In S1E6, when Lorelai and Rory are at Emily’s party, Lorelai brings Rory a Shirley Temple cocktail. Rory asks what Lorelai is drinking, and Lorelai answers with a sly smile, “A Shirley Temple Black.” Rory sniffs it and says, “Wow.” Lorelai says, “I got your ‘good ship lollipop’ right here, mister.”
“On the Good Ship Lollipop” is a song performed by child star Shirley Temple in the film, “Bright Eyes.” The film was written specifically to showcase the talents of 5-year-old Shirley Temple, and the film’s featured song is Temple’s most well-known.
In S1E6, Lorelai shows Rory the birthday dresses that Emily bought for them. They feature several layers of dark green and black tulle. Lorelai suggests, “Maybe we should really embrace the whole ‘tulle’ thing, go totally modern ‘Cinderella.’ What do you think? It’s your birthday.”
If anyone doesn’t know who Cinderella is, my first question is how you’ve managed to see an episode of Gilmore Girls before even knowing about classic fairy tales. However, you don’t need to know much about Cinderella to understand this reference. All you need to know is that in the classic Disney animated film, Cinderella is given a Victorian-esque ball gown with a huge skirt. Cinderella’s dress probably would have been supported by a stiff cotton or linen crinoline, but modern crinolines are often made with tulle instead.
S1E6, Lorelai and Emily are shopping for gifts for Rory, and Emily thinks all of Lorelai’s suggestions are ridiculous. Emily says, “Well, you wanted me to get her a filofax and a mermaid eraser.” Lorelai, defensive, says, “That was one suggestion!” Emily counters, “Oh yes, and there was the t-shirt with the Farrah Fawcett face!” Lorelai again defends herself, “A hero to many who aspire to the perfect feather flip.”
Farrah Fawcett was an actress most famous for her role on the television show “Charlie’s Angels.” She was a fashion icon in the 70’s and 80’s, particularly her signature “Farrah flip” hairstyle. The hairstyle is characterized by a middle part with the hair on both sides brushed back, usually with large curls.
In S1E6, Emily and Lorelai are shopping together for a birthday present for Rory. Emily thinks Lorelai’s gift suggestions are jokes and says, “Please be serious; we’re shopping for Rory.” Lorelai responds, “No Mom, I’m shopping for Rory; you’re shopping for your imaginary granddaughter, Barbara Hutton.”
Barbara Hutton was a wealthy American heiress who lived in luxury during the Great Depression. Her debutante ball in 1930 cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and was such a scandal that she had to travel to Europe for a while to escape the press.
In S1E6, Lorelai arrives home to Rory talking on the phone. Lorelai starts speaking in a girlish voice, jokingly saying “And Justin is just so dreamy. He can’t marry Britney, I’ll just cry and cry and cry…”
Actor and musician Justin Timberlake, at the time known mostly for being a member of the boy band in NSYNC, started dating pop star Britney Spears in 1999. The couple broke up in 2002, a few years after this episode of Gilmore Girls aired.
In S1E6, Lorelai arrives home and greets Rory by yelling, “Lucy, I’m home!”
This is a reference to the show “I Love Lucy” which aired in its original form from 1951 to 1957. The show centers around the funny antics of a married couple, Ricky and Lucy Ricardo, played by Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. When Ricky arrives home, he frequently yells, “Lucy, I’m home!”
It’s surprisingly difficult to track down a clip of Ricky Ricardo’s famous line, but here’s a funny bit from the show.
In S1E6, Lorelai unsuccessfully tries to get Emily to relinquish Friday night because of Rory’s birthday. Sitting in their Jeep after dinner, Rory says, “You couldn’t get her to cave.” Lorelai responds, “No, but she did agree to make the string quartet learn ‘Like a Virgin.'”
“Like a Virgin” is a song by Madonna released in 1984. It was written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly. It is considered one of Madonna’s most iconic songs.
In S1E6, Jackson reveals that he has successfully created a raspberry/kumquat hybrid using cross pollination. Lorelai asks, “You didn’t build one of those machines like in ‘The Fly,’ did you? We’re not going to find you wandering the streets with a raspberry head, crying, ‘eat me?'”
“The Fly” is a short story that was first published in 1957 in a Playboy magazine. It was made into a movie in 1958 and remade in 1986, although the remake does not specifically feature a man with a fly’s head, so Lorelai was likely referring to the original story or the 1958 film.
In the story, a man creates a teleportation device, but a fly gets caught in the device when he’s testing it on himself. As a result, the man’s head and one of his arms get switched with the head and leg of a fly (but human-sized). The man works to fix himself for a while, but when he realizes that his brain is slowly turning into the brain of a fly, he convinces his wife to kill him.
In S1E6, Sookie and Lorelai are talking about Rory’s Saturday night birthday party, and Sookie says, “It’s too bad you couldn’t get your mom to relinquish Friday night.” Lorelai responds, “No, she has her Vulcan death grip on that one.”
“Vulcan death grip” is a reference to the show “Star Trek.” Spock, of the Vulcan race, often administers deep nerve pinches to his enemies’ necks to make them pass out. Specifically, in one episode, Spock puts his hands on Captain Kirk’s face to make him pass out so he would look dead. Reportedly, the Vulcan death grip could be lethal, though Spock does not actually use it to kill Captain Kirk.
In S1E6, Rory finds out that her grandparents are throwing her a birthday party, and she asks Lorelai if it’s going to be a big deal. Lorelai responds, “Not really… the government will close that day. Flags will fly at half mast. Barbra Streisand will give her final concert, again. Now, the pope has previous plans, but he’s trying to get out of them. However, Elvis and Jim Morrison are coming, and they’re bringing chips.”
Barbra Streisand is an actress and singer who has been named, “Queen of the Divas.” She is one of few entertainers to have won an Emmy, a Grammy, a Tony, and an Oscar award. She rose to fame in the 1960’s and is considered one of the greatest female artists of all time. Several times she seemed to be moving away from the music industry and toward film, but she always returned to the concert stage. In early 2000 she announced that she was done playing public concerts, but she began another concert tour in 2006, and has performed additional concerts since.
Elvis, “The King,” was a musician and actor in the 50’s, 60’s, and early 70’s. He was a pioneer of rock music, and is considered one of the most influential musicians of the twentieth century. He died in 1977 at age 42.
Jim Morrison was an iconic and influential rock singer and songwriter. In the 60’s and early 70’s, he was the frontman for the band “The Doors.” He is part of the “27 Club,” one of many famous musicians who died at age 27.