IMDb summary: “Two double dates. Rory and Dean set up Lane with Dean’s friend and the four go out. Meanwhile Sookie and Jackson’s first date includes Lorelai and Jackson’s cousin, who’s very very weird. Lorelai does not enjoy the evening” (IMDb).
Indigenous Land Acknowledgement: 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 – 02:10
RORY: The Best of Blondie, Kraftwerk, Young Marble Giants…
The Meat Puppets’ Up on the Sun (1985) and Blondie’s The Best of Blondie (1981) are visible in the CD pile. A copy of Elle magazine is also visible on the coffee table.
— The Best of Blondie is the first greatest hits compilation by US rock band Blondie. It was released in 1981 and includes hits like “Atomic,” “Heart of Glass,” and “The Tide Is High.”
— Kraftwerk (English: “power station”) is a German electronic band. “Widely considered as innovators and pioneers of electronic music, they were among the first successful acts to popularize the genre” (Wikipedia) in the 1970s.
— Young Marble Giants was a Welsh post-punk band formed in 1978. They released just one full-length studio album, Colossal Youth (1980), before breaking up that same year.
— Up on the Sun (1985) is the third album by US rock band the Meat Puppets.
— Elle (stylized ELLE) “is a worldwide lifestyle magazine of French origin that focuses on fashion, beauty, health and entertainment. … The title means ‘she’ or ‘her’ in French” (Wikipedia).
reference – 02:15
RORY: Yoko Ono. Really?
LANE: A very misunderstood artist, and the Beatles would have broken up anyway.
RORY: Have you shared this theory with anyone?
LANE: I know it, Yoko knows it, Sean knows it. Julian’s still in denial, but what can you do?
— Yoko Ono (Japanese: 小野 洋子, katakana: オノ・ヨーコ, born 1933) is a Japanese-born artist, singer-songwriter, and activist. She is also known for having been married to John Lennon of the Beatles until his death in 1980. She has frequently been “blamed for the breakup of the Beatles and repeatedly criticized for her influence over Lennon and his music” (Wikipedia). Additionally, her experimental art has not always been popularly accepted. Ono’s marriage to Lennon produced one child, Sean, and she is stepmother to Julian (Lennon’s child from a prior marriage), with whom she has had a difficult relationship. A song by the Plastic Ono Band, the musical group formed by Lennon and Ono, was featured in episode ten at 32:45.
feature – 02:25
“God Only Knows” by Claudine Longet
RORY: Okay, I must listen to anyone named Claudine Longet.
Scene context: Rory turns on this song, and she and Lane discuss Lane’s new crush. Lorelai comes into the room, ostensibly because of the volume of the music, but really because she is procrastinating studying.
— From the 1972 album Let’s Spend the Night Together. This is a cover version of a song originally recorded by US rock band the Beach Boys for their 1966 album Pet Sounds. Wikipedia describes the original as “a Baroque-style love song distinguished for its harmonic innovation and its subversion of typical pop music formula.”
mention – 02:55
LORELAI: I have, like, 6,000 pages of case studies to memorize and this whole big test on the Walmart phenomenon coming up on Friday.
— Walmart is a US “multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of hypermarkets, discount department stores, and grocery stores. … Walmart was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1972. By 1988, it was the most profitable retailer in the U.S., and it had become the largest in terms of revenue by October 1989” (Wikipedia).
— The Walmart phenomenon, or Walmart Effect, “is a term used to refer to the economic impact felt by local businesses when a large company like Walmart (WMT) opens a location in the area. The Walmart Effect usually manifests itself by forcing smaller retail firms out of business and reducing wages for competitors’ employees” (Investopedia).
reference – 03:55
LORELAI: Who the hell is that, anyway?
RORY: Claudine Longet.
LORELAI: The chick who shot the skier?
RORY: Uh, sure why not?
LORELAI: Wow. Renaissance woman.
— Claudine Longet (born 1942) is a US-French singer and actress known for her numerous appearances on The Andy Williams Show (1962-1971), hosted by her then-husband Andy Williams. In 1976, after her divorce from Williams, Longet was charged with fatally shooting her boyfriend, former Olympic skier Vladimir “Spider” Sabich. At her trial, she claimed that the gun had discharged accidentally when Sabich was showing her how it worked. She was convicted of negligent homicide and sentenced to pay a fine and serve 30 days in jail.
