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Season One, Episode Six: “Rory’s Birthday Parties”

    Season 1, episode 6: “Rory’s Birthday Parties”
    Original air date: 9 November 2000
    Directed by: Sarah Pia Anderson
    Written by: Amy Sherman-Palladino

    Summary: It’s Rory’s birthday, but before she can enjoy a laid-back Stars Hollow party, she will need to face her Chilton classmates at a formal one planned by Emily.

    On this page: All References in Chronological Order | References Sorted by Category | Frequent References | Image Credits | Indigenous Land Acknowledgment

    All References in Chronological Order

    00:15 – ⭐ reference
    EMILY: Everything’s a joke. Everyone’s a punchline.
    LORELAI: Okay, I’m sorry.
    EMILY: My daughter, Henny Youngman.
    00:25
    RICHARD: Well, what did I miss?
    LORELAI: I was being impossible, and then I turned into a Jewish comedian.

    • Henry “Henny” Youngman (born Henry Yungman, 1906-1998) was an English-born US comedian known for his snappy one-liners, his most famous being, “Take my wife. Please.” Instead of elaborate setups, his comedy routines consisted of rapid-fire punchlines, sometimes with violin interludes. He was dubbed “the King of One-Liners” by US newspaper columnist Walter Winchell.

    00:45 – 🪶 mention
    RICHARD: Take a look at that desk in my office. That’s a really fine Georgian piece.

    • “Georgian” refers to a range of architectural and interior design styles characterized by symmetry, even proportions, soft colors, and Classical ornamentation; Chippendale and Sheraton furniture are typical examples. The style originated in Britain and spanned the reigns of four kings, “between the accession of George I in 1714 and the death of George IV in 1830” (Encyclopaedia Britannica), hence the name. It proliferated to the Thirteen Colonies in the 18th century and became popular again during the Colonial Revival of the late 19th century and first half of the 20th century.

    00:55 – 🏷️ mention
    EMILY: So, just look around, and when you see something you like, stick a Post-it on it.
    01:30
    EMILY: You like the bowl? Put a Post-it on it when you’re done.

    • Post-it is a US brand of sticky notes produced by the 3M Company. In US English, the term “Post-it” has become a generic trademark, or proprietary eponym: “a trademark or brand name that, because of its popularity or significance, has become a generic term for, or synonymous with, a general class of products or services” (Wikipedia). Legally, “Post-it” is a registered trademark, but it is often used to refer to any sticky note, regardless of brand. Post-it was previously mentioned in episodes three and four.

    01:20 – 🕊️ reference
    LORELAI: Oh, I love pudding. I worship it. I have a bowl up on the mantel at home with a Virgin Mary, a glass of wine, and a dollar bill next to it.

    • “Mary was a first-century Jewish woman of Nazareth, the wife of Joseph and the mother of Jesus. … The gospels of Matthew and Luke describe Mary as a virgin who was chosen by God to conceive Jesus through the Holy Spirit” (Wikipedia). Lorelai is alluding to the home altars associated with Catholic culture, created to venerate the Virgin Mary or other religious figures; in Mexican and Chicano culture, Mary may be referred to as Our Lady of Guadalupe (Spanish: Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe). She was also referenced in episode two and mentioned in episode four.

    04:00 – 🎧 mention
    RORY: You couldn’t get her to cave.
    LORELAI: No. But she did agree to make the string quartet learn “Like a Virgin.”

    • “Like a Virgin” is a 1984 dance-pop song by US singer Madonna. It was released as the lead single for her album of the same name. Comedian and singer-songwriter “Weird Al” Yankovic released a well known parody version, “Like a Surgeon,” in 1985. Madonna’s marriage to actor Sean Penn was mentioned previously in episode three.

    04:15 – 🎧 reference + 🕊️ mention + ⭐ reference
    RORY: So, is this party Grandma’s having gonna be a big deal?
    LORELAI: Not really. The government will close that day. Flags will fly at half-mast. Barbra Streisand will give her final concert… Again. Now, the pope has previous plans, but he’s trying to get out of them. However, Elvis and Jim Morrison are coming, and they’re bringing chips.

