Gilmore Girls

Season 6 Episode 7

Twenty-One is the Loneliest Number

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Oct 25, 2005 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
518 votes

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Episode Summary

Lorelai refuses to listen to Richard's plan to bribe Rory into resuming school, saying that Rory has to want to go back on her own. Both Rory and Lorelai are saddened by the fact that their estrangement is keeping them apart on Rory's 21st birthday. Emily takes it upon herself to plan a party for her granddaughter when Rory shows no interest in the event. Richard and Emily find out that Rory and Logan have been sleeping together. Lorelai tries to convince Luke to participate in her mad scientist Halloween skit.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Rory turns 21 and Emily throws her a party, Lorelai attends the event. Best episode in the season yet, please let there be a reunion soon.

    Rory's 21, it's weird that we've been watching her since she was sixteen and buy how she has changed. These last episodes, two to be exact have shown the old Rory. She obviously doesn't like where she's going but can't see or stop it herself. The scene where that woman was her mother was funny, it was the same conversation they had in Rory's Birthday Parties in early season one.

    I liked how they both missed each other it just proves that they should not be apart. The Atlantic city birthday sounded just like them, too bad it couldn't happen. Lorelai declines Richard's offer to strike up another plan, which was fair because he ruined the first one to begin with.

    Emily and Richard find out that Rory is having sex which horrifies them. This was amusing. Seeing Rory talk to Luke and Lorelai was brilliant but there was a sad tone to it. I loved her conversation with Luke, it's the first time she's connected with someone in ages. Then her talk with Lorelai was heartbreaking, tears in Lorelai's eyes, it was so awkward.

    Then Lorelai leaves because she's too sad, even though Rory invited her nothing is different....hopefully not for long.moreless
  • Rory celebrates her birthday at a party thrown by her grandparents.

    One of my favorite eppys because so much changes in this one hour. Richard realizes what a mistake he's made going against Lorelai and drinks in his study. Rory and Lorelai realize their mistakes when both talk about old plans of going to Atlantic City. Emily realizes she may have made a mistake catering to Rory's needs. Lorelai is thrilled when Rory calls to check on her rsvp status and really wants to attend the party. I love Emily's "Pearl" references to her 21st party so long ago "Oh to be 21 again". There's a great moment when Paris announces she's the editor of the Yale paper and Lorelai casts a look at Rory...knowing she wanted that job. Rory starts to realize she may have made a mistake. The DAR jokes that Luke gives ("what is the DAR") are priceless. Love the "Rory" drink as well. Just a perfect episode. By the way, Richard also tells Emily he doesn't want Rory to "waste her life" by doing all the things she's done over the years like throw parties. The whole sex thing is hilarious as well. The ministers' talk with Rory? Great...and the fact that she says the "ship has sailed...probably in Fiji by now"!moreless
  • rory's 21st

    wow rory is 21 , well this was a good episode but i think logan should have gone and spoke to lorelai and convinced her to do the alantic city thing they both wanted it so much . it was great to see lorelai show up at the party but it was so not rory to have this at her grandparents house well not like the old rory anyway . it is so sad not to have lorelai and rory celebrating her 21 st together . o m g its so hard to make 100 words . . . .moreless
  • Rory's 21st birthday

    I thought that this was a very good episode. I thought that it was very sad that both Lorelai and Rory talked about what they were supposed to do for Rory's 21st birthday they were going to go to Alantic City and drink gamble and shop on that day and not that they are not talking and it did not happen. I found it strange that Rory did not tell Logan about her birthday coming up. I thought that it was nice of Lorelai to go to the party and talking to Rory. It was nice to see them talking again evan though it did not happen for long.moreless
  • whao! it started really well. i felt sorry for richard cos i know he's at his wits end with how to get rory back to school. it was sad watching lorelai and rory reminisce on the 21st birthday plans they had been making since, it brought tears to my eyes!moreless

    oh the hillarious part was watching richard and emily leave it upto the priest to talk to rory about the birds and bees, that was priceless, rory of saying the ship sailed since i nearly fell off my couch. i really like logan with rory, ihope things work out for them. the scene with richard in the library was pitiful, how he went on and on about providing rory with a sex bed etc etc. it was sad. lorelai should try and have another child was really a bit melancholic. but an amazing episode.moreless
Madeleine Albright

Madeleine Albright

as herself

Guest Star

Kavita Patil

Kavita Patil

Gilmore Maid

Guest Star

Susan Bjurman

Susan Bjurman

Emily's DAR Friend

Guest Star

Sally Struthers

Sally Struthers

Babette Dell

Recurring Role

Ted Rooney

Ted Rooney

Morey Dell

Recurring Role

Todd Lowe

Todd Lowe


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (15)

    • This is the second time Rory has had a birthday party. The first time was in the season 1 episode "Rory's Birthday Parties" when she turned 16.

