‘Gilmore Girls’: How Long Should It Have Taken Rory to Complete Her Community Service Hours?

Gilmore Girls fans have argued about the moment Rory unraveled ever since the show went off the air in 2007. For some viewers, Rory’s affair with Dean Forrester was the tipping point. Others think Rory’s life diverged from her carefully-planned path when she was arrested with Logan Huntzberger. Rory’s arrest was absolutely a life-changing event, but her sentencing made the entire situation barely a blip on the radar. Her community service sentence was incredibly lenient and really wouldn’t have taken all the much effort to complete.

Rory was sentenced to 300 hours of community service for stealing a yacht

After Mitchum Huntzberger informed Rory that she didn’t have what it took to be a journalist, her behavior changed drastically. Instead of considering an alternate career plan, or crying to a friend, she decided to steal a boat with Logan. The pair’s heist landed them in jail for a few hours.  

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Once released, Rory and Logan handled their legal issues separately. Logan presumably got away with the heist without any trouble, but Rory was ordered to complete community service as part of her plea agreement. The deal was simple; Rory had to complete 300 hours of community service within six months of her sentencing. Once completed, she could petition the court to have the charge expunged from her record.

How lenient was Rory’s sentencing?

Initially, Rory assumed she’d have to complete 20 hours of community service for the boat theft. While the judge refused such a lenient sentence, the one she handed down wasn’t particularly harsh either. Even Rory’s charge was considered pretty forgiving, considering the nature of her crime. According to NOLO, in the state of Connecticut, the theft of goods or services over $20,000 is considered a Class B Felony. Crimes that fall in the class are punishable by 1 to 20 years in prison and up to a $15,000 fine. Rory was charged with Third Degree Criminal Mischief, a misdemeanor, instead of a felony.

Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore and Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore
Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore and Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore | Mitchell Haddad/CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images

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The boat that she and Logan stole was never shown but was regularly referred to as a yacht. Generally speaking, a yacht is a recreational boat larger than 33-feet. The value of a yacht is dependent on its size and appointments, but most will have a value greater than $20,000. Rory’s charge may not have been a felony, but the charge still would have carried a fine and up to six months in jail.

How long would it take to complete 300 hours of service?

Rory’s reaction to the number of hours she needed to complete was a bit overblown. In fact, she freaked out when Richard and Emily Gilmore wanted her to get a job on top of completing her service hours. Rory suggested her community service hours were akin to having a full-time job but were they really?

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Rory was given six months to complete her hours. Assuming she took the entire six months to finish, that means she needed to spend 50 hours each month volunteering her time. Even part-time workers generally put in more than 50 hours of work per month. Even if she wanted to finish the hours in just three months, she’d still be working on a part-time schedule. To complete all 300 hours in only three months, she would have needed to dedicate 100 hours per month to her service hours. The time commitment hardly constituted a full-time job.