    • Barbra Streisand (born Barbara Streisand, 1942) is a US singer, actress, and filmmaker. Her 1999-2000 Timeless tour was ostensibly her last, but she has held additional concerts subsequent to her “final” one on 28 September 2000, leading to some skepticism about her intention to retire. She told Deadline in 2018, “Every time I finish doing some concerts, I say, ‘Never again… When can I stop doing this,’ and then, years later, I go, ‘Well, maybe I should do another one or two.'”
    • The pope is the bishop of Rome, head of the Catholic Church, and sovereign of the Vatican City State. The pope at the time this episode aired was St. John Paul II, who reigned from 1978 until his death in 2005.
    • Elvis Presley (1935-1977) and Jim Morrison (born James Morrison, 1943-1971) were both successful and influential mid-century US musicians. Elvis was a solo performer, sometimes referred to as “the King of Rock and Roll,” and Morrison was lead singer and frontman of rock band the Doors. Both died prematurely, and, for years, urban legends have claimed they faked their deaths and are going about their lives anonymously.

    04:45 – 🎥 reference
    SOOKIE: It’s too bad you couldn’t get your mom to relinquish Friday night.
    LORELAI: No, she has her Vulcan death grip on that one.

    • Vulcans are a humanoid species within the Star Trek universe, and the Vulcan death grip is introduced in the 1966-1969 Original Series. In the episode “The Enterprise Incident,” Spock (Leonard Nimoy) uses a Vulcan death grip in order to convince enemies of the Enterprise that Captain Kirk (William Shatner) is dead. However, there is no such thing as a Vulcan death grip. What Spock actually administers to Kirk is a neck, or nerve, pinch: a martial technique intended to render the victim unconscious or, in this case, simulate death.

    05:55 – 🎥 reference
    LORELAI: You didn’t build one of those machines like in The Fly, did you? We’re not gonna find you wandering the streets with a raspberry head, crying, “Eat me”?

    • The Fly (1958) is a US science-fiction horror film directed by Kurt Neumann. “The film tells the story of a scientist who is transformed into a grotesque human-fly hybrid after a common house fly enters unseen into a molecular transporter with which he is experimenting” (Wikipedia). In one disturbing scene, the transformed scientist is caught helplessly in a spider’s web and screams, “Help me!” The film is based on George Langelaan’s 1957 short story of the same name. It was remade by director David Cronenberg in 1986.

    06:40 – 🎥 reference + ⭐ reference
    LORELAI: Lucy, I’m home!
    RORY: Kitchen!
    LORELAI: And Justin is just so dreamy, he can’t marry Britney, I’ll just cry and cry and cry.

    • “Lucy, I’m home!” is a phrase closely associated with the classic US television sitcom I Love Lucy (1951-1957). It is a greeting from husband Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz) to his wife, Lucy (Lucille Ball), upon arriving home from work. Surprisingly, it is used only once in the show, though he does say, “Honey, I’m home!” a few times more. Regardless, the phrase has cemented itself in TV history.
    • US pop singers (and former All-New Mickey Mouse Club cast members) Justin Timberlake (born 1981) and Britney Spears (born 1981) were a music industry “It” couple at the time this episode aired. They never married, however, and broke up in 2002 after three years of dating. Spears was also mentioned in the pilot, and Timberlake’s band, NSYNC, was mentioned in episode three.

    08:15 – 🎧 feature
    Tristan shows Rory an invitation, sent out by Emily, to her own birthday party. “Happy Birthday” by Altered Images plays as a demoralized Rory walks down the hall and overhears other students snidely discussing the upcoming “obligation party.”
    13:20
    The song plays again briefly at the end of the scene when Lorelai and Rory look at their party dresses.

    • This song is a single from the 1981 album Happy Birthday by Scottish new wave/post-punk band Altered Images.

    08:45 – ⭐ reference
    EMILY: Oh, isn’t this lovely?
    LORELAI: Oh, yeah! As soon as we have her crowned Queen of England, we’ll give it to her.

    • Female members of the British royal family have been known to wear elaborate (and occasionally outrageous) hats to public functions. Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022) was often eye-catching in her brightly colored overcoats and matching hats. Her ancestor, Queen Elizabeth I, was mentioned in episode four.

    09:25 – 🏷️ mention
    EMILY: A Montblanc pen?
    LORELAI: To put on her desk at the law firm?
    EMILY: She needs to write!
    LORELAI: Well, not with a $200 pen, she doesn’t.

