Set in a storybook Connecticut town populated with an eclectic mix of everyday folks and lovable lunatics, "Gilmore Girls" is a humorous multigenerational series about friendship, family and the ties that bind. Thirtysomething Lorelai Gilmore has made her share of mistakes in life, but she has been doing her best to see that her college-age daughter - and best friend in the world - Rory, doesn't follow in her footsteps. That may be easier said than done, considering that the two share the same interests, the same intellect, the same coffee addiction and the same eyes.
01 - Ballrooms & Biscotti
Immediately upon returning from a whirlwind summer backpacking trip to Europe, Lorelai (series star LAUREN GRAHAM) and Rory (series star ALEXIS BLEDEL) Gilmore embark on a heavily scheduled week of mother/daughter activities, in bittersweet anticipation of Rory going away to Yale University as a freshman. But a number of situations conspire to make things harder than expected for them. After an exhausting day of handing out gifts to everyone--except, to Lorelai's dismay, coffee shop owner Luke Danes (series star SCOTT PATTERSON), for whom they couldn't find anything good enough--Rory is horrified to discover that she wrote down the wrong day for her departure. Instead of having a week and a half, they must do everything they had planned within three days.
Meanwhile, Taylor Doose (recurring guest star MICHAEL WINTERS) opens a soda shop near Luke's diner and, unbeknownst to Rory, hires eccentric resident Kirk (series star SEAN GUNN) to advertise her as the "Ice Cream Queen." When Rory refuses to wear the silly crown and appear at the grand opening ceremony, she is reviled by the town's disappointed youngsters. Lorelai experiences mixed emotions when she learns that Luke and his new wife have already ended their relationship. Rory's best friend, Lane Kim (series star KEIKO AGENA), laments having to go to a local college while Rory is away at Yale. And Lorelai learns that her pregnant best friend, Sookie St. James (series star MELISSA McCARTHY), is going to have a boy.
Lorelai is disappointed when Rory insists on keeping her promise to Lorelai's parents, wealthy, overbearing Emily (series star KELLY BISHOP) and old-fashioned Richard (recurring special appearance by EDWARD HERRMANN), and eats dinner at their house on her and Lorelai's last night together before school. When Emily and Richard keep Rory hostage for the entire evening, Lorelai overcomes her distaste for visiting her parents in order to be with Rory.
Recurring guest star LIZ TORRES plays Miss Patty, the local dance instructor and social commentator. Not appearing in this episode are series stars YANIC TRUESDALE as Michel Gerard, LIZA WEIL as Paris Geller and CHRIS EIGEMAN as Jason "Digger" Stiles.
02 - The Lorelais' First Day at Yale
Mother and daughter share Rory's first day at Yale University by moving Rory into her dormitory, where she meets a strange new roommate, Tanna (recurring guest star OLIVIA HACK), and learns that her old adversary, Paris, will also be sharing her room. Although she is overwhelmed with excitement, Rory is also embarrassed to find that she isn't quite ready to let Lorelai go. Meanwhile, Luke continues to cope with the aftermath of a disastrous cruise with his soon-to-be-former wife.
03 - The Hobbit, the Sofa and Digger Stiles
Rory is shocked when Emily completely redecorates Rory's dormitory room without her permission. At her first Yale party, Rory finds herself trapped by twins who were instructed by Emily to find Rory and keep her safe. Meanwhile, Lorelai and Sookie take a job catering a kids' "Lord of the Rings"-themed birthday party to make money while their new inn is under construction. And Richard takes on a new business partner named Jason "Digger" Stiles (series star CHRIS EIGEMAN), who is the son of Richard's former associate.
04 - Chicken or Beef?
While visiting Stars Hollow for the weekend, Rory encounters her ex-boyfriend Dean (former series star JARED PADALECKI), who awkwardly invites her to his wedding the next day. During his bachelor party that night, Dean stumbles into Luke's diner and drunkenly confesses how much he misses Rory. Meanwhile, Taylor Doose (recurring guest star MICHAEL WINTERS), who controls the permit procedures for every building in town, irritates Lorelai and Sookie as they try to get construction started on their new Dragonfly Inn.
05 - The Fundamental Things Apply
Rory goes on her first date since ending her relationship with Jess and finds that college dating is not going to be easy. Lorelai invites Luke over for the traditional movie night she used to share with Rory. Later, Lorelai gets upset when she learns that the designer she just hired for the Dragonfly Inn used to work for Emily.
06 - An Affair to Remember
When Emily plans an elaborate launch party for Richard's new company, she hires Lorelai and Sookie to cater the affair but insists they prove that they are worthy of her trust. After Richard's partner, Jason "Digger" Stiles, insults Emily by suggesting that her party idea is outdated, Lorelai confronts him and is surprised when he asks her out to dinner. Meanwhile, Rory has a tough time finding a decent place to study at Yale.
