EMILY: Really, Lorelai, you can’t wait ten minutes for another salad? The situation’s that dire?
LORELAI: Four salads ago, no, not dire. Right now it’s ‘your money for nothing and your chicks for free.’
Lorelai refers to the song “Money For Nothing” by English rock band Dire Straits – so she’s saying that they are now in “dire straits” due to waiting for their food for so long. The lyrics don’t have the exact line that Lorelai says, but it’s pretty close. There are numerous repeated lines about getting your money for nothing and chicks for free, in slightly different iterations.
“Money for Nothing”, with backing lyrics by Sting, was released as a single from the band’s 1985 album, Brothers in Arms. It’s memorable for it’s groundbreaking animated music video, and repeated refrain of I want my MTV. It was Dire Straits’ most successful single, reaching #1 in the US and Canada, and #4 in the band’s native UK.
In July 1985, Dire Straits and Sting performed it at Live Aid. It won a Grammy, and two MTV Music Video Awards in 1986, and in 1987 was chosen as the first video to be played on MTV Europe.