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Gilmore Girls

Season 4 Episode 2

The Lorelais' First Day at Yale

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Sep 30, 2003 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
305 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


While Luke is willing to lend Lorelai his truck to help Rory move into her dorm, he's not too thrilled when the project turns out to take all day and all night. Rory's roommates turn out to be a jock, a fifteen year old prodigy sorely lacking in socialization skills, and to her astonishment, her old nemesis from Chilton. Nicole's partners descend on the diner and threaten to ensnare Luke in a morass of paperwork;


Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Lorelai and Rory' first day at Yale

    Yay, The Lorelais' first at Chilton is one of my fave episodes of Gilmore Girls so it felt right to introduce us to the new Yale scene with the reminescence of one of the Gilmores' best episode. Also, Rory's first day at Yale is the suite of the very reason why Rory went to Chilton on the fisrt place. And I really like the guide girls and the jokes about the id cards and the dormrooms and how freshmens are just so naive and impressed! I still think Harvard really would have been cool, but Yale is close to home so Yay Yale!moreless
  • Lorelai and Rory's first day at Yale!

    After three years watching them together now we should cope up with the fact that Rory is going to college and will not be with her mother Lorelai all the time. The episode is so much fun. Lorelai and Luke fighting over the trunc. Luke talking to Nicole's partners. Lorelai and Rory saying goodbye three times. Paris is back and seems a lot like the old Paris though she is trying to change.

    The episode is also heartwarming such as all Gilmore Girls episodes. Rory is so sweet that she misses Lorelai and finds it pretty tough to cope up with living away from her. Their talk was awesome as Rory tells her that she shouldn't have been so attached to her mother now that she finds it hard to let her go. I think that Gilmore Girls is a show which is as good in its college years as it is in its high school years. We have seen a lot of shows struggling after their main characters graduate from high school. But I see something different here.

    I really enjoyed that episode.moreless
  • This episode is so COOL!

    I absulutly LOVE this Episode! It is soooo funny! i love the matress thing, the fight that Lorelai and Luke have over it, and his truck. And it also shows how much Luke cares for Rory. And the party that Lorelai trows spur-of-the-moment. I love what she says when she's inviting every one on First Floor Derfee into Rory's appartment: "Enter, Rejoice and come in!" And the start of the episode, before and after the song. And that thing with the lawyer and Doon Dowey. And how Rory wasn't ready to let go of Lorelai? And at the very end, i love the song, that plays, and the la-la melody. It's just so sad. i think two of my favourite la-la melodys are this one and the one when Rory sees Dean and Lindsay come out of the church after getting married from a distance. They are just so sad, but really good.moreless
  • Lorelai and Rory experience their first day at Yale. Rory is surprised when she finds Paris is going to be her roommate, and Lorelai just can't seem to get rid of that mattress. The hardest part of the day is letting each other go.moreless

    Starting with the title, you can tell that this episode is going to be a mirror of 1.02: The Lorelai's First Day at Chilton. But, as they soon find, letting Rory go to Chilton is a whole lot different then letting her go off to college.

    There were three highlights of this episode. First was the discovery of Paris. 'Give me a hug' she exclaims to a biwildered Rory. 'My nose is clay' she says back. Intense-Paris is now mellow-Paris, thanks to Terrence, her life coach. Even with a life-coach, Paris is still hilariously controlling.

    Second was the Luke/Lorelai interaction. It wasn't exactly cute in this episode, but very funny, as Lorelai is borrowing Luke's truck. Every time she comes back to Star's Hollow, there it is: The Yale Mattress.

    "I need my truck." "That sticks you with the mattress." "Then take the truck and the mattress." "I can't take the mattress." And on and on and on.

    Finally is the relization that Rory has to let Lorelai go. After begging her to stay the night, they share a bittersweet hug and are forced to go seperate ways. Not a stellar episode, but solid. 9.1/10moreless
  • It's Rory's first day at Yale. This episode really showed how hard it is to move away from home, brilliantly done.

    I loved the whole feel of the episode. Rory going to college, seeing all the dorms and what her life will be like for the next four years. Lorelai with Luke's truck was also so funny and the end was sad when she realised how empty the house was without Rory.

    Paris was hilarious in this episode, how this guy stopped her anger. I couldn't stop laughing at near outbursts at the other room mate. The whole first night thing with Lorelai was great, very cool feel to it all. And it even got her some potential new friends. The 16 year old girl was amusing, mainly Paris's reaction to her.

