In S1E18, Gran is scolding Lorelai and Emily for arguing. Gran says, “Raising your voice during high tea, who ever heard of such a thing? It’s like Fergie all over again.”
CORRECTION: As several lovely commenters have noted, Gran is certainly referring to Fergie, Duchess of York. I don’t know why I had Fergie, the musician from the Black-Eyed Peas, in my head (I think it’s because Gran talks about Korn and how nice they are, so I had musicians on my mind).
Anyway, Fergie is also known as Sarah, Duchess of York. She was married to Prince Andrew in 1986, but they separated in 1992. Later that year, tabloids released photos of Fergie sunbathing topless with another man, and the Duke and Duchess officially divorced in 1996.
Thanks for keeping me on the right track, readers!
In S1E18, Lorelai is ranting to Sookie about how Emily told her that Rory would leave if Gran gives her the trust fund money. Lorelai says, “God, I know this is crazy. I have my mother’s voice stuck in my head. It’s like that annoying Cranberries song.”
The Cranberries are a rock band from Ireland who rose to fame in the early 90s. “That annoying ‘Cranberries’ song” is likely “Zombie,” which everyone seems to hate.”
“Zombie” was released as the lead single The Cranberries’ second album, “No Need to Argue.” It was received well in Europe, reaching No. 1 on several European charts. Take a listen and decide for yourself:
In S1E18, Lorelai tells Sookie that her grandmother has offered to give Rory her trust fund early to pay for Chilton, but Rory doesn’t know yet. Sookie suggests, “Page her and have her call my cellphone and we can sing the money song from ‘Cabaret.’ You can be Liza, I’ll be Joel.”
Cabaret is a musical that opened on Broadway in 1966. Sookie is talking about the 1972 film adaptation though, starring Liza Minelli and Joel Grey. Minelli’s character is a singer at the Kit Kat Klub in pre-World War II Berlin, and Grey is the Master of Ceremonies at the same club. “Money Money” is the song Sookie mentions.
In S1E18, Lorelai is rambling jokingly about Richard’s mother being God. At the end of their conversation, in which Richard informs them that his mother is visiting, Lorelai says, “I just can’t get over that I’m related to God. That’s gonna make getting Madonna tickets so much easier.”
Madonna and her songs have already been referenced and discussed here, here, and here. Madonna Ciccone was born in 1958 and rose to fame in the 1980s. She is one of the best-selling musicians of all time.
In S1E18, Emily comments that Rory and Lorelai are being very quiet at dinner. They reply that they’ve just been busy with school, work, life. Lorelai follows up with, “Dig it, man.” Rory replies, “Peace out, Humphrey.”
This is a weird reference, and it’s probably mostly nonsense but I think Rory is technically referring to Hubert H. Humphrey, 38th Vice President of the United States (as opposed to Humphrey Bogart, the actor who died in 1957). Hubert H. Humphrey was Vice President under Lyndon Johnson from 1965 to 1969, and he was a senator representing Minnesota before and after that. He was a pioneer for desegregation within the government and wrote the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He also introduced the first legislation proposing the creation of the Peace Corps.
In S1E17, Paris tells Rory that her mom is making her stay at Madeline’s party until 10:30. Paris says, “She thinks I’m not enough of a people person. Shocking, huh?” Rory responds, “I’m floored.” Paris adds, “Yeah, well, I doubt highly that Madame Curie was voted most likely to dress like Jennifer Lopez.”
Marie Curie was a Polish and French scientist known for her breakthrough research in radioactivity, including the discovery of polonium and radium. She won Nobel Prizes for both physics and chemistry. She died in 1933 from an illness caused by radiation exposure.
Jennifer Lopez is an American singer and actress. She was a dancer on the show “In Living Color” in the 90s, played Selina in the 1997 film “Selina,” and released a chart-topping single, “If You Had My Love” in 1999. Her romantic comedy “The Wedding Planner” was released in January 2001, a few months before this episode of Gilmore Girls aired.
In S1E16, Lorelai tries to escape her dinner conversation with Chase Bradford by saying she will get Richard some more roast. Chase says, “Well, hurry back. I simply have to know what the allure of this Stars Hollow is I’ve heard so much about.” Lorelai responds with a tense smile, “Miles and miles and miles!”
The Who’s number top single in the U.S. was “I Can See for Miles,” first released in 1967. It features the line, “I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles.” We can’t really get inside Lorelai’s head to find out why she chose to quote this particular song, but I would guess that it sounded like a plausible enough answer that Chase wouldn’t question ( as in “you can see for miles around” OR “there are miles and miles of great things in Stars Hollow”) with the added benefit of the smug satisfaction that Chase wouldn’t catch her reference. Lorelai loves to reference pop culture to people who won’t understand it (see “I tried to call it Al“).
In S1E15, Miss Patty tells a group of kids the story of how Stars Hollow was founded, then asks, “Who wants to hear about the time I danced in a cage for Tito Puente?”
Tito Puente, “The King of Latin Music,” was an American musician and composer in the twentieth century. His parents were from Puerto Rico but Tito grew up in Spanish Harlem. He fought in World War II and studied at Juilliard School of Music.
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, Christopher is trying to convince Lorelai that he’s ready to get married, but Lorelai is having none of it. She accuses him, “The Offspring is your favorite band!” Christopher replies, “So? You’re into Metallica!” Lorelai counters, “Well, Metallica is way more substantial than the Offspring!” Christopher yells, “Here we go, it’s the same Black Sabbath riff all over again.”
The Offspring is a punk rock band that gained popularity in the early 90’s. As of 2016, they are still recording together, and actually just released a song in June 2016 called “Sharknado.”
Metallica is a heavy metal band that also gained widespread popularity in the early 90’s. They are considered one of the most successful bands of all time.
Black Sabbath are a rock band who became popular in the US and UK in the 1970s. They were pioneers of heavy metal music.