Original Airdate: November 13, 2001
Lorelai and Rory enter Luke's, which is very crowded, and discuss possible ways -- like spreading rumors of vermin -- of keeping people away from it so they always will have a table. The girls notice that Luke is being strangely friendly with customers, and Lorelai remarks that she's never seen him flirt with a woman. Rory tells her that Luke's flirted with her numerous times. Rory begins to tease Lorelai
about a Barry Manilow CD she found hidden under the car seat. Lorelai tries to deny it, but when this fails she reminds Rory of the Bryan Adams poster she had over her bed for two years. Rory calls Lorelai a fink. The music subject is dropped and the girls begin contemplating Luke's love life. Lorelai wonders if he's dated anyone since Rachel, and Rory wonders when he'd ever meet anyone, since he's only ever at the diner or his apartment. Lorelai says that Luke is a bachelor for life, but Rory says that there's someone for everyone. This makes her think of Barry Manilow again and she begins singing one of his songs. It sends them into a guilty pleasures face-off: "Yeah? The Spice Girls?" "Duran Duran!" "Dido!" "Olivia Newton John!" "The
Macarena!" They eventually form a truce and begin to drink their coffee. Rory can't help it - she giggles into her mug.
At Lorelai's house, Rory is in the kitchen when Lorelai comes running in. The car won't start and is making funny sounds, which Rory identifies as the battery. Lorelai refuses to walk to work so she calls Michel. Rory can't fit all of her textbooks and four other books into her backpack, so she thinks it's too small. While still on the phone with Michel, Lorelai tries to talk Rory into leaving those books behind, but it's impossible. Back on the phone, Michel says he will come get Lorelai, but only if she buys him low-fat American cheese and a meringue cookie. Lorelai hangs up and tells Rory -- who's managed to fit all of her books inside her backpack -- that the weight of it will make her fall over.
In the Chilton cafeteria, Rory goes to an empty lunch table, puts on her headphones, and starts reading a book. A woman suddenly taps her on the shoulder, making Rory jump. It's Mrs. Verdinas, a guidance counselor. She wants to talk to Rory as soon as she's finished eating her lunch, and she won't even give a hint of what it's about.
Rory goes to Mrs. Verdinas office for the talk. Mrs. Verdinas says that after observing Rory, Headmaster Charleston and she are worried. Rory is surprised that they've been observing her. They're concerned that she doesn't interact with her classmates enough outside of class, and wearing her walkman makes her look unapproachable. Mrs. Verdinas tells her that this kind of behavior may affect Rory's future. Rory is confused; she gets good grades, isn't that enough? Mrs. Verdinas tells Rory that universities don't look kindly on loners. Rory denies that she's a loner; loners are creepy guys who carry duffel bags. Mrs. Verdinas says that loners come in all shapes and sizes, even pretty girls. She tells Rory to mix it up with others, starting with lunch.
Later, Kirk is fixing the jeep as Rory fills Lorelai in on the talk with Mrs. Verdinas. Lorelai finds the whole thing ridiculous. Rory starts to worry if there's something wrong with her; maybe she is a loner and her backpack is one step away from carrying a mysterious duffel bag. Lorelai is angry that Mrs. Verdinas has made Rory doubt her identity. Rory tells her that Headmaster Charleston was the one who started it all, and Lorelai says that she'll have to go pay Schnickelfritz Charleston a visit. Kirk comes out from under the car and says he couldn't help but overhear, and Lorelai's absolutely right: he carried a duffel bag and ate lunch by himself his entire school career, and he turned out just fine. This reinforces Rory's dubious opinion of loners.
The next day, Lorelai goes to see Headmaster Charleston. He's surprised that she called for this meeting, because they don't see her very often. Lorelai wants to talk about the ridiculous accusation that Rory's a loner and how that's somehow something bad. She's raised Rory to do what she wants as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else, and reading and listening to a walkman doesn't hurt anyone. The headmaster says that it hurts Rory. Lorelai disagrees. This doesn't surprise the headmaster based on his "research". When he learned about Lorelai calling the meeting, he had a look at her file and found that it's rather thin, indicating lack of participation. She's attended one bake sale and promptly left, without talking to any of the other Chilton parents. "Like Mother, like Daughter," says the headmaster. Lorelai feels sixteen again as the headmaster talks over her and hands her a list of Chilton parent groups. She submissively takes it and leaves, with the headmaster's instruction to do what's best for her or what's best for Rory.
Back home in the kitchen, Lorelai tells Rory what happened. They're both in the Chilton doghouse, as it turns out. Lorelai suggests that they just go along with it because Chilton is the one writing the letter that will get Rory into Harvard.