07 - The Festival of Living Art
Stars Hollow hosts the Festival of Living Art, an event in which the townspeople dress up and present tableaux imitating famous paintings. Rory appears in Portrait of a Young Girl Named Antea. Lorelai plays the beauty in Renoir's The Dance at Bougival. And Kirk is Jesus in The Last Supper, along with the Town Troubadour (recurring guest star GRANT LEE PHILLIPS) as Judas. Meanwhile, Sookie panics because she hasn't given birth by the date she's supposed to, and Lorelai calms her with stories of the night Rory was born. Luke's wife, Nicole (recurring guest star TRICIA O'KELLEY), tells Luke that she wants to postpone their divorce and give their relationship a chance. And Lane finds a great guitarist, Gil (SEBASTIAN BACH of the band Skid Row), but he is a lot older than everyone else in the band.
08 - Die, Jerk
When the editor of the Yale student newspaper tells Rory that her articles are dull, she writes a scathing review of the Yale ballet and becomes the vindictive lead ballerina's target. Jason impresses Lorelai by manipulating Emily into inviting him to Friday night dinner so he can continue flirting with Lorelai. Meanwhile, surprised to see Nicole (recurring guest star TRICIA O'KELLEY) at the diner, Lorelai forces Luke to admit that he and Nicole have put their divorce on hold and are dating again. And Lane gets upset when her mother gives her a "marriage jug" to send to her boyfriend in California.
09 - Ted Koppel's Big Night Out
After Richard and Emily invite Rory and Lorelai to their fancy tailgate party at the Harvard/Yale football game, Lorelai's innocent conversation with Richard's ex-fiancée, Pennilyn Lott (LINDA GEHRINGER), leads Emily to realize that Richard and Pennilyn have been meeting secretly for lunch for many years. Emily berates both Richard and Lorelai, prompting Lorelai to stop worrying about her mother's feelings and finally accept Jason's invitation to dinner instead of staying at Emily's party. Meanwhile, Richard introduces Paris to his former classmate Asher Flemming (recurring guest star MICHAEL YORK - "Austin Powers" movies), who is now a distinguished Yale professor. Later, Rory is astonished when she later spots Paris and the professor kissing.
10 - The Nanny and the Professor
While Lorelai and Sookie work on renovating their new inn, Michel clashes with a rival who he believes wants the manager position promised to Michel. Meanwhile, Lorelai happily spends a romantic night at Jason's house, despite his many eccentricities. But she is concerned to learn from her parents, who don't know that she and Jason are dating, that Jason was seen escorting another woman to a charity function. Rory remains irritated by Paris' disturbing relationship with her much older professor, Asher Flemming (recurring guest star MICHAEL YORK). And the incredibly efficient Lane intimidates Luke when she begins waiting tables at his diner.
11 - In the Clamor and the Clangor
Lorelai is upset to find out that Luke has gotten an apartment with Nicole in another town in Connecticut. However, when Lorelai realizes he is reluctant to move, she admits to him that she doesn't want him to leave Stars Hollow. Meanwhile, Rory remains attracted to a fellow student, William (recurring guest star PETER KLAUSNER), after he rebuffs her invitation to date, and she is later humiliated to learn that he has been gossiping about her obsession with him. Also, when Lane sneaks out to perform with her band, Mrs. Kim (recurring guest star EMILY KURODA)finally discovers her daughter's secret life and tells her to move out of the house.
12 - A Family Matter
Luke is wary when his flighty sister Liz (recurring guest star KATHLEEN WILHOITE - "ER") arrives for an unexpected visit. Lorelai promises Jason that she will tell her parents about their relationship, but she reconsiders after Emily comments about how laughable it would be if Lorelai and Jason began dating. Meanwhile, when Paris confesses to Rory that her affair with the professor is becoming serious, Rory reminds Paris how badly she is treating her boyfriend, Jamie (BRANDON BARASH)--so Paris breaks up with Jamie. Finally, Luke discovers that Jess' (recurring guest star MILO VENTIMIGLIA) car is missing and reports it stolen, but he later discovers that Jess has come back to town to pick up the car. Rory sees Jess sleeping in his car but walks away without speaking to him.
13 - Nag Hammadi is Where They Found the Gnostic Gospels
Stranded in Stars Hollow while his car is being repaired, Jess (recurring guest star MILO VENTIMIGLIA) keeps crossing paths with Rory--but he walks away from her every time. Luke tries to talk to Jess about Liz (recurring guest star KATHLEEN WILHOITE), Luke's sister and Jess' mother, who is dating someone new. However, Jess angrily tells Luke to stop interfering in other people's lives. Lorelai does a favor for Emily by attending a charity dinner and is pleasantly surprised when her secret boyfriend, Jason, arrives--and the unsuspecting Emily asks them to "pretend" they are a couple. Meanwhile, when Rory and Jess encounter each other for a third time, Rory tries to be the one who walks away, but Jess stops her and makes a shocking confession.