    • Montblanc is a German producer of a wide range of luxury goods, including watches, jewelry, and pens. Currently, their pens cost well over $200, and even range into the thousands. The company shares its name with Mont Blanc (Italian: Monte Bianco), the highest mountain in the Alps and Western Europe, located on the border of France and Italy.

    09:45 – ⭐ reference
    EMILY: Please be serious. We’re shopping for Rory.
    LORELAI: No, mom, I’m shopping for Rory. You’re shopping for your imaginary granddaughter, Barbara Hutton.

    • Barbara Woolworth Hutton (1912-1979) was a US socialite and daughter of retail tycoon Frank Winfield Woolworth. She was heiress to one third of her father’s estate. Hutton “was dubbed the ‘Poor Little Rich Girl’–first when she was given a lavish and expensive debutante ball in 1930 amid the Great Depression, and later due to a notoriously troubled private life” (Wikipedia).

    09:50 – 🏷️ mention
    EMILY: Well, you wanted me to get her a Filofax and a mermaid eraser.

    • Filofax is a UK brand of personal organizers and other stationery goods. The traditional Filofax is a leather-bound, six-ring binder containing loose-leaf papers. These organizers were popular in the 1980s and were used to store telephone numbers, addresses, lists, and notes – hence the name Filofax, or “a file of facts.”

    09:55 – ⭐ reference
    EMILY: Oh, yes, and there was the t-shirt with the Farrah Fawcett face.
    LORELAI: A hero to many who aspire to the perfect feather flip.

    • Farrah Fawcett (born Ferrah Fawcett, 1947-2009) was a US actor and model best known for her role on the first season of crime drama series Charlie’s Angels (1976-1981). Her voluminous, feathered hairstyle – known as the “Farrah flip” or simply “Farrah hair” – became an international trend, influencing women’s hairstyles through the 1980s.

    12:00 – 🗺️ reference
    LORELAI: These are our party dresses.
    RORY: So it’s a Halloween party?

    • Halloween (or All Hallows’ Eve) is a cultural holiday celebrated on 31 October. Though its origins are murky, it may have roots in Celtic harvest festivals and the Christian tradition of All Saints’ Eve. Today, Halloween is largely secularized and sometimes controversial among Christians due to its association “with the macabre and supernatural” (Wikipedia). One central Halloween tradition involves dressing in disguises, though today’s costumes may emphasize pageantry over concealment.

    12:55 – 🏷️ reference
    LORELAI: So, now tell me, why Miss Lemonhead today?

    • Lemonhead is a US brand of sour candy produced by the Ferrara Candy Company since 1962. The Lemonhead logo and mascot is a boy with a literal lemon head: a sideways lemon, the tapered ends somewhat resembling ears, with hair, a smiling face, and a bow tie.

    13:10 – 🎥 reference
    LORELAI: Maybe we should really embrace the whole tulle thing. Go totally modern Cinderella.

    • The folk tale “Cinderella” has existed in various forms around the world since ancient times, but I’m guessing Lorelai is alluding to the full-skirted, silver-blue gown worn by the title character in Disney’s animated musical adaptation Cinderella (1950).
    • The story of Rhodopis (Greek: Ῥοδῶπις), an enslaved Greek girl who marries the king of Egypt, is believed to be the earliest known variant of the Cinderella story. It was recounted by the Greek geographer and historian Strabo between 7 BC and AD 23. Popular later versions include the French Cendrillon, ou la petite pantoufle de verre (English: Cinderella; or, The Little Glass Slipper), written by Charles Perrault in 1697, and the German “Aschenputtel” (English: “Cinderella”), from the 1812 Grimms’ Fairy Tales by the Brothers Grimm.

    14:15 – 🏷️ reference
    RORY: So, do I look older?
    LORELAI: Oh, yeah. You walk into Denny’s before five, you’ve got yourself a discount.

    • Denny’s is a US chain of 24-hour diner-style restaurants. Some diners offer what is known as an early-bird special, a discounted dinner served earlier than traditional evening meal hours. This is stereotypically associated with senior citizens and other price-sensitive customers.

    15:10 – 🎥 reference
    RORY: I wonder if the Waltons ever did this.

