Gilmore Girls

Season 3 Episode 18

Happy Birthday, Baby

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Apr 22, 2003 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
250 votes

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Episode Summary

Emily and Richard rejoice when Rory announces her decision to attend Yale. Kirk sustains baking-related injuries while helping with preparations for Lorelai's surprise birthday party. Michel and Tobin compete over giving Lorelai the best present. Richard stuns Lorelai with a very special birthday gift. Luke meets Nicole's parents but is too distracted by Jess' behaviour to make a good impression.moreless

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  • Lorelei's having a birthday, and Rory has big plans for it

    It's Lorelei's 35th birthday. Rory has plans to make the "world's largest pizza" until she finds out that someone already did that and it was bigger than anything she can make. She and Lane decide to go ahead anyway, and just tell Lorelai that it is the world's largest pizza.

    Richard gives Lorelei a check for 75,000 dollars, which is a result of an investment he made in Lorelei's name when she was born. She decides, after talk of buying hundreds of Jimmy Choos, to pay her parents back for the Chilton loan. She gives the money to her mother, who is upset because she thinks she will never see Lorelei and Rory again.

    Luke catches Jess skipping school to go to work at Wal-Mart, so he hides his car and lets Jess think it was stolen. That way, Jess won't have transportation to get to Wal-Mart and Luke figures he will have to go to school.

    After Lorelai and Rory argue over whether Lorelei should have given Emily the check, they stop arguing as Lorelei sees that the whole town is giving her a party with a gigantic pizza being lowered by a crane. Lorelei thanks Rory lovingly for her loving gesture.moreless
  • Rory plans Lorelai a birthday party, Luke meets Nicole's parents. Great episode, will the Friday night dinners continue.....

    I liked how Rory was planning a great party or Lorelai and it was nice to see her try and make it brilliant. From the almost worlds largest pizza to the happy birthday message done in cookies. I liked her rant to the pizza guy and when she lied and said she was talking to Astrid from school.

    Paris getting her nose pierced, did not see that coming. It was pretty funny though, her story about the whole thing was hilarious. I was surprised that there was no mention of where she's going to college now, will it be Yale or what.

    Kirk being burned by loads of cheese, very amusing.

    Luke finally finds out that what Lorelai thought about Jess was true, he's not going to school. Instead he's going to work, funny how Luke ranted to Nicole's parents, there faces were great. I loved how he ended it with Jess, took his car but didn't tell him so Jess thinks it was stolen, his smile was great.

    Richard's investment to Lorelai wasn't what I was expecting, I thought the meeting would be about Yale, it was funny how he set it all up. Also when Rory told the grandparents about Yale, the whole thing was amusing. It was funny seeing Michel get jealous or Tobin, the guy who was impressing Lorelai.

    I thought Emily and Rory acted harshly to Lorelai when she paid back the money, it was fair enough, how else would she have done it. I'm glad Lorelai defended herself to Rory, I think the dinners will continue, purely for entertainments sake. Should be interesting to see Emily's next visit to see Lorelai.

    Only 4 more episodes, look forward to them.moreless
  • I just love this show more every episode, just love it.

    I had to see all the last episode on a roll lol

    the scene when Rory and Lorelai tell Richard and Emily that Rory is going to Yale... that was fun lol they tried to keep it cool but when they told them that it was OK they were trilled.

    I almost forgot that the Inn had caught fire, I haven't scene an episode in months. Michel and Tobin fighting for Lorelai was great lol so cute. It's Lorelai's birthday and Rory is organizing a surprise party. that argument between Luke and Lorelai was fun, all about the cookies. Jess skipping school is confirmed.

    World biggest pizza?? Yeah right... the transportation was smart.

    I knew Lorelai was going to pay back the money, it had to be at dinner, not a smart idea doing that like that.

    At least the party was good, Lorelai loved itmoreless
  • Its Lorelais birthday and Rory plans a party for her.

    Rory arranges for Lorelai to have a surprise party. With that her party comes with a 12 foot pizza that it seems like no one can make. Lorelais dad made an investment in her name when she was born in real estate and that was saling so Lorelai gets 75,000 dollars. She decideds to pay her parents back for Rorys tuition for Chilton. Her mom is now afraid that they will never see Rory ever again and Lorelai too. Luke discovers that Jess is skipping school to work overtime at Wal-mart. He follows him one day after he says he is going to school and when he thinks no one is looking he runs to his car and pulls away. Luke gives Lorelai a 5-hour handyman for her birthday so she takes advantage of that and gets all her little things done around her house. End of episode.moreless
  • Happy Birthday Lorelai!

