In S1E18, Madeline and Louise are discussing Tristan’s usual “type.” Louise says, “Tristan usually likes his girls bad.” Madeline tells Paris, “Looks like we’re going to have to do a Pink Ladies makeover on you.” Louise adds, “Turn you from a sweet Sandy into a slutty Sandy dancing at the school fair in high heels, black spandex, and permed hair.”
“Grease” is a musical that opened on Broadway in 1972. It was made into a movie in 1978 starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. The story follows two groups of high school students in 1959: the T-Birds and the Pink Ladies. Both groups consider themselves rebels, but Sandy, a new student, is accepted into the Pink Ladies despite being a “good girl.” In the end, Sandy ends up getting a makeover to impress Danny Zuko, a member of the T-Birds. She ditches her skirts and sweaters in favor of black leather and spandex and shows up at the school fair singing “You’re the One that I Want.” Danny actually earned himself a letterman’s jacket to impress Sandy, too, but he quickly takes it off when Sandy shows up.
In S1E18, Tristan tells Rory that he’s thinking about swearing off girls for a while. Rory laughs, and Tristan says, “You don’t think I can!” Rory answers, “No, I… I think you can. I just think it would be hard for you. It would probably involve some kind of lockup facility and one of those Hannibal Lecter masks.”
Hannibal Lecter is a character portrayed in a series of novels by Thomas Harris as well as in several movies and a television series based on those novels. He is a forensic psychiatrist and a cannibalistic serial killer. When he is imprisoned, he is fitted with a straightjacket and a mask that covers half his face, acting as a muzzle.
In S1E17, Rory is talking to a sleepy Lorelai about possible rewards for the end of their chore-day. Rory says, “Or we could stuff our purses full of sour patch kids and milk duds and go see the Stars Hollow elementary school production of ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?'”
“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” is a 1962 play, written by Edward Albee. It follows a dinner party at the home of a middle-aged married couple with their younger married guests. The characters get drunk, flirt with each other, tell stories about a make-believe son, and insult each other mercilessly. It is a definitely not an appropriate play for an elementary school.
In S1E16, Lorelai is questioning her mother about the man she invited over for Friday night dinner, Chase Bradford. Lorelai asks, “Is this a setup?” Emily innocently replies, “What?” Lorelai says, “Connecticut Ken in there, is he my invited escort for the evening?”
Lorelai is making a reference to Ken Carson, the male companion of Barbie. Ken dolls were first released by Mattel in 1961. Like Barbie, Ken has been manufactured with many different themes, or “occupations.” Notable versions of Ken include “Superstar Ken,” “Earring Magic Ken,” “Malibu Ken,” and “Jewel Secrets Ken.” There has never been a “Connecticut Ken,” although if there was, I think we can all agree it wouldn’t be Chase Bradford.
In S1E15, Christopher is trying to convince Lorelai to marry him. She protests that they don’t even really know each other as adults. Christopher says, “Well… let’s get married and get to know each other as adults.” Lorelai replies, “Well, that’s very ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ of you.”
Fiddler on the Roof is a 1964 musical about a Jewish family living in Russia in 1905. Arranged marriages were the norm, and Tevye just wants to see his daughters married well. However, some of them prefer to marry men they love.
In S1E15, Lorelai is describing to Christopher why their evening at her parent’s house had been terrible. She says, “My father almost hit someone! My father has probably only hit a man in college, wearing boxing gloves and one of those Fred Mertz golden gloves pullover sweaters.” Christopher repeats, “Fred Mertz?” Lorelai confirms, “I Love Lucy, Fred Mertz.” Christopher, offering us a brief glimpse into why he and Lorelai ever worked well together, responds quickly, “Landlord to Ricky, husband to Ethel, I know. It’s just a weird reference.”
Fred Mertz is a character, played by William Frawley, from the 1951 television show “I Love Lucy.” Fred is, as Christopher says, Lucy and Ricky’s landlord. His wife is Lucy’s best friend Ethel. Fred is known to have been a boxer in his younger days, and he does indeed wear a golden gloves sweater in one episode.
In S1E15, Lorelai is telling Rory that Christopher’s parents were saying mean things about her, Lorelai, not Rory. Rory says, “They were directing them to you because you had me.” Lorelai responds, “No, they were directing them at me because I screwed up their big ‘Citizen Kane’ plans, that’s all.”
Citizen Kane is a 1941 film directed by (and starring) Orson Welles. The story reveals details about the life of a man named Charles Kane, who was sort of pushed by his mother into becoming a powerful businessman: well-connected, successful, but unethical. He built a newspaper empire, ran for office, cheated on his wife, etc. but in the end, you suspect that all he had really wanted was a normal, quiet life.
In S1E15, Emily says to Christopher and Lorelai, “Do you remember when you two were, what, 10? And you put on that adorable show for us?” Lorelai asks, “What show, Mom?” Christopher answers, “Lucy, Schroeder, you laying on the coffee table…” Lorelai finishes, “You pretending it was a piano!” Richard asks Christopher if he wrote the song they performed- “Suppertime.” Lorelai says, “Dad! That’s from ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.’ It’s a famous musical!”
Schroeder is a piano-playing friend of Charlie Brown from the “Peanuts” comics. Lucy has a crush on him. Lucy laying on the piano while Schroeder plays is a classic scene from the comics.
“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” is a 1967 musical written by Clark Gesner. It was also adapted into TV Specials in 1973 and 1985. “Suppertime” is a song in which Snoopy dances and rejoices that Charlie has finally brought him supper.
In S1E15, Lorelai is avoiding telling Sookie about Christopher by talking about her broken toaster. She says, “It’s been cold pop-tarts for a week; it’s like a damned Dickens novel!”
Charles Dickens was a 19th century English novelist, famous for many works including “A Christmas Carol,” “Oliver Twist,” “A Tale of Two Cities,” and “David Copperfield.” Dickens’ stories frequently feature themes of poverty and oppression, such as the poor orphans and street urchins in “Oliver Twist,” the Cratchet family in “A Christmas Carol,” and Gaspard in “A Tale of Two Cities.”
In S1E15, Kirk is heckling Dean and Luke as they’re playing softball (Kirk is just watching). Kirk makes up some insult about Dean and Luke having a show called “Zero and Zero,” and Luke says, “That doesn’t even resemble clever.” Kirk calls, “I’m dumbin’ it down for you, Alfalfa!”
Alfalfa is the name of a character who originally appeared in the short film series “Our Gang” in the early twentieth century, which was adapted into the movie “Little Rascals” in 1994. He was played by Carl Switzer in the short films and Bug Hall in the 1994 film. The stories centered around the antics and adventures of a group of young children (who act comically grown-up). Alfalfa is usually remembered for his cowlick and off-key singing.