The next day in the Chilton cafeteria, Rory is about to sit down at an empty table when she suddenly turns around and plunks down at another table, full of girls. One of the girls, Francie, seems to be the boss there and introduces her to the other girls sitting at the table. They then start discussing Homecoming, which Rory could care less about. Paris walks by with her lunch tray, walks back to stare at Rory for a moment, then walks away again. The girls at the table ask if Rory has a nickname. Rory explains that Rory itself is a nickname for "Lorelai". A girl named Lem -- short for Lemon -- says that Lorelai is a weird name.
After lunch, Paris attacks Rory in the hall, dying to know how she was able to get a seat with the Puffs. The Puffs, we learn, are a type of High School Sorority for only the elite and hand-picked. Paris MUST become a Puff because every female Gellar has been a Puff, and the Puff connections you make last for the rest of your life. Paris is worried that Rory may have been badmouthing her with the Puffs, and explains how hard she has been working to butter up Francie in attempt to get invited to the table. Paris begs Rory not to say anything horrible to them about her.
At the elder Gilmores' residence, Lorelai comments that Lem's parents must really love citrus. Rory is weirded out that the table she chose to sit down at turned out to be a secret society. The maid directs them to go to the patio because they're barbequeing tonight, which is something new. They go out to the patio where a chef is cooking on the grill. They sit down, but Emily comes out and directs them to eat inside at the table. Lorelai points out that the whole point of barbecuing is to eat outside, but Emily insists.
Inside at the dining room table, Emily tells Lorelai that she's very dissapointed in her. She's talked to Bitty Charleston, who told her what happened when Lorelai visited the headmaster. Emily is
very disappointed in Lorelai's lack of participation. To get Emily off her case, Lorelai lies and claims that she's already picked a club to join ... when pressed for details she comes up with "The Booster Club" off of the top of her head. Emily is satisfied and mentions the darling matching sweaters the members all wear.
The Booster Club is holding a meeting, discussing what to do for their upcoming fundraiser. Apparently last year, people's stomachs had to be pumped, although the salsa band was wonderful. Lorelai enters. They welcome her and catch her up with what they've been discussing. They've decided to do a fashion show because Aubrey (who keeps suggesting they take a break and can't remember the names of her stepchildren) works at SAKS and can get clothes for them to model. Now they need a location. Lorelai suggests her Inn. They members love the idea. Lorelai asks about the models. Are they going to get some famous ones? The Booster leader, Ava, laughs and says that they, the club members, are the models. Lorelai is less than thrilled.
Lorelai and Rory are walking in Stars Hollow. Lorelai is miffed that she got tricked into modeling, and Rory is making fun of her mother, the model. Rory thinks that Lorelai's punishment for being a Chilton loner is worse than her own. Lorelai's in need of a pick-me-up so she takes out her phone and calls her mother. She fills Emily in on the fashion show, and lets her know that since Emily is so concerned with Rory's reputation at Chilton, she signed Emily up to be a model at the fundraiser as well. Emily is left with no choice but to agree, and Lorelai's happy again.
In the cafeteria, Rory is about to sit down by herself, but Francie comes up to her and tells her to sit at their table again. When she sits down, they tell her that she's officially invited to eat at their table anytime she wants, because they find her fascinating, like the monkey habitat. Rory brings up the sorority thing and they all act like they don't know what she's talking about. What's the point of a secret society if it's not a secret? Rory informs them that the whole school apparently knows, but no one gives her details.
Paris is lurking nearby and the Puffs start criticizing her, but Rory stands up for her. The Puffs don't believe a word of Rory's defense. Rory tells them that she's heard that Paris was thinking of joining another non-existant group. The Puffs can't believe
someone would not want to be a Puff. They call Paris over to the table.
The day of the fashion show, Lorelai comes into the inn, where a million different things are going on. A handy man is fixing the runway, which is not level. This is totally bad because women in heels will be walking on it. Sookie is in the middle of a crisis because the lettuce is dry, and she can't make salad with dry lettuce. Luke arrives to fix the stage with Burt, the toolbox. Lorelai kicks out the handyman so Luke can work. Ava arrives. She's instantly attracted to Luke and starts asking Lorelai prying questions about him. Luckily, Emily arrives just then and Lorelai shoos Ava away into the dressing room. Emily starts criticizing so Lorelai tells her to go the dressing room too. She goes over to Luke to check the progress of the runway. He's fixed it, but has decided to stay to make sure that it holds up, which makes Lorlelai uncomfortable: Ava has a crush on him, and Luke will see Lorelai modeling clothes that she hasn't even seen yet.
