"Rory’s Birthday Parties"
Written by Amy Sherman-Palladino; directed by Sarah Pia Anderson

Lorelai, Rory, and Emily have Friday night dinner at the Gilmores’ house, where Emily announces that her and Richard’s lawyer is stopping by the next day. Lorelai complains about the lawyer’s crazy daughter, causing Emily to remark that everything and everyone is fodder for a joke to Lorelai. Richard arrives late and Emily tells Lorelai and Rory that after dinner they should go around the house and mark what they want Emily and Richard to leave them in their wills. The family gets pudding for dessert, which Lorelai finds strange. After dinner, Rory and Lorelai place Post-It notes on the items they’d like after Richard and Emily die. Lorelai sends Rory out of the room so she can discuss Rory’s upcoming birthday with Emily. She tries to get Emily to move Friday night dinner to Saturday, since Rory’s birthday falls on a Friday, but Emily wants them to come over for a party. Both refuse to change their minds, but in the end, Lorelai has to tell Rory that they’ll be coming for the party next Friday. She promises that they’ll have another party in Stars Hollow on Saturday. At the inn, Sookie plans the menu for the second party and Lorelai announces that Emily served pudding at dinner. Lorelai is impressed that Emily knew they liked pudding, which means that she actually listened to them. Jackson enters and has Sookie taste his new fruit, a cross between a kumquat and a raspberry. Michel enters and Lorelai invites him to the second party, wanting to give him plenty of time to come up with an excuse not to attend.

At home, Rory orders pizza for her and Lorelai and gets right to her homework. Emily calls Lorelai and asks her to go shopping with her to get a birthday present for Rory. Lorelai gives in and they agree to meet the next day. At Chilton, Tristan wishes Rory an early happy birthday, having received an invitation to the first party. Rory freaks out when she learns that everyone in the class may have gotten an invitation. Louise discusses the party with another girl, both announcing that they’re going because their parents are making them. Emily and Lorelai go shopping but have very different ideas of appropriate gifts for Rory. Emily wants to get something nice, but Lorelai thinks Rory would prefer something young and fun. She reminds Emily of the pudding, trying to inspire her to think of what Rory would like. Emily finally decides on a bracelet, but she’s disappointed that it only costs $12. After the shopping expedition, Lorelai heads to Luke’s, where he gets her to shut up by proposing. She invites him to the second party and he says he’ll see if he can come. An unhappy Rory joins her mother, who shows her the dresses she got them for the first party. Lorelai says that Emily bought the dresses for them, but she thinks she can improve them. She’s happy that she spent time with her mother and they didn’t fight. Luke brings Rory coffee and the girls talk about how great Rory’s birthday parties always are - apparently, her eighth got shut down by cops. (The clown was arrested.)

Early on the morning of her birthday, Lorelai goes into Rory’s room and gets in bed with her, wishing her a happy birthday. She tells Rory how awesome she is, then starts reminiscing about giving birth. Later that morning, Rory and Lane go to Luke’s for breakfast and he makes them switch tables, since he set one up for them with balloons and coffee cake. Rory complains to Lane about having to go to the first party with all of the Chilton kids, who will think that she doesn’t have any friends and has to have her grandmother find them for her. She says that she couldn’t refuse to go because of the pudding and Lorelai’s non-combative shopping trip with Emily. She decides that she can stand one night of torture and will go. Dean enters and quietly wishes Rory a happy birthday, which makes Rory smile. At the Gilmores’ that evening, Emily orders the help around and has to tell Richard not to conduct business for more than five minutes during the party. Lorelai and Rory arrive and are amazed at the extent Emily went to. Emily isn’t thrilled to realize that Lorelai has altered her dress. During the party, Lorelai runs into an old high school classmate, Mitzi, who inadvertently reminds Lorelai that she was pregnant the last time they saw each other. She asks about Christopher, who’s in California, and Mitzi notes that Rory resembles her father.

While Richard talks business with some guests, Emily gets Rory to talk to the people she invited from Chilton. Rory spots Paris, whose parents forced her to come, and Tristan arrives, telling Rory that he’s madly in love with her. She reluctantly introduces him to Richard, who knows Tristan’s father and says that he approves of him being friends with Rory. After Richard leaves, Rory tells Tristan that he doesn’t really like her, he just has a weird desire to prove that he can get her to go out with him. She heads off to find Lorelai and runs into her and Emily, who wants Rory to make a speech to all of the guests. Rory blows up at her that it’s Emily’s party and she has nothing to say to them. Emily blames Lorelai for Rory’s outburst, saying that Lorelai didn’t teach her daughter manners. Rory winds up in Lorelai’s old bedroom, where she apologizes to her mother and reveals that Emily didn’t ask her before she invited all of the kids from Chilton. Lorelai asks Rory why she didn’t mention that she was upset about the party. Rory tells her that she wanted Lorelai to stay happy with Emily, since it’s rare that they’re not fighting. Lorelai assures her that after she apologizes to Emily about her blowup, everything will be okay. Rory says that she now knows what it was like for Lorelai to grow up in that house. Lorelai remembers her last birthday in the house - she was pregnant but hadn’t told anyone yet. Emily arrives and chastises the girls for being rude, sending them back to the party.