    Emily and Richard rejoice when Rory announces her decision to attend Yale; Kirk sustains baking-related injuries when Rory secretly enlists the help of her fellow Stars Hollows citizens to bake the world's largest pizza for her mother's birthday party; Michel and Tobin compete over giving Lorelai the best present, but Richard wins the contest hands-down with a check for $75,000 that's actually the proceeds from an investment he made in Lorelai's name at her birth; Luke confronts Jess about skipping school to work at Wal-Mart, but is blown off as usual; when Lorelai decides to use the money to pay back her parents for Rory's Chilton tuition, Emily becomes furious with Richard for giving Lorelai the money, fearing that the repayment of their loan is a sign that she'll never see either Lorelai or Rory again; Luke makes a bad impression on Nicole's parents, scaring them off with a rant on the horrors of parenting Jess.moreless
Sean Gunn

Sean Gunn

Kirk Gleason (Episodes 44 - , recurring previously)

Keiko Agena

Keiko Agena

Lane Kim

Kelly Bishop

Kelly Bishop

Emily Gilmore

Alexis Bledel

Alexis Bledel

Rory Gilmore

Lauren Graham

Lauren Graham

Lorelai Gilmore

Edward Herrmann

Edward Herrmann

Richard Gilmore

Bruce McCulloch

Bruce McCulloch


Guest Star

Jon Polito

Jon Polito


Guest Star

Bruce French

Bruce French

Mr. Leahy

Guest Star

Tricia O'Kelley

Tricia O'Kelley

Nicole Leahy

Recurring Role

Jackson Douglas

Jackson Douglas

Jackson Belleville

Recurring Role

Biff Yeager

Biff Yeager


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

    • Rory announces to her grandparents that she is going to Yale.

    • Nicole tells Luke that her parents are coming to town. She would like him to go for lunch with her and her parents. We then see Luke and Nicole being entertained in the Leahy's residence. (There were a couple of conversational clues indicating that Mr. and Mrs. Leahy were the hosts) Did they come to town for lunch and then go back home for drinks? Seems improbable. Later when Luke is apologizing to Nicole for his behavior, she asks if the next time they are in town she can make another lunch date. If the Leahy's lived so close then they wouldn't have to wait until they came to town to make another lunch date.

    • Rory arranges the chocolate malomars to spell "Happy Birthday Lorelai" on the kitchen table.

    • During Friday night dinner, Rory's fork changes positions between shots.

    • At the dinner in the beginning of the episode, the amount of food on Rory's plate keeps changing.

    • In the beginning of this episode when Richard is serving dinner, he grabs Emily's plate. The camera shoots to Lorelai and you can see someone grab her plate. When it shoots to Emily for a brief second, Richard is handing her plate back. The camera shoots back to Lorelai and Richard hands her plate back as well. He could not have grabbed two plates and filled them both in the few second that took place.

    • In the episode Lorelai turns 35. In season though she says 'I mean, there must've been a thousand women who've gone through here in the thirty-two years that I've been alive...' How could she age three years in one season? Possible explanation:
      The mistake was probably made then.
      Indeed the episode Happy birthday, baby was aired in 2003.
      In the episode 6.19, Lorelai clearly states that she was born in 1968 ("Lorelai Gilmore, disappointing mothers since 1968"). If you do the maths, her turning 35 is accurate.

    • Lorelai and Rory discuss how amazing $75,000 will be. Rory mentions that they will no longer need to clip coupons. In a later season, Rory comes home from Yale and notices that her mother seems to be scrimping. Lorelai asks if Rory would be horrified is she started clipping coupons again and Rory asks when she ever clipped coupons before. Addition: Sometimes "clipping coupons" is a metaphor for not having a lot of money. They may have never truly clipped coupons, but it is an allusion to not have extra money.

    • In this episode Lane mentions they can't make the world's largest pizza, because the world's largest pizza was 122 feet, 8 inches. She says this while holding the Guinness Book of World Records 2002. This book however doesn't include any record concerning the world's largest pizza. Although they chose the inaccurate book, it is the correct record, according to the Guinness World Records site.