— A “Renaissance person” (typically a “Renaissance man”) refers to an individual with a broad range of well developed skills and interests, similar to polymaths of the Renaissance era like Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.
mention – 04:15
LANE: Hey, Grandaddy. New album, used. I love a bargain.
The top sliver of the album cover for The Sophtware Slump (2000) is visible in the CD pile at 02:05.
— Grandaddy is a US indie rock band from Modesto, California.
mention – 06:00
MICHEL: Are you sure you wouldn’t like me to wait?
LORELAI: No, Michel.
MICHEL: Because learning the eating patterns of the average Taco Bell consumer is a vital lesson that–
— Taco Bell is a US-based “chain of fast food restaurants originating in Irvine, California in 1962, by founder Glen Bell. … The restaurants serve a variety of Mexican-inspired foods, that include: tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, novelty and specialty items” (Wikipedia).
reference + feature – 06:30
LORELAI: Put them in the Jefferson suite tonight, move them back to their previously booked room tomorrow, and offer them dinner on the house for the inconvenience.
A package marked with the FedEx logo is visible in the background.
— This suite at the Independence Inn is presumably named for Thomas Jefferson, a US Founding Father and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson served as the second vice president of the United States, under John Adams, from 1797 to 1801. He served as third president from 1801 to 1809.
— Like George Washington (featured in the pilot at 15:10) and others of their social class and time period, Jefferson was a slave owner. “Multiple lines of evidence indicate that Jefferson had a long-term sexual relationship” with Sarah “Sally” Hemings, an enslaved woman whom he legally owned, “and historians now broadly agree that he was the father of her six children” (Wikipedia). You can read more about Jefferson’s participation in and attitudes toward slavery here.
— FedEx Corporation is a US “multinational delivery services company headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee. The name ‘FedEx’ is a syllabic abbreviation of the name of the company’s original air division, Federal Express, which was used from 1973 until 2000″ (Wikipedia). A right-pointing arrow is hidden in FedEx’s logo in the negative space between the uppercase “E” and lowercase “x.”
reference – 07:00
LORELAI: Maybe you could do them in the actual shape of Alaska.
LORELAI: Or you could do little baked Alaskas and Hawai’is.
SOOKIE: Because they joined the union last.
— Alaska and Hawai’i are the only two US states that do not share borders with any of the other 48. Alaska (Aleut: Alax̂sxax̂, Inupiaq: Alaasikaq, Alutiiq: Alas’kaaq, Yup’ik: Alaskaq, Tlingit: Anáaski) “borders the Canadian province of British Columbia and territory of Yukon to the east and has a maritime border with Russia’s Chukotka Autonomous Okrug to the west, just across the Bering Strait” (Wikipedia). On January 3, 1959, it became the 49th state to be incorporated into the union. The baked Alaska dessert, which consists of cake, ice cream, and meringue, was ostensibly named by a New Orleans chef in celebration of the Alaskan acquisition, but the authenticity of this account is dubious.
— The Alaskan population has the highest proportion (15%) of Indigenous peoples of any state in the US. Almost two dozen Indigenous languages are spoken there. Alaskan peoples include the Iñupiat, Yupik, Aleut, Eyak, Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, and a number of Northern Athabaskan cultures.
— Hawai’i “is the only state outside North America, the only island state, and the only state in the tropics. Hawaii is also one of a few U.S. states to have once been an independent nation. Hawaii encompasses nearly the entire Hawaiian archipelago, composed of 137 volcanic islands…which are physiographically and ethnologically part of the Polynesian subregion of Oceania” (Wikipedia). On August 21, 1959, it became the 50th state to be incorporated into the union.
reference – 08:35
SOOKIE: But I mentioned it once. It’s his turn again.
LORELAI: All right, let’s say it is his turn. You can spend a lot of time sitting around waiting for him to realize it’s his turn, or you can just run with the wolves and make it your turn again.
— Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype is a 1992 self-help book by Jungian psychologist Clarissa Pinkola Estés. According to the author’s own webpage, the book uses “rich intercultural myths, fairy tales, and stories…to help women reconnect with the fierce, healthy, visionary attributes of [their] instinctual nature.”
feature – 10:05
Rory sits on a bench reading The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath.
DEAN: Is there anything in there about me?
RORY: I don’t know, your name wouldn’t be “lithium,” would it?
