- Rory – No, I *got* hit by a deer
- Lane – How do you get hit by a deer?
- ―Deer safety
After receiving a "D" in English, Rory Gilmore crams for an upcoming Shakespeare test. After a late night of studying, followed by a mishap en route to Chilton, Rory misses the test with disastrous consequences.
It is amazing how a bad mark at school can change the course of a week. Rory finds this out when she receives a "D" on an assignment. To make things worse, a huge Shakespearean test is announced and Paris starts to gloat about her perfect grade. Back at the Independence Inn, things are not going any better. A critic recently published a review of the Inn's food that raved about nearly everything on the menu – but Sookie pounces on his use of the word "fine" to describe her risotto. This immediately depresses Sookie and she initiates a search to find out who the critic was so she can remedy the risotto. Meanwhile, Lorelai arrives at a parent-teacher interview and finds out about Rory's bad grade. Shocked, she leaves to find and comfort Rory. Together, the two girls spend the rest of the week studying for the big Shakespearean test.
Finally the test day is here and they both have overslept. A "Gilmore panic" arises and Rory runs out the door with the keys to Lorelai's jeep. On her way to Chilton, a deer hits the car (not the car hits the deer) and Rory becomes even more flustered. This delay causes her to walk into class late and results in her being told she cannot take the test. Rory doesn't think that is fair at all and creates such a fuss she is sent to the headmaster's office and her mom is called. With the mother and daughter pair being so much alike, Lorelai too agrees that it is unfair Rory isn't allowed to take the test. She then reenacts Rory's earlier "tantrum" giving the headmaster a good idea of what it is like to mess with a Gilmore. On their way home, Rory insists that they stop and look for the deer. While they walk, Lorelai tries to encourage Rory and tell her that she will be able to make it at Chilton. Once they are done looking for the deer, the two bond and head for home.
- 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
- Scott Cohen as Max Medina
- Alex Borstein as Drella
- Emily Kuroda as Mrs. Kim
- Dakin Matthews as Hanlin Charleston
- “Violent pencil tossing usually signals a need for pie”
- Rory – I'm not stubborn.
- Lorelai – Yes, you are.
- Rory – No, I'm not.
- Lorelai – Fine, you're not.
- Rory – Thank you.
- Lorelai – You're welcome.
- Rory – Oh my God, I just got hit by a deer!
- Lane – You hit a deer?
- Rory – No, I got hit by a deer!
- Lane – How do you get hit by a deer?
- Rory – I was at a stop sign and it hit me.
- Lane – Was it a 4-way stop?
- Rory – What does that matter?
- Lane – I don't know. I don't know what to ask after you've been hit by a deer.
- Rory – What if I change my mind?
- Lorelai – It's your prerogative as long as you are a woman
- During fall semester, Mr. Medina mentions that the next AP English exam is in a few weeks. AP exams are only offered in May.
- The stop sign where Rory is hit by the deer is facing the wrong way.
- time bomb | RANCID
- my darling | WILCO
- iron man | BLACK SABBATH
- wendy | WESLEY YANG & GAVIN MCNETT
- Black Sabbath, Steely Dan, Boston, Queen, Mozart, Artie Shaw, B-52s, Pat Benatar
- "Essay on Criticism", by Alexander Pope (Max Medina quotes the line "to err is human" from this poem)
- Sonnet 16, by William Shakespeare (quoted by Paris)
- The Comedy of Errors, by William Shakespeare
- The Oxford Shakespeare, by William Shakespeare (Rory is holding this book)
- Richard III, by William Shakespeare
- Also referenced: Shakespeare, Marlowe, wikipedia:Francis_Bacon Bacon, Ben Jonson, John Webster, Sonnet 116, , 
- The episode title is a reference to the 1978 film Deer Hunter.
- Drella – back off Chevalier
- Lorelai – No Black Sabbath, no Steely Dan, no Boston, and no Queen.
- Drella – What happened to make you so cold?
- Lorelai – We like that Mozart.
- Drella – I am the Artie Shaw of harpists.
- Lorelai – Sookie, honey. Coffee to go
- Sookie – There's fresh over there
- Lorelai – Fresh in my first lifetime as Joan of Arc
- Max – So, are you a B-52's girl?
- Drella – What do you think about Pat Benatar?
- Lorelai – Great idea. Can she play the harp?
- Lorelai – You once told me that you loved Saved by the Bell. What could be more humiliating than that?
- Rorie – What's up Quimby?
- Lorelai (to Max in reference to Headmaster Charleston) – Wouldn't want you to get in trouble with Il Duce here