photo: Warner Bros.

"Gilmore Girls" is beloved for a lot of reasons — its snappy dialogue, plentiful pop culture references, and absurdly quaint portrayal of small-town life in Stars Hollow, to name a few. But undoubtedly the biggest reason Amy Sherman-Palladino's show has secured such a stronghold in our hearts and Netflix queues is the enviable dynamic of Rory and Lorelai. 

The special bond the Gilmore gals share, both as best friends and as mother and daughter, can at times seem a little too good to be true. They've had a few skirmishes, sure, but for the most part, these two were constantly on the same wavelength, a fact aided by Rory's seemingly out-of-the-womb maturity and Lorelai's ability to be a cool mom without, y'know, being that cool mom. 

While such a perfect partnership may sound improbable off-screen, the reality is, a lot of women do see their relationship with their mother or daughter reflected in this TV duo. According to a recent survey conducted by Netflix, nearly 40 percent of respondents said they were best friends with their mom or daughter like in "Gilmore Girls," and 41 percent of respondents reported feeling even closer to their mom or daughter after watching the show together, too.

We decided to seek out some real-life Rory and Lorelai duos of our own to hear what it's truly like for moms and daughters to also be each other's best friends. And what we learned made us love the show, and this sweet dynamic, even more.

1

Margaret Meshberger (Lorelai) and Regan Graham (Rory):

photo: Regan Meshberger

What's the absolute best part of having your mother/daughter for your best friend?

Regan: "The best part is probably getting older with them. When you're a kid, your mom is your best friend because she's your mom and keeps you safe and it's that simple. But then you become an adult yourself and you have, like, a guide through life. You can have more complicated conversations and work through stuff together. And although we sometimes don't agree, my mom always has some lesson she's gone through that will help me with whatever I'm going through."

Margaret: "Trust, plain and simple! I would trust Regan with my most treasured secrets or possessions. I would trust Regan with my life."

Are there any unique difficulties that come with this dynamic?

Regan: "We are so alike that when we do argue it can be explosive, and it's because we're literally just fighting against ourselves. So sometimes that can get messy."

Margaret: "There may be times in the distant future when Regan may have to make decisions for my wellbeing, and I fear leaving those decisions for her to make on her own may not be fair to her. I trust that she will do the right thing when or if that time ever comes. Knowing this gives me peace at heart."

What's your favorite quality that the other has?

Regan: "My mom is the ultimate alpha female. She's so strong. She's always been able to take care of herself no matter how shitty the situation may be. She absolutely kicks ass at anything she tries to do, and if anyone tries to stop her, her sheer willpower and determination just mows down any obstacle. It's extremely inspiring and makes me want to do her proud."

Margaret: "Charisma! Ever since Regan was a little girl she can walk in room and capture the attention of everyone in it. Her charismatic personality is captivating."

2

Reeta (Lorelai) and Tacha (Rory) Arora:

photo: Natacha Arora
What's the absolute best part of having your mother/daughter for your best friend?
Tacha: "She knows me better than anyone in the world — my good things, my bad things, my weird things. She can give me advice without ever really needing context because she already gets it."

Reeta: "You can be really honest with each other and give each other great advice, the communication lines are always open. She can also give me insight into some challenges she faced growing up or might see now, that gives me insights with her younger siblings."

Are there any unique difficulties that come with this dynamic?

Tacha: "When I do something stupid, sometimes its hard to tell her because we both know she's taught me better, and I didn't listen. Normally, with a friend, that's to be expected, but with her its harder."

Reeta: "Sometimes there is a thing as TMI!"

What's your favorite quality that the other has?

Tacha: "She's just about as real as you get. She's not afraid of uncomfortable topics, and has really helped me be comfortable in my own skin because of it."

Reeta: "She's an optimistic fighter. We've been through the trenches together, and she has stayed strong and positive."
3

Yaovarat (Lorelai) and Pier (Rory) Nirandara:

photo: Pier Nirandara

What's the absolute best part of having your mother/daughter for your best friend?

Pier: "The best part is you feel like no matter what, you always have someone on your side! No one knows you better."

Yaovarat: "You can proudly watch them grow up, and always support them."

Are there any unique difficulties that come with this dynamic?

Pier: "Things can get personal quickly — fights definitely hurt way more, since they're your primary pillar of support!"

Yaovarat: "They become your world — fights are definitely worse."

What's your favorite quality that the other has?

Pier: "She isn't afraid to fight for what she wants!"

Yaovarat: "That she's independent, driven, and adventurous."

4

Dorothy (Rory) and Tracey (Lorelai) Montague:

photo: Dorothy Montague

What's the absolute best part of having your mother/daughter for your best friend?

Dorothy: "I would say, it’s probably the fact that it’s super organic. The kind of relationship you develop with any best friend eventually feels that way, but it’s sort of like because she’s my mom, we already have that going for us. It just feels very organic and it’s very easy. We’re very transparent and honest with each other."

