Season One, Episode Ten: “Forgiveness and Stuff”

Season 1, episode 10: “Forgiveness and Stuff”
Original air date: December 21, 2000
Directed by: Bethany Rooney
Written by: John Stephens

IMDb summary: “Richard Gilmore is rushed to hospital after collapsing at the Christmas party. Luke goes with Lorelai to the hospital, where Emily and Rory already are” (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 – 00:00
The residents of Stars Hollow prepare to stage a Nativity scene. Miss Patty is alarmed that the person portraying the pregnant “before Mary” is about to become an “after Mary” (i.e. give birth), and Rory searches for the baby doll representing the Baby Jesus.
— “In the Christian tradition, a nativity scene…is the special exhibition, particularly during the Christmas season, of art objects representing the birth of Jesus” (Wikipedia) as described in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. The central figures in such scenes are the infant Jesus, his mother, Mary (previously mentioned in episode two at 20:55 and 39:20, and in episode four at 15:45), and her husband, Joseph. The characters are portrayed either by model figures or by real people in what is called a “living nativity scene,” or tableau vivant.
— The earliest known nativity scene, dating to AD 380, was found in the Roman catacomb of Saint Valentine. The Italian Catholic religious leader Saint Francis of Assisi “is credited with creating the first live nativity scene in 1223 in order to cultivate the worship of Christ.”
— Though a dog is revealed to be the culprit behind the disappearance of the doll’s arm, Baby Jesus figures are a common target for vandalism and theft in the United States. According to Wikipedia, such pranks are generally referred to as “Baby Jesus theft.”

reference – 01:50
LORELAI: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
— “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” (originally titled “It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas”) is a Christmas song written in 1951 by US composer Meredith Willson. Classic versions include one by Perry Como and The Fontane Sisters with Mitchell Ayres & His Orchestra, and one by Bing Crosby, both recorded in 1951.

reference – 03:00
LANE: Let me guess, you and Lorelai haven’t made up yet, huh?
RORY: No. Things are still very Miracle Worker at my house.
The Miracle Worker (1962, dir. Arthur Penn) is a US biographical film about the relationship between US author, lecturer, and political activist Helen Keller and her childhood teacher and lifelong companion Anne Sullivan. Keller had been blind and deaf since infancy and lived without the means to communicate until her parents sent for Sullivan–a tutor, herself partially blind–when Keller was seven years old. The film depicts the battle of wills between student and teacher, including fierce physical struggles. The film stars Anne Bancroft as Sullivan and introduces then-15-year-old Patty Duke as Keller.
— “The screenplay by William Gibson is based on his 1959 play of the same title, which originated as a 1957 broadcast of the television anthology series Playhouse 90. Gibson’s secondary source material was The Story of My Life, the 1903 autobiography of Helen Keller” (Wikipedia). Penn also directed the stage production, and Bancroft and Duke reprised their stage roles for the film. Bancroft won the Academy Award for Best Actress and the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play, and Duke won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
— A made-for-TV version of The Miracle Worker, starring Melissa Gilbert as Helen Keller and the grown-up Patty Duke as Anne Sullivan, was released in 1979.

mention – 03:55
LANE: You got Dean a book?
RORY: Yeah, Metamorphosis.
LANE: Metamorphosis.
RORY: It’s Kafka.
LANE: Very romantic.
RORY: I think it is romantic.
LANE: I know I’ve always dreamed that someday a guy would get me a really confusing Czechoslovakian novel.
The Metamorphosis (German: Die Verwandlung) is a 1915 novella by the German-speaking Bohemian novelist Franz Kafka. It tells the story of a salesman “who wakes up one morning to find himself inexplicably transformed into a huge insect” (Wikipedia).
— At the time the novella was published, Czechoslovakia technically did not exist. Kafka lived in Austria-Hungary, which dissolved officially following World War I. Czechoslovakia went through several incarnations throughout the 20th century before ultimately splitting in 1993 (almost eight years before this episode aired) to form the two sovereign states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

mention – 05:15
INN TREE DECORATOR: So this isn’t a fairy.
MICHEL: That is Little Bo-Peep.
“Little Bo-Peep” is an English language nursery rhyme first published in 1805. Though variations on the lyrics exist, the most common version goes, “Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep, / And doesn’t know where to find them; / Leave them alone, and they’ll come home, / Wagging their tails behind them.” In illustrations, Bo-Peep is depicted as a shepherdess, often with a staff, bonnet, and pink dress.
— References to a children’s peek-a-boo game called “bo-peep” date to the 16th century (including one mention in Shakespeare’s King Lear), but there is no evidence that the nursery rhyme existed prior to the 18th century.
— The 1995 computer-animated film Toy Story includes a character inspired by the nursery rhyme.

