Season One, Episode Eight: “Love & War & Snow”

Season 1, episode 8: “Love & War & Snow”
Original air date: December 14, 2000
Directed by: Alan Myerson
Written by: Joan Binder Weiss

IMDb summary: “It’s snowing, and Lorelai is giddy. She runs into Max in Stars Hollow, and invites him back to her place. But they run into someone unexpected when they get there. Lane feels left-out [sic] of Rory’s life” (IMDb).

Indigenous Land Acknowledgment: In beginning my work on this guide, I’ve come to realize just how many references (however subtle) Gilmore Girls contains to the Revolutionary War and the colonial history of the United States. It is important and necessary to acknowledge the people whose lands were usurped when these events took place, though this is not a simple question. Please visit the main page to view the results of my research and read the full acknowledgment.

All References in Chronological Order

mention – 01:25
MAYOR HARRY PORTER: It was a frigid November night some 224 years ago. The brave Stars Hollow militia stood in wait for the Redcoats.
— This episode aired in 2000, placing Harry’s story somewhere in or around 1776, near the beginning of the American Revolutionary War (1775-83). The primary combatants in the war were British colonial subjects and British soldiers, the latter of whom were sometimes referred to as Redcoats due to the scarlet color of their military uniforms. While some colonists (known as Loyalists or Tories) fought on the side of the British, the fictional Stars Hollow militia were among those (referred to as Patriots or Whigs) who rejected British rule.
David Huddleston, the actor who plays Mayor Harry Porter, is best known for his roles as the eponymous character in The Big Lebowski (1998) and Olson Johnson in Blazing Saddles (1974).

reference – 02:35
LUKE: Have any of you ever considered the fact that you’re glorifying a war we fought so we could keep land that we stole?
— Luke is referring to the fact that the Thirteen Colonies (and, later, the independent United States) were established on lands already inhabited for millennia by Indigenous peoples. While some Indigenous nations fought on the side of the colonists, most “opposed the union of the Colonies as a potential threat to their territory” (Wikipedia). Approximately 13,000 Indigenous people fought for the British, with the largest share (1,500) being Iroquois or Haudenosaunee.
— In the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which officially ended the Revolutionary War, Britain and the United States negotiated new boundaries in North America. The British ceded control of lands to the northwest of the original Colonies, extending the territory of the United States to the Great Lakes and the Ohio River. Indigenous nations of these regions were not a party to negotiations, and they formed the Western Confederacy to resist further US settlements, resulting in the Northwest Indian War (1785-1795).

reference – 02:40
MAYOR HARRY PORTER: If you don’t like it here in America, why don’t you go stand in line for toilet paper in the USSR?
LUKE: There is no more USSR, Harry.
— The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), also known as the Soviet Union, was “a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics [including Russia and 14 surrounding countries], it was a one-party state (until 1990) governed by the Communist Party” (Wikipedia). Rationing was implemented several times throughout the history of the USSR, with citizens waiting in line to receive apportioned goods; breadlines are a particularly enduring part of the popular perception of the Soviet Union.

reference – 04:40
MAX: It’s now two o’clock in the afternoon on a Thursday, and I’m in my office reading a paper entitled “Emily Dickinson: Get a Life.”
— Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) was a US poet. “Evidence suggests that Dickinson lived much of her life in isolation. Considered an eccentric by locals, she developed a penchant for white clothing and was known for her reluctance to greet guests or, later in life, to even leave her bedroom. Dickinson never married, and most friendships between her and others depended entirely upon correspondence” (Wikipedia).

mention – 08:40
RORY: So, where were we?
LANE: I had just met my soulmate.
RORY: Right, Rich Bloomenfeld. Does he still wear the Star Trek shirt?
Star Trek is a US science-fiction media franchise that began with a 1966-1969 television series. This series is retroactively referred to as Star Trek: The Original Series in order to distinguish it from later spin-off series The Next Generation (1987-1994), Deep Space Nine (1993-1999), and Voyager (1995-2001). A fifth series, Enterprise, premiered the year after this episode aired. The story follows the starship USS Enterprise on its missions “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”
Star Trek was also referenced in episode six at 04:50.