Lorelai goes into the dressing room where Emily is waiting. They go to get their outfits. Turns out, they are a fashion mother-daughter team, complete with matching red and black suits. "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" plays as they walk the runway. Emily is having a blast and does a little dance at the end of the runway. Lorelai smiles and dances too, albeit a little stiffly.
After the show, the Boosters talk about how well it went. They loved the music and compliment Lorelai for hiring an actor to play a horrible rude Frenchman. The ladies all adore Lorelai, and she seems to like them too, despite their different attitudes and lifestyles. Before she leaves, Emily remarks that Lorelai is fitting in nicely with the life she ran away from. Lorelai looks over and sees Luke chatting with Ava.
Back home, Rory is reading on the couch, waiting up for Lorelai. She wants to know all about the show. Lorelai acts vague when asked what she wore, and Rory notices that she's holding onto her purse rather tightly. She figures out that Lorelai is hiding photos in her purse, and so Lorelai surrenders them. Rory tells Lorelai that she looks like Nancy Reagan.
Lorelai tells Rory to sleep pretty, with her cute pajamas and some lipglss. Rory is confused, and Lorelai tells her that she's getting kidnapped. Francie called and said that she and her friends are going to come in while Rory's sleeping, wake you up, kidnap her and take her out to breakfast in her pajamas. Rory doesn't think it sounds very fun.
Later that night, Rory is sitting on the couch reading when she hears a car pull up. She calls to Lorelai and tells her that her kidnappers are here. Lorelai tells her to have fun. Rory turns off the living room light, gets into bed, and pretends to be sleeping. Francie and the other girls come in, turn on the lights, and yell "Surprise!" Rory pretends to be surprised. Paris is there, with her hair a mess and zit cream on her face. Seeing the way Rory looks supposedly fresh out of bed, she remarks that nothing in her life is fair.
At Chilton, Francie and some others are leading some blindfolded girls, including Rory and Paris, through the halls. They stop in front of a door and Francie dramatically instructs them to remove their blindfolds. Rory wants to know why they're at Chilton. Paris tells her to shut up; they're being Puffed. Francie unlocks the door and Rory realizes that they're going into the Headmaster's office. Rory's worried and asks where Francie got the key. Paris again tells Rory to shut up; they're making very important social contacts. Rory says that she doesn't need social contacts. Paris says that it must be nice to be Rory, but she's going to go in there and become a Puff.
In the Headmaster's office, Lem lights a candle while Francie talks about the history of the Puffs. The girls each have to hold a candle while reciting the Puff oath, and then ring the historical Chilton bell three times. Rory rings the bell twice before the door bursts open and Headmaster Charleston warns her not to do it again.
Later, in the Headmaster's office, the girls all sit around while Headmaster Charleston lectures them. He's disappointed, disillusioned, frustrated, and astonished. He threatens them with suspension, detention, and mandatory extra credit. Rory mutters "This is unbelieveable," under her breath. The Headmaster overhears and asks her what she said. Rory said that this is ubelievable, because all she's done is what they told her to do: socialize. Even though she has friends and a steady boyfriend in her own town, she sat down at a random table, and the next thing she knew, she's being kidnapped and blindfolded and reciting poetry and ringing bells. And now she's going to be suspended because she did what he told her to do. The Headmaster doesn't quite know what to say. Francie seems offended that Rory chose their table randomly. The secretary comes in and tells the Headmaster that the parents are arriving. He dismisses all of the girls except for Rory. He says that perhaps they were a bit hasty in judging Rory and that she won't be suspended.
Outside in the hallway, parents are picking up their kids. Lorelai is worried because she didn't get very much info over the phone. Rory tells her about the inition. Lorelai finds it funny that Rory got busted for ringing a bell.
The next morning, Lorelai walks into Luke's. They talk about the fashion show. Luke says that she looked very high-class substitute teacher. Lorelai asks him about Ava, and before he even has a chance to answer, she goes on and on about how it would be a bad idea to date a Chilton mom. Luke gets kinda mad: it's his private life and he's a grown man; she can't tell him who to date. Lorelai gets defensive and starts to make a huffy exit. Before she leaves, Luke yells that he wan't asking Ava out, he was telling her the quickest way back to
Hartford. He teases her, saying that it was very romantic. Lorelai feels stupid.
In the Chilton cafeteria, Rory sits alone with her book and walkman. One of the girls who was at the initiation approaches and asks if she can sit down. She sits down with her lunch and starts reading her own book. Rory smiles.