Gilmore Girls

Season 2 Episode 21

Lorelai's Graduation Day

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM May 14, 2002 on The WB
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Lorelai and Rory have breakfast at Sookie's in an effort to avoid Luke's, but Lorelai can't avoid an awkward encounter with him at Doose's Market, where he fails to pick up on her hints to patch things up; in an effort to help Lorelai through final exam stress, Rory gets her excited about attending her college graduation ceremony and secretly invites Richard and Emily, despite Lorelai's assertion that they'd never agree to attend; after a late night phone call from Jess, Rory impulsively cuts school the next day and visits him in Manhattan; Christopher sends Lorelai a graduation gift basket filled with fun goodies and an expensive necklace; Lorelai is shocked to see Emily, Richard and a film crew accompanying them to her graduation, and must contend with an obnoxious classmate with an attitude about the rich; Rory is furious with herself when her bus home is delayed and she misses her mother's graduation; when Rory finally arrives home, Lorelai forgives her when she realizes that the trip to New York may indicate that her daughter has fallen in love with Jess, despite her protests to the contrary.moreless

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  • Rory and Jess! One of my favorite epiosodes!

    First of all, it's great seeing Lorelai graduate and the moment with Emily and Richard is truly touching. But on to Rory and Jess...

    Rory runs to New York, skipping school to see Jess. While in New York they have fun, hanging around, and Rory really truly, imo, realizes that she is in love with Jess. The best part of the whole episode is when Rory's getting back on the bus, and Jess asks her, Why did you come? She replies, "You never said good bye." It is truly amazing.

    Rory misses Lorelai's graduation, but it was kind of nice seeing Rory mess up... She really was sorry and it showed that she's not perfect. My favorite season 2 episode!moreless
  • Lorelai graduates from Community College,Christopher sends a very original gift basket and Rory skips class to travel to NYC to meet Jess and subsequently misses her mother's graduation.

    This is an extraordinary episode climaxing in Rory's simply wonderful soliloquy at episode's end! There is so much to like about this episode with Rory's impetuous,yet spontaneous trip to New york City,Lorelai's Business Classmates Liza and Zach,Jackson's 'over the top' suit ("you're a fox" says Sookie) and Rory's proposal to Richard and Emily regarding Lorelei's Graduation.And there's Christopher's highly original gift basket!

    But it's Rory's passionate speech of apology which closes the episode that leaves me in awe of this show,it's writers and it's actors.Rory is simply stunning and i'm usually left speechless by the pure conviction and authenticity of her delivery and reduced to tears by it's passion and intensity.

    A wonderful,wonderful episode and arguably my favourite!moreless
  • Lorelai graduates from her business class but Rory doesn't turn up. Brilliant episode, with an even better end!

    The end was definitely a highlight of the episode, but I'll go into that later. It was great to see Lorelai graduate and prepare for it. It was nice to see how happy everyone was for her, Sookie with the hat shaped cake, Christopher with the basket and her parents by actually showing up at the event. Rory obviously cared because its her, but she still tried to get everyone to attend.

    Her sudden trip to New York obviously proves her feeling for Jess which Lorelai points out at the episodes end. However, her being in New York was very entertaining. She and Jess are great together, good chemistry. From the hot dog stand to the punk record store, Jess's smile here says it all.

    Plus when Rory goes to leave on the bus, he asks why she came, she says because he never said goodbye. I'd say it is only a few episode until they get together. I know there's Dean but .... you never know. The mystery breakfast thing with Jackson was funny, good how it came up again later.

    As for Lorelai's graduation, very enjoyable. It was funny to see Emily frantically trying to get things ready, with the camera man. Another great part was Lorelai pretending that Emily wasn't her mother, by agreeing with her classmates about rich people. but when they find out they are fairly harsh to her.

    The ceremony itself was great, the camera men following Lorelai up to the stand, Emily and Lorelai nearly crying, the picture at the end and Richard giving Lorelai an envelope at the end. All great stuff, shows that her parents do care for her. Rory inviting her grandparents was also a great scene, with the maid and all.

    Lorelai is extremely disappointed and heartbroken that Rory doesn't turn up. The end was excellent, Lorelai comes home to Rory on the porch. Obviously Rory was sorry and she goes on a giant rant about how sorry she is, what Lorelai can do to punish her but Lorelai tells Rory she thinks that she is falling for Jess.

