Whatever your opinions are regarding Lorelai Gilmore’s tenuous-at-best, disastrous-at-worst relationship with her parents, you have to admit that Emily and Richard Gilmore are #relationshipgoals. Richard and Emily, despite their obvious shortcomings as parents, are excellent partners for each other. Richard acts as neurotic Emily’s stable center, and Emily provides Richard with his day-to-day liveliness. Like any other couple, they go through their ups and downs, most notably, their separation during Season 5, but ultimately, both of them come to see that they have eyes only for each other.
Emily’s manipulations throughout the course of the show obscure the solidness of the relationship, but since we now know that Richard’s passing (rest in peace) will play a large role in Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life from the recently released trailer, now is as good a time as any to reflect on my favorite Richard and Emily #relationshipgoals moments!
Emily and Richard’s Vow Renewal
Let’s just go ahead and admit it; most of us were tearing up at this moment. The whole thing was perfect: from Rory as Richard’s best man, to Emily’s outfit, to Richard’s touching tribute to his wife, which included him referencing a song Emily mentioned once nearly 30 years before.
What’s particularly touching about this is that Emily often finds herself frustrated when she’s talking to a seemingly inattentive Richard. More often than not, Richard is actually paying very close attention to her and tends to remember almost everything she says, even if she doesn’t realize it.
When They Sang to Rory at her Yale Graduation Party
One of my favorite things about Emily and Richard is that though Emily is rather stiff, the only person she can loosen up around is Richard. Under no circumstances could I imagine Emily standing up in front of all her friends, singing a silly made up song, by herself. I can definitely see her wanting to, but Richard encourages her. Not to mention, this is a classic example of Richard and Emily deeply loving their granddaughter, and using unconventional methods to show it.
When Emily Confronts Richard After He Has a Heart Attack
Emily and Richard don’t have any clue as to how they would live their lives without each other. The mere thought of losing Richard and having to live life without him prompts Emily to ask Richard to promise that she may die first. Morbid though it is, Richard is willing to promise Emily anything that will make her happy—making the fact that Richard has passed away first in the new Gilmore Girl episodes even more tragic.
When Richard and Emily Come to Lorelai’s Business School Graduation
Watching this scene really puts you on team #EmilyxRichard. Everyone was equally at fault for the fallout following Lorelai’s pregnancy, but despite the familial upheaval, Emily and Richard never stopped loving Lorelai. Stubborn though they may be, they have only ever wanted to be included in her life, to support and love her. Because they never got a chance to see her graduate as a teenager and because they had been estranged for so long, watching her walk across the stage bridged the gap and let them be the proud parents they had always wanted to be.
The “Cup of Tea” Scene
This moment in season three is almost a throw away, but when Lorelai dates the son of one of her parents’ friends, she unwittingly comes face-to-face with what the ramifications might be for them. When Lorelai refuses to go on a follow up date, Emily faces social consequences amongst her peers that would result in her no longer getting served the first cup of tea. Richard then confronts Lorelai about her decision:
Richard: Didn’t you hear what I just said?
Lorelai: About the tea? Yes, I heard it, and I’m sorry but it sounds insane!
Richard: Of course it sounds insane! It is insane! That is not the point!
Lorelai: Okay, what’s the point?
Richard: Your mother is upset, and I don’t want her to be upset. You may not understand her world, I may not understand her world, but it is her world, and in her world, it is very, very important that she have the first cup of tea. And I don’t care about your independence or what you told your mother or what you have to say. If my wife wants the first cup tea, she’s going to have the first cup of tea. That’s it!
This is my all-time favorite Richard and Emily moment for so many reasons. Richard is standing up for Emily. He wants to make her happy and he acknowledges that he may not share in her feelings, but her feelings are what are most important to him. In that moment, Richard and his relationship with Emily reminds me a lot of my own parents. They’re twenty-six years strong and my dad treats keeping my mother happy like it’s his day job.
Emily and Richard Gilmore are definitely complex figures in the Gilmore Girls universe, but they serve as an excellent portrayal of what a strong marriage looks like. Be sure to tune in to Netflix on Nov. 25 to see how Richard’s absence will impact our favorite Gilmore girls!
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