At the end of the night, as the guests are leaving, Richard gives Rory a check and tells her to put it towards a trip to Fez (see “Kill Me Now”). Rory invites Emily and Richard to the second party, but Emily says that they won’t be able to make it. Lorelai sends Rory outside and asks Emily to come to the party, noting that her granddaughter invited her. Emily replies that Rory blew up at her in front of a bunch of people. Lorelai reminds her that she invited a bunch of people from Chilton who aren’t even Rory’s friends, and she shouldn’t have assumed that Rory would be happy about it. She accuses Emily of trying to control Rory, the same way she always did to Lorelai. Emily tries to get her to leave and Lorelai says that she thought Emily was trying to get to know them. Emily complains that she planned everything for the party, and Rory has repaid her by being rude. Lorelai thinks that Emily doesn’t know her, but Emily claims that she does. Lorelai finally leaves before things get too out of control. The next morning, Sookie unpacks groceries at Rory and Lorelai’s as Rory announces that she’s heading out to a college fair. Lorelai thinks she’s strange for wanting to get yet another brochure for Harvard. At the fair, Rory runs into Paris and learns that she, too, wants to go to Harvard. They’re unhappy about the news but decide that it’s a large school and they could go the entire four years without running into each other. Paris asks if Rory is dating Tristan, which Rory vehemently denies.

That night, most of Stars Hollow turns out for the second party, which is completely different from the first one. Rory receives a computer from Lorelai and gets a birthday cake with a picture of herself on it. Just as they’re cutting the cake, the doorbell rings and Lorelai yells for the new guests to come in. Emily and Richard enter and Rory introduces everyone to them. Lorelai heads into the kitchen to get drinks for her parents and tells Sookie that they actually showed up. She notes that this is the first time her parents have been there. Emily comes in to compliment the hors d’oeuvres and meets Sookie; Emily tells her that she should cater her next party. Later, Sookie finds Lorelai in the living room and tells her that they’re out of ice. Lorelai isn’t sure how that’s possible, but she says that she’ll go out and get some. Just as she starts to leave, Luke arrives with ice. Emily catches Lorelai hugging him and Lorelai introduces them. Rory goes to the porch, where Richard is taking a break, and brings him a magazine. Inside, the guests reminisce about Rory’s childhood. Emily goes upstairs to Lorelai’s bedroom and is soon joined by Lorelai. Emily asks her how long she and Luke have been together, but Lorelai says that they’re just friends. Emily thinks that he likes her and that Lorelai is pleased to hear that.

Emily spots a picture of Lorelai with a broken leg and is shocked to hear that it was taken three years earlier. Lorelai tells her that if she’d been really sick, Emily would have found out about it. She thanks Emily for coming to the party. Emily meets up with Richard, who’s still reading Rory’s magazine on the porch. (He’s taking a quiz and learns that he’s an autumn.) Richard gives Rory another check for Fez and then leaves with Emily. After they go, Lorelai and Rory rush back inside to continue the more entertaining party. In the car, Emily tells Richard that Lorelai was right - she doesn’t know her daughter very well at all. Later, Lorelai and Sookie clean up the kitchen and decide that next year they’ll have the party at McDonalds. Lorelai looks into the yard and spots Rory with Dean. Rory apologizes for seeming sneaky with him, but admits that she hasn’t told Lorelai about Dean yet. He gives her a bracelet he made himself, tying it around her wrist as Lorelai watches from the house.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Lorelai: “Saturday’s a pretty good night, Mom.”
Emily: “Not as good as Friday.”
Lorelai: “Pretty da%$ close.”
Emily: “Not from where I’m standing.”
Lorelai: “Well, move, then.”

Luke “She’s not here yet.”
Lorelai: “All right. You’ll have to entertain me until she arrives. Okay, Burger Boy, dance.”
Luke: “Will you marry me?”
Lorelai: “What?”
Luke: “Just looking for something to shut you up.”

Tristan: “I’m madly in love with you.”
Rory: “Well, good luck with that.”

Richard: “Rory, who’s your friend?”
Rory: “I don’t know, but this is Tristan.”

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