    She immediately denies this and goes back to her rant. As I said, brilliant episode and an even better end. Bring on the finale!moreless
  • Lorelai graduates from business classes. Rory goes to New York to visit Jess and misses the graduation.

    Parts of this episode made me want to cry. I really felt sorry for Rory when I realized that she was going to miss her mother's graduation. She should not have skipped school to go see Jess anyway, but to do it on such an important day for her mother was scarcely believeable. She is not a thoughtless person, so I would not ordinarily expect something like that from her. Lorelai's reaction was also not what I would expect from a mother. Their relationship may be more relaxed than most, but still. She could have been a lot more upset than she was. I could tell that Rory was truly sorry though.moreless
  • Lorelai graduates, I'm so happy

    Do you know where is the best place for breakfast???

    Sookie's house!! lol

    Lorelai is finishing exams so she can graduate. She finally did it!

    And Rory asks her who she is going to invite, she says "you", then they add Sookie and Jackson and Rory brings up Lorelai's parents, Lorelai says no.

    Of course Rory had to ask then to come.

    And then a stroke happens, Rory cuts school to go to New York to see Jess.

    At the end, the one persons Lorelai wanted more than anything, her best friends, her daughter, misses the ceremony.

    Emily cries, I loved that.

    And Rory is so sorry, she even make up a list for the things she was going to do to make up to her mother.

    She is still in denial but Lorelai knows she is falling for Jess...moreless
Alicia Bergman

Alicia Bergman


Guest Star

Mark Colson

Mark Colson

Western Shirt Man

Guest Star

Ester Friedman

Ester Friedman

Name Calling Woman

Guest Star

David Sutcliffe

David Sutcliffe

Christopher Hayden

Recurring Role

Jackson Douglas

Jackson Douglas

Jackson Belleville

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (14)

    • In this episode, we discover that Lorelai's middle name is Victoria.

    • We learn that Lorelai has attended business school for three years.

    • Lorelai's fellow graduate invites her out to Shakey's after the ceremony. This is the same place Kirk later mentions in episode 4.7 "The Festival of the Living Art."

    • When Lorelai is leading Rory to their "mystery breakfast," both Lane and Rory comment on how far it is, asking if it's "out of town?" They end up at Sookie's, which is previously shown as being right near the town square.

    • The book that Jess is reading when Rory visits him in New York City is "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" by Tom Wolfe.

    • Lorelai's graduation basket from, Christopher: A disposable camera, Giant pretzel, 25 dollar savings bond, gift certificate to a hostel, Dvd of the Graduate, application to the Armed Forces and a pearl necklace.

    • Seth MacFarlane (creator of Fox animated series - "Family Guy") appears in this episode as a fellow graduate and Liza's rude boyfriend Zach.

    • When Rory makes Lorelai coffee while sitting at the kitchen table, the position of the handle on the coffee maker changes between shots.

    • When Rory is on the bus talking about the bus schedule to the guy who spit in the can, you can see that her left arm doesn't have the cast on any more and she is moving her wrist around very well.

    • The record that Rory buys as a present for Lorelai is the Go-Go's' 1981 debut album Beauty and the Beat.
      Although Rory claims it is "signed by Belinda," there is no autograph on the cover (you can see the cover when Rory turns around to pay for the record).

    • When Jess asks Rory about the band 'Slint,' the guy in the record shop calls them a 'grunge band' and says they disbanded in 1994.
      The band, who is also considered 'post-rock,' actually disbanded in 1991. There was a 1994 single release of two songs recorded in 1989.
      In 2005, Slint reformed for a couple of months only to play some concerts.

    • When Rory and Lorelai are listening to music, the phone rings. Rory answers it and she tells Lorelai that she's going to talk in her room because it's too noisy. When she's walking into her room, you can still hear the phone ringing even though she'd already answered it.
      Edit: Actually, the ringing noise you hear afterwards is from the music, not the phone.

    • Rory says that The Go-Gos were Lorelai's favorite band when she was her age. However in "Concert Interruptus," Lorelai proclaims The Bangles as her favorite and that she almost named Rory after Suzanna Hoffs.

      Explanation: At age 16-17 it's pretty common to have more than one favorite band, and in some cases to call both (or more) one's favorite band.

    • When Lorelai and Rory are talking about what to wear to the ceremony, you can briefly see the shadow of the camera on the staircase.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Rory: Do they allow hot dogs in the subway?
      Jess: You are such an out-of-towner!

