Gilmore Girls

Season 1 Episode 6

Rory's Birthday Parties

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Nov 09, 2000 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
413 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

It's Rory's birthday, and her grandmother and mother each plan a party representative of their respective styles. Emily's elegant party so discomforts Rory that they argue. To make peace, Emily and Richard attend Lorelai's informal bash the next evening.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • First great episode of Gilmore Girls.

    Rory's 16th birthday (kinda wrong because she says she's 16 in the pilot). Lorelai and Emily both plan a party for her. Emily invites the whole countryclub including all the mean rich kids from Chilton, and Lorelai just trows a good old fun Stars Hollow celebration. This episode was a great mix of comedy and drama. Lorelai has some of her best dialogue here, of course Emily and Lorelai fight but there was just so much power in Lorelai's "then you could pay for this party, couldn't you" line. The ending was kinda sad with Emily realizing she doesn't know her daughter.moreless
  • Rory has two very different birthday parties. A really good episode, how can you not enjoy the arguments and humour.

    I'd say this was my favourite episode so far. It had its humour, which I love and the arguments were interesting and engrossing. The start was amusing, with the will and notes.

    I couldn't believe that Emily invited Tristan and all Rory's Chilton classmates, so unfair. I really don't like Tristan, but that's the point, so they've done this well.

    Emily's party was a good watch, you kind of felt sorry for Rory and I was glad to see her snap at Emily, there shock was brilliant, then she turned it round on Lorelai. Liked Rory's reactions to both Tristan and Paris at the party 'Oh God' Paris's like for Tristan was interesting, but why the hell would she? who knows.

    Rory and Dean have chemistry and I still like Rory's slight awkwardness around him. Lorelai's party was great, it made the episode more light hearted, with Sookie, Luke and the others. Was funny to see the grandparents actually turn up and we saw a few mother/daughter chats, which are always interesting in this show. Thought it was a good idea to have Emily mention Luke liking Lorelai.

    I was wondering, where's Dean and then came the end. This means that they are together, an expensive gift is a huge sign. Lorelai seeing this was a good end, can sense an argument or two about Rory keeping this a secret. It was also revealing to see Emily say 'I don't know my daughter' finally realising.

    Another great episode, it is getting better and I can't wait for more. I really do love its humour.moreless
  • Great episode!

    It's Rory's birthday! Emily insists on having it at her place. She invites people that Rory doesn't even know and also, some kids from Chilton that Rory doesn't even like. Lorelai plans a second birthday the day after. Rory invites Emily and Richard. They do come. Everyone has a great time!

    This was a great episode! I do think that Luke has a thing for Lorelai. The second party looked kind of fun! I'd hate to have been Rory at the first party though. The fight between Emily and Lorelai in this episode was intense. This episode gets a 10 out of 10!moreless
  • Rory has two birthday parties because Emily refuses to give up Friday night dinners. She throws her an uptight party with the Chilton crowd. Then she shows up at Rory's home birthday party.moreless

    This episode is one of my favorites. I thought the interaction between Emily and Lorelai was quite interesting. They have a lot to work out. That is for certain. The Chilton party was entirely too formal for a sixteen year old. I thought I was rather ridiculous myself. The fact that Rory is not even friends with those kids does not help either. Heck, Lane was not even invited and she is Rory's best friend. The home party was much more like Rory and Lorelai. I really enjoy episodes of this type. I like birthday episodes of shows. They are some of the best episodes of various shows. I also like Christmas and Thanksgiving shows. They are definitely some of my favorites.moreless
  • Love this one

    This episode shows how is the relationship between Lorelai and Rory and Lorelai's parents.

    We can see two different worlds.

    Rory turns 16 and her birthday is on a friday, the dinner day.

    Emily doesn't want to change the dinner and decides to trow a party. She invites all her friends and Rory's classmates. Needless to say, at a point Rory freaks out, she doesn't like them. She yells at her grandmother and goes to her mother's old room. She later invites Emily to the party on Saturday, but she says she's busy. Lorelai says to Emily that she doesn't even know her on daughter.

