‘Gilmore Girls’: Revisit 10 of the Show’s Wackiest Storylines

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Ethan Alter
·Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
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(Credit: Netflix)
Liz Torres, Sally Struthers, Alexis Bledel, and Lauren Graham (Photo: Netflix)

Where the Gilmore Girls lead, we will follow! It’s been nine long years since super mother/daughter duo Lorelai and Rory Gilmore drank all the coffee in Stars Hollow, gorged on junk food and Chinese takeout, fell in and out of love, and dropped every pop culture reference imaginable in their rapid-fire banter. Now, the Gilmores are back to drink even more coffee, talk even faster, and charm us more than ever in Netflix’s continuation of the series, which premieres Nov. 25.

In four 90-minute episodes, titled “Winter,” “Spring,” “Summer,” and “Fall,” Lorelai (Lauren Graham), Rory (Alexis Bledel), and grandmother Emily (Kelly Bishop) all face big changes in their lives. To get ready for the revival, we’re highlighting all the things we love about the show with our official Return to Stars Hollow coverage, from the wacky supporting characters to the insanely clever dialogue to the girls’ complicated love lives. Check back here every day until Nov. 25 to obsess with us over all things Gilmore.

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Stars Hollow is one of the prettiest small towns you’ll ever spend time in, populated by some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. But every now and then, the Frank Capra-esque wonderland that the Gilmore girls call home displays some bizarre David Lynch-ian tendencies. And that tradition will continue in the new Netflix incarnation of the beloved WB/The CW series, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. An early press photo (above) revealed that Stars Hollow dance expert Miss Patty (Liz Torres) and town gossip Babette (Sally Struthers), are collaborating on an original theatrical production, Stars Hollow: The Musical, which already sounds like it’ll be the strangest small-town musical theater experience since Red, White & Blaine. Follow along as we revisit 10 previous instances when Gilmore Girls stopped being polite … and started getting wacky.

Bella Donna

(Season 1, Episode 14, “That Damn Donna Reed”)

Alexis Bledel as Rory and Jared Padalecki as Dean (Credit: WB)
Alexis Bledel and Jared Padalecki (Photo: WB)

Voraciously binging on old episodes of The Donna Reed Show isn’t that strange, especially if you’re watching it ironically as Lorelai and Rory are. It’s quite another thing to actually try to be Donna Reed, as Rory later does, dressing up in ’50s suburban housewife gear, designing a menu that includes such items as whipped cream-topped Jell-O, and transforming your neighbor’s home into an almost picture-perfect recreation of the sitcom’s set. Granted, Rory is only doing this as a teachable lesson for Dean after they argue over The Donna Reed Show’s mixed messages for modern young men and women. But this seems like the sort of disagreement that could be solved with conversation rather than reenactment.

Related: Gilmore Girls Pro/Con List: Should Rory Be With Jess or Logan?

Twin Freaks

(Season 2, Episode 19, “Teach Me Tonight”)

Speaking of David Lynch, resident Stars Hollow weirdo Kirk must be the director’s biggest fan. How else to explain the fact that his debut as a filmmaker — simply titled A Film by Kirk — is the strangest black-and-white nightmare this side of Eraserhead? Kirk acts as well as stars in the short, playing a man meeting his girlfriend’s parents (that girlfriend, by the way, is a pre-24 Mary Lynn Rajskub) and stunning them into silence with his sweet dance moves. The final shot alone makes this a “Movie in the Square Night” that townspeople will be talking about for years to come.

Water Works

(Season 3, Episode 5, “Eight O’Clock at the Oasis”)

(Season 3, Episode 5, “Eight O’Clock at the Oasis”) (Credit: WB)
Jason Kravits (Photo: WB)

Jess’s way into Rory’s heart is … a waterlogged yard? That’s the quirky route to a tender moment when Luke’s nephew shows up to help Rory out of a jam with the neighbor’s lawn, which she promised to care for. That tiki-loving neighbor, by the way, is such an odd creation that he has spawned his own Reddit thread that speculates on his history and possible reasons for his sudden disappearance.

