IMDb summary: “Rory goes golfing with her grandfather and surprisingly has a good time. At Lorelai’s inn, a wedding is stressing everyone out” (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
reference – 03:15
RICHARD: Physical fitness is as important as intellectual fitness. So says Plato. And so say I.
— There is a quote commonly attributed to the Ancient Greek philosopher Plato: “In order for a man to succeed in life, God provided him with two means, education and physical activity. Not separately, one for the soul and the other for the body, but for the two together.” This text seems to show up in meme form or in various self-help books without reference to any particular classical text.
— A Reddit user claims that the quote is a corruption of Republic 411e: “The two elements for which some god has given mankind two arts–one musical and poetic, the other physical–seem to be not the mind and the body, or only incidentally, but the spirited part of their nature and the philosophical part, so that these can be brought into harmony.” Richard has no doubt read Plato’s Republic (written circa 375 BC) and is likely referring to this passage.
reference – 05:20
EMILY: If Rory goes and has a good time without you, then I win.
LORELAI: Okay, Bob Barker.
— Bob Barker (born 1923) hosted the CBS game show The Price is Right from 1972 through his retirement in 2007. On the show, contestants compete to win cash and prizes by accurately guessing the prices of merchandise. It is the longest-running nationally broadcast game show in the United States.
— Barker’s famous catchphrase, said when selecting contestants from the studio audience, is, “Come on down!” An animal rights supporter, he is also known for closing episodes by urging viewers to spay and neuter their pets.
reference – 06:50
LORELAI: I’d rather get my face surgically altered to look like that lunatic rich lady with the lion head than go to the club with you.
— Jocelyn Wildenstein (born Jocelyn Périsset, 1940) is a Swiss-American socialite known for her extensive facial surgeries and bizarre catlike appearance. Media outlets have dubbed her “Catwoman,” “The Lion Queen,” and “The Bride of Wildenstein.” She denies the extent of her facial procedures, however, claiming that the plastic surgery narrative was exaggerated by her ex-husband; she insists that her cheekbones and eye shape are imparted mostly naturally by her Swiss heritage (Paper Magazine).
— Wildenstein is also known for her high-profile 1999 divorce from billionaire Alec Wildenstein. She filed for bankruptcy in 2018.
mention – 07:50
MRS. SHALES: Now go away. My Advil is wearing off.
— Advil (ibuprofen) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to alleviate mild to moderate pain, as well as fever and inflammation. Headache, menstrual cramps, and rheumatoid arthritis are common ailments for which Advil might be used.
reference – 08:25
LORELAI: Why don’t you go up to your room and have a fabulous bubble bath, and I’ll send up some wine and a masseuse who bears a remarkable resemblance to Antonio Banderas.
— Antonio Banderas (born José Antonio Domínguez Bandera in 1960) is a Spanish actor, producer, and director. At the time this episode aired, he had appeared in a number of Hollywood films, including Philadelphia (1993), Interview with the Vampire (1994), Evita (1996), and The Mask of Zorro (1998).
— Technically, a masseuse is a female massage therapist, and a masseur is a male one. However, either term can have iffy connotations due to the use of “massage parlors” as fronts for illegal sex work operations (Massage Magazine).
reference – 09:30
LORELAI: You don’t care at all, do you?
MICHEL: To me, you are the teacher in the Charlie Brown cartoon.
— Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip is populated by a cast of children, and adults are rarely seen. In the television specials based on the comics, adults are relegated to off-screen space, represented only by unintelligible speech created using a trombone (A.V. Club).
— The distorted speech effect was first used in the 1967 special You’re in Love, Charlie Brown. It can also be heard in clips from It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown (1969) and You’re a Good Sport, Charlie Brown (1975).
reference – 10:05
LORELAI: It’s like a really snooty Doublemint commercial.
— Doublemint is a US brand of peppermint-flavored chewing gum produced by the Wrigley Company since 1914. In 1939, Wrigley launched an advertising campaign starring a pair of identical twins, a play on the “double” in the brand name.
— The twins were illustrated in print advertisements until 1959 when 21-year-olds Jayne and Joan Knoerzer were hired to play them. They have since been depicted by numerous sets of twins, including Linda Puffers and Lisa Winters, who had the longest run from 1985-1995. Nicole and Natalie Garza were cast as Doublemint twins in 2005 and, coincidentally, have a guest spot on Gilmore Girls later in the series.
reference – 11:55
EMILY: Now you look just like Tiger Woods.
— Eldrick “Tiger” Woods (born 1975) is a professional US golfer. He is “widely regarded as one of the greatest golfers, and one of the most famous athletes of all time. He will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2021” (Wikipedia).
