‘Gilmore Girls’: 4 Forgotten Moments From the Pilot

It’s been 20 years since Gilmore Girls premiered. Audiences met single mother, Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham), and her daughter, Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel), on Oct. 5, 2000. They lived in Stars Hollow, Connecticut, a fictional small town filled with quirky yet lovable characters. 

Yanic Truesdale, Lauren Graham, Kelly Bishop, Alexis Bledel, Keiko Agena, and Scott Patterson
Yanic Truesdale, Lauren Graham, Kelly Bishop, Alexis Bledel, Keiko Agena, and Scott Patterson | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

When Rory got accepted to Chilton, an expensive prep school, Lorelai reluctantly turned to her parents for help. In exchange for Rory’s tuition, Lorelai agreed she and her daughter would have dinner with Richard (Edward Herrmann) and Emily Gilmore (Kelly Bishop) every Friday night.

And so began the story of Gilmore Girls. The program ran for seven seasons from 2000-2007. Today it’s a pop culture phenomenon. Take a look back at the pilot episode of Gilmore Girls that started it all. 

1. Luke Danes argued with Lorelai Gilmore about coffee

The opening scene of Gilmore Girls is about what else but coffee? Viewers learned right away that Lorelai loved coffee. She walked to Luke’s Diner where she asked Luke Danes (Scott Patterson) for a refill.

In turn, Luke asked her how many cups she’d already had. After a brief exchange where Lorelai admitted to already drinking multiple cups of coffee Luke gave in. 

The show’s tagline, “Life’s short, talk fast,” is in fine form from the start of the series. Lorelei and Luke banter back and forth setting up the tone for the rest of the show.

While Luke only makes a few short appearances in the Gilmore Girls pilot, he goes on to become Lorelai’s central love interest.

'Gilmore Girls' cast members posing by the town gazebo.
Gilmore Girls cast members | Warner Bros./Delivered by Online USA

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Patterson joined the cast of Gilmore Girls in a guest spot but after creator Amy Sherman-Palladino saw the on-screen chemistry between him and Graham Luke became a bigger part of the show. 

2. Rory Gilmore and Lorelai Gilmore ate salad

Possibly the most out of character moment in the Gilmore Girls pilot was the moment when Rory and Lorelai ate salads at Luke’s Diner. In every other episode of the show they ate all sorts of food — chips, French fries, burgers, candy — but was it rarely ever fruit and vegetables.

The people behind Gilmore Girls made up for the salads throughout the rest of the series, having Lorelai and Rory chow down on waffles, tater-tots, mac and cheese, and pizza. 

3. Every ‘Gilmore Girls’ set looked different in the pilot

From the moment the Gilmore Girls pilot starts it’s easy to see how everything looks different. That’s because portions of the pilot were shot on location in Canada. 

In the pilot, Luke’s Diner wasn’t on the corner in the center of town but in the middle of the block. The inside of his diner looked different in the pilot than it did in the rest of the show. The same goes for Rory and Lorelai’s place and Richard and Emily’s. 

Gilmore Girls eventually filmed at the Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California, where the fictional town of Stars Hollow was created.

4. Many Stars Hollow townspeople aren’t in the ‘Gilmore Girls’ pilot

Notably absent from the first episode of Gilmore Girls were many of the eccentric characters who lived in Stars Hollow with Rory and Lorelai. For example, Kirk Gleason (Sean Gunn) was nowhere to be seen in the pilot. 

When he did get introduced in the show’s second episode, Kirk wasn’t Kirk. He was Mick, the man installing DSL at Lorelai and Rory’s house. In another scene he was a surly guy delivering swans to the Independence Inn.

Watch Gilmore Girls on Netflix. Follow it up with Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, which catches up with Rory, Lorelai, and the rest nearly 10 years after the series ended. 

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