    • Rory's cake is chocolate praline crunch. Her signature drink is pink, and called "The Rory". The recipe for a Rory is the same as for a flirtini (champagne, vodka, pineapple juice) with grenadine added for a pink coloring. Lorelai later complains that only a martini should be served in a martini glass, not realizing the drink is a known martini variant.

    • The scene where Madeline Albright is Rory's mother (in Rory's dream) is word-for-word the conversation Lorelai had with Rory in the season 1 episode "Rory's Birthday Parties".

    • At Rory's birthday party, Luke keeps asking what the D.A.R. is. Yet, in season 5 episode 21, Lorelai says that her mother will probably hire gunmen to kill her after Emily reads the interview Lorelai gave about the Inn. When Luke is frustrated with Kirk's penny pinching, he asks her where Emily hired them. Lorelai tells him the D.A.R. and he doesn't ask any questions.

    • When Rory comes home to find the pool house full of stuff, she can only push the door open a couple of inches and she has to use her full weight to do it, because there are boxes blocking it. How did the person who put the rentals in the pool house get out of there if the door can't be opened?

    • When Rory's telling Logan her grandparents know they're having sex she says he has her virtue, but Dean actually has her virtue since she lost her virginity to him at the end of Season 4.

    • Emily reveals she "loved" Gin Fizzes when she was 21.

    • In Wedding Bell Blues Luke congratulated Emily on her renewals but Emily says you say best wishes to the bride and congratulations to the groom. At Rory's party upon seeing Lorelai's ring Emily says "I believe congratulations are in order."

    • When Luke, Lorelai, Paris, Doyle and Rory meets at the party, Luke starts telling Paris that they met two weeks ago, but they actually met at episode 1 of the season, which was before June 3rd. And we all ready know that Rory's birthday is in October.

    • In the last episode, when the doorbell rang, Lorelai told Luke that it must be the pizza. This of course indicated that she had already called for pizza. It wasn't the pizza though, it was Richard with the doll house wanting to talk about Rory's situation. In this episode, after Richard leaves, Lorelai continues the discussion with Luke. At the end of the talk, she says to Luke, "I'm hungry. I'm ordering pizza.", but she has already ordered the pizza.

    • Emily told Richard that she walked in on Rory and Logan looking cozy on the couch. Emily didn't walk in on them. She knocked on the door and both Rory and Logan got up when Rory answered the door, so Emily didn't see them on the couch.

    • After Rory calls the diner and asks if Lorelai is going to be at her party, Luke says that Rory said hell and that he has never heard her say it before. But in Season 5 in "Wedding Bell Blues" when Rory, Lorelai, and Luke are talking the Emily and Richard, Rory whispers to Lorelai "third rung of hell" and Luke was right behind her. So he has heard her say it before.
      Possible explanation: Luke has never heard Rory use "hell" as a curse word before.

    • At the end of the last episode, "Welcome to the Dollhouse" and in the beginning of this episode, Lorelai is barefoot at the porch, and then when Luke comforts her, she has shoes on.

    • When Richard comes back from checking out the noise outside, he takes off his coat and puts it on the armrest of a chair. Later in the same scene, however, his coat lies on the backrest of the chair.

    • When Lorelai is at the diner, she puts whipped cream on her pancakes. However, the amount of whipped cream changes from shot to shot.

  • QUOTES (44)

    • Tweeny: You have exquisite taste, Luke. I'm Tweeny Halpurn.
      (They shake hands.)

      Rory: Tweeny works with me at the DAR.

      Luke: What's the DAR?

      (Tweeny laughs hysterically.)

      Luke: I'm killing with that line tonight.

    • Richard: Did you hear, Rory joined the D.A.R.? Lorelai: Yeah, I saw the picture in the paper. Richard: She's running around planning tea parties like the Mad Hatter! All she talks about are seating charts and canapés and fundraisers.

