Lorelai Gilmore and the Mystery of the Contact Lenses


Pop quiz, hotshot. Does Lorelai wear glasses?

Answer: Yes, but we don’t see them often. She wears a thin-framed pair twice in season 2, then upgrades to a bolder frame in seasons 4 and 5. Did you notice that when Lorelai wears glasses, dogs are more likely than not to come up in conversation?

In season 2, Lorelai is not-so-secretly listening in on Rory’s phone conversation with Max – while he lists a choice of wedding rings.  Max recognises Lorelai’s panting, yelping dog noises because he’s, like, a professor and everything:


Max: Mm hmm. Put Cujo on the phone please.
Rory: One sec… [handing the phone to Lorelai] Here boy.
s02e01 Sadie, Sadie

Cujo was a crazy scary rabid dog in a Stephen King book and an 80’s horror movie … and re-appears in season 4 when Lorelai again has her glasses, in Luke’s Diner during one of his particularly prickly moods:

I haven't doctored this image, she really is that gorgeous.

Lorelai: Days. You’ve been stomping around, barking at people for days.
Luke: I have not.
Lorelai: Yes, Cujo, you have.
Luke: I always talk to people like that.
Lorelai: No, Benji, you don’t.
Luke: I’ll be fine tomorrow.
Lorelai: Really, Lassie? Why is that?
s04e05 The Fundamental Things Apply

Cujo:2, every other movie dog: 1

For the sake of completeness, behold the other two spectacular outings: From season 2’s Secrets and Loans (Luke gives Lorelai a loan, Lane forgets her pom) and season 5’s We Got Us a Pippi Virgin! (Lorelai discovers the explanation behind Richard’s spangly waistcoat, Emily acquires a panic room).  Relatedly, Lane briefly appears WITHOUT glasses in the Pippi episode as she, Zack and Brian shave and brush their teeth around the kitchen sink.  Co-incidence?  No such thing as co-incidence, my friend.



Second pop quiz! Does Lorelai wear contact lenses?

This one’s a trick question.  In the pilot episode, Lorelai appears to wear contacts:

Sookie: I can’t afford a new stove! Those things are expensive.
Lorelai: Sookie, please, I am begging you, please, pull yourself together, OK? I got no sleep last night and I think I put my contacts in backwards.

But 18 episodes later, she appears to forget:

Rachel: Do you wear contacts?
Lorelai: Me? No.
Rachel: God, you’ve got amazing eyes. (to Luke) Doesn’t she?
Luke: Oh, yeah. Sure, I guess… I mean, they’re, you know, placed good… symmetrical. I’m gonna get some more coffee.
Rachel: Yeah.

What do you think, conspiracy theorists? Was Lorelai abducted by aliens and switched out mid-season for a clone with perfect vision? Was she temporarily befuddled by Rachel blatantly coming on to her (‘You’ve got amazing eyes’ – COME ON)? Was her ‘backwards contacts’ comment just a flippant statement for comedic value? Rumour has it, there is precedent for this.

Did she get LASIK but continue to wear glasses because they – somehow – make her even sexier? On second thoughts, she can’t have had LASIK or we’d have had this play out in reverse…

driving miss gilmore...

Theories welcomed below.  Also, which were your favourite pair of glasses and do you think she looked better, worse or just different? What about Lane and her glasses: Better with… or without?  That’s with… or without?  And did you see what I did with ‘spectacular’ back there?

Pics c/o TheWB



Rich originally began contributing to GIlmore News as 'Dairyman' in 2013, a reference to the character Dairyman Dick in Tess of the D'Urbervilles, (call me Rich). Here in the UK we were late to the Gilmore party and I don't remember what made me watch my first episode - the one where Lorelai picks Rory up from the police station after she and Logan steal a yacht - but I remember watching it again immediately. And then again. Thankfully, the next show was on the next day and I watched that one three times too. And then the boat one again. I couldn't believe the dialogue was so quick and so funny and I pretended to myself that I was only watching it so I could figure out who I was more keen on - the mom or the daughter. I swore that Aaron Sorkin must have been involved but I couldn't find his name attached anywhere, even on the internet. So I watched and loved and laughed and cried and the day after the series finale, they ran the entire show from the beginning again and Rory turned into a baby so then I was all about Lorelai. Lauren Graham is astonishing ("Mother: Breathtaking") and the show was - and is - lightning in a bottle. It's a treasure for those who watch and get swept up in it, like I did and like the readers of Gilmore News. It's heartbreak and chicken soup, family dysfunction and blind optimism, lighthearted romanticism and balls-out brilliant. Thanks to Arieanna and gilmorenews.com for letting me squat and allowing my inner Gilmore Geek out for air. I worry how it would otherwise manifest.

9 thoughts on “Lorelai Gilmore and the Mystery of the Contact Lenses

  • February 3, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Theories welcomed below.

    I think it’s one of the things that changed between the pilot and the rest. Like Sookie’s clumsiness and Dean’s cult references.

  • February 3, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    I think Rachel is asking if she wear coloured contact lenses. No regular prescription lenses make you eyes look good. Rachel means her bluish eyes are amazing, are they real or fake lenses? It’s meant as a compliment.

  • February 3, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Haha @ Lathany! Such a good point!

    Sookie’s clumsiness was at times over the top but still hilarious. And poor Dean. Dumming down season after season was just sad.

  • February 3, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    In my opinion, when Rachel asks Lorelai whether she wears contacts, she was asking about colored contacts because she was impressed by Lorelai’s blue eyes… the ones for seeing wouldn’t be relevant in that context, no?

  • February 4, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Don’t forget that Luke brings Lorelai her glasses, which she left at his place, just before his “dark day” in “But Not As Cute As Pushkin.”

  • February 4, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    Wow Disneygal18. Just, wow. Please tell me you knew that off by heart. You get a point and a gold star.

    Patricia and Julie… Coloured contacts? I hadn’t thought of that. Although if I was wearing regular contacts and Rachel asked me if I was wearing contacts, I’d have replied “Yes, you weirdo. Now, take your jacket and get outta here, skank.”

    Also I think Lorelai looks great in glasses, particularly the thick dark framed pair. But then, she looks great without too, so…

  • February 9, 2015 at 8:33 am

    I like the darker framed glasses myself.

    And as for theories, I am with most others here, I think Lorelai knew she was asking about colored contacts. I’ve had the same thing happen to me, they asked if I wore contacts and I said, “Not colored ones…” I guess I assumed that’s why a random person would ask.

  • November 13, 2015 at 4:36 am

    I’m pretty sure the contact lens thing is just a continuity problem. The writers probably decided to have Lorelai wear contacts but between the pilot and the episode with Rachel, either changed their minds or forgot. A lot of stuff can change between the first few episodes of a TV show and the rest of the series (Sean Gunn played Mick early in season 1 and nobody knew him, then all of a sudden he’s Kirk and everyone’s known him forever). I think when Lorelai wears glasses later on, it’s because Lauren happens to be wearing her own glasses for those scenes. She posted on Twitter a few months ago about how the glasses she wore in “the fundamental things apply” we’re her own. I guess when they decided she wouldn’t wear contacts, they didn’t foresee glasses being worn in later episodes.

  • November 17, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    It still takes me ages to put contact lenses in. It’s a good day when they both go in first time.


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