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Lorelai's Witty References: Pilot 1.1

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

Hello and welcome to an extensive list of all things pop culture reference related. Cue your inner Lorelai, grab your 12 cups of coffee, a chocolate donut with sprinkles, a backwards baseball cap and flannel shirt to mock Luke in, and let's get started.

Jack Kerouac

So this guy. Passing through on his way to Hartford. He's a regular...? Yes! Correct. Jack Kerouac. Kerouac was an American writer best known for the novel “On the Road,” which became an American classic, pioneering the Beat Generation in the 1950s.


After Rory sits down, Lorelai asks if she needs anything. Rory tells her lip gloss, and Lorelai gives her an astounding list of options and Rory tells her that RuPaul doesn't need this much makeup. RuPaul is an American drag queen, actor, model, singer, songwriter, and television personality. Since 2009, he has produced and hosted the reality competition series RuPaul’s Drag Race, for which he received six Primetime Emmy Awards.

Macy Gray

Rory lost her Macy Gray CD. Wait, nevermind. Lorelai has it. Macy Gray is an American R&B and soul singer-songwriter, musician, record producer and actress. She is known for her distinctive raspy voice and a singing style heavily influenced by Billie Holiday. Gray has released ten studio albums, and received five Grammy Award nominations, winning one.

Officer Krupke

Near the beginning of the episode, Lorelai goes to get another cup of coffee from Luke. He gives her a disappointed look and she calls him Officer Krupke and swears it's not for her, it's for Rory. Officer Krupke is a minor character in the movie West Side Story. Though he constantly throws out verbal threats of bodily harm or at least a trip down to the police station, Krupke’s bark is shown to be far worse than his bite.

X-Ray eyes

Rory. The muumuu. She couldn't find something made of metal in case anyone had x-ray eyes.? This is a possible illusion to the 1963 sci-fi horror film The Man with the X-Ray Eyes, directed by Roger Corman and with Ray Milland in the title role. Made on a shoestring budget, it was nonetheless successful and well-received. According to Annotated Gilmore Girls, the teenage Rory is apparently self-conscious about having her developing figure, and Lorelai teases her about it. Despite the lack of response from Rory, Lorelai’s criticism seems to have been taken on board, as she never again wore anything this thick, baggy and shapeless to hide her body.

Woodstock '99

As Rory and Lane are walking to school, Lane throws on a Woodstock '99 shirt over the one she was already wearing. Woodstock '99 was the second large-scale music festival (after Woodstock ’94) that attempted to emulate the original Woodstock festival of 1969. The attendance was approximately 400,000 over four days.


Same scene. Rory and Lane are discussing how Lane should eventually tell her strict parents that she listens to "the evil rock music." Lane informs her that she's probably not going to make any headway with Eminem considering her parents are still upset over the large portion sizes of American food. Marshall Bruce Mathers III, known professionally as Eminem, is an American rapper, songwriter, and record producer.

Huckleberry Finn

During Rory's class, the teacher mentions how they need to finish Huckleberry Finn. This is in reference to the Mark Twain book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Huck Finn is a fictional character created by Twain who first appeared in the book The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and is the protagonist and narrator of its sequel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884).

Mark Twain

In this scene, Mark Twain clearly can't compete with bubblegum scented nail polish. But, can anyone? Samuel Langhorne Clemens, known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publishers, and lecturer. He was lauded as the “greatest humorist [in the United States] has produced,” and William Faulkner called him “the father of American literature.”

Britney Spears

After Lorelai gives Rory a blue plaid skirt due to her private school acceptance, Rory asks if she's going to be in a Britney Spears video. Spears is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and actress. She is credited with influencing the revival of teen pop during the late 1990s and early 2000s, for which she is referred to as the “Princess of Pop.” The plaid skirt thing most likely refers to her music video "Hit Me Baby One More Time," where Britney wears a pleated skirt. However, it isn't plaid.

Stephen King

While pondering different ways to pay for Chilton, Sookie suggests she ask her very wealthy parents for financial aid. Lorelai tells her that there are several chapters from a Stephen King novel that she would reenact before she resorts to that option. Stephen Edwin King is an American author of horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, crime, science-fiction, and fantasy novels. His books have sold more than 350 million copies, and many have been adapted into films, television series, miniseries, and comic books.

Zsa Zsa Gabor

When Lorelai is hemming Rory's skirt, Sookie asks where her paté is and Lorelai says at Zsa Zsa Gabor's house. Now, before googling paté, one can already tell that paté is something fancy due to the little accent above the e. Zsa Zsa Gabor was a fancy person. Fancy accented words = fancy people. Gabor was a Hungarian-American actress and socialite. Her sisters were actresses Eva and Magda Gabor. She began her stage career in Vienna and was crowned Miss Hungary in 1936. She emigrated from Hungary to the United States in 1941.

Ruth Gordon

While Dean is standing over Rory picking up her books, she says he's like Ruth Gordon standing there with a tannis root. Ruth Gordon Jones was an American actress, screenwriter, and playwright. She began her career performing on Broadway at age nineteen. Known for her nasal voice and distinctive personality, she gained international recognition and critical acclaim for film roles that continued into her seventies and eighties.


Dean is from Chicago. So is Oprah. Oprah Gail Winfrey in an American talk show host, television producer, actress, author, and philanthropist. She is best known for her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, which ran from 1986 to 2011, broadcast from Chicago, which was the highest-rated talk show in history.

Moby Dick

This refers to Moby Dick by Herman Melville. (see Moby Dick by Herman Melville).

Melville Herman Melville

In this scene, Rory mentions she's reading her first Melville. This refers to Herman Melville who was an American novelist, short story writer, and poet of the American Renaissance period. Among his best-known works are Moby-Dick, Typee, a romanticized account of his experiences in Polynesia, and Billy Budd, Sailor, a posthumously published novella.

Madame Bovary

This refers to Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. (see Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert).

Flo Jo

After Lorelai finds out there's a boy influencing Rory's Chilton decision, she tells Rory that she better turn into Flo Jo to get away from her. Florence Delorez Griffith Joyner, also known as Flo-Jo, was an American track and field athlete. She is the fastest woman of all time; the world records she set in 1988 for both the 100m and 200m still stand.

The Little Match Girl

This refers to The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen. (see The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen).

Pull a Menendez

This one is interesting. So right before Lorelai and Rory enter the grandparents house, Lorelai tells Rory to chill out and make it through dinner and then afterwards, she can pull a Menendez. This refers to Lyle and Erik Menendez (born 1968 and 1970). They are two American brothers who were convicted in a high-profile criminal trial in 1994 for the 1989 murder of their wealthy parents José and Kitty, shooting them at their Beverly Hills mansion. The Menendez brothers claimed that they had killed their parents after years of sexual and physical abuse, but their defense was ruled inadmissible as evidence by the court. The lavish lifestyles they led after their parents’ deaths made it seem as if the motive was mainly financial. Both men are currently serving life sentences without parole at separate prisons.

Nick at Nite

Near the end, Lorelai asks Rory if Dean is dreamy. Rory tells her that that is so "Nick at Nite." This is a reference to the American nighttime programming block that broadcasts over the channel space of Nickelodeon. Marketed as a separate network from Nickelodeon for ratings purposes, similar to Cartoon Network, due to the airing of more adult content.

I appreciate you reading this far. If you're enjoying yourself, feel free to continue onto the next episode. No rules here. This is a fun space.

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