IMDb summary: “Rory gets her first kiss from Dean. The whole town is buzzing about it, yet Rory has not told Lorelai” (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
feature – 00:40
Violin Concerto No. 3 in F Major “Autumn/L’autunno” by Antonio Vivaldi
Episode context: Miss Patty’s dance class is rehearsing a routine choreographed to this song. Lorelai and Rory pass the performers on their way to Luke’s.
— The Four Seasons (Italian: Le quattro stagioni) “is a group of four violin concerti by Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi, each of which gives musical expression to a season of the year. They were written around 1716-1717 and published in 1725” (Wikipedia). The one we hear here is “Autumn” (Italian: “L’autunno”).
— Miss Patty’s students are dressed as gourds, corn, Pilgrims, and stereotypical Native Americans. Their costumes make it clear that they are rehearsing a performance for the Stars Hollow Autumn Festival, and more specifically for the US holiday of Thanksgiving, which I’ll get into a little later.
reference – 1:35
TAYLOR: You have lived in Stars Hollow for a long time, young man. It’s time you became one of us.
LUKE: Sorry, I guess my pod’s defective.
— In Don Siegel’s 1956 science-fiction horror film Invasion of the Body Snatchers (and in Philip Kaufman’s 1978 remake of the same name), a race of aliens invade Earth in order to exploit its resources. In order to subdue the dominant native species (humans), they duplicate individual people’s bodies and destroy the originals, thereby replacing people with identical, but emotionless, Pod People.
— The film is based on Jack Finney’s 1955 novel of the same name.
mention – 3:35
TAYLOR: I don’t know, it doesn’t really look like the Mayflower.
DEAN: We could put a sign on it or something.
TAYLOR: I don’t know, I…
DEAN: So, you want to go back to the Plymouth Rock idea?
— Plymouth Rock is a site on the ancestral land of the Patuxet, an Indigenous community belonging to the Wampanoag confederacy, in what is today known as Massachusetts. Like so many other Indigenous communities of this period, the Patuxet were devastated by European epidemics. Some Europeans viewed the spread of disease as divine intervention clearing the way for them in the Americas. King James of England thanked “Almighty God in his great goodness and bounty toward us” for sending “this wonderful plague among the savages” (quoted in Sarah Vowell’s 2008 book The Wordy Shipmates). Only one Patuxet, Tisquantum (known to the English as Squanto), remained by the time the English ship, the Mayflower, landed at Plymouth Rock in December 1620.
— Tisquantum had previously been captured and taken to Europe as a slave, lived as a freeman in England, and learned English as a result. He acted as a liaison between the Wampanoag and the English outsiders, and they brokered a peace treaty in 1621. That same year, the English completed a successful harvest season using the Wampanoags’ knowledge of the land, and they celebrated with a three-day feast of thanksgiving. The US Thanksgiving holiday is far too complex to summarize here, so I created a Thanksgiving page with a brief history and links to Indigenous resources.
mention – 10:50
LANE: I’m totally living vicariously through you.
RORY: Why? You got kissed last weekend! Remember, you told me. That guy your parents set you up with. The one with the Lincoln Continental. What’s his name? Patrick Cho!
LANE: Okay. Let’s do a little compare and contrast here. You get kissed on the mouth by a cute, cool, sexy guy you really like! And I get kissed on the forehead by a theology major in a Members Only jacket who truly believes that rock music leads to hard drugs.
— The Lincoln Continental is a series of luxury vehicles produced by US automaker Lincoln, a division of Ford Motor Company.
— Members Only is a fashion brand whose line of racer jackets became popular in the 1980s. At the time, the jackets had preppy or yuppie-ish connotations, and they fell out of favor in the following decade. They have since made a comeback with the rise of retro nostalgia, and are now sometimes associated with hipster style.
mention – 11:30
LANE: Dean’s from Chicago, which you know. He likes Nick Drake and Liz Phair and the Sugarplastic, and he’s deathly allergic to walnuts.
