All seven seasons of Gilmore Girls are available on Netflix! Find out where to jump in for the first time, or relive your favorite episodes with Hypable’s must see guide!
Put on a pot of coffee, order some Chinese food from Al’s Pancake World, and get ready to call in sick to all obligations for the foreseeable future. Gilmore Girls is now available to stream on Netflix! Allow Amy Sherman-Palladino’s mastery of fast-paced, pop culture-referencing banter guide you through countless sing-alongs of Carol King and Louise Goffin’s rendition of “Where You Lead.”
The Hypable staff put together a must see guide of our favorite Gilmore episodes that are great for both newbies and honorary Stars Hollow residents alike.
Season 1, episode 6, ‘Rory’s Birthday Parties’
Two Gilmore residences, two Gilmore parties, two disastrous outcomes. The freshman season of Gilmore Girls does an excellent job of positioning the members of Stars Hollow into their roles. What “Rory’s Birthday Parties” does is set the two polar opposite worlds of the Richard and Emily Gilmores against the Lorelai Gilmores. From the start we get the estranged mother and daughter shopping for a present for Rory and by the end feel the full force of the disconnect that has been created as a result of Lorelai’s independence from her family.
The stuffiness of Emily’s flare for Keeping Up Appearances style parties and Rory’s less than friendly classmates filling Emily’s foyer is beautifully contrasted by the Stars Hollow pot luck dinner. Complete with feather boas and tales from Rory’s childhood by her surrogate family, it is the knife that twists in Emily’s heart as she sits in her car to take away from her daughter’s happy life that knocks this episode a step above the rest.
Rory walks the razor thin, eggshell lined barrier between her mother and grandmother for the rest of the series, sometimes finding herself in the crossfire. “Rory’s Birthday Parties” establishes the flirtations, friendships, and mother-daughter bond that resonates through the next six seasons. –Brittany Lovely
Season 2, episode 5, ‘Nick & Nora/Sid & Nancy’
When Milo Ventimiglia walks off a bus wearing a blue vest and a camouflage henley, you can certainly bet that Stars Hollow’s new resident bad boy is about to cause a wrinkle in the Gilmore’s world that can never quite be ironed out. The introduction of Jess Mariano is perhaps any fan of Gilmore Girls‘ favorite moment in the show. Whether you enjoy Rory and Dean, or Rory and Logan, no one can deny the swooning that arises from the presence of the well-read misunderstood nephew of Luke Danes.
As Jess steps into the town square, the sound of Elvis Costello’s “This is Hell” plays over as he surveys the seasonally adorned storefronts and lamp posts. Luke is in way over his head taking in a troubled seventeen year old kid and expecting him to adjust in a few days to a raft (with new sheets) on the floor and small town life.
But Jess’ introduction does more than allow Luke’s character to become more dynamic. He flips Rory’s life upside by dragging her out of the prime and proper lifestyle she has become so accustomed to. She has her affect on him as well, but trying to force the two of them together is like pushing two magnets of the same charge toward one another. Nearly every facet of Rory’s life, her schoolwork, her mother, her grandparents, her boyfriend, get caught in the force between them. However displaced the world becomes as a result, the power of that force brings an undeniably strong charge to the series. –Brittany Lovely
Season 3, episode 7, ‘They Shoot Gilmore’s Don’t They?’
This is one of the most pivotal Gilmore Girls episodes ever. Rory has her first, very public break up and it is all over another boy. Plus, there is an intense dance-off between Kirk and Lorelai.
The dance marathon in Stars Hollow is a yearly event that Kirk seems to win every year much to Lorelai’s chagrin. The marathon lasts for 24 hours, has a swing band and everyone is in period costume. Rory reluctantly partners with her mom to help her win the trophy.
Rory however is struggling with her own problems, namely Dean and Jess. Throughout the episode we see Rory struggle with Jess having a girlfriend. She even goes out of her way to give Shane a hard time. As the viewer, you want Rory to figure it out, Dean is no longer the guy she wants, but it just doesn’t happen. During the marathon Jess goes out of his way to taunt Rory by making out with Shane. By the end of the episode Dean has realized he’s the odd man out and basically breaks up with Rory in front of the entire town. Jess follows Rory and they both agree it’s time for them to be together.