    Luke's annoyance at the lawyers was good too. I like Rory's breakdown about everything, missing home and such. I really can't wait for the rest of this season, just to see her college life and what Lorelai does without her.moreless
Sean Gunn

Sean Gunn

Kirk Gleason (Episodes 44 - , recurring previously)

Keiko Agena

Keiko Agena

Lane Kim

Alexis Bledel

Alexis Bledel

Rory Gilmore

Lauren Graham

Lauren Graham

Lorelai Gilmore

Scott Patterson

Scott Patterson

Luke Danes

Liza Weil

Liza Weil

Paris Geller (Episodes 22 - , recurring previously)

Joy Darash

Joy Darash


Guest Star

Robert Cicchini

Robert Cicchini

Russell Bynes

Guest Star

Alan Oppenheimer

Alan Oppenheimer

Mr. Blodgett

Guest Star

Olivia Hack

Olivia Hack

Tanna Schrick

Recurring Role

Aris Alvarado

Aris Alvarado


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (13)

    • When Tess goes over to meet Rory, she has one key in her hand. At this point, Tess has no idea who Rory is. When Tess meets her, she gives her that one key. Now, how did Tess know that that key would be for Rory if she had no idea who she was?

    • When Rory is moving into her dorm room, she is upset when a piece of her campus map tears off. She says that the part of the map which tore off was Old Campus, but that to get a replacement map, she will have to go "all the way back to the Old Campus". Her suite was in Durfee Hall. Durfee Hall is actually located on Old Campus at Yale. In fact, all the freshman dorms (and Durfee is one of these) are located on Old Campus! This was a goof on the part of the writers -- someone didn't do their Yale research!

    • Lorelai tells Luke she can't take the key out. But when she and Rory arrived at Yale a while later, she has no difficulty removing the key.

    • When Rory meets her advisor a key is in her hand, when they turn the camera to Lorelai and then go back to the advior the key is gone, they turn away one more time but when they look back the key is there.

    • When Rory shows Lorelai her student I.D., you can clearly see that her head is facing forward, but when her picture was taken her head was turned towards the guy taking the picture.

    • Rory said that she had never shared a bathroom with anyone besides Lorelai. At the beginning of Season 3 she was in Washington D.C. and had to share a dorm room with Paris. She probably would have had to share a bathroom too.

    • Rory asks where the phone jack is when she gets to her dorm. Even though they do have a landline phone, why would she be worried about that if she has a cell phone?

    • When Lorelai is talking to Tanna about her parents, she remarks that she would like to meet them when she got back. She then leaves almost immediately after that. At that point, she did not know she was going to make a second trip to Yale.

    • When Lorelai comes back to campus after Rory pages her, Rory says all she was thinking was that she wanted her mommy. She said she hadn't thought that since she was two. In a previous episode when Rory is at the hospital with her father's girlfriend who is in labor, she calls Lorelai saying she wants her mommy and she doesn't care who knows it.

    • There is no D on a stick shift. The standard gears are 1, 2, 3, 4, sometimes 5, and R.

    • Tanna is telling Paris about how in Medieval times the surname would often reflect a person's occupation or his origin. Paris then asks what Tanna means, however, Tanna is not her surname, it's her first name. A surname is a last name, so the proper question would be "What does Schrick mean?" as Shrick is her last name.

    • When Lorelai is photographing Rory at the very beginning of the episode, the lens cap is on the camera.

    • Standard shift vehicles don't have a 'park,' they use neutral and the hand/emergency/parking brake.

  • QUOTES (20)

    • Luke: So if I give you my lawyer's name, will you leave?
      Russell: I will leave.
      Luke: Okay, ready?
      Russell: Yes.
      Luke: His name is Don Dewey. He works at the firm of Dewey...
      Russell: Dewey...
      Luke: Cheatham...
      Russell: Cheatham...
      Luke: And Howe.
      Russell: Dewey, Cheatham and Howe. (Pause) That was very immature.
      Luke: Went well, tickled me.
      Russell: My bosses are going to want to hear this.
      Luke: Oh, come on. They've heard that one before. Oh hey, if you want Don's number, it's 555-5555.

    • Mr. Stein #1: Mr. Danes, I am an impatient man, a busy man, a sensible man, a skeptical man.
      Luke: So you're four different men? Were they all named Stein too?

