Gilmore Girls: The Stars Hollow Residents, Ranked By Intelligence – Screen Rant

The residents of Stars Hollow (other than the main characters) aren’t always the smartest bunch…
Rory Gilmore’s academic brilliance is one of the central elements of Gilmore Girls – from the first episode, when she gets into Chilton, to the finale, when she heads off on the campaign trail, her book smarts are front and center. However, the more minor characters who are her neighbors in Stars Hollow get a little less attention when it comes to their intelligence.
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Often, the show spends more time playing up their quirkiness than it does their brains – and with good reason. It’s the quirks of the Stars Hollow residents that make them memorable! But if they were ranked based purely on their academic and emotional intelligence, there may be some surprisingly smart neighbors to the Gilmores.
While TJ definitely has a heart of gold, in terms of both emotional and academic intelligence, he is far from the brightest bulb in Stars Hollow. Luke routinely gets frustrated with his stupidity, and he and Liz fight quite a lot at the start of their time in the town, often because TJ struggles to really think things through, or figure out the best way to react to his emotions. However, as Liz always defends him to Luke, he is incredibly kind and good-natured, which counts for something!
The Town Troubadour is a fan-favorite, and certainly has the creative intelligence of an artist, and of course, he spends almost all his time on screen quietly singing in the background, so it can be difficult to judge his intelligence beyond that. However, there are some indications that he’s not too smart – like his tendency to get into turf wars with other street performers, and need to be declared the one and only Town Troubadour. Or his refusal to take money, despite the fact that he doesn’t have any other visible job. Clearly, he makes it work (and ends up touring), but it’s not the best move.
Lane’s bandmate and future husband is a very passionate and talented musician, but he definitely has his dumb moments. Whether it’s struggling to understand things and getting frustrated, telling Lane that he takes a long time to figure things out, or failing to plan ahead, Zack definitely isn’t the most intelligent in town. However, he evolves into a great husband and father, showing some emotional intelligence (over time), and his musical talents are a creative intelligence that others (like TJ) don’t have.
Rory and Lorelai’s neighbor, Babette, is one of the kindest-hearted denizens of Stars Hollow… and one of the biggest gossips! She is definitely a character who is shown as ‘quirky’ rather than ‘smart’, but she isn’t directly shown to be unintelligent, either.
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She’s also clearly emotionally intelligent, as she’s able to figure out what’s going on with everyone else in town in a moment, although she isn’t always the most tactful when it comes to talking about it.
A good friend to Babette, Miss Patty has had an incredible life of romance and adventure, before coming to Stars Hollow to teach dance and gossip. Miss Patty, like Babette, shows her emotional intelligence more than academic intelligence. However, she also shows her creative side in her work with dance, drama, and pageants, and she sits at the head of the room during town meetings, suggesting that she has a larger role there, too. And unlike Babette, Miss Patty’s emotional intelligence allows her to hold her tongue when it would be a good idea to.
Kirk is a surprisingly layered character in Gilmore Girls. At first glance, he seems to be a bit of an idiot, constantly trying out schemes that don’t work (and wouldn’t, if he put any real thought into them), struggling to fit in, and saying things that show him as unaware and ridiculous. As time goes on, though, he is shown to be more intelligent than many might expect. Kirk is smart enough to continue to try different jobs and launch his ideas to test them, and not to care what people think. He also reveals that he is incredibly good with money, and between his jobs and his saving, has a huge amount put away. Finally, he has creative intelligence with his filmmaking and hobbies. Of course, he’s still far from a genius, but he has flashes of surprising brilliance.
Taylor is certainly one of the least likable residents of Stars Hollow, but he’s not the least intelligent. He runs multiple businesses as well as Doose’s market, he is a landlord, and he is town Selectman. Clearly, he is financially savvy and a good businessman, and he’s extremely efficient and organized. However, compared to many other residents, he completely lacks emotional intelligence and often, common sense! His decisions to change the street names in the town, for example, revealed no real thought about the impact, and he is so stubborn and rude that most of his townspeople dislike him.
Unfortunately, fans didn’t get to see as much of Gypsy as they would have liked, but the time that the town mechanic got on screen was definitely a treat – and she’s clearly an intelligent woman. She runs her own business, and her work as a mechanic takes obvious skill and talent.
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On top of that, she gets along with people, while still being hilariously blunt with customers at times, and she knows when to speak up, and when to keep her mouth shut. When she knows more about what Jess is up to than Luke, she makes the point that she didn’t say anything because it wasn’t her business – clearly, she is smart enough to know when not to get involved.
Sookie’s husband might be seen as a bit of a bumbling character, but he’s a lot more intelligent than many of his neighbors, and is one of the most likable characters in Stars Hollow. Like Gypsy, he has the brains to run his own business selling vegetables, and the skills and knowledge to grow them. The fact that his product is good enough for Sookie just proves how skilled he is at it, too. On top of that, Jackson has an emotional intelligence and sensitivity most Stars Hollow residents would envy – especially as time goes on. He’s a great partner to Sookie, and able to talk to her about anything.
Mrs. Kim’s strict rules for Lane may not make her the most liked of the secondary characters in Stars Hollow, but there’s little doubt that she’s one of the smartest people in town. Her business is run with a sharp mind – and a sharp tongue – and she is absolutely ruthless when it comes to driving a hard bargain. In the early seasons, she may not seem too emotionally intelligent when it comes to Lane, but as time goes by, she reveals a softer side. It becomes clear that she is always planning and thinking ahead, and that she is able to learn anything she puts her mind to – including songwriting and helping Lane with the band. She becomes increasingly practical, and her behavior during Lane’s wedding shows a real emotional intelligence that any character would be lucky to possess.
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Rose Graceling-Moore has been writing about film, TV and comics since 2013, when she began writing for a local print magazine in Vancouver, BC. Since then, Rose has written for Horror Honeys, Moviepilot and Quirkbooks as well as Screenrant, increasingly focusing on comic books and live-action comic adaptations, as well as diversity and representation on screen. Rose also co-hosted the DC Movies Podcast, and has guested on other nerd and entertainment podcasts over the past five years. Rose’s love of comics began all the way back in the early ‘90s, when she discovered the X-Men while living in Africa (where there wasn’t a whole lot to do but read!), and since then has had an on-again, off-again love affair with not just Marvel, but DC and indie comics as well. You can follow her on Twitter: RoseMooreWrites for tweets about comics, movies, and more.

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