— Nick Drake (born Nicholas Drake, 1948-1974) was “an English singer-songwriter and musician known for his acoustic guitar-based songs” (Wikipedia). Drake was reluctant to perform live or be interviewed, and no known video footage exists of him as an adult. Recognition of his work came posthumously, following his death from an overdose at the age of 26. As a result, he has become a somewhat moody and mysterious figure in folk rock.
— Liz Phair (born Elizabeth Phair, 1967) is a US singer-songwriter best known for her contributions to lo-fi, indie, and alternative rock in the 1990s. Her acclaimed 1993 album Exile in Guyville (a song-by-song response to Rolling Stone’s 1972 double album Exile on Main St.) explores themes of female anger and sexuality.
— The Sugarplastic is an alternative rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1989.
mention – 14:00
LORELAI: I was watching General Hospital the other day. And, you know, they have a new Lucky, ’cause the old Lucky went to play something where he could have a real name. So the old Lucky had this girlfriend, Liz, who thought that he died in a fire. So then they bring on this new Lucky, and you’re all like, “Okay, I know that’s not the old Lucky because the new Lucky has way more hair gel issues,” but still, Liz was so upset about his supposed death that you could not wait to see them kiss. Ya know?
— General Hospital (1963-present) is a US daytime soap opera originally set in a busy hospital in an unnamed city. The fictional city was given the name Port Charles, New York in the 1970s, and the show’s plot has since expanded beyond the hospital setting. It is the longest-running US soap opera still in production, and the second longest-running in US history after Guiding Light (1952-2009).
— Actor Jonathan Jackson originated the character of Lucky Spencer and played him from 1993-1999, after which Jacob Young took over the role. Lucky and his girlfriend Elizabeth “Liz” Webber (Rebecca Herbst) are a considered a “supercouple” of General Hospital.
reference – 15:00
LUKE: Not going to say you look concerned.
LORELAI: Not gonna talk about how good you’d look dressed as one of the guys from The Crucible.
— The Crucible is a 1953 play by US playwright Arthur Miller. “It is a dramatized and partially fictionalized story of the Salem witch trials that took place in the Massachusetts Bay Colony during 1692-93. Miller wrote the play as an allegory for McCarthyism, when the United States government persecuted people accused of being communists” (Wikipedia).
— A film adaptation, directed by Nicholas Hytner and with a screenplay by Miller, was released in 1996.
reference – 16:15
LUKE: Okay, we need to get you out of here.
LORELAI: No. That Lothario over there has wormed his way into my daughter’s heart and mouth, and for that he must die!
— Lothario is a male given name used “to suggest an unscrupulous seducer of women” (Wikipedia). This implication can be traced to El Curioso Impertinente (English: The Impertinent Curious Man), a nested story within Miguel de Cervantes’ 1605 novel Don Quixote. In the story, a nobleman convinces his friend, Lothario, to attempt to seduce his wife in order to test her fidelity.
reference – 17:00
LORELAI: He reminds me of Christopher.
LUKE: Well, that’s not too surprising.
LORELAI: You gonna quote Freud to me? ‘Cause I’ll push you in front of a moving car. This talk was going so well.
— Psychoanalytic theory is a theory of personality development first proposed by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud in the late 19th century. According to this school of thought, children undergo five stages of psychosexual development, the third of which entails an Oedipus complex: a subconscious sexual attraction to the same-sex parent, and hostility toward the other. Rory would be considered well beyond this stage by Freud, however; he believed this phenomenon to occur between the ages of three and six.
— Much of Freud’s original thinking is considered to be unfalsifiable and, as such, largely pseudoscientific. The misogyny and homophobia inherent to his ideas is also objectionable from a modern standpoint. (And, of course, his ideas fail to account for the existence of transgender and non-binary people.) However, the basic framework of his theory laid the groundwork for later, more legitimate approaches.
