The Top 10 Episodes Of “Gilmore Girls” To Watch When The Series Debuts On Netflix In October

As a way to pass the time this weekend, I decided to take five minutes and make a list of all the people/places/things I love unconditionally. For the first 60 seconds, I couldn’t stop staring my dusty floorboards. However, once I finally focused on something other than the brood of dust bunnies huddled between my bed and my nightstand, I put pen to paper and came up with four sacred items. That might not sound like a lot, but I’m relatively proud of my choices.

On Leslie’s list of the things she loves unconditionally—and in no particular order—includes the following:

  1. My parents
  2. The family of Gund Snuffles teddy bears I sleep with every night. (Don’t hate the stuffed animal player; hate the stuffed animal game.)
  3. Jimmy John’s Sandwiches, particularly the #4 Turkey Tom with no tomato and light mayo.
  4. The phrase, “I want to go to there.”
  5. “Gilmore Girls”

Seeing that Netflix recently made the announcement that, starting Oct. 1, all seven seasons of “Gilmore Girls” will be available for streaming, you can imagine I’ve been walking on sunshine for the past week. Instead of gnawing on my cuticles and furiously cleaning my floorboards, I decided to put my Stars Hollow-inspired energy to good use and come up with a list of the Top 10 Must-See Episodes Of “Gilmore Girls.”

“What’s the series about?” some of you might be asking. First of all, it’s taking all the strength I have not to roll my eyes out of their sockets at your Gilmore ignorance. Second, now that I’ve composed myself, the show is about a quirky mother and her teen daughter who live in a small New England town, which is filled with a cast of even quirkier characters. Oh, and everyone talks incredibly fast. That’s really all you need to know.

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

Plot: While watching an episode of “The Donna Reed Show,” Rory’s boyfriend Dean (Jared Padalecki) comments that maybe the traditional gender roles depicted in the ’50s sitcom weren’t such a bad thing. Outraged by his remarks, Rory (Alexis Bledel) decides to prove Dean wrong by dressing up like a housewife for a night to show him that domesticity isn’t always bliss. As for Lorelai (Lauren Graham), she pesters Luke (Scott Patterson) into giving the diner a facelift from its hardware store days. The two flirt their faces off but neither can admit they have true feelings for each other; and, thus, the Sam-Diane dance begins!

Why It’s A Must-See: Rory’s Donna Reed getup is retro chic at its finest and her dress actually looks like something ModCloth might have in stock right now.

2. “Nick & Nora/Sid & Nancy” (Season 2, Episode 5)

Plot: Luke takes in his rebellious nephew, Jess (Milo Ventimiglia), and introduces him to the Gilmore girls because he thinks Rory will be a good influence on him. Unfortunately, Lorelai sees nothing but trouble with Jess’ bad attitude, leather jacket and smartass quips. After all, no girl one can resist a good bad-boy—not even sweet-as-pie Rory Gilmore. Luke is completely ill prepared for how to raise a teenager and while the pair gets off to a bad start, things are about to get worse. Lorelai, on the other hand, recently broke off her relationship with Rory’s English teacher, Max (Scott Cohen), but she has a hard time letting go.

Why It’s A Must-See: This is the first time audiences are introduced to Ventimiglia’s signature style of only talking outta one side of his mouth, which is mesmerizing. Bonus points for the amazing placement of “This Is Hell” by Elvis Costello.

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

Plot: Lorelai and Rory team up for Stars Hollow’s annual 24-hour Dance Marathon and the duo try to win the trophy from the competition’s longtime champion, Kirk Gleason (Sean Gunn).

Why It’s A Must-See: The thrills! The spills! The drunken rants by Taylor Doose! This episode is considered a fan favorite for good reason. I could tell you, but then I’d be opening a Pandora’s box of spoilers and Miss Patty would definitely not approve.

4. “Ballrooms And Biscotti” (Season 4, Episode 1)

Plot: After spending the summer after Rory’s senior year backpacking through Europe, the Gilmores are back in Stars Hollow, ready for a week of local quality time before sending Rory off to Yale. Unfortunately, the pair gets the dates wrong, so instead of having a week to watch all three “Godfather”movies and eat raw cookie dough, they have to squeeze as many activities as they can into one day.

