The One 'Gilmore Girls' Episode That Totally Defined Luke & Lorelai’s Relationship

There may not be an official release date for Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life just yet but, if you're anything like me, you've probably already added the series to your Netflix list in preparation. And now that all of the original episodes of Gilmore Girls are available to watch on Netflix worldwide, it's the perfect time to revisit the first seven seasons, and start getting your head around all of the important love interests, pop culture references, and unending sarcasm before new episodes are released. While most people are familiar with the greatest love story of all time that takes place between Lorelai Gilmore and Luke Danes, it's natural to examine their relationship in a little more depth now that a return to Stars Hollow is imminent. So, what is the one Gilmore Girls episode that totally defined Luke and Lorelai's relationship? It's not what you'd expect.

Lorelai and Luke always had a complicated relationship. Luke ran the Diner that Lorelai couldn't help but frequent to satiate her coffee addiction. They struck up the perfect TV couple rapport: part genuine warmth, part biting, relentless sarcasm. Even when they were officially together, it didn't take long for the pair to fall out again. So while there are many moments that could be pointed to as classic Luke and Lorelai, that represent the "will they or won't they?" trope so often seen on television, it's the smaller moments between the pair that tell us what they mean to each other. 

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The episode that most defines Luke and Lorelai's relationship takes place early on in Season 1, in an episode called "Rory's Birthday Parties." While some flirting has taken place before this episode, the majority of exchanges between the pair revolve around Luke berating Lorelai for drinking too much coffee. But Season 1, Episode 6 is different because the chemistry between the future couple is the most evident it's ever been, and Luke even manages to catch Lorelai off-guard, which is a total rarity.

Lorelai enters Luke's Diner, and Luke tells her that Rory isn't there yet. Lorelai replies that Luke will have to entertain her until she arrives, and says, "OK burger boy, dance!" It's after this initial exchange that things start to get really interesting.

With an unimpressed look on his face, Luke snaps back ultra fast, "Will you marry me?" Stunned, Lorelai has to gather herself for a few seconds, her facial expression a mixture of shock and confusion. She asks, "What?" and, in disbelief for a moment, seems to think Luke has really proposed. Of course, he hasn't, and it's another in a long line of taunts and twists between the pair, as they continue to joke and tease each other. But for such an early episode of the show, it's a real moment of truth, and a definite sign of things to come.

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Sure, Luke was almost certainly joking during the proposal, and he justifies it by saying, "I was just looking for something to shut you up." But there seems to be an element of truth in his question, especially as jokes are so often grounded in the truth. Lorelai's reaction speaks volumes, and is a major clue as to the depth of her growing affections for Luke. As it turns out, marriage isn't the craziest option for the pair, with most fans hoping they've gotten married since Season 7 wrapped. 

We'll have to wait until Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life comes out to find out if Luke and Lorelai are still together, or even married yet. But this episode is proof that the pair's relationship started way back at the beginning of the show, and despite all of their joking, Luke and Lorelai were always meant to be together.

Images: Warner Bros. Television; Giphy

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