LORELAI: Curtains?
LORELAI: Manly curtains.
LUKE: Oxymoron.
LORELAI: What did you call me?

An oxymoron is a figure of speech in which two contradictory terms are linked together as an apparent paradox; the word comes from the Greek for “sharp foolish”, an oxymoron in itself as “sharp” and “foolish” are opposites. Common oxymorons include “love-hate relationship”, “deafening silence”, “working holiday”, “only choice”, “friendly fire”, and “sweet sorrow”.

I don’t know how many times the word has been used in comedy so that a character can take (or pretend to take) offence, as oxymoron sounds like an insult.

Later in the season, we discover that Luke is in fact rather fond of ruffled curtains, which he picked out for his own apartment.

Lorelai Paints Luke’s Diner

On the morning after the disastrous dinner with the Haydens, Lorelai suddenly remembers that she never showed up to help Luke paint the diner on Friday night. She runs over while still in her pyjamas to apologise and explain, unnecessarily increasing Luke’s pain by letting him know that she was with Christopher.

In fact their “date” for painting the diner was so vaguely worded that I couldn’t tell when exactly they were planning to do it, and Lorelai had triple-booked herself, as she had Friday Night Dinner with her parents, and also business class, which she never seems to attend. Even if Emily let Lorelai leave early, when were she and Luke planning on doing the painting – in the middle of the night?

As their poorly-planned painting date didn’t happen, Lorelai somehow manages to sneak into the diner while Luke is asleep – the bread guy let her in, suggesting she started at dawn – and paints the entire thing in an hour or two. This would take at least two days (you can’t just start painting, walls have to be prepped), and she was doing it all alone.

Furthermore, later episodes confirm that Luke slept over the diner and would have almost certainly heard her, and that he got up extremely early so the diner could open at 6 am, meaning that there was no time for Lorelai to paint the diner before he got up (and also that he couldn’t have possibly painted the diner at night as they originally planned; he wouldn’t have got any sleep).

Christopher Leaves

When Christopher prepares to ride back to California on his bike, he makes the manipulative and irresponsible move to have Rory re-state his marriage proposal to Lorelai. This only serves to give Rory more false hope, and to place the blame for him not being in her life on Lorelai. Rory also asks him to phone more often in the future, further confirmation that the “weekly phone call” from Christopher was much less often in reality.

I’m not sure how Christopher can afford to drive home when his credit card is maxed out – the trip across America to California would take several days at least, and cost a lot in fuel, food, and accommodation. Maybe Richard and Emily gave him money, or his own parents.

This episode, and the previous one, make it abundantly clear that Christopher is a creep and a wastrel, and it’s a testament to David Sutcliffe’s acting that he also imbues him with such charm and boyish appeal. You can see that Lorelai and Christopher have great chemistry, and genuinely care for each other, but it’s not a relationship that could ever last the distance.

Tony Randall

CHRISTOPHER: Rory might be my only child.
LORELAI: That’s not true. If Tony Randall can crank one out in his seventies you have decades left to spawn.

Tony Randall, born Aryeh Rosenberg (1920-2004) was an American actor, director, and producer. He is best known for playing the role of Felix Unger in the television sitcom The Odd Couple, earlier discussed.

In 1995 Randall, then a widower aged 75, married Heather Harlan, a 25-year-old who had worked as an intern on one of his theatre productions. The couple had a daughter and son named Julia and Jefferson, so he actually fathered two children in his seventies. Tony and Heather Randall remained married until his death.

Christopher is being overly dramatic when he says he may have lost the chance to father more children, as he’s only in his early thirties. In fact he does go on to have another daughter in a future season.

Fiddler on the Roof

LORELAI: We can’t get married Christopher. We don’t know each other as adults.
CHRISTOPHER: So let’s get married and get to know each other as adults.
LORELAI: Well, that’s very Fiddler on the Roof of you.

Fiddler on the Roof is a 1964 musical with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and book by Joseph Stein. Set in a Jewish community in Russia in 1905, the play is based on Tevye and His Daughters, a series of short stories written in Yiddish by Russian author Sholom Alecheim.

Tevye (played by Zero Mostel in the original Broadway production), a poor man, wants to arrange the marriages of his daughters, with the idea that although the couple may not know each other very well before marriage, they will learn to know each other after marriage. This was the case in his own happy marriage to his wife Golde, but his daughters have other ideas.

Fiddler on the Roof was a massive hit with both critics and audiences, and won nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical. For many years it was the longest-running musical on Broadway, and has had numerous revivals. Successfully adapted to film in 1971, it remains popular around the world.

Jose Cuervo

CHRISTOPHER: What about last night? What did our having sex mean to you?
LORELAI: [sighs] It meant that Jose Cuervo still has amazing magical powers.

Jose Cuervo is a Mexican brand of tequila. It is the best-selling tequila in the world, and has a third of the American market.

Lorelai is making it clear to Christopher that she would never have had sex with him if she hadn’t been drunk. By saying that it “still has magical powers”, she also implies that was the case when they were teenagers.

Lorelai and Christopher’s Band Rivalry

CHRISTOPHER: You know I don’t deserve that, I’m as mature as you.
LORELAI: What? The Offspring is your favorite band.
CHRISTOPHER: So? You’re into Metallica.
LORELAI: Well, Metallica is way more substantial than The Offspring.
CHRISTOPHER: Here we go, it’s the same Black Sabbath riff all over again.
LORELAI: Oh! The Offspring have like one chord progression. They use it over and over. They just popped on new words and called it a single, and I don’t want to talk about this anymore!

