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There Are Two Famously Perfect Episodes Of "Gilmore Girls", So I Watched Both To See Which Is Better

God, I love this show.

Warning: Major Gilmore Girls spoilers ahead!

So I was thinking about which episode of Gilmore Girls — *my family's show* — is the best one, and I couldn't decide. Is it "They Shoot Gilmores, Don't They?" (the one with the dance marathon) or is it "Raincoats and Recipes" (the one with The Dragonfly test run, where Rory has sex for the first time with married Dean, and where Lorelai and Luke kiss)?

So I decided to watch both and finally choose the best Gilmore Girls episode once and for all!

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Note: my mom's favorite episode is "Dear Emily and Richard (Season 3, Episode 13) and my sister's is "Friday Night's Alright for Fighting" (Season 6, Episode 13) — both wonderfully written. Other Gilmore Girls standouts include "Emily in Wonderland" (Season 1, Episode 19), "Lorelai's Graduation Day" (Season 2, Episode 21), "Those Are Strings, Pinocchio" (Season 3, Episode 22), "Wedding Bell Blues" (Season 5, Episode 13) and "Partings" (Season 6, Episode 22).

"They Shoot Gilmores, Don't They?" (Season 3, Episode 7) comes first. All you need to know for this one is that Rory's dating Dean, but she's clearly into Jess — they've already secretly kissed.

Pro: A 24-hour dance marathon is a flawless frame, and there's that wonderful episode title to go along with it (They Shoot Horses, Don't They? is a tragic 1969 movie about a dance marathon).

A sign in Stars Hollow that says, "Saturday 6 AM to Sunday 6 AM in the Stars Hollow High School gymnasium"
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Also pro: I love me a theme episode. It's so fun.

Con: There's only one Emily scene, and no Richard.

Lorelai says, "In 9th grade, I got asked to homecoming, I didn't think I would and I was in a really good mood, and mom got so annoyed she made me go to my room," Rory asks, "Grandma," and Emily says, "She was at the table, giving all the peas voices"
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Pro: The costumes for the dance marathon!

Lorelai and Rory in old timey dresses
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But con: There could be so much comedy out of Jess wearing old-timey garb and he just wears normal stuff. Even though it wouldn't make any sense with the plot or the character, it feels like a missed opportunity.

Jess is too cool for school as he walks through the dance marathon in normal clothes
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Pro: "Four in four." Lol.

Sookie says, "All of a sudden, completely out of the blue, Jackson announces he wants four in four," Lorelai says, "He wants what," and Sookie says, "Four in four, four kids in four years"
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Con: When the contest starts, everyone dances super energetically! It doesn't make sense. CONSERVE YOUR ENERGY, PEOPLE!

Taylor yells, "It's showtime" and everyone dances very energentically
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I know it's a small complaint but it really gets on my nerves.

Pro: The townie moments and the way they're all set up for us by Rory (which is a little expository, but I like it).

Earlier Rory says, "I told him Andrew gets in a fight with his date in the first 15 minutes and storms off the floor," and at the dance, Andrew says to his date, "Why would you ever tell me that you went out with Liam Neeson" and he storms off
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Con: Rory is the worst and Jess isn't all that great here either. You have a boyfriend, Rory, and he's right next to you!

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Pro: Sookie and Jackson's fight escalates perfectly.

Jackson says, "Telling Sookie that she needs to immediately inform me that four in four is crazy," Lorelai says, "Aw, Sookie," and Sookie says, "Yeah, it did come out something like that"
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Con: If it's a 24 hour dance marathon, how is there only one trophy for one winning duo at the end? Couldn't multiple groups win? I digress.

A sign at the dance marathon that says it's been 23 hours and 6 couples remain
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Pro: Exhausted-beyond-reason Taylor.

Taylor says, "Have you ever levitated a Rottweiler," Miss Patty says, "No," and Taylor says, "Not easy"
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Con: I find the Lorelai/Luke moment way too stilted.

Lorelai says, "If I ever happen to meet the right person, another kid might be nice," and then she and Luke just look at each other
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Pro: Dave Rygalski!!!!!

Dave Rygalski smiling at Lane
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Con: Rory is the wooooooorst, to a distracting degree.

