Happy Gilmore Month! On Nov. 25, our favorite mother-daughter duo returns in Netflix's Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. To celebrate, we're counting down until the bingefest begins, revisiting the show's best moments, debating Rory's boyfriends, and going all-out Gilmore every day for 25 days. Here, 17 reasons why Luke Danes was the best. Ever.
Everybody knows that Luke and Lorelai are one of the greatest love stories of our time – even people who are unfamiliar with Gilmore Girls know this essential fact to be true. But Luke Danes was way more than Lorelai Gilmore's happily ever after. If you look at the entire run of Gilmore Girls, Luke is basically the lynchpin of Stars Hollow, the town grouch with a secret heart of gold who can't resist helping out anyone in need.
Here are 17 of Luke's most flawless moments throughout the show.
1. WHEN HE MADE LORELAI A SANTA BURGER.
Because he knew she was sad after being "uninvited" from her parents' Christmas dinner, and she wanted something festive. Luke tried to play it off as no big deal but it clearly meant so much to Lorelai. HE HAS A HAT AND EVERYTHING.
2. WHEN HE FIXED EVERYTHING.
Everything. Always. No matter how small or how large. Every time something broke in the Gilmore household, Luke was there to fix it. When the house had a termite infestation that caused $15,000 of damage, Luke offered Lorelai a loan to cover it — she declined, but the offer in itself was comforting.
3. WHEN HE SHOWED UP TO RORY'S GRADUATION. AND CRIED.
Luke's devotion to Rory was one of his most endearing traits, and at her graduation from Chilton, it became clear once again just what a big softie he was. There wasn't a dry eye in the house during Rory's emotional speech — not even Luke could hold it together, because he really is a huge softie and loves Rory like a daughter. (In contrast to her actual father, who added the graduation to the long list of things he failed to show up for. Ugh, Christopher.)
4. WHEN HE CAME THROUGH FOR LORELAI DURING RICHARD'S HOSPITAL STAY.
Both times — once in season one, and again in season seven, even though Luke really hates hospitals. In season one, Richard collapses during Christmas dinner and Luke drives a freaked-out Lorelai to the hospital, keeps her and her whole family company, and is all-around the greatest. (He even has a really sweet bonding moment with Emily in this episode, which makes her behavior toward him in later seasons kind of weird.)
In season seven, when Richard suffered an actual heart attack, Luke came through for the Gilmores again despite barely being on speaking terms with Lorelai at the time. Note the contrast to Lorelai's actual husband at the time, Christopher, who failed to show up because why break the habit of a lifetime? (Ugh, Christopher.)
5. WHEN HE TOOK JESS IN.
Jess acted like an ungrateful brat about being sent to live with Luke in Stars Hollow, but Luke stoically put up with his crap and gave him the firm, stable parental influence he was so desperately lacking. Despite his insecurity about being a surrogate parent, Luke was always pretty great at knowing how to handle a troubled kid like Jess, who sometimes needed validation, sometimes needed discipline, and sometimes just needed to be pushed into the goddamn lake.
6. WHEN HE DANCED WITH LORELAI LIKE THIS.
ALL OF THE FEELINGS.
7. WHEN HE MADE COFFEE CAKE FOR RORY'S BIRTHDAY.
Because he understands the importance of coffee in the Gilmore girls' lives. He also blew up balloons for her. To quote the birthday girl herself: "Luke, you old softie."
8. WHEN HE HELPED KIRK FIND HIS LOST EASTER EGGS.
Kirk is maybe secretly the most tragic character in Gilmore Girls, a fact that caught Luke's attention late in season four. At Taylor's behest, Kirk hid a bunch of Easter eggs around Stars Hollow but forgot to draw a map of their locations, which became a problem when the eggs started to rot. A dumb mistake, sure, but Kirk tried really hard to fix it and Taylor was really unnecessarily cruel to him about it — in front of Luke.
