Randolph

RORY: Go away, Randolph.

Referring to William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951), businessman, newspaper magnate, and politician, previously mentioned. Hearst developed the nation’s largest newspaper chain and media company, Hearst Communications. He was twice elected as a Democrat to the US House of Representatives, but was unsuccessful in his attempts to run for President in 1904, Mayor of New York in 1905 and 1909, and Governor of New York in 1906.

Like Hearst, Paris is the head of the newspaper and a presidential candidate. While running for President, Hearst shamelessly ran newspaper stories in favour of his own candidacy – Rory is suggesting Paris is doing the same thing by trying to influence the article Rory is writing about her speech.

William Randolph Hearst was unsuccessful in his bid for President, which might be a tease from Rory as well.

Sharon Stone/Basic Instinct

PARIS: Just make sure you mention that Schatzi pulling the Sharon Stone/Basic Instinct bit was a cheap attempt to distract the whole student body from my mandatory recycling program.

Basic Instinct, a 1992 neo-noir erotic thriller directed by Paul Verhoeven. It stars Michael Douglas as a San Francisco police detective investigating the brutal murder of a rock star. During the investigation, he becomes involved in a torrid relationship with the prime suspect, a crime novelist who is played by Sharon Stone.

Basic Instinct was the #4 film of 1992. Reviews at the time were mixed, and it garnered controversy for its graphic sexuality and violence, including a rape scene. Gay and bisexual rights activists protested the film, saying it followed a pattern of negative depictions of queer characters in film. It was later recognised for its groundbreaking depiction of sexuality in mainstream cinema and its transgressive nature in the film noir genre. Sharon Stone received praise for her performance.

Paris refers to a notorious scene when Sharon Stone’s character crosses her legs while wearing a short dress without panties during her interrogation, so that her vulva briefly appears on film. Stone and Verhoeven have differing versions of how consensual the filming of it was, but are apparently still on good terms.

John F. Kennedy

PARIS: John F. Kennedy once said, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. Those eloquent words are just as relevant here in this hall today. What can you, the future of Chilton, of America, of the world, what can you do for your school?

John F. Kennedy, US president, previously discussed. The quote comes from John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address on January 20 1961, inspiring the nation to greater civic participation. The finely-crafted address was one of the shortest ever made, and afterwards, 75% of Americans polled approved of the new president.

Garfield

LUKE: Read your note … It was very well-written … I also enjoyed the Garfield stationery. That’s one funny cat.

Garfield, a comic strip created by Jim Davis featuring a lazy, fat, cynical orange tabby cat named Garfield, noted for his love of lasagne, coffee, and sleeping. Originally published as Jon (the name of Garfield’s owner) in 1976, it was syndicated nationally from 1978. It holds the Guinness World Record for being the world’s most syndicated comic strip, being published in more than 2000 newspapers and journals.

Garfield has been turned into comic books, TV shows, films, and video games, and been used for merchandise (such as the stationery) which earns up to $1 billion per year.

Mr Freeze

LORELAI: You’re pulling a Mr. Freeze on me.

Mr Freeze (Dr Victor Fries) is a supervillain from the Batman comics, created by Dave Wood and Sheldon Moldoff in 1959, and originally called Mr Zero. Mr Freeze was a rogue scientist whose design for an ice gun backfired, spilling cryogenic chemicals on himself, so he needed sub-zero temperatures to survive. The Batman television series gave him a more sympathetic back story, making him a complex, tragic character. He was portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1997 Batman film.

Another example of Lorelai using comic books as a reference point.

Lorelai Tries to Make Up With Luke

After half an hour of psyching herself up, Lorelai goes into the diner and tries to make up her fight with Luke. She has already written him a note to apologise, but Luke refuses to engage with her. He accepts her apology, he offers to get her a coffee and a doughnut, but there is no emotion there, and he barely looks at her (would his resolve crumble if he did?). Lorelai has really hurt Luke, and he cannot go back to how things were before.

Gouda

LORELAI: But I’m here now and hey, I’m like cheese ….

RORY: She gets better with time … Sorry Gouda, we’ve got school.

Gouda is a sweet, creamy cheese originating from the city of Gouda in the Netherlands. The first mention of it dates to 1184, making it one of the oldest recorded cheeses still made today.