    • Lorelai: I am feeling so good, sista, because it's over! No more finals, no more studying, no more school, the pressure's off. Do you know how much pressure I felt, do you? All last week I felt like a giant man and his brother were sitting on my chest.
      Rory: A giant man?
      Lorelai: And his giant brother.
      Rory: Did they have names?
      Lorelai: Clem and Clem. Huh, same names, which did not reflect well on the imagination of their mothers.
      Rory: Mother.
      Lorelai: Mothers. There were two Clems.
      Rory: Yeah, 'cause they were brothers.
      Lorelai: Yes, so they had mothers.
      Rory: Okay, you're drawing me into your drunken world.
      Lorelai: It's not a bad place to be, my friend. Mnh-mnh, tank's empty.
      (Lorelai walks into the kitchen to get another drink)

    • Emily: That's a camera?
      Lorelai: That's a camera.
      Richard: It looks like a toy.

    • Liza: Can it!
      Zach: Stuff it!
      Lorelai: (to Sookie) They're in love.

    • Lorelai: I think I just forgot everything I've ever known. (grabbing Rory's arm) Child, what be your name?

    • Rory: Thank you so much for bringing me here! You know, I might just show you my withering stare in return.
      Jess: I'm a lucky man.

    • Lorelai: Oh, I'm so excited! Isn't this exciting?
      Man: I've been doing this for eight years.
      Lorelai: Oh. Not so exciting for you, then.

    • Rory: I'm so sorry, Mom.
      Lorelai: (sarcastically) Aw, really? You didn't make that clear.

    • Rory: Note to self: Impulsive definitely does not work for me.

    • Lorelai: (to Rory) OK, look. Nobody wants to say this any less than me, but maybe you don't have a medical condition or a mental problem. Maybe, honey, you are falling for Jess.

    • Man: Excuse me, I'm so sorry to bother you. Which way is 44th?
      Rory: Oh, um, that way.
      Man: Great, thanks.
      Rory: I got asked directions.
      Jess: I saw.
      Rory: He took me for a native. That's so cool.
      Jess: That's very impressive. Forty-fourth's the other way.

  • NOTES (4)

  • ALLUSIONS (23)

    • Lorelai: (sneezes at a blackboard, spraying chalk dust around) Great, I'm Woody Allen in Annie Hall.

      Annie Hall contains a scene in which Woody Allen's character sneezes over a packet of cocaine, blowing most of it into the air.

    • Rory: It was a vinyl copy of the Go-Go's original album signed by Belinda.

      The Go-Gos were an all-girl band in the 80s and came out of the punk/new wave music trend. They were perhaps the most popular all-girl band of the 80's and some of their hits include Vacation, We got the Beat and Our Lips are Sealed. Their lead singer was Belinda Carlisle who went on to have a moderately successful solo career and later appeared in Playboy.

    • Lorelai: Thanks for coming, Sook, Marcus Shenkenberg.

      Marcus Schenkenberg is a Swedish born male model and Lorelai comparing Jackson to Marcus due to his new Ermenegildo Zegna suit.

    • Zach: It's like a Baz Luhrman movie out there.

      Australian writer/director of Moulin Rouge, Strictly Ballroom and Romeo + Juliet.

    • Lorelai: You look very GQ.
      Jackson: Oh, thanks to my best new friend: Ermenegildo Zegna.

      GQ is a men's fashion magazine.
      Ermenegildo Zegna is a high end, men's fashion manufacturing company known for its luxurious clothes and accessories. It was started by Ermenegildo Zegna in 1910.

    • Liza: A bunch of us are going to Shaky's afterwards for pizza.

      Shakys is a nationwide pizza parlor chain.

    • Liza: I had to run here straight from work. Kinkos.

      Kinkos is a nation wide chain of photocopying stores.

    • Lorelai: I never leave home without all the essentials: mirror, make-up, picture of Shaun Cassidy.

      Shaun Cassidy was a 70s teen idol. He is the younger, half-brother of David Cassidy (of The Partride Family fame). He began as a singer/songwriter and branched into acting. His best known role is probably Joe Hardy from The Hardy Boys Mysteries. He later went on to re-invent himself and has become a successful television writer and producer.

    • Jess: This place is right out of High Fidelity.

