Gilmore Girls 3.18 "Happy Birthday, Baby"


Gilmore Girls 3.18 "Happy Birthday, Baby"
Original Air Date: April 22, 2003 (Recap date: February 06, 2008)
Recap & Discussion

Discussion Questions:

  • Why did Emily and Richard not immediately celebrate the Yale news?
  • Would you keep your reservation at the Inn during construction?
  • Do you think Stars Hollow celebrates birthdays for everyone this way, or only for Lorelai and Rory? Why?
  • A nose ring – why did Paris go for that?
  • Was Rory insensitive in not consulting Sookie on the pizza?
  • Do you believe Richard’s story about where he got the money?
  • Why doesn’t Luke call the school to ask about Jess?
  • Is the competition between Toban and Michel about being Lorelai’s favorite or simply about being ‘best’?
  • Did Emily think Lorelai would ever pay them back?
  • Why does Emily assume that dinners not under threat would be only out of pity?
  • What happened to Alex?

Gilmore Girls Episode Recap & Photos:

Richard is making dinner – some old family recipe of multi-colored pasta, cream of mushroom soup, vegetables and who knows what other ‘vile’ ingredients (Emily). It’s called Johnny Machete. Richard asks what is new in Rory’s life.

Rory tells them that, after a lot of thought, she is going to Yale. Silence. They claim innocence in wanting Rory to go to Yale. Lorelai assures them she is ‘over the moon’ about Rory going to Yale. Richard goes for champagne! Emily calls friends to gloat. ‘She’s going to Yale!’ they shout. Hug Rory before running off.

Repair work is happening at the Inn and there is an emergency staff meeting. Michel is not pleased that Toban, the night manager, is there. Animosity. Michel suggests they turn into a B&B temporarily – use the undamaged rooms, Sookie cooking at home. That way they don’t lose all reservations. Toban gives Lorelai a present in advance of her birthday on Friday. Then offers to help during the day if needed – Michel glares.

Lorelai is making a list of repairs needed around the house – Luke gives her 5 hours of handyman work for her birthday each year. Paris calls – her parents are returning soon (mom with a new face), so she’ll be coming back to school – where people are still talking about her ‘meltdown speech.’ Rory suggests enjoying her last day of freedom – Paris is not a ‘go out and just do it’ kind of girl.

Rory goes over ‘birthday week’ list. Monday is facials, Tuesday is double feature, Wednesday is Sephora, Thursday is makeover, and a ‘big fat fabulous’ Friday. Surprise.

Richard’s secretary calls to set up coffee between him and Lorelai – Lorelai hears him the background and asks to talk directly to him. Bugs him for having his secretary call – his old-fashioned structure. Whatever he wants to talk about, he wants to do it in person.

The cake Rory has ordered: 4 foot chocolate cake with vanilla cupcakes spelling out ‘Happy 16th Birthday Lorelai.’ Lane says they have a glitch, in that the world’s largest pizza was and 122 feet and 8". The best they can do is 12" – they’ll just tell Lorelai it’s the world’s biggest pizza.

Rory and Jess have a cute couple’s squabble about movie and food choices. Jess asks if Rory is still going to Yale – yes, she is. It has all the classes she wants and great teachers, and is close to home. Jess has already looked up the exact distance – cute!

Nicole is at the diner going over stuff with Taylor. Nicole wants Luke to meet her parents. He will be there. Jess says he’s going to school – Luke watches but, at the last minute, Jess darts away from the school and gets into his car. Luke looks disappointed.

Madeline will be going to the only school that accepted her – Mills College, and all girls school. Louise is going to Brandeis. So, Paris did go out and ‘enjoy’ her last day – by getting ner nose pierced! But it got so swollen from an allergic reaction that she had to go to the emergency room to get it out. The pizza may need revisions to hold the weight of the toppings, or so Pete tells Rory.

