Gilmore Girls

Season 1 Episode 9

Rory's Dance

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Dec 20, 2000 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
382 votes

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Episode Summary

After being pressured by her grandmother into "making the most of her high school experiences," super-shy Rory reluctantly decides to attend a Chilton formal--her very first dance--with Dean. Emily is on hand the night of the big event to see Rory off, but she ends up staying all evening to take care of Lorelai, who is suffering from back problems. All seems to be going beautifully as Rory and Dean discuss the next step for their relationship, and Emily and Lorelai enjoy some rare bonding time back at home, but a major blow-up is about to erupt when Dean and Rory make an unwise decision after leaving the dance.moreless

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  • Rory attends her first Chilton Dance & asks Dean to accompany her despite neither of them being too excited at the prospect of attending a Chilton Dance!

    A wonderful episode that highlights the fragile relationship between Lorelai and Emily which explodes into outright hostility as the episode draws to its tumultuous close.

    And as is so often the case with Gilmore Girls it is in the closing few minutes that some of the shows best dialogue takes place as we witness a heated exchange between Loralai and Emily and,as a consequence of that encounter,Lorelai and Rory.

    Rory makes a good fist of her feisty exchange with Lorelai and this viewer found himself in total agreement with Rory's spin on the evenings events.If anything Lorelai was merely reacting to the barbs Emily had landed,somewhat unfairly it must be said.Any trust that had been established between Emily and Lorelai evaporated in an instant.

    And what about the exchange between Dean and Tristan? As we will discover,Tristan's home life certainly impacts upon his attitude to everything and everybody but it's ultimately no excuse for being such a prat!moreless
  • Great Lorelai humour and more on Rory and Dean's relationship, makes this episode brilliant!

    Best episode to date, it had its humour back with Lorelai, which if you've read my other reviews, you by now, know that I love. Her trying to make the dress was funny, loved the line 'Rory's dress just tried to make a pass at me' very funny. Sookie's brief appearances were great, think her character is brilliant. Was glad to have no Max, don't know how others feel about, I'm not a fan.

    Rory and Deans relationship was a good storyline. The dance was really entertaining, from Paris's cousin, the awkwardness, to the Tristan/Dean confrontation, which was really well done. It was great how it lead up to them telling each other that they were now boyfriend and girlfriend. Dean is a good character now, I think we've gathered that.

    The two arguments at the end were really engrossing. For some reason when they slept at Patty's, I didn't think it would turn out that way. It was interesting to see Lorelai and Emily getting on, but then, panic sets in about Rory and it all goes downhill. The arguments are also really well done on this show, especially between these two.

    Then to see Rory and Lorelai fight, your kind of thinking, no - don't fight. What Rory said was true I think. Its good because I am now warming to Rory as a character. This will only make the show better for me. Wonder if they'll be talking in the next episode.moreless
  • Great episode!

    There is a dance at Chilton High and Rory doesn't want to go. Lorelai convinces her and Rory asks Dean if he wants to go. He says yes. Tristan also asks Rory to the dance. Rory goes and finds out that Paris took her cousin and that Tristan has a thing for her when Dean and Tristan fight. Emily comes over to see Rory before her dance and stays the whole night to take care of Lorelai, who has a bad back. Rory and Dean accidentally fall asleep in Miss Patty's studio. Emily and Lorelai think the worst and there is lots of argueing with Emily and Lorelai and then Rory and Lorelai.

    This was a great episode! All the fighting was great! I mean, it was entertaining! This episode gets a 10!moreless
  • Rory does not know whether Dean is her boyfriend or not. She however decides to ask him to a dance Chilton was having. Emily is at home taking care of Lorelai who has a back spasm. Rory comes home at 5:30 in the morning and Lorelai is worried.moreless

    Wow! I really like this episode a lot! especially love the ending. This by far is a great episode. This episode showed a development between the relationship of Dean and Rory. It was also showing a develpment between Lorelai and Emily. The ending was really intense. Lauren Graham acted really well and i felt as if i was in her place. This episode shows that being a mother isn't just fun and games but there is responsibility. The ending of the episode just wants you wanting more, and makes you wonder what will happen next. Will Lorelai trust Rory? Will there still be Friday night dinners since Emily and Lorelai got in an argument?? By far, a great episode.moreless
  • Rory has her first dance

    Rory's school is having a dance and first she says she doesn't want to go.