Ballroom Blitz

(Season 3, Episode 7, “They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They”)

Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham (Credit: WB)
Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham (Photo: WB)

Dance marathons may be effective charity fundraisers, but you’ve gotta admit that there’s something a little strange about gathering around to watch a bunch of contestants shake, shimmy, and waltz until they collapse from exhaustion. Naturally, Stars Hollow picks the most torturous of community events to “entertain” the town. What’s next: a turkey trot with actual turkeys as obstacles?

Related: Why Gilmore Girls Rejected Ryan Gosling

Our Precious

(Season 4, Episode 3, “The Hobbits, the Sofa and Digger Stiles”)

(Credit: WB)
(Photo: WB)

It would have been too easy for Lorelai and Sookie’s first catered birthday party to be an ordinary clowns-and-balloons affair. Instead, they sign on for a full-scale Lord of the Rings homage, which proves to be a major problem when it emerges that Sookie doesn’t entirely grasp the concept of Middle Earth cuisine. So she designs a menu that’s fit for the refined taste of elves but lacks the hearty food that young hobbits might enjoy. At least it wasn’t a Harry Potter-themed party, or Sookie would have been on the receiving end of some nasty spells.

Panic! at the Gilmore House

(Season 5, Episode 5, “We Got Us a Pippi Virgin”)

Kelly Bishop and Lauren Graham (Credit: WB)
Kelly Bishop and Lauren Graham (Photo: WB)

The steely Emily Gilmore would seem to be the last person on earth in need of a panic room. But with Richard out of the house (temporarily, at least) his formidable estranged spouse goes all Jodie Foster and adds a steel safe house to their sprawling mansion. On the other hand, her no-nonsense choice of password — 11111 — is totally in character for Emily. After all, why purchase a panic room if you can’t remember the combination to enjoy it?

His House Is a Museum

(Season 5, Episode 18, “To Live and Let Diorama”)

Scott Patterson (Credit: WB)
Scott Patterson (Photo: WB)

Besides passing on your treasured possessions to your friends and family, a last will and testament is the ideal way to make odd requests that would rarely be fulfilled during your living years. Case in point: Upon the occasion of his passing the will of Stars Hollow’s oldest resident, Old Man Twickham, declares that his house is to become a pop-up museum for two months, featuring such attractions as a diorama-guided history of Stars Hollow from caveman days to the present. Another great exhibit idea would be an interactive timeline of the American coffee industry as narrated by Lorelai.

Related: Ken Tucker on the Importance of the Return of ‘Gilmore Girls’

Street Smart

(Season 6, Episode 6, “Welcome to the Dollhouse”)

Melissa McCarthy, Lauren Graham, and Yanic Truesdale (Credit: WB)
Melissa McCarthy, Lauren Graham, and Yanic Truesdale (Photo: WB)

As Stars Hollow’s selectman-in-chief, Taylor Doose has come up with some pretty nutty ideas for raising the town’s profile. Nuttiest amongst them had to be his idea to switch all of the street names back to the ones they bore in the 18th century. So bye-bye 3rd Street and hello Sores and Boils Alley, where the Dragonfly Inn is now located. To be fair, that’s slightly better than Privy Row.

Tons of Troubadours

(Season 6, Episode 22, “Partings”)

(Credit: WB)
(Photo: WB)

A troubadour turf war? It’s just another one of those wacky “Only in Stars Hollow” moments. When the town’s usual curbside singer leaves in pursuit of a record deal, a host of guitar-toting musicians vie for his spot and refuse to yield even when the original returns. Sounds like what Taylor really needs to do is institute a town earplug ordinance.

Time to Party Like It’s 2002

(Season 7, Episode 9, “Knit People, Knit”)

Lauren Graham and Melissa McCarthy (Credit: WB)
Lauren Graham and Melissa McCarthy (Photo: WB)

No time to celebrate the past like the present. That’s why Rory’s buddies, Olivia and Lucy, throw a 2002 party only four short years after that landmark year of Crossroads, “Dirrty,” and the first edition of The Bachelor. We’re stealing their kooky idea for an exclusive 2012 party we’re hosting this weekend. Bring your glitter pumps, Avengers T-shirts, and multiple copies of Red.

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life is available to stream on Netflix beginning Nov. 25.