— As far as I can tell, Woods has never worn a hat like the one Emily gives to Rory in this scene. In photos from the 2000 US Open (which he won), he is shown wearing Nike apparel, including a red shirt and black hat both bearing the Nike logo in white.
reference – 12:20
RORY: Is it hard to become a member here?
RICHARD: Everyone has to go through a thorough screening process.
RORY: Kind of like the FBI?
RICHARD: Oh, much more thorough than that.
— The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the United States’ domestic security service and its principal federal law enforcement agency. The FBI is not to be confused with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the United States’ foreign intelligence service–while the CIA is international and focused on intelligence, the FBI is national and focused on law enforcement (similar to the distinction between MI5 and MI6 in the United Kingdom). Like CIA operatives, FBI agents are specially vetted and trained due to the highly classified nature of their work.
— The FBI has been the subject of many controversies, including but not limited to surveillance of private citizens and covert operations on political groups, including the harassment, psychological manipulation, and assassination of political activists. The agency is especially notorious for its activities under J. Edgar Hoover, who directed the FBI from its inception until his death in 1972.
reference – 12:50
RICHARD: Now, what do you know about golf?
RORY: That it’s a good walk spoiled?
— The witticism about golf being “a good walk spoiled” is commonly, but apocryphally, attributed to Mark Twain. Though the sentiment has been in circulation in some form since the early 20th century (within Twain’s lifetime), it was not until 1948 (38 years after his death) that it was attributed to him in an article in the Saturday Evening Post (Center for Mark Twain Studies). Rory is not guilty of this error since she doesn’t mention a source.
— Though Twain is not mentioned here explicitly, he is mentioned in the pilot at 08:15.
reference – 14:35
JACKSON: Use the blueberries.
SOOKIE: To make what!?
JACKSON: Blueberry shortcake.
SOOKIE: There’s no such thing.
JACKSON: Hey, the world was flat until someone took a boat trip.
— It is a popular misconception that Europeans of the Middle Ages believed in a flat earth, and that Christopher Columbus discovered otherwise. In fact, the idea of a spherical earth had been accepted as early as antiquity, and it was common knowledge to sailors of Columbus’s time.
— The myth of widespread flat earth belief can be traced to 17th-century anti-Catholic sentiment. The story goes that Columbus made his exploratory voyage in spite of opposition from regressive Catholic churchmen. This account was popularized in the 19th century with Washington Irving’s 1828 A History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus, and gained further traction when it was used to epitomize conflict between science and religion.
mention – 14:40
SOOKIE: Can I see these strawberries?
SOOKIE: Just one?
SOOKIE: How about a Polaroid?
— Polaroid is a US brand of instant film cameras. Unlike traditional film, which has to be processed manually in a darkroom or professional photo lab, Polaroid film is self-developing. The photographer simply points and shoots, a square of film is ejected from the camera, and a photo develops within minutes.
mention – 16:25
SOOKIE: That one has a Post-it on its back.
MICHEL: Oh, well, then that one’s Mark. The one on the right is Matt.
— Post-it is a brand of sticky notes produced by the 3M Company. The term “Post-it” has become a genericized trademark, or proprietary eponym, in US English: “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 product or service” (Wikipedia). Legally, “Post-it” is a registered trademark, but it is often used to refer to any sticky notes, regardless of brand.
mention – 18:25
RICHARD: Any particular place you’d like to go?
RORY: Hundreds of places. Paris, Rome, London, Prague, Istanbul, Fes. Have you ever been to Fes?
RICHARD: No, I can’t say that I have.
RORY: I want to go to Fes.
— Fes or Fez (Arabic: فاس, Berber: ⴼⴰⵙ, French: Fès) is the second largest city (after Casablanca) in the North African country of Morocco. Often referred to as the country’s cultural capital, Fes is home to the world’s oldest continually-operating university, the University of Al Quaraouiyine, founded in 859.
— The cylindrical, felt article of headwear known as the fez is also named after the city.
— The other places Rory mentions are the capital cities of France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the Czech Republic, and a major city in Turkey.
mention – 22:45
MICHEL: I was attacked by a band of swans in the Luxembourg Gardens when I was a boy. No one forgets that.
— The Jardin du Luxembourg (English: Luxembourg Gardens) is located in Paris, France. It was created in 1612 and occupies the grounds around the Luxembourg Palace.
reference – 22:55
LORELAI: Oh no. Not being attacked by a band of swans. Was it an all-boy band, kind of a scary, feathery NSYNC kind of fiasco?
— NSYNC (stylized *NSYNC) was a US boy band active from 1995 to 2002. Their first two studio albums were both certified Diamond and featured hit singles like “Bye Bye Bye” and “It’s Gonna Be Me” (both released in 2000).
— The band’s name was derived from the last letter of each member’s first name–that is, until one of the Ns (original bass singer Jason Galasso) was replaced by Lance Bass. Justin Timberlake, the youngest member of the group and one of the lead singers, has gone on to have a successful solo career.
