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Recap / Gilmore Girls S01E01 "Pilot"

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Season 1, Episode 1

Pilot (Original air date: 10/5/00)

Introducing Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, a 32-year-old single mother and her 16-year-old daughter living in the small town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut. When Rory is accepted into Chilton, a prestigious prep school and a gateway to fulfilling her dream of attending Harvard, Lorelai is dismayed at the high tuition. She reluctantly asks her estranged parents, Emily and Richard, for financial help. Meanwhile, Rory's attention is captured by an attractive new boy at school, and she is suddenly unsure if Chilton is really what she wants.


  • Absurdly Youthful Mother: Justified, as Lorelai was a teen mom. Used hilariously in one of the first scenes of the episode, in which a 20-something tourist hits on both of them and is shocked to find out they're mother and daughter. He then mentions he's travelling with a friend...and then bolts out the door when Lorelai tells him Rory's 16.
  • Because I Said So: After Rory impulsively decides against going to Chilton due a fledgling crush on Dean, Lorelai forgoes her usual democratic-style parenting and pulls the "Mom Card."
  • Black Sheep: Lorelai is one in regards to her wealthy, privileged upbringing.
  • Crossing the Burnt Bridge: Prior to the beginning of the series, Lorelai has done everything she could to keep her parents out of her and Rory's lives. Rory's admission to Chilton and the steep tuition fee force Lorelai to go to her parents for a loan, onto which Emily quickly attaches the conditions of weekly Friday night dinners and personal involvement in their lives.
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  • Disappeared Dad: Christopher is mentioned as being on the west coast, but since this is news relayed to Lorelai by her parents, it's implied he's not much involved in her and Rory's life.
  • Education Mama: Lorelai offered to sleep with the headmaster at Chilton as an incentive for them to accept her. She doesn't, but it is one of the first questions Rory asks when Lorelai shares the news.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first scene of the show is Lorelai begging Luke for coffee and him scolding her for it (but eventually giving in).
  • Establishing Character Music: Lorelai's first scene both opens and ends with The La's "There She Goes." The bouncy tune and bubbly lyrics set the tone well for her personality.
  • First Love: Rory's is introduced in this episode.
  • Gibberish of Love: Dean introduces himself, and Rory doesn't quite know how to respond. She starts out with her name, and ends with Lorelai in labor hopped up on Demerol (as an explanation for why Lorelai named Rory after herself).
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  • Hollywood New England: Stars Hollow is a quintessential New England small town, complete with town square, gazebo, and fall festivals.
  • Must Have Caffeine: An integral part of Lorelai's Establishing Character Moment.
    Lorelai: Please, Luke. Please, please, please.
    Luke: How many cups have you had this morning?
    Lorelai: None.
    Luke: Plus?
    Lorelai: Five. But yours is better!
    Luke: You have a problem.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Rory was the product of one.
  • Quirky Town
  • Wacky Parent, Serious Child: Lorelai's wacky to Rory's grounded personalities are introduced in this episode.
  • World of Snark


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