Tracey: "I really treasure the fact that we not only have the mother/daughter bond, but we have so many common interests and that we just enjoy each other’s company. There are a lot of people who have family relationships, but they wouldn’t necessarily choose to spend time with their family, and we just genuinely enjoy doing things together. I think a lot of that comes from the fact I really tried to pass along a lot of the things I love to her, and thankfully she embraced them. Things like traveling, going to see live music, and a lot of the musical influences she’s embraced, we have that in common."

Are there any unique difficulties that come with this dynamic?

Dorothy: "Oh, definitely. I want to go to her for almost everything, to get her opinion, and so sometimes it’s difficult because there is still that dynamic there that she's my mom, but she is also this figure of a best friend for me. So maybe what she needs to tell me isn’t necessarily what I want to hear, and I think it gets tricky when it’s like, 'Where does she draw the line between giving motherly advice or being concerned as a mother, as opposed to just being honest or just being there as my friend?'" 

Tracey: "I think the flipside or the challenge — and this was more going back to when she was a teenager living at home — is when it comes to having to discipline or set limits for your daughter. It can be harder for your daughter to understand when your relationship is genuinely so good. But you have to step into the role of parent sometimes and give some of that tough love."    

What's your favorite quality that the other has?

Dorothy: "When I think of my mom, all these great things come up. But the one thing that really, really resonates is the fact that she’s like the most unselfish person that I’ve ever met. She’s literally the most selfless person. She will always put me and my sister, especially, and pretty much anyone who needs (help) ahead of herself. That, to me, is something that I’ve always wanted to be able to emulate myself."

Tracey: "That’s an easy one. I think anyone that knows Dorothy would probably say something similar — it’s her enthusiasm for life. She really just embraces every day. She has a really easy time showing people around her how she feels about them. Really, people just get such positive, enthusiastic support from her, and she always makes you feel very special when you’re together. She just always is very expressive about that and ready to seize the day."

5

Edith (Lorelai) and Mia (Rory) Seemadray:

photo: Edith Seemadray

What's the absolute best part of having your mother/daughter for your best friend?

Mia: "We have a really close relationship and she is easy to talk to. I can go to her about school, friends, anything going on in my life. Things that a lot of kids don't tell their parents."

Edith: "I love that we always share the ups and downs of our days and know so much about each other. We’re each other’s sounding boards and we look to each other for support. It feels good to know we always have each other’s backs."

Are there any unique difficulties that come with this dynamic?

Mia: "Sometimes it can be too much information that she knows, and she will use it and go from being a friend to (being an) overprotective mom."

Edith: "The biggest challenge is making sure Mia understands that I’m her mom first. I always want to be her closest, best friend. BUT, there are rules and repercussions for breaking rules and as her mom it’s my job to enforce them. It’s a necessary evil, but I also think it makes for important life lessons, too. Sometime you just have to follow the rules, even if you don’t like them. I also like to remind her that I’m 40 years old and don’t live with my mom, but I still always show her respect and listen to her advice (even if I don’t always take it). I have learned that Mom usually knows best. Mia still isn’t totally convinced of that just yet."

What's your favorite quality that the other has?

Mia: "She is really supportive. I've always played sports and she has been to almost every one of my games since I was little. She is always there for me."

Edith: "Mia has a fantastic sense of humor. The older she gets the wittier her jokes become and it's been a great ride watching her blossom into this smart, gracious, hard working,all around beautiful young woman."

6

Angela (Lorelai) and Macy (Rory) Harrison:

photo: Macy Harrison

What's the absolute best part of having your mother/daughter for your best friend?

Angela: "The best thing about our relationship is our crazy, ridiculous, insanely tight bond. We know that we are never alone, even when we are apart. Even when every possible bad thing is happening and we absolutely despise each other. Even when we don't talk for days or see each other for months (although we can't go without talking for more than a few days even if we're not on great terms). The security of our connection is always there. It's layers and layers of peace and happiness and warmth and love. Layers and layers."

Macy: "I think the best part for me is knowing I can always count on her. I know it seems like such a simple answer, but it really is amazing to have someone that you can go to for anything. I can call her when Im freaking out about how overwhelmed I am with life or when Im freaking out over the fact that Kanye added new dates to his tour. No matter what the circumstances, she's always willing to listen to me."

Are there any unique difficulties that come with this dynamic?

Angela: "Sometimes it becomes easy to take the one who loves us the most for granted because we are busy or consumed with ourselves.  We forget simple things, like saying 'I'm sorry' or 'Thank you' because it is presumed that our feelings are understood.  (I mean, this person can literally read my mind, right?)  It's important to appreciate, cherish, elevate, respect the person we love the most.  And never, ever assume that they'll always be there (even if we know for sure that they will be)."

Macy: "I think it can be hard to remember that she's not just my best friend, she's my mother. I forget that there are certain boundaries that I should respect because she is my parent, boundaries that I might not have with my friends. It can be hard to see her as an authority figure."

What's your favorite quality that the other has?