14 - The Incredible Sinking Lorelais
Although she is completely exhausted by her heavy workload at Yale, Rory is horrified when a professor suggests that she drop a class. She confesses her self-doubt to her former boyfriend Dean (former series star JARED PADALECKI), who is working on the construction crew at the Dragonfly Inn. Meanwhile, frustrated because she can never reach Rory and by the nonstop work involved in getting the Dragonfly ready to open, Lorelai first accuses Sookie of not doing her fair share then turns to Luke for help and advice. Also, Richard becomes infuriated when he and Lorelai both get a sample of the nastiness that Gran (recurring guest star MARION ROSS) usually reserves for Emily.
15 - Scene in a Mall
Rory encounters Dean (former series star JARED PADALECKI) for the second time at the Dragonfly Inn and gets a glimpse of his new life. Later, Lorelai and Rory decide to spend a day together at the mall, but they run into Emily and are caught up in her wild shopping spree. When Lorelai questions her mother on her out-of-control spending, Emily admits that she is getting revenge on Richard, who has been ignoring her to concentrate on his new business. Meanwhile, although Lane is excited to be moving into her first apartment with two of her band mates, she is also hurt by her mother's (recurring guest star EMILY KURODA) coldness.
16 - The Reigning Lorelai
When Gran (recurring guest star MARION ROSS) dies suddenly, Richard has an emotional breakdown. Emily handles the funeral arrangements with her usual efficiency--until she finds a letter Gran had written to Richard years earlier, begging him not to marry Emily. Lorelai is forced to take over the preparations, leading to her own small breakdown while buying new clothing for Gran to be buried in.
17 - Girls in Bikinis, Boys Doin' the Twist
Exasperated by the freezing Connecticut weather, Rory and Paris travel to Florida for their first spring break. Amidst sun, sand and too much partying, they meet Madeline (recurring guest star SHELLY COLE) and Louise (recurring guest star TEAL REDMANN), their pals from Chilton. Rory is shocked when Paris makes an unexpected bid for attention at a nightclub where musical group THE SHINS (themselves) are performing. Meanwhile, Lorelai's relationship with Jason takes another step forward when he gives her a key to his home. And Luke needs Lorelai to bail him out of jail after he reacts badly to the news that his estranged wife is dating another man.
18 - Tick, Tick, Tick Boom
Jason's father, Floyd (LAWRENCE PRESSMAN - "American Pie" movies), sues Jason and Richard for taking his clients. Floyd also reveals that Jason and Lorelai have been dating secretly for months. Meanwhile, Dean (former series star JARED PADALECKI) upsets Rory when he admits he has dropped out of college to work full time so he and his wife, Lindsay (recurring guest star ARIELLE KEBBEL), can buy a townhouse. Lindsay demands that Dean stop associating with Rory, but Dean and Rory plan to secretly remain in contact.
19 - Afterboom
When Jason reveals that he is no longer in business with Richard, Lorelai has an ugly confrontation with her father about his treatment of Jason. Later, after an extremely uncomfortable Friday night family dinner, Lorelai and Rory spy on Emily and make a shocking discovery about the state of the elder Gilmores' marriage. Meanwhile, Luke tells Lorelai that he and Nicole are getting a divorce.
20 - Luke Can See Her Face
Depressed over the failure of his marriage, Luke resorts to a self-help tape and suddenly realizes that he already knows who his soul mate is. Later, when his sister Liz (recurring guest star KATHLEEN WILHOITE) returns to town and announces that she and T.J. (MICHAEL DeLUISE) are getting married, Luke finds Jess (former series star MILO VENTIMIGLIA) and convinces him to attend the wedding. Meanwhile, Lorelai is completely stressed as opening day at The Dragonfly Inn approaches, and Rory pretends not to be interested when Lorelai tells her she overheard Dean (former series star JARED PADALECKI) and his wife, Lindsay (recurring guest star ARIELLE KEBBEL), fighting.
21 - Last Week Fights, This Week Tights
All the townspeople of Stars Hollow come to Liz's (recurring guest star KATHLEEN WILHOITE) Renaissance-themed wedding. Jess (former series star MILO VENTIMIGLIA) walks Liz down the aisle, and Lorelai and Luke share a romantic dance, after which Luke asks Lorelai out on a date. Meanwhile, as Yale students begin their summer break, Rory attends a drunken party and has to call Dean (former series star JARED PADALECKI) to drive her back to the dorm. Dean tries to explain his unhappy marriage to Rory, but they are interrupted when Jess arrives and makes Rory a surprising offer.
22 - Raincoats & Recipes
Lorelai suspects that Luke's intentions towards her have become serious, but she doesn't have time to dwell on the situation as she prepares for the opening of the Dragonfly Inn by inviting friends and family to a test run. Using the opportunity to force her parents to reconcile, Lorelai is shocked when it becomes obvious that the damage to their marriage is greater than she had thought. When Jason arrives at the Inn to convince Lorelai that their own breakup was a mistake, Luke tries to declare his true feelings for Lorelai. Meanwhile, after their last awkward encounter, Rory attempts to salvage her friendship with Dean (former series star JARED PADALECKI).