— The journals of US poet and author Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) “were originally published in 1982 in a heavily abridged version authorized by Plath’s husband, Ted Hughes” (Penguin Random House). This edition, edited by Karen V. Kukil and first published in 2000, comprises her complete journals.
— Plath’s struggles with clinical depression are well documented, and she was treated with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) several times. Lithium is a mood stabilizer often used to treat bipolar disorder, but I can find no indication that it was ever prescribed to Plath.
feature – 12:45
When Lorelai and Michel are at the front desk, a package with the USPS logo is visible behind them.
— The United States Postal Service (USPS) “is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government responsible for providing postal service in the United States… It is one of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution” (Wikipedia). The logo shows the stylized face and beak of a bald eagle, the national bird of the United States.
feature – 14:25
LORELAI: Viva Glam!
— Viva Glam is a line of lipsticks manufactured by Canadian cosmetics company MAC Cosmetics (stylized M·A·C). Proceeds from the sale of these lipsticks go toward the MAC AIDS Fund, a charity established in 1994 to support individuals affected by HIV/AIDS. The first celebrity spokesperson for the line was drag queen RuPaul, who was previously mentioned in the pilot at 02:15.
feature – 15:55
“Holding On To the Earth” by Sam Phillips
Scene context: In Rory’s room, Rory and Lane get ready to meet Dean and Todd for their double date.
— From the 1988 album The Indescribable Wow. Phillips, who also composed the Gilmore Girls score, was previously featured in the pilot at 18:30, in episode two at 03:35, and in episode three at 42:05.
reference – 16:00
LANE: You’re sure you don’t mind?
RORY: What’s mine is yours.
— The phrase Rory uses is one of many in the English language originating in the works of William Shakespeare. The full line, “What’s mine is yours and what is yours is mine,” comes from the play Measure for Measure, which was first performed in 1604.
— Shakespeare was covered heavily in episode four when he was the subject of an exam in Rory’s class.
feature – 22:05
A sandwich board outside the Black & White & Read Bookstore advertises movie night. That night’s feature is Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.
— Attack of the 50 Foot Woman is a 1958 science-fiction horror film directed by Nathan H. Juran (credited as Nathan Hertz). “The film’s storyline concerns the plight of a wealthy heiress whose close encounter with an enormous alien in his round spacecraft causes her to grow into a giantess, complicating her marriage which is already troubled by a philandering husband” (Wikipedia).
— I was unable to find the clip shown on screen at 26:55, but another scene showing the 50-foot woman’s giant hand is available on YouTube.
mention – 22:25
LANE: And the amazing thing is all these girls are screaming, and none of them are getting the joke. He’s playing the character of a rock star. I mean, Beck is a genius, and all these stupid girls are screaming at him just ’cause they’re buying into the rock star image. I love Beck. I understand Beck.
— Beck Hansen (born Bek Campbell, 1970), known professionally as simply Beck, is a US musician and singer-songwriter. “With a pop art collage of musical styles, oblique and ironic lyrics, and postmodern arrangements incorporating samples, drum machines, live instrumentation and sound effects, Beck has been hailed by critics and the public throughout his musical career as being among the most idiosyncratically creative musicians of 1990s and 2000s alternative rock” (Wikipedia).
— A song of Beck’s, “Mixed Bizness,” was previously featured in episode nine at 28:20.
mention – 22:45
LANE: And the Foo Fighters! Gods! I mean, have you heard the acoustic version of “Everlong”?
— The US rock band Foo Fighters was founded by former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl following the 1994 death of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. The Foo Fighters became a global success in their own right, winning 12 Grammy Awards and gaining induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility (in October 2021).
— “Everlong” was included on the 1997 album The Colour and the Shape and remains one of the band’s signature songs. An acoustic version became popular following an impromptu performance by Grohl on Howard Stern’s radio show in 1998.
— The band’s name, “Foo Fighters,” comes from a term “used by Allied aircraft pilots during World War II to describe various UFOs or mysterious aerial phenomena seen in the skies over both the European and Pacific theaters of operation” (Wikipedia).
mention – 22:55
LANE: Hey, you know who I’ve really gotten into lately? The Velvet Underground. Oh, and Nico. She is amazing. Depressing German scary chick.
— The Velvet Underground was a US rock band founded in 1964. The band’s “integration of rock and the avant-garde achieved little commercial success during the group’s existence, but they are now recognized as one of the most influential bands in rock” (Wikipedia). The original lineup included Lou Reed, who became known subsequently for a successful solo career, on guitar and vocals. Pop artist Andy Warhol began managing the band in 1966.
