Lorelai Gilmore was never particularly close to her parents on Gilmore Girls, but they wanted to change that when Rory was in high school. With Rory growing up, Emily and Richard wanted a better relationship with their daughter and granddaughter, which was when Friday night dinners were implemented. As long as Lorelai was paying the Gilmores back for Rory’s education, Friday night dinners were mandatory.
In total, there were over 70 Friday night dinners by the time Gilmore Girls came to a close. Martinis were sipped, maids were fired, and wars were fought, but which were the most memorable?
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Updated on August 16th, 2022, by Lynn Gibbs: Dinners on Gilmore Girls were some of the best scenes in the series because of Friday night dinners. Due to the Gilmores wanting a closer relationship with their daughter and granddaughter, Friday night dinners were non-negotiable. While some Gilmore Girls dinners were calm and worthy, others were filled with anger and outbursts. Regardless of the theatrics, there were some incredible and memorable Friday night dinners on Gilmore Girls.
Friday Night’s Alright For Fighting
Season 6, Episode 13
Season 6’s ‘Friday Night’s Alright For Fighting,’ was one of the most memorable Friday night dinners throughout the entire series. Rory was still arguing with her grandparents over moving out without a respectful goodbye, Lorelai was emotional over the news of Luke’s daughter, Emily and Richard were mad that Christopher was now paying for Rory’s education… It all came to a head at the dinner table.
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The episode had some of the more memorable quotes. There was shouting, crying, laughing — the family hashed it all out in one evening instead of going home and ignoring each other like usual. The way the cameras followed each other’s conversations and the change in emotions made this a memorable dinner.
Driving Miss Gilmore
Season 6, Episode 21
In season 6’s ‘Driving Miss Gilmore,’ an iconic conversation broke out between Lorelai and Rory that revolved around spaghetti and meatballs. Lorelai’s reaction to spaghetti became an instant meme for fans of this dinner.
As Emily sat at one end of the table, Lorelai and Rory were in a heating argument over the difference between someone with brown and blonde hair. During the discussion, Lorelai was hilariously waving a meatball around on her fork, pointing it at Rory in shock. All the while, Emily watched them with disgust. What made this all the more memorable was when Emily mentioned how every time they had spaghetti and meatballs for dinner a fight broke out. Lorelai denied it but they all knew it was true.
You Jump, I Jump, Jack
Season 5, Episode 7
Lorelai didn’t like going to Friday night dinners, especially if Luke was involved. With Luke by her side, she knew her parents would offend him and it was a battle she didn’t want to tackle.
As soon as they arrived at the Gilmores front door, Lorelai prepared Luke for what was going to happen. When they entered, Emily offered Luke a beer. As a lover of beer, Luke took one happily. Emily made comments about Luke’s beer and how refreshing it looked. It wasn’t until the end of the dinner that Lorelai told Luke that Emily was patronizing him and judging him for having a beer instead of a classier cocktail. At this point, it didn’t matter who Lorelai’s boyfriend was, Emily was always going to make them feel uncomfortable.
Richard In Stars Hollow
Season 2, Episode 12
In season 2, Lorelai and Rory showed up for dinner as they always had and Emily told the table that she visited the family mausoleum. After questioning why Emily was browsing the mausoleum, Emily explained that it didn’t have enough room for anyone after Lorelai and Rory.
A few jokes were made about where Lorelai’s future husband would be married and Rory joked, “You can’t just kick out Aunt Cecile!” This conversation made for a memorable night because of the light-hearted way they spoke about the future.
Season 3, Episode 14
When Jess and Rory became an official item, Emily and Richard wanted to meet him on their turf. But with Richard out of town, Emily invited Jess to Friday night dinner anyway, which made Rory nervous. Jess had always been rough around the edges and Emily had always been judgmental.
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As it turned out, Rory was right to worry. Not only did Jess show up late, but he came with a black eye. The couple began arguing and Jess left abruptly. Emily knew Jess wasn’t a great boyfriend for Rory, but she kept her cool and was extremely kind to him. As soon as he left the house, she gave Lorelai her wrath about letting Rory date someone like him.
Love And War And Snow
Season 1, Episode 8
In season 1’s ‘Love and War And Snow,’ a snowstorm disrupted the Gilmore clan’s normal Friday night Dinner. Lorelai didn’t feel safe driving to Hartford in the snow, which meant that Rory was stuck with her grandparents for the night.
She made the most of the night, especially when she found a frozen pizza and showed Richard and Emily just how good frozen pizza could be. She even added fresh Parmesan for effect. Hilariously, Richard and Emily adored their makeshift meal and it made for a fun, cozy night inside. This newfound bond was why this dinner was so special.