    Later we find out that she wants but she is afraid and she doesn't has a dress, Lorelai offers to make one.

    Then she asks Dean to be her date.

    When making Rory's dress, Lorelai hurts her back and when Emily comes to see Rory's dress she finds out about it and stays to help her.

    Rory goes to the dance with Dean, they dance a slow music and when they are leaving, Tristin makes a scene and Dean defends Rory. They later agreed to the boyfriends status.

    Meanwhile, Emily and Lorelai spend a good evening and the bond.

    The problem starts when Dean and Rory fell asleep at Miss Patty's studio and are woken up by Patty at 5.30 am.

    Emily notices Rory isn't at home, wakes up Lorelai and she panics. They have a big fight and Emily leaves without seen Rory, who got home.

    Then Rory goes to the kitchen and the fight continues but with her now, Lorelai was really worried...moreless
Kara Holden

Kara Holden


Guest Star

Jonathan Ficcadenti

Jonathan Ficcadenti


Guest Star

Kay Freeman

Kay Freeman

Yoga Woman #2

Guest Star

Liz Torres

Liz Torres

Miss Patty

Recurring Role

Teal Redmann

Teal Redmann

Louise Grant

Recurring Role

Shelly Cole

Shelly Cole

Madeline Lynn

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (13)

    • When Rory and Dean sit down on the beanbag chair and start reading she is on the left. However, when they fall asleep she's on the right.

    • This is the second time Emily and Lorelai have gotten along only to have a falling out due to something Rory has done or said. The first time was at Rory's birthday party when Rory refused to speak to the guests at her party.

    • This is the only episode in the series where Lorelai calls Emily, "Mommy".

    • This is the only episode where Emily directly tells Lorelai what a good job she did raising Rory. For that matter, Emily and Lorelai had certain bonding moments in this episode that were never repeated. Long-time viewers may be surprised at how rarely they show any affection for each other.

    • While confronting Tristan at the dance, Dean says he'll kill him if he bothers Rory again. Even considering the fact that Tristan had been verbally taunting Rory for quite some time, it's not very likely that Rory would be okay with that kind of behavior from Dean. Given the gentle and mild-mannered nature that Rory has always possessed, it would make a lot more sense for her to be almost afraid of Dean after that. Instead, they made the mutual decision to become a couple later that night! Apparently, Dean punching another guy and threatening to kill him had no effect on sweet, timid Rory.

    • After waking up next to Dean at Miss Patty's in the morning, Rory grabs her shoes and runs all the way home without having them on her feet. That would mean that she was running through snow and puddles in her stocking feet. Not only was this unsafe, it was extremely unrealistic, even considering Rory's frantic nature at the moment.

    • At the beginning of the episode, Rory and Lorelai briefly mention hostelling plans in Europe. In season three, "Dear Richard and Emily" Emily gets very upset by the idea of them back-packing, why doesn't she express her disdain here? Also why is she so surprised they are going back-packing when they had been mentioning it in front of her for two years?

    • When Rory and Dean are running through the streets of Stars Hollow towards home, in the bottom left corner of the screen, you can see tire marks on the wet street and you can faintly hear the sound of an engine.

    • The dance is on a Saturday. What happened to that week's Friday night dinner? Emily would have seen Lorelai then and known that she had hurt her back. There is no way that the Friday night dinner in the beginning of the episode was that week's, because how on earth would Lorelai have time to make Rory's dress in less than one day?

