorable behavior. He cheats on his wife and starts dating Rory again, and it becomes clear that these two will not work in the long run. The rapport from their youth vanishes; they have little in common and have much different life goals. But they represent the kind of first love people look back on with fondness.
And Rory’s recognition of this proves very touching when the two bump into each other in A Year in the Life. Rory tells the happily married Dean, “You were generous and protective and kind and strong. As much as I wish we’d met when I was older and more mature, I know that if I hadn’t had you with me when I did, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. You taught me what safe feels like.” Cue the tears.
14. Rory and Logan
Rory and Logan fall in the same boat as Rory and Dean, with lovely aspects of their relationship on one hand and highly problematic ones on the other. Of all her relationships, Logan and Rory last the longest. And yet, things never feel stable. We see terrific chemistry and genuine affection between them who can banter with the best of them. But Logan also brought out poor behavior in Rory. She exhibits massive insecurity, gets arrested, and drops out of school. While Rory makes her own choices, Logan’s behavior feels no better. He often lashes out and cheats on her with “an entire bridal party.”
The last season of the original series sees them in their best state. And even though she turns down his marriage proposal, viewers can see how they’ve grown. Cut to A Year in the Life, and all that growth disappears, and they continually engage in an affair with no sense of guilt whatsoever.
15. Luke and Rachel
Briefly, in season one, Luke’s old girlfriend Rachel reappears in his life, throwing him for a loop. While fans will not root for them, they also cannot hate her or them together. Rachel’s understanding and affable demeanor gave Luke precisely what he needed at the time. Notably, she also can see that he has feelings for Lorelai. And instead of getting angry or bitter, she encourages him to tell Lorelai how he feels. She may not be Luke’s “one,” but her character proves significant among Gilmore Girls couples.
16. Lorelai and Alex
When seeing this entry, a likely scenario will be, “Who’s Alex?” He and Lorelai briefly date in season three after the two meet at a small business seminar. Truthfully, nothing terrible stands out about Alex or them as a couple. He even understands and does not care when she fibs about liking fishing. Alex may not be a bad guy. He’s just forgettable.
17. Paris and Asher
Fans have divisive opinions about this relationship. When Paris dumps her sweet boyfriend and begins dating the much older college professor, it raises more than a few eyebrows. Old enough to be her grandfather, the age gap does not bother either of them. They genuinely get on well together emotionally and intellectually. However, audiences cannot deny the inappropriate “ick” factor of their relationship.
18. Lorelai and Jason
Most viewers will describe Lorelai and Jason’s relationship as forced. The writers clearly wrote his character in a way that matched Lorelai’s quick wit and banter. Still, instead of being likable, he comes across as grating. They also hide their relationship from her parents, and he sues her father. Jason acts as an unappealing placeholder until Lorelei and Luke get together.
19. Luke and Nicole
Fans will also likely call Luke and Nicole a forced and unlikeable relationship among Gilmore Girls couples. Truthfully, Nicole always comes across as uppity and self-centered. New and old viewers often scream at their televisions- “Luke, what’s wrong with you.” Exaggerated as that sounds, these two share zero on-screen chemistry, and eventually, she cheats on him. The only good thing about the relationship comes from Luke’s comedic rants when the two divorce.
20. Lucy and Marty
When audiences first meet Marty, he seems like a great guy and a potential love interest for Rory. When it becomes clear they’ll only be pals (on Rory’s part), Marty handles it poorly, and he disappears from the show. Cut to a year later, and Rory’s new friend, Lucy, constantly gushes about her boyfriend, Marty. But he acts like he’d never met Rory (which she foolishly goes along with), and unsurprisingly, the situation blows up.
If Lucy and Rory had never met, Lucy and Marty might have lasted, but love should never be conditional. These two break up because of Marty’s immaturity and unresolved feelings for Rory. Honestly, Lucy deserves better.
21. Lorelai and Christopher
What can viewers say about Lorelai and Christopher? Their tumultuous ups and downs last the entire series, as he always seems like he could be the one for her. Truthfully, seeing them together reveals so much about their characters. Viewers see Lorelai’s strength and how vulnerable and foolhardy she can be. And they see Christopher’s charm but insecurity and unreliability. It’s not hard to understand why they love each other. But they don’t work.
Lorelai’s love for him never matches what she feels for Luke, and he cannot handle it. He also pressures her into a quick marriage when she’s vulnerable. He’s often selfish and quick-tempered and only appears in her life when it benefits him. While he can give her romantic dates, love involves more than superficial intimacy. The toxic pair understandably inspires vitriol and strong negative feelings from fans.
22. Christopher and Sherry
Viewers never see Christopher and Sherry as a couple in any significant way, such as how they met or fell in love. When Christopher discovers she’s pregnant, he leaves Lorelai again high and dry. But the catalyst feels more like guilt or obligation than love. Viewers will question if he ever truly loves Sherry, while she falls out of love with him when she leaves him and her daughter for a life in Paris. It would be easy to judge her, but knowing Christopher’s character, her actions may not be as terrible as they appear.
23. Dean and Lindsay
Dean and Lindsay represent a specific type of relationship: the young couple who should have never gotten married. They marry right out of high school, while Dean still holds a candle for Rory. At first, viewers see Lindsay in a negative light at times because she exhibits whiny and selfish behavior. She complains about her boredom and that Dean works too much, not understanding their financial situation. But fans then remember her age (18 years old), and that she’s married to a man who acts distant because, unbeknownst to her, he still loves his ex-girlfriend.
In one episode, she tries repeatedly to make Dean the perfect roast beef dinner, and viewers’ hearts break for her because he’s just cheated on her. And while Dean shows remorse, Lindsay deserves someone who will faithfully love her.
24. Rory and Paul
Rory and Paul rank last on the list of every Gilmore Girls couple for a straightforward reason: Rory continuously forgets that Paul exists. They do not showcase toxic behavior or other negative things because the audience never sees them together as a couple beyond a few scenes.
Truthfully, by all accounts, Paul deserves much better treatment. As much as fans love Rory, he’s better off running as far away from a girl who’d rather have trysts with engaged men or guys in Wookie costumes. Maybe Paul and Lindsay should get together.