    At Saturday we have a great party, lots of fun people and all of them love Rory, they are her friends. Her grandparents show up and Rory loves it.

    this party is the better one.

    We can see how different worlds and Emily realizes that she really doesn't know Lorelai at all.moreless
David Booth

David Booth


Guest Star

Bridget Ann White

Bridget Ann White


Guest Star

Nora Zehetner

Nora Zehetner

Girl #2

Guest Star

Liz Torres

Liz Torres

Miss Patty

Recurring Role

Sally Struthers

Sally Struthers

Babette Dell

Recurring Role

Ted Rooney

Ted Rooney

Morey Dell

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (13)

    • While Lorelai is talking with Emily on the phone about shopping for Rory's birthday, she's eating an apple. However, in season 5, episode 21 she tells Rory that she might be pregnant, because she only ate apple when she was pregnant with her.

    • Miss Patty introduces herself to Richard and Emily as Patricia LaCosta.

    • This is the first of only 2 times in the series where Rory's birthday is commemorated. The two birthdays shown in the series were the big milestones--16 and 21.

    • This is the first of many times that Emily insinuates that Luke and Lorelai are more than just friends.

    • This episode serves as a bookend with season 6 (Rory's 21st birthday), particularly the scene where Lorelai climbs in bed with Rory. We learn Rory was born at just after 4 a.m., by the time on the clock here reading 4:03 a.m. In this scene, Lorelai talks to Rory about the night she was born (a tradition between them, we learn). In season six, when the mother and daughter are on the outs, Rory has a dream that Madeline Albright is her mother and climbs into her bed at 4:03 a.m. The dream almost exactly mirrors the dialogue here. Incidentally, the furry pink clock in this scene (on Rory's night table) is also used in the season six scene and is mentioned by Lorelai on The Deer Hunters as a clock that purrs.

    • This episode is the first time that we start to see Paris' infatuation with Tristan.

    • When we see Richard giving Rory a birthday card, Richard has a cigar in his hand. Then Rory says "you didn't have to do that," and the camera quickly goes back to Richard. Then we see Richard take a card out of his jacket pocket with the same hand he had the cigar in, but we don't see the cigar or smoke again after that.

    • On the invitation given to Tristan, it clearly says that Rory was born October 8. However, October 8 was a Sunday in the year 2000 and not a Friday. We know that Rory's birthday party and her actual birthday were both on a Friday because Lorelai tried to get out of her mother's birthday party for Rory, but Emily said that since Lorelai and Rory hadn't planned anything, they would have the party instead of Friday night dinner since it was Rory's actual birthday.

    • Rory's full name (as we can see in the birthday party invitation Emily sent out) is Lorelai Leigh Gilmore.

    • Lorelai has a Shirley Temple-Black. This drink is supposed to be served in a Collins Glass, not the Old-Fashioned Glass she has in her hand. Most people would not care, of course, but you can sure bet her mother's sense of absolute propriety would not allow this to happen. The person tending bar would certainly use exactly the right glasses for each drink.

    • Rory is supposedly wearing a new dress that Emily bought her, but Lorelai wore the same dress to a Friday night dinner in the earlier season 1 episode "Kill Me Now".

    • While Rory is eating her birthday cake at Luke's, the slice
      changes in size from big to small and then back to big again.

    • During her phone call with Emily about going shopping, Lorelai has an apple in front of her which "moves" as they speak.

  • QUOTES (21)

    • Emily: (About Rory) I spent days planning this party, making sure everything was perfect. Making sure the food, the music, the guests, everything was perfect. And she humiliated me in front of my friends.
      Lorelai: You don't know her! You've never tried to know her! Like you never tried to know me!
      Emily: Oh, you'd like to think that, wouldn't you? I know you perfectly. Do you think I sit going "Why does Lorelai do this? Or that? I don't know. She's such a mystery to me."
      Lorelai: That's it. I give up.
      Emily: Oh, if I had a dollar for every time you gave up-
      Lorelai: (In tears) You could pay for this party, couldn't you?

