‘Gilmore Girls’: 4 Mother-Daughter Relationships Besides Lorelai and Rory’s

Gilmore Girls is a TV show about relationships. More specifically, mother-daughter relationships. Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel) are the program’s main mother-daughter duo but there are others. 

1. Lorelai Gilmore and Emily Gilmore

Kelly Bishop, Alexis Bledel, and Lauren Graham of 'Gilmore Girls'
Kelly Bishop, Alexis Bledel, and Lauren Graham attend the premiere of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life | Amanda Edwards/WireImage

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Another major mother-daughter relationship is the one between Lorelai and her mom, Emily Gilmore (Kelly Bishop). Their relationship is nothing like Rory and Lorelai’s. As Lorelai once explained to Emily, she and Rory are, first and foremost, best friends.

“We’re best friends first and mother and daughter second,” Lorelai said. “And you and I are mother and daughter always.”

Lorelai doesn’t have a good relationship with her mother and she never has. The distance between them only grows when Lorelai gives birth to Rory at 16 and moves out to raise her. Lorelai and Emily have many tense conversations at Friday night dinners. Only rarely do they have a fun moment together without arguing. More often, Emily is cruel to Lorelai and vice versa.

Graham once called the Lorelai-Emily relationship “essential” to Gilmore Girls just like the relationship between Lorelai and Rory. The three characters make up the two most predominant mother-daughter duos and, in the words of Graham, are “the core of the show.” 

2. Emily Gilmore and Trix Gilmore

Lorelai gets to see her mom in a bit of a role reversal when it comes to Emily’s mother-in-law. Lorelai ‘Trix’ Gilmore, played by Marion Ross of Happy Days, is often critical of Emily. 

Of course, Emily can’t stand it. She doesn’t like Richard Gilmore’s (Edward Herrmann) mom and dreads it when she relocates to be closer to them. Meanwhile, Lorelai enjoys watching her mom stress over it. She revels in her mother’s pain before teaching Emily how to deal with Trix’s nasty remarks. 

3. Lane Kim and Mrs. Kim

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One of the OG mother-daughter relationships on Gilmore Girls is the one between Rory’s best friend, Lane Kim (Keiko Agena), and her strict mother. Lane loves rock music but she has to hide it from Mrs. Kim (Emily Kuroda).

Like the Emily-Lorelai relationship and the one between Lorelai and Rory, things between Lane and Mrs. Kim change over time. Mrs. Kim discovers her daughter’s love of music. Later, Lane learns she’s not the only one in the family keeping secrets. Mrs. Kim kept her religion a secret from her mom.

4. Anna Nardini and April Nardini

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This mother-daughter relationship majorly impacts Lorelai’s romance with Luke Danes (Scott Patterson). For that reason, many fans hate Anna and April Nardini. Regardless, the characters make up another one of the show’s mother-daughter relationships. 

Anna, portrayed by Sherilyn Fenn, is Luke’s ex. They have a daughter together, April (Vanessa Marano). Luke only finds out years later when a 12-year-old April shows up at his diner. 

Anna and April are in many ways another version of Lorelai and Rory. Lorelai and Anna are similar in that they’re both single moms who own their own businesses. They have some of the same parenting rules — they keep their dating lives private — and they’re friends with their daughters. 

These are just a few of the mother-daughter relationships on Gilmore Girls. Watch the original series and Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life on Netflix.