Rory’s Birthday Parties – Season 1: Ep. 6

Aired: November 9, 2000

Written by: Amy Sherman-Palladino (I love the episodes she writes)

Directed by: Sarah Pia Anderson

Special Appearance: Edward Herrmann – Richard

Guest Starring:

Liz Torres – Patti
Sally Struthers – Babette
Jared Padalecki – Dean
Liza Weil – Paris
Ted Rooney – Morey
David Booth- Lars
Bridget Ann White – Mitzi
Chad Michael Murray – Tristan 

Places in this Episode:

Emily & Richard’s
Independence Inn
Mall – Damion’s
Luke’s Diner
Gilmore Home

Rory has two parties for her 16th birthday. Emily makes an effort to get to know Rory and Lorelai better through shopping for Rory’s birthday gift and attending her Stars Hollow celebration. 

Smile in a Cup for this Episode
We have to listen to how others feel loved. Sometimes the way we exert ourselves to love others is in vain because it does not make them feel known and cared for.  We are all in process and learning how to love one another. It’s okay if it is initially awkward and unnatural.  We cannot give up during the discipline and grit of loving the people in our ordinary lives — especially if it makes His love known. 

Keeping Count–

Cups of Coffee in this episode: 4

References to Literature, Movies, or Pop Culture — Madonna, Barbara Streisand, The Pope, Elvis, Jim Morrison, I love Lucy, Justin Timberlake, Brittany Spears, Farrah Fawcett, Cinderella, Denny’s, Holiday Inn, McDonald’s

Noteworthy Lorelai-Luke Moments:

  •  “Okay burger boy, dance!” -Lorelai
    “Will you marry me?” – Luke
    Lorelai freezes, which Luke said was his goal— but I think her embarrassed reaction shows she has at least entertained the idea. 
  • Luke tells Lorelai she does not have to invite him to Rory’s birthday party. She says she knows, but she would like for him to come. His “yea?” and smirk had me in a puddle. 
  • Luke made Rory a birthday table with coffee cake and balloons!  “Luke, you old softy!” I love that! If there is anyone who can make Luke shed his tough exterior, it is Rory. 
  • My favorite moment of this episode — LUKE BRINGING IN TWO BAGS OF ICE. I do not know if it’s because acts of service make me feel loved, or the fact that he anticipated her needs… but yes. Luke. Yes. Always be this guy. Then their precious hug in the foyer. That was no friend hug.  I love that Emily’s response is a little eyebrow flick and mmm hmm. Me too, Emily. Me too. 

Noteworthy quotes:

“… to the one thing in my life that is always good, always sweet, and without whom I’d have no reason to get up in the morning — my pal, Rory. Cheers.” – Lorelai

Observations & Questions:

  • I adore Emily’s effort to get to know Rory better and pick out a birthday gift she would enjoy. I did chuckle when she referred to Lane as Jane, however. She’s so close, yet so far — just like the birthday party on Friday night. 
  • All those red apples in the fruit bowl. Lorelai actually cut up a slice to eat. I’m impressed, but also — ehh. I am not a fan of Red Delicious Apples. If you agree and want a fun chuckle, please go read “This is Why Red Delicious Apples Suck So Hard” by Jeanette Hurt.
  • Lorelai Leigh. I just realized this is Rory’s middle name! I do not know how I have missed that all these years. 
  • There is a nod to Sixteen Candles with “Happy Birthday” by Altered Images. 
  • Lorelai has such a fun tradition of waking Rory up at 4:04am  and telling her their birth story. I was rolling when she said giving birth was like “doing the splits on a crate of dynamite.” Do you have birthday traditions with your family?
  • Okay, Dean. That dimpled smile mouthing “Happy Birthday” was cute. You earn a point from me.
  • Emily helps straighten Richard’s tie. This is a theme in later episodes too. I feel it shows her behind the scenes respect, adoration, and support of Richard. 
  • Mitzi, honey. You are so rude.  Everything you say to Lorelai  and then snapping at the waiter.  I am surprised Lorelai was as cordial and polite as she was. 
  • I still cringe when I see Tristan coming.  I have loved other characters Chad Michael Murray plays, but this is too much. I can find no sympathy for his ways.
  • I, like Rory, would have been mortified to be “introduced” into this world and expected to publicly welcome everyone. I am proud of the way she stands up for herself.
  • How fitting and sweet that Rory and Lorelai both had an argument with Emily on their 16th birthday and laid on Lorelai’s bed.  Although Rory is different, it is sweet to see ways their lives coincide. 
  • Richard listened and knows Rory! He remembered Fez!
  • The coffee pot is in its rightful place during Rory’s party. Maybe Sookie moved it around and Lorelai didn’t bother to move it back. 
  • I spy more salt and pepper shakers in the spice rack. 
  • Of course Rory is wearing a feather boa and birthday crown, and that Rory Faced Birthday Cake! This is the exact birthday party I would expect Lorelaid to throw. 
  • Rory lights up when Richard and Emily arrive at the party. Lorelai says this is the first time they’ve been to her home. This is unbelievable to me! My heart was absolutely broken when Emily began to process and realize how disconnected she has been and how little she knows her daughter. 
  • Dean made Rory a bracelet. Okay, touche. That shows intentionality, which is another good quality of Dean.

Gilmore Girls Recap

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