    • When Lorelai is doing the math for how many shoes she can buy, her pen isn't even touching the paper. She is just writing in thin air.

  • QUOTES (29)

    • Jess: So, it's been a couple days since you made the big decision. You still going to Yale?

      Rory: Yes, I am. It's got all the s I want and some really great teachers, and plus, you know, as an added bonus, it's really close to here.

      Jess: 22.8 miles.

      Rory: How'd you know that?

      Jess: Do you Yahoo?

      Rory: You looked it up?

      Jess: Yeah.

      Rory: You looked it up.

      Jess: I just hit a couple buttons on the computer.

      Rory: You looked it up.

      Jess: I was bored. There was nothing on TV and I was fooling around, it was something to do, that's it.
      Rory: You looked it up.

    • Lorelai: Listen, Rory, I don't think you realize how hard it has been these past few years to be indebted to my parents. A long time ago I told myself that I was not going to go back, that I was going to be free from them, but then I had to ask them for that money, and I'm not sorry I did it because it was the right choice for you. But you only know the warm and fuzzy Richard and Emily Gilmore, and I want you to only know the warm and fuzzy Richard and Emily Gilmore because their grandparents, and they love you. But I have a different past with them. It was not all warm, and it was definitely not all fuzzy. And I'm sick of feeling guilty for paying back a debt that I always intended to pay back. I will not let them make me feel guilty about it, and I will not let you make me feel guilty about it!

    • Rory: Why did you do that?
      Lorelai: Excuse me?
      Rory: Why did you pay Grandma that money back?
      Lorelai: Rory, I owed it to them.
      Rory: They obviously didn't want it.
      Lorelai: I didn't want to have to owe them anything anymore.
      Rory: That's not the point.
      Lorelai: Yes, Rory, it is completely the point.

    • Lorelai: (Emily is angry because Lorelai repaid her the Chilton money) Mom, let me ask you this. Wouldn't you rather have Rory and I come here because we want to, not because of some threat you're holding over our heads?
      Emily: And you would really come here voluntarily?

    • Rory: (to Pete about the trouble he and Kirk are having making the oversized pizza for Lorelai's birthday) Pete, did it never occur to you that maybe the problem isn't the pizza, that maybe the problem is Kirk?
      Pete: Never occurred to me.
      Rory: Well, it should.

    • Tom: It looks burned
      Lorelai: Thank you, how long to make it not look burned?
      Tom: Ah geez, maybe two...
      Lorelai: Tom let me help you out. The answer I'm looking for is ten days because that's when I have to get guests back in here again.
      Tom: Okay, ten days.
      Lorelai: Are you lying to me?
      Tom: What's the answer you're looking for on that one?
      Lorelai: Never mind just go fast.
      Tom: Go fast huh, I never heard that one before.

    • Richard: Once again, a toast to Lorelai on her 36th birthday.
      Lorelai: (scough) 35th.
      Richard: Really?!
      (Richard turns his head and looks puzzled)
      Lorelai: You're doing the math?!

    • Jackson: I have a sobbing pregnant woman at home, which is not unusual, except this time I didn't cause it!

    • Lorelai: $75,000 -- oh my God, that's 150 pairs of Jimmy Choos.

    • Lorelai: We could buy a boat.
      Rory: We could, but why?
      Lorelai: Because rich people always have a boat.
      Rory: We could park it in the front yard.
      Lorelai: Yeah, like white trash rich people.
      Rory: God, this is amazing. No more clipping coupons.
      Lorelai: No more picking loose change up from the ground. No more driving around looking for cheap gas.
      Rory: Which totally defeats the purpose since you wind up using more gas looking for the cheap gas.
      Lorelai: Seventy-five thousand dollars. I feel so rich. And suddenly in complete agreement with everything Bush has to say.

    • Emily: I don't need anybody doing me any favors. You are released from your obligation, Lorelai. Have a nice birthday, have a nice life. I'm going to bed.

    • Emily: Take the cake into the kitchen now, Teresa.
      Lorelai: Wait, aren't I supposed to blow out the candles?
      Emily: Oh, Teresa can do that.
      Lorelai: Mom, it's tradition for the person whose name is on the cake to do the blowing.
      Emily: Oh, I'm sorry. I thought only children liked to do that. Shall we bring it back out and relight it?
      Lorelai: No.
      Richard: Well would you like to make a wish and blow out the tapers?
      Lorelai: Why am I being mocked on my birthday?
      Rory: Because it's the Gilmore way.

