Usually, when writing these lists, we set the halfway point to define the good versus bad. But while “Gilmore Girls” does not lack for adversaries and antagonists, the fact is that so many of these characters have such charms that ranking them was a real challenge.
Only characters who appeared in more than three episodes are included below; even with that said, there are probably some we missed. (That’s what happens with a seven-season show with a rich collection of supporting characters.) Here’s everyone we’ve missed during “Gilmore Girls'” long hiatus — and everyone we haven’t.
73. Mitchum Huntzberger
Hey, remember when this asshole decided to crush the spirits of a talented young woman, because he could? Yeah, this guy can burn in hell.
72. Dean Forester
Yes, Jared Padalecki is hella cute. Yes, it was sweet how he fell for the smart shy girl just by noticing how intensely she read a book. But in later years, his lack of ambition and his inability to find happiness with Rory seemed to twist into something unpleasant and sad. You KNOW this guy voted for Trump.
71. Francine “Francie” Jarvis
Ugh. Here’s how we found out that Paris wasn’t the worst in early seasons — this bitch haunted Chilton. Regina George showed more human compassion in “Mean Girls.”
70. Straub Hayden
Rory’s other grandfather made Richard look like Saint Nicholas by comparison. Not saying we’re GLAD he’s dead, but he sure wasn’t a generous guy while he was alive.
69. Tristan DuGrey
Hah! This guy. Rory might have gotten suckered into finding Chad Michael Murray’s Season 1 bad boy charming, but we pity his military school, and any girl with even a vague crush on him.
68. Anna Nardini
Ladies, c’mon. If you’re going to have the kid, tell the dad. Or, if you don’t tell the dad, don’t be controlling and weird about his relationship with your child should she find out. Anna’s treatment of Luke ranged from not nice to full-on mean, and it’s not the way grown-ups should behave.
67. Emily Gilmore
There are things about Emily that are nice. That are entertaining. That are admirable. And Kelly Bishop as an actress is a delight. But. This. Bitch. Broke. Up. Luke and Lorelai. And for cruel, prejudiced and let’s just say cruel again reasons. Manipulating that break-up isn’t the only not-cool thing Emily did over the course of the series, but it’s a perfect example of why we have no patience with her behavior.
66. Sherry Tinsdale
Christopher’s second baby mama/estranged spouse (though in reverse order from Lorelai) was never all that endearing. Remember when she invited friends to her C-section with a note saying that presents were not required but “appreciated”? Oh, and there’s also the thing where she later abandoned her child for a year or two there? Whatever, Sherry.
65. Robert “Grimaldi”
Rory briefly dated this Life and Death Brigade member, during the early days of her and Logan’s relationship. She’d probably prefer we forgot about that.
64. Asher Fleming
Doesn’t matter how mature she might be — dude, it’s not cool to hook up with a student. It’s always awesome to see Michael York, but his relationship with Paris lacked class.
63. Taylor Doose
Look, Taylor’s a dick. He loves his town, his heart’s in the right place, but he’s a dick. So, whatever, Taylor. Doesn’t matter what anyone thinks, you’ll manipulate your way into getting whatever you want.
62. Nicole Leahy
Luke’s Season 3-4 girlfriend/eventual wife was not, like, the worst, though her fidelity was not… spotless. She never felt like an obstacle, is the thing. Mostly because she never felt like a character.
61. Mrs. Kim
Lane’s mother basically ran a microcosm of fascism inside Kim’s Antiques while Lane lived there, and while she did so with something resembling the best of intentions, the fact of the matter is that she did everything she could to quash her daughter’s spirit in her early years, and it was a hard road to accepting her daughter’s unique personality. It’s hard to forgive her for all that.
60. Colin McCrae
One of Logan’s Life and Death Brigade cronies, Colin’s most memorable quality was his ability to loop random women into his sphere. Perhaps Colin never made much in the way of a positive contribution to society, but he was pleasant enough.
Basically a duplicate of Colin, but with a hot accent, hence ranked ever-so-slightly higher than him. (This list is occasionally shallow.)
Andrew owned Stars Hollow Books. He appeared in 22 episodes of “Gilmore Girls. We have absolutely no memory of him.
57. Glenn Babble
Bad at making newspaper hats, but hey, one of his stories got picked up by the New York Times at one point. Of all of Rory’s newspaper cohorts, Glenn didn’t do too badly for himself.
