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Lorelai's Witty References: The Lorelais' First Day at Chilton 1.2

Updated: Sep 11, 2021

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.


If you’re wondering who these guys are, look no further. These lovely fellows were an English rock band formed in Sweden in 1972. Fronted by songwriters Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding, the band gained popularity during the rise of punk and new wave in the 1970s, later playing in a variety of styles that ranged from angular guitar riffs to elaborately arranged pop.

Off with their heads

The girls have arrived at big, scary Chilton and it’s basically a castle or cathedral. Whichever you prefer. They mention how it’s very “off with their heads.” This is a quote from The Queen of Hearts, a character in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, whose furious catchphrase demands immediate death sentences on the flimsiest pretexts. This nonsensical fantasy novel was written by English author Lewis Carroll (the pen name of Charles Dodgson) and published in 1865. An immediate publishing sensation, it has gone on to become a classic enjoyed by both children and adults. It has been adapted into other media numerous times: as a child, Rory may have seen the 1951 Disney movie Alice in Wonderland, which was re-released on video in 1991 when she was seven – the same age as Alice in the book. Interestingly enough, the book begins with a white rabbit looking at his watch and worrying that he is running late, just as Lorelai and Rory began the day behind schedule. The book plays with the concept of time and dates, much as Gilmore Girls does.

That chick from The Dukes of Hazzard

Lorelai is referring to Daisy Duke, a character played by Catherine Bach in the action-comedy television series, The Dukes of Hazzard (1979-1985). Daisy often wore cut-off denim shorts, which have become known as “Daisy Dukes.” AKA, what Lorelai was wearing.


Good grades aren’t all Rory’s capable of. She’s also low maintenance. Can you say score? She’s just like a Honda, which is a Japanese public multinational conglomerate corporation primarily known as a manufacturer of automobiles, motorcycles, and power equipment. Hondas are well-known for being cheap to run and with low repair costs. Given how expensive Rory’s school is, Rory’s “running costs” are not really that low. And from what we’ve seen, she’s not exactly what I would consider to be low maintenance. But, are any of the Gilmore Girls?

Christiane Amanpour

When I was young, I wanted to grow up to be Rory Gilmore. But she wanted to grow up to be Christiane Amanpour. Who? Well, Christiane Maria Heideh Amanpour CBE is a British-Iranian journalist and television host. Amanpour is the Chief International Anchor for CNN and host of CNN International’s nightly interview program Amanpour. She is also the host of Amanpour & Company on PBS. So, I guess Rory wins this one.

Cokie Roberts

This is kind of where Charleston starts to lose it on us (well, Rory, but it feels like we’re there too). Rory specifically tells him she wants to be Christiane Amanpour. But I guess Charleston is a bit old and hard of hearing because he goes on to ask why not all these other people. One of them being Cokie Roberts. Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne “Cokie” Roberts was a multi-award-winning American journalist and bestselling author. Her career included decades as a political reporter and senior news analyst for National Public Radio and ABC News, with prominent positions on Morning Edition, The MacNeil / Lehrer NewsHour, World News Tonight, and This Week. But no, Rory doesn’t want to be her.


Hey, this chick again! We last met her in the first episode. 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. Rory does not want to be her either.


One of the last names Charleston asks Rory about is Rosie. Born in 1962, Roseann O’Donnell, known as Rosie O’Donnell, is an American comedian, producer, actress, author and television personality. She began her comedy career as a teenager and received her breakthrough on the television series Star Search in 1984. Her talk show, The Rosie O’Donnell Show, ran from 1996 to 2002 and won multiple Emmy Awards. During the show’s run she became known for her light-hearted banter with celebrity guests, and for her promotion of Broadway musicals. And for the last time: No, Headmaster Charleston, Rory does not want to be this person either. Only Amanpour.

The View

The View. Aka a bunch of women gossiping on live TV and getting paid for it (must be nice). It’s an American morning talk show, broadcast since 1997. Its panel of female co-hosts discuss a range of political, social, and pop cultural topics, followed by celebrity interviews. It has won a number of Daytime Emmy Awards. In 2000, panelists on The View were Barbara Walters, Joy Behar, Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, and Lisa Ling.

