It’s no secret among my friends and family, and anyone who follows me on twitter, that I have a tiny obsession with The Gilmore Girls. It’s one of my favorite shows of all time. I’ve seen every episode more than once and my favorite episodes so many times I can’t count. Now, if you have even a passing familiarity with the show, you’re probably aware that Netflix brought it back for another “season.” I put that in quotes because it’s really just four 90-minute episodes, but it’s one for every season. And it premieres on November 25, 2016. That means only 5 more days until I get to see the hilarious cast of characters of Stars Hollow reassembled for a blissful 6 hours!
Since the premiere is only 5 days away, I thought it might be fun to rank my top 5 favorite Gilmore Girls episodes. Trust me, this wasn’t easy and, to be clear, these are not even what many might call the “best” episodes. But, I have a personal connection to them!
Favorite Episode #5: Rory’s Dance (Season 1, Episode 9)
What it’s about: Rory asks Dean to accompany her to a formal dance at Chilton, but the lovely evening is spoiled when they fall asleep together after the dance, leading to a fight between Emily and Lorelai over who has been a worse mother.
Why I love it: I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for a good teen love story. I did write a YA paranormal/fantasy/romance novel after all (The Travelers). And this episode combines a budding romance, formal wear, awkward teen moments, and family turmoil. It’s just the best.
Favorite Episode #4: Friday Night’s Alright For Fighting (Season 6, Episode 13)
What it’s about: While Luke deals with the reality of having April in his life, Lorelai tries to pretend she doesn’t mind the repercussions the new situation is having on their engagement. Rory’s concern over Paris’ lack of management skills at the Yale Daily News finally reaches a crisis point when most of the staff quits in protest.
Why I love it: This episode has a lot of great moments, including when Paris takes crazy to a whole new level, which is saying something since she’s pretty nuts in general. She even locks herself in a strange little cardboard cubicle at the Yale Daily News, complete with a hot plate (a little unsafe, just saying). It also has one of the best dinner scenes with Lorelai’s parents.
Favorite Episode #3: They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They? (Season 3, Episode 7)
What it’s about: Lorelai is determined to win the Stars Hollow Dance Marathon and take the trophy from four-time champion Kirk. She convinces Rory to help her dance her way to victory.
Why I love it: First, it has a 24 hour, 1940’s, swing-themed dance-a-thon, at the school gym, where everyone gets dressed in period pieces and actually dances. Why can’t Stars Hollow be a real place? This is also a pivotal episode in the Rory-Dean-Jess love triangle, where Rory and Dean break up. Although, why I really love this episode is that the end scene embodies all that is great about The Gilmore Girls – it constantly makes you teeter on the edge between grabbing a tissue box and laughing hysterically. In the last scene, Lorelai comforts Rory in the middle of the gym after her break up (tissue box moment). At the same time Kurt is also taking a victory lap around the gym with a giant trophy to the Rocky theme (laughing hysterically moment).
Favorite Episode #2: The Incredible Sinking Lorelais (Season 4, Episode 22)
What it’s about: Humiliated when she has trouble keeping up with her course load, Rory turns to Dean for support. Running out of time and money to renovate the Dragonfly, and reeling from being labelled as a failure by her grandmother, Lorelai turns to Luke for a loan.
Why I love it: Gilmore Girls is a lot of things, funny, witty, intelligent, heartwarming, to name a few. But most importantly, it also can capture a feeling and make it relatable. I may not live in Stars Hollow, own an Inn, or be Lorelai Gilmore (although that would be awesome), but I can still related to her experiences. Everything about this episode resonated with me, from Lorelai’s frustration with inability to find time to just get a haircut to her breakdown with Luke where she repeats “I’m failing” over and over. I know those emotions. They hit close to home, I think, for any woman who tries to do it all. It may be make-believe, but it sure feels like real life.
Favorite Episode #1: A-Tisket, A-Tasket (Season 2, Episode 13)
What it’s about: Stars Hollow (the town of endless festivals) holds a charity basket auction in which all the women pack lunch baskets and the men bid on them. (Yes, it sounds antiquated. Gilmore Girls, at its core, is a show about women that celebrates their empowerment. So trust me, they handle it well.) Although Rory is dating Dean, Jess ends up bidding on her basket and they spend the day together.
Why I love it: There are a few reasons. For one, I am a Jess-shipper (Dean and Logan shippers start the hate-fest now) and this is one of the best episodes of Jess and Rory bonding. Additionally, with me, it always comes back to books. I am a big fan of Ayn Rand. Atlas Shrugged is one of my favorite books. So much so it made its way into my book, The Travelers. In this episode of the Gilmore Girls, Rory and Jess discuss one of Rand’s other books, The Fountainhead , and I actually learned from this show how to say Rand’s name properly! (It’s not pronounced like Ann but Ine.)
And because this is my #1 choice, here is a transcript of my favorite scene:
RORY: Yeah but I didn’t understand a word of it, so I had to reread it when I was fifteen.
JESS: I’ve yet to make it through it.
RORY: Really? Try it. The Fountainhead is classic.
JESS: Yeah, but Ayn Rand is a political nut.
RORY: Yeah, but nobody could write a forty page monologue the way that she could.
JESS: Okay, tomorrow I will try again, and you will. . .
RORY: Give the painful Ernest Hemingway another chance. Yes, I promise.
JESS: You know, Ernest only has lovely things to say about you.
Honorable mention: Since it’s so close to Thanksgiving, I have to mention “A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving,” where Lorelai and Rory have dinner at four different places: the Kim’s, where Lorelai is forced to eat Tofurky; Luke’s, where Luke and Jess make it a foursome with Lorelai and Rory; Sookie’s, where Jackson and his family have deep-fried the turkey, the lawn, and just about everything else; and Emily and Richard’s, where, to Lorelai’s horror, Rory reveals that she has applied to Yale. Sounds like a great time to me!
Also check out this list of noteworthy life lessons from the Gilmore Girls. It’s spot on. My favorite is #12. http://www.suggest.com/tv/64502/15-noteworthy-life-lessons-gilmore-girls-has-taught-us/#page=1