Kirk looked increasingly like a kicked puppy throughout this whole exchange, and Luke clearly felt bad for him. So later on, as a sleep-deprived Kirk staggered around town trying in vain to find the remaining 12 eggs, Luke came to his rescue, handed over the eggs, and told him to take credit for finding them. Kirk's screams of "I LOVE YOU, LUKE DANES" echo the entire audience in that moment. What. A. Sweetheart.
9. WHEN HE PROMISED JESS HE'D ALWAYS BE THERE.
In just three years, Jess changes more significantly than just about any other character on Gilmore Girls, and there's no way he could have matured into such a success story without Luke's influence. This heartwarming scene, in which Jess finally admits how grateful he is to Luke, emphasizes how much Jess has learned to be a better man from his uncle's example.
10. WHEN HE TOLD LORELAI TO JUST STAND STILL…
That. Kiss. Though.
11. …AND THEN WENT TO TAKE CARE OF KIRK.
Because even at this moment, when he was finally kissing Lorelai after four long seasons of waiting, Luke's still going to go where he's needed. In this case, he was needed to prevent a naked Kirk from terrorizing the entire town mid-night terror. Luke is basically Stars Hollow's honorary psychotherapist, at this point.
12. WHEN HE KEPT THE HOROSCOPE LORELAI WROTE HIM THE FIRST DAY THEY MET.
During their first ever official date in season five, Lorelai tried to remember how she and Luke met — a day which Luke remembered very, very clearly. The very first time Lorelai burst into the diner, she made an impression by writing Luke a faux horoscope that said, "You will meet an annoying woman today. Give her coffee and she will go away." Eight years later, Luke still had that horoscope in his wallet.
13. WHEN HE GAVE RORY HIS MOTHER'S NECKLACE.
At Rory's 21st birthday party Luke gave her a gorgeous family heirloom, and though he tried to play it off like it was no big deal, she knew that it was. This gesture felt all the more meaningful because of the rift between Rory and Lorelai at the time — Luke brought the gift in part because he wasn't sure if Lorelai would bring one.
14. WHEN HE WENT TO JESS'S OPEN HOUSE AT TRUNCHEON BOOKS.
And told Jess he was proud of him, because you know Jess's deadbeat dad didn't bother to go all the way to Philly. Jess is surprised and touched that Luke showed up, because an indie bookstore featuring abstract sculptures and a performance space is not necessarily Luke's scene — but show up he did. (Admittedly he also brought April along, making the whole thing a little less enjoyable, but let's choose to ignore that.)
15. WHEN HE RAN TO LORELAI'S SIDE NO MATTER WHAT.
In season five, Luke and Lorelai went through a pretty ugly breakup, thanks to the unholy alliance of Emily and Christopher. Luke called it quits and Lorelai was a mess afterward, so desperate to get Luke back that she left him a tearful, totally out-of-character voicemail that immediately alarmed him.
She regretted the voicemail before she even finished leaving it, and ran over to Luke's house to try and steal the tape before he heard it — only to arrive home and discover him frantically breaking down her door because he was so worried. "I was hurting, and I knew if I called you you'd come. I never should have done that," she said, promising to respect his wishes and keep her distance from now on. Here's the kicker: The reason Luke had to break her back door lock to get in was because he'd done such a good job of fixing her loose windows.
16. WHEN HE WAS WILLING TO DO ANYTHING TO KEEP RORY IN SCHOOL.
Rory dropping out of Yale was one of the worst things ever to happen in Gilmore Girls, and Luke knew it immediately. When Lorelai told him the news, he immediately leapt into action with a whole laundry list of imaginative plans for keeping Rory in school — everything from kidnapping her to camping outside her classes. "She is not quitting school, this was her dream! I am not going to let this happen!" he insisted, again demonstrating just how completely devoted a father figure he was. Lorelai then distracted him by proposing, so the plans kind of went on the back-burner, but the thought was there.
17. WHEN HE QUIETLY THREW RORY THE GREATEST GOING-AWAY PARTY.
And stayed up all night to make the whole thing happen, while trying to keep his involvement a secret. Upon discovering this, Lorelai sought Luke out and kissed the hell out of him, which was absolutely the only reasonable thing to do at that point.