    • When Tristan buys his tickets from Paris, the poster for the dance is seen clearly and it says "7 pm". So why is Emily coming over to Lorelai's at 7? Rory would already have left by then. Emily would have to come over much earlier to see Rory getting ready.

      Possible Explanation: Rory didn't arrive at the dance right when it started, so although the dance started at 7pm, she probably arrived at closer to 8pm.

    • When Lorelai finds out that Rory didn't come home at all, she springs off the couch (without showing any pain) and runs down the hall, but before, they made a big deal that she couldn't move very well because of her back problem.

      Possible Explanation: There could be a couple explanations for this. First of all, there's a possibility that Lorelai's physical condition improved after sleeping through the night. Secondly, the moment she realized that Rory didn't come home represented a shocking and very frightening experience, and like any mother, Lorelai was so frantic, it's reasonable to believe that she couldn't think of anything except her child, no matter how much her back hurt.

    • Outside, Lane tells Rory to enunciate, so she can read her lips, but, from inside the store, she can't be seen in any of the windows which Lane could see her from and Dean is mostly blocking any other possible viewing angle.

    • Miss Patty wakes Dean and Rory up at her dance studio and tells them it's 5:30 AM. When Rory runs home through the snowy streets, it's quite light out. No where in the North Eastern United States in winter would there be light at 5:30 in the morning - in real life she would be running home in the dark.

  • QUOTES (28)

    • Rory: Are you my boyfriend?
      Dean: In the broadest sense of the word way?
      Rory: No, in the real, 'Hi, this is Dean, my boyfriend' kind of way.
      Dean: Well, I am if you want me to be

    • Dean: You said 'boyfriend'.
      Rory: No! I just meant boyfriend in the sense that the whole defending me thing was very boyfriendy, but only in the broadest sense of the word, which doesn't even apply at all here.

    • Dean:He has a thing for you.
      Rory:No he doesn't. It's just a game to him or something
      Dean:He has a thing for you.
      Rory:He does nothing but insult me and make me miserable.
      Dean:He has a thing for you.

    • Rory: He's not my boyfriend.
      Lane: Really?
      Rory: No.
      Lane: What is he then?
      Rory: He's my...gentleman caller
      Lane: Ok, Blanche.

    • Emily: (on the phone) No, I won't be coming home tonight.
      (Lorelai groans)
      Emily: (speaking to Lorelai) Was that a pain?
      Lorelai: Yes, a big one.

    • Emily: Okay Rory, come out here please.
      (Rory comes into the room using a napkin as a bib and eating a taco)
      Rory: Hey Grandma
      Emily: (speaking to Lorelai) She's lived with you too long.
      Lorelai: Honey, lose the bib and the taco, put your shoes on come back out, and let grandma take the pretty picture.

    • Rory: You know what, I don't want my change, money makes people shallow.
      (Rory walks away)
      Paris: I've got your change. Hey! Hey! If you think I'm keeping this dollar, I'm not!
      Boy next to Paris: I'll take it.
      Paris: Shut up!

    • Dean: So are you asking me to go to a dance with you?
      Rory: No... Yes... I mean... if you wanted to go, I would go too.
      Dean: That would probably be good since it's your school.

    • Rory: Well it's this thing where you go and they play music and you're supposed to get all dressed up and do some kind of dance and then there's chicken.
      Dean: Chicken?
      Rory: Well I don't know if there's chicken. But at these kinds of things they often serve chicken because it's probably cheaper and people eat it, so the logic behind the chicken choice really isn't that bad.
      Dean: I'm lost.
      Rory: It's a dance.

    • Dean: You don't want to fight me Tristan.
      Tristan: Why not?
      Dean: Because I will kill you, idiot!

    • Emily: Lorelai, I have watched you do a lot of stupid things, and I have held my tongue.
      Lorelai: What?
      Emily: But I am not going to just stand back and watch you let that girl ruin her life.
      Lorelai: Mom, back off.
      Emily: She's going to get pregnant.
      Lorelai: No she's not.
      Emily: She's going to ruin everything, just like you ruined everything.
      Lorelai: No she's not, no she's not, no she's NOT! Rory is a good kid, Mom--she's not me!