— German singer, model, and actress Nico (born Christa Päffgen, 1938-1988) joined the band for three songs on their 1967 debut album The Velvet Underground & Nico (which features cover art by Warhol).
feature – 23:10
LANE: What kind of music do you like?
TODD: I don’t know. Whatever.
LANE: The band on your shirt.
Todd’s shirt shows the cover artwork for the 1998 album End Hits.
— Fugazi is a US post-hardcore band that formed in 1986. “They are noted for their style-transcending music, DIY ethical stance, manner of business practice, and contempt for the music industry” (Wikipedia). Though not officially disbanded, the group has been on hiatus since 2003.
— The word “fugazi” is a slang term for a fake, counterfeit, or imposter; it was used prominently in the 1997 mob movie Donnie Brasco to refer to counterfeit jewelry. In a usage originating in the Vietnam era, it can also refer to something that is beyond recovery or repair.
reference – 25:25
LORELAI: You’re nervous? You don’t have some guy staring at you like he’s Cher, and you’re the kid from Mask!
— Mask is a 1985 US biographical film directed by Peter Bogdanovich. It tells the story of Roy “Rocky” Dennis (Eric Stoltz), a boy with a rare disease called craniodiaphyseal displasia. The condition is sometimes referred to as lionitis “due to the disfiguring cranial enlargements that it causes” (Wikipedia). Rocky’s mother, Florence “Rusty” Dennis (Cher), is determined to give him as normal a life as possible and advocates on his behalf. Contrary to Lorelai’s quip, Cher’s character is the one defending Rocky against staring, not staring at him herself.
+ mention – 26:25
LANE: Okay, what about movies? You must have a favorite movie.
TODD: Yes, I do!
LANE: Great, what is it?
LANE: Beethoven. The one with the dog?
TODD: There’s this scene where this little dog is running around with a huge cabbage in its mouth. Oh, man, it’s classic. I shot my Dr Pepper right out of my nose.
— Beethoven (dir. Brian Levant) is a 1992 US children’s movie about a family and their dog, a St. Bernard named after the composer Ludwig van Beethoven. The film was written by Amy Holden Jones and John Hughes (whose 1984 film Sixteen Candles was mentioned in episode nine at 02:40), and features actors Charles Grodin, Bonnie Hunt, Dean Jones, Oliver Platt, and Stanley Tucci.
— In this scene, a dog does indeed pick up a cabbage about 59 seconds into the clip and is still holding onto it when shown again at 01:10.
— Dr Pepper is a US brand of carbonated soft drink. It was invented by pharmacist Charles Alderton in the 1880s and first served around 1885.
reference – 27:15
LORELAI: Hey. Four menus, one coffee, and an anvil, please.
LUKE: What’s the anvil for?
LORELAI: For Rune.
— Lorelai is alluding to the classic cartoon trope in which an antagonist drops an anvil on another character’s head. (An anvil is a heavy block of iron or steel used as a surface for hammering and shaping metals.) Fortunately, the laws of physics don’t apply in cartoons, and the results of this prank are bloodless and nonfatal. Numerous examples can be found in old Warner Bros. cartoons (content warning for some WWII-era anti-Japanese racism around 01:10).
reference – 28:05
LUKE: I added a little nutmeg.
LORELAI: That’s very…Richard Simmons of you.
LUKE: What can I say? Chicks dig a man with a feminine side.
— Richard Simmons (born Milton Simmons, 1948) is a US “fitness personality and public figure, known for his eccentric, flamboyant, and energetic personality” (Wikipedia). He is best known for his Sweatin’ to the Oldies line of aerobics videos.
reference – 29:45
LUKE: I’m working.
LORELAI: Yeah, but after three cheeseburgers, you’re done, unless you’re expecting Elijah to stop by.
— There is a story from the Hebrew Bible and the Old Testament in which God commands the prophet Elijah to go into hiding. God sends Elijah to a widow, whom Elijah asks for food. Though she is poor and has only a small amount of flour and oil, God supplies “manna” from heaven and their stores never run out.
— This reference is an oblique one, and I wouldn’t have figured it out without looking to The Annotated Gilmore Girls. There’s no better explanation I can come up with.
mention – 31:30
MRS. KIM: They could be doing anything! Smoking, or drinking, or buying drugs!
LORELAI: They’re at the movies! There’s no drugs there! They don’t even have the real Red Vines.
— Red Vines is a brand of tube-shaped red licorice produced by the American Licorice Company. It was previously mentioned in episode seven at 23:15.
reference – 33:25
LORELAI: Look, I know Mrs. Kim and Robert Duvall in The Great Santini share a striking resemblance, but she is Lane’s mom.
— The Great Santini is a 1979 US drama film directed by Lewis John Carlino and based on Pat Conroy’s 1976 novel of the same name. Robert Duvall plays Wilbur “Bull” Meechum, a US Marine whose militant behavior clashes with his peacetime role as a husband and father. He is also known to his fellow Marines as “The Great Santini.”
— This scene, in which Meechum berates his teenage son for beating him at basketball, has been parodied in other media, including Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999), Roseanne (1988-2018), and The Simpsons (1989-present).
reference – 34:05
RORY: What’s up, Rapunzel?
— In the German fairy tale, Rapunzel, a girl is confined to a high tower by a witch. The only way to enter the tower is to call out, “Rapunzel, Rapunzel! Let down your hair!” At this request, Rapunzel hangs her long, golden hair out the window and down the length of the tower, allowing the caller to climb up and meet her.
— The story was “recorded by the Brothers Grimm and first published in 1812 as part of Children’s and Household Tales… The Brothers Grimm’s story is an adaptation of the fairy tale Rapunzel by Friedrich Schulz (1790) that was a translation of Persinette (1698) by Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de La Force, which was itself influenced by an earlier Italian tale, Petrosinella (1634), by Giambattista Basile” (Wikipedia).
reference – 34:20
LANE: The words “convent” and “Siberia” were both used several times, and at least once as a combo.
— Siberia is a region in Russia, extending across North Asia. It “is vast and sparse, covering an area of over 13.1 million square kilometers…the majority of Russia’s land area, but is home to merely 1/5th of the country’s total population” (Wikipedia). It is especially known for its long, harsh winters.
reference – 39:15
LORELAI: Of course, if [Sookie] tells me the story of how Jackson cultivates his own meal worms to help fertilize his plants one more time, I’m gonna Romeo and Juliet them both.
— Romeo and Juliet is a tragic play “written by William Shakespeare early in his career about two young Italian star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately reconcile their feuding families” (Wikipedia). It was first performed in 1597.
— As mentioned earlier in this episode at 16:00, Shakespeare was covered heavily in episode four when he was the subject of an exam in Rory’s class.
References Consolidated by Category
- 02:55 – Walmart
- 06:00 – Taco Bell
- 06:30 – FedEx
- 12:45 – United States Postal Service
- 14:25 – Viva Glam
- 26:25 – Dr Pepper
- 31:30 – Red Vines
- 28:05 – Richard Simmons
Film & Television
- 22:05 and 26:55 – Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958)
- 25:25 – Mask (1985)
- 26:25 – Beethoven (1992)
- 27:15 – anvils in Warner Bros. cartoons
- 33:25 – The Great Santini (1979)
Geography & Politics
- 34:20 – Siberia
- 06:30 – Thomas Jefferson
- 07:00 – Alaskan statehood
- 07:00 – Hawaiian statehood
- 02:05 – Elle
- 08:35 – Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
- 10:05 – The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath by Sylvia Plath, edited by Karen V. Kukil
- 16:00 – Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare
- 34:05 – Rapunzel by the Brothers Grimm
- 39:15 – Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
- 00:05 – “Earn Enough for Us” by XTC
- 02:10 – The Best of Blondie by Blondie
- 02:10 – Up on the Sun by The Meat Puppets
- 02:10 – Kraftwerk
- 02:10 – Young Marble Giants
- 02:15 – Yoko Ono
- Sean Lennon
- Julian Lennon
- 02:25 – “God Only Knows” by Claudine Longet
- 04:15 – The Sophtware Slump by Grandaddy
- 15:55 – “Holding On to the Earth” by Sam Phillips
- 22:25 – Beck
- 22:45 – “Everlong (Acoustic version)” by the Foo Fighters
- 22:55 – The Velvet Underground & Nico
- 23:10 – End Hits by Fugazi
- 29:45 – the prophet Elijah
- 03:55 – Claudine Longet and Vladimir “Spider” Sabich