Boobs

RORY: I couldn’t possibly stretch them out. Your boobs are way bigger than mine.
LORELAI: That is not true. Your boobs are totally bigger than mine!
RORY: You’re crazy!

According to websites which give celebrity bra sizes, Lauren Graham is a 34B and Alexis Bledel is a 32B. If so, they have the same cup size, so Lorelai is not “way bigger” than Rory. Likewise, Rory cannot possibly be stretching out Lorelai’s clothing when she borrows it as she is slightly smaller across the back.

Of course Rory’s real crime isn’t that she stole Lorelai’s sweater – it’s that she has “stolen” her parents. It’s telling that Lorelai claims it’s her favourite sweater, which is news to Rory. In the same way, the parents she didn’t value somehow become far more attractive when Rory has them.

Madonna and Sean Penn

LORELAI: So you know what I was thinking?
RORY: That Madonna and Sean Penn should get remarried?
LORELAI: Besides that.

Pop star Madonna (born 1958) and actor Sean Penn (born 1960) were married in 1985, after meeting just a few months before. Madonna filed for divorce in 1987 but withdrew the papers; they were eventually divorced in 1989. There were allegations during their marriage that Penn was violent towards Madonna; however she strenuously denies those claims.

Lorelai’s belief that the couple should remarry seems to be a common one: even now, gossip magazines continue to say that Madonna and Penn are trying to get back together, or are already back together. Recently Madonna publicly told Penn that she was still in love with him, further fueling rumours (it was at a charity event so she might have just been whipping the crowd up). At the very least, they still seem to be on very friendly terms.

Teach Me Tonight

The song that Morey plays after he finds, or rescues, their pet cat Cinnamon, who Babette thought was still stuck under the porch steps. Teach Me Tonight is a jazz standard with lyrics by Sammy Cahn and music by Gene De Paul, written in 1953. It was recorded several times, most famously by Dinah Washington in 1954. This song plays throughout the fight between Lorelai and Rory.

Steinway

We learn from Babette that her husband Morey plays jazz on a Steinway. Steinway & Sons is an American piano company, founded in Manhattan by a German immigrant named Heinrich Steinweg in 1853 – he later changed his name to Henry Steinway. Steinway is known for their high quality pianos which have received numerous awards.

Thelonious

BABETTE: Yeah. He [Cinnamon] must’ve been meowin’ for an hour but Morey was playing some Thelonious on the Steinway and when Morey plays I go into this trance where all I can see is blue and moon and stars …

Thelonious Monk (1917-1982) was an American jazz pianist and composer. Many of his compositions have become jazz standards, such as Round Midnight and Blue Monk.

Chrestomathy

The book which Richard calls Rory to talk about is A Mencken Chrestomathy by American author and journalist H.L. Mencken (1880-1956), first published in 1948. A chrestomathy is a selection of literary passages, usually by a single author; in this case it is a selection of Mencken’s own out-of-print writings chosen by himself.

With the phone call from Richard, the audience (and Lorelai) can see that Rory and her grandfather are bonding over books and reading. Rory must have told Richard about her journalistic ambitions when she told him she was looking for the book, and he almost immediately found a copy for her.

It can’t help but put Lorelai’s nose out of joint. In all her years at the inn, her father has never once phoned her at work. Yet after just one morning with Rory, Richard calls his granddaughter to talk about a book while she is working at the Independence.

Jukebox

DRELLA: I’m not a jukebox.

Jukeboxes are automated music machines with a selection of songs, usually coin operated. The first jukeboxes were produced in 1927, with their heyday in the 1950s. They began declining after the introduction of the portable radio and portable cassette player. Today digital jukeboxes and jukebox apps continue the tradition.

Man! I Feel Like a Woman!

This 1997 country rock song by Canadian singer-songwriter Shania Twain is Jessica’s choice for wedding music. It is from Twain’s album Come on Over, and the song went to #23 in the US, but on the country music charts was #4 in the US and #2 in Canada. The song earned Twain a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance.

It is typical that the twins, who can’t agree on anything, should have such radically different tastes in music.

Jackie’s Wedding Music

MRS. SHALES: Jackie wants Samuel Barber, John Cage, and Philip Glass

All three are serious and highly influential American composers of the twentieth century.

Samuel Barber (1910-1981) composed orchetral, opera, choral, and piano music, enjoying a lengthy career as one of the most celebrated composers of the century. Twice winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, his best known work is Adagio for Strings (1936), which has become a staple piece for orchestras.

John Cage (1912-1992) was one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde, and was pivotal in the development of modern dance. His best known work is 4’33 (1952), in which the perfomer sits and does nothing for 4 minutes and 33 seconds.

Philip Glass (born 1937) has been described as a composer of minimalist music. He has written numerous operas, musical theatre works, symphonies, concertos, and chamber music. He has also written several film scores, winning awards for The Truman Show and The Hours.

Deviated septum

LORELAI: You got your fabulous flair from me.
RORY: I also got my deviated septum from you.

The nasal septum is the bone and cartilage which separates the right and left sides of the nose, dividing the nostrils. A deviated septum is one where some displacement has taken place in the septum. It’s a common condition – most of us have a deviated septum to some degree. It is most often caused by facial trauma, or is apparent from birth, either during fetal development, or through compression during childbirth. It is only rarely genetic, so Rory may have “got” her deviated septum from Lorelai (while being born), but didn’t inherit it.

In severe cases a deviated septum can cause problems with breathing which may require a minor surgical procedure. It is unclear whether Rory ever needed or received this surgery.