The Offspring is an American rock band formed in 1984 by Bryan “Dexter” Holland and Greg Kriesel. Their self-titled debut album was released in 1989, and they gained mainstream success in 1994 with their biggest-selling album, Smash. In 2001, their most recent album was Conspiracy of One, which came out the previous year. They were one of the most popular punk bands of the 1990s, and their biggest hits of this era include Come Out to Play (1994) and Pretty Fly (For a White Guy) (1998).

Metallica is an American heavy metal band formed in 1981 by Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield, and one of the founding bands of thrash metal. Metallica attracted a fan base in the underground music community while also gaining critical acclaim. Their 1986 album Master of Puppets was highly influential in thrash metal, while their self-titled 1991 album brought them wider mainstream success and is their biggest-selling album. In 2001 their most recent album was Reload (1997). One of the most commercially successful bands of all time, Metallica have won nine Grammy Awards, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. By these standards, Metallica would be judged as “more substantial” than The Offspring.

Black Sabbath, earlier mentioned, were an English rock band formed in 1968 by Tommy Iommi, Geezer Butler, Ozzy Osbourne, and Bill Ward. Often seen as pioneers in heavy metal music for their occult themes and image, their 1970 self-titled debut album was poorly reviewed, but a commercial success. By their 1973 album Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, they had begun to win the critics over while still remaining popular. The band broke up in 2017, and are often regarded as the greatest metal band of all time. Black Sabbath have won two Grammy Awards and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.

A riff is a short repeated musical phrase, generally used as the opening or refrain of a song. Both being heavy metal bands, it isn’t surprising that Metallica sometimes have similar riffs to Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath were pioneers in the genre, so their riffs tended to set the standard for defining what heavy metal sounds like. A particularly noticeable example is the opening riff to Metallica’s 1984 track For Whom the Bell Tolls, and its similarity to the final riff in Black Sabbath’s 1970 track Fairies Wear Boots.

A chord progression is a series of musical chords played in a sequence. Certain chord progressions become very popular in certain genres, so it wouldn’t be surprising for The Offspring, like many other bands, to rely heavily on a certain chord progression. The Offspring often uses the I-V-vi-IV progression very popular in punk music, but so ubiquitous that it can also be found in songs by Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay, Celine Dion, Green Day, Madonna, Red Hot Chili Peppers, John Denver, and many others – it’s also the chord progression in Auld Lang Syne.

Christopher later says that he and Lorelai are arguing just like an old married couple, which he sees as a good sign for their relationship. Instead, you can see that they are arguing like a couple of teenagers, and that neither of them is mature enough for marriage.



CHRISTOPHER: Oh man, I told Rory not to rat me out [about having his credit card declined]. I can’t believe she did that.
LORELAI: She didn’t. Andrew from the bookstore called, and Jackson, and the UPS guy, and ooh, it was the lead story on the Stars Hollow web page. And then I asked Rory, and she very reluctantly confirmed it.

UPS is the United Parcel Service, an American package delivery company. There is a UPS Store in Wallingford, which seems to be close to the location of Stars Hollow. Lorelai’s comment suggests there is a UPS Store in Stars Hollow for the delivery man to be up on town gossip and have Lorelai’s phone number (although it’s possible she’s joking). It is also confirmed here that the town has its own web page – unless Lorelai is joking about that.

Charlie Manson

CHRISTOPHER: I want to marry you …
LORELAI: You are out of your mind. You are completely insane. You have flipped your lid. Charlie Manson is freaked out by you right now!

Charles Manson (1934-2017) was an American criminal and cult leader, earlier alluded to as the head of the notorious Manson Family. His followers committed a series of murders in 1969 under his instructions.

Obsessed with The Beatles, Manson believed their song Helter Skelter was a warning of an apocalyptic war between whites and blacks, and that the Manson Family were being instructed to preserve the worthy from the impending disaster. By committing the murders, his followers would help precipitate the race war, and also control it, allowing them to escape from harm.

In 1971 he was convicted of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Originally sentenced to death, his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, which he served in California State Prison.

Lorelai believes Manson was mentally ill, and the prison system agreed. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia and paranoid delusions, had no remorse for any of his crimes, or apparent understanding of their magnitude, with highly controlling behaviour, and an exceptionally callous disregard for human suffering.

“Hello, pyjamas”

When Christopher says that Lorelai’s reference to Fred Mertz from I Love Lucy was a weird one in that context, she replies, “Hello, pyjamas”, and gestures down at the pyjamas she is wearing.

It may not be immediately obvious to the viewer that Lorelai is wearing pyjamas with an I Love Lucy pattern on them, explaining not only that the show was on her mind, but that she truly loves the show and knows a lot about it.

The pyjamas are inspired by the famous Job Switching episode of I Love Lucy, which aired September 1952. In the episode, Lucy and Ethel get jobs at a candy factory while their husbands have to do the housework for a week. There is a classic scene where Lucy and Ethel try to wrap chocolates as they come off the conveyer belt, with disastrous results. It is this which Lorelai’s pyjamas commemorate.

You can buy a pair of these pyjamas from The Lucy Store, and elsewhere, for about $50.