mention – 07:25
LORELAI: How do you think your grandma got those legs of hers? She’s not exactly a StairMaster gal.
— StairMaster is a US producer of exercise equipment. Their flagship product, the StairMaster to which Lorelai refers, is a rotating stair-climbing machine designed to provide a challenging cardiovascular workout. The StairMaster was invented and popularized in the 1980s.

reference – 07:35
RORY: Fine, forget it. Should I put your name on grandma’s present?
LORELAI: Yes. Sign it, “The innkeeper formerly known as her daughter.”
— Prince (born Prince Nelson, 1958-2016) was a US recording artist “widely regarded as one of the greatest musicians of his generation” (Wikipedia). When a contractual dispute with Warner Bros. Records prevented him from recording music under his legal name “Prince” in 1993, he changed his stage name to an unpronounceable symbol Logo. Hollow circle above downward arrow crossed with a curlicued horn-shaped symbol and then a short bar(known to fans as the “Love Symbol”). “In response, the phrase ‘The Artist Formerly Known as Prince’ was coined by a public that had no idea what else to call him, and quickly became a very popular target for parody” (TV Tropes). His publishing contract with Warner Bros. eventually expired, and he returned to using his original name in 2000.

feature – 08:30
“Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” by Tony Bennett
Episode context: Rory arrives at her grandparents’ Christmas party, and Emily introduces her to the other guests. Rory privately urges her grandmother not to blame Lorelai for the dance debacle of the previous episode.
— This song was written by J. Fred Coots, with lyrics by Haven Gillespie, and was first published in 1934. To date, it has been recorded by over 200 artists. Tony Bennett’s version was recorded in 1967 and released the following year on the album Snowfall: The Tony Bennett Christmas Album.
— In 1970, Rankin-Bass produced a stop-motion-animated television special based on the song. The film is narrated by Fred Astaire and tells the story of how Santa Claus and various other Christmas traditions came to be.

feature – 10:10
“Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses
Episode context: Lorelai adjusts Christmas decorations while talking on the phone about a delayed pizza delivery. The song continues in the background while Lorelai eats some lettuce and dressing in the kitchen and catches Dean at Rory’s bedroom window.
— From the 1981 compilation album A Christmas Record. The US new wave band The Waitresses appears on this album along with other artists signed to ZE Records.

mention – 10:30
LORELAI: Well, how long until your brother’s back with the Razor scooter?
— The Razor scooter is a compact folding scooter developed by Swiss company Micro Mobility Systems and manufactured by Chinese bicycle company JD Corp. California-based distributor Razor USA was established in 2000. Although Razor scooters were originally conceived as a means of personal transportation for adult commuters, they became extremely popular among children and adolescents of the era and were named the “Spring/Summer Toy of the Year” by the Toy Association in 2000.

reference – 12:25
DEAN: So am I, like, public enemy number one with you?
LORELAI: Number one? I don’t know. Would you settle for top five? ‘Cause I’m still a little hot for that crazy bomber guy who’s been living in a cave for a year.
— “Public enemy” is a term that was used widely in the US in the 1930s to refer to criminals whose activities were deemed damaging to society at large. The term was applied officially by the Chicago Crime Commission and the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to gangsters and bank robbers like Al Capone, John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd, and Baby Face Nelson, all of whom were declared “Public Enemy No. 1” at some point. Though it is most strongly associated with the gangster era, the phrase dates back to the Roman Empire and has “been used for centuries to describe pirates, vikings, highwaymen, bandits, mobsters, and similar outlaws” (Wikipedia).
— Given the timing of this episode, Lorelai is likely referring to Eric Rudolph, also known as the Olympic Park Bomber. Rudolph is a US terrorist “convicted for a series of bombings across the southern United States between 1996 and 1998…including the Centennial Olympic Park bombing at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta” (Wikipedia). He was listed as one of the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives for five years, evading capture in the Appalachian wilderness until his arrest in 2003.

feature – 14:00
“The First Nowell” or “The First Noel” (traditional)
Episode context: Bell ringers play this song in front of the gazebo as Lorelai walks through the Stars Hollow town square.
“The First Noel” is an English Christmas carol with Cornish origins, most likely dating to the early modern period (loosely defined as the late Middle Ages through the Age of Revolutions in the mid-18th century). It was first published in its current form in Carols Ancient and Modern in 1823. Nowell is an Early Modern English word for “Christmas,” from the French Noël.

mention – 15:35
LORELAI: Don’t you have any kind of holiday special, something festive?
LUKE: I just got some Grey Poupon. It’s French.
— Grey Poupon is a brand of whole-grain and Dijon mustard originating in Dijon, France.

