'Gilmore Girls': 3 Times Richard Gilmore Was Incredibly Manipulative

Gilmore Girls might have been all about Lorelai Gilmore and her young daughter, Rory Gilmore, but Lorelai’s parents were just as important to the story. Lorelai didn’t have the best relationship with her parents, Richard and Emily Gilmore. While fans generally agree that Lorelai and her parents were equally responsible for their troubled dynamic, Emily gets a lot of flack from fans for being manipulative. Richard could act similarly, though. We cant think of three times when he manipulated his own family.

Richard Gilmore appeared to enjoy goading Lorelai 

Richard appeared to soften toward Lorelai as Gilmore Girls progressed, but he was just as argumentative as Emily in the show’s first two seasons. In fact, one can argue that Richard thoroughly enjoyed goading Lorelai. You could say that his behavior, in and of itself, was a manipulation tactic. 

In season 1, he seemed downright giddy at the opportunity to get a rise out of Lorelai. During the family’s first Friday night dinner, he specifically spoke about Christopher Hayden and his success in California to upset his uncomfortable daughter. He went after her lack of education several more times. His intentions, each time, seemed to be to get a reaction out of Lorelai. 

Richard and Emily Gilmore gaslit Lorelai about Rory leaving school 

Gilmore Girls fans largely agree that Richard often acted in a manner that he thought would be best for the ladies in his life, but there was one moment in the seven seasons that fans spent with him that they largely consider unforgivable. Richard went along with Emily Gilmore when she acted as if Lorelai hadn’t come to them looking for help with Rory. 

Shortly after Rory announced that she would be dropping out of Yale, Lorelai went to Emily and Richard for help. The three decided they would all sit her down and convince her to go back to school. That conversation with Rory never happened. Emily and Richard allowed Rory to move into their pool house instead of returning to Yale. The betrayal would have been bad enough, but Richard and Emily acted as if the conversation never happened. The blatant gaslighting didn’t sit well with fans. 

Richard Gilmore manipulated Rory into attending Yale 

Rory’s relationship with her grandparents was healthier than her mother’s relationship with them, but it wasn’t perfect. Rory’s personality may have been closer to what Richard and Emily expected, but she was not immune to being manipulated by them. Fans can argue that Richard heavily influenced Rory’s decision to attend Yale. 

In Season 3, Richard asked Rory to visit Yale with him. Richard presented the trip as an innocent desire to show Rory where he went to school. His intentions were not pure, though. Instead, he wanted Rory to meet with an admissions counselor so she would “know her options.” Gilmore Girls fans argue that he manipulated her into the trip and guided her toward attending Yale. It worked. She graduated from the school after a semester-long detour. 

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