Thanksgiving Parade

Ah yes, the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, AKA the world’s largest parade, is presented by the U.S. based department store chain Macy’s. The parade started in 1924, tying it for the second-oldest Thanksgiving parade in the United States with America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit. Teams of baton twirlers are a common feature of the parade. In America, you either watch the parade, or football (generally speaking). In our household, parades don’t exist. If football isn’t on yet, it’s reruns of football. Sometimes I sneak off and watch a little bit of the parade though.

Charles Dickens

One of my all-time favorite authors. Charles John Huffam Dickens FRSA was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world’s best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. He is said to be Tolstoy’s favorite author (hence the mention of this in the episode).

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, sometimes transliterated Dostoyevsky, was a Russian novelist, philosopher, short story writer, essayist, and journalist. Interesting name for an interesting guy.

George Sand

Is her brother named Fred Beach? Sorry, lame joke. Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin, best known by her pen name George Sand, was a French novelist, memoirist, and Socialist. According to the show, she was apparently an influence on that Fyodor guy.

Honoré de Balzac

Balzac was a French novelist and playwright whose works were beloved by Dostoevsky. One of the founders of literary realism in Europe, Balzac is most famous for La Comédie humaine (“The Human Comedy”), a series of more than 90 interlinked novels, stories, and essays depicting French society in the 19th century, presents a panorama of post-Napoleonic French life. It is generally viewed as his magnum opus (or large and important work of art, music, or literature, especially one regarded as the most important work of an artist or writer).

Leo Tolstoy (Count Leo)

Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, usually referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russian writer who is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time. He is best known for his novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877), which are both seen as eminent examples of realist fiction.

A Mary

Refers to the Virgin Mary, meaning that she looks like a good girl, a virgin (see goody-goody and Virgin Mary).


A drinking game where people toss quarters (25 cent coins) so that they land in a particular place, usually a glass. It’s not what Lorelai was up all night doing, but it looks like what Lorelai was up all night doing.

Harry Potter

Harry James Potter is a fictional character and the titular protagonist in J.K. Rowling's series of Harry Potter novels. The majority of the books' plot cover seven years in the life of the orphan Harry, who, on his eleventh birthday, learns he is a wizard. He joins Hogwarts and these novels chronicle all of the fun (lol aka dangerous and life-threatening) adventures he and his friends embark on.


Now, Lorelai could be referring to the dictionary definition on this, but it could also be an allusion to the fictional supervillain, Bizarro, appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by writer Otto Binder and artist George Papp as a “mirror image” of Superman and first appeared in "Superboy #68."

William Shakespeare

If you’ve ever taken an English and/or English literature class, chances are this guy’s name was tossed around a bit. He was an English playwright, poet, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s greatest dramatist. He is often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon.”


This refers to those during the time of Romanism, which is a derogatory term for Roman Catholicism used when anti-Catholicism was more common in the United States and the United Kingdom. The term was frequently used in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century Republican invectives against the Democrats, as part of the slogan “Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion.” I like the rum part.

Martin Luther

Not to be confused with Martin Luther King Jr. Way different time periods here, okay? This Martin Luther was a German professor of theology, composer, priest, Augustinian monk, and a seminal figure in the Reformation. Luther was ordained to the priesthood in 1507. He came to reject several teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church; in particular, he disputed the view on indulgences. Interestingly enough however, both of these Martin Luthers were activists in their time, and both changed the worlds they lived in. I feel like this would be a really good research paper opportunity in Chilton.

Virgin Mary

Mary was a first-century Galilean Jewish woman of Nazareth, the wife of Joseph, and the mother of Jesus, according to the canonical gospels and the Quran. The gospels of Matthew and Luke in the New Testament and the Quran describe Mary as a virgin. In Matthew and Luke, she is betrothed to Joseph. Lorelai explains to Rory that Tristan called her Mary because of the Virgin Mary, meaning that she looks like a good girl, a virgin.

Mary Magdalene

Sometimes called Mary of Magdala, or simply the Magdalene or the Madeleine, was a Jewish woman who, according to the four canonical gospels, traveled with Jesus as one of his followers and was a witness to his crucifixion and its aftermath. The Gospels tell us that before she became his follower, Mary Magdalene was healed by Jesus, who drove seven demons out of her. In medieval Christianity, she was portrayed as a repentant prostitute, although this is not supported by the Bible.

A big guy named Moose

Aw, a cute reference. Marmaduke “Moose” Mason is a character in the Archie comics. Large, muscular, and athletic, the loyal Moose often protects his friends from bullies. A big guy with a big heart. A teddy bear.

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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