reference – 09:45
LORELAI: Will you tell grandma and grandpa that I’m gonna be late, and that I’m having Satan’s baby? You pick the order?
— This is another reference to Roman Polanski’s 1968 psychological horror film Rosemary’s Baby (also referenced in the pilot at 23:10), in which a New York City woman is groomed by a cult of Satan worshipers and impregnated with Satan’s heir.
— The film is based on the 1967 novel by Ira Levin, who also wrote The Stepford Wives (1972).

mention – 11:15
RORY: Aha! You liked it. You liked Jane Austen. I knew you would. Lane, Dean likes Jane Austen.
LANE: Wow, who woulda thought?
RORY: I told him he would, but he was all, “Forget Jane Austen. You have to read Hunter Thompson.
— Jane Austen (1775-1817) was “an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique and comment upon the British landed gentry” (Wikipedia) of the late 18th-century and early 19th-century Regency Era. “Austen’s plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favourable social standing and economic security.” Her work is sometimes dismissed as simple romance–historical “chick lit,” essentially–by audiences who aren’t aware of or don’t understand the social commentary.
— Four of Austen’s best-known works, Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), and Emma (1815), were published within her lifetime. Two other major novels, Northanger Abby (1818) and Persuasion (1818), were published posthumously. Emma is the book that Dean returns to Rory.
— Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005) was a US journalist and author. He pioneered a style of journalism known as gonzo journalism, in which the author makes no pretense of objectivity and often includes themselves as a first-person observer in their writing. He is known for his books Hell’s Angels (1967), which he researched by living for a year with the Hells Angels motorcycle club, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1971), in which he grapples with the apparent failure of the 1960s counterculture movement.

mention – 11:40
DEAN: Wow, she brings me cookies. How can I repay her?
RORY: How about a little Charlotte Brontë?
— Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855) “was an English novelist and poet, the eldest of the three Brontë sisters who survived into adulthood and whose novels became classics of English literature” (Wikipedia). Her best-known work is Jane Eyre (1847), and her sister, Emily, wrote Wuthering Heights (1847).
Jane Eyre follows the experiences of its eponymous protagonist from childhood onward, including her time as a governess and her romance with Mr. Rochester of Thornfield Hall. “The novel revolutionised prose fiction by being the first to focus on its protagonist’s moral and spiritual development through an intimate first-person narrative… Brontë has been called the ‘first historian of the private consciousness’, and the literary ancestor of writers like Proust and Joyce” (Wikipedia).

reference – 12:40
EMILY: A bad storm is heading your way. It’s already hitting us here.
LORELAI: Well, don’t panic. I’ll get the ark, you get the animals.
— The Genesis flood narrative is a myth from the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Tanakh, or Hebrew Bible. In the story, God decides to wipe out creation on Earth by way of a global flood and start over anew. He exempts a man called Noah, as well as Noah’s family and a sampling of the world’s animals, all of whom survive in a vessel known as Noah’s Ark (Hebrew: תיבת נח, Biblical Hebrew: Tevat Noah).
— Though searches have continued into modern day, no confirmable evidence of the Ark has ever been discovered. The notion of a global flood is also inconsistent with the Earth’s geological record. The story itself bears a strong resemblance to a flood myth contained in the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh (c. 1800 BC), which predates the Book of Genesis.

