5 Etiquette Rules from Emily Gilmore

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Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” hits Netflix November 25th, and if you’re anything like me, you’re binge watching all the old episodes and reliving all the ups and downs, romances, break-ups, and hilarious moments in between.

Of course, I want to see more of Lorelai and Rory and their relationship, but really, let’s be honest, I need more Emily Gilmore in my life. Sure, she’s prudish and condescending, but hilarious and relatable because we all have those people in our lives – that aunt or grandmother or whoever who feels compelled to give us unsolicited advice while also reminding us to “sit up straight” and “don’t talk with your mouth full.” This is Emily Gilmore, the queen of etiquette and decorum, and I hope her reign is still in full force. With this in mind, it seems appropriate to take a moment and reflect on all she’s already taught Rory, Lorelai, Luke, and others throughout the seasons.

5 Etiquette Rules from Emily Gilmore:

1. Always get a wedding gift (Season 2, Episode 4)
After Emily remarks that she will need to return the gift she bought for Max and Lorelai’s wedding, Lorelai is touched.
Emily quickly replies: “You were getting married. Gifts are expected. It’s the proper thing to do.”

2. Pronouncing Ms. vs. Mrs. (Season 1, Episode 10)
A nurse at the hospital absently calls Emily, “Ms. Gilmore.”
She tersely replies: “It’s not ‘Ms. Gilmore.’ It’s ‘Mrs. Gilmore!’ Mrs.! I am not a cosmo-woman.”

3. Formal dinner etiquette and proper spacing (Season 7, Episode 3)
In the episode “Lorelai’s First Cotillion” Emily has plenty of opportunities to teach manners when a couple of children from her manners class shows up for a makeup class at Friday night dinner.


Emily: Now, it is the duty of the gentleman to help a lady to her seat, Richard. Now, immediately upon sitting, one should place one’s napkin in one’s lap. And, mind you, no need for a flourish. The ability to use a napkin is nothing to brag about.

Lorelai: What’s with all the forks?

Emily: Every piece of silverware has a purpose. You simply work from the outermost utensil in towards your plate.

Then later at the Dragon Inn with her cotillion pupils…

Emily: Caroline, we do not grab or grope our dinner partners.

Caroline: Sorry, Mrs. Gilmore.

Emily: Always maintain proper spacing and distance.

Lorelai: [to Michel] Err, it’s all coming back to me. Proper spacing and distance. Other kids were hugged and kissed. I was taught to maintain proper spacing and distance.

4. Go to the door to pick up your date (Season 1, Episode 9)

Rory is about to leave the house to go to her first formal dance with Dean. Emily is at their house to take pictures when Dean pulls up in his car and honks the horn:

Emily: You do not go running out the door when a boy honks.

Lorelai: Mom, it’s fine.

Emily: It certainly is not fine. This is not a drive through. She’s not fried chicken.

5. “Congratulations” versus “Best Wishes” (Season 5, Episode 3)
After Luke congratulates Emily on renewing her vows, she frankly replies: “You congratulate the groom. You offer the bride best wishes.”

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