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In many ways, Gilmore Girls has aged exceptionally well. More than a decade after the comedy-drama’s finale, the series about a unique mother-daughter relationship continues to resonate with a new wave of fans year after year. However, as much as people love to rewatch Gilmore Girls, there are some cringeworthy storylines that just get worse every time. Thankfully, some of these plots only lasted one episode, but others went on for weeks. Here are eight super cringey storylines that many fans would rather ignore.

Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore and Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore in Gilmore Girls promo image
‘Gilmore Girls’ stars Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham | Warner Bros./Getty Images

Lorelai dating her daughter’s teacher

In season 1, Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel) started her first year at Chilton Preparatory School. As if being the new kid at school wasn’t hard enough, the teen had to deal with her mother, Lorelai (Lauren Graham), dating her teacher, Max Medina (Scott Cohen).

Lorelai didn’t seem to consider how the situation could affect Rory at school, especially when she later broke off her engagement with Max. Rory had to endure some serious awkwardness in her first year because of that. Plus, humiliation when other students found out about the relationship.

Lorelai’s stubborn attitude about termites

Gilmore Girls Season 2 Episode 11, “Secrets and Loans,” showed just one example of Lorelai’s stubbornness toward her parents. Lorelai and Rory learned of some serious termite damage to their home, which would cost hundreds of dollars to repair. Unfortunately, Lorelai couldn’t afford to fix the problem, and she struggled to find a loan. So, Rory turned to her wealthy grandparents, Richard (Edward Herrmann) and Emily Gilmore (Kelly Bishop).

Rory’s move infuriated Lorelai, even though Emily offered to help. And after throwing a fit about it, Lorelai ended up taking Emily’s help anyway, which was really her only option from the start. Just this once, Lorelai could have accepted Emily’s offer with grace instead of nearly letting the house go to ruin.

Sookie, Jackson, and the vasectomy

Another cringeworthy Gilmore Girls storyline started in season 5 when Sookie St. James (Melissa McCarthy) had Martha, her second child with Jackson Belleville (Jackson Douglas). Shortly after giving birth, Sookie told her husband that she scheduled him to get a vasectomy. She hadn’t discussed it with him at all beforehand and simply forced him to go through with it, which is pretty cringeworthy in itself.

Things got worse in season 7 when Sookie became pregnant for a third time. Apparently, Jackson lied about getting his procedure done, which was a very dangerous and jerky thing to do.

Rory’s scathing ballerina review

Who knew Rory could be so awful? In season 4 episode 8, “Die, Jerk,” the Yale student wrote a scathing review of a ballet for the Yale Daily News. As terrible as the recital may have been, Rory’s words were a bit too harsh. She made comments about the lead ballerina’s weight, which is pretty unacceptable. And when the ballerina confronted Rory, she tried to justify the review instead of outright apologizing.

Zack’s diva meltdown during Hep Alien’s big break

If Zack Van Gerbig (Todd Lowe) hadn’t blown Hep Alien’s chances to be seen by talent scouts, where would the band be today? In season 6 episode 10, “He’s Slippin’ ‘Em Bread … Dig?”, Lane Kim (Keiko Agena) and her band received an opportunity to play a gig that could have landed them a record deal. However, Zack caused a fight on stage by putting on a diva attitude and inviting a new band member without anyone’s permission.

Zack and Lane broke up that night, and so did the band. And it all started with Zack’s jealousy over Brian (John Cabrera) writing a song for Lane, which was seriously an overreaction.

Rory’s affair with Dean


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Perhaps one of the most notoriously cringeworthy Gilmore Girls storylines was Rory’s affair with Dean Forrester (Jared Padalecki). At the end of season 4, she and Dean slept together while he was married to Lindsey (Arielle Kebbel). Rory justified the act by saying Dean had been her boyfriend first, which was pretty immature considering Rory left Dean for someone else.

Even after Lindsey found out about the affair, Dean and Rory continued to see each other. However, it was obvious they didn’t fit into each other’s lives anymore. The relationship felt very forced.

Rory’s reaction to the TA at Yale

In season 7 episode 14, “Farewell, My Pet,” Rory met the attractive TA that would take over Richard’s class while he recovered from his heart attack. She quickly developed a crush on him, which made her feel guilty because of her relationship with Logan Huntzberger (Matt Czuchry). She ended up telling Logan about the crush, which led to an awkward conversation about belonging to each other.

The awkward Marty-Rory-Lucy triangle

In season 7, Rory met her friend Lucy’s (Krysten Ritter) new boyfriend, who turned out to be Rory’s former pal Marty (Wayne Wilcox). However, Marty pretended he never knew Rory, which led to some awkward encounters — especially when Logan told Lucy the truth. Lucy stopped talking to Rory and broke up with Marty, and the whole storyline seemed very juvenile.

Gilmore Girls is now streaming on Netflix.