Gilmore Girls Wiki
Gilmore Girls Wiki

If you're gonna throw your life away, he better have a motorcycle!

Pilot is the premiere of Season 1 of Gilmore Girls.


The storybook Connecticut town of Stars Hollow is home to 32-year-old Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) and her 16-year-old daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel). Rory and her best friend Lane Kim (Keiko Agena) are straight 'A' students at the local public high school, but when Rory is accepted into the prestigious Chilton Prep in nearby Hartford, the steep tuition fees forces Lorelai to try to mend the long-standing rift with her wealthy parents Richard (Edward Herrmann) and Emily (Kelly Bishop) and ask for financial help.


Welcome to the small town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut. Home of the Gilmore girls, Lorelai and Rory. Lorelai is a 32-year-old single mother who is so close to her 15-year-old daughter, Rory. Many people mistake them for sisters. The show opens at the local diner that the girls patronize often. Lorelai has a special relationship with the owner and an addiction to caffeine (coffee). She squares off with the owner on a daily basis over just how much coffee she's allowed to have. We're also treated to an opening scene where an unsuspecting male hits on both of the Gilmore girls, separately. This creates some of the quirky problems the Gilmore girls have. Clearly, there are hazards in being a mother and daughter pair so close in age.

Later, we meet Lorelai's bizarre staff at the inn she manages. There's Michel, the rude French man who runs the front desk, the unbelievably sassy harp player, and Sookie, the chef who is a walking disaster area. Meanwhile, we find out that Rory is the kind of girl who is more interested in academic pursuits and reading Madame Bovary than worrying about clothes and boys. But unbeknownst to Rory there is a new guy in town and he has his eyes set on her. Rory and her best friend, Lane, hang out after school and discuss an upcoming teen hay-ride. Rory wouldn't be caught dead at the event, but Lane has strict parents who are trying to set her up with the son of a business colleague.

The real story is that Rory hears she has been accepted to the exclusive prep school Chilton, which means guaranteed admission to Harvard. Rory is psyched, but Lorelai gets a rude awakening, the school wants a pricey enrollment fee in addition to first semester's tuition. And they want it pronto. Lorelai doesn't have the money, but can't bear the thought of disappointing her daughter. The only thing left for her to do is ask her wealthy parents. But that's not such an easy task since Lorelai's relationship with her parents is beyond strained. As a teenager, Lorelai didn't exactly fulfill her parent's high expectations, getting pregnant at sixteen didn't help, so it is going to take a lot of pride swallowing for her to ask for the money. Lorelai does indeed end up asking her folks for money, where she receives quite the chilly reception. When she asks for the money, they agree, since it is really for Rory, but have one minor condition. Lorelai's mother, Emily, demands that she get to see her daughter and granddaughter once a week. That means dinner every Friday night. Lorelai hesitates, but agrees.

At school, Rory is explaining to Lane about Chilton when she bumps into Dean, the new kid from Chicago who has been eyeing Rory. They talk and Rory begins to really like Dean. Just how hard she falls for him isn't revealed until later when she tells her mom that she doesn't want to go to Chilton any more. Lorelai is confused and astounded, but Rory doesn't back down. When the truth comes out, Lorelai flips out and says she will not allow her daughter to throw her life away for some random guy. Rory is going to Chilton whether she wants to or not. When the Gilmore girls go to the grandparents' house for dinner, the whole night turns into a big disaster. Lorelai's father starts talking about Rory's dad, Christopher, and all his success he has had with his internet start-up in California. This causes Lorelai to have a mini-breakdown. She and Emily end up fighting in the kitchen and Rory overhears every word, including the part about paying for Chilton. When it's all over, Rory recognizes her mom's bravery and agrees to go to Chilton.


Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore
Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore
Melissa McCarthy as Sookie St. James
Keiko Agena as Lane Kim
Yanic Truesdale as Michel Gerard
Scott Patterson as Luke Danes
and Kelly Bishop as Emily Gilmore
special appearance by
Edward Herrmann as Richard Gilmore

Recurring cast

Liz Torres as Miss Patty
Jared Padalecki as Dean Forester
Emily Kuroda as Mrs. Kim

Guest starring

Alex Borstein as Drella


Jill Brennan as Mrs. Traister
Cesar Lopapa as Salvador
Marcy Goldman as Woman
Barna Moricz as Joey
Nikki Slater as Girl #1
Heather Shrake as Girl #2
Amy Correa as Girl #3
Jacqueline Smith as Girl #4


Boys don't like funny girls
—Mrs. Kim
Rory – You're happy
Lorelai – Yeah
Rory – Did you do something slutty?
Lorelai – I'm not that happy (Sookie and Lorelai giggle)
Dean – I've noticed you
Rory – Me?