    • The Waltons (1972-1981) is a US television series about a Depression-era family living in rural Virginia. The show is known for closing most episodes with the family’s “goodnight” ritual. The classic scene shows the exterior of a mostly darkened house, and, in voice-over, each of the 11 family members says goodnight to each other in turn. Show creator Earl Hamner Jr. based the series on his 1961 book Spencer’s Mountain and the 1963 film of the same name.
    A stack of CDs sits on the diner counter. Inset image shows CD cover: yellow and black image of a man casting a shadow.
    See image credits [1].

    15:45 – 🎧 feature
    Rory sets a stack of CDs down on the counter at Luke’s; the cover of The Soft Bulletin by the Flaming Lips is visible on top, and two Built to Spill albums are visible beneath.

    • The Soft Bulletin (1999) is the ninth studio album by US rock band the Flaming Lips.
    • Built to Spill is a US indie rock band. Their two most recent albums at the time of this episode were Keep It Like a Secret (1999) and Perfect from Now On (1997), the latter being their first major-label release.

    18:35 – ⭐ reference
    EMILY: Well, I wanted everything to be perfect. What do you think?
    LORELAI: I think Edith Wharton would have been proud, and busy taking notes.

    • Edith Wharton (born Edith Newbold Jones, 1862-1937) was a US writer known for her stories of late-19th-century high society. Born to a wealthy and socially prominent family, Wharton “drew upon her insider’s knowledge of the upper-class New York ‘aristocracy’ to portray realistically the lives and morals of the Gilded Age” (Wikipedia). Her novel The Age of Innocence (1920) was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1921, making her the first female recipient.
    • The phrase “keeping up with the Joneses” is said to refer to Wharton’s father’s side of the family, according to one possible explanation.

    19:15 – ⭐ reference + 🎧 reference
    RORY: What is it?
    LORELAI: A Shirley Temple.
    RORY: What are you drinking?
    LORELAI: A Shirley Temple Black.
    RORY: Wow.
    LORELAI: I got your good ship lollipop right here, mister.

    • Shirley Temple (1928-2014) was a US singer, actor, and dancer “who was Hollywood’s number-one box-office draw as a child actress from 1934 to 1938” (Wikipedia). In one of her films, Bright Eyes (1934), she performs a song called “On the Good Ship Lollipop.” In 1950, she married California businessman Charles Alden Black, making her Shirley Temple Black. She retired from acting at age 22 and later forged a career in diplomacy.
    • The non-alcoholic cocktail Rory drinks is named after Temple. It is traditionally made with ginger ale, a splash of grenadine, and a maraschino cherry garnish. It is a popular cocktail among minors (people under the age of 21, in the United States), who cannot legally be served alcohol. Lorelai’s drink, a Shirley Temple Black, is an alcoholic version using dark rum. Temple, herself, disliked the drink, telling NPR in 1986, “I had nothing to do with it. But all over the world, I am served that. People think it’s funny. I hate them. Too sweet!” (Wikipedia).

    20:10 – 🗺️ mention
    LORELAI: Christopher is in California.

    • California is a Western US state, bordering the Pacific Ocean. It is the most populous state in the nation, and the third largest after Alaska and Texas.

    20:20 – 🕊️ mention
    LORELAI: He calls, like, once a week, and we see him at Christmas, sometimes Easter. It’s all very civil.

    • “Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on [25 December] as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world” (Wikipedia).
    • “Easter, also called Pascha or Resurrection Sunday, is a Christian festival and cultural holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day of his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD” (Wikipedia). Easter is a moveable feast, meaning it occurs on a different date from one year to the next. The most recent Easter Sunday, prior to this episode, was 23 April 2000.
    Rory lies under a wall of '80s music memorabilia. Covers of featured albums are displayed in a row beneath main image.
    Alexis Bledel as Rory. See image credits [2].

    23:45 – 🎧 feature
    A large promotional poster for Echo & the Bunnymen’s 1984 album Ocean Rain hangs on the wall of Lorelai’s childhood bedroom, and a Duran Duran poster hangs on the back of the door. Over the bed, there are three vinyl records: Porcupine (1983) by Echo & the Bunnymen, Seven and the Ragged Tiger (1983) by Duran Duran, and “The Wild Boys” (1984), a single by Duran Duran.