    • (Lorelai and Rory are in Lorelai's room in Emily's house)
      Rory: I guess I should go downstairs and apologize to Grandma.
      Lorelai: Oh, give it a minute...
      Emily:(appearing in doorway) There you are!
      Lorelai: She'll find us.

    • Luke: That's the wrong table.
      Rory: Since when is there a right table?
      Luke: Since the coffee cake I baked for you and the stupid balloons I blew up for you are at that table over there.

    • Sookie: Hangover?
      Lorelai: Emily.
      Sookie: Oh. Got it, moving on.

    • Lorelai: Emily Gilmore, you can set your watch by her. Although you know what she did do last night?
      Sookie: Wore jeans?
      Lorelai: Served pudding.
      Sookie: I was close.
      Lorelai: I mean, I'm sure it was some expensive form of pudding, but nonetheless it was pudding!
      Sookie: That is amazing!
      Lorelai: Right?! That would mean that she actually made a mental note that we like pudding, which would mean she listens to something other than the judgmental conga line going on in her head, and got over the fact that to her, pudding is hospital food and is only acceptable when you've just had a vital organ ripped out of your body.
      Sookie: Wow, that's some journey she had to take, there.
      Jackson: (comes running into the kitchen and says to Lorelai) Open your mouth and close your eyes.
      Lorelai: Who are you talking to?
      Jackson: Right. Sorry (runs to Sookie). Open your mouth and close your eyes.
      Sookie: Okay. (opens her mouth and closes her eyes).
      Jackson: Now get ready for something truly amazing.
      Sookie: Mmmmmmmm! Yeah!
      Jackson: Huh?
      Lorelai: What is it?!
      Sookie: I don't know. It's like a--
      Jackson: A what?
      Sookie: It's like a berry, but way more exotic.
      Jackson: Yes! Good!
      Lorelai: Jackson, have you been having reactions to your fertilizer fumes again?

    • Lorelai: And, it's so hard to believe that at exactly this time many moons ago I was lying in exactly this same position...
      Rory: Oh, boy. Here we go...
      Lorelai: ...only I had a huge fat stomach and big fat ankles and I was swearing like a sailor...
      Rory: ...on leave...
      Lorelai: ...on leave! Right! And, there I was...
      Rory: labor...
      Lorelai: ...and, while some have called it, the most meaningful experience of your life, to me it was something more akin to doing the splits on a crate of dynamite.
      Rory: I wonder if the Waltons ever did this.
      Lorelai: And, I was screaming and swearing, and being surrounded as I was by a hundred prominent doctors, I just assumed there was an actual use for the cup of ice chips they gave me.
      Rory: There wasn't.
      Lorelai: But, the pelting the nurses sure was fun.

    • Emily: Could you be serious? We're shopping for Rory.
      Lorelai: No Mom, I'm shopping for Rory, you are shopping for your imaginary granddaughter, Barbara Hutton.

    • Tristan: Oh, coming to greet me?
      Rory: Hello, Tristan.
      Tristan: Where's my birthday kiss?
      Rory: It's my birthday.
      Tristan: So I'll give you a birthday kiss.
      Rory: What is wrong with you?
      Tristan: Okay, I gotta tell you something. I'm madly in love with you.
      Rory: Well...good luck with that.
      Tristan: I can't eat, I can't sleep...I wake up in the middle of the night calling out your name. Rory...Rory!

    • Richard: Rory! Who's your friend?
      Rory: I don't know, but this is Tristan.

    • Luke: She's not here yet.
      Lorelai: Alright. Well, you'll have to entertain me until she arrives. Okay, Burgerboy! Dance!
      Luke: Will you marry me?
      Lorelai: (stares agasp) What?
      Luke: Just...looking for something to shut you up.