    • Lorelai: What were you thinking? Staying out all night? Are you CRAZY?
      Rory: I'm sorry. It was an accident.
      Lorelai: You're talking to the queen of staying out all night, okay? I invented the concept, you cannot do this. Period!
      Rory: Nothing happened! We fell asleep!

    • Emily: If she doesn't want to go [to the Chilton dance], then it must be because of something you said.
      Lorelai: Mom, I promise, all I ever said to her about dances is that you go, you dance, you have punch, you eat, you take a picture, and then you get auctioned off to a biker gang from Sausalito.

    • Lorelai: (shouting) C'mon already!
      Rory: (from in her room) I'm primping!
      Lorelai: You're sixteen, you've skin like a baby's ass, there's nothing to primp!
      Rory: OK, OK, here I come!
      (Rory walks down the hall to Lorelai, looking very lovely in her evening gown)
      Lorelai: Wow, someone hit you with a pretty stick!

    • Emily: "We're in here", that's how you answer the door?
      Lorelai: Well, I was all out of Saran wrap.
      Emily: I don't even want to try to figure that one out.

    • Lorelai: (after spraying Rory's hair) Ok, that will be good for 6 slow dances, 4 medium ones, 1 lambada. But if you plan on doing any moshing, I suggest another coat.

    • Emily: (about Dean) What do you know about this boy?
      Lorelai: Well, I know Rory likes him, and his parole officer has high hopes for his rehabilitation.
      Emily: Does he drink?
      Lorelai: Like a fish!

    • Emily: Explain this to me right now, Lorelai!
      Lorelai: My back hurts. (burrows down in the couch and sticks her lip out)

    • Dean: Are you asking me to the dance?
      Rory: No.....yes.

    • Emily: (about the mashed banana on toast) I used to make this all the time for you when you were a little girl.
      Lorelai: You did?
      Emily: Yes! Whenever you got sick, I made this.
      Lorelai: Are you sure it wasn't the other way around?

    • Emily: What are you doing?
      Lorelai: I'm taking out the avocado.
      Emily: Since when don't you like avocado?
      Lorelai: Since I said "Gross, what is this?" and you said "Avocado".
      Emily: What's wrong with the tomato?
      Lorelai: It was fraternizing with the enemy.

    • Lorelai: Mom?
      Emily: Yeah?
      Lorelai: I made the dress.
      Emily: You did a nice job.
      Lorelai: Thanks.
      Emily: With Rory and the dress.
      Lorelai: Thank you.

    • Lorelai: Do you have any idea what it's like to wake up with my mother here and find out that you never came home?
      Rory: So this is all about Grandma being here.
      Lorelai: No, it's about the feeling of complete terror when your kid isn't in her bed in the morning!
      Rory: I'm sorry.
      Lorelai: And then it's about a whole different kind of terror when you find out she spent the night with some guy.

    • Rory: What about all that stuff you said about trusting me? Where did all that go?
      Lorelai: I think it's back on Patty's yoga mats!
      Rory: This is crap! You know I didn't do anything! You know this is an accident. You're just mad because I screwed up and I did it in front of Grandma and she nailed you for it. Well I'm sorry. I'm sorry I screwed up and I'm sorry you got yelled at, but I didn't do anything, and you know it!

    • Emily: (in response to Dean honking the horn for Rory to come out) This is not a drive-through! She is not fried chicken!