    • (Jess is putting gel in his hair)
      Luke: Do you ever worry that if a bird flies into your head it might never get out?
      Jess: I've got everything under control.

    • Luke: So how's work?
      Jess: The cleaned up version of the Eminem show seems to be selling pretty well. So the world basically is coming to an end.

    • Rory: What's the matter, Pete?
      Pete: We did a trial run of the pizza, you know, just want to make sure everything was right there for the big day.
      Rory: I appreciate that.
      Pete: So we made a trial pizza and Kirk built a pizza rack on top of his car. You with me?
      Rory: Like a bad habit, Pete.
      Pete: So as Kirk was putting the pizza on the rack the thing collapses, the pizza slips. Long story short. Kirk got some severe cheese burns.
      Rory: Oh my God. Is he all right?
      Pete: Who knows? The point is I think the pizza needs to be cheeseless.
      Rory: What?
      Pete: And possibly sauceless.
      Rory: Pete!

    • Richard: When you were born I decided to celebrate. So as soon as your mother went to sleep I left the hospital. I called my business manager and I made a real estate investment.
      Lorelai: You do know how to party don't you.
      Richard: I made this investment in your name.
      Lorelai: Wow, most people just buy a stuffed bear, this is better.
      Richard: I thought so.

    • Taylor: I'd like the wording to be a little harsher.
      Nicole: Taylor, it already says that if Aunt Tillies' Taffies delivers even two hours late they forfeit all payment for that particular shipment and are liable for any loss of income that may result from that late delivery. It's pretty extreme.
      Taylor: Well, it may seem extreme but these candy people are shifty characters.
      Nicole: Why don't we leave the wording like it is for now and see how things go. We can always get tougher later, if necessary.
      Luke: (pouring coffee) Yeah, you could send over a couple Ooompah-Loompahs to kick the crap out of Aunt Tillie.

    • Jess: I got the video for tonight.
      Rory: What did you get?
      Jess: Almost Famous.
      Rory: No, not again.
      Jess: I can't help it. I'm addicted.
      Rory: Fine, but if I'm going to spend 2 hours sitting there watching Kate Hudson commit suicide again then we are ordering Indian food.
      Jess: Oh, come on.
      Rory: Hey last night when we watched Ed Wood we got burgers like you wanted.
      Jess: Ok, fine. Tonight Indian food but tomorrow Saturday Night Fever and Thai food.
      Lane: That's so cute. You're like a really sweet, old, agoraphobic couple.

    • Rory: The spirit of giving is completely lost on you.
      Lorelai: But the spirit of getting is alive and well. And it wants its chimney swept.

    • Lorelai: The chimney needs to be swept.
      Rory: Mom. Luke cannot sweep our chimney.
      Lorelai: Why not?
      Rory: Because you need to be a chimney sweep to sweep a chimney.
      Lorelai: If Dick Van Dyke can do it, so can Luke.

    • Tobin: I'm here and I brought bagels.
      Sookie: Oh Tobin! Great. I'm starved.
      Tobin: Normally I wouldn't think of it because what bagel stands a chance next to Sookie's magical muffins and scones.
      Sookie: Oh Tobin, stop.
      Tobin: (patting his stomach) Two full pants sizes, my friend. All because of you.

    • Lorelai: Everybody in this room named Lorelai is over the moon about the going to Yale.
      Rory: Which means that everybody else here not named Lorelai can equally be over the moon about the going to Yale.
      Richard: I'm getting the champagne.
      Emily: I'm calling the Talbots.
      Richard: Make sure you gloat. That dim-witted son of theirs couldn't even get into Brown.
      (Richard and Emily getting very excited)
      Emily: She's going to Yale.
      Richard: She's going to Yale.

    • Richard: Johnny Machete needs to be served in a heap.
      Rory: Johnny Machete?
      Emily: That's the name of this vile concoction.
      Rory: It's delicious.
      Lorelai: It's not bad.
      Emily: 12 different colors.
      Lorelai: Come on Mom. Eat it.
      Emily: Looks like somebody already did.

