‘Gilmore Girls’: The Spa Weekend and 3 Other Times Lorelai Could’ve Been Much Nicer to Emily

Nobody knows complicated family dynamics better than Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) and her mother, Emily Gilmore (Kelly Bishop). The characters on Amy Sherman-Palladino’s Gilmore Girls spent seven seasons and a Netflix reboot sorting through their drama. 

While Lorelai and Emily had brief moments when they didn’t argue, most of the time they made little digs at each other courtesy of the show’s signature fast-talking dialogue. There were times when both Gilmore women were justified in their actions, there were also instances when Lorelai had been way too harsh on her mother. Keep reading to check out our picks for moments in the series when Lorelai could’ve showed her mom some kindness.

Lauren Graham and Kelly Bishop as Lorelai and Emily Gilmore in 'Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life'
Lauren Graham and Kelly Bishop in ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’ | Neil Jacobs/Netflix

Emily and Lorelai’s complicated history

For those who didn’t watch Gilmore Girls every week, here’s a brief rundown of Emily and Lorelai’s relationship. Lorelai grew up in a wealthy home with her parents, Emily and Richard (Edward Herrmann). Outspoken, she never felt comfortable with their lifestyle. At 16, Lorelai and her high school boyfriend, Christopher Hayden (David Sutcliffe), became parents. 

Without any warning, Lorelai and her daughter, Rory, moved out and started a new life in Stars Hallow away from Richard and Emily. Gilmore Girls starts with Lorelai asking her parents for help — something she’s made a point not to do — to finance Rory’s education at a prestigious private high school. When she agrees to have dinner every Friday night in exchange for tuition payments, viewers learn there’s a lot of lingering resentment and anger between them. 

1. Lorelai didn’t have a good attitude during her spa weekend with Emily

Lorelai and Emily went to a spa together in Gilmore Girls Season 2 Episode 16: “There’s the Rub,” according to Fandom. Sure, Emily invited herself to a spa weekend with Lorelai but the least Lorelai could’ve at least had a positive attitude during their time together. Instead, she tried to arrange it so they barely saw each other before resorting to the spa’s “quiet room” to get Emily to stop talking to her. 

Cast of 'Gilmore Girls'
Cast of ‘Gilmore Girls’ | Warner Bros./Delivered by Online USA

The trip wasn’t all bad. The mother and daughter had a few bright spots; they stole robes and later left the spa to have dinner at a bar. But, overall, Lorelai could’ve borrowed some of Emily’s openness to try new things. Remember how excited Emily had been about the cucumber-infused water and the mud baths? We wish Lorelai could’ve been like that from the start of their getaway. 

2. She made Emily sit silently during a meeting about a loan

According to Fandom, in Gilmore Girls Season 2 Episode 11: “Secrets and Loans,” Lorelai needs $15,000 to repair extensive termite damage to her and Rory’s house. After getting turned down by every bank for a loan, Rory called Emily for help.

When Lorelai shows up to yet another meeting about a loan, she’s surprised to see her mother there. Upset, she makes her mom sit quietly throughout the entire meeting until it’s clear she needs her to cosign the loan. While Lorelai had every right to be unsure about her mother’s motives, she could’ve been much more mature and kind in the way she approached the situation. 

3. Lorelai didn’t want to hire the same interior decorator as Emily 

After a long search for the perfect interior decorator, Lorelai finally found someone she meshed with. There was only one problem; they had previously worked with Emily.

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Three generations of Gilmores.

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Not wanting to lose the gig, the decorator declined to work with Emily when she asked. One way or another, Emily found out, which led to Lorelai agreeing to hire a different decorator. This one still strikes as being incredibly childish. 

4. She blamed Emily for Rory’s surprise meeting at Yale

Rory and Lorelai’s plan had always been for Rory to attend Harvard much to the disappointment of Richard who went to college at Yale. In Gilmore Girls Season 3 Episode 7: “Let the Games Begin,” Lorelai and Rory joined Emily and Richard on a road trip to Yale. 

They had a great time until Richard surprised Rory by telling her he set up an interview for her with the university’s dean of admissions, according to Fandom. Just like Rory and Lorelai, Emily had no idea what Richard had been planning. Instead of placing the blame solely on her father, Lorelai blames Emily for the surprise meeting too.

Want more Gilmore Girls? Check out which episodes made the cut on our list of the show’s best episodes.