+ mention – 17:40
LORELAI: You made me a Santa burger.
LUKE: It’s no big deal.
LORELAI: He has a hat and everything.
LUKE: Yeah, I just cut a piece of Wonder Bread, you know, poured on a little ketchup, piped on a little cream cheese.
— Santa Claus (also known as Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick, Kris Kringle, or simply Santa) “is a legendary character originating in Western Christian culture who is said to bring gifts on Christmas Eve of toys and candy to well-behaved children… The modern character of Santa Claus [is] based on traditions surrounding the historical Saint Nicholas (a fourth-century Greek bishop and gift-giver of Myra), the English figure of Father Christmas, and the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas” (Wikipedia).
— The modern image of Santa Claus as a jolly, heavyset man with white hair and beard was established, at least in part, by the drawings of 19th century US cartoonist Thomas Nast. Santa was depicted wearing red and white as early as the turn of the 20th century, when he was included in full-color cover illustrations for Puck magazine.
— Wonder Bread is a US brand of bread introduced in 1921. By 1930, it was among the first brands of bread to be sold pre-sliced in the US, giving rise to the phrase, “The greatest thing since sliced bread.” Wonder Bread is known for its fluffy white bread and the distinctive bread bags–white with primary-colored circles–in which the loaves are sold. According to the brand’s history page, the name “Wonder Bread” was inspired by the “wonder” of a hot air balloon race, and the packaging was designed to be reminiscent of those balloons.

mention – 18:00
LUKE: Outside.
LORELAI: Are you kidding? It’s like the North Pole out there.
— The North Pole “is the point in the Northern Hemisphere where the Earth’s axis of rotation meets its surface” (Wikipedia). It may also be called the Geographic North Pole, Terrestrial North Pole, or True North Pole in order to distinguish it from the Magnetic North Pole, which relates to the planet’s magnetic field rather than its rotational axis. “While the South Pole lies on a continental land mass, the North Pole is located in the middle of the Arctic Ocean amid waters that are almost permanently covered with constantly shifting sea ice.” The nearest land is usually said to be Kaffeklubben Island, off the northern coast of Greenland, and the nearest site of permanent human habitation is Alert in Nunavut, Canada.
— In Western Christian folklore, the North Pole is the location of Santa’s home and workshop, where he and his elves produce toys for the world’s children. The North Pole also “plays a key part in the cultural worldview of Sufism and Iranian mysticism. … Owing to its remoteness, the Pole is sometimes identified with a mysterious mountain of ancient Iranian tradition called Mount Qaf (Jabal Qaf)” (Wikipedia).

feature – 18:20
“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” (Christmas carol)
Episode context: A group of carolers led by Taylor Doose burst into Luke’s Diner singing this song.
— This song is an English Christmas carol first published in the collection Hymns and Sacred Poems in 1739. The carol “tells of an angelic chorus singing praises to God” (Wikipedia). It is based on Luke 2:14, commonly cited as, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” The modern version of the carol features lyrical contributions by Charles Wesley and George Whitefield, two of the founding ministers of Methodism, with a melody adapted from the 1840 composition “Vaterland, in deinen Gauen” by German composer Felix Mendelssohn.

mention – 20:20
LORELAI: I feel like this is one of those moments where I should be remembering all the great times I had with my dad. You know? The time he took me shopping for a Barbie, or to the circus, or fishing.
— Barbie is a doll manufactured by the US toy company Mattel and introduced in 1959. US businesswoman Ruth Handler is credited with creating Barbie with inspiration from a German doll, Bild Lilli, based on a German comic strip character. Barbie is considered a fashion doll, “primarily designed to be dressed to reflect fashion trends” (Wikipedia), and the dolls often come with outfits and accessories corresponding to a particular activity, setting, or career. To date, Mattel has sold more than a billion Barbie dolls, and they are considered a classic children’s toy.

mention – 21:55
LUKE: Okay. Hold on. That Camaro is dust.
— The Camaro is a mid-size automobile manufactured by the US company Chevrolet. It is usually described as a pony car, a US “car classification for affordable, compact, highly stylized coupés or convertibles with a ‘sporty’ or performance-oriented image” (Wikipedia). The Camaro was designed in 1966 as a competitor to the Ford Mustang, previously mentioned in episode five at 33:20.

