‘Gilmore Girls’: Technically, Lorelei Gilmore Should Be Broke

Gilmore Girls was wildly popular when it first aired back in 2000; however, it has been elevated to cult status in recent years thanks to Netflix. With a new generation of viewers, the show has received new life, but the same plot holes that were present in 2000 exist today. One major issue that is never addressed is exactly how Lorelei manages to swing her lifestyle. While show creators paint Lorelei as a self-made woman, her spending habits would likely have had her in the poor house sooner rather than later. It’s possible that Lorelei isn’t nearly as self-made as one would believe. So, did she have help from Richard and Emily Gilmore? She would have had to make the numbers work.

How much would Lorelei have really made as the manager of The Independence Inn?

In the early seasons of Gilmore Girls, it is mentioned that Lorelei has worked her way up from a maid to the manager of the Independence Inn. While the job is an impressive one, it’s not one that commands a considerable paycheck. According to Sapling, the average general manager of an inn makes around $54,000 per year.

Rory and Lorelei Gilmore
Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore and Lauren Graham as Lorelei Gilmore | Warner Bros./Delivered by Online USA

Once the inn burns down and Lorelei and Sookie embark on their journey to business ownership, the numbers don’t get much better. New businesses don’t turn a profit overnight. In fact, the general rule of thumb is that it takes a company, on average, three years to become profitable. 80% of businesses never make it to that point, according to Forbes.

While the Dragonfly Inn is said to be wildly successful, it still would have taken Sookie and Lorelei until the final season to turn a real profit, if they were decidedly average. It’s possible, however, that they turned a profit sooner, considering the inn’s alleged success.

Lorelei’s takeout habit alone would have made her go broke

Takeout is a beautiful thing. Everyone loves to get a pizza delivered to their door. Getting to saunter out of a Chinese food dive with a bag bursting with wonton soup containers is excellent, too. Eating takeout nightly, however, gets expensive very quickly.

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Lorelei and Rory reside in Connecticut. While Stars Hollow is a fictional town, it’s based mainly on several villages in Litchfield County. A plain cheese pizza sells for an average of $16 in Connecticut, according to Parade. Chinese food chits vary. Two people can spend between $15 and $30 on a takeout order depending on what dishes they pick and how many appetizers they add. Rory and Lorelei both have ferocious appetites, so the bill would likely skew north of $30 fairly regularly.

Their dinner habits aren’t the only cause for concern, either. Rory and Lorelei are regularly seen grabbing breakfast at Luke’s. The average omelet at a diner will cost around $8, and a cup of coffee adds an additional $1.50 to the tab. The family of two’s breakfast habits would easily cost approximately $20 a day.

No one ever addresses the trust funds

Fans are fully aware that Richard and Emily Gilmore are more than comfortable financially. Both born into wealthy families, the creators of Gilmore Girls never shy away from the opportunity to mention just how wealthy the family is. Somehow, however, they skate entirely over the concept of trust funds, or at the very least, they avoid discussing Lorelei’s access to the family’s money.

We know, for a fact, that Rory absolutely has one. Richard mentions it during Season 6 when he’s trying desperately to get Rory to return to Yale. Richard’s mother also mentions a trust that has been set up in Rory’s name. It’s safe to say, if Rory had a trust fund, Lorelei had one, too. A trust fund, however, remains entirely inconvenient for the overarching plot of the show, so it’s never mentioned.

Any superfan can assume that Lorelei, for all her posturing about hating the world she grew up in, likely benefited financially from it at some point. After all, it’s really the only way to explain how a then-maid could have afforded a rather comfortable home in Connecticut by the age of 27, all while single-handedly supporting a young child.