  • Friday Night Dinner is instituted, as well as a weekly phone call.
  • Lorelai takes a business class twice a week.
  • Lorelai and Sookie are talking about opening their own inn someday.
  • It takes 5 minutes to get to Chilton from Richard and Emily's house.
  • It takes 40 minutes to get to Chilton from Stars Hollow by bus.


  • Lorelai and Rory are eating salads, which later in the series would be almost an impossibility (other than at Friday Night Dinner).
  • Rory's teacher, Mrs. Traister is played by the same actress as Crazy Carrie.
  • Rory's classmate is played by the same actress as Summer, Tristan's girlfriend.


  • Parts of the episode were shot in and around Toronto, Ontario, Canada; the very first shot of the pilot is of the Main Street of Unionville, Ontario (just north of Toronto), which is like a real-life Stars Hollow.
    • The hardware store on Main Street was turned into Luke's Diner (which is how the story of Luke turning his father's hardware store into a diner came about).


  • When watching this episode, viewers can see an exterior shot of Rory and Lorelai inside of Luke's diner at the 27:07 mark. This moment is out of sequence. It shows Rory in a blue sweater and Lorelai in black meanwhile, in the very next shot—of the ladies inside of Luke's eating dinner—their outfits are different, with Lorelai wearing purple and Rory wearing black. The exterior shot, and Lorelai and Rory's outfits in said shot, are the same in the episode's ending. This exterior shot was meant to be placed at the end yet for some reason, can be seen here, out of place.


there she goes | THE LA'S
lorelai walks down the street
rory clears out her locker
where the colors don't go | SAM PHILLIPS
lorelai parks in front of her parents' mansion
heartland | GEORGE STRAIT
lorelai and rory walk by lane's hayride
i try | MACY GRAY
rory and lorelai fight
my little corner of the world | KIT PONGETTI
closing of the episode






Rory – God, RuPaul doesn't need this much makeup
Lorelai – Well, you're crabby
Rory – I'm sorry. I lost my Macy Gray CD and I need caffeine
Lorelai – [getting coffee from Luke] What? It's not for me. It's for Rory, I swear
Luke – You're shameless
Lorelai – Look, Officer Krupke. She's right at that table, right there
Rory – I need stamps. Can I have these?
Michel – No.
Lorelai – Take them. What's with the muumuu?
Lane – My parents still get upset over the obscene portion sizes of American food. I seriously doubt I'm going to make any inroads with Eminem.
Rory – (looking at her blue plaid Chilton skirt) I'm going to be in a Britney Spears video?
Sookie – Where's your pâté?
Lorelai – At Zsa Zsa Gabor's house.
Rory – God! You're like Ruth Gordon just standing there with the tannis root. Make a noise!
DeanRosemary's Baby
Rory – Yeah.
Dean – Well, that's a great movie. You got good taste.
Lorelai – Oh, you're gonna have to walk faster than that. You're gonna have to turn into friggin' Flo Jo to get away from me.
Lorelai – You're not going to give me the Mommie Dearest treatment forever, are you?
Rory – Do we go in or do we just stand here reenacting The Little Match Girl?
Lorelai – OK, look, I know you and me are having a thing here, and I know you hate me, but I need you to be civil at least through dinner and then on the way home you can pull a Menendez. Deal?
Lorelai – Is he dreamy?
Rory – Ugh, that's so Nick at Nite.
Lorelai (on learning that Rory overheard her secret) – "Well, the best laid plans."
A paraphrase from Robert Burns’ Scottish poem, To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest With the Plough, November, 1785. The original lines are The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men/Gang aft agley, commonly translated into English as The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.
Rory – How did this happen [her getting into Chilton]? You didn’t... with the principal, did you?
Lorelai – No, honey, that was a joke.