56. Francine Hayden
Rory’s other grandmother didn’t seem too unpleasant, but also didn’t have much in the way of backbone. She did nothing, and at times that’s the greatest crime.
55. Jess Mariano
Self-absorbed bad boy? Yeah, Self-styled Kerouac aficionado? Yeah. One of Rory’s boyfriends, and thus, oh so lacking in perfection? Hell yes. Jess seemed to understand the artistic, creative side of Rory on a level that no one else did. Unfortunately, he was terrible at supporting her in her various endeavors. Dealing with Jess involved dealing with a lot of bullshit, as delightful as Milo Ventimiglia could be.
54. Louise Grant and Madeline Lynn
Paris’s two official cohorts at Chilton… Well, they had money, they were attractive, and after high school they seemed to be having a very good time. Exemplifiers of excess, they theoretically should be doing just fine, on the basis of those qualities. But there’s no way to know for sure.
Luke’s first major in-show girlfriend wasn’t the best for him, but she did help Sookie and Lorelai find the Dragonfly. Points for that.
52. Janet Billing
Rory and Paris’s over-exercised freshman roommate never made too much of an impression, but she seemed nice enough. An important reminder that life is full of both acquaintances and friends, and sometimes it’s okay for some people to fall into the former category.
The world’s surliest harp player isn’t the sort of title one should aim for, but Drella’s persnicketiness had odd charms to it. (Hollywood really should try to figure out what to do with Alex Borstein someday.)
50. Fran Weston
The former owner of the Dragonfly Inn seemed like a nice, if stubborn, old lady. No one was OFFICIALLY rooting for her death, but things happen.
We wanted to like the first guy that Rory ever saw naked (as far as we know) but the crap he pulled senior year wasn’t cool. Krysten Ritter deserved a helluva lot better.
Purveyor of print media, not super-memorable, but we celebrate his commitment to the dying realm of the newsstand.
47. Hanlin Charleston
The headmaster of Chilton never really went easy on Rory, but he did seem to recognize her talents. And good on him for that.
One of Dean’s friends from high school. Gets rated as high as he does because he threw a pretty decent party one time, and hired the nascent Hep Alien to play at it.
45. Max Medina
Everyone’s been in one of those relationships where theoretically, it’s a great match… But it’s just not right. Max was a great example of that for Lorelai, and deserved better than getting dumped a few days before the wedding. Yet, sometimes them’s the breaks.
44. Yiung Chiu
Yiung lacked chill when it came to Lane, but he did help her date Dave in the early days of her clandestine relationship with him, and that was nice of him.
43. Henry Cho
It’s truly sad that Lane couldn’t make things work with Henry Cho. While he might not have been a first love, he was definitely a first something for her — the first boy to make her realize she could be loved for who she was. And that’s a beautiful thing.
42. Jason Stiles
Lorelai’s eccentric Season 4 childhood friend/eventual boyfriend had his charms (and a totally sick pad). But when they broke up, it honestly didn’t feel like a huge loss.
41. Tana Schrick
Rory’s freshman year roommate was weird but cute. No hate for Tana here.
40. Babette Dell
The nosiest of the Stars Hollow crew, Babette’s deeply held affection for her cats and for Morey nonetheless kept her charming.
39. Morey Dell
We don’t know much about Morey except this — he’s one cool cat.
38. Christopher Hayden
The show’s erstwhile baby daddy always seemed to mean well, but he rarely came out looking the best as he and Lorelai bounced back and forth between friends to lovers and back again. Rory’s father was never a bad guy. But in witnessing him flounder multiple times in his attempts to become a grown-up, we have to admire 16-year-old Lorelai for knowing that marrying him would be a huge mistake.
Even Kirk deserves to find love, And Lulu appeared to be a perfect match for him.
36. Zach Van Gerbig
Undeniably a bit of a dim bulb, Zach did bring with him real musical talent and a good-natured vibe. (The bluegrass thing was cute, we gotta admit.) We only have one hope in this godforsaken world of ours: That after 10 years of being married, he and Lane have figured out how to have a pleasurable and happy sex life, and that they’ve also figured out how birth control works.
35. Beau Belleville
Are we only spotlighting Beau because he was played by Nick Offerman, and Nick Offerman is great? We take the Fifth. (That applies here, right?)
34. April Nardini
Some fans might not love April’s insertion into the narrative, but here’s what was fun — Luke’s DNA made a kid maybe smarter than Rory, with her own quirks but also cool in her own way. God, imagine what would happen if Luke and Lorelai had a baby?
