- “Cocktails, Mozart, mind games – good times”
Friday Night Dinner is the weekly dinner meeting of Emily, Richard, Lorelai and Rory Gilmore in the Gilmore Mansion. It was originally a requirement of the loan Emily and Richard provided Lorelai for Rory's Chilton tuition. According to Emily, if she was going to be financially involved in Lorelai's and Rory's life, she wanted to be personally involved in their life as well.
Rory seems to adjust quickly to the commitment, Lorelai, on the other hand, bristles at attending every week and has often tried to get out of it by using extravagant excuses.. The dinner frequently becomes a platform for airing current grievances on both sides, sometimes ending in shouting matches. Lorelai often ends up being utterly exhausted by the end of the dinner.
It is known that the only way that someone would be able to opt out of the dinner would be if you were sick or it was an emergency. However Lorelai has been able to persuade Emily about allowing Rory to avoid a dinner when the opportunity arose, for instance her three month anniversary with Dean.
The evening usually commences at around 6.30, dinner prefaced by cocktails in the living room, where the Gilmores talk about recent developments in their lives. The cocktails are usually a scotch for Richard, white wine or vodka martini for Lorelai and it differs with Emily. Rory normally had a club soda.
A number of times, maids will hinder Emily's strict adherence that dinner be served at precisely 7 pm. Protocol must be upheld at all cost in Emily's view. One exception to this is when Richard and Emily have just separated and are bewildered by Lorelai and Rory coming to dinner – dinner is ready early and Emily tells the girls to bring the cocktails to the dinner table, at which Lorelai is aghast. Usually dinner takes place with a starter, main meal and then dessert and coffee following. Then there sometimes are after-dinner drinks in the living room.
- There were 71 Friday night dinners throughout all 7 seasons of the show.
- At one dinner Emily was mad at Lorelai and acted as if she didn't know her drink.