— The Oedipus complex is named for the character Oedipus, who, in ancient Greek mythology, unwittingly kills his father and marries his mother. Carl Jung, a practitioner of psychoanalysis, coined the term “Electra complex” to refer to the Oedipus complex in girls (though Freud rejected this term).
reference – 19:05
RORY: We weren’t making out. It was just one kiss.
LORELAI: Yeah, well, by the time that gets to Miss Patty’s, it’s a scene from 9½ Weeks.
— 9½ Weeks (1986, dir. Adrian Lyne) is an erotic drama film about an intense sexual affair between a New York City art gallery worker and a Wall Street stock broker.
— The film is based on the 1978 memoir 9½ Weeks: A Memoir of a Love Affair by US-Austrian writer Ingeborg Day.
feature – 20:40
RORY: Well, we’re ordering pizza. That’s enough!
LORELAI: Are you crazy? You can’t watch Willy Wonka without massive amounts of junk food. It’s not right. I won’t allow it.
CASHIER: You girls having another movie night?
LORELAI: Yeah, it’s Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
CASHIER: Oh, that’s nice. Isn’t that the one with Gene Hackman?
DEAN: Uh, Gene Wilder.
On the TV screen at Lorelai and Rory’s house, we see a clip from the film showing Oompa Loompas. We can also hear the voice of Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka.
— Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is a 1971 US musical fantasy film directed by Mel Stuart. The film follows Charlie, a poor boy who wins a tour of the fantastical candy factory owned by eccentric confectioner Willa Wonka. The factory is run by small, orange-skinned, green-haired men called Oompa Loompas.
— The film is based on Roald Dahl’s 1964 children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
— In addition to his role as Willy Wonka, Gene Wilder is known for The Producers (1967), Blazing Saddles (1974), and Young Frankenstein (1974). Gene Hackman is a different actor known for The French Connection (1971) and The Conversation (1974), among many other films.
reference – 20:55
LORELAI: I am going to be so cool in there, you will mistake me for Shaft.
— Shaft is a film and television franchise “centered on a family of African-American police detectives all sharing the name John Shaft” (Wikipedia). The first three films, Shaft (1971), Shaft’s Big Score! (1972), and Shaft in Africa (1973), all belong to the blaxploitation subgenre and star Richard Roundtree as the “classy and suave” John Shaft I. The fourth installment, Shaft (2000), is a crime thriller and stars Samuel L. Jackson as John Shaft II.
reference – 21:00
RORY: No kissing noises, no stories from my childhood, no referring to Chicago as Chi-Town. No James Dean jokes, no father-with-a-shotgun stares, no Nancy Walker impressions.
— There doesn’t seem to be any real story behind the Chi-Town nickname for Chicago, Illinois. It simply follows a pattern of reducing a place name to its first letter or syllable and adding the “-Town” suffix in order to create a shorthand. “Chi-Town” has been in recorded use since the early 20th century. Another Chicago nickname, “the Windy City,” was referenced in the pilot at 23:30.
— James Dean (1931-1655) was a US actor and “a cultural icon of teenage disillusionment and social estrangement” (Wikipedia). His last name also happens to be Dean’s first name, a fact that Rory suspects Lorelai might take advantage of. James Dean was also mentioned in the last episode at 04:15.
— Nancy Walker (born Anna Swoyer, 1922-1992) was a US actress and comedian. She had a recurring role on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977) and its spinoff Rhoda (1974-1978) as the wisecracking mother of Moore’s character’s best friend, Rhoda.
reference – 21:35
RORY: Do we want marshmallows?
LORELAI: Mmm… And jelly beans. And chocolate kisses. Cookie dough we have at home. Peanut butter. Ooh! Do you think they have that thing that’s like a sugar stick on one side, but then you dip it in the sugar on the other side, and then you eat it?
— Though the brand is not mentioned by name here, Lorelai is referring to Hershey’s Kisses: bite-sized, conical chocolate pieces that come wrapped in foil with a printed paper plume emerging from the top of each wrapper. The Hershey Company has produced chocolate kisses since 1907 and trademarked their design in 1924.