reference – 22:25
RORY: Did you find out anything?
EMILY: Please, they run this place like the CIA.
— The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the United States’ foreign intelligence service “officially tasked with gathering, processing, and analyzing national security information from around the world” (Wikipedia). The CIA is not to be confused with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States’ domestic security service–while the FBI is national and focused on law enforcement, the CIA is international and focused on intelligence (similar to the distinction between MI5 and MI6 is the United Kingdom). Like FBI agents, CIA operatives are specially vetted and trained due to the highly classified nature of their work.
— The CIA “has been the subject of many controversies, including human rights violations, domestic wiretapping and propaganda, and allegations of drug trafficking.” The CIA has also drawn criticism for its exertion of foreign political influence, including involvement in foreign “regime changes, terrorist attacks and planned assassinations of foreign leaders.”
— Up to this point, Jane Lynch, who plays the nurse in this scene, had mostly appeared in small film roles and individual episodes of television. She would later become known for her role as Sue Sylvester on the show Glee (2009-2015).

mention – 22:55
EMILY: Rory, go get your grandfather a paper.
RORY: But–
EMILY: The Wall Street Journal or Barron’s, whatever they have.
RORY: We’re done with the front page of the Financial Times and all the The Wall Street Journal.
The Wall Street Journal (previously mentioned in episode six at 37:10) is a business-focused US daily newspaper. While it claims impartiality in its news pages, its editorial section tends toward conservative viewpoints.
Barron’s is a weekly US investing publication covering “financial information, market developments, and relevant statistics” (Wikipedia). It was founded in 1921 by Dow Jones president Clarence W. Barron as a sister publication to The Wall Street Journal.
— The Financial Times is a British daily newspaper focused on business and economic current affairs.

reference – 23:40
NURSE: Ms. Gilmore, I need you to fill out–
EMILY: It’s not Ms. Gilmore, it’s Mrs. Gilmore. Mrs. Gilmore. I am not a Cosmo woman.
Cosmopolitan, which was featured previously in episode six at 37:10, is a US fashion and entertainment magazine marketed toward women. It includes dating and relationship advice and is especially known for its explicit sex tips. A “Cosmo woman” implies a young, sexually active, city-dwelling woman–the target readership for Cosmopolitan magazine.
— In English, the honorific “Ms.” is used before a woman’s full or last name. Unlike “Miss” (for girls and unmarried women) and “Mrs.” (for married women), “Ms.” does not denote marital status. The title dates to the 17th century but did not reenter mainstream usage until it was adopted by second-wave feminists in the 1970s. Activists Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes gave the name to their feminist publication Ms. magazine, which first appeared on newsstands in 1972.

reference – 24:05
LUKE: Okay, we’re supposed to follow the blue line around the corner, and then we should be…
LORELAI: Where’s the scarecrow when you need him?
— In the 1939 US musical fantasy film The Wizard of Oz (dir. Victor Fleming), a young girl named Dorothy (Judy Garland) seeks help from a powerful wizard after being displaced from her home by a tornado. She follows the path of a yellow brick road meant to lead her to the wizard, but when she encounters a fork in the road, she is unsure which way to go. It is at this juncture that she encounters a scarecrow, the first of several characters she will befriend on her journey.

mention – 29:55
RORY: The coffee machine was jammed, so I got us some chicken soup and some Pez.
— Pez (stylized PEZ) is an Austrian brand of candy invented in 1927. Each piece of Pez consists of sugar and other flavorings pressed into a tiny brick, twelve of which fit into the collectible Pez dispensers for which the brand is best known.
— The modern Pez dispenser consists of a hollow, plastic stem, where the candies are stored, topped with the head of a fictional (usually animated) character. When the character’s head is tipped back, the candy is released from the dispenser. As of 2020, there were about 1,400 different character heads in existence.

reference – 30:10
LUKE: So who are you gonna go find now?
LUKE: How about Jimmy Hoffa, that’d keep you busy for a while.
— Jimmy Hoffa (born James Hoffa in 1913, disappeared 1975, declared dead 1982) was a US labor union leader and president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters from 1957 to 1971. Hoffa became involved in organized crime and was convicted of jury tampering, attempted bribery, conspiracy, and mail and wire fraud in 1964. In 1975, Hoffa disappeared. His remains were never discovered, and he was declared dead in absentia in 1982. Despite years of investigation by numerous law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, no official conclusion has ever been reached as to his fate. The consensus among historians and investigators is that he was likely murdered by the Mafia.

