In S1E12, Lorelai and Rory are talking about how great it is that Sookie and Jackson are dating. Lorelai says, “Of course, if she tells me the story of how Jackson cultivates his own mealworms to help fertilize his plants one more time, I’m gonna ‘Romeo and Juliet’ them both.”
“Romeo and Juliet” is a tragic play written by Shakespeare about forbidden love. Juliet fakes her death to avoid an unwanted marriage, but Romeo is not told about the plan. Thinking that his dear Juliet has killed herself, Romeo drinks poison and dies. Juliet then finds Romeo dead and stabs herself out of grief.
In S1E12, after Lane and Rory get in trouble for lying to their mothers about their evening activities, Rory climbs a tree to knock on Lane’s bedroom window. When Lane opens the window, Rory says, “What’s up, Rapunzel?”
Rapunzel is a German fairy tale about a girl who is trapped in a high tower by an evil witch. She meets a prince and eventually (after haircuts and blinding thorns and babies) marries him and lives happily ever after. See Into the Woods for a more gruesome version or Tangled for the adorable version.
In S1E12, Rory and Lane get busted lying to their mothers. Rory asks if Lorelai would have lied to Mrs. Kim for them. Lorelai says, “Look. I know Mrs. Kim and Robert Duvall in ‘The Great Santini’ share a striking resemblance, but she is Lane’s mom. She has the right to tell Lane she can’t do something.”
“The Great Santini” is a 1979 film starring Robert Duvall as a successful fighter pilot. Duvall’s character treats his children like soldiers, never giving them breaks and sometimes even humiliating them.
In S1E12, Luke tells Lorelai that he won’t technically be eating dinner with her because he’s working. Lorelai says, “Yeah, but after three cheeseburgers, you’re done, unless you’re expecting Elijah to stop by.”
Elijah was an Old Testament prophet. He once visited a widow’s home and asked for a meal, but the widow was almost out of food. She and her son were on the brink of starving, but she used the last of her food to feed Elijah. He in turn blessed her with never-ending jars of oil and flour.
In S1E12, Lorelai is hiding from Rune by talking to Luke at the counter of the diner. She sips her coffee and exclaims, “Luke! That is an exceptionally good batch of coffee!” Luke says, “Really? I added a little nutmeg.” Lorelai responds, “That’s very ‘Richard Simmons’ of you.” Luke says “Well, what can I say? Chick dig a man with a feminine side.”
Richard Simmons is a fitness guru, known for his motivational skills as well as for wearing bedazzled shirts.
In S1E12, Lane is at the movies with Dean’s friend Todd, and Lane asks if he has a favorite movie. Todd says excitedly, “Beethoven!” Lane, looking disappointed, says, “Beethoven. The one with the dog?” Todd explains, “There’s this scene where this little dog is running around with a huge cabbage in its mouth. Oh man, it’s classic. I shot my Dr. Pepper right out of my nose!”
“Beethoven” is a 1992 film about the adventures of a St. Bernard dog. It features slapstick comedy mostly geared toward little kids. There have been 8 Beethoven movies so far, with a 9th one rumored to be in pre-production. For the life of me, I cannot find a clip of the scene Todd is talking about, but it sounds more like “Beethoven’s 2nd,” the 1993 sequel with lots of puppies.
In S1E12, Lorelai and Sookie take a break from their double date with Jackson and Rune to discuss. Sookie tells Lorelai that she’s too nervous to talk to Jackson. Lorelai responds, “You’re nervous?! You don’t have some guy staring at you like he’s Cher and you’re that kid from ‘Mask!'”
“Mask” is a 1985 film based on the true story of Rocky Dennis. Cher stars as the mother of a teenage boy with a severe skull deformity called lionitis.
In S1E12, Lane asks her date, Todd, what kind of music he likes. He says, “I don’t know, whatever.” Lane asks, “Fugazi?” Todd replies, “What?” “The band on your shirt,” Lane explains. Todd looks down at his shirt and says, “Oh. Huh, cool picture.” Lane asks, “You don’t know what’s on your shirt?” Todd says, “Oh, it’s my sister’s.”
Fugazi was a punk band that formed in 1987 and remained active until 2003. They were known for their ethical and practical decisions such as keeping ticket costs as low as possible, not selling merchandise on tour, and discouraging violent dancing at shows.
The image on Todd’s shirt is the album cover of Fugazi’s 1998 album, “End Hits.”
In S1E12, Lane is trying to make small talk with her date, Todd. She says, “Hey, you know who I’ve really gotten into lately? The Velvet Underground. Oh and Nico! She is amazing. Depressing, German, scary chick. I have a CD if you want to borrow it sometime.”
The Velvet Underground was a rock band formed in 1964. They are considered one of the most influential bands of the mid-twentieth century. Their first album featured Nico on three songs.
Nico was a German musician and “Warhol Superstar” (person promoted by artist Andy Warhol). After her work on the Velvet Underground’s debut album, Nico began working on a solo career. She famously hated her own debut album, “Chelsea Girl,” released in 1967, because of how it was produced. She was also generally noted for her racist opinions and attitude of superiority.
In S1E12, Lane is waiting in line for a movie with Dean’s friend Todd, and she’s talking to him about musicians (of course). She says, “And the Foo Fighters- gods! I mean, have you heard the acoustic version of ‘Everlong?’ I can’t even talk about it, you know?”
The Foo Fighters is a rock band that was formed by Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl after the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994. The band has won 4 Grammys for best album.