    • Echo & the Bunnymen and Duran Duran are both English new-wave bands that formed in the late 1970s and released a number of hits in the 1980s. Their top songs include Echo & the Bunnymen’s “The Killing Moon” (1984) and Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like the Wolf” (1983).

    23:55 – 🎥 reference
    RORY: I’m sorry I snapped at Grandma.
    LORELAI: Yeah, huh? That was a pretty Freaky Friday moment we had back there.

    • Freaky Friday is a 1976 comedy-fantasy Disney film directed by Gary Nelson. It tells the story of a mother (Barbara Harris) and daughter (Jodie Foster) who switch bodies and, in effect, lives. It is based on Mary Rodgers’ 1972 novel of the same name. The film was remade in 1995, with Shelley Long and Gaby Hoffmann starring as mother and daughter. A second remake, starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan, was released in 2003, almost two years after this episode aired.
    • The first edition of Rodgers’ book featured cover art by US writer and artist Edward Gorey.

    25:15 – 🏷️ reference
    RORY: What did you fight about?
    LORELAI: Well. I was pregnant.
    RORY: Oh, that.
    LORELAI: And I said something at the table about the pâté smelling like Clorox, and one thing led to another.

    • The Clorox Company is a US producer of cleaning products. While they own many subsidiaries and produce a wide range of products today, they began in 1913 as a producer of liquid bleach. When the word “Clorox” is used on its own, it’s bleach that is implied. Bleach is a commonly used fabric whitener and disinfectant, but it has a strong and distinctive odor.
    • “Smell sensitivity and food aversions” (Healthline) may serve as early indicators of pregnancy.

    26:50 – 🗺️ mention
    RICHARD: Put that towards your trip to Fez.
    41:30
    RICHARD: For Fez.
    RORY: But Grandpa, you already took care of Fez.
    RICHARD: Fez is a very large city.

    • Fez or Fes (Arabic: فاس, Berber: ⴼⴰⵙ, French: Fès) is the second-largest city (after Casablanca) in the North African country of Morocco. In 2000, it had an estimated population of 868,336 people (World Population Review), rising to 1.11 million as of the 2014 census (Wikipedia). Rory and Richard spoke about Fez in episode three.

    28:00 – 🎥 reference
    EMILY: They’re her schoolmates. I assumed they were her friends.
    LORELAI: Well, you know what they say when people assume things.
    EMILY: No, what do they say?
    LORELAI: That you…shouldn’t.

    • There is a saying in US English that goes, “You should never ASSUME, because when you ASSUME, you make an ASS out of U and ME,” a play on the spelling of the word “assume.” This aphorism was famously included in a 1973 episode of The Odd Couple called “My Strife in Court.” According to the 2006 TV Land documentary The 100 Greatest TV Quotes and Catchphrases, writer Jerry Belson adopted the phrase from a childhood teacher. Evidently, the saying was in circulation prior to the episode, but The Odd Couple likely popularized it.

    31:00 – 🎓 mention
    PARIS: You can go somewhere else. Go to Brandeis. Brandeis is nice.
    RORY: I’ve only ever wanted to go to Harvard.

    • Brandeis University is a private research university with a liberal arts focus, located in Waltham, Massachusetts, near Boston. It was founded as a nonsectarian institution by the Jewish community in 1948 and is named for Louis Brandeis, the first Jewish justice to sit on the US Supreme Court.
    • Brandeis is a small school, with a student body of only 5,581 in 2022 and a 2023 endowment of $1.22 billion (Wikipedia). Harvard, by contrast, had a student body of 21,613 in the fall of 2022 and an endowment of $50.7 billion, “making it the wealthiest academic institution in the world” (Wikipedia).

    32:00 – 🎧 feature
    It’s nighttime, and the Gilmore house is strung with colored lights. “This Old House” by the Brian Setzer Orchestra plays as Miss Patty enters the party, and Rory opens her present from Lorelai. The song ends as Sookie brings in Rory’s birthday cake.