reference – 12:55
EMILY: So, anyhow, what time will you get here?
LORELAI: Well, uh, gee, mom, I don’t know, let me see, black ice, treacherous roads. I guess I’ll just put on my red-white-and-blue leotard, grab my golden lasso, and fly the invisible plane on over?
— Wonder Woman is a fictional superheroine within the DC Comics universe. She first appeared in comic form in 1941 and was portrayed by Lynda Carter in the live-action television series, Wonder Woman, from 1975 to 1979. (I would peg Lorelai as more of a TV watcher than a comic book reader, so I am placing this entry in the Film & Television category.) Wonder Woman’s primary weapon is the golden Lasso of Truth, which magically subdues its captives and compels them to tell the truth. In her earliest iterations, Wonder Woman can’t fly, so she creates a silent, invisible plane that can be piloted through telepathic command.

mention – 13:45
LORELAI: All right, honey, now tell grandma that you arrived there not a member of the Junior League. I’d like you to leave there the same way.
— The Association of Junior Leagues International is a private non-profit volunteer organization “founded in 1901 in New York City by Barnard College debutante Mary Harriman Rumsey… [It aims] at improving communities and the social, cultural, and political fabric of civil society” (Wikipedia) through fundraising and committee participation. The Junior League is often associated with high society women like Emily who have ample time and money to spend on charitable work. (Historically, and again, like Emily, such women did not hold professional jobs.) As such, the Junior League is sometimes viewed as preppy, snobbish, or elitist.
— Whatever its reputation, the Junior League has supported many worthy causes, and numerous famous women have been members. These include Shirley Temple Black, Julia Child, Katharine Hepburn, Sandra Day O’Connor, Eudora Welty, and First Ladies Barbara Bush, Laura Bush, Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, and Eleanor Roosevelt.

mention – 14:50
LORELAI: I think some traditions are nice. Birthdays, holidays. Taking a walk in the first snow of the season.
LUKE: I didn’t get the Hallmark card for that one.
— Hallmark Cards “is the oldest and largest manufacturer of greeting cards in the United States” (Wikipedia). They are known for creating cards specific to every recipient and occasion, and aisles of their cards can be found in drugstores, grocery stores, and their own franchises.

reference + mention – 20:50
MAX: She’s in Thailand now.
LORELAI: Sex trade?
MAX: Bank of America.
— Thailand is known for its sex industry, and sex tourism is a de facto part of the Thai economy. According to Wikipedia, an estimated 10% of tourist dollars go toward sex tourism, with the sex trade accounting for about 3% of the national GDP as of 2003.
— Bank of America is a “multinational investment bank and financial services holding company… [It is] the second largest banking institution in the United States, after JPMorgan Chase, and the eighth largest bank in the world” (Wikipedia).

reference – 21:50
MAX: A match made in heaven.
LORELAI: Or in Bellevue.
— Bellevue Hospital was founded in 1736 in New York City, making it the oldest public hospital in the United States. Though it is a full-service hospital, it is known for its psychiatric facilities, so much so that “Bellevue” has become a slang term for any mental health facility.
— “Bellevue opened its first ‘pavilion for the insane’ in 1879” and opened Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital in 1931. “Over the years, [the hospital] became a dumping ground by the police for many of the city’s so-called criminally insane… It also served as a revolving door for homeless patients” (Asylum Projects). Some of its more famous patients include Norman Mailer, Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol, and John Lennon’s killer, Mark David Chapman.

feature – 25:05
Max and Lorelai watch House on Haunted Hill at the Stars Hollow screening room, and Lorelai keeps asking Max if he’s scared yet.
House on Haunted Hill is a 1959 US supernatural horror film directed by William Castle. In the film, a wealthy eccentric (Vincent Price) and his wife (Carol Ohmart) invite five cash-strapped strangers to stay overnight in a haunted house, promising $10,000 to each guest who remains in the house until sunrise.
This is the scene that is visible on screen when Lorelai asks if Max is scared yet.

reference – 26:00
RICHARD: Perhaps instead of that horrible salmon that keeps showing up.
EMILY: That salmon is a fine delicacy.
RICHARD: Hmm. Potato po-tah-to.
— Richard is obliquely referencing “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” a song written by George and Ira Gershwin and performed by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the 1937 film Shall We Dance. The song is famous for its lines like, “You like tomato / And I like to-mah-to,” comparing British and American pronunciations of words.