    • Richard: This was my favorite thing to eat as a boy. My Gran used to make this for me whenever I was feeling a little sad. You know, if my cricket team lost or a girl I fancied, turned up her nose at me.
      Lorelai: Well, then load me up, because there was this cute chick at the pharmacy today. I used my best material on her and nothing.
      Emily: Richard, at least let Pena serve it.
      Lorelai: No comment on my lesbian hilarity? My, how far we've come.

    • Richard: Well, I have something for you.
      (places an envelope on the table)
      Lorelai: Is it a hat?
      Richard: No.
      Lorelai: Is it a purse?
      Richard: No.
      Lorelai: Horse?
      Richard: Lorelai.
      Lorelai: George Foreman Grill?

    • Jackson: What do you think you're doing?
      Rory: (Rory is struggling with a dolly full of cases of soda)Oh, well, I'm trying to transport all the sodas for the party in one trip, which seemed a little silly when I first come up with the idea and it's rapidly growing in its stupidity.

    • Rory: Why would you do that?
      Paris: Because you told me to go out and do something crazy.
      Rory: Yes, but I meant have some ice cream, go see three movies, buy a new purse. I didn't mean, go poke a third hold in your nose.

    • Taylor: I'm not talking to you.
      Luke: It's my lucky day.

    • Rory: Can you have him build me another bookshelf?
      Lorelai: I've never been prouder of you than I am at this very moment.

  • NOTES (1)

    • German episode title: "Das liebe Geld", meaning "The Beloved Money".

      French episode title: "Joyeux Anniversaire", meaning "Happy Birthday".


    • Rory: This is not "Gangs of New York, now with Cameron Diaz"! This is Gangs of New York twenty years ago with Meryl Streep, as Scorsese originally imagined it! ...
      Kirk: (after Rory leaves) Somehow I can't picture Meryl Streep with Leonardo DiCaprio.

      This is a reference to Scorsese's original 1978 conception for the film, which would have starred Robert De Niro in the role eventually played by Leonardo DiCaprio. It was also due to star the classic punk band The Clash (whose lead singer, Joe Strummer, is referenced in this episode as well). It was shelved as a result of the box-office disaster of Heaven's Gate, which made studios leery of big-bidget historical dramas.

    • Luke: Yeah, you could send over a couple Ooompah-Loompahs to kick the crap out of Aunt Tillie.

      Oompah-Loompahs are Willy Wonka's "short people" assistants in the classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    • (Lorelai takes a leather jacket out of the bag.)
      Lorelai: Tobin, it's amazing.
      Tobin: That is the jacket that Joe Strummer wore during the 1979 Pearl Harbor tour.

      Joe Strummer was the lead singer of The Clash. Some of their albums include Give 'Em Enough Rope, London Calling, and Combat Rock. Strummer died on December 22, 2002 of a heart attack.

    • Lorelai: (Defending her decision to repay her parent's loan) I've got Polonius and the entire banking system on my side.

      This is a reference to Polonius in Shakespeare's Hamlet. Polonius was an over eager advisor of a father. His most famous advice begins: Neither a borrower nor a lender be.

    • Lorelai: Well, put Mrs. Huh-wiggins on the phone. Have her tell me.

      This refers to a classic series of sketches on The Carol Burnett Show in which Tim Conway's nebbish businessman had a maladroit, incompetent secretary named Mrs. Wiggins(Carol Burnett). Conway's character always pronounced her name 'Huh-wiggins' with an emphasis on the pause.

    • Paris: My parents return tomorrow, I think my mom is bringing home a new face.
      Rory: Really?
      Paris: There's a doctor in France who injects some kind of gel into your head and molds it to give you better cheekbones.
      Rory: You are kidding me!
      Paris: She needs to sleep on her back for a month otherwise her face will flatten like a crepe.
      Rory: Oh my God, it's Brazil!

      A reference to the classic 1985 dark comedy Brazil, directed by Terry Gilliam. The film is a surreal version of the dystopian "1984" of George Orwell. The central character's mother, played by Kathleen Helmond, gets repeated facelifts in which her is stretched out in an absurdist operation that becomes outright horrific.

    • Rory: Because you need to be a chimney sweep to sweep a chimney.
      Lorelai: Please, if Dick Van Dyke can do it, so can Luke.

      Dick Van Dyke played the romantic lead (such as it could be in a Disney film) of Bert the chimneysweep in the 1964 classic Mary Poppins.