33. Lindsay Anne Lister Forester
Give Dean’s wife some credit — lady figured out that she was being screwed over by her husband, and she dumped his ass hard. Girl had spine.
Not exactly memorable beyond being “the girl Rory met in Season 7 who wasn’t Krysten Ritter” but Michelle Ongkingco was fun and it was nice to see Rory get pushed slightly out of her comfort zone.
Another reason why “Gilmore Girls” deserves to be considered a pillar of the Golden Age of Television — KRYSTEN RITTER IS IN IT. That basically puts it on the same level as “Veronica Mars” and “Breaking Bad.” And Lucy was not only delightful for the ways she and Rory and Olivia bonded, but for truly supporting a “hos before bros” mentality during some screwed-up social situations.
30. Georgia “Gigi” Hayden
Despite some early Bad Seed tendencies, Rory’s half-sister seemed to even out in later years. And kids will be kids.
29. Clara Forester
Dean’s little sister had plenty of spunk, and her relationship with her brother made her all the cuter. We hold towards her no ill-regard.
The guy in Stars Hollow you get if you can’t get Luke to fix your shit. We like Tom.
No mechanic we trust more. (Mostly because she doesn’t seem to know how to hide her feelings on any subject.)
26. Brian Fuller
If you told us that today, Lane’s nerdy bandmate Brian and his (likely Korean) wife travel the nation attending comic-cons in cosplay, we would not be shocked. More importantly, we’d want photos.
Luke’s brother-in-law might not have been super-bright, but his heart was in the right place, and he really loved Liz. Hard to hate T.J.
Not only does Jamie deserve recognition for being the first guy to recognize Paris Gellar’s most endearing qualities, he also gets some pity for the way Paris treated him at the end of their relationship. Jamie may not have made much of an impression, but he deserves some sympathy.
23. Lorelai “Trix” Gilmore née Gilmore
Perhaps most enjoyable for the way in which she drove Emily insane, Trix was a firey ol’ dame in the tradition of great classic film. And also kind of a pill, at the same time.
22. Liz Danes
Aw, Luke’s sister never made his life easier, but she was so sweet-natured that we can see why Luke was never able to turn her away. Maybe not the Mother of the Year (at least when it came to Jess) but it’s hard to imagine holding a real grudge against her when she’s at her best.
21. Doyle McMaster
There are some people who know Danny Strong as “Jonathan from ‘Buffy.'” And there are some people who know him as Doyle. Doyle’s weird edge was enjoyable on its own, but when the show paired him up with Paris, an epic romance was born. Well, a power couple, anyway.
20. Sophie Bloom
Guys, not only did Carole King show up, but she brought some SASS with her. Maybe one of the show’s most delightful recurring cameos.
19. Richard Gilmore (Updated)
Richard was missing from the original version of this list, which was a massive oversight as he was of course a pivotal character in the show’s history. How you felt about Richard likely depended on how closely you identified with Rory versus Lorelai — we saw him at his best when bonding with his brilliant granddaughter, but his relationship with his daughter was always distant, even in later years. He might not have been the best father, but we saw plenty of occasions which proved that he was the definition of a good man.
18. Jackson Belleville
Jackson’s passion for produce was never tempered by his marriage to Sookie, and his plainspoken dedication to his craft was the exemplification of what “Gilmore Girls” did best — celebrate how community and family form the cornerstone of small town life. But dude, GET THE VASECTOMY.
17. Reverend Archie Skinner and Rabbi David Barans
To rank them individually would mean showing some distinct preference. And both were quality men of faith.
Gil may have gotten some shit from his band mates for being a bit older and having a family, let’s face it — Gil rocked. Successful business owner and a loyal family man who still made the time to pursue his passions? May we all get a chance to be as cool as Gil at some point in our lives.
Caesar never got much to do, but his competence and loyalty cannot be undervalued. Luke might have owned the diner, but the breakfasts enjoyed by Stars Hollow, we’d guess, were more often cooked by this jovial fellow.
14. Logan Huntzberger
The debate over Rory’s boyfriends may not be as epic as other classic love triangle debates, but here’s the thing — Logan was easily the most straightforward and least bullshitty of them all. Yeah, Logan wasn’t flawless, and there was a sketchy period when it wasn’t clear whether he’d cheated on her. But he owned his flaws, owned his problems. Of all the men to enter Rory’s heart, Logan fucked with it the least.