      Originally a novel about a London record store owner written by Nick Hornby. It was later made into a film starring John Cusack, Jack Black and Iben Hjejle.

    • Rory: And bought a Hummel at the curio store in Stars Hollow.

      Collectible ceramic figurines, originally the crafts of German artist M.I. Hummel.

    • Rory: We saw the Bangles here.

      The Bangles were an all girl band in the 80s whose lead singer was Susanna Hoffs. Some of their hits include Walk Like an Egyptian, Eternal Flame and Manic Monday. Rory is referring to season one episode "Concert Interruptus", where Rory, Paris, Madeline and Louise went to a Bangles concert on the tickets Sookie had scored. Lorelai and Sookie bought nosebleed seat tickets and also saw the concert.

    • Lorelai: You drank some Boone's Farm out of a bota bag and knocked a beach ball around.

      Fruity flavoured wines known for their affordability and popularity amongst young drinkers.

      A bota bag is a traditional Spanish wine skin. Typically, it is made of leather, and is used to carry wine, although any liquid will do.

    • Lorelai: Hey, try to seat us next to a celebrity on the Concorde, like Sting or Screech or someone.

      Sting a.k.a. Gordon Sumner, was the lead singer for The Police and has had his own very successful solo career. He's known for lending his voice to many worthwhile causes like band aid and saving the Amazon Rain forest. He even made an appearance on The Simpsons. He's also an actor and has appeared in Dune, Brimstone and Treacle and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels.
      Screech is a character, played by Dustin Diamond, from the television series Saved by the Bell.

    • Rory: I'll look it up in Zagat and book the Concorde.

      Zagat is a famous worldwide restaurant guide.
      The Concorde was a supersonic jet that flew from New York to London or Paris and vice-versa. It made the trip in about 4 hours and was mainly for the jet set. The planes flew from the early 70s to 2003. There was a major crash in Paris on July 25, 2000. The industry never recovered from the negative publicity and lack of business. In 2003 both the British and French companies flying concordes decided to stop their flights due to low passenger turnout and rising costs.

    • Jess: It's where David Lee Roth got busted.

      David Lee Roth was the lead singer for Van Halen. He was replaced by Sammy Haggar and had some minor success as a solo artist.

    • Lorelai: I ended up in a career that apparently Jessica Hahn would think was beneath her.

      Jessica Hahn was a church secretary for the PTL ministry who claimed that televangelist Jim Bakker had raped her. Her accusations eventually led to his downfall. She later went on to pose for Playboy, launched her own 900 number and had a brief soft porn career.

    • Lorelai: Unless I turn into John Nash and start drooling on people.

      John Nash is a brilliant mathematician and Nobel prize winner. He suffers from schizophrenia.

    • Lorelai: It's Shea Stadium when the Beatles played. It's cramped and girls are screaming, and I think George is fighting with Ringo.

      Shea Stadium is a baseball stadium where the New York Mets play.
      The Beatles are a famous British group that consisted of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Star. They led the British invasion of musical groups to the U.S. in the 60s and were at one time one of the most popular bands in the world. They disbanded in 1970. As part of their American tour, they played Shea Stadium in 1965. At this time only two of the Beatles are alive: Paul and Ringo.

    • Lorelai: Now say, I can't believe I ate the whole thing.

      In the 70s and 80s Alka Seltzer had commercials where someone would be uncomfortable and occasionally groaning due to indigestion or heartburn. The person would say, "I can't believe I ate the whole thing", and often another person would say, "you ate the whole thing." Then the person would take some Alka Seltzer and feel better.

    • Lane: I've almost nailed the fill in Ramble On. I just have to stop hitting my face with the sticks when I pull my arms back.
      Rory: John Bonham had that same problem.

      Ramble On is a song by Led Zepplin and John Bonham was the drummer for Led Zepplin.

    • Lorelai: Oh look it's Michael Landon.

      Television actor who played Little Joe in Bonanza, Charles Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie and Jonathon Smith in Highway to Heaven. Lorelai might have called Lane Michael Landon because of the wholesome characters he played and the fact that his character Little Joe was always asking his older brothers to wait for him and Lane had been asking Lorelai and Rory to stop and wait for her.

    • Rory: Oh yeah, right after they stoned the woman who won the lottery.

      Reference to the short story The Lottery by Shirley Jackson.

    • Lorelai: Didn't they feed lead to our jumping frog?

      Reference to The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, a short story by Mark Twain.