Timberland

LORELAI: Luke, Rachel’s not the only woman in the world for you. You’ll meet someone, someday – probably at a Timberland store – you’ll ask her out.

Timberland LLC, manufacturer and retailer of outdoors wear, especially boots, headquartered in Stratham, New Hampshire. Shoemaker Nathan Schwartz bought a 50% stake in The Abington Shoe Company in Massachuttests; this later became Timberland. The Schwartz family retained control of the company until 2012, when they sold it to the VF Corporation, which sells outdoor clothing and workwear.

Although marketed towards hikers, climbers etc, Timberland is very popular for urban attire. The nearest Timberland store to Stars Hollow would be in the town of Clinton, about an hour’s drive away.

“A big, pretty dish of lovin’ with a spoon”

LORELAI: A big, pretty dish of lovin’ with a spoon made especially for you.

This sounds like a reference to the rock band The Lovin’ Spoonful, founded in Greenwich Village in 1965 by singer John Sebastian and guitarist Zal Yanovsky. Their hits include Do You Believe in Magic? (1965), Summer in the City (1966), and Daydream (1966). The band broke up in 1969, but have had a few revivals and reunions over the years. An influence on British bands such as The Beatles and The Kinks, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000, and into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2006.

The band’s name is taken from a line in the song Coffee Blues, by blues singer Mississippi John Hurt, a tribute to Maxwell House Coffee. There is a link in blues songs between a “spoonful” of something and sex (sometimes drugs); it has been conjectured that the “lovin’ spoