Gilmore girls Lorelai and Rory and scenes from Wildcat Staff Writer Azilynn Fuertess 10 favorite episodes of the popular series.
Gilmore girls Lorelai and Rory and scenes from Wildcat Staff Writer Azilynn Fuertes’s 10 favorite episodes of the popular series.
Nathaniel Huerta

Gilmore Girls: The Greatest Hits

Wildcat Staff Writer and Gilmore Girls superfan Azilynn Fuerte lists her top 10 episodes of the popular series.

Gilmore Girls, which aired for seven seasons from 2000 to 2007, had practically everyone, from teenagers to their grandparents, hooked on the drama, chaos, romance, and laughs of fictional Stars Hollow and its mother-daughter duo of Lorelai Gilmore (played by Lauren Graham) and her daughter Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel). 

The show features the tandem’s big dreams — Lorelai hopes to one day own her own inn, and Rory dreams of going to Harvard University. 

Throughout the show, we witness Lorelai and Rory struggle, succeed, and drink five cups of coffee everyday. As both characters develop, (sometimes) learn from past mistakes, and fall frequently in love, we ask: Do they have what it takes to maintain their best friend/mother-daughter relationship and still reach their goals? 

Originally airing on UPN, the show found a new, young fan base on Netflix, which hosts all 153 very bingeable episodes. 

Gilmore Girls super fan and Wildcat staff writer Azilynn Fuerte, who has watched the series in its entirety three times (that’s 459 episodes, if you’re keeping count), selects the 10 best episodes of the series. While every episode is a masterpiece (of course), here are the episodes that stand above the rest.


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“Happy Birthday, Baby” (Season 3, Episode 18) 

Gilmore Girls fans love the show primarily because of the strong bond between Lorelai and her daughter Rory. When all of Stars Hollow comes together to prepare for Lorelai’s surprise birthday party, a stressed-out Rory attempts to order Lorelai’s favorite food: pizza. But Rory adds a twist by trying to make it the World’s Largest Pizza. 

Rory endures many challenges while trying to successfully beat the world record for the largest pizza, but while anyone else would have given up (especially after the pizza injures a friend), Rory figures it’s the least she can do for her hard-working mom. 

Meanwhile, Rory announces that she will be attending Yale in the fall. Rory’s grandparents, Richard and Emily, are elated since Yale is Richard’s alma mater. This is a big moment for the character — and the viewers — since it was always Rory’s dream to go to Yale’s rival, Harvard. “Rory, why Yale?” we ask. As the character makes the biggest decision of her life, she makes a list of pros and cons (as Rory does for everything). As she considers Yale’s benefits compared to Harvard’s, she ultimately settles on Yale. Despite Lorelai’s disapproval for Rory to attend the same school as Richard (more on that later), she still shows Rory her support and approval. 

This episode shows Lorelai’s and Rory’s supportive relationship, and we all love a mother’s support and a daughter’s appreciation for said support. But the episode is also hilarious, with Rory running around Stars Hollow like a headless chicken trying to make her mother’s birthday extra special.  Ultimately, the world’s largest pizza was too big to make and transport, so Rory claimed her pizza to be “the world’s largest pizza…almost.”


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“Dear Emily and Richard” (Season 3, Episode 13) 

After a long nine months of processing the fact that Rory will have a baby sibling, Lorelai receives a frantic call from Rory explaining that it’s necessary for her to wait with Sherry, Christopher’s girlfriend, while Sherry delivers the baby alone due to her unsupportive friends. Lorelai rushes to the hospital only to revisit, in flashback, her 16-year old self when she gave birth to Rory. 

Flashbacks continue throughout the day, including the time Lorelai sent an insensitive note to her parents saying, “Dear Mom and Dad, I’m in labor. See you later, Lorelai.” 

This episode touchingly shows the struggles Lorelai had with her pregnancy, both at a young age and amidst a terrible relationship with her parents. 

By the end of the episode, Sherry has a baby, Gigi. Lorelai then take into consideration everything she’s accomplished since the age of 16. 

This episode digs deep into Lorelai’s and her mother, Emily’s, relationship. It reveals the source of their struggles while also showing the strength of Lorelai’s and Rory’s relationship. This episode is a definite favorite for giving us a look into Lorelai’s past, and how she got to where we meet her in the show’s present day.


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“I Can’t Get Started” (Season 2, Episode 22)

Sparks fly and hearts break at Sookie’s wedding in the final episode of the second season. While Christopher (David Sutcliffe) and Lorelai adjust to their blossoming relationship, Rory develops strong feelings for the new boy in town, Jess (Milo Ventimiglia).

Rory strolls through the event, finds Jess, and shares a kiss with him. The problem: Rory has a boyfriend, Dean (Jared Padalecki), and we, the viewers, love Dean. Kind Dean has done nothing but put Rory first.

Meanwhile, Christopher discovers that his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend Sherry is pregnant, and he must break this news to Lorelai after spending a joyful night with her. Lorelai states, “Women all over the world will line up to see that tiny little woman fat.” A shocking line, but it shows that she is heartbroken and upset. (Team Luke over Christopher, right?) Christopher always manages to leave Lorelai heartbroken and every Gilmore Girl fan knows she deserves so much more than that.

This episode is also a favorite because of the emotional obstacles the Gilmore girls overcome.


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“Wedding Bell Blues” (Season 5, Episode 13)

Christopher’s absence as a father is a recurring theme of the series. (Christopher, where were you in season four?)

Lorelai and Christopher’s parents problem-solved the pregnancy and concluded that Lorelai and Christopher should get married. Since Lorelai rightfully wanted a say in her own life and didn’t agree with the plan, she ran away from home and ended up raising Rory alone. Christopher never made an effort to be in Rory’s life after this, an absent father until Rory turns sixteen. 

At Richard and Emily’s vow renewal, tensions rise between Christopher and Lorelai’s boyfriend, Luke. Before the event, Emily convinces Christopher that Lorelai and Luke will soon break up and their relationship is not forever. As Lorelai walks in on Rory and her new boyfriend, Logan (nice way to introduce yourself, Logan!), Luke and Christopher fight over who was more of a father to Rory. Luke and Lorelai had been friends for nine years therefore, allowing Luke to build a relationship with Rory. He would see her everyday when they came into his diner, she’d smile and he’d pour her coffee. Over the years, Luke would buy Rory birthday presents, celebrate her achievements, went to her high school graduation, and did much more than her own father ever did. 

Luke expresses his feelings by letting Christopher know who was there to pick up the slack due to his absence as Rory’s father. Lorelai intervenes, which leaves her missing Luke. 

The episode ends with Rory worrying about the trouble she has started, and with Lorelai and Luke fighting.

The drama! It is thrilling to see Luke finally stand up for himself and put Christopher in his place. We’re loyal to Luke for the love he shows Rory throughout the series, and the raw emotion Luke shows when fighting for his place in Lorelai’s and Rory’s lives.


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“Unto the Breach” (Season 7, Episode 21)

It’s graduation day and the penultimate episode of the show’s final season!

Rory has worked all her life for this achievement. Emily and Richard host a graduation party for Rory and at the event, Rory’s boyfriend, Logan, decides he wants to propose. In front of everyone at the party, Logan gets down on one knee. Overwhelmed and flustered, Rory asks if she can talk to Logan outside, away from the guests. She explains to Logan that she cannot marry him because she’s already established a life and she simply doesn’t want things to change at a young age. The episode comes to a close, leaving the audience with an indecisive Rory and a sorrowful Logan. 

Although Rory rejects Logan’s proposal, this episode shows how her personal decisions are often in conflict with what she wants versus what she needs. This episode reminds us how important it is to put ourselves first and how to make a well thought out decision. I’m not even Rory and I was overwhelmed (in a good way) by this next-to-last episode of the series. 

