Lucas "Luke" Danes is Stars Hollow's local diner owner. He is hinted at being a few years older than Lorelai.
Luke Danes has lived in Stars Hollow his entire life, and his dad's hardware store (William's Hardware, in the middle of town) became his diner after his dad passed away. While his father was heavily involved in town events, Luke has resisted all of them, including most Town Meetings and the War Re-enactments. Though Luke expresses animosity towards town events, it is evident that he cares for the town and never has huge ambitions to leave. When Richard Gilmore states that Luke could open up a whole chain of Luke's Diners, Luke respectfully declines as he believes the originality of his location would be diluted. This small-town home feeling that he has directly correlates to his failed relationship with Rachel (his first girlfriend shown in the show). Luke attended Stars Hollow High where he Lettered in Track (hurdles), a successful team that went to the State Finals more than once, and won twice. After his father died, Luke moved into the office above the diner and converted it to an apartment. He lived there alone until his nephew Jess was sent by his mother to live with Luke.
Luke has an ongoing animosity towards Stars Hollow's unofficial leader, Taylor Doose, who continually harasses Luke. Taylor opens an Old Fashioned Ice Cream shop next door, installing a viewing window between the two shops, without asking Luke's permission. Taylor also destroys the shop front of the Diner in Season 7 by causing a car to crash though the front window.
The focal point of much of the show, however is Luke's long term love interest, Lorelai Gilmore. Since Lorelai doesn't cook, Luke feeds Lorelai and Rory. Luke's Diner is included in every episode. It is is a big part of their life. But their relationship runs deeper than that. From episode one, Luke and Lorelai have a chemistry that show writers acted on, although it took four seasons for this relationship to eventuate. The relationship's possibility is hinted early on, even though it takes long to accumulate. At Rory's birthday party in one of the first episodes, Luke thoughtfully brings a bag of ice just when Lorelai is about to leave the party to get some, and Emily comments that the "ice-man" was checking Lorelai out to which she blushes and denies it. In particular, this comes to a head in season one, when Lorelai is eating at Luke's diner alone for Christmas and he lovingly makes her a Santa-themed burger. At this time, Lorelai hears news of her father's heart attack and panics; Luke announces an abrupt shutting down of the diner to drive her to the hospital. He stays to comfort her, including a hug and thoughtful commentary (and Lorelai at one point inadvertently admits that he's good-looking to which he's very intrigued to hear more about). During a wait, Luke ends up speaking with Lorelai's mother Emily who asks if the two were on a date or are a couple. When Luke says no that they're just friends, Emily replies, "You're both idiots."
Things are complicated when, in season one, Luke's past flame, Rachel (who is "Elle McPherson pretty") returns to Luke's life. While happy to see her, he is apprehensive about what this reappearance means, as Rachel is an photographer and was never happy being in Stars Hollow, and left without a word previously. At the end of Season 1, Rachel leaves, citing another woman, Lorelai, as her reason. She says that she could see that Luke loves her even if he has never acted on it. However, Lorelai is engaged at the time and Luke doesn't act. When Sookie tells Luke that Lorelai has called off the wedding, he is joyful and gives everyone free coffee that morning. In Season 3, Luke dates Taylor's lawyer, Nicole; eventually marrying her while on a cruise. This marriage turns out to be a mistake and they divorce when Luke discovers Nicole is seeing another man. This discovery also results in Luke's arrest for beating up "the other man's" car. At the end of season 4, after a flippant remark about self help books by Lorelai, Luke buys a book that makes him realize he is in love with Lorelai ("Luke Can See Her Face"). After taking Lorelai to his sister's wedding, Luke kisses Lorelai on the opening night of the Dragonfly Inn. In season 5, he takes her out on their first official date and tells her that he has saved a horoscope she gave him on the first day they met in his wallet. He has been pining for her ever since he met her ("Written in the Stars").
