Even if you’ve never seen a single episode, you know who they are.
They talk a-mile-a-minute — that is, any time they aren’t stuffing their faces in 37 variations of take-out food. They are confident young women who happen to be mother-daughter BFFs. They are Lorelai and Rory, better known as: the Gilmore Girls.
What started out in 2000 on the WB/CW network ran for seven seasons, and even after nearly 10 years off the air the show has a loyal, cult-like following. Because of this dedicated fan base, the Gilmore Girls return this month for all new episodes on Netflix. The four 90-minute episodes, debuting on Nov. 25, will take us all back to Stars Hollow in Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.
Before we get to all the new episodes, though, let’s remember what got us addicted to these ladies in the first place. Both young women are notorious for frivolous spending but yet somehow not being able to afford major family costs.
How can two hard-working women live in such a gorgeous Connecticut home and only spend their money on restaurant food, makeup, and clothes while also being so broke to not afford private high school tuition costs? And that’s just the start of it. We highlighted some of the biggest money moments from the original GG series to get you pumped for the revival — and maybe, hopefully, teach you to spend a little smarter…
1. So, you need money
Season 1, Ep. 1
Ah Rory Gilmore, so smart she lands herself in the prestigious preparatory school, Chilton, 30 minutes away in Hartford.
But despite a decent living as the manager of a local inn in their hometown of Stars Hollow, mom Lorelai can’t afford the hefty tuition bill. She turns to her estranged wealthy parents, Richard and Emily, for a loan. They agree, but under the condition the two younger Gilmore girls visit for dinner every Friday night.
2. Happy birthday, Rory
Season 1, Ep. 6
One of the biggest storylines of the show is the astronomical amount of food the Gilmore girls consume on a daily basis. And not sit-down-at-the-dinner-table-for-home-cooking meals, but rather, take-out from four different spots for one Saturday night movie marathon.
It’s no wonder Lorelai can’t afford Chilton, as the vast majority of her income goes to restaurant nourishment. But it is a wonder that Lorelai managed to scrounge up enough cash to get Rory a fancy new Apple laptop — originally priced at $1,600.
3. I’m so glad you decided to buy her a dress
Season 1, Ep. 9
Rory’s got a big dance at Chilton and a new official boyfriend to take her. But who needs to shell out hundreds of dollars in cash for a dress when you can make it? Lorelai puts together a lavish formal dress for Rory, even convincing grandma Emily it was store-bought. This is first of many times in the Lorelai uses her sewing skills to save a hefty bunch of money.
4. Trix or treat
Season 1, Ep. 18
There are, in fact, three Lorelai’s: young mom Lorelai; teenaged daughter Rory, which is short for Lorelai; and the original Lorelai, Richard Gilmore’s mother, known to everyone as Trix.
Trix hates her daughter-in-law, Emily, which means Lorelai No. 2 loves it. Once Trix hears that Emily and Richard are financially supporting Rory’s school, she wants to set up a hefty trust fund for Rory. Lorelai accepts, Emily throws a fit, Trix rescinds her offer, and basically nothing actually changes because everyone is spoiled already.
5. Who needs a wedding when we can go to Harvard?
Season 2, Ep. 4
Lorelai, engaged to Rory’s English teacher, Max, realizes she can’t marry him like the day before the wedding and jolts out of town with Rory.
Ignoring how much money, time, and resources were already put into this extravagant affair (she actually calls Sookie as she’s heading out of town while Sookie is decorating her wedding cake!), Lorelai tries to forget that she’s literally running away from her problems by taking Rory to her dream school, Harvard.
They stay in a niche (see: horrific) bed-and-breakfast for a couple nights, exploring college life during the day, before heading back to town. Somehow it’s completely affordable.
Season 2, Ep. 11
Just like for the rest of us, things always seem to be going well until termites show up. Lorelai discovers she needs $15,000 to fix her termite infestation and with all this cash thrown to surprise Harvard trips, who has that kind of money?
Well, rich parents, of course. Rory asks her grandparents, Richard and Emily, for a loan to pay for the repairs. But not before Lorelai completely shuts it down. She has a small change of heart when she can’t get a bank loan, so she reluctantly gets Emily to co-sign for her. Emily is all-too-eager to accept.
7. Can we move the gazebo?
Season 2, Ep. 17
Sookie is getting ready to marry Jackson and what was once a small, intimate wedding has turned into an extravagant (see: expensive) affair when Emily offers up pricey suggestions that Sookie happily loves.
Who needs ceramic stands for papier-mâché mushrooms for midgets to dance under? Well, Emily thinks Sookie does. Eventually, Lorelai brings her back to reality (and convinces her that no, you cannot remove the town gazebo) and shows her how unnecessarily expensive the wedding is.
8. Gone fishin’
Season 3, Ep. 12
After getting asked out on an adventurous date, Lorelai isn’t sure how to handle her lie: No, she has not been fishing and no, she doesn’t love the outdoors. But what is she supposed to do now?
Well, buy everything at John’s Outdoor Awesome Place (I presume that’s the store’s name), of course! Instead of simply backing away and admitting fault, Lorelai decks herself out in, what she deems, adorable fishing garb. Complete with boots, a vest, and fisherman’s hat, she spent more time picking out her useless outfit than learning how to fish when Luke donates his precious time helping her. It’s not like her daughter is about to pick an Ivy League school to attend in the fall. No biggie.
9. That $75,000 came out of nowhere
Season 3, Ep. 18
Richard hands over a check to Lorelai for $75,000 after he made an investment in her name when she was born. She immediately pays back her parents for funding Rory’s private school tuition, but Emily becomes enraged: If the deal to pay for Chilton is off, Emily believes she won’t see her daughter and granddaughter ever again, as the deal included stopping by every Friday night for dinner. But the deal is over, and the debt is paid.