I’ve grown to love Logan more than Jess or Dean, so hearing Rory decline Logan’s proposal forced me to think about the event from my perspective instead of her’s, and I wanted nothing more than Rory to say “Just kidding!”


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“They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They” (Season 3, Episode 7)

Sometimes, Rory doesn’t always make the right decisions which can sometimes get frustrating for viewers. But it’s her imperfections that make her, and the show, so relatable.  

Lorelai has high hopes to win the annual Stars Hollow dance competition. Tension between Jess and Dean only gets worse when Jess watches Dean and Rory dance together. A fight breaks out when a helpless Lorelai steps away to fix a broken heel. Dean realizes that Rory has feelings for Jess as she continuously talks about — and stares — at him. Dean breaks up with Rory and makes it clear to Jess that she is now available.

The night ends in Jess finding a lonesome Rory and letting her find comfort in knowing he feels the same way. (Nice to see you, Jess!) Rory has a new boyfriend and the show delivers how Rory is getting older and developing feelings she’d never had before. 

This episode gives insight into a teenage girl’s mind and all of the mixed emotions we experience all at once. Thank you, Rory, for reaching out to the teenagers of the era and giving us something entertaining to watch while we laugh and cry with over the familiar confusion, heartbreak, and growing into adulthood.


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“Blame Booze and Melville” (Season 5, Episode 21)

In this penultimate episode of season five, Rory reaches a breaking point.

Rory has been an intern at Logan’s father, Mitchum’s, newspaper, The Stamford Eagle Gazette, for awhile, and when Mitchum tells her she doesn’t have what it takes to be in the journalism business she is triggered and makes mistakes she will later regret. 

The same night, Rory visits Logan at his sister’s engagement party. She speaks about her frustration without telling Logan what happened with his father. The two have a couple of drinks and steal a yacht (yes, a yacht) while intoxicated. By the end of the night, Lorelai is bailing Rory out of jail. Lorelai tries to understand why Rory would ever make a decision so out of character. Rory refuses to discuss it, making herself feel isolated and wanting to quit Yale and everything she has worked so hard for. 

Lorelai and Rory have highs and lows but their strong mother/daughter relationship always prevails. This episode finally shows Rory as someone who is maturing and making her own decisions, but it also shows how development can be messy. It’s established that Rory is learning from mistakes and growing as a person even if it results in going to jail.


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“You Jump I Jump, Jack” (Season 5, Episode 7)

At some point, everyone experiences Emily Gilmore’s wrath and we stan Luke for surviving this one. 

As Emily is introduced to Lorelai and Luke’s new relationship, she invites him to dinner, but the night takes an unexpected turn when she interrogates him.

Once Richard gets word about Emily’s dinner with Luke, he takes it upon himself to invite Luke golfing. Luke becomes easily overwhelmed between Emily and Richard’s constant bickering about his lifestyle. 

Meanwhile, Rory begins to write a piece about a secret club — The Life and Death Brigade — at Yale, but she’s unaware that her new love interest, Logan, is in the club. He invites her to a series of club rituals and she has a better time than she originally thought she would. The trust between her and Logan grows when they jump off scaffolding with umbrellas attached to a band. 

Gilmore Girls fans love a good Emily Gilmore scheme. The show also makes Logan out to be a mysterious character, but this episode also allows fans to gain deeper insight into who Logan really is and who he sets out to be. Between Rory jumping off buildings and Luke having a hard time fitting into the Gilmore family, viewers are at the edge of their seats. Who is this Logan character getting Rory to jump off buildings? And why is Emily scaring off Lorelai’s one shot at happiness? We’re glued to the TV awaiting answers. 


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“Say Something” (Season 5, Episode 14)

We’ll miss Gilmore Girls’ favorite couple. If you thought Lorelai and Luke were sad about the breakup, think again. I’m a hundred percent sure fans cared much more than the characters themselves! 

