6 essential fall episodes of Gilmore Girls to watch (and 2 to skip)


If there’s one thing Gilmore Girls has become known for over the years, it’s fall. Before the first orange-colored leaf has hit the ground, before the pumpkin spice lattes are available, before there’s even a chill in the air, the craving to watch the best fall episodes of Gilmore Girls are the real marker of the start of the autumn season.

As a whole, the entirety of the series feels like fall. It’s a big, warm hug in the coziness of familiar friends and a place that feels just like home. Of course, the small-town New England setting complete with falling leaves, autumnal clothing staples, and acoustic music score doesn’t hurt, either.

Each season of Gilmore Girls features a handful of episodes set in the fall season, and whether they’re celebrating Thanksgiving, a made up Stars Hollow annual tradition, or just wearing cozy outfits and walking around the decorated town square, the fall episodes of Gilmore Girls are the perfect seasonal treat to get in the fall state of mind.

Gilmore Girls fall episodes

While there are many, many more Gilmore Girls fall episodes than those featured on this list, we’re sharing eight of the most essential picks. Six are always must-watches, but two might be some of the tougher watches in the series for different reasons. Let’s get into the Gilmore fall spirit!

Season 1 episode 7, “Kiss and Tell”

Watch! The queens of fall started off strong in the first season, which established the autumnal aesthetic from the show’s very first frame. (There’s a reason Rory’s sweater from the pilot has been going viral over two decades later.) But in “Kiss and Tell,” Rory gets her first kiss from Dean, says “thank you,” and steals a box of corn starch from Doose’s. It’s an iconic fall episode, from the Rory and Dean milestone to the “it’s a lifestyle” quote/prophecy.

Season 2 episode 8, “The Ins and Outs of Inns”

Watch! If the first season established the autumnal aesthetic, the second season solidified Stars Hollow’s status as the fall capital of television. It’s tough to pick a favorite fall episode in season 2, but since Gilmore Girls never had an obvious Halloween episode, Jess’ murder crime scene prank outside of Doose’s is the closest we got to horror on this show. It’s not every day that crime (even fake crime) comes to Stars Hollow, so seeing the town scramble in confusion is a laugh.

Season 3 episode 9, “A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving”

Watch! The season 3 Thanksgiving episode isn’t just one of the best episodes of the series in general, it’s one of the best holiday episodes in history. “A Deep-Friend Korean Thanksgiving” finds Lorelai and Rory making the rounds to multiple Turkey Day feasts: an awkward sit-down with Luke and Jess, the drunken happenings at Sookie’s, tofurkey at Lane’s, and the more traditional gathering at Emily and Richard’s. Melissa McCarthy should have won her first Emmy for this episode!

Season 4 episode 7, “The Festival of Living Art”

Watch! In season 4, there are fall classics galore: The first day of school spectacular “The Lorelais’ First Day at Yale,” the Luke-Lorelai movie “date” comfort episode “The Fundamental Things Apply,” and the only time Lorelai and Rory have interacted with sports in “Ted Koppel’s Big Night Out.” But “The Festival of Living Art” is a series-best (and Emmy winner for makeup!) celebration of Stars Hollow’s unique brand of weirdness. Lorelai overcomes a huge personal hurdle and Sookie goes into labor with her first child. Like its title suggests, this episode is art.

Season 5 episode 7, “You Jump, I Jump, Jack”

Watch! For the Rory and Logan shippers, there isn’t an episode more special than “You Jump, I Jump, Jack.” Rory’s story on the Life and Death Brigade takes her to places she never expected, namely blindfolded in the woods for an unpredictable weekend with Logan Huntzberger. Perhaps one of the most recognizable visuals from the entire series, Rory, in a pale blue gown, jumps off a scaffolding with Logan while holding umbrellas. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Season 6 episode 10, “He’s Slippin’ ‘Em Bread… Dig?”

Skip! As a whole, season 6 of Gilmore Girls is a pretty difficult watch. Not only are Lorelai and Rory not speaking for nearly half of the season, but Luke’s secret about his daughter April drives an irreparable wedge between him and Lorelai. By the sixth season’s Thanksgiving episode, mother and daughter are back together, but Luke’s secret looms large. This season’s fall episodes are a mixed bag. It just depends what kind of mood you’re in.

Season 7 episode 4, “‘S Wonderful, ‘S Marvelous”

Watch! Most Gilmore Girls fans probably feel some kind of way about the seventh and final season because of Lorelai and Christopher’s relationship. Even though it might not be something we wanted to see, it still made for some changes in dynamics and excellent episodes. “‘S Wonderful, ‘S Marvelous” features Lorelai and Christopher’s drive-in movie date, which is romantic until they have to pick Emily up from jail. It’s definitely one of the most underrated fall episodes of Gilmore Girls.

A Year in the Life episode 4, “Fall”

Skip! Even though you won’t meet a bigger A Year in the Life defender, sometimes you just have to skip the emotionally, cathartic, and deeply bittersweet “Fall.” It’s a beautiful and breathtaking episode of humanity like we’ve never seen from Lorelai Gilmore, but you can only cry so much, you know? Apart from Lorelai’s Wild reckoning, Rory and Logan have their own wild night and Emily moves to Nantucket. Oh, and Luke and Lorelai finally get married! But if the breezier, lighthearted fall episodes of Gilmore Girls are more your speed, “Fall” might pack a bigger, movie-sized punch.

What are your other favorite fall episodes of Gilmore Girls? All seven seasons and the miniseries revival of Gilmore Girls are available to stream on Netflix.

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