Gilmore Girls fans first met Paris Geller in season 1 when she took an instant dislike to Rory Gilmore. Initially unlikeable, it became clear over time that Paris was a complex character who was incredibly misunderstood. In fact, Paris was the most underrated Gilmore Girls character, according to some fans. When you look at her closely, her upbringing was incredibly sad, too.
Paris Geller’s parents completely ignored her
Fans can trace Paris’s less-than-desirable personality traits back to her upbringing. The only child was completely ignored by her parents. Paris’s mother only made a single appearance in Gilmore Girls, and in that appearance, she berated Paris before stomping out of school. Paris made it pretty clear that her mother and father were both cold, distant, and largely uninterested in her life.
Paris’ parents’ neglect and lack of interest wasn’t just a family secret either. Fandom points out that Lorelai Gilmore was fully aware that Paris had absentee parents. At Chilton’s graduation, Lorelai takes a photo of Paris receiving her diploma, just in case her parents didn’t show up. Lorelai was correct. Paris’s nanny and her children were in attendance, but the Geller’s were nowhere in sight.
Paris Geller’s parents left her destitute while she was in college
As if being neglect in childhood wasn’t bad enough, Paris’s parents completely abandoned her while she was in college. In an anxiety-fueled rant in season 5, Paris explained that her parents had messed up their taxes and were being investigated by the IRS. Instead of dealing with the issue, they fled the country. The IRS froze all of Paris’s accounts, and she was left with no money.
Paris later explained that her parents said they would contact her when they were safe, but she never mentioned them again. While it’s possible that Amy Sherman-Palladino decided not to mention further contact, it seems more likely that Paris never heard from them. Thankfully, her trust fund kicked in when she turned 25, so she wasn’t going to be broke forever.
Paris was raised entirely by her nanny
Paris’s parents completely ignored her existence, but that doesn’t mean she was completely neglected. The high-strung high school student was raised entirely by her Portuguese nanny. While her nanny was clearly a stabilizing force in her life, Paris’s graduation from Chilton meant she did her job. Off at Yale, Paris noted that she had “lost her” over the summer.
Nanny’s impact was clear, and she did show up for Paris whenever she needed her. She even came to Yale to help care for Doyle when he was sick. Still, being raised entirely by a hired worker had to have been pretty difficult, which may explain why Paris was so difficult to get close to.
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