After Richard and Emily’s vow renewal, Lorelai despairs without Luke. With Rory away at Yale, Lorelai doesn’t know how to pick herself up after spending the night wondering if she’ll lose Luke forever. Sookie (Melissa McCarthy) informs Rory about her miserable mother and Rory comes to the rescue. 

Meanwhile, Stars Hollow takes sides between Luke and Lorelai. They use ribbons to segregate Lorelai supporters and Luke supporters — a blue ribbon represents Luke, and a pink ribbon represents Lorelai. 

Rory attends to Lorelai’s needs as she struggles to gather herself. As fans hate to see the couple they all know and love split up, the show does an outstanding job of showing Luke and Lorelai’s support from different sides of the town. 

When I first watched this episode I couldn’t help but to feel exactly as Lorelai did. After watching Lorelai and Luke’s history build to a firm foundation for so long, I always thought once they sealed the deal they’d never split. Hopefully, we’ll see Luke and Lorelai back together soon.


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“Recipes and Raincoats” (Season 4, Episode 22)

It’s the final episode of the fourth season and the fans have certainly been waiting for this one. 

As the grand opening of the Dragonfly Inn creeps up on Lorelai, she decides to host a test run with all of Stars Hollow serving as her guests. This episode shows how Lorelai comes to terms with her intense feelings towards Luke. Throughout the night, Luke longs for Lorelei’s attention but can’t seem to get it. Unexpectedly, Jason — Lorelai’s ex-boyfriend — attends Lorelai’s test run in hopes to win her back. As Luke tries to figure out who Jason is, he falls under the impression that Lorelai and Jason will get back together. Luke begins to make more of an effort in expressing his feelings to Lorelai. 

Meanwhile, Rory makes an attempt to fix her relationship with Dean, disregarding the fact that he’s married. By the end of the night, Lorelai manages to get rid of Jason and shares an unexpected kiss with Luke. Lorelai rushes home to tell Rory the exciting news, only to find that Rory is back together with Dean. Lorelai’s happy night turns sour by her disappointment in Rory and her decision. 

We love Rory and her character, but what happened here? Honestly, Rory’s character symbolizes the messiness of life. She represents struggle, success, confusion, mistakes, and how to fix those mistakes. At one point, we can all relate to something that Rory experiences, and this specific episode highlights the selfish, yet human, actions Rory gives into. 

This episode is by far the best of the show’s 153 episodes because of the plot: Fans always knew that Luke and Lorelai would become a couple, so when the two finally kiss, our knees buckle. For the longest time, the audience has watched Luke pine for Lorelai. He watched her go through several relationships and he could never manage to have a substantial relationship because of his devotion to Lorelai. Everyone wants to have a Lorelai/Luke-like relationship, so with this episode, we’re elated to see them together, once and for all.

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About the Contributors
Azilynn Fuerte, Staff Writer
Azilynn Fuerte, freshman, is a cheerleader and a staff writer for the Wildcat. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends and cheerleading at sporting events, which she hopes to do this for the rest of her high school career. Post-high school, Azilynn wants to be a family lawyer and attend Hope College.
Nathaniel Huerta, Photo Editor
Nathaniel Huerta, senior, is a Photo Editor on the Wildcat staff. Aside from photography, Nathaniel also enjoys drawing, baking, and interior design, some of his most beloved pastimes. Nathaniel aspires to move to the city, such as New York or Chicago, where he plans to own a bakery. Nathaniel also loves to watch comedy movies from the 2000s, such as EuroTrip, in addition to TV series like Inside Job and Suits.
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  • SharonJan 12, 2024 at 6:52 pm

    Enjoyed your article, you listed some great episodes that are some of my favorites as well.

    Reply
  • Diane Kaline (BOHS Librarian)Sep 8, 2023 at 8:01 am

    Loved your article! I am a big GG fan 🙂

    Reply