3 Times ‘Gilmore Girls’ Gave a Subtle Nod to ‘Friends’

At first glance, Gilmore Girls and Friends don’t appear to have much in common. The two shows were both successful in their own ways, but they were markedly different. After all, Friends dealt with six pals trying to figure things out in New York while Gilmore Girls centered around a mother-daughter duo making their way in Connecticut. Still, Gilmore Girls appeared to subtly nod to the famed sitcom multiple times during its seven-season run.

Paris Geller, Rory Gilmore’s nemesis turned best friend, shared a last name with Monica Geller and Ross Geller. Given the proximity of the shows’ settings and the rarity of the surname, it seems entirely possible that Monica and Ross were related to Paris somehow. According to Newsday, in 2010, only about 6,000 people in the United States had the name Geller.

Liza Weill as Paris Geller and Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore in 'Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life'
Liza Weill as Paris Geller and Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore in ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’ | Netflix

Paris also seemed to share some of Monica and Ross’s personality traits. While Monica had slightly more tact, she and Paris were both hypercompetitive, and both had a desire to control everything and everyone around them. Paris was also similar to Ross in her desire to succeed academically. Paris became a doctor at what seemed to be a relatively young age. Ross earned his Ph. D at an insanely young age, too.

Gilmore Girls fans may have noticed that Rory and Logan had a similar story arc to Ross and Rachel

Throughout the show’s seven seasons, Rory had three main relationships. Her early romance with Dean Forrester bled into her love affair with Jess Mariano. Once that was over, she fell into a complicated relationship with Logan Huntzberger. Ross and Rachel fell into a somewhat complex relationship when she walked out on her wedding.

David Schwimmer as Ross Geller and Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green in season 2 of 'Friends'
Ross and Rachel on ‘Friends’ | Robert Isenberg/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

While the similarities between Ross and Rachel and Logan and Rory are very subtle, it is obvious that Amy Sherman-Palladino borrowed one important story arc from Friends. Ross slept with Chloe from the copy shop after a fight with Rachel that he thought ended their relationship. Logan slept with several bridesmaids after he and Rory fought in a bar. Logan argued that he didn’t cheat because he thought they had broken up. Ross mounted the same argument when Rachel found out about his tryst. Both Rachel and Rory believed their partner cheated on them, though.

Lorelai Gilmore and Monica Geller had similarly strained relationships with their mothers

Monica and Judy Geller had a difficult relationship. So did Lorelai Gilmore and Emily Gilmore. Strained mother-daughter relationships are not particularly uncommon in dramedies and sitcoms. Still, Judy and Emily were more similar than most mothers depicted in shows. Both were overly hard on their daughters, both were sarcastic and biting, and both seemed to prefer the men in their lives.

Kelly Bishop as Emily Gilmore, Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore and Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore in the fall episode of 'Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life'
Emily, Lorelai and Rory Gilmore in ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’ | Netflix

‘Gilmore Girls’: Paris Geller and Logan Huntzberger Are More Alike Than You Think

Richard and Emily only had one child, but Christopher Hayden, Rory‘s father, was as close to a son as the Gilmores had. Emily and Richard both seemed to prefer Christopher over Lorelai, even though he was equally responsible for her teen pregnancy. While Lorelai succeeded after having Rory, Christopher faltered, and yet, the Gilmores continued to talk him up. Similarly, Judy and Jack Geller spoke much more highly of their son, Ross, than they ever did of Monica, who, by all accounts, was equally successful, just in her own way.