    • Emily: Was the Mortigans' Dalmatian trying to mate with our lion statues again?
      Richard: No, it was not the Mortigans' Dalmatian. It was Rory and Logan.
      Emily: How natural selection hasn't wiped out dogs like that, I'll never know.

    • Luke: Okay. Uh, just a couple of questions here. Uh, once you've electrocuted me and I'm dead, uh, how exactly do I get to the operating table?
      Lorelai: Huh. Good question. Maybe I can position the operating table, like, right near the electric chair so I can just flop you over onto it after you die.
      Luke: Okay. Let's say we work that out. Now I'm on the table, uh, you're going to cut me open with what?
      Lorelai: A big rusty saw.
      Luke: And then you're going to pull linked sausages out of me?
      Lorelai: Real slow and creepy like.
      Luke: Okay, great. Last question. Uh, what are the odds of you getting me to do a skit where you electrocute me, cut me open and pull linked sausages out of me? 'Cause I'm thinking they're right up there with Pia Zadora making a comeback.

    • Emily: Lorelai! You came! You're here! There's a chocolate box for you in the hallway.
      Lorelai: Thank you, Mom.
      Emily: Hello, Luke. I didn't know you were coming. I don't have a chocolate box for you. You'll have to share with Lorelai.
      Lorelai: Fat chance. Mom has really good chocolate.

    • Rory: My mom and I have been planning my 21st birthday since...well, my first memory was kindergarten, but I'm sure she was talking about it way before that. We had this whole big thing planned, and now we're not talking.

    • Lorelai: (to Luke) We were going to go to Atlantic City. We were going to sit at a blackjack table at eleven fifty-nine. We were going to order martinis and we were going to be playing twenty-one when she turned twenty-one. And then hopefully we'd win and we take our winnings and we'd buy twenty-one things. And then there was a thing about twenty-one guys that wouldn't really be appropriate anymore since the engagement, but - it was a good plan. She probably doesn't even remember the plan.

      Rory: (much later on to Logan) We were going to go to Atlantic City and sit at a blackjack table at eleven fifty-nine, and we'd be playing twenty-one when I turned twenty-one. We were going to drink martinis, and win money, and go buy twenty-one things, and there was this thing including twenty-one guys that would be totally inappropriate now that I'm with you, but - it was a pretty big thing, and now we're not talking so it's not going to happen. I'm just a little bummed, that's all.

    • Richard: I'm getting a little tired of -
      Lorelai: No, I'm getting a little tired of this conversation! I'm not interested in your plan! I'm not going to bribe my daughter with cars and money. Mainly because it wouldn't work, and if you'd ever met Rory you would know it wouldn't work. Rory can't be bought! And I'm not going to try and buy her! I want Rory to want to go back to school! She used to love to learn and read and study! And that was freakish, but it was her! And she's got to get herself back there.
      Richard: But -
      Lorelai: No, when Rory wants help she will ask for it. And the minute she does I will fly in faster than the Gulfstream I'm sure you're going to offer to buy her next, but until then, I'm sorry, you're on your own!

    • Lorelai: What about Rory?
      Richard: I don't like what I see in that girl.
      Lorelai: My eyes?

    • Rory: Construction?
      Lorelai: Yeah, we're making the bedroom bigger.
      Rory: You and Luke?
      Lorelai: No, me and John O'Hurley. Luke doesn't know yet. I hope he takes it okay.

    • Emily: Where's Luke? I hope he didn't get lost somewhere.
      Lorelai: Oh, no. I'm sure he's just sizing up how much silver he can stuff into his pockets without it making to much of a bulge.

    • Luke: (about the drink) It tasted pink. Like really tasted really pink. Like pink pink.
      Lorelai: Let's get something to eat.
      Luke: God that's terrible. It's like drinking a My Little Pony.

    • Logan: And all this without a drink in my hand! Dealing with this family is stressful.
      Rory: Tell me about it. And once you've had that drink I can tell you how I've been moved out of the pool house into a room right next to my grandparents. So from now on, we'll have to have sex in our invisible suits. (to the bartender) Two Rorys, please.
      Logan: Does your grandfather know also?
      Rory: Oh yeah!
      Logan: Make it four.

