Cricket Bat

JESS: [to Mrs. Kim] Baseball bat?
MRS. KIM: Cricket.

Cricket, a game played with a bat and ball with two teams of eleven players. Originating in England, it is played in the UK and Commonwealth countries around the world, but is not a widely known sport in the US.

Cricket bats are heavier than baseball bats, which might be why Mrs Kim favours one for a weapon.

Mickey Mouse

JESS: I’m going enough. I’ve been picking up some extra shifts here and there, but I’m fine. It’s Mickey Mouse stuff anyway. What it takes the others hours to learn, it takes me minutes.

Mickey Mouse, informal English meaning “minor, trivial, petty, insignificant”. In use since the 1950s, possibly because of cheap watches featuring the cartoon character.

Family Feud

RORY: I told her yes, you were going.
JESS: Well, as they say on the Family Feud, good answer.

Family Feud, game show where families compete to name the most popular answers to survey questions in order to win cash and prizes. First broadcast in 1976, it has three separate runs on different channels. At this time, it was on CBS, hosted by Richard Karn.

Phil Spector

JESS: Oh, great, what else does she think I did? Start the fire, put Phil Spector up to it?

Harvey Phillip “Phil” Spector (1939-2021), record producer and songwriter, best known for his innovative recording practices and entrepreneurship. He developed the Wall of Sound, a production style that is characterised for its dense orchestral sound. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in pop music history, and one of the most successful producers of the 1960s.

In February 2003, Phil Spector shot actress Lana Clarkson while in his mansion in Alhambra, California after meeting her in a nightclub only hours before. Her body was found slumped in a chair with a single gunshot wound to her mouth. The emergency call from Spector’s home, made by Spector’s driver quotes Spector as saying, “I think I killed somebody.” The driver added that he saw Spector come out of the back door of the house with a gun in his hand.

This is what Jess is referring to.

The murder went to trial in 2007, and Spector was eventually found guilty in 2009. He was sentenced to 19 years in prison, and died of Covid-19 while in the Californian state prison system.

Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic

RORY: You’re still doing okay?
JESS: Doing my reading, writing, and arithmetic.
RORY: And you’re still going, right?

Reading, writing, and arithmetic, the basic skills taught in schools, and often used as a shorthand to refer to schooling or education in general. They have been referred to together as far back as the writings of St Augustine, in the 4th century.

Jess has not shared with Rory that he is barely (or ever?) going to school any more, showing that their relationship is not as close as Rory might think. From comments by Lorelai, it seems as if Rory only sees Jess on weekends. This is really different from when she was with Dean, but she is in her senior year of high school, and may not have as much time to spend with a boyfriend.

Another difference between her relationship between Jess and Dean is that Rory nagged Dean quite a bit about his academic ambitions, and encouraged him to apply to college. Yet Rory only tentatively asks Jess whether he is regularly attending school, and makes a diffident offer to help him with his work if needed.

Has she learned to be a bit more hands off, or does she lack the confidence to question Jess the way she would have with Dean? Jess is very good at keeping people at an emotional distance, and it looks as if he has done it even with his own girlfriend.

Ed Wood

LORELAI: Home? I have no home. Hunted, despised … It’s from Ed Wood, the movie.

Ed Wood, 1994 American biographical comedy-drama film directed and produced by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp as Ed Wood, the cult filmmaker, and Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi. The film proved financially unsuccessful, but was met with critical acclaim upon release, with particular praise for Depp, Martin Landau’s performances, and the makeup. It eventually became a cult classic.

Lorelai is a fan of Tim Burton, finds Johnny Depp attractive, is into cult films and loves quirky biographies, so this movie is a natural fit for her.


LORELAI: Oh, I’m a Bedouin. I’m homeless!

The Bedouin, nomadic Arab tribes who have historically inhabited the desert regions in the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, the Levant, and Mesopotamia. Originating in the Syrian Desert and Arabian Desert, they spread across the rest of the Arab world in West Asia and North Africa after the spread of Islam. The English word Bedouin comes from the Arabic badawī, meaning “desert dweller”.