Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these. I had a really great time at the Commonwealth Games on Friday, and the English men’s team won a gold medal in the gymnastics, so that was the icing on the cake. I’ve got another fairly busy end of the week coming up as my family is going up to Yorkshire for my cousin’s wedding, so it’s going to be a very busy weekend for all of us.
Anyway, it’s Tuesday, so that means it’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. I decided to go completely off-book with this week’s topic as I’ve done several variation of places from books I’d like to visit over the years. Instead, as I’m almost done with my umpteenth Gilmore Girls rewatch, I thought I would finally do an official list of my Top Ten Gilmore Girls Episodes. I’m going to do this a little differently than my regular Top Ten Tuesdays, which generally have no particular order, and do this as a countdown from 10-1. Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen Gilmore Girls, so stop now if you’ve never seen it and don’t want to be spoiled. Here we go:
10. Written In The Stars (Season 5, Episode 3)
You won’t see many Season 5 episodes on this list, as Season 5 is generally where I feel like the show started to go downhill in quality. However, the best part of S5 (before they decided to completely ruin them in S6) is Luke and Lorelai finally getting their act together and starting to date. This episode is their first date, and it’s one of my favourite TV first dates ever. HE KEPT HER HOROSCOPE FOR EIGHT YEARS! How cute is that?!
9. The Bracebridge Dinner (Season 2, Episode 10)
A trend I’ve found in my favourite episodes is that they’re usually ones that revolve around the big town events as the quirky Stars Hollow events are always so much fun! The whole Bracebridge Dinner is a riot, the Elizabethan style costumes, Jackson as Squire Bracebridge, Lorelai trying to get Kirk to break character……so much to love. There’s also the turning up of the Rory/Jess romance, the build-up of which was much better than the payoff, I have to admit. I also love seeing Richard and Emily interact with the townies, as you don’t get that very often throughout the series.
8. The Big One (Season 3, Episode 16)
Does it feel a little unrealistic that Rory would get into Harvard, Princeton and Yale? I mean I’m not American, but I feel like it would be like someone from the UK getting into both Oxford and Cambridge (though people don’t tend to apply for both here). But anyway, this episode isn’t on this list because of that: it’s on this list because of Paris’ meltdown. Her rant on live TV after she doesn’t make into Harvard is a classic, and Rory comforting Paris on the stairs afterwards is one of my favourites of their friendship moments.
7. Last Week Fights, This Week Tights (Season 4, Episode 21)
LUKE CAN WALTZ. The whole build-up to Lorelai and Luke’s romantic relationship towards the end of S4 is done so well, and this episode really encapsulates that. Their dance at the wedding is probably one of my favourite moments of the whole show, but this episode is just packed full of great moments aside from that. There’s quite a few lovely Luke/Jess moments, particularly when Jess tells Luke how much he means to him after reading the self-help books that Luke gave him. Liz and TJ’s wedding is just as wild as you would expect and watching Luke and Lorelai try and keep straight face through it and failing miserably is brilliant. It’s just an all around great episode in what at times was a fairly uneven season.
6. A Tisket-A Tasket (Season 2, Episode 13)
The bid-a-basket festival is one of my absolute favourite Stars Hollow town events. Is the whole idea of women having to make a picnic lunch and men having to bid on it to win their company for lunch a little sexist? Absolutely. Is it an extremely fun episode anyway? Definitely. There’s just so much to love in this episode: Lorelai getting Luke to bid on her basket to avoid Miss Patty’s blind date setup and them having a picnic in the gazebo? So cute, and I swear every time I watch it and Dean interrupts them, I want to shake him! Lane trying in vain to have a first date, and actually having a really sweet moment with her mum when it doesn’t work out (ironically because she was trying to keep it secret from her mum, even though her mum would have actually approved of the guy!). Rory and Jess’ date is also really sweet, though the whole Jess/Dean trying to one up each other bidding on Rory’s basket definitely reeks of toxic masculinity. And Jackson’s marriage proposal to Sookie is also really sweet.
5. Lorelai’s Graduation Day (Season 2, Episode 21)
The moment where Lorelai walks across the stage and graduates and the camera pans to Richard and Emily and they’re obviously so proud of her and Lorelai is genuinely glad to have them there to share that milestone that they never got when she was younger, is one of my favourite moments of the entire show, hands down. For a show that is very wordy, and is know for its dialogue, sometimes the non-verbal moments are actually the most powerful. I hate that Rory missed her mother’s graduation, but I definitely don’t think that moment between Lorelai and her parents would have hit the same way if Rory had been there. Plus, I really enjoyed Rory’s day with Jess in New York. I’m not a big Christopher and Lorelai fan, but even I have to admit, the basket of gifts he sent her was really sweet. Honestly, the only thing I really missed in this episode was a moment between Lorelai and Luke because I know he would have been really proud of her for graduating and we don’t get to see that.