    • The song “This Ole House” (sometimes “This Old House”) was written by Stuart Hamblen and published in 1954. It has been recorded by numerous artists, including Stuart Hamblen (1954), Rosemary Clooney (1954), and Shakin’ Stevens (recorded 1980, released 1981). The version in this episode comes from the 1998 album The Dirty Boogie by the Brian Setzer Orchestra, one of a number of swing revival bands to emerge in the 1990s.
    Rory wears a red sweater, pink feather boa, and birthday crown. She unwraps a box with a picture of a blue iBook on it.
    Alexis Bledel as Rory. See image credits [3].

    32:25 – 🏷️ feature
    Rory receives a new iBook from Lorelai. As Lorelai says, “it’s blue, and it has a handle.”

    • “iBook is a line of laptop computers designed, manufactured, and sold by Apple Computer from 1999 to 2006” (Wikipedia). The line targeted entry-level users, offering more affordable prices and limited specifications than the higher-end PowerBook. The iBook was the first mass-market product equipped for Wi-Fi connectivity. Based on the color of the laptop and timing of the episode, I’m guessing the model given to Rory is an original “Clamshell” iBook G3.

    32:40 – 🎧 feature
    Sookie sets Rory’s birthday cake in front of her, and the party guests all sing “Happy Birthday to You” by Patty and Mildred J. Hill.

    • This song is traditionally sung on a person’s birthday before they blow out the candles on their birthday cake. Though the song has a somewhat obscure history, US sisters Patty and Mildred J. Hill (a kindergarten principal, and a pianist and composer, respectively) are usually credited as the authors. Their original version was called “Good Morning to All” and had different lyrics. The tune was first published in 1893. It has since become the most recognized song in the English language (according to the 1998 Guinness World Records), and its base lyrics have been translated into at least 18 others. It is currently in the public domain in the United States and the European Union.

    34:00 – 🎧 feature
    “Why Does It Always Rain On Me” by Travis begins as Rory welcomes her grandparents to the party. It continues in the background while Lorelai goes to the kitchen to talk to Sookie and fix a drink for Emily. Emily comes to the kitchen, meets Sookie, and compliments her on her catering.

    • This song comes from the 1999 album The Man Who by Scottish rock band Travis.

    34:40 – 🏷️ mention
    LORELAI: Mom, Dad, can’t I get you a drink?
    EMILY: No, thank you.
    LORELAI: Oh, now, Mom, you’re gonna need one, and I have wine glasses that say Holiday Inn on ’em.
    EMILY: Stoli on the rocks with a twist.

    • Holiday Inn is a British-owned US hotel chain founded in 1952. It is named for the 1942 Christmas-themed musical film Holiday Inn, starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. Lorelai’s comment implies that they sell branded merchandise, or perhaps she took the glasses from the hotel restaurant or a room she once stayed in.
    • Stolichnaya (Russian: Столичная), often shortened to Stoli, is a Russian brand of wheat- and rye-based vodka. The name translates to “capital city” in its adjectival form in Russian.

    35:55 – 🎧 feature
    “The Lathe of Heaven” by Scott Abels, Aaron Owens, Matthew W. Parker, David Fuentes, and Brian Dixon plays as Lorelai brings Richard a drink. Lorelai and Sookie discover the party has run out of ice, but Luke arrives just in time with more.

    • This song does not seem to have ever been released commercially, but rather licensed for use in film and television.

    37:10 – 📖 mention + feature
    RORY: I brought you something to read. It’s not The Wall Street Journal, but there’s a quiz in there that determines whether you’re a summer or a fall.

    Rory hands Richard an issue of Cosmopolitan. A full-page Lancôme ad is visible on the back cover.

    • The Wall Street Journal is a business- and finance-focused US daily newspaper founded in 1889. It is the second-largest US newspaper by circulation after The New York Times and has won 39 Pulitzer Prizes. While it claims impartiality in its news pages, its editorial section tends toward conservative viewpoints.
    • Cosmopolitan (or Cosmo, for short) is a US fashion and entertainment magazine marketed toward women. It was founded in 1886, though its content has shifted over time. Today, it includes dating and relationship advice and is especially known for its explicit sex tips. Fortunately, the quiz Richard takes concerns his optimal color palette (i.e. whether he is a winter, spring, summer, or autumn).
    • Lancôme is a French luxury brand of perfumes and cosmetics.

    37:30 – 🎧 feature
    “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong plays as party guests tell embarrassing childhood stories about Rory. The song continues faintly in the background as Emily and Lorelai talk in Lorelai’s room.

