Baseball cards

LORELAI: I bet you’d buy a Barbie for your daughter.
LUKE: Yeah, well, I’d probably give her the cash to buy it herself and meet her by the baseball cards.

Baseball cards are collectible trading cards relating to the sport of baseball. They have been sold since the 19th century.

Little does Luke (or maybe even the writer, John Stephens) know that he actually does have a daughter.

Barbie

LORELAI: I feel like this is one of those moments when I should be remembering all the great times I had with my dad, you know. The time he took me shopping for a Barbie or to the circus or fishing and my mind is a complete blank.

Barbie is a fashion doll manufactured by Mattel and launched in 1959. The doll was created by Ruth Handler, based on a German doll named Bild Lilly. The doll was named after Ruth’s daughter Barbara. Mattel has sold over a billion Barbie dolls, and Barbie herself has become a cultural icon.

If Lorelai was given a Barbie as a small child, she might have received Malibu Barbie, the iconic doll of the 1970s.

Cab Service

LUKE: Whoa, calm down.
LORELAI: No I can’t calm down. I need a cab. What’s the number? God, it’s something-cabs, cabs-something-something, 1-800-cabs? Can somebody tell me the damn number of the cab guy?!

Lorelai might be thinking of 1-800-TAXICAB, established in 1999 as a national hotline to connect people to their local taxi companies – there are four in Hartford that Lorelai could have used.

Hark! the Herald Angels Sing

This is the Christmas carol that the carol singers are singing as they walk into Luke’s.

Hark! the Herald Angels Sing was written by Charles Wesley, and first published in 1739. It was originally a slow, solemn hymn, and the opening lines were different; it was Wesley’s co-worker George Whitefield who changed it to the familiar Hark! the Herald Angels Sing in 1758. The joyful music we know today was supplied by composer Felix Mendelssohn in 1840, adapted by English musician William H. Cummings to fit the words of the carol.

Wonder Bread

LORELAI: You made me a Santa burger … He has a hat and everything.
LUKE: Yeah, I just cut a piece of Wonder Bread, you know, poured a little ketchup, piped on a little cream cheese.

Wonder Bread is a brand of bread first produced in the US in 1921. It was one of the first brands to sell bread pre-sliced, and their classic item is a white sandwich loaf. It was owned by Hostess in 2000.

“Two weeks early”

LORELAI: Tonight’s my parents big Christmas celebration. There’s good food, these amazing apple tarts, big tree. It’s the only holiday I actually enjoy going over there for, and this year I’m uninvited.
LUKE: Why the hell would anyone celebrate Christmas two weeks early?

In fact the Christmas party is on Friday 15 December, ten days before Christmas – but that’s pretty close to two weeks.

Grey Poupon

LORELAI: Don’t you have any kind of holiday special? Something festive?
LUKE: I just got some Grey Poupon. That’s French.

Grey Poupon is a brand of mustard originating in Dijon, France, and first produced in 1866. The American rights to it were bought in 1946, and it was eventually acquired by Kraft Foods in 1999. The mustard became popular in the US in the late 1970s and ’80s.