— It isn’t uncommon for bands to be all male, but not every all-male band is a boy band. The distinction between boy bands and other types is that boy bands are vocal groups; they generally do not play instruments and instead perform choreographed dances. Their members are usually young, in their teens and 20s, and they are known for singing love songs marketed toward a young female fanbase.
reference – 23:05
DRELLA: Hey, Pepé Le Pew, you wanna give me a hand with this?
— Pepé Le Pew is a character from the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoon series, having made his first appearance in the 1945 short Odor-able Kitty. He is depicted as a striped skunk and speaks with a French accent.
reference – 23:55
RORY: It’s a conspiracy.
RICHARD: No, it’s Peyton Place.
— Peyton Place (1964-1969) is a soap opera “set in the small New England town of Peyton Place, whose quaint charm masks a complicated web of extramarital affairs, shady business deals, scandals, even murder” (Google).
— The series is loosely based on Grace Metalious’s 1956 novel of the same name and was preceded by a 1957 film adaptation. Mia Farrow (Rosemary’s Baby) was part of the original main cast but left shortly after the series premiered. The series is acknowledged as having “marked the birth of the prime time American soap opera” (Wikipedia).
feature – 28:05
“La Casa” by Graham Preskett and Mauricio Venegas-Astorga
Episode context: Miss Patty gives the bridal couples a dance lesson outside the Independence Inn.
— From the 1996 album Sabor Y Salsa.
mention – 29:25
MRS. SHALES: Now, Jackie wants Samuel Barber, John Cage, and Philip Glass, and Jessica wants Shania Twain’s “I Feel Like a Woman.”
— Samuel Barber (1910-1981), John Cage Jr. (1912-1992), and Philip Glass (born 1937) are all highly influential 20th century US composers. Notable works include Barber’s 1936 Adagio for Strings and Cage’s 1952 4’33”, which consists of four minutes and 33 seconds of ambient sound (i.e. no composed music at all). Glass has composed operas, symphonies, chamber music, musical theater works, and film scores, three of which have been nominated for Academy Awards.
— “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” is a country pop song by Canadian singer-songwriter Shania Twain. It was released on her 1997 album Come On Over.
mention – 30:55
LORELAI: What book was it?
RORY: Mencken’s Chrestomathy.
— A Mencken Chrestomathy: His Own Selection of His Choicest Writings is a 1949 collection of writings chosen, edited, and annotated by the author, Henry Louis “H. L.” Mencken. Mencken was a social and cultural commentator of his time, and “his satirical reporting on the Scopes Trial, which he dubbed the ‘Monkey Trial,’ also gained him attention” (Wikipedia).
— Mencken made racist and antisemitic statements in various of his writings (whether any appear in his Chrestomathy, I don’t know), and his views have been debated since (Wikipedia).
— The word chrestomathy can refer to either “a volume of selected passages or stories of an author” or “a selection of passages used to help learn a language” (Merriam-Webster). While Mencken is also known for The American Language (1919), a multi-volume study of US English, his Chrestomathy clearly refers to the former definition.
mention – 31:35
BABETTE: He must have been meowing for an hour, but Morey was playing some Thelonious on the Steinway.
— Thelonious Monk (1917-1982) was a US jazz pianist and composer. Many of his compositions, including “‘Round Midnight,” “Blue Monk,” and “Straight, No Chaser,” are now in the standard jazz repertoire. He “is the second-most-recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington” (Wikipedia).
— Steinway & Sons is a high-end US piano company. It was founded in 1853 by German piano maker Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg, who would come to be known as Henry E. Steinway.
feature – 31:40
“Teach Me Tonight” by Gene De Paul and Sammy Cahn
Episode context: Babette tells her husband, Morey, to “play her home,” and he plays the piano as she crosses from Lorelai’s porch back to her house next door. The song continues faintly in the background of Lorelai and Rory’s fight.
— This song is a jazz standard with music by De Paul and lyrics by Cahn. Originally published in 1953, it has been recorded by many artists, with Dinah Washington’s rendition being one of the most notable. Her 1954 version was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.
mention – 32:00
LORELAI: So you know what I was thinking?
RORY: That Madonna and Sean Penn should get remarried?
— Madonna (born Madonna Louise Ciccone, 1958) is a US singer, songwriter, and actress, and Sean Penn (born 1960) is a US actor and filmmaker. The two met and married in 1985. In 1989, Madonna filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. Both have since been remarried, but never to each other.
— Claims that Penn physically abused Madonna during their marriage have circulated for years. In 2015, however, Madonna denounced the allegations as “completely outrageous, malicious, reckless, and false” (Wikipedia).
mention – 35:25
LORELAI: I have to be more adult about this. I mean, if the country club life is what she wants, more power to her, right? You know, little white gloves and coming-out parties? That makes some girls happy, right?
SOOKIE: Sure. Yeah. If they’re on Prozac, absolutely.
— Prozac (fluoxetine) is an antidepressant medication prescribed to treat clinical depression, as well as some anxiety and eating disorders. It belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reputake inhibitors (SSRIs).
feature – 36:35
“A Kiss to Build a Dream On” by Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby, and Oscar Hammerstein II
Episode context: The wedding band plays a cover of this song as the guests and newly married couples dance.
— This song was originally called “Moonlight on the Meadow” and was written in 1935 for use in the Marx Brothers film A Night at the Opera. However, the song was not used, and Hammerstein adapted the lyrics to be “A Kiss to Build a Dream On.” Louis Armstrong recorded the song in 1951.
— Hammerstein was one half of famed musical theater writing duo Rodgers and Hammerstein, along with composer Richard Rodgers.
feature – 37:35
“We Are Family” by Sister Sledge
MRS. SHALES: Oh! Sister Sledge! Excuse me.
Episode context: Mrs. Shales, the mother of the brides, is giddy with relief that the wedding is over and her spoiled daughters will be moving across the country to Tuscon, Arizona. The song begins as she is conversing with Lorelai, and she rushes off to dance. The song continues in the background during Lorelai and Rory’s reconciliation. The scene closes on Mrs. Shales and her daughters and sons-in-law dancing a conga line.
— From the 1979 album We Are Family.
mention – 40:35
EMILY: You brought us used dessert?
LORELAI: It’s not used, it’s left over.
EMILY: How nice. I’ll just put it in the kitchen next to my half-empty box of Cheer.
— Cheer is a US brand of laundry detergent produced by Procter & Gamble. It was first introduced in 1950.
mention – 41:00
EMILY: I mean, in this age of MTV and a hundred television channels, who would have imagined that a young girl could still get a thrill spending a simple afternoon with her grandfather?
— MTV (an abbreviation of Music Television) is a US cable channel launched in 1981. The channel “originally aired music videos as guided by television personalities known as ‘video jockeys’ (VJs), but in the years since its inception, the network has significantly toned down its focus on music in favor of original reality programming targeting teenagers and young adults” (Wikipedia).
mention – 41:40
RICHARD: Rory, I have a surprise. Not only did I find that copy of Mencken’s Chrestomathy we discussed, I also found a first edition of his memoirs as well.
— H. L. Mencken’s autobiography, known as the Days trilogy, comprises three volumes: Happy Days, 1880-1892 (1940), Newspaper Days, 1899-1906 (1941), and Heathen Days, 1890-1936 (1943).
feature – 42:05
“Here They Go” by Sam Phillips
Episode context: Richard, Emily, and Rory go to look at H. L. Mencken’s autobiography, leaving Lorelai sitting alone sipping her wine, still troubled by Rory’s newfound relationship with her (Lorelai’s) parents.
— A full version of this song is included on the 2002 soundtrack Our Little Corner of the World: Music from Gilmore Girls (according to the Amazon product page, anyway). Phillips was also featured in the pilot at 18:30 and in episode two at 03:35.
References Consolidated by Category
- 07:50 – Advil
- 10:05 – Doublemint
- 14:40 – Polaroid
- 16:25 – Post-it
- 31:35 – Steinway
- 35:25 – Prozac
- 40:35 – Cheer
- 06:50 – Jocelyn Wildenstein
- 08:25 – Antonio Banderas
- 32:00 – Madonna and Sean Penn
Film and Television
- 05:20 – The Price is Right
- 09:30 – Peanuts television specials
- 23:05 – Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies
- 23:55 – Peyton Place
- 41:00 – MTV
Geography and Politics
- 12:20 – Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- 18:25 – Fes, Morocco
- 22:45 – Luxembourg Gardens
- 14:35 – Christopher Columbus and flat earth model
- 03:15 – Republic by Plato
- 12:50 – “A good walk spoiled.”
- H. L. Mencken
- 30:55 – A Mencken Chrestomathy: His Own Selection of His Choicest Writings
- 41:40 – Days trilogy
- 22:55 – NSYNC
- 28:05 – “La Casa” by Graham Preskett and Mauricio Venegas-Astorga
- 29:25 – Samuel Barber
- 29:25 – John Cage
- 29:25 – Philip Glass
- 29:25 – “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” by Shania Twain
- 31:35 – Thelonious Monk
- 31:40 – “Teach Me Tonight” by Gene De Paul and Sammy Cahn
- 36:35 – “A Kiss to Build a Dream On” by Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby, and Oscar Hammerstein II
- 37:35 – “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge
- 42:05 – “Here They Go” by Sam Phillips
- 11:55 – Tiger Woods