So many things about this episode epitomize what Gilmore Girls is about. Small town events, crazy towns people, and facing the challenges of relationships and family. This is definitely a must watch episode of Gilmore Girls. –Jen Lamoureux
Season 3, episode 22, ‘Those Are Strings, Pinocchio’
This episode highlights all the things we love about Gilmore Girls. Lorelai and Rory give Luke a hard time, Paris is witty and insulting, Richard and Emily are reservedly good-natured, and Sookie is adorable. Rory’s graduation is a bitter pill to swallow as it’s a lovely time to celebrate her accomplishments, but also brings back memories of just how far she’s come. This episode marks the end of a era, as Rory prepares to move to Yale and begin her college career away from the daily musings of Lorelai.
The most touching part of the episode comes when Rory gives her Valedictorian speech and talks about how the person she most wants to be is her mother. We can’t help but commiserate with Luke as, in his words, “Now I’m blubbering, you freaks!” You will need a few tissues to get through this episode, but for every tear you shed, I can promise you a laugh is soon to follow. “Must-see” doesn’t even begin to describe the greatness of this episode. –Kristen Kranz
Season 4, episode 22, ‘Raincoats and Recipes’
It comes as no surprise that more people are not invested in season 4 of Gilmore Girls as they are the rest of the series. There is one major overarching problem with the fourth season and it can be summed up in three words: Jason “Digger” Stiles. Sure, there is a nice date at a supermarket, and he drives Emily Gilmore crazy, but Stiles is the lowest bottom of all the crop of men that Lorelai could have ended up marrying.
However, there was at least two pivotal moments in season 4 that bookended the season and set Rory and Lorelai into the next phases of their lives. In the season opener, Rory moves to Yale and Lorelai begins the groundbreaking on the Dragonfly Inn. A whole bunch of stuff happens in between, but the most important episode of the season is the finale, “Raincoats and Recipes.” The test run on the completed inn brings everyone out to the Dragonfly for the weekend, including Richard and Emily who are currently trying out a separation.
Luke “I can see her face” Danes, finally breaks the tension that has been building for four solid seasons and kisses Lorelai. Rory, on the other hand, revisits her pining-love interest as well. However, her romantic choice is married. Dean and Rory’s night together, sets the wheels in motion for the season 5 fall out between the inseparable mother and daughter and the mounting tensions across the pool for Richard and Emily. –Brittany Lovely
Season 5, episode 3, ‘Written in the Stars’
This aired actually exactly 10 years ago: October 5, 2004, and oh, so much has changed in the past decade. One of the things I always found interesting about Gilmore Girls was their lack of technological influence. Sure they had cell phones, and granted, the first iPhone launched a month after the show’s series finale aired, but the Gilmore’s were always more interested in the face-to-face communication, and later when Rory went to college, phone calls. I think we can all agree it was to the shows benefit that never engaged in too much texting.
But all that is beside the point because “Written in the Stars” is a monumental episode. It is Luke and Lorelai’s first date and Logan and Rory’s first encounter. Season 5 is arguably the turning point for the show, yes you can point to others, but the show changes with Luke and Lorelai starting to date, and obviously, the entrance of Logan Huntzberger. –Kristina Lintz
Season 5, episode 7, ‘You Jump, I Jump, Jack’
Logan and Rory aren’t even officially together yet, but this still might be my favorite Lo-ry (Gilmore Girls was before the ship-naming days) episode. I also always loved the mystery of the Life & Death Brigade, but maybe my love had more to do with the fact that where the L&DB went, Colin and Finn were usually in tow.
This episode is also big for Rory’s personal growth. Her usually cautious, stay-on-the-sidelines personality is tested and her comfort zone is pretty much shattered with this extravagant event. Or, I should say, fabulous party, so as not to allow “said gap ‘twixt ‘d’ and ‘f’” slip from my lips. Plus, who can resist a great looking couple, with Rory in a gorgeous blue gown and Logan dressed up handsomely in a tux? Their exchange the morning of the big event might be one of my favorites, then again whenever Logan called Rory “Ace,” I was thrilled.
But where Rory, Logan and the Life & Death Brigade are off partying with human paintball targets and high-society type events, Lorelai and Luke are in a special version of hell. Emily and Richard, determined to reconnect with Luke, each torture him in their own special way. Emily, at Friday night dinner, is on her A-game, grilling him about his diner and beverage drink of choice.
