- Gilmore Girls -This 'Gilmore Girls' Easter Egg Makes Luke's Hat The Ultimate Mood Ring
If you’re a Stars Hollow resident, then you know that where backwards caps lead, Luke Danes will follow.
Even in the pilot of Gilmore Girls, from the moment we meet the grumpy diner owner, we are also introduced to his trademark article of clothing.
For the initial nine episodes of the first season, we see Luke adorn himself with a practical, albeit, limited selection of hats. From the worn blue-jean to the standard dusty grey-beige, with each naturally complementing his chosen flannel for the day.
But as all Gilmore Girls fans recall, it’s the statement blue hat that has stood the test of time, all the way through till the end of the Netflix Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life limited series. (I'm still waiting on some answers to those famous last four words, by the way.)
Well, an eagle-eyed TikTok account, @whats.your.damage.katie, leaned into an Easter egg fans might only notice on their third or fourth rewatch. She wagers, fairly astutely, I might add, that Luke’s hat in Gilmore Girls is indeed a symbol for his relationship with Lorelai. Let's start from the beginning...
A Christmas Miracle
All the way back in the tenth episode of Season 1, “Forgiveness and Stuff,” Lorelai shows up bummed at Luke’s Diner after she’s uninvited from the family Christmas dinner — even though, yes, it is in fact two weeks ahead of the actual holiday. Arguing over Rory’s new suitor Dean caused a bit of a wedge.
Nonetheless, Lorelai confides in Luke about how much she loves the apple tarts at her parents’ house. And he makes her, what else, but a literal “Santa Burger” to cheer her up. Ah, the things we do for love…
But in accordance with his staid “no cell phones allowed” rule, Lorelai lets a call go to voicemail, only to find out that her dad is in the hospital. Luke closes down his entire diner and drives her there himself, telling everyone that “the food’s on me.” The ever-loving Gilmore matriarch, Emily, asks if they were on a date when they arrive, which Lorelai shoots down instantly. But it’s clear how much Luke wishes they had been.
He doesn’t leave her side for the whole ordeal, despite Lorelai noticing that he “doesn’t look so good" from the aftereffects of being in a hospital when she’s so used to how he “always looks good” in his usual manner. In a thinly veiled attempt to downplay, he tells Lorelai, “Yeah, I’m just not real big on hospitals.” He even bonds with Emily, who chides him that “you’re idiots. The both of you,” when he says they’re “just friends.”
Anyway, it turns out all’s well and good for Richard and he just needs to nix red meat from his diet and exercise more after his “touch of angina” scare. Lorelai cries tears of relief into Luke’s arms outside her dad’s hospital room door, and she and Rory make up. Coffee reunites us all.
As a thank you gift, Lorelai heads to Luke’s diner and gives him a special present — a pristine blue baseball cap.
The New Guard
Out with the old and in with the new, Luke takes off his grey hat and puts it on the shelf for all time. Lorelai helps him put on the new cap, and as they watch the rehearsal of the Stars Hollow Christmas procession outside, she pays him the compliment that it, “Looks good on you.”
Look, it’s obvious they are the Cheers will they/won’t they couple of the show, and it took them years to actually get together in the first place. But the very next time we see Luke, he’s in the blue baseball cap, happy as a clam.
He never wears any other colored hat (which makes you wonder just how many they had on hand in the costumes department on set). But when he and Lorelai break up in the beginning of Season 7 (Episode 3, “Lorelai’s First Cotillion”) after he refuses her ultimatum to get married and she sleeps with Christopher, that special loyalty to a certain hat goes up in smoke.
Luke’s Grand Re-Opening
Luke shows up the next day at the diner, with Miss Patty and Babette both sensing that something is awry. They just can’t put their fingers on what.
Luke shrugs off that nothing’s different. But he can’t fool his surrogate daughter, Rory. The second she walks in, she immediately inquires about the new headwear, knowing how much it meant to him and her mom.
Luke and Lorelai, sadly, are estranged for a while, but by Season 7, Episode 20, “Lorelai? Lorelai?,” the hat — and good terms — are back on again.
And much to her delight, Lorelai is keenly aware of his latest accoutrement he’s brought back into the wardrobe circulation.
Like Riding A Bike
When Netflix dropped their four-part limited series back in 2016, fans wondered whether or not the trusty blue hat would be back again — and in turn, if Luke and Lorelai would still be together after they made up by the end of Season 7.
Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino didn’t leave us hanging, and the blue cap was indeed back onscreen, even if it was covered in baking soda.
The blue hat, and Luke and Lorelai’s relationship, proved long standing for the Gilmore clan, culminating in their marriage in the finale episode of A Year in the Life. But we’ll just have to wait and see if he is still wearing the cap that masquerades as a mood ring if and when another reboot comes to pass.
Images: WB and Netflix