Angela: "Oh my gosh, there are so many good things about my daughter, so many aspects of her that I admire. But the first thing that comes to mind when I think of her  is that she is undeniably strong-minded and self-confident (ok that's two things). In the beginning I found her to be somewhat of an enigma. I, myself, was a rather insecure child, scared of everything. Macy was quite the opposite; I didn't understand where she came from. From the very beginning of life, she was so sure of herself, never afraid of anything, eager to try everything. She always made friends instantly, commanding the room, initiating and leading. When she was a small child, I watched in dismay, thinking 'Is this really my child?' As she grew up dismay turned to pride, but she never ceased to amaze me with her kind heart, her athletic abilities, her strong intellect. She still amazes me today. I feel so fortunate to have her in my life. She is my best friend and the love of my life."

Macy: "She's so unafraid to be herself. She just does whatever feels right to her without caring about what people are going to think about her. Its so amazing to watch her interact with others, because you can see how her confidence can spread. She inspires other people to be open with who they are."

7

Kathryn Tyminski (Rory) and Elise Stigum (Lorelai):

photo: Kathryn Tyminski
What's the absolute best part of having your mother/daughter for your best friend?

Elise: "Trust. She is the one person in my life I can completely depend on for anything."

Kathryn: "I would say that is probably my answer, too. I also never have to worry about her flaking out on plans, or gossiping about me or any of that nonsense you can run into with some other friendships. I know that she always 100% has my back."

Are there any unique difficulties that come with this dynamic?

Elise: "I don't think so, except it's extra sad when they move away."

Kathryn: "We don't really have issues with this too much. Although, I know that I can be a lot shorter with her than I am with other friends. We are so close and I know she will still love me no matter what, so sometimes I have been known to lash out at her over small things that I wouldn't with anyone else. Sorry, Mom!"

What's your favorite quality that the other has?

Elise: "She is honest. It is an amazing experience putting your whole spirit, energy, and everything you know into one little person, and as they get older and start bringing those qualities into the new people in their life it is pretty amazing to watch."

Kathryn: "She is compassionate. I love that I can go to her with anything and never feel judged. She is a great listener. She also always gives me the best advice, even though I don't always listen to it. It is also really cool now that I have my own daughter getting to ask her questions about raising her. I know she does a pretty good job raising kids, so I trust her opinion."
8

Marla (Lorelai) and Kasha (Rory) Slavner:

photo: Marla Slavner

What's the absolute best part of having your mother/daughter for your best friend?

Marla: "Who wouldn’t want to have someone that you’ve carried for nine months and nurtured, turn around and kind of have that same care for you as a friend? It’s wonderful. We’re kind of besties, but, you know, we respect each other’s space and differences, just as all friendships do. But yeah, there is the role of the mother there as well."

Kasha: "I think very similarly to the Gilmore girls, we do have our rants together. Whether its politics or talking about school or just the world around us, we always seem to have interesting conversations. And she’s always brought me into her circles of friends growing up, so I’d always be around like-minded, really witty, really socially driven adults, and so I’ve learned a lot from not just her, but from them, too. So it’s great to be included in that kind of a space."

Are there any unique difficulties that come with this dynamic?

Marla: "Oh, no. We’re here for such a short time on the planet and there’s too much fracture out there in terms of relationships and family dynamics. And it’s almost like the norm to not have a good relationship, to have an unhealed relationship. So if you can have a healthy relationship at the core, the rest of what you take out into the world is healthier, too. So I think it’s very important for parents to have good relationships with their children and vice versa."

Kasha: "I don’t think so. I just finished a feature-length documentary, so there has been a lot of stress. Mom’s kind of the producer and I take more of the director role. So there’s been a lot of pressure around that, but now that we’ve got everything finished, there’s balance again, I think."

What's your favorite quality that the other has?

Marla: "She’s sweet. I think it comes across that she’s just got a very pure heart. It’s sweet. There’s nothing malicious about her."

Kasha: "I like her humor. She takes pride in that because she studied comedy, well she took a course in it. I think she’s very funny, growing up I’ve had giggles with her and I think that now that we can connect on a more grown up level, I get her little cracks and her whips."

9

Brittany (Rory) and Gayle (Lorelai) Hope:

photo: Brittany Hope
What's the absolute best part of having your mother/daughter for your best friend?

Brittany: "The best part of having my mom as my best friend is always having someone be there for me. Whether I need moral support or a plus one to an event, I know my mom will always be there by my side ready to help in whatever way she can."

Gayle: "The best part of having my daughter as my best friend is always having someone who is caring, sweet, and kind by my side. We even read each others minds sometimes which always makes us laugh."

Are there any unique difficulties that come with this dynamic?

Brittany: "My mom and I are very different — almost like an opposites attract kind of relationship. We share a lot of the same hobbies and passions, but personality wise we couldn't be more unique. My mom is very outspoken and is ready to pounce on anyone who causes any harm to her or her family, while I am very quiet and afraid of conflict. She's definitely the Lorelai in our relationship, while I'm the Rory."

Gayle: "Even though we have a close relationship, the borderline between daughter and best friend is hard to cross. The mom part of me wants to take over the majority of the time which can sometimes be difficult for our relationship."

What's your favorite quality that the other has?

Brittany: "My favorite quality that my mom has is her selflessness. She will always put me first in anything we do and we definitely take a bullet for me."

Gayle: "She's loving, caring, and an angel."