34 Episodes You Need to Watch Before the Gilmore Girls Reboot on Netflix
I admit it, the second I saw this Netflix trailer, my heart soared. I love Gilmore Girls and it’s always my go-to binge watch show when I need some joy.
Because the creators of the show left before Season 7, I always felt cheated out of a great ending. So that is my explanation for my heart soaring. I’ve been watching the show on and off for the last couple of months, and when the November 25 date was announced, I read some pieces in the vein of , “Episodes you must watch for the reboot comes out.” But they were all subpar and clearly not written by true fans of the show. Yes, I’m that fan.
If you have already seen all the episodes, but want a refresher before November 25, this list is for you. There are episodes that are needed for plot points, but I didn’t include them if they weren’t at the very top of the Gilmore Girl game. If I included episodes that help with major plots points, you might as well just re-watch the whole show. Plus, Netflix was great to put the “previouslys” on the episodes to help with this.
If you haven’t see the show yet, just watch them all. I could maybe create a list for those unfamiliar with the show, with a couple of episodes a season where you don’t miss much, but let’s face it. It’s just best to see the whole thing. The show is that good. And don’t read this list if you haven’t already seen the show, because spoilers.
1.) Pilot. The opening scene of this show is unparalleled in it’s outstanding introduction to what the show will be like, despite how slooooow they are talking. Amy hadn’t quite found her writing voice for the show just yet, and the actors hadn’t reached Gilmore-pace yet. But it’s such a strong pilot.
2.) Forgiveness and Stuff. From Luke’s inability to be in a hospital to Lorelai’s almost speech to her dad, this episode is a can’t miss. Plus, grossest hamburger ever.
3.) The Break Up, Part 2. You get a full dose of Lane, which always makes an episode better. Plus you start to see a glimmer of Paris and Rory’s friendship starting.
It’s my personal belief that this season of this show is one of the finest pieces of pop culture to ever grace the world’s stage.
4.) Nick & Nora/Sid and Nancy. The introduction of Jess and some epic scenes and fights with Luke and Lorelai.
5.) The Bracebridge Dinner. This show is at it’s finest with the background characters in Star Hollow are allowed to shine. This crazy and weird episode provides lots of fodder, plus some awesome stuff with Lorelai and her parents.
6.) A-Tisket, A-Tasket. The first episode I ever watched, which made me fall in love with the show. This is really just added for sentimental reasons, but that’s of sweet things happen here.
7.) There’s the Rub. More incredible scenes with Lorelai and her mother, where they both learn so much about each other. Plus Rory, Jess and Paris together? Great stuff.
8.) Help Wanted. This is one of my favorite episodes because you finally see some real bonding with Lorelai and her father.
9.) Lorelai’s Graduation Day. Despite the ridiculous storyline of “Lorelai’s the rich kid” at community college, everything else here is Gilmore Girls perfect.
10.) I Can’t Get Started. While I despise a lot of what is happening with the main characters in this episode, it’s Sookie and Jackson’s wedding. Enough said.
11.) They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They? It’s the Star Hollow Dance marathon and more ridiculousness ensues. Again, the best episodes highlight the townspeople. Plus one epic breakup scene.
12.) A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving. Lane’s first kiss. Thunder dome on Sookie’s lawn. And a fight with Lorelai and Emily. So much goodness. and laugh out loud moments.
I would like to include Dear Emily and Richard at this point, but this episode loses major points because of the appearance of Sherri. She is one annoying character. It’s not because she took Christopher away from Lorelai. Nope. Couldn’t care less about it. Simple fact: she’s annoying. That said, if you watch it fast-forwarding most of her scenes, it’s pretty great. You get a glimpse of what it was like when Lorelai’s was pregnant, (the parallel with Shari’s labor experience was very well done.) and you see Emily and Lorelai bond in the sweetest way. Bridges are being built as Lorelai’s reflects on how they burned in the first place. I would also include “That’ll Do, Pig,” except that I can’t stand Gran. (Actually, it’s more the actress I can’t stand to watch the character of Gran.) But Lorelai explaining how she deals with her mother’s criticism is gold. Then watching her mother use that on her mother-in-law, platinum. Which really just goes to show that I should do a top scenes list, too. Because some of the best scenes aren’t in the best episodes because other plot lines are weak. And maybe I should do a “best lines” list, too. #popculturenerd
13.) A Tale of Poes and Fire. The inn catches fire and we have the sweetest and saddest endings of an episode (save the series finale) ever.
14.) Those are Strings, Pinocchio. Rory graduates and the Inn becomes a reality. Plus Brad sings.
I realized after reviewing all the seasons that this is surprisingly one of my favorites. Though we are first introduced to Liz and TJ in season 4, they hadn’t reached the level of annoying (that broke me) until much later. I’m also not really a fan of Digger, but watching Lorelai and Sookie pursue their dream of opening an inn is awesome. I also think I enjoy it so much because Rory is completely boyfriend-less, and so that drama isn’t there, so yay.
15.) Ballrooms and Biscotti. Everything about this episode is perfect. I mean everything. It might be my all-time favorite episode.
16.) The Lorelais’ First Day at Yale. Save the annoying freshman counselor, watching Lorelai try to drive Luke’s truck and helping Rory adjust to college is particularly wonderful.
