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Alexis Bledel turns 31 today! It seems impossible, because she will always be approximately college-aged character Rory Gilmore to us. Since it’s her birthday, let’s take a look back at one of the sweetest Gilmore Girls moments of all time—when she met Dean for the first time, in the pilot of the show.

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First of all, let’s appreciate how difficult it is to create a good pilot episode. Plenty of shows that went on to be amazing have totally clunky, awkward pilot episodes. But Gilmore Girls was perfectly adorable from the start, mostly due to scenes like the one below.

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In this simple first exchange with the boy that would become her first love (and first sex, and first marriage wrecked), you get lots of exposition about Rory, the character. She loves to read, she’s usually caught up in her own inner world, and she’s super awkward. The best part is when Dean becomes awkward too—at around 3 minutes in, he confesses he’s been watching Rory nonstop since he moved to town. All together: awwwww! The creepiness just worked somehow!

What was your favorite scene on Gilmore Girls? Which of Rory’s boyfriends was your favorite? What else do you remember about the pilot? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @OKMagazine.

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