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Binge-Watching 'Gilmore Girls'
Need to get up to speed on all 153 episodes before Rory, Lorelai, and the rest of Stars Hollow return to TV? Check out our guide to Gilmore Girls’ seven seasons (and countless Friday night dinners).
Where to watch: Netflix
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Welcome to Stars Hollow, where the coffee’s hot, the townies are quirky, and pop culture references are the language of choice. At the center of it all is the fast-talking duo of single mother Lorelai and her book-loving daughter, Rory. In Gilmore’s first year, Lorelai’s fractured relationship with her rich parents becomes more complicated when she asks them to pay for Rory’s private school, thus beginning the tradition of Friday night dinners with Richard and Emily Gilmore.
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Best Episode, Season 1: "Love, Daisies, and Troubadours"
“Love, Daisies and Troubadours” has both Gilmore girls in love (Rory with townie Dean, Lorelai with Rory’s teacher Max Medina), complete with a flower-filled marriage proposal from Max.
Best pop culture reference: “You can’t always control who you’re attracted to, you know? I think the whole Angelina Jolie–Billy Bob Thornton thing really proves that.” —Lorelai
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When Lorelai finds herself calling Christopher at her bachelorette party, she panics and decides to take Rory on a last-minute road trip to Harvard. (Sorry, Max!) By the time they return, there’s a new bad boy in town — surely you’ve heard of #TeamJess — and Lorelai contemplates life with Chris. (Did we mention he gave up his motorcycle for a Volvo?) But Sookie’s wedding gives everyone a bit of clarity as Rory kisses Jess for the first time and Lorelai says goodbye to Chris, who leaves to be with a pregnant Sherry.
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Best Episode, Season 2: “The Bracebridge Dinner”
“The Bracebridge Dinner” brings together all the townies you could ever want.
Best pop culture reference: "This town would make Frank Capra want to throw up." —Paris
Top townie: Between the Bracebridge Dinner and his horrific pajamas, we can see why Sookie loves Jackson.
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The season kicks off with a crucial foreshadowing dream for Lorelai and a heartbreaking conversation with her parents. Rory returns from a summer in D.C. more obsessed with Jess than ever, which leads to Dean breaking things off. Also getting a love interest? Lane, who kisses her bandmate Dave! As for Lorelai, the birth of Chris’ daughter has her remembering Rory’s birth (complete with some enlightening flashbacks). By season’s end, you’ll get the Jess-Dean showdown you’ve been waiting for, Rory’s Chilton graduation, and Luke with a foreshadowing dream of his own.
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Best Episode, Season 3: “They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They?”
"They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They?" features a dance marathon Rocky Balboa would be proud of.
Best pop culture reference: "What can we do in a bathroom?" —Emily "Meet George Michael." —Lorelai
Top townie: Miss Patty and her one-woman show deserve their own spin-off.
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Rory’s going to Yale! And after Lorelai gets her all settled in (and adjusted to the fact that Paris is her roommate), she goes after a dream all her own: opening the Dragonfly Inn. Lorelai also makes her way back into the dating game right around the time a secret lunch date comes between Richard and Emily. In Stars Hollow, the arrival of Liz and T.J. keeps things interesting, while Luke handles his crumbling marriage to Nicole. And thanks to spring break and a self-help book, both Lorelai and Rory end the year with unexpected kisses. (Luke can see her face!)
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Best Episode, Season 4: “The Festival of Living Art”
"The Festival of Living Art" is the town event of the season. It’s also your chance to see Kirk play Jesus.
Best pop culture reference: “I don’t wanna be the anti–town girl. I’m not Daria.” —Rory
Top townie: If Kirk’s 500 jobs didn’t win you over, his first date with Lulu did.
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New season, new love interest? Season 5 introduces Logan Huntzberger, Rory’s college beau. And while we’re on the topic of love interests, Rory and Lorelai find themselves on a double date complete with a very intense round of Bop It. (It’s more exciting than it sounds.) But everything changes for Rory when she becomes immersed in the highly judgmental world of the Huntzbergers. One internship later and Rory questions whether journalism’s her future, which leads to a Rory-Lorelai rift (and, oddly, a marriage proposal).
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Best Episode, Season 5: “Wedding Bell Blues”
"Wedding Bell Blues" unites everyone for Richard and Emily’s vow renewal, at least until Emily’s meddling comes between Luke and Lorelai.
Best pop culture reference: “Mom, it’s a pretend wedding. J. Lo has them all the time.” —Lorelai
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Without each other to lean on, Lorelai stays busy with a home renovation — and a new dog — while Rory fulfills her community service quota. Eventually Jess shows up to talk some sense into Rory (as a published author, he’s now very wise), and
an episode later, the Girls are back together, Rory returns to Yale, and all is right. At least until Luke’s surprise daughter shows up. By the time Lane’s wedding rolls around, Lorelai is sick of waiting for Luke and finds herself making a big, big mistake.
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Best Episode, Season 6: “Friday Night’s Alright for Fighting”
“Friday Night’s Alright for Fighting” may go down as the most epic Friday night dinner.
Best pop culture reference: “Enjoy Wisteria Lane, you major drama queen.” —Lorelai
Top townie: Mrs. Kim might love her antiques, but who knew she could write a hit song?
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After Luke finds out about Christopher and Lorelai, he focuses his attention on bonding with April. But despite a romantic trip to Paris — and a last-minute wedding to Chris — Lorelai’s feelings for Luke seep through, culminating in a divorce from Chris and a karaoke moment to remember. Rory focuses on life after Yale, which includes hitting the campaign trail with Barack Obama. That development leads to a town-wide goodbye party (and the epic romantic gesture that sends Lorelai back into Luke’s arms).
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Best Episode, Season 7: “Bon Voyage”
“Bon Voyage” shows Luke’s love for Lorelai, the town’s love for Rory, and your love for Kleenex.
Best pop culture reference: “There’s nothing wrong with being sensitive. Jake Gyllenhaal is sensitive. Orlando Bloom is sensitive.” —Paris
Top townie: Babette loves gossip, gnomes, and her husband, but most important, her ankles can predict the weather.