Without a doubt, Gilmore Girls is one of the greatest shows on the planet. Okay, so as a die-hard fan, I may be being a little bit bias. Still, anyone who's at least given the show the time of day will know that it's so much more than just a series about a quirky mother and daughter. This is a show that spans generations, looking at the many hardships that come with trying to get along with your blood relatives. If there's one thing that this show proves, it's that family relations can be tricky to say the least.
One of the most commonly vilified characters has to be Emily Gilmore, Lorelai's rich and entitled mother. Sure, she might be a little prissy at times, but there's a deeper side to this character. Not only does she have sass and style by the Chanel bagful, but she also genuinely cares about the ladies in her life. Here is why she's the actual best.
14 When she and Richard sang for Rory
Over the seasons, both she and Richard were the most supportive grandparents they could possibly be. So, when Rory was graduating from Yale, it's only natural that they would want to make a sing and dance about it. Still, few people expected them to literally sing about it the way that they did. This was a break from their usual uptight personas and gave fans a glimpse of how the couple once were in their younger days.
What's more, they didn't just perform any old song for the graduation; they went ahead and wrote the lyrics themselves. You can just imagine the pair of them hauled up in Richard's office coming up with the song, lyric by lyric! Despite the fact that they are posher than posh, they are still willing to have some fun now and then.
13 When she had this glorious comeback ready
Much of the time, the eldest Gilmores were quiet, composed, and polite. Sometimes, though, they managed to break away from this and turn into something altogether different. When Richard and Emily's marriage fell sharply onto the rocks, we suddenly saw a sassier side to this lady. She was no longer just a mere wife; she was a woman who had things to say and wine to drink. My kind of lady, to tell the truth.
It was during this period that she was free to do and try many new things, one of which happened to be drinking at lunch time. When Richard chastised her for her choices, she had an expert comeback ready and waiting for him. She is proof that sometimes, you just need to say exactly what's on your mind and drink all the wine you like.
12 When she was forced the girls to throw her a bridal shower
After they'd reconciled, she and Richard planned a second wedding, or rather, a vow renewal. It was all very sweet, actually. While Richard was out on his bachelor party, Emily turned up at Lorelai's. She may have turned up under the pretense of needing alterations for her dress, but it soon became clear that she was after something more than that. Realizing that she was there for a bridal shower, the girls had to pull together a last minute party (easy peasy for the likes of Lorelai) just to please her.
While this whole affair is pretty damn comical, there is something deeply saddening about it too. The fact that she had to trick her daughter and granddaughter into throwing her a party is a little upsetting. Well, at least she had the guts to make it happen.
11 When she defended Lorelai
Over the course of the show, Emily makes a great many mistakes when it comes to Lorelai and her love life. She really ought to know better than to meddle in it and, when she does, it ends in tears for pretty much everyone involved. Still, she has her redeeming moments from time to time that show you that her heart really is in the right place, even if it rarely seems that way.
Take this moment, for example. When Lorelai is refusing to speak to Christopher and ignoring his calls, he decides to take things one step further. While she's at Friday night dinner, he turns up at Emily and Richard's house hoping to talk. Now, we all know that Emily would usually favour Christopher over the other men in Lorelai's life, but here she makes an exception. For once, she has Lorelai's back and tells Christopher to get out in no uncertain terms.
10 That time she put Shira Huntzberger in her place
Do you remember how the Huntzbergers treated Rory when they had her over for dinner? Of course, you do! And then, to add insult to injury, Mich went ahead and told her that she didn't have what it took to make it in the journalism business. Needless to say, this was a family of ego-maniacs who really needed to be taken down a peg or two along the way.
Leave it to Emily to do just that. In perhaps her finest moment, Emily waltzed up to Shira and put her right in her place. It wasn't so much the fact that she told her some real home truths but how she said them. She was so polite and charming outwardly while she was uttering the most heinous things imaginable to her. Now, that takes some major talent.
9 And looked fabulous while doing it
As though it wasn't perfect enough that she managed to put Shira in her place in no time at all, she did it with so much style, it was unreal. One of the fabulous things about Emily Gilmore is that she is not a character to lose her temper easily. Oh no. She can do all the damage she needs without her innocent little smile faltering for a single second.
Say what you want about Emily, but this moment proves just how much she cares about Rory. Sure, the rules of her own little world dictate that she has to suck up to the Huntzbergers, but this was about much more than that. Once she found out that someone had insulted her granddaughter, it was clear that she was not about to let it slide.
8 When she and Lorelai were twins!
Back in season two, while we were still getting to know the characters we love so dearly now, we got a little treat. Now, I don't even know why this plot line existed; it didn't add all that much to the show except for giving fans a cutesy Emily and Lorelai moment. So, the story goes, Lorelai has to help organize a charity fashion show in aid of Chiltern. So far, so mundane. But, in a dramatic twist, it turns out that both she and Emily are actually in the show as well and have to model the mother-daughter line.
