In S1E11, Rory tells Paris that Mr. Medina was hurt when Paris told the whole school that she saw him kissing Lorelai. Paris says, “I do like Mr. Medina.” Rory responds, “Well I’d take some dance classes, ’cause the way you express yourself needs a little work.”
This could be a reference to the 1989 song “Express Yourself” by Madonna. The song featured a rather iconic choreographed dance.
In S1E11, Emily finds out about Lorelai kissing Max at Chilton, and she is furious. Lorelai says it was a mistake, and Emily says, “A mistake?! A mistake, is that what you call it? A mistake?!” Lorelai responds, “Well, I tried to call it ‘Al,’ but it would only answer to ‘mistake.'”
“You Can Call Me Al” is a song by Paul Simon from his 1986 album, “Graceland.” The song seems to describe a midlife crisis, which would be somewhat appropriate for Lorelai (at least for the way Emily views the situation).
In S1E11, Rory tells Lorelai that Madeline and Louise were being friendly to her at school. Lorelai exclaims, “Wow, you’re the new ‘Heather.'”
“Heathers” is a 1988 dark comedy film starring Winona Rider and Christian Slater. The story centers around a popular clique of girls, three of whom are named Heather. The “boss” Heather is tyrannical and ruthless, but adored by much of the student body. After she is murdered, another Heather rises to take her place as the most popular girl in the school.
In S1E11, Rory tells Lorelai that Madeline and Louise said “hello” to her at school the other day. Lorelai says, “Really? Like a normal ‘hello,’ not like a ‘here’s Johnny’ kind of ‘hello?'”
“Here’s Johnny” is an iconic line from the film “The Shining.” Jack, the main character, breaks through a door with an axe and shouts “Here’s Johnny!” The line is actually a reference to Ed McMahon’s introduction of Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” Lorelai was undoubtedly referencing “The Shining,” as “The Tonight Show” line didn’t have any sinister undertones.
In S1E11, Rory is telling Lorelai about Paris’ parents divorce. She says, “Her dad’s like this bigwig at a major pharmaceutical company, and they’re printing all the sordid details about it in the paper.” Lorelai asks, “Oooh, how sordid?” Rory responds, “Well, it’s not the Rick James incident, but Hugh Grant should be feeling pretty good about himself.”
The “Rick James Incident” refers to the musician, who was imprisoned for several crimes he committed while high on crack. In 1993, he and his girlfriend kidnapped a woman and held her hostage for several days. James also assaulted a woman that same year while out on bail.
In 1995, Hugh Grant was arrested for having sex in public with a prostitute. Public opinion of him remained favorable after the incident because he immediately owned up to it as a mistake.
In S1E11, Sookie is teasing Lorelai about getting restless in her relationship with Max. Sookie starts singing “cha cha cha,” “livin’ la vida loca,” and “shake your bon bon, shake your bon bon.” Lorelai says, “Hey! You will not stand there singing Ricky Martin songs to me. This is not a pattern.”
Ricky Martin is a Puerto Rican musician who rose to fame in the U.S. in the 1990’s. He sings in both Spanish and English, and his music helped popularize Latin pop music in the United States. Sookie is singing the songs “Livin’ la Vida Loca” and “Shake Your Bon-bon.”
In S1E11, Rory and Lorelai are going to go ice skating. Rory tells Sookie, “I’m Nancy Kerrigan,” and Lorelai says, “And I’m Tonya Harding. I’m going to do the whole ‘shoelace coming untied, nervous breakdown, let me start again’ act.”
Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding were rival figure skaters during the 1990’s. Harding’s ex-husband and bodyguard hired someone to attack Kerrigan in 1994, but Kerrigan recovered and went on to win a silver medal in the 1994 Olympics. According to Harding, she knew about the attack ahead of time but her ex-husband threatened to kill her if she reported the plan.
The whole “shoelace” act occurred at the 1994 Olympics. Tonya Harding had a problem with her shoelace during the free skate competition, and after failing her first jump, she reported the problem to the referees and was allowed to start over after fixing her lace.
The title of Season 1, Episode 11 is “Paris is Burning.” Of course, it refers to Paris Geller, who behaves horribly in the episode. However, the title could also reference the 1990 documentary about drag queens in New York City.
In S1E11, Rory and Max are coming up with names to call each other outside of school. Max says he’ll call Rory “Rebecca” and Rory says she’ll call Max “Norman.” Max exclaims, “Norman? I look like a ‘Norman” to you?” Rory explains, “I’m sorry. ‘Psycho’ was on earlier, and it was just the first name that came to mind.”
“Psycho” is a 1960 horror film by Alfred Hitchcock. The story centers around a creepy motel manager named Norman Bates and his visitors.
In S1E11, Madeline and Louise are talking about who Mr. Medina is dating, and Louise guesses that his girlfriend is dumb, because “dumb girls crave smart men. It’s the whole ‘Marilyn Monroe/Arthur Miller’ syndrome.”
Marilyn Monroe was an actress in the 1940’s and 1950’s. The characters she played tended to be “dumb blondes.” She actually hated the typecasting and almost turned down the leading role in “The Seven Year Itch.” She married Arthur Miller in 1956 and they divorced in 1961.
Arthur Miller was an American playwright who was very active in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. He is probably most well-known for “The Crucible” and “Death of a Salesman.”