This is also the episode Zach and Lane begin dating. Just a knockout episode, overall. –Kristina Lintz
Season 6, episode 13, ‘Friday Night’s Alright For Fighting’
What “Friday Night’s Alright For Fighting” did for Gilmore Girls in five minutes, is something that some shows spend seasons trying to accomplish. Take six seasons worth of pent up anger, hurt, and poor decisions and lay all the cards on the table for one roller coaster of an evening and only five brilliant minutes of camera work, writing, and acting from the Gilmore team.
The first 35 or so minutes of the episode play out as well as any other episode of the show. The Yale Daily News is suffering the wrath of Dictator Paris, Rory and Logan save the day, Lorelai tries to forget about “June 6” stuff, and Luke bonds with his newly discovered daughter, April. (Okay, yes that sounds like a lot, but in the grand scheme of things, just another day in Connecticut for our cast of characters!)
The fallout from Rory’s relocation from the elder Gilmore residence, and her father’s decision to pay for Yale, sparks an idea in Lorelai’s head that up until this point in the series is completely out of character; Save Friday night dinner.
Viewers are treated to a rehashing of every significant argument to occur amongst the four of them. Sparing partners pair off: Lorelai and Emily, Richard and Emily, Emily and Rory. A palette cleanser is even involved in the form of sorbet. As the camera becomes free and moves around the room following the table argument between Emily, Richard, and Rory, the show hits a level it never has prior. The entire series can be summed up in the silent understanding between Lorelai and Richard, the hurt that Emily expresses, and the enjoyment of stories over a few drinks between them. As the Gilmore girls step back out into the cold, hair tousled and grievances vented, Friday night dinner is back on the calendar and the show’s giant reset button has just been hit. –Brittany Lovely
Season 7, episode 13, ‘I’d Rather Be in Philadelphia’
It’s Richard’s second heart attack of the show (the first was way back in season 1). The difference is, this one is arguably more terrifying, but it also shows a lot more about our characters. He collapses in Rory’s class and she rushes with him to the hospital. From there, Emily and Lorelai both come, panicked, the former jumping into action – making sure he has the best doctor, the best room, the best pillows, the latter tries to get ahold of her husband, Christopher. I don’t know if anyone loved the fact Chris and Lorelai got married, but this episode just proves they do not belong together. Thankfully, its one of the final times it has to as they divorce soon after.
Logan comes by and sits with Rory, he deals with moving her car, bringing her food and things from her apartment. Chris? Radio silence. But then, Luke visits. Oh, Luke. He brings food for the Gilmore girls, and runs errands for Emily who is falling apart at the seams. This is one of my favorite Richard episodes, it gives him a lot of human traits that aren’t often found outside the confine of a hospital bed. The way Lorelai pauses at the door before going in to see him says a lot about their relationship, and it says so much. She’s so scared she almost lost him and I think she’s playing the ‘what if’ game. ‘What if’ he had died and she couldn’t say goodbye? Heartbreaking in any scenario, but Lauren Graham packs a particularly hard punch in this scene. –Kristina Lintz
Season 7, episode 22, ‘Bon Voyage’
Finales are always hit and miss, but Gilmore Girls managed to tick all of the boxes. Having left Logan trailing in her wake, a newly graduated Rory lands a ridiculously amazing job which results in a last-minute dash by mother and daughter to get Rory ready to leave. The beauty of this was the entire episode allowed us to celebrate just what made Gilmore Girls so special – the Gilmore girls themselves.
In a classic B plot, Luke organizes the town to throw a surprise party for Rory, allowing us some time with the many crazy residents of Stars Hollow. And no, I definitely wasn’t crying in the moment when Rory and Lorelai are surprised, that was just a tree trunk in my eye. All of the key relationships are given their moment, aside from the two Lorelais we see Luke and Lorelai’s reunion, Rory and Lane’s BFF farewell, and what is probably the most significant moment of character development in the entire show – Lorelai willingly choosing to continue Friday Night Dinners with her parents sans Rory. This discovery, that their tentative relationship is no longer based around Rory as a common factor, may have brought on another wave of tears.
The banter, emotion and shenanigans are all classic Gilmore Girls; the finale didn’t go above or beyond the restraints of the series, it just allowed us to say goodbye in a natural way. And then we leave our girls as we found them, albeit in very different places in their lives, together in the quiet of Luke’s, and ready for their next adventure. –Marama Whyte
Gilmore Girls is now available to stream on Netflix!