    • Emily: (very distantly) Hello Logan. (to Rory) I have to check on your cake.
      Logan: Is it me or could the penguins march through here?
      Rory: She's probably mad because she found out we're having sex.

    • Logan: Do you really think you can keep talking long enough that I forget I can't come in?
      Rory: Well, I've seen my mom do it before. I thought it was a family trick.
      (they start kissing again)
      Rory: Just for an hour.
      Logan: No!
      Rory: Half an hour?
      Logan: No!
      Rory: Fifteen minutes?
      Logan: No!
      Rory: Okay, an hour.
      Logan: You're getting better at this.

    • Emily: Her boyfriend, how wonderful! Rory's asian friend...
      Rory: Lane!
      Emily:...has a boyfriend.

    • Logan: I know you miss your mom. The concept's a little hard for me to grasp, but I know you do.

    • Emily: (to Logan and Rory) Alright you two, back to what you were doing.
      Rory: Hey, Grandma says.

    • Babette: So what about you, honey, what are you going to do ?
      Lorelai: Oh you know, the same thing I always do.
      Babette: Oh, you're gonna hang caramel apples from the tree again?
      Lorelai: Kids love them.
      Babette: They're not that scary.
      Lorelai: Well, to a diabetic, they're downright terrifying.

    • Lorelai: (to Luke who's desperately trying to lift up the doll house) I'm hungry, I'm ordering pizza. The top comes off.

    • Lorelai: This is just like my parents, you know. They double cross me and then they get mad when I won't help them undo the double cross.

    • Lorelai: (imitating Richard) "She's turning twenty-one Lorelai, did you know that?" Of course I know that, I was there when she was turning nothing.

    • Richard: I don't believe this. Aren't you listening to me?

    • Emily: What's wrong with working for the D.A.R.? We both agreed Rory needed a job.
      Richard: Fundraisers and tea parties? It's frivolous! And meaningless! She has more to do, more to be! I don't want that kind of life for her!
      Emily: You mean my life. You don't want her to be me.

    • Paris: Last year I was sleeping with the editor.
      Doyle: And now I am!

    • Lorelai: I got a dog.
      Rory: (Shocked) What?
      Lorelai: Stop! He's fine.
      Rory: He's alive?
      Lorelai: Yes, he's alive and I'm not discussing that hamster again.

    • Emily: What about Rory?
      Richard: What do you mean, what about Rory? We've LOST her!

    • Richard: She's having sex, Lorelai. She's having sex under my roof. I paid $40,000 to redecorate her sex house. I bought her a sex mattress. Her sex box springs. I provided everything she needs to waste her life.
      Lorelai: Dad, Rory having sex is not your fault. Really, she was having sex long before the big renovation.
      Richard: Oh, I feel so much better now.

    • Richard: Rory's not going back to Yale. And it's my fault.
      Lorelai: Rory made a choice, Dad.
      Richard: I could have stopped her, and I didn't. I cleared the path for her to walk away from her goals, her life.

    • Lorelai: You look good.
      Rory: You look skinny.
      Lorelai: Yeah, well, it's the construction diet.

    • Rory: A lot's changed.
      Lorelai: A lot...and then not so much.

    • Richard: We have failed, Emily!
      Emily: No! We haven't failed until she comes home pregnant!
      Lorelai: And on that note... (gets up and leaves the study)

    • Luke: (about Rory's phone call) She was mad and she yelled and she said hell. I didn't even know she knew how to say hell.

    • (the Reverend talking about Rory's virtue)
      Reverend: If you give it away too soon, to the wrong man, when the right man comes along there will be no gift to give. You'll have to buy him a sweater. Do you understand what I'm saying?
      Rory: No?
      Reverend: Think long and hard about to whom you want to give the ultimate gift you have to give away.
      Rory: Oh.
      Reverend: Yes.

    • Sookie: Okay, what kind of limpy sausage would you like to pull out of Luke?
      Lorelai: I'm not sure. Not too limpy 'cause Luke is a big guy and he needs a big guy sausage.
      Sookie: Don't we all?
      Lorelai: Don't make my man's sausage dirty!

    • Lorelai: Rory will figure it out.
      Richard: Oh please she's twenty-one, I couldn't even tie my shoe at twenty-one.
      Lorelai: Well Rory is advanced. She had the shoe thing down at three.