Why It’s A Must-See: Rory Gilmore is involuntarily crowned the Ice Cream Queen of Stars Hollow and her reaction to the honor is classic Rory. (That sentence makes a lot more sense once you actually watch the show.)

5. “The Lorelais’ First Day At Yale” (Season 4, Episode 2)

Plot: As a continuation of “Ballrooms And Biscotti,” Rory finally makes it to Yale in one piece and meets her suitemates, which include a track star, a child prodigy and—wait for it—Rory’s high school nemesis, Paris Gellar (Liza Weil), who is nothing less than a revelation. Imagine I just said that last part in the voice of James Lipton. Oh, did I also forget to mention Luke got married on a cruise ship while the girls were in Europe? Well, he did but he’s getting divorced, so all hope for a LoreLuke romance is not lost. If you can believe it, I JUST made up that portmanteau. Booyah!

Why It’s A Must-See: Two words: Extra mattress. (Again, that joke will kill with people who’ve seen the show before.)

6. “The Nanny And The Professor” (Season 4, Episode 10)

Plot: Rory is understandably grossed out by Paris’ new beau, who happens to be a Yale professor and friend of her grandfather. (Blech.) However, she’s able to distract herself by participating in the college newspaper staff’s initiation rituals. Meanwhile, Lorelai is starting to fall for her old camp nemesis and father’s new business partner, Jason (Chris Eigeman), though she insists on keeping the relationship a secret from her parents.

Why It’s A Must-See: When Lorelai stays the night at her new boyfriend’s apartment, he asks her if she wouldn’t mind sleeping in the guest room. To some, this would be an offensive request; however, to me, it represents my dream tryst scenario—hanky panky followed by separate slumber quarters where I can’t be bothered my beloved’s snores, farts or constant position changes.

7. “Raincoats And Recipes” (Season 4, Episode 22)

Plot: After years of preparation, Lorelai and her bestie, Sookie (played by the incomparable Melissa McCarthy), are ready to open their very own inn called The Dragonfly. However, before they start accepting reservations, they host a test-run for their family and friends. Needless to say, both drama and hilarity ensue.

Why It’s A Must-See: Two HUGE romantic payoffs happen in this one giant episode.

8. “The Party’s Over” (Season 5, Episode 8)

Plot: Unhappy with Rory’s current choice of boyfriend, her grandparents decide to throw a party for Yale alumni (and their sons), though it’s really just a singles mixer for their not-so-single granddaughter. It’s here when we get to know Logan Huntzberger (Matt Czuchry) a little better. Not only is he a classmate of Rory’s, but he comes from good breeding and is a fast talker who’s got a taste for adventure and the finer things in life, which is everything Rory seems to loathe. As to be expected, Lorelai is less than thrilled by her parents’ deception and worries her daughter might be running towards the life she always ran away from.

Why It’s A Must-See: Though Logan and Rory have sparred many times before, this is the first time we see the pair as more than just verbal adversaries; there’s romance a-brewing and this sort of love is fully caffeinated.

9. “Blame Booze And Melville” (Season 5, Episode 21)

Plot: Lorelai is thrilled when The Dragonfly Inn receives a rave review in a magazine. At the same time, after landing a gig at a local newspaper, Rory’s journalistic aspirations are squashed when she receives a less-than-glowing critique from Logan’s father, a media mogul, who gave her the internship. Instead of letting the criticism roll off her back, Rory acts out and ends up stealing a yacht.

Why It’s A Must-See: We don’t all deal with bad news in the same way. Some of us might bury our heads in a pint of Americone Dream, while others decide to pinch big boats that don’t belong to us. Either way, this episode is great because we can finally see Rory’s dark side. Okay, maybe it’s not exactly dark dark, but she’s not as vanilla as we may’ve thought.

10. “Friday Night’s Alright For Fighting” (Season 6, Episode 13)

Plot: In a completely expected plot twist, Rory returns to Yale after an academic hiatus and rejoins the staff at the paper. Not only that, but she helps put a particularly prickly issue to bed after Paris alienates the entire staff with her tyrannical ways. Then, at the Gilmore’s weekly Friday night dinner, Lorelai and Rory wage war against Emily (Kelly Bishop) and Richard (Edward Hermann) after a small tiff ignites a full-scale battle between the four. We’re exhausted just thinking about it.

Why It’s A Must-See: Paris’ bunker might be the prefab home we never knew we always wanted.