    • (about the truck)
      Luke: Wait, why is the mattress still there?
      Lorelai: Oh, that's not the mattress, that's a mattress.
      Luke: What?
      Lorelai: Rory has the new mattress. That's the Yale-supplied mattress that has microbes in it that date back to Henry Box Brown.
      Luke: Well, what are you gonna do with it?
      Lorelai: Well, I was thinking maybe you could store it for me.
      Luke: Uh, no.
      Lorelai: Come on.
      Luke: No.
      Lorelai: Well, I can't take it back to Yale.
      Luke: I'm not storing your microbe mattress, forget it.
      Lorelai: Well, then I'm stuck here.
      Luke: Fine, because I need my truck back.
      Lorelai: Fine, but that leaves you with the mattress.
      Luke: I'm not taking the mattress.
      Lorelai: Then let me take the truck.
      Luke: But that means you take the mattress.
      Lorelai: I can't take the mattress.
      Luke: Then you can't have the truck.
      Lorelai: But that sticks you with the mattress.
      Luke: If you take the truck, it comes with the mattress.
      Lorelai: I can't take the mattress.
      Luke: Then you can't have the truck.
      Lorelai: And that sticks you with the mattress.
      Luke: We've been here before.
      Lorelai: I recognize that tree.

    • Tanna: (Blurting out a random fact because Paris makes her nervous) In medieval times, people's surnames often reflected their origins or occupations so they were descriptive as well as utilitarian.
      Paris: And what does Tanna mean?
      Tanna: Nothing.
      Paris: We're gonna have some fun this year.

    • Rory: Four hours at Yale, and I'm already homesick!
      Lorelai: Well, that's okay.
      Rory: All I could think of the minute you left was "I want my mommy." I haven't thought that since I was two!
      Lorelai: That's natural.
      Rory: I'm 18, I can fight for my country, I can vote, I can sign legal contracts. I mean, I'm an adult. Adults don't want their mommies.
      Lorelai: Yes, they do honey. I mean, I'm not a good example, but...

    • Luke: Isn't today Yale?
      Rory: Yeah, I'm leaving now.
      Luke: You look so calm. How do you feel?
      Rory: A little nervous. But one last "Luke's fix" before I go will help.
      Luke: Well, order whatever you want, because today it's on the house.
      Rory: Wow, I feel important.
      Luke: You are important.

    • (Luke is explaining his truck's gearshift to Lorelai)
      Luke: "D" is for drive, "R" is for...
      Lorelai: The "r" in drive!
      Luke: "R" is for reverse.
      Lorelai: Right, reverse.
      Luke: And "1" is...
      Lorelai: The loneliest number that you'll ever know!

    • Luke: I don't want this mattress.
      Lorelai: Help me take it somewhere.
      Luke: Where? To the conveniently located old mattress drop-off station right around the corner?

    • Paris: Lorelai!
      Lorelai: Hi, Paris. It's so good to see you.
      Paris: Same here. You and I have a bit of a journey left to finish as well.
      Lorelai: I'll clear my schedule.

    • Russel: Didn't you read the papers?
      Luke: Yeah, the Red Sox lost by three, Bush is at the ranch chatting up a Swiss dude.
      Russel: The divorce papers.

    • (Lorelai takes a picture)
      Lorelai: I'm not happy.
      Rory: Why?
      Lorelai: It looks posed.
      Rory: How about this?
      Lorelai: Yeah, you know the stick we were talking about before? It looks like it's somewhere else now.

    • Lorelai: This parent orientation I went to is a non-stop litany of the horrors of meeting college freshmen. You're supposed to carry a whistle, a flashlight, a crucifix, and a loaded Glock with you at all times.

    • (Lorelai does "going off to college walk")
      Rory: You look like Alfalfa going off to see Darla.

    • Luke: (commenting on Nicole's lawyers) They're gonna multiply like The Matrix.

    • Rory: Can you stay for dinner?
      Lorelai: I can stay all night.
      Rory: No, you can't do that.
      Lorelai: Why not?
      Rory: Because then I'm the pathetic person who needs her mother to stay all night and everyone here will see and know that.
      Lorelai: Okay, so I won't spend the night.
      Rory: No! Stay the night.

    • Luke: This is Lorelai.
      Mr. Stein #1: Are you an attorney?
      Luke: No, she's carbon-based.

    • Rory: You did not socialize me properly. You made me into a mama's girl. Why don't I hate you? Why can't I be away from you?

    • Rory: Say something to make me hate you.
      Lorelai: Go Hitler?