    • Richard: We need a plan!
      Lorelai: But we... I had a plan! You changed the plan. Plan's gone baby!
      Richard: I don't appreciate your tone
      Lorelai: Apparently the proper tone went out with the plan.

    • Lorelai: I didn't know I was invited!
      Rory: I sent her an invitation! Where the hell did she think it came from? The invitation fairy?

    • (Luke and Lorelai are on their way to Emily and Richard's house)
      Luke: This might be my least-favorite door in the world to knock on.
      Lorelai: What about death's door?
      Luke: The reception on the other side might be warmer.

    • Richard: (to Lorelai) Impossible girl!
      Lorelai: My Native American name, I believe!

    • After the Reverend has warned her not to give her ultimate gift to just anyone
      Rory: That ultimate-gift ship has sailed a long time ago.
      Reverend: Oh.
      Rory: It's probably in Fiji by now. (pause) So, have you seen The Forty-Year-Old Virgin? I think you'd like it.

    • Luke: (talking about pancakes) You're going to be sick.
      Lorelai: No.
      Luke: It's already loaded with chocolate chips...That's candy and you're adding whip cream, that's more candy.
      Lorelai: Got any jelly beans?
      Luke: Now I'm going to be sick.
      Lorelai: Oh, and a cherry.

    • Lorelai: What smells so good?
      Luke: Fried chicken.
      Lorelai: Luke, will you marry me?

    • Rory: (wakes up from dream) I just had a dream that Madeline Albright was my mother.

  • NOTES (3)

  • ALLUSIONS (11)

    • Thurston Moore

      Rory introduces Luke to a member of the D.A.R. named 'Katherine Thurston-Moore'.

      Thurston Moore is the singer/guitarist of the band Sonic Youth.

    • When Emily is talking to Logan about his plans for Rory's birthday, she mentions that she does not want to plan a party if he has plans to whisk her off to Santorini.

      In The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, the character Alexis Bledel (Rory) plays, Lena, goes to visit her grandparents in Santorini.

    • Rory: So, have you seen the Forty-Year-Old Virgin? 'Cause you might like it.

      The 40-Year-Old Virgin is a comedy film starring Steve Carell and following Carell's character struggles and efforts to have his first sexual relationship with a woman.

    • Lorelai: You haven't heard the half of it. Okay, and so I come out and do mad scientist banter, like, 'Hey, who here's from Bellevue?' and 'Girl, Interrupted, now that's my idea of a feel-good movie!' Eh, I'll work on it. But anyway, after that, I'm going to drag you out!

      Bellevue is an informal expression for "psychiatric hospital", due to the fame of the psychiatric services of Bellevue Hospital.
      Girl, Interrupted is a 1999 film starring Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie based on the memoirs of Susanna Kaysen who spent a year and a half in a mental institution.

    • Lorelai: Yes! I want to be a mad scientist, I'm going to come out in a blood-stained white lab coat and freaky makeup and a big giant Don King kind of hairdo, and I am going to turn the whole front yard into my laboratory!

      Don King is a boxer promoter, formerly working with both Muhhamad Ali and Mike Tyson. He is mostly known for his eccentric behaviour and style, including his unusual hairdo.

    • (in Rory's dream)
      Rory: So, do I look older?
      Madeline Albright: Oh, yeah. Walk into Denny's before five and you've got yourself a discount.

      Denny's is a wide chain of family restaurants best known for their 24/7 all-year-round (except holidays) open-ness where you can get all the essentianl meals - breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert.

    • Lorelei: Determined, demented, delovely.

      This is a reference to the song It's Delovely by Cole Porter. It appeared in the musical Anything Goes. The original refrain is "It's delightful, it's delicious, it's delovely."

    • Lorelai: No, me and John O'Hurley.

      John O'Hurley is an actor who is best known for his role as J. Peterman on Seinfeld.

    • Rory: I just had a dream that Madeline Albright was my mother!

      Madeleine Albright was the 64th Secretary of State in the US under President Bill Clinton.

    • Richard: She's running around talking about tea parties like the Mad Hatter.

      The Mad Hatter is a character from the book Alice in Wonderland, written by Lewis Carrol.

    • Episode Title: Twenty-One is the Loneliest Number

      The title of the episode is a variation on the lyrics of the song One by Three Dog Night. The original lyrics are:
      "One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do; Two can be as bad as one, It's the loneliest number since the number one..."