In S1E9, Dean discovers that Rory takes a book with her everywhere, even to the school dance. Dean asks what she’s reading, and she says, “The Portable Dorothy Parker.” Dean then reads this poem:
“There’s little in taking or giving, there’s little in water or wine, this living, this living, this living, was never a project of mine.”
Dorothy Parker, born in 1893, was an American poet and screenwriter known for her satire and wit. In the 40’s, she was accused of being a Communist and blacklisted by Hollywood. Parker willed her estate to Martin Luther King Jr., and it was passed on to the NAACP after his death.
In S1E9, Emily and Lorelai are watching a movie on TV and Emily says, “Oh look, Barbara Stanwyck. I just love Barbara Stanwyck.” Lorelai comments, “Oh yeah, she’s good.” Emily continues, “She had that wonderful voice. That husky, deep voice. I just love that voice.” After a moment, Lorelai says, “You know, Mom, you have kind of a Barbara Stanwyck-y voice.” Emily replies, “Oh, I do not.” Lorelai says, “I mean it. You could’ve gotten Fred MacMurray to off Dad if you’d really wanted to.”
Barbara Stanwyck was an actress during the mid-twentieth century. She appeared in 85 films and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She also appeared in several television series, including “The Barbara Stanwyck Show” and “The Big Valley.”
The film that Lorelai and Emily are watching is “Double Indemnity,” starring Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray. In the story, Stanwyck’s character convinces a successful insurance salesman (MacMurray) to kill her husband.
In S1E9, Emily is staying at the injured Lorelai’s house for the night to help out. Emily starts looking around the house, and Lorelai asks what she’s doing. Emily says, “I’m I’m trying to find the candlesticks I bought you.” Lorelai asks, “What candlesticks?” Emily responds, “The Baccarat candlesticks I bought you last year for Christmas. I assume you stuffed them in the back of the closet somewhere.” Lorelai confesses that she exchanged the crystal candlesticks for a monkey lamp.
Baccarat is a crystal manufacturing company in France dating back to the early 1800’s. Today, in 2016, a Baccarat candelabra sells for about $3000.
In S1E9, Rory and Dean are driving to Rory’s dance, but Rory is having second thoughts. She says to Dean, “These kids at my school? Awful. Have you seen ‘The Outsiders?'” Dean says, “Yeah, I have.” Rory replies, “Just call me ‘Ponyboy.'”
“The Outsiders” is a 1967 novel by S.E. Hinton, adapted into film in 1983. The story centers around a gang of low-income high school boys and their wealthy rivals. The gangs are brutal, getting into knife fights and repeatedly trying to kill each other. Ponyboy, the narrator, is a young gang member who is close to much of the fighting but survives thanks to the sacrifices of his brothers and friends.
In S1E9, Dean arrives to pick Rory up for the dance. He and Rory had agreed that he would honk when he arrived, but Emily insists that Rory wait until he comes to the door. Emily asks that Dean come inside, and Lorelai says, “Hey Dean. Meet my mother, Emily Post.”
Emily Post was a high society woman who wrote extensively about etiquette in the early twentieth century. She also wrote novels and travel books, but her most successful book was entitled “Etiquette in society, in Business, in Politics, and at Home,” published in 1922.
In S1E9, Emily arrives at Lorelai’s house to see Rory get ready for her first school dance. Emily is excitedly asking questions and talking about the pictures she’s going to take. Lorelai says, “Wow, Mom, look at you. You’d think Ann Taylor was having a sale or something.”
Ann Taylor is a clothing retail chain that sells classic professional women’s apparel. The store was actually founded in New Haven, Connecticut, not too far from Emily Gilmore’s home in Hartford.
In S1E9, Rory is getting ready for her school dance and Lorelai sprays Rory’s hair with hairspray. Lorelai says, “Ok, that’ll be good for 6 slow dances, 4 medium ones, 1 lambada, but if you plan on doing any moshing I suggest another coat.”
Lambada is an upbeat Afro-Brazilian dance style that was popular in the 80’s and 90’s. Kaoma’s song “Lambada” was released in 1989 and is considered one of the most well-known singles in the world. (The song was actually a cover of a 1981 song by Los Kjarkas.) A sample of Kaoma’s “Lambada” can also be heard in Jennifer Lopez’s 2011 song, “On the Floor.”
In S1E9, Rory is paying Paris for dance tickets, but Paris tells her there isn’t enough change. Rory says, “Pay me later.” Paris responds, “What am I, your versateller? Wait for change.”
A versateller is an ATM machine. The term was popularized in the 1980’s by the Bank of America, but has gradually been replaced by “ATM.”
In S1E9, Emily is talking to Lorelai on the phone and says, “Regret can make you bitter. Do you want Rory to be bitter?”and Lorelai responds, “Well, sort of.” Emily scolds, “Lorelai!” but Lorelai explains, “What, Mom? She could make some cash off of it, become a crazy Oscar Levant kind of celebrity, go on talk shows, heckle Regis!”
Oscar Levant was a twentieth-century comedian, musician, and actor known for his crazy, unstable persona. He frequently made jokes about his mental status.
Regis Philbin is a television personality who has been hosting talk shows since the 1960’s. At the time this Gilmore Girls episode aired, Regis was appearing on his talk show “Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee” with co-host Kathie Lee Gifford. In 2001 the title was changed to “Live! with Regis and Kelly” when Kelly Ripa replaced Kathie Lee.
In S1E9, Lane and Rory are talking about Rory’s love life, and Lane encourages Rory to go talk to Dean. Rory says, “I should do this later.” Lane replies, “No! No, you have to do this now. Rory asks why, and Lane says, “Because, I have to go home soon and my mom threw out our TV when she caught me watching ‘VIP,’ so I’m bored and I need some entertainment.”
“VIP” was a television show starring Pamela Anderson that ran from 1998 to 2002. The series was about Anderson, a bodyguard who accidentally saves lives and defeats bad guys despite her lack of actual bodyguard skills.