Now, as you may have already guessed, I don't care that much for this storyline. It's pretty much a pointless plot as far as I'm concerned. The only advantage to it was that it gave Emily a chance to show off her modeling moves, which are killer, by the way.
7 That time she was truly shocked
Emily is a pretty complex character. She's not this one-dimensional villain that many people seem to think she is. She has many layers. On the one hand, she is quite quirky herself and wants to show off her fun, creative, youthful side. But there is this other, darker facet to her personality, the one that is entirely governed by her upper class upbringing.
I'm guessing that it's the latter side of her that makes her say things like this. Time and time again, in the show, she is inexplicably shocked by what the girls do, who they date, and how they eat. While in many ways she's just getting to know the pair of them, this seems kind of bizarre. I mean, after a while, surely she would let their lifestyle wash over her, right?
6 When she showed her love for Richard
Try not to cry. We all know that when the revival comes to Netflix, it will be sans Richard Gilmore. Tragically, Edward Herrmann (who played Richard) died of cancer back in 2014 at the age of 71. It's hard to imagine the show without him or, indeed, to picture a world where Emily Gilmore would exist without her husband.
Perhaps that's why this scene from season one seems so much more heart-wrenching just now. At the very least, it shows that the character of Emily was completely devoted to her husband, Richard. So much so that she made him promise to let her go (pass away) first. Throughout the series, there were many tender moments between the two of them. It will be interesting to see how the writers have dealt with his passing in the new season.
5 When she had a dark sense of humor
When you think of Gilmore Girls, Lorelai's fast-paced conversations and witty remarks probably spring to mind. Still, she was not the only Gilmore who could make a snappy joke or two. There were times when Emily really did master the sheer art that is sarcasm - and this is one of them that every fan will remember.
You'd think that she would have been used to Lorelai telling her seemingly ludicrous things, but apparently not. When her daughter explained that she was at a funeral for her neighbor's cat, she had the best comeback. "Hold on. I'm looking up 'aneurysm' in our medical dictionary to see if I just had one," she says without missing a beat. Hmm... it's clear to see that the razor sharp wit is something that runs in the Gilmore family then.
4 When she was an actual queen
In season four, tragedy strikes when the eldest Lorelai (Trix, to her son, Richard), dies. While there's a whole load of sadness here; Rory loses her great grandma and Lorelai her grandma, there are some comical moments. You see, it turns out that Richard's mom never wanted him to marry Emily at all. In fact, right before their wedding day, she sent him a letter explaining all the reasons that he should basically leave her at the alter.
It's only after old Lorelai's death that Emily finds the letter in among her things. While most of us would unleash hell on Earth, Emily takes a much more subtle approach to the whole damn thing. She stops caring a single iota about the funeral, the arrangements, or anything else for that matter. This episode sees her lounging around in a floral dressing gown, while chain-smoking and drinking the day away. Well played, you actual queen.
3 That time she asked Lorelai for dating advice
In the brief time that Emily and Richard were separated, she decided that it was time to get out there again and start seeing other men. Since she'd been out of the dating game for like 30 years, she needed some advice about how you can get a guy. We all know that Lorelai is a pro when it comes to getting a guy's attention, and so Emily turned to her for some much-needed help.
While this may seem like no big deal, you need to really think about it. Turning to her daughter for this must have taken some serious guts. There was every chance that Lorelai would laugh in her face, make some cruel comment, or just flat-out refuse to help. She must have known that at the time, and yet she still reached out.
2 That time she wore Lorelai's sneakers
Back in season one, the episode 'Emily in Wonderland' is one of the greatest examples of this character and her ability to change. The fact of the matter is that, yes, she is accustomed to her own ways but that does not mean that she won't bend the rules now and then. When it comes to spending time with Rory, she will do almost anything to please the girl - and so she should.
In the episode, Emily gets a chance to see Stars Hallow in all its glory. When she turns up in high heels, though, Rory quickly tells her that is just not going to work. So, she dons a pair of Lorelai's sneakers and sets of on a journey around town. In this episode, we get the first glimpse of the caring grandmother Emily truly is.
1 When she got emotional at Lorelai's graduation
One of the major plot points in Gilmore Girls is the rocky relationship that Emily and Lorelai have. I mean, when your daughter runs away from home with a newborn to start a new life for herself, it tends to make things a little... tense. While the mother and daughter duo spend much of the time bickering and arguing about how things ought to be done, there's no denying the depth of emotion there.
When Emily and Richard attend Lorelai's graduation, you really get a sense of how proud they are of her. No, she did not do things their way - and that will always be a bone of contention - but she is still a success and they value that. Seeing Emily well up while watching Lorelai accepting her diploma, there's just no way that you can call her a wicked mother.