Most Gilmore Girls episodes just wouldn’t feel complete without a Friday Night Dinner scene. This weekly tradition at the Gilmore estate began in season 1, when Lorelai (Lauren Graham) asked Emily (Kelly Bishop) and Richard (Edward Hermann) for help paying Rory’s (Alexis Bledel) private school tuition. In exchange for the money, Lorelai and Rory had to attend a formal dinner at the elder Gilmores’ home every Friday night.
These dinners continued for the entire series and became highlights in many Gilmore Girls fans’ memories. Here are three of the funniest and fan-favorite Friday Night Dinners.
There’s no room in the Gilmore family mausoleum
As Lorelai says, “It’s never what you think it’s gonna be.” During season 2 episode 12, “Richard in Stars Hollow,” the Gilmores discuss the current state of the family mausoleum. According to Emily, it’s getting cramped in there, so they’ll have to boot someone if Lorelai finds a husband. They could purchase an annex, but they’ll have to decide who to move.
“Ugh, why don’t we move Aunt Cecile? She was always so annoying at parties. She loved the knock-knock jokes,” Lorelai says.
Lorelai suggests sharing a resting place with Rory when the time comes, but Rory says, “I’d like my own space if you don’t mind.”
Lorelai insists that her space will be fun because she’s bringing the good CDs. Later, Richard enters the room and agrees with Emily and Lorelai that Cecile can go into the annex.
“This is a cold, cold family,” Rory concludes.
If anyone can take a morbid topic and turn it into a long-running joke, it’s the Gilmore Girls writers. There’s truly never a dull moment in the Gilmore household.
What happened to all the anvils?
Those Friday Night Dinner conversations don’t always make sense. Gilmore Girls Season 4 Episode 18, “Tick, Tick, Tick, Boom,” features an entire Friday Night Dinner discussion about the origins of anvils and why they aren’t around anymore.
“Yes, where did all the anvils go? That blacksmiths hammered horseshoes and stuff on. Everyone had them. They were featured prominently in every movie western, so where did they all go?” Lorelai asks.
Lorelai adds that they must have been common because Wile E. Coyote had them, which leads to a conversation about Road Runner. Soon, Richard and Rory find themselves discussing the topic.
“Where are all the anvils? I mean, is there some sort of secret anvil storage facility the government is keeping from us?” Lorelai asks.
“Or they fell into disuse with the advent of other technologies, and so they melted them down, and they’re gone,” Richard suggests.
In the end, Emily sums it up perfectly: “This is easily the most pointless conversation we’ve ever had.”
Gilmore Girls co-creator Daniel Palladino let his humorous writing shine in this episode. The absurdity of Richard and Emily participating in this conversation about a cartoon might be what makes the scene so hilarious, and the actors delivered their lines perfectly.
‘Friday Night’s Alright for Fighting’
The title of Gilmore Girls Season 6 Episode 13 says it all. After Rory’s falling out with Emily and Richard, she and Lorelai finally return to the Gilmore house for another Friday Night Dinner. The evening begins with an argument, and everyone threatens to leave, but Lorelai insists that everyone stay until their conflicts are resolved. Thus, what can only be described as the Friday Night Dinner to top all Friday Night Dinners ensues.
The Gilmores go from arguing, to laughing uncontrollably, to arguing again, to calmly enjoying dinner, to arguing once more. The montage scene seems to dig up every problem the family has ever had, including Lorelai and Emily’s decades-old argument about how Lorelai should have raised Rory. At one point, Emily hysterically reenacts the moment she told Shira Huntzberger (Leann Hunley) off at Rory’s D.A.R. event.
This entire scene is pure chaos, but once again, it includes great acting. Plus, the montage style and the back-and-forth camera angles have made it one of the more memorable Gilmore Girls scenes.