    • Rory: I have to share a bathroom. I've never shared a bathroom with anyone but you. So now I'm gonna be running into people in the bathroom, we're gonna have to make small talk. I don't know any bathroom small talk.
      Lorelai: Um, gee, your hair smells terrific?

    • Paris: So do you like your adoptive parents?
      Tanna: Yeah.
      Paris: I think it's good to be adopted. If you get sick of them, you can just dump this set and go find the originals.

  • NOTES (6)

    • French episode title: "Premier Jour A Yale", meaning "First Day At Yale".

    • Sean Gunn (Kirk), Keiko Agena (Lane), Kelly Bishop (Emily), Edward Herrmann (Richard), Melissa McCarthy (Sookie), and Yanic Truesdale (Michel) do not appear in this episode.

    • Olivia Hack, who plays Rory's 16-year-old roommate Tanna, also played the infamous Cindy Brady in The Brady Bunch Movie and A Very Brady Sequel.

    • Early in the episode, Lorelai and Rory playfully argue whether Pat Summerall and Lady Bird Johnson are alive or not. Both were alive at the time of this episode's original airing.

    • Music:
      - "Tell Her What She Wants To Know" by Sam Phillips
      - "Bright Future In Sales" by Fountains of Wayne

    • This episode's title parallels, and is a play on words of, the title of season one's second episode -- "The Lorelais' First Day at Chilton."

  • ALLUSIONS (11)

    • Rory: Pat Summerall?
      Lorelai: Well, you think of somebody better.
      Rory: Orson Welles.
      Lorelai: It can't be a dead person.
      Rory: Pat Summerall's dead.
      Lorelai: No he's not.
      Rory: Pat Summerall is dead.
      Lorelai: No, I'm telling you he's not. Ladybird Johnson is dead.
      Rory: No she's not!
      Pat Summerall is a sports broadcaster who is still alive. Ladybird Johnson was married Lyndon Baines Johnson and was First Lady. She was alive when this episode aired but died July 11, 2007.

    • Luke: We've been here before.
      Lorelai: I recognize that tree.

      This is a reference to the Samuel Beckett play Waiting For Godot, where the two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, are waiting for Godot who never shows up. The whole time they're sitting by a tree which although it changes slightly when the leaves grow, they think looks familiar.

    • Luke: They're gonna multiply like The Matrix.

      In the movie The Matrix, agent Smith is trying to destroy Neo and vice versa, but every time Neo kills the agent he morphs into another body and keeps multiplying so he can't be eradicated.

    • Lorelai: Tanna, how old are you?
      Tanna: Sixteen.
      Rory: Sixteen?
      Tanna: On Tuesday.
      Lorelai: Happy birthday, Doogie

      Reference to Doogie Howser, a TV character who was a child genius and became a doctor as a teenager

    • Lorelai: That's the Yale-supplied mattress that has microbes in it that date back to Henry Box Brown.

      Henry Box Brown was a slave from Virginia who was sent in a 3 foot by 2 foot box to a member of the Underground Railroad to escape slavery.

    • Rory: I look like Keith Richards at Altamont.

      Altamont is a speedway in Northern California that hosted a music festival in December 1969 where the Rolling Stones played and several poor quality drugs were present.

    • Rory: You're having serious Annie Leibovitz delusions here.

      Annie Leibovitz is a famous photographer most noted for her portraits of rock and roll personalities for Rolling Stone and, currently, for Vanity Fair.

    • Rory: Of all the gin joints...

      Rory is referring to a famous quote from the film Casablanca starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. After his long-lost flame Ilsa (Bergman) shows up at his cafe, Rick (Bogart) laments: "Of all the gin joins in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine."

    • Rory: My nose, it feels like clay.

      While Rory says this line, she smushes her nose off to the side with her finger. This is shot to look exactly like a scene from I Love Lucy when Lucy makes a fake nose out of clay as a disguise. This, of course, turns out badly when the clay changes shape, catches on fire, etc. At one point, while trying to fix her clay nose, Lucy smushes it to the side with her finger, just like Rory does here.

    • Rory: You look like Alfalfa going off to see Darla.

      Alfalfa is a character in the movie Little Rascals who is in love with a girl named Darla.

    • Luke: His name is Don Dewey. He is from the firm Dewey, Chetem, and Howe.

      Luke is referring to the fake law firm set up by Curly, Lary and Moe, on the show The Three Stooges.