feature – 32:45
“Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” by John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band
Episode context: Rory finds Lorelai struggling with the coffee machine. Lorelai tells Rory about Dean’s visit to their house, and they make amends.
— “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” is a Christmas song and a protest song against the Vietnam War. It was written by married couple John Lennon and Yoko Ono and features backing vocals by the Harlem Community Choir. The song was released as a single in 1971–the seventh single released by Lennon outside his work with the Beatles–and made its first album appearance on the 1975 compilation Shaved Fish. The song reentered the UK Singles Chart following Lennon’s death in 1980, peaking at number two.

reference – 33:20
LORELAI: Rory, there are only two things that I totally trust in this entire world: the fact that I will never be able to understand what Charo is saying no matter how long she lives in this country, and you.
— Charo (born María Rosario Pilar Martinez Molina Baeza) is a Spanish-born actress, singer, and flamenco guitarist. “In the late 1960s and 1970s, she became a ubiquitous presence on American television… She is known for her uninhibited and exuberant manner, vague age, ostensible lack of fluency in English, heavy Spanish accent, and the [catchphrase] ‘cuchi-cuchi'” (Wikipedia).
— Charo became a naturalized US citizen in 1977. Her year of birth has been the subject of dispute for decades, with claims ranging from 1941 to 1951. A Las Vegas judge allowed the 1951 date as official in 1977, though most of the public remains skeptical.

mention – 34:30
LUKE: That’s a nice tie.
EMILY: It’s Brooks Brothers.
— Brooks Brothers is a US luxury clothing brand established in 1818, making it the oldest clothing retailer in the country. The company’s logo, a sheep suspended in a ribbon, is a historical symbol of British wool merchants. The image dates to the 15th century, when it was the emblem of the Knights of the Golden Fleece.
— Brooks Brothers has outfitted 41 of the 46 US Presidents, including Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. During the US Civil War, President Ulysses S. Grant ordered uniforms for Union officers from Brooks Brothers.

mention – 38:30
LORELAI: I’m gonna stick around here for a while and make sure everything’s settled, you know. You take her, and I’ll drive the Jeep back.
— Lorelai’s Jeep is frequently seen throughout the series and was previously mentioned by name in episode four at 38:55. Jeep is a US brand of automobile, and the model that Lorelai owns is a 2000 Jeep Wrangler. The vehicle used in the show was auctioned off to the public in 2011, and in 2016, a writer for Autotrader tracked it down to the small town of Deep River, Connecticut.
— The Jeep also has long-standing military associations in the US. While the term “jeep” had prior use in military slang, “the World War II ‘jeep’ that went into production in 1941 specifically tied the name to this light military 4×4… The Jeep became the primary light 4-wheel-drive vehicle of the United States Armed Forces and the Allies during World War II, as well as the postwar period” (Wikipedia).

feature – 40:05
“Thanks for Christmas” by The Three Wise Men aka XTC
Episode context: Holiday revelers gather in the Stars Hollow town square. Lorelai goes to Luke’s diner and gives him a gift. They watch a rehearsal of the holiday procession.
— This song was released as a holiday single in 1983 and made its first album appearance on the 1990 compilation Rag and Bone Buffet: Rare Cuts and Leftovers. It was released by English rock band XTC (previously featured in the second episode at 00:40 and 00:45, and in the last episode at 23:40) under the pseudonym The Three Wise Men.

References Consolidated by Category

Brand Names

  • 07:25 – StairMaster
  • 10:30 – Razor scooter
  • 15:35 – Grey Poupon
  • 17:40 – Wonder Bread
  • 20:20 – Barbie
  • 21:55 – Chevrolet Camaro
  • 29:55 – Pez
  • 34:30 – Brooks Brothers
  • 38:30 – Jeep

Famous Figures

  • 33:20 – Charo

Film & Television

  • 03:00 – The Miracle Worker (1962)
  • 24:05 – The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Geography & Politics

  • 18:00 – North Pole
  • 22:25 – Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)


  • 03:55 – The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
  • 22:55 and 26:15 – The Wall Street Journal
  • 22:55 – Barron’s
  • 23:40 – Cosmopolitan
  • 26:15 – Financial Times



  • 00:00 – nativity scene
  • 17:40 – Santa Claus

True Crime

  • 12:25 – Eric Rudolph aka the Olympic Park Bomber
  • 30:10 – Jimmy Hoffa

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