‘Gilmore Girls’: Some Fans Are Sharing the Exact Moments They Began Hating Dean Forrester

It probably takes a lot of hate for someone to be able to recall the exact moment they started to dislike a person, even nearly 15 years after meeting that person for the first time. That’s the case for hundreds of Gilmore Girls fans who have developed a strong distaste for the character of Dean Forrester (played by Jared Padalecki). Dean appeared most frequently in the first three seasons of the WB dramedy, but he did return for some episodes in season 4 onward.

Dean has become a topic of debate among many Gilmore Girls viewers. Some loved him, while others hated him from the start. On Reddit, some fans have revealed the moments they realized Dean was not a nice guy.

'Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life' guest star Jared Padalecki as Dean Forrester
‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’ guest star Jared Padalecki as Dean Forrester | Neil Jacobs/Netflix

Dean Forrester was Rory Gilmore’s first boyfriend on ‘Gilmore Girls’

Gilmore Girls introduced Dean Forrester in the pilot episode as a new kid in Stars Hollow, Connecticut. He quickly took a liking to Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel), and the two began flirting early in season 1. Soon, he became Rory’s first boyfriend.

Except for a brief breakup around their three-month anniversary, Rory and Dean first dated until season 3. At that point, she developed feelings for Jess Mariano (Milo Ventimiglia) and dated him instead. However, Rory and Dean later got together again in season 4, despite his marriage to Lindsay Lister (Arielle Kebbel). They broke up for the final time in season 5.

At first, Dean seemed like the kind, caring, and responsible boyfriend that any parent would want for their children. However, as the seasons progressed, some fans thought he became more possessive and emotionally manipulative toward Rory. The couple eventually realized their lives no longer aligned, as Rory wanted to go off and do big things, while Dean wanted to stay in Stars Hollow.

Fans on Reddit shared the moments they knew they hated Dean Forrester

For many fans, the realization that they hated Dean came at different times. On Reddit, one user revealed that for them, it was Season 2 Episode 2, when Dean got angry at Rory for doing volunteer work instead of spending time with him.

“Yeah, Rory was a bit overdramatic, but Dean knows how important her future is,” they said.

Several fans agreed that they didn’t like Dean at that moment, as he tried to guilt Rory for improving her chances of getting into Harvard. However, another commonly cited unpopular Dean moment was the night he broke up with her because she didn’t tell him she loved him back.

“I identified with her a lot when I watched the show for the first time – very reserved, a bit shy/quiet, bookish, think things through a lot or perhaps too much. So my middle school self was very disturbed that he’d get so upset not getting an ‘I love you’ after a just few months,” another user replied in the thread.

Other fans cited the night Dean cheated on Lindsay with Rory, the time he called Rory 15 times in one evening, and his insistence on visiting Rory when she said she wanted to be alone.

“Season 2 Dean is awful. He turned rapidly into a jealous, possessive dude, mostly because they wanted to sully his character to make people root for Jess and Rory,” another person added.

A few viewers did jump into the thread to defend Dean. Some said both he and Rory had flaws in the relationship.

“I have never hated hated Dean, but I had to watch the show a bunch of times to start seeing the valid criticisms in his character. I think he and Rory both made mistakes in their relationship,” one person wrote.

‘Gilmore Girls’ star Scott Patterson criticized Dean’s behavior toward Lorelai

In May 2021, Patterson began a Gilmore Girls rewatch podcast called I Am All In. Starting in season 1, he began watching every episode of the show and providing commentary. At the time of this writing, Patterson is still in the first season. However, he, too, has already formed a distaste for Dean.

For Patterson, his red flag alert went up during season 1 episode 7. In this Gilmore Girls episode, Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) invited Dean over for a movie night at her and Rory’s house. When Rory left the room, Lorelai gave a speech about Dean treating Rory right. When she finished speaking, Dean asked, “Is it my turn to talk?”

Patterson revealed during I Am All In that he felt shocked by Dean’s boldness in his scene.

“[They were] setting the character up to fail,” Patterson said.

RELATED: ‘Gilmore Girls’: Some Fans Find Scott Patterson’s Podcast ‘Cringeworthy’ and ‘Disorganized’