‘Gilmore Girls’: Yale Scenes Were Filmed at Several Schools, but Never at Yale

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Gilmore Girls The creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino, did a great job developing a realistic setting for her famous sitcom. Stars Hollow was supposed to take place in Connecticut, and to keep the show going after Rory Gilmore graduated from Chilton, Sherman-Palladino sent her to her grandfather’s alma mater, Yale. Yale is said to have been just 30 minutes away from her hometown. While the series did a great job of recreating an East Coast institution, none of the famous scenes were filmed at Yale. In fact, not a single Yale scene was filmed on the East Coast, nor were there scenes that depict Rory’s first choice school, Harvard University.

Were There Any ‘Gilmore Girls’ Scenes Filmed at Yale?

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While Rory may have gone to school in Connecticut, real-life filming of the scenes at an Ivy League institution was made explicit across the country. Instead of shooting on location. Alexis Bledel and her co-stars shot the interior Yale scenes on a soundstage on the Warner Bros. lot, much like the rest of the series.

Yale University | Jim Steinfeld / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

The production team shot outdoor shots of Yale involving Rory and her mother on location at both Pomona College and the University of Southern California. Pomona College, located in Claremont, California, is about 40 minutes from the Warner Bros. lot. USC is just 10 miles away. So, were any Gilmore Girls scenes filmed at Yale? Actually, sort of. According to several alumni, stock footage, including flyby shots, was filmed at Yale.

‘Gilmore Girls’ production staff worked hard to recreate the Ivy League experience


Rory Gilmore may not have actually stepped inside Yale’s Branford College, but the production team worked hard to recreate the experience. Soundstage dorms recreated the look and feel of suites offered at the college. The production team also recreated the courtyard in fairly precise detail.

Branford College as seen from the library at Yale University in 2010.  'Gilmore Girls' scenes were not filmed at Yale
Branford College | Enzo Figueres/Getty Images

When it came to other details about Yale, Gilmore Girls Alright, too. yale daily news Is a genuine student newspaper. The logo used on print copies of the newspaper is also accurate. Sherman-Palladino also modeled the life and death brigade after the many secret societies that existed at Yale.

Lorelai and Rory’s Season 2 Road Trip Didn’t Even Bring the Show to the East Coast

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Yale wasn’t the only school that did a stand-in Gilmore Girls. The scenes depicting Harvard University in Season 2 were not even filmed at that well-known institution. When Lorelai decides to end her engagement with Max Medina, she drags Rory out of Stars Hollow. During their road trip, they reach Harvard. The production crew wasn’t going to fly everyone to the East Coast for a few shots. Instead, he found a stand-in college.

Scenes showing Harvard University were filmed at UCLA instead. However, UCLA looks nothing like Harvard University. The front gates that spectators see standing in front of Lorelai and Rory were built to mimic the front gates of Harvard. The gates are pretty accurate detail-wise, but Gilmore Girls One thing went wrong.

Johnson Gate at Harvard University | Rick Friedman/rickfriedman.com/Corbis via Getty Images

While those gates are famous, they are often not as open as they appear in Gilmore Girls. According to sofa managerStudents believe that it is bad luck to enter and exit Johnston Gate more than twice. They should walk through them during their first day on campus and pass through them upon graduation. Actual students enter and exit the campus through one of the other 24 gates available on campus.

‘Gilmore Girls’: Why Did Rory Choose Yale?

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