 reference – 28:25
RICHARD: You also knew you wanted to marry Errol Flynn.
RORY: Really? Grandma had a thing for the pirate guy?
— Errol Flynn (1909-1959) was an Australian-born actor known for his swashbuckling roles in classic films like Captain Blood (1935) and The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938).
— Flynn’s reputation was tarnished when, in 1942, he was separately accused by two 17-year-old girls of statutory rape. The trial unfolded in a fashion that remains depressingly familiar today, and he was acquitted in 1943. However, accounts by personal acquaintances uphold his reputation for voyeurism and womanizing, including sexual acts with underage girls.

feature – 30:50
“Someone to Watch Over Me” by Rickie Lee Jones
Episode context: Luke spots Max and Lorelai as they’re walking through the snow. They don’t notice him, however, and he sees them share a kiss.
— From the 2000 album It’s Like This.
— This song was written by George and Ira Gershwin for the 1926 musical Oh, Kay! It has been recorded by numerous artists, including Frank Sinatra (1946), Ella Fitzgerald (1951), Chet Baker (1955), Barbra Streisand (1965), Ray Charles (1969), and Willie Nelson (1978). Recordings subsequent to this episode include a 2002 version by Elton John and a 2008 version by Amy Winehouse.

feature – 34:50
“Pictures of You” by The Cure
LORELAI: Oh. That’s the Cure. I have to go back in there.
Episode context: At Lorelai’s house, Lane interrupts Max and Lorelai kissing. After running back to Rory’s room, she begins to play this song. Lorelai senses Lane is having a “bad teen day” and goes to talk to her, turning off the song as she enters the room.
— From the 1989 album Disintegration. The Cure are an English gothic rock band formed in 1978. They released several hits, including “Pictures of You,” in the ’80s and early ’90s.

reference – 37:50
LORELAI: I swear to god, if this wasn’t a major Judy Blume moment, I would kick her cute little butt right out of here.
— Judy Blume (born Judith Sussman, 1938) is a US writer of juvenile fiction. She was one of the first authors of young adult fiction to address taboo topics, such as masturbation, menstruation, teen sex, and birth control, in her writing. Her best-known works include Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret (1970) and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (1972).

reference – 40:55
RORY: Do you love him?
LORELAI: I, uh… We had one date. It was a great date. World Series level. But it was just a date.
— The World Series “is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States and Canada, contested since 1903 between the champion teams of the American League (AL) and the National League (NL)” (Wikipedia). Winning the World Series is the highest achievement for a team in North American baseball.

reference – 42:25
LANE: You seem to have this really great life going, and I don’t really fit in there.
RORY: That’s not true! You totally fit in.
LANE: Yeah?
RORY: I’m talking Legos.
— Lego is a line of toys manufactured by the Danish company, The Lego Group, consisting of small, colorful interlocking plastic bricks. When fitted together, they can form any number of structures, and they can be taken apart and reassembled any number of times.

References Consolidated by Category

Brand Names

  • 13:45 – the Junior League
  • 14:50 – Hallmark
  • 20:50 – Bank of America
  • 21:50 – Bellevue Hospital
  • 42:25 – Lego

Famous Figures

  • 28:25 – Errol Flynn

Film & Television

  • 08:40 – Star Trek
  • 09:45 – Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
  • 12:55 – Wonder Woman
  • 25:05 – House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Geography & Politics

  • 02:40 – the USSR
  • 20:50 – sex tourism in Thailand


  • 01:25 – the Redcoats
  • 02:35 – stolen Indigenous land


  • 04:40 – Emily Dickinson
  • 11:15 – Jane Austen
  • 11:15 – Hunter S. Thompson
  • 11:40 – Charlotte Brontë
  • 37:50 – Judy Blume



  • 12:40 – Noah’s Ark


  • 40:55 – World Series

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