4. A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving (Season 3, Episode 9)
So much good stuff here! Lane’s first kiss with Dave was so well done, Drunk Sookie was an absolute riot. Lorelai and Rory doing four Thanksgiving dinners in one day because they realise how much Luke enjoys having them come to Thanksgiving. The only downer of this episode is the really awkward dinner at Emily and Richard’s where Rory reveals that she applied to Yale and Lorelai flips out, it’s not one of Lorelai’s finer moments. Kirk adopting a cat that turns out to be vicious is a classic Kirk move. This one is definitely the better of the two Thanksgiving themed episodes that they do.
3. Raincoats and Recipes (Season 4, Episode 22)
Do I really need to expand much beyond Lorelai and Luke’s brilliant first kiss to explain why I love this episode so much? I do? Okay. It’s great to see Lorelai, Sookie and Michel finally open the inn after building to it all season. Kirk and Luke have some great moments in this episode too, theirs is an underrated friendship. The Rory/Dean stuff is obviously awful and I really don’t understand why they decided to go down that road again, but thankfully it’s limited enough in the episode that it never detracts from my enjoyment of it.
2. Those Are Strings, Pinocchio (Season 3, Episode 22)
Gilmore Girls generally always did hit the season finales out of the park, and this is my favourite one. After building to Rory’s high school graduation throughout the first three seasons, this episode 100% delivers. Rory’s valedictorian speech and her dedication to her mum is so lovely, one of my absolute favourite moments of the entire show, and I love that she even breaks Luke with it (we all know that Luke is a softie really).
Before we get to the number one spot, I have a few honourable mentions for you:
Like Mother, Like Daughter (Season 2, Episode 8: Lorelai and Emily at the Booster club fashion show is one of my favourite moments for them), There’s The Rub (Season 2, Episode 16: some great Lorelai and Emily bonding moments again, plus the cold open is one of my favourites of the whole series), The Lorelais First Day at Yale (Season 4, Episode 2: Rory’s moving into college), You Jump, I Jump Jack (Season 5, Episode 6: Rory and Logan at the first Life and Death Brigade of the show is such fun) and Wedding Bell Blues (Season 5, Episode 13: They definitely pull out all the stops for the 100th episode and this episode is definitely Gilmore Drama at its finest).
And finally in the top spot….
1. They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They? (Season 3, Episode 7)
Yes, it’s the dance marathon episode! Everything about this episode is pure perfection for me: you have the 1940s style costumes which is 10000% up my street, I love that kind of fashion and Lorelai and Rory’s outfits and hair are just gorgeous. You have cute Lorelai and Luke bonding, the love triangle between Rory and Dean finally comes to a head, Lane and Dave make strides towards getting together and there’s so much town madness packed into the episode, it’s hard to know where to start! All in all, it’s a perfect episode of Gilmore Girls and if I had to pick one episode to go back to again and again without watching any of the rest of the show, it would be this one.
So there we go, those are my Top Ten Favourite Gilmore Girls Episodes. It was definitely difficult to narrow down over 150 episodes to just my favourite ten, but I managed it! I’ve actually noticed a couple things through this latest rewatch: I already knew S2 and S3 were my favourites, but this list has definitely confirmed it. In what may be a controversial opinion, I also realised I hate Season 6 more than Season 7, everyone is just so sad for so much of S6, it’s a really depressing watch. Season 7 is not my favourite, but I actually think they do a decent job with what the Palladinos left them. I also specifically paid attention to the writers of each episode this time around, and all my favourites are written by one or other of the Palladinos, which I guess isn’t a surprise since they were the main writers on the show and wrote the majority of the episodes!
Have you seen Gilmore Girls? What are your favourite episodes? Do you agree with my choices? Let me know in the comments!
I’ll be back next week with another Top Ten Tuesday, we’re supposed to be doing Hilarious Book Titles, but I don’t know that I’ve read that many books with funny titles, so instead I’m going to do a Part 2 to a topic I did in 2021 (actually as a twist on the same topic it turns out!) and sharing more Funny Percy Jackson Chapter Titles.