    • Emily: Tomorrow our lawyer, Joseph Stanford, is coming by.
      Lorelai: Ugh. Crazy Sissy's dad.
      Emily: That's terrible. Sissy was a good friend of yours.
      Lorelai: Mom, Sissy talked to her stuffed animals and they answered her.

    • Rory: Mom's famous for her blowouts.
      Lorelai: The best one was her eighth birthday.
      Rory: Oh yeah, that was good.
      Lorelai: The cops shut us down.
      Luke: The cops shut down an eight year old's birthday party?
      Rory: And arrested the clown.

    • Emily: You know, you could get a maid in here once a week to at least tidy the place up.
      Lorelai: I like it cluttered.
      Emily: You can't even find the bed.
      Lorelai: Yes I can. It's the thing I crash into on the way to the closet.

    • Emily: This Patricia --
      Lorelai: Miss Patty.
      Emily: She teaches dance?
      Lorelai: Among other things.

    • Lorelai: You invited all these Chilton kids without even asking her.
      Emily: They're her schoolmates. I assumed they were her friends.
      Lorelai: Well, you know what they say when you assume things.
      Emily: No, I don't, what do they say?
      Lorelai: That -- you shouldn't.
      Emily: Very clever.

    • Emily: Lorelai, I just tried some of those hors d'oeurves. They're unbelievable. Who is your caterer?
      Lorelai: Sookie.
      Emily: What's a Sookie?
      Lorelai: (pointing to Sookie) That's a Sookie.

    • (Emily is silent in the car)
      Richard: Emily?
      Emily: She's right. I don't know my daughter at all.

    • Rory: So, is this party Grandma's having going to be a big deal?
      Lorelai: Not really. The government will close that day. Flags will fly at half-mast. Barbara Streisand will give her final concert...again.
      Rory: Uh-huh.
      Lorelai: Now, the Pope has previous plans, but he's trying to get out of them. However, Elvis and Jim Morrison are coming and they're bringing chips.
      Rory: You ask a simple question...

    • Lorelai: Oh, hey, Rory's birthday party is this Saturday night so start thinking up reasons why you can't come.
      Michel: I'm going to be out of town.
      Lorelai: Ooh, you used that one last year.
      Michel: I'll work on it and get back to you.
      Lorelai: 7:00, presents mandatory.

    • Rory: I'll be back in plenty of time to help you decorate.
      Lorelai: No, this is your party. You do not work. You lounge and mock those who are. Have I taught you nothing?
      Rory: Sorry, I'll try to be better.

    • Emily: And this man with the ice.
      Lorelai: Luke.
      Emily: How long have you been seeing him?
      Lorelai: Luke? I'm not seeing Luke. He's just a friend.
      Emily: Mm-hmm.
      Lorelai: Mom, I swear. Luke keeps me in coffee, nothing else.
      Emily: He seems to like you.
      Lorelai: And you're judging this by what?
      Emily: By the way he looked at you.
      Lorelai: Which is how?
      Emily: Like you were about to give him a lap dance.
      Lorelai: Mom, he did not look at me like that.
      Emily: You're pleased.
      Lorelai: What?
      Emily: You smiled. You're pleased that the ice man looked at you like a Porterhouse steak.
      Lorelai: I'm smiling because you're crazy and that's what you do to crazy people to keep them calm.

  • NOTES (3)

    • German episode title: "Alptraum Geburtstag", meaning "Nightmare Birthday".

    • Music:
      "Happy Birthday" by Altered Images
      "This Old House" by Brian Setzer Orchestra
      "What A Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong
      "Why Does It Always Rain On Me?" by Travis
      "The Lathe of Heaven" by Scott Abels, Aaron Owens, Matthew W. Parker, David Fuentes, and Brian Dixon

    • This episode was filmed during Alexis Bledel's actual birthday.

  • ALLUSIONS (14)

    • Lorelai: Well, you know what they say when you assume things.
      Emily: No, I don't, what do they say?
      Lorelai: That you...shouldn't.
      Emily: Very clever.

      The expression is, "When you assume, you make an 'ass' out of U (you) and ME."