    • Tristan: And she's reading again. How novel.
      Rory: Goodbye Tristan.
      Tristan: Well did you get the novel thing? Because--
      Rory: I said goodbye!
      Tristan: What are you doing here?
      Rory: I like lines.
      Tristan: The guy's supposed to get tickets.
      Rory: Really? Does Susan Faludi know about this?
      Tristan: Well, unless of course there is no guy.
      Rory: No, there's a guy.
      Tristan: Yeah, a cheap guy.
      Rory: Well what can I say, I like 'em cheap. Sloppy, too. Bald spots, beer gut, you know, and the pants that kind of slip down in the back giving you that good plumber shot. That sends me through the roof.
      Tristan: So who is he?
      Rory: (sighs heavily) How many languages can you say "none of your business" in?
      Tristan: Does he go to this school?
      Rory: No, he doesn't.
      Tristan: Uh-hunh. Okay well look, I'll confess something to you. I don't have a date.
      Rory: Well I hear Squeaky Frome's up for parole soon. You should keep a good thought.
      Tristan: Well I actually thought you'd like to go with me.
      Rory: You did not.
      Tristan: I did too!
      Rory: You did not, because you are not stupid!
      Tristan: Why, thank you.
      Rory: Slimey and weasily yes, but stupid no. You'd have to be stupid to think, that given our history, I would ever, barring a piano or a safe falling on my head, want to go anywhere with you, ever.
      Tristan: Okay, fine. I'll take Sissy.
      Rory: I'll send her a condolence card.
      Tristan: Yeah. Well at least she won't be buying her own ticket.

    • Sissy: Wanna dance?
      Tristan: No.
      Sissy: Wanna eat?
      Tristan: No.
      Sissy: Wanna make out?
      Tristan: Sure, let's go.

    • Emily: Oh you're so perfect and I was so horrible. I put you in good schools. I gave you the best of everything. I made sure you had the finest opportunities. And I am so tired of hearing about how you were suffocated and I was so controlling. Well if I was so controlling why couldn't I control you running around getting pregnant and throwing your life away?
      Lorelai: Get out!
      Emily: What?
      Lorelai: You will not come into my house and tell me I threw my life away. Look around, Mom. This is a life. It has a little color in it so it may look a little unfamiliar to you, but it's a life. And if I hadn't gotten pregnant I wouldn't have Rory.
      Emily: You know that's not what I meant.
      Lorelai: Maybe I was some horrible, uncontrollable child like you say, but Rory's isn't. She's smart and careful and I trust her, and she's going to be fine. And if you can't accept that or believe that, then I don't want you in this house!

  • NOTES (7)

  • ALLUSIONS (15)

    • Lorelai talks about the Turkish prison in the film "Midnight Express". This 1978 movie is about the story of a man who is caught attempting to smuggle drugs out of Turkey. The Turkish courts decide to make an example of him, sentencing him to more than 30 years in prison.

    • Dean: So, ah, what are you reading?
      Rory: The Portable Dorothy Parker.

      Dorothy Parker was one of the most quotable females in history, one of the leading members of the Algonquin Round Table, a well-known 1920s luncheon group of writers, critics, and others known for being a collection of some of the sharpest, most biting wits in history. For more information, there are any number of quote collections, as well as the documentary The Ten Year Lunch and the 1995 film Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, starring Jennifer Jason Leigh as Dorothy Parker.
      One of the production companies for Gilmore Girls is titled 'Dorothy Parker Drank Here'.

    • Emily: (watching TV with Lorelai) Oh, look! Barbara Stanwyck. I just love Barbara Stanwiyck.
      Lorelai: Yeah, she's good.
      Emily: She had that wonderful voice, that husky, deep voice. I just love that voice.
      Lorelai: You know, Mom, you have a Barbara Stanwyck-y voice.
      Emily: Oh, I do not.
      Lorelai: I mean it. You could have gotten Fred MacMurray to off Dad if you'd really wanted to. Emily: You do enjoy teasing me, don't you?
      Lorelai: You know, I really do.

      Barbara Stanwyck was one of the great classic actresses of early film, noted for playing strong, powerful women. The film being watched is clearly the definitive film noir classic, Double Indemnity, in which Stanwyck seduces insurance agent Fred MacMurray into killing her husband for her, and making it look like an accident so that they can collect double on the policy (hence the name).