At the end of season 5, Lorelai proposes to Luke, and he quickly accepts. However, their relationship becomes more and more strained throughout season 6 as Luke pushes away his commitment to Lorelai to deal with the confusion caused due to his daughter, April, who appears in his life as a 12 year old. April is a daughter of Anna Nardini, and old girlfriend of Luke's. He discovers his paternity when April conducts a science fair experiment to discover which of three men are her father. The inclusion of Anna into Luke's life causes much confusion for Luke who is unsure of how to combine his relationship with Lorelai with his blossoming relationship with his daughter. In the season 6 finale, Lorelai gives Luke an ultimatum - marry her now or never. Luke panics, and cannot commit, and Lorelai walks away. In the last scene of Season 6, we find Lorelai waking up in bed with Christopher, Rory's father.
In Season 7, Lorelai starts dating Christopher as an adult and eventually gets married to him. The relationship between Luke and Lorelai is initially sour, especially after Lorelai tells Luke that she slept with Christopher, in a pivotal scene at the end of 7.01. In the scene, Luke drives to Lorelai's house, his truck full of supplies for their elopement, and tells her he is ready, before she tells him what happened. Eventually, a reconciliation occurs, Lorelai ends her marriage with Christopher and begins to rebuild her relationship with Luke. This relationship takes a massive step forward when Lorelai needs Luke's help with purchasing a new car and he goes to great lengths to help her. Audiences see a glimmer of hope in episode "Lorelai? Lorelai?" where Luke returns to his signature blue baseball hat (a gift from Lorelai in season one) and a drunk Lorelai serenades Luke with "I Will Always Love You" at a karaoke party. The series ends with a kiss between Lorelai and Luke, after he worked all night to throw a goodbye party for Rory. What happens after that, we will never know, but it is strongly implied that Lorelai and Luke end the series romantically involved and finally get married as they have found out that they are the only ones for each other.
- When he was younger he was a 'Trekkie'. (2.08).
- Had an uncle who wasn't involved in the town. (2.17)
- He lives in an apartment above the diner that used to be his father's old office.
- He has a rule that Sookie cannot be behind the counter. However, that rule was broken when the inn caught fire and she had to cook for all of the displaced vacationers.
- No cell phones are allowed in his diner, a rule that Lorelai flouts constantly.
- He constantly fixes up things for Lorelai, a sign of his feelings towards her.
- He doesn't like champagne.
- He was a record holder in track in high school.
- His nickname was Butch in high school.
- He's a Scorpio.
- In high school he may or may not have made out with Crazy Carrie under the bleachers during a football game.
- His father, William Danes, died on the 30th November.
- He is the godfather of Lane and Zack's twin boys, Steve and Kwan.
- Presented as a health nut concerned about Rory and Lorelai's unhealthy food habits, although this is toned down in later episodes.
- Has adverse reactions to hospitals. (1.10)
- Kept his father's hardware shop as it was externally, but turned it into a diner.
- Hates town events but attends town meetings.
- Always wears flannel or plaid shirts, jeans and a blue backwards baseball cap.
- He wore a brown baseball cap at the start of the show, but after Lorelai gives him a blue baseball cap as a present (1.10) he wears the same blue cap for the rest of the show. The only exception was when he wore a black baseball cap after he and Lorelai's engagement broke off.
- Has broken his nose at least twice, the first time as a kid during his "hockey phase". (5.11)
- Gets frustrated a lot and has regular tiffs with Taylor Doose.
- Once a year on the anniversary of his Dad's death Luke has a "dark day ", he closes the diner and isolates himself
- Hates both coffee and champagne
- Often goes to bed early because he has to get up early to run the diner
- Is almost as devoted to Rory as he is to Lorelai, certainly he is more protective
- Becomes Godfather to Lane and Zach 's twin baby boys
- Luke can waltz - which impresses Lorelai
- Likes to camp and go fishing
- Calls Lorelai a cartoon character
High school sweethearts
Ex-Girlfriend; Mother of Luke's daughter April Nardini
Former-Fiance; Current paramour. The love of his life; without whom he would be forced to suffer a flannel stitched life alone and grumpy.