    • Lorelai: (about Emily's plans for Rory's birthday party) She did agree to make the string quartet learn "Like a Virgin".

      "Like a Virgin" is a song by Madonna.

    • Lorelai: (sighs, hands Rory a drink) Here.
      Rory: What is it?
      Lorelai: A Shirley Temple
      Rory: What are you drinking?
      Lorelai: A Shirley Temple Black.
      Rory: (sniffs at it) Wow.
      Lorelai: I got your Good Ship Lollipop right here, mister.

      In 1950, at the age of 22, Shirley Temple, retired from film, married businessman Charles Black, taking his name. A "Shirley Temple-Black" is a Shirley Temple with a shot of Kahlua, an "Adult version" of the children's bar drink made with 7-Up and Grenadine.
      Good Ship Lollipop, of course, is the trademark song of actress Shirley Temple from the movie Bright Eyes, but clearly also a reference to the state enough ST-B's would put you in, too, singing and dancing.

    • Lorelai: (to Rory) Yeah, huh? That was a pretty Freaky Friday moment we had back there.

      Freaky Friday is a book (which was made into a movie) about a mother and daughter who have difficulties understanding each other. They both come to know one another in a completely different way when they switch bodies.

    • Lorelai: (to Jackson) You didn't build one of those machines like in The Fly did you? We're not going to find you wandering the streets wearing a raspberry head crying, "Eat me!"

      The Fly is a 1986 remake of a 1958 sci-fi film about an eccentric scientist whose teleportation device inadvertently melds him with a fly.

    • Emily: Oh, yes, and there was a T-shirt with a Farrah Fawcett face.
      Lorelai: A hero to many who aspire to the perfect feather fluff.

      Farrah Fawcett was an actress who became a pop culture icon and sex symbol in the '70s and was the star of the TV series Charlie's Angels. She had one of the most popular posters of all time which emphasized her smile and big poofy 70s-ish hairstyle.

    • Lorelai: Barbara Streisand will give her final concert, again. Now, the Pope has previous plans, but he's trying to get out of them. However, Elvis and Jim Morrison are coming and they're bringing chips.

      Barbara Streisand is a musician and actress. She retired from touring due to stage fright, but held a tour in 1993 for the first time in 27 years. She returned to the stage again in 1999. She retired again in 2000 and then cancelled her retirement (again) in 2006.
      Elvis was a musician known as 'The King of Rock and Roll' who died due to a drug overdose. Jim Morrison was a songwriter, poet and lead singer for the band The Doors and died at the height of his career of a drug overdose at age 27. Some people believe that they are still alive.

    • Lorelai: Lucy, I'm home!

      Line from I Love Lucy that Ricky would say when he came home from work.

    • Rory: I wonder if the Waltons ever did this.

      The Waltons was a TV show that followed a family through depression, war, growing up, school, courtship, marriage, births, illness and death through the eyes of the eldest son, John Boy.

    • Lorelai: No, she has her Vulcan death grip on that one.

      Reference to a Star Trek classic episode where a non-existent Vulcan death grip was used to fool Romulans that Spock had killed Kirk.

    • Lorelai: I think Edith Wharton would have been proud, and busy taking notes.

      Edith Wharton, the American novelist and short story writer, was born into a wealthy family, and her works (such as The House of Mirth, Ethan Frome, and The Age of Innocence) often examine the world of the privileged.

    • Lorelai: You walk into Denny's before 5:00 p.m., you've got yourself a discount.

      Denny's is a restaurant chain which offers discounts to senior citizens who dine before 5:00 p.m.

    • Lorelai: I'm shopping for Rory. You're shopping for your imaginary granddaughter, Barbara Hutton.

      Barbara Hutton was an heir to the Woolworth fortune known for her lavish lifestyle, love of shopping, and lavishing expensive gifts on strangers willing to pay her a little attention.

    • Emily: My daughter, Henny Youngman.

      Henny Youngman was a comedian famous for his one liners, including the classic "Take my wife, please."