Season 3, Episode 2
In ‘Haunted Leg,’ Lorelai and Rory were upset with Christopher when he ditched them (once again) to start a new life with a pregnant Sherry. While at Friday night dinner with Emily, Christopher showed up unexpectedly because he knew Lorelai and Rory would be there.
He scolded Lorelai for ignoring his alls and for pitting Rory against him. Rory overheard the conversation and told her dad that she was ignoring him without the pressure from her mother and that she wanted him to leave. Suddenly, the third Gilmore (Emily) popped her head in between Lorelai and Christopher and sent him packing. It was three against one and no one could win against the Gilmores. It was one of the worst Friday night dinners for the family but it was eventful for viewers.
You’ve Been Gilmored
Season 6, Episode 14
When Luke and Lorelai got engaged, dinner with the Gilmores was inevitable. They were both dreading the dinner but weren’t allowed to skip it. It was the start of a big story arc for the new couple.
The night started out well but soon became a lesson for future planning. Emily and Richard talked about expanding Lorelai and Luke’s house, insuring their assets, and the obscure timing of Luke’s daughter showing up. The entire evening made Lorelai and Luke feel unsettled. They questioned everything in their relationship but admitted that they were “Gilmored.” Their mutual confusion made this a fun episode.
A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving
Season 3, Episode 9
In season 3’s ‘A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving,’ Lorelai and Rory had their hands full when they had four different Thanksgiving dinners to attend. They started at the Kims’ home before going to Sookie and Jackson’s party and then landed at Luke’s before attending their Friday night Thanksgiving party at the Gilmores.
The day was a success until Richard and Emily’s friends asked Rory where she applied to college. It was then that Lorelai found out for the first time that Rory was considering going to Yale. The thought of her daughter choosing a university because of her grandparents’ pressure was more than Lorelai could take. The night ended in an embarrassing quarrel in front of the Gilmores’ friends. It was one of the more dramatic things to happen around Yale but seeing the Gilmores at four different dinners was hilarious.
In A Year in the Life’s ‘Winter,’ Lorelai got a ride to Friday night dinner from Kirk. However, it appeared that his car was as unreliable as Lorelai’s because it broke down at the end of Emily’s driveway. The camera then showed Kirk enjoying dinner with the three Gilmore women and said if it weren’t for the maid hearing his sobs, he’d still be out in the car.
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Emily didn’t understand why Kirk was there but shockingly didn’t make a fuss over his presence. Things got even more humorous when Luke showed up to drive everyone home. There wasn’t a chair for him to sit in so he awkwardly stood there eating his dinner. It was one of the more random (albeit hilarious) dinners.
Tick, Tick, Tick, Boom
Season 4, Episode 18
Season 4’s ‘Tick, Tick, Tick, Boom’ had one of the most explosive Friday night dinners in the entire series. Richard invited his new business partner—and Lorelai’s secret boyfriend—Jason over for Friday night dinner, along with Jason’s estranged parents.
Richard planned on getting back in good graces with Jason’s father over the course of the evening but the opposite happened. Jason’s father told Richard that he was suing them for everything they had after their business fallout, and that Jason and Lorelai had been seeing each other for months. This made for a memorable evening. Richard and Emily were humiliated in their own home. In many ways, Jason and Lorelai should have broken up after this butt hey stuck it out.
The Party’s Over
Season 5, Episode 8
Instead of doing a traditional Friday night dinner, Richard and Emily hosted a Yale alumni meeting at their home and insisted on freshmen joining and meeting Rory. However, Rory quickly realized this was more of a coming-out party than an alumni gathering. Richard and Emily invited every available bachelor that was up to their standards.
Rory felt like she was being used, but luckily for her, Logan was there. Ultimately, Rory ended up drinking too much champagne and was late meeting Dean. Seeing Rory surrounded by eligible, wealthy men reminded Dean why they wouldn’t have worked in the future. It was one of Dean and Rory’s more awkward moments since it led to yet another breakup.
Lorelai’s First Cotillion
Season 7, Episode 3
‘Lorelai’s First Cotillion’ showed who the real Emily Gilmore was. She was in charge of teaching a group of young ladies how to prepare for their first cotillion. A little girl named Charlotte missed one of Emily’s teachings and was required to join Friday night dinner with Lorelai and Rory for practice.
Charlotte opened the door, took Lorelai and Rory’s coats, made them cocktails, and later got a lesson on how to eat like a lady. Watching Emily and Charlotte was adorable for viewers but was a nightmare for Lorelai because it reminded her of her childhood. What made it memorable was that Emily taught the viewers a lot about etiquette!
NEXT: 10 Things Emily Gilmore Taught Viewers On Gilmore Girls