13. Bradley “Brad” Langford
Brad’s terror of Paris proved truly hilarious during their concurrent time at Chilton; however, it was one of those running jokes that came at the expense of a character who seemed genuinely sweet. Brad had this delightfully meta coda in the Season 3 finale where his absence on the show matched with real life — Adam Wylie’s casting in a Broadway revival of “Into the Woods.” Though knowing that he had musical talents made us mad we didn’t see more of it.
12. Patricia “Miss Patty” LaCosta
We want, badly, to read Miss Patty’s memoirs about life on the Broadway stage. Amy Sherman-Palladino, please consider this. Even “Mr. Robot’s” doing tie-in novels now.
The musical soundscape of “Gilmore Girls” owes a lot to the official Stars Hollow troubadour — it’d be a very different series, without Grant-Lee Phillips and his wandering guitar.
10. Kirk Gleason
Here is what we said when we watched the Season 3 credits for the first time — “Why the hell is Sean Gunn a series regular now?” Still not sure why Kirk gets status on par with a Gilmore or whoever Rory might be dating each year, but we admit it; eventually, Kirk grew on us, in all his weirdness. When properly balanced with other characters, his dysfunction added intriguing spice to the action.
9. Michel Gerard
Michel was never all that offensive, but he was… complicated. Mostly because he clearly had a tight bond with Lorelai and Sookie, but we never saw its formation; we just took it on faith that no matter what form of insult was slung about, we’d accept that there was no line he could cross. Really, here’s what it comes down to — his loyalty was an inspiring thing, and perhaps that’s what’s worth remembering the most.
8. Dave Rygalski
Is this perhaps the most likable Adam Brody has ever been on screen? We vote yes. Very little on this show was more charming than Dave’s attempts to convince Mrs. Kim to let him woo Lane.
7. Sookie St. James
It’s weird remembering that one of today’s most bankable comedy stars spent seven years as the prototypical best friend on a WB drama. But Sookie as a character was always reliably delightful, from her inability to avoid on-the-job injuries to her unwavering loyalty to her friends and her craft. And there’s always something so refreshing about seeing a love story without epic drama make it to the screen; the natural and sweet way in which she and Jackson went from a business relationship to the heart of a family gave hope to us all.
6. Paris Geller
A primal scream of female ambition and drive, impossible to like but impossible not to love, Paris was never well-served by casting herself in the role of Rory’s enemy (which happened an awful lot over the course of seven seasons). However, when the two of them behaved as friends, Paris’s warmer side emerged, and the glimpses we got of her humanity revealed a young woman who the world at large might never understand, but was extraordinarily worthy of love.
5. Lane Kim
There’s such pathos to Lane’s story, when you think about it — years of living under her mother’s thumb while still trying to embrace her rebel urges, escaping for a somewhat brief taste of freedom and rock star glory… and then, after an unsatisfying single bout of married sex, pregnant with twins. Getting married and having kids didn’t ruin Lane’s life, but her iconoclastic soul got trapped in an existence defined entirely by the expectations of others. We loved Lane, which is why we wanted more for her.
4. Lorelai Gilmore
Lorelai, at many points over the show’s run, was rightfully accused of being extremely self-absorbed. But the single mom at the center of this show showed an entire generation of young women what strength and integrity looked like, fiercely committed to protecting the ones she loved even while seeking out her own personal happiness. Also, she was hella funny, in a way you don’t also see a woman on television getting to be. There would be worse moms to have.
3. Luke Danes
In an era rich with examples of “toxic masculinity,” Luke represents a rarely seen ideal — the genuinely good guy. While you’d never call him perfect — he’s way too taciturn and set in his ways to earn that label — Luke’s good and loyal heart, coupled with surprising depths of patience, made him and Lorelai uniquely well-suited to each other; perhaps one of modern television’s best executed Will-They-Won’t-Theys (notoriously one of the toughest-ever plot tropes to depict in a satisfying way). Plus, let’s face it — the fact he could fix anything? Hella hot. We’d invite Luke over for a beer and basic household repairs any day or night.
2. Rory Gilmore
Probably the worst things you can say about Lorelai’s smart, sensitive, selfless, and sweet daughter are all related to her relationships (which reflect a staggering lack of knowledge as to what it means to be a real partner to somebody, as well as a major lack of understanding as to what fidelity means). Otherwise, Rory proved to be a real charmer over the course of seven seasons, brilliant and talented and passionate about so much.
1. Paul Anka