— The candy Lorelai is trying to think of is called Fun Dip. It consists of a stick of hard candy that you lick and then dip into a pouch of powdered candy, which then adheres to the moistened stick and can be eaten in this way. The candy was originally called Lik-M-Aid when it debuted in the 1940s, but was rebranded as Fun Dip in the 1970s. At the time of this episode, Fun Dip was produced by Swiss multinational corporation Nestlé under their Willy Wonka Candy Company brand.
— Unlike Hershey’s Kisses and Fun Dip, marshmallows and jelly beans are generic products sold under different branding by various companies.
mention – 23:15
DEAN: Hey! Um. You forgot your Red Vines.
— Red Vines is a brand of tube-shaped red licorice produced by the American Licorice Company.
reference – 24:45
RORY: In what universe would I be happy? This isn’t Amish country. Girls and boys usually date alone.
— The Amish were also mentioned in the pilot at 22:30. They “are a group of traditionalist Christian church fellowships with Swiss German Anabaptist origins” (Wikipedia). The Amish are known for their plain dress, conservative social customs, and rejection of modern technology, though adherence to these principles varies among different subgroups of Amish. Over 98% of the world’s Amish population resides in the United States.
mention – 25:00
RORY: I’m so humiliated.
LORELAI: Wha– You’re totally overreacting! I invited him to a movie and pizza, not to Niagara Falls.
— Niagara Falls is a group of three waterfalls spanning the border between the Canadian province of Ontario and the US state of New York. It is a major tourist site in both countries, and a popular destination for honeymooners.
reference – 28:25
RORY: You’re like a crazy Elsa Klensch.
— Elsa Klensch (born 1933) is a US-Australian journalist and television personality, “often working in the world of fashion. She was the producer and host of Style with Elsa Klensch, CNN’s weekly fashion and design television program, which ran from 1980 to 2001″ (Wikipedia).
reference – 29:45
BABETTE: Oh, is he cute!
BABETTE: And that Chuck Heston chin of his!
— Charlton “Chuck” Heston (born John Charles Carter, 1923-2008) was a US actor known for his roles in The Ten Commandments (1956), Ben-Hur (1959), Planet of the Apes (1968), and Soylent Green (1973).
— Heston was also a high-profile Republican in his later life and was president of the National Rifle Association from 1998 to 2003.
+ mention – 32:05
DEAN: How much does it suck that they used “Pink Moon” in a Volkswagen commercial?
— “Pink Moon” is the title track from Nick Drake’s third and final studio album, released in 1972. German automaker Volkswagen later used the song in television advertisements promoting their Cabriolet compact car. The advertising campaign, titled “Milky Way,” debuted on November 11, 1999.
reference – 35:10
DEAN: Ooh, Prince Charming, huh?
RORY: It was a long time ago. And not the Cinderella one, the Sleeping Beauty one.
DEAN: ‘Cause he could dance.
— Cinderella (1950) and Sleeping Beauty (1959) are both animated musical fantasy films adapted from folk tales by Walt Disney. Both Cinderella‘s Prince Charming and Sleeping Beauty‘s Prince Phillip dance in their respective films (Prince Charming and Cinderella meet and waltz together at a ball), but evidently both Rory and Dean are more impressed by Phillip’s abilities.
— Cinderella was also mentioned in the last episode at 13:15.
reference – 35:25
DEAN: Well, I have no embarrassing secrets.
LORELAI: Oh, please.
RORY: I bet I know one.
RORY: The theme from Ice Castles makes you cry.
— Ice Castles is a 1978 US romantic drama film directed by Donald Wrye. “It is the story of Lexie Winston, a young figure skater, and her rise and fall from super stardom” (Wikipedia). Its theme song, “Through the Eyes of Love” by Melissa Manchester, was nominated for Best Original Song at the 52nd Academy Awards.
reference – 35:40
LORELAI: Oh, I’ve got one. At the end of The Way We Were, you wanted Robert Redford to dump his wife and kid for Barbra Streisand.
DEAN: I’ve never seen The Way We Were.
RORY: Are you kidding?
LORELAI: What are you waiting for? Heartache. Laughter.
LORELAI: All in one neat package.
— The Way We Were is a 1973 US drama film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand as the two romantic leads. “Arthur Laurents wrote both the novel and screenplay based on his college days at Cornell University and his experiences with the House Un-American Activities Committee” (Wikipedia) during the era of McCarthyism.
— Barbra Streisand was also mentioned in the last episode at 04:15.
reference – 36:00
DEAN: So, uh. At what point does the outsider get to suggest a movie for movie night?
RORY: That depends. What movie are you thinking of?
DEAN: I dunno, uh, Boogie Nights maybe.
RORY: You’ll never get it past Lorelai.
DEAN: Not a Marky Mark fan?
RORY: She had a bad reaction to Magnolia. She sat there screaming for three hours, “I want my life back,” and then we got kicked out of the theater.
— Mark Wahlberg (born 1971) is a US actor and former rapper. In the 1990s, he was frontman of the hip-hop group Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch and performed under the Marky Mark stage name. His appearance in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights (1997), a film about the 1970s porn industry, helped him to break away from the Marky Mark persona and cross over to acting.
— Magnolia (1999) is an epic psychological drama film also directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. With a runtime of just over three hours, Roger Ebert described it as “a film of sadness and loss, of lifelong bitterness, of children harmed and adults destroying themselves.” The film stars a large ensemble cast including Tom Cruise, William H. Macy, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Jason Robards, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Mark Wahlberg does not appear in the film, suggesting that Lorelai’s objection has more to do with Anderson than Wahlberg.
feature – 37:00
Deciding to give Rory and Dean some time alone, Lorelai sits at the kitchen table and flips through an InStyle magazine.
— InStyle is a monthly fashion, beauty, and lifestyle magazine published in the US by the Meredith Corporation and marketed toward women.
mention – 43:05
LORELAI: It’s okay, I’m fine. It’s one too many Caramello bars.
— Caramello candy bars are a US variant of the Caramilk bars sold in Canada. Both are sold under the British Cadbury brand, though the US bars are produced under license by The Hershey Company. The bars consist of a chewy caramel filling coated in chocolate.
References Consolidated by Category
- 10:50 – Lincoln Continental
- 10:50 – Members Only
- 21:35 – Hershey’s Kisses
- 21:35 – Fun Dip
- 23:15 – Red Vines
- 32:05 – Volkswagen
- 43:05 – Caramello
- 17:00 – Sigmund Freud
- 21:00 – James Dean
- 21:00 – Nancy Walker
- 22:15 – Gene Hackman
- 28:25 – Elsa Klensch
- 29:45 – Charlton Heston
- 36:00 – Mark Wahlberg fka Marky Mark
Film & Television
- 1:35 – Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956/1978)
- 14:00 – General Hospital
- 19:05 – 9½ Weeks (1986)
- 20:40, 22:15, 34:55 – Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
- Gene Wilder
- 20:55 – Shaft (1971/2000)
- 35:10 – Cinderella (1950)
- 35:10 – Sleeping Beauty (1959)
- 35:25 – Ice Castles (1978)
- 35:40 – The Way We Were (1973)
- Robert Redford
- Barbra Streisand
- 36:00 – Boogie Nights (1997)
- 36:00 – Magnolia (1999)
Geography & Politics
- 25:00 – Niagara Falls
- 3:35 – Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower
- 15:00 – The Crucible by Arthur Miller
- 16:15 – Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
- 37:00 – InStyle
- 00:40 – Violin Concerto No. 3 in F Major “Autumn/L’autunno” by Antonio Vivaldi
- 11:30 – Nick Drake
- 32:05 – “Pink Moon”
- 11:30 – Liz Phair
- 11:30 – The Sugarplastic
- 24:45 – the Amish