10. And we’re back to round one
Season 3, Ep. 22
After Rory decides to attend Yale like her grandfather, both her and Lorelai are crushed when they discover financial aid doesn’t come through.
This means Lorelai’s dream of buying her own inn with her BFF Sookie gets temporarily trampled on — until Rory works out her own deal with her grandparents. Rory will go to Yale on her grandparents’ dime, Lorelai will keep the rest of her inheritance, and only Rory will get stuck with Friday night dinners in college. Everyone (kind of) wins.
11. What do you need rosary beads for?
Season 4, Ep. 1
Lorelai and Rory return from their long-planned backpacking trip through Europe. Sure, it sounds cheap, but literally any flight to anywhere in Europe is expensive, even if you stay in hostels and only eat bread.
But they also return with a gift for literally everyone they know in Stars Hollow, so they didn’t totally slum it, did they? Lorelai is paying for her own inn and an entire summer vacation overseas for her and her daughter but somehow couldn’t get enough cash for Yale tuition? GOT IT!
12. Icky Yale mattress
Season 4, Ep. 2
As Rory moves into Yale, Lorelai wants to make sure she’s just as accommodated as the rest of the privileged kids in her building. She somehow manages to not only stock up her room with unnecessary things, but she also buys her a new mattress even though the school provides one. Somehow she forgot the very important trash can.
Later, Lorelai buys dinner for her and some other girls on her floor from 37 different local spots, somehow having enough cash on hand to support meals for some college girls. But she can’t afford her daughter’s tuition. Remember that.
13. Is that a tomato?
Season 4, Ep. 12
Rory makes a surprise trip home before a Friday night dinner and sees bread, cheese, and a stocked fridge of — what most people consider — groceries. After decades of cold pizza and leftovers, Rory is surprised to see her mom with actual food around.
It doesn’t end when Rory finds out that the movie channels are gone and the stacks of magazines have disappeared. Lorelai finally makes an attempt to save money and Rory is worried about her. This coming from the broke college student. Blasphemy!
14. Dragonfly falls
Season 4, Ep. 14
Lorelai and Sookie are at the home stretch of opening their first inn together, the Dragonfly Inn. But when the contractors aren’t getting paid and the partners realize they’re almost out of money, their situation turns dire.
Trix shows up and puts Lorelai on blast for being in “deep financial trouble” and berates Richard for not stepping in. Lorelai has a complete emotional breakdown, turning to Luke for a loan to finish the work at the inn.
15. Window shopping
Season 4, Ep. 15
Well, that was over quickly. Lorelai and Rory miss each other, but admit they’re dead broke so they can’t go anywhere. They agree window shopping at the mall will be fun — until it really isn’t. But they run into Emily who buys 12 of everything and puts it on her husband’s credit account.
Emily starts to have a complete breakdown over her marriage to Richard, but only after Lorelai gets a slew of cocktail dresses and a wedding gown. As someone who may not have it all together herself, Lorelai is somehow the voice of reason for her mother to slow down, back up, and re-evaluate her union and her life.
16. Spring Break!
Season 4, Ep. 17
Rory’s sole income is being a cafeteria ID card swiper and yet she can now afford to take a road trip to Florida for Spring Break with her roommates. That’s totally reasonable and not at all unlikely.
17. Lawsuits and breakups
Season 4, Ep. 19
Lorelai’s boyfriend, Jason, is also Richard’s business partner. But when Jason threatens to sue Richard, Lorelai breaks up with him, telling him that her father is more important than some business deal.
Season 6, Ep. 3
In Season 5’s finale (episode 22), Rory gets handed her first failure ever from her boyfriend’s dad. Dad-boss tells Rory she doesn’t have it as a newspaper reporter and Rory immediately melts down — stealing a boat, getting arrested, and dropping out of Yale. Then she moves into her grandparents’ pool house and ends contact with her mother.
As she no longer attends Yale, Rory concentrates on her mandatory volunteer service required by the state following her arrest, but then gets a job working for her grandmother’s prestigious club. Even jobless and degreeless, Rory still manages get by.
Also in this episode, Lorelai’s home starts to get a huge renovation. Her and Luke forego moving into a bigger place when Luke realizes she’s never going to give up her home, so he makes a plan (and budget) for making it big enough for everyone.
19. I’m rich!
Season 6, Ep. 10
Rory’s dad, Christopher, comes into a big stack of cash after his grandfather dies, so he decides he wants to make up for lost time and pay for Rory’s school now that she’s back after taking a semester off.
It doesn’t go over well when Rory tells her grandparents that they no longer have a deal tying them together.
20. I’m not like other dads, I’m a cool dad
Season 7, Ep. 6
Christopher flaunts his money around Yale by taking Rory’s entire newspaper staff to a fancy lunch where they rack up the bill full of booze. He doesn’t mind, but Rory gets defensive when they forego working on a huge story because they’re drunk. UGH! THANKS, DAD!
21. Car shopping
Season 7, Ep. 19
Lorelai has had the same car for eight years until it hopelessly dies and she’s forced to get a new one. Not wanting literally anything else besides her car, estranged-fiancée-friend-again Luke, who usually doesn’t Internet very well, finds another one like hers on Craigslist.
She’ll end up paying the same thing to get parts for her old car as she would if she would’ve just bought a new car, but hey, Lorelai gets what she wants and somehow finds everyone to give things to her.
22. And just like that, she’s gone
Season 7, Ep. 22
Even after a failed internship and (temporarily) dropping out of Yale, Rory manages to clean up her act, graduate, and is offered a job to follow then-Senator Barack Obama on the presidential campaign trail. See? Even major setbacks don’t seem to hold the youngest Gilmore girl down.
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life premieres on Netflix on Nov. 25.