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, Rory asks Paris about the notecards she had in her pocket. Paris tells Rory that they’re talking points for the date, and Rory says, “Can I suggest that you leave this one about the Spanish Inquisition out?”
The Spanish Inquisition began in 1478 with the purpose of ensuring that recent Jewish and Muslim converts to Catholicism were practicing correctly and not secretly maintaining their old religions. The exact number of people killed in the inquisition is elusive, but estimates are in the thousands.
In S1E18, Richard’s mother Lorelai is talking to Rory’s mother Lorelai (so confusing) about how she borrowed money to pay for Rory’s school. Lorelai the elder says, “You know Shakespeare once wrote, ‘Neither a borrower nor a lender be.'”
“Neither a borrower nor a lender be” is a quote from Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3. It is advice given by Polonius (King Claudius’ advisor) to his son Laertes before Laertes departs for Paris. Read here for a good summary of the whole play.
In S1E18, Rory is telling Lorelai that she “did a little matchmaking” and got Tristan to ask Paris out on a date. Lorelai reponds with a bad accent, “Lucy, how many times have I told you not to butt into other people’s business?”
The television show “I Love Lucy” has already been covered in this blog many times: here, here, and here. Desi Arnaz, like his character Ricky Ricardo, was from Cuba, hence the accent.
In S1E18, Lorelai is teasing Emily for giving her a present that had initially been a gift from Richard’s mother to Emily. Lorelai says, “What would Miss Manners say about this?” Emily replies, “If she met your grandmother, she’d understand.”
Miss Manners is the pen name used by Judith Martin. She writes a column, carried by hundreds of newspapers, about the rules, history, and theory of etiquette. She began “Miss Manners” in 1978 and received a National Humanities Medal in 2005 for her work.
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, Madeline and Louise are contemplating spying on Tristan and Paris as they talk about some unknown subject in the hall. Rory is against it, but Louise says, “Those who simply wait for information to find them spend a lot of time sitting by the phone. Those who go out and find it themselves have something to say when it rings.” Rory asks, “Nietzsche?” Louise answers, “Dawson.”
Frederick Nietzsche was a 19th century German philosopher. He was believed to be an atheist, often remembered for his bold statement, “God is dead.” Most people equate Nietzsche with nihilism, although he did seem to find hope in the idea of “working for the future.”
I think Louise is talking about the character Dawson Leery from the television show “Dawson’s Creek.” It premiered on the WB in 1998 (the same network as Gilmore Girls). The story followed the life of Dawson and his friends, Joey and Pacey, as they attend high school in a small Massachusetts town. (I can’t find this exact quote, but it does seem like something Dawson would say, and I can’t find any indication of another “Dawson” Louise might be talking about).
In S1E18, Rory gives Tristan some advice: to go out with girls with more substance, like Paris. Rory says, “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a wonderful friendship.” Tristan asks, “Who’s Louis?”
This is a line from the 1942 film “Casablanca” starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid. Casablanca is considered one of the best films of all time. The main character, Rick, played by Bogart, runs a cafe in Casablanca during World War II. Rick is trying to help get a Czech Resistance leader out of the country. He strikes a deal with police officer Louis Renault but ends up threatening Renault at gunpoint to help them. In the end, Renault covers for Rick, and the two of them make plans to leave Morocco and join the French Resistance. At the end of the film, Rick tells Renault, “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
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 S1E18, Tristan hands Rory a notebook that she forgot in class, and they both move to exit through the doorway at the same time, almost colliding. Rory says, “Well, that could’ve been a potential Marx Brothers moment.”
The Marx Brothers were a comedy troupe consisting of the brothers Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, and Harpo Marx. Gummo and Zeppo Marx also performed with them for a time. They actually began as a singing group, but switched when they realized they had a penchant for comedy. They performed on Broadway and made many films.