While dancing with Dean, Rory says, "He's just trying to bug me, sitting there right in front of me, staring, jerk" then Jess and his date start kissing and Rory says, There they go again"
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Big pro: The climactic breakup, even though Con: Public breakups aren't nice.

Rory says, "What's obvious, what did I do," and Dean says, "Everyone can see, Rory, everyone, and I'm tired, but I'm over it, so go ahead, go, be together, there's nothing standing in your way now 'cause I'm out"
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Pro: I absolutely love the Rory and Jess scene that follows.

Rory says, "He was right, well, wasn't he," and Dean says, "He was right"
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And finally, pro: The final shot, right after Rory hugs her mom so hard and Kirk officially wins the dance marathon.

Rory and Lorelai hugging as Kirk dances around the gym with the trophy
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Now for "Raincoats and Recipes" (Season 4, Episode 22). For this one, you need to know that Lorelai, Sookie, and Michel's inn, The Dragonfly, is finally close to opening, Lorelai and Luke are acting kind of datey around each other, and Rory is flirting with married Dean.

Pro right off the bat: The Dragonfly means so much to Lorelai, and Sookie and Michel. The test run is a big moment.

Pro: Sookie's subplot with the extra chefs is a perfect use of Sookie.

Sookie says, "I hired seven, figuring that at least two would crap out, and then we'd have five," Lorelai says, "And," and Sookie says, "And none did"
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Con: There's no Paris in this episode. A true crime.

Hearts around a picture of Paris Geller
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Pro: Kirk's night terrors.

Kirk says, "After neutralizing my pillow, I ran up the stairs, climbed out the bathroom window, scaled the trellis up the side of the house and hid on the roof, completely naked"
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Con: Dean's whole hair situation.

Dean with shaggy hair and weird facial hair
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Both Pro and Con: Rory and Dean. I hate it and it's so hard to watch, but it's so well done.

Rory and Dean are standing very close to each other and she says, "You wouldn't want me to be with someone who doesn't treat me right because you're my friend, right" and Dean says, "Right, I'm your friend"
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Pro: The doors.

Lorelai says to a guest, "You're in room nine, just follow your door" and he does
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Con: I wish there were more Taylor in this one.

Taylor says to Lorelai, "I've already got 14 complaints written down"
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Pro: Lorelai's awkwardness around Luke, and the slapstick it gives us.

Lorelai crashing into a table in Luke's Diner and crashing into a door in the Dragonfly
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Con: This episode is...a lot. It's wonderful, but it's not very fun, and I strongly associate watching Gilmore Girls with having fun.

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Pro: Emily and Richard's separation storyline, even though Con: Lorelai having Emily and Richard stay in their own space in the inn when she knows they're separated is a real jerk move.

Lorelai says, "Why would you want to get away from each other, mom, are you and dad fighting," and Emily says, "Stop it, you know your father and I are separated, and you brought us out here and stuck us in the woods to stare at each other for 48 hours"
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Pro: Emily, Richard, and Jason's reunion scene. Jason should not have just shown up at The Dragonfly, but it gives us this!

Emily and Richard stare at Jason, and then Richard turns to Lorelai and says, "Are you trying to kill us"
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Con: Why is this episode called "Raincoats and Recipes?" I'm not sure why that matters to me so much but it really does.

No raincoats or recipes throughout the episode
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Hey, maybe it's a reference I don't get.

Both Pro and Con: The big Rory and Dean scene. It's heartbreaking.

Dean says, "It's over, we both feel it, I know we both feel it," Rory says, "You and Lindsay," and Dean says, "Yeah, me and Lindsay"
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Rory says, "I can't believe this is—that we're," Dean says, "I can" and then they start kissing and lay down on Rory's bed
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Pro: Lorelai and Luke's whole scene that ends with the big kiss! Followed by naked, night-terror Kirk!

Luke says, "You knew what I was doing," and Lorelai says, "Well, no, not officially"
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Lorelai and Luke kissing, and then naked, screaming Kirk runs in between them outside
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And the biggest pro of them all: That final scene.

Rory says, "Dean came over to borrow something," Dean says, "Yeah," but Lorelai feels it, and she sees Rory's bed is a mess
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God. Who am I kidding? "Raincoats and Recipes" wins for the final scene alone. Just watch it.

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