    • Tristan: Look, I'll confess something to you. I don't have a date.
      Rory: I hear Squeaky Fromme is up for parole soon.

      Lynette Alice "Squeaky" Fromme was a member of the infamous Manson Family, who nominally attempted to assassinate then-President Gerald Ford in 1975 (She pointed a Colt .45 Automatic, loaded with four bullets, at him, but there was no bullet in the firing chamber). She is currently serving a life sentence, but has waived her right to parole.

    • Lorelai: Hey, Dean, meet my mother, Emily Post.

      Emily Post is an author and journalist that promoted proper etiquette through newspaper columns and a best selling book. For decades, Post's Ettiquette was the bible on proper behavior, and in many ways still defines the basis for proper protocol in high society functions.

    • Lorelai: That's true. However, not really, since you've never actually been to one and you're basing all of your dance opinions on one midnight viewing of Sixteen Candles.

      Sixteen Candles is the first movie directed by John Hughes, and stars Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall. It is considered one of the best coming-of-age films, and also has early performances by John and Joan Cusack in small parts.

    • Lane: No, you have to do this now.
      Rory: Why?
      Lane: Because I have to go home soon and my mom threw out our TV after she caught me watching V.I.P.

      V.I.P. is a low-rent syndicated TV series starring Pamela Anderson as the owner of a celebrity bodyguard agency.

    • Tristan: The guy's supposed to buy the tickets.
      Rory: Really? Does Susan Faludi know about this?

      Susan Faludi is a feminist, author, and Pulitzer Prize winner in Explanatory Journalism. She wrote a very popular book about a supposed backlash against feminism in the early 1990s.

    • Lorelai: And then we can go to Turkey and stay in that place from Midnight Express.

      Midnight Express is a movie based on the story of Billy Hayes who is sent to a Turkish prison for trying to smuggle hashish out of Turkey to the U.S. It makes US prisons look like country clubs.

    • Lorelai: Become a crazy Oscar Levant kind of celebrity, go on talk shows, heckle Regis.

      Oscar Levant is a pianist and actor better known for his mordant character and witticisms.

    • Lorelai: Wow, Mom, look at you. You'd think Ann Taylor was having a sale or something.

      Ann Taylor is a brand of high-end women's clothes.

    • Lorelai: We're in here! Emily: We're in here? That's how you answer the door? Lorelai: Well I was all out of Saran Wrap. In the movie and book Fried Green Tomatoes, Evelyn Couch (played by Kathy Bates) imagines greeting her husband at the door wearing a dress made out of Saran Wrap in an attempt to spice up their marriage.

    • Emily: You're not using the curtains, are you?

      In a scene from Gone with the Wind, later famously parodied by Carol Burnett, an impoverished Scarlett O'Hara makes a dress from her velvet curtains when war time shortages leaves her with no other available material.

      It could also be from a scene from The Sound of Music, where Maria makes play clothes for Captain Von Trapp's children from the curtains that used to hang on her bedroom, as the Captain didn't give her any material, for he doesn't believe his children should be out there playing.

    • Rory: He's my gentleman caller.
      Lane: Okay, Blanche.

      Blanche Dubois, the central character in Tennessee Williams's play A Streetcar Named Desire, often refers to her suitors as "gentleman callers." This line could also, however, be referring to the popular 1980's-1990's sitcom The Golden Girls, about four older women living together in Miami. The most promiscuous girl of the group, Blanche Devereaux, referred to her many boyfriends as "gentleman callers."

    • Rory: Call me Ponyboy.

      Rory is left out at Chilton as Ponyboy was left out in the novel The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton. The novel was made into a 1983 movie by Francis Ford Coppola, and stars quite a list of the then up-and-coming young stars, including Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, C. Thomas Howell (as Ponyboy), Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Diane Lane, and some guy named Tom Cruise.