Rory has left a Mallomar-created happy birthday message on the table for Lorelai. Cookie eating logic makes no sense to Luke (you have to replace the one in the message if you eat it, duh!). They chat about the upcoming Nicole-parent dinner and that Lorelai was right about Jess. Luke had even followed his car to Walmart.

Jackson relays to Rory that Sookie is hurt about not being consulted about the pizza. And he is hurt that she’s not using his vegetables. Rory tries to say the veggies were included in the price.

Richard tells Lorelai he bought some property in her name the day she was born and that now the government is building a road through it. So, she got a check for $75,000. That’s 150 Jimmy Choo’s. He says it’s not a gift – it’s the law he give her that money.

Rory and Lorelai are scarfing down a bowl of mac & cheese. Pete calls to say the trial pizza slipped and burned Kirk. Rory now has to figure out safer transportation for the pizza.

Luke doesn’t bring up the school issue directly, but offers Jess a raise at the diner to help out. So he can quit Walmart. Luke breaks and tells Jess he knows about ditching school. Jess says he ‘goes enough’.

Toban is being all Martha, trying to restore the Inn and reuse things for crafts. Michel comes over and gives Lorelai a present he ordered from Madrid. Upstaging Toban with a leather daybook. But Toban saw this coming and got Lorelai a leather jacket worn by Joe Strummer from The Clash. Michel tells Lorelai to stay there while he runs an errand.

Luke is uncomfortable meeting Nicole’s parents, and stares into space as they debate the issue of surrogate mothers (they debate a lot). Then they can’t shut up about marriage and kids. Luke’s anger about Jess’ lies spill over and he rants on the issue. Yeah, doesn’t seem like Luke wants kids.

Luke apologizes to Nicole and says next time he’ll be better – Nicole smiles that Luke is willing to plan something months in advance. Jess says he’s going to school, then storms back in saying his car was stolen. Luke says he’ll take care of it while Jess is at school. Smiles to himself.

Lorelai has a birthday dinner with her parents. Story about Murray the bunny. They cheer to Lorelai’s 35th birthday (first thinking it was the 36th). In the ‘spirit of the evening’, Lorelai hands Emily an envelope with a cheque paying back all that Lorelai borrowed for Chilton. Emily says that worked out ‘beautifully’; with no debt, there is no obligation for dinners. Emily doesn’t want the money.

Lorelai asks Emily if it wouldn’t be better that they came over without the threat. Lorelai mentions it came from Richard, and that sets off a storm. Richard wanted to hide it from Emily. Emily releases Lorelai from her obligations and says there will be no more dinners, she wants none of their pity.

Rory thinks it was wrong of Lorelai to return the money then, and that perhaps she should have not returned it at all to spare their feelings. Lorelai doesn’t want to live indebted to her parents. She had to repay. Her history with them is different than with Rory’s.

They turn the corner and there is the party, complete with giant pizza. Being lowered by a crane.

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5 thoughts on “Gilmore Girls 3.18 "Happy Birthday, Baby"

  • February 6, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    I hate when everyone gets so mad at Lorelai in this episode! She did absolutely nothing wrong. She always promised that she would pay them back. I could understand why her parents got mad. It was only because they had finally gotten closer with their daughter, and they didn’t want to see her leave them again. But why would Rory get mad? I never understood that. I figured she would understand…

  • February 7, 2008 at 10:44 am

    same here sara! i NEVER got why they all got mad at her! she just wanted to set things staight and give them the freakin money! jesus! and rory getting upset?? what was that all about??
    i liked the biggest pizza thing, though. funny (but annoying!) episode…

  • February 7, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    I’m agree with Sara too.I dont understand and dont know why they got mad at her about give money back to Emily and Richard for loan.I cant believe Rory get upset and mad at Lorelai,but Lorelai explain her then Rory totally understand.

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  • April 12, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    Why did Lorelai’s cake say “happy 16th birthday” instead of actual age?


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