17.) An Affair to Remember. Watching Lorelai defend her mother to a childhood friend? Priceless. Plus I really need to have some of Sookie’s Lobster Pot Pie.
18.) In the Clamor and the Clangor. The Star Hollow bells get fixed and drive everyone crazy. Lorelai wears the best winter white sweater ever and she and Luke have another epic fight and then make up. And Lane finally fesses up to her double life with her mother.
19.) Scene in a Mall. The bulk of this episode involves shopping so it’s no wonder I like it. Emily has the best meltdown ever. But the sweetness of the episode (and why I am including it) lies in a moment in the food court.
20.) The Reigning Lorelai.
Gran dies (finally) and the breakdown of this family unit is quite epic. Richard, Emily and Lorelei all have equally fantastic meltdowns and it’s a sight to behold.
21.) Last Week’s Fight, This Week’s Tights. Lane’s mom finally meets Zach and Brian and it’s awesome. Luke and Lorelai go on their first date, even though Lorelei doesn’t know it. The rest of the episode is just “meh” but the moment. You know what I’m talking about. THE MOMENT.
22.) Raincoats and Recipes. It’s finally time to open the Inn, and of course, much ridiculousness ensues because the practice weekend involves Sookie and Lorelai inviting the town to stay there to work out the kinks. I don’t need to say anymore except that we finally get to see the first kiss between Luke and Lorelei, and it involves Kirk running around naked. Yep.
23.) Written in the Stars. Stars Hollow is all a flutter now that the two townspeople who run eating establishments are in a relationship. But the real story is what’s in Luke’s wallet.
24.) Wedding Bell Blues. This episode is awesome because Lorelai reveals that despite all her and her parents have done to repair their relationship, that she is still willing to cut them off if they cross the line. Plus Ed Herman is a gem and Emily’s bachelorette party is hysterical. Plus, Cop Rock.
25.) Say Something. As self-indulgent as this episode really is, I love it. I guess because we’ve all felt this way at some point. Plus watching Lane (as a surrogate daughter) and Rory do everything she does for Lorelai is amazing to see.
I need to mention A House is Not A Home here, only because it’s a “need to see” episode plot-wise in order to understand the whole of Season 6, as Rory deals with the consequences of her stupid decision to listen to her boyfriend’s father. Lorelai is once again stabbed in the back by her parents, and as a huge bonus, Mrs. Kim gets Hep Alien on tour.
This season is rough because the first half has our two Gilmore Girls apart and the show just felt wrong. Also, April. When the second half of the show shifts focus to the relationship between Luke and April, it’s so hard to watch Lorelai suffer. My next to last favorite season.
26.) Welcome to the Dollhouse. Actually, welcome to Sores and Boils Ave, the new address for the Dragonfly. And finally, Richard admits his daughter was right and Rory has made a huge mistake quitting Yale. Emily tries to smoke out Lorelai by sending her random things from her childhood. Plus, any episode that starts with a town meeting is awesome.
27.) Let Me Hear Your Balalaikas Ring Out. Jess knocks a little sense into Rory and murderously cute soccer girls get sponsored by Luke. Lorelai breaks and becomes all of us when Paul Anka gets sick.
28.) Friday Night’s Alright for Fighting. Rory finally tells her grandparents that her dad is paying for Yale, which means all of pandora’s box is opened from their relationships and even all of Lorelai’s stuff, too. Culminating in an epic Friday Night Dinner menagerie of fight scenes. Plus, Paris has the breakdowns of all breakdowns and Rory rallies the staff to get the paper out. Also, the best final line of an episode ever.
29.) I Get a Sidekick Out of You. Lane gets married, and the reception is epic. We also meet her grandmother, and she’s scarier than Lane’s mom.
The problem with Season 7, besides the obvious that Amy and Daniel left the show, is mainly two things: first, the scenes are painstakingly long. Waaaaaay longer than they needed to be, and way longer than the show had typically done before. It’s borderline painful because the writing is just not Gilmore. Second, the constant presence of Liz and TJ. Ugh. I CAN’T STAND THEM, and without Amy’s writing, they are even worse. I mean, Andrew’s acting isn’t stellar, but at least his personality is palatable. The acting and the personality of both Liz and TJ is just. so. painful.
30.) ’S Wonderful ’S Marvelous. Emily lands herself in jail. ‘Nuff said.
31.) I’d Rather Be In Philadelphia. Richard’s in the hospital again, Christopher fails to come through once again, and we see all three Gilmore Girls be real with each other sans humor. Pretty sure there is nary an obscure pop culture reference to be found (for shame) but it’s heartfelt. So it works for me, only because of Richard.
32.) Will You Be My Lorelei Gilmore? It’s the big baby shower for Lane and Zack, and for once in Season 7, the writers hit the right note.
33.) Hay Bale Maze. Rory makes a pro and con list about a job offer, Taylor is allergic to hay, which is unfortunate, because he decides to take over the town with a hay bale maze, and Logan and Lorelei come to an uneasy truce.
34.) Bon Voyage. “You’ve given me everything I need” Yep. I bawl like a BABY every time she says it.