Tongue depressor

LUKE: I can’t relax. I can’t sleep. I’m having nightmares about being chased around by boxes with arms and they tackle me and pile clothing on top of my face and secure it around my head with packing tape and I’m just lying there choking while you’re sitting in the corner laughing, putting gel in your hair with a switchblade!
JESS: Should I be putting a tongue depressor in your mouth right about now?

A tongue depressor is the little spatula that a doctor will use to examine a patient’s mouth and throat. Jess is referring to the fact that they are also used when administering electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). A tongue depressor can be used to keep the mouth slightly open so that the patient doesn’t bite on their tongue during treatment – although mouth guards are more common.

None of the characters in Gilmore Girls seem to have much grasp of modern psychiatry. It’s as if everything they know comes from reading The Bell Jar and watching One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. That could be where the writers are getting their (mis)information from!

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