    • This song was written by Bob Thiele (under the name George Douglas) and George David Weiss. It has been recorded many times, but Louis Armstrong’s version was the first; it was released as a single in 1967 and inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

    42:20 – 🏷️ reference
    LORELAI: Next year, we are going to a McDonald’s with one of those slides, and that’s it.

    • The McDonald’s Corporation is a US chain of fast-food restaurants specializing in hamburgers and french fries (British English: chips). Some McDonald’s locations have playgrounds, branded as McDonald’s PlayPlace, with colorful, plastic crawl-tubes, slides, and ball pits. McDonald’s was mentioned previously in episode four.

    References Sorted by Category

    Jump to category: Academia | Brand Names | Famous Figures | Film, Television & Theater | Geography & Politics | History | Literature | Music | Religion

    🎓 Academia

    • 31:00 – Brandeis University (academic institution)

    🏷️ Brand Names

    • 00:55, 01:30 – Post-it (sticky note)
    • 09:25 – Montblanc (luxury goods)
    • 09:50 – Filofax (stationery)
    • 12:55 – Lemonhead (candy)
    • 14:15 – Denny’s (restaurant chain)
    • 25:15 – Clorox (bleach)
    • 32:25 – iBook (laptop computer)
    • 34:40 – Holiday Inn (hotel chain)
    • 34:40 – Stolichnaya (vodka)
    • 37:10 – Lancôme (cosmetics)
    • 42:20 – McDonald’s (fast food)

    ⭐ Famous Figures

    • 00:15, 00:25 – Henny Youngman (comedian)
    • 04:15 – Elvis Presley (singer and actor)
    • 04:15 – Jim Morrison (singer)
    • 06:40 – Justin Timberlake (singer)
    • 06:40 – Britney Spears (singer)
    • 08:45 – Queen Elizabeth II (monarch)
    • 09:45 – Barbara Hutton (socialite)
    • 09:55 – Farrah Fawcett (actor and model)
    • 18:35 – Edith Wharton (author)
    • 19:15 – Shirley Temple Black (actor, singer, diplomat)

    🎥 Film, Television & Theater

    • 04:45Star Trek (television show), Vulcan death grip (plot device)
    • 05:55The Fly (1958 film)
    • 06:40I Love Lucy (television show), “Lucy, I’m home!” (catchphrase)
    • 13:10Cinderella (1950 film)
    • 15:10The Waltons (television show)
    • 23:55Freaky Friday (1976 film)
    • 28:00The Odd Couple (television show)

    🗺️ Geography & Politics

    🪶 History

    • 00:45 – Georgian (design style)

    📖 Literature

    • 37:10The Wall Street Journal (newspaper)
    • 37:10Cosmopolitan (magazine)

    🎧 Music

    🕊️ Religion

    • 01:20 – the Virgin Mary (religious figure)
    • 04:15 – the pope (religious office)
    • 20:20 – Christmas (holiday)
    • 20:20 – Easter (holiday)

    Frequent References

    A few things come up so routinely in the show, I am not going to include an entry for them every time they do. I wrote about the following people, places, and things when they first appeared or were mentioned.

    Image Credits

    The background of image [1], the top part of image [2], and all of image [3] are stills from this episode. Episode citation: “Rory’s Birthday Parties.” Gilmore Girls, created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, cinematography by Teresa Medina, season 1, episode 6, Dorothy Parker Drank Here Productions, Hofflund/Polone, Warner Bros. Television, 2000.

    The inset album cover in image [1] is that of The Flaming Lips. The Soft Bulletin. Warner Bros., 1999.

    The row of album covers at the bottom of image [2] belong to (left) Echo & the Bunnymen. Porcupine. Korova (UK), Sire Records (US), 1983. (center) Duran Duran. Seven and the Ragged Tiger. EMI Records (UK), Capitol Records (US), 1983. (right) Duran Duran. The Wild Boys. EMI Records, 1984.

    Indigenous Land Acknowledgment

    In beginning my work on this guide, I’ve come to realize just how many references (however subtle) the show 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 matter. Please visit the about page to view the results of my research and read the full acknowledgment.

    Posted 2 February 2021 (updated 27 April 2024)

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