The Luke and Lorelai Timeline: Does It Add Up?

This is a much more in-depth post than I ever thought I’d make about this subject, and it definitely shows an embarrassingly accurate portrayal of the infinite amount of thought I’ve put into some of my favorite fictional characters and their lives. However, after an Instagram discussion with like-minded Gilmore girls fans (“Gillies,” if you will), I feel like it’s a subject that needs to be covered extensively. Well, maybe “needs” is too strong of a word, but you get the idea…

The Luke/Lorelai Timeline Issue

So, it’s a pretty widely accepted notion that there’s a bit of a discrepancy when it comes to various timelines on Gg. For one, Rory drives in season one, and then she later turns 16. But, whatever. The more important timeline is that of Luke and Lorelai. More specifically, how long have they known each other, exactly?


The problem is that Lorelai moved to Stars Hollow at the ripe old age of 17. Yet, in season 5, Luke claims that they’ve only known each other for eight years. She was 32 when the series began, which makes her 36 in season 5. So she met Luke when she was about 27-28, depending on how precise we’re assuming Luke’s timeline to be (e.g. was it 8 years and 10 months, 8 years and a day, exactly 8 years, etc.) The problem with this timeline is that Stars Hollow is a tiny town, yet we’re supposed to believe that Luke and Lorelai somehow managed to live in the same little hamlet for over a decade without ever meeting? How could that be possible? Well, I think I’ve figured it out with a satisfactory answer. Bear with me…



1984: Lorelai turns 16. Rory is born. Luke turns 20, and his dad gets sick. He starts helping with the hardware store. Liz runs off with the hot dog man. Rachel may or may not be in town, and she may or may not be dating Luke.

1985: Lorelai turns 17. Rory turns one in October. Lorelai and Rory move to Stars Hollow. Lorelai gets a job as a maid at the Independence Inn, and they move into the garden shed. Luke’s dad is still sick, and Luke is still busy helping out. He is 21, and Rachel is in and out of the picture. Jess is born (Yes, I think Jess is a little younger than Rory. Because her birthday is in October, she’d be one of the oldest in her class. This math is easy for me, because I was born the same year as Rory. However, I was one of the youngest in my class, and I graduated a year before she did. Anyway…I estimate that Jess was born in the spring/early summer of 1985.)

1986: Lorelai is 18, Rory is 2, and Luke is 22. Jess’ dad probably left him and Liz this year. Nothing else has changed, really.

1988: Lorelai is 20, Rory is 4, and Luke is 24. This could be when Luke’s dad passed away.

1989: Lorelai is 21, Rory is 5, and Luke is 25. Lorelai and Rory may have moved out of the shed and into a nicer home at this time, and Lorelai may have gotten a promotion. Luke was probably still dealing with the aftermath of his dad’s death.

1991: Lorelai is 23, Rory is 7, and Luke is 27. Lorelai may have been promoted to inn manager, and Luke may have started work on converting the hardware store into a diner. He was probably still dating Rachel off and on.

1993: Lorelai is 25, Rory is 9, and Luke is 29. Luke starts dating Anna.

1994: Lorelai is 26, Rory is 10, and Luke is 30. Luke opens the diner, and he and Anna split up. April is born, but Luke doesn’t know.

1995: Lorelai is 27, Rory is 11, and Luke is 31. Lorelai and Rory move into their home in Stars Hollow. This is the year that Lorelai probably first met Luke at the diner. At this point, Luke was dating Rachel, but then she left for the last time before we meet her in season 1.

Skip a few years…

2000: Lorelai is 32, Rory is 16, and Luke is 36. This is the year the show starts with season 1.

2004: Lorelai is 36, Rory is 20, and Luke is 40. Luke and Lorelai start dating.


Based on this timeline, I think the eight years idea is totally plausible. Really, my biggest problem with the writing at this point is that Mia knew Luke and Lorelai well throughout this entire time period, but she never thought to introduce them? Bad call on her part.

And that sums up the longest post I’ve ever written about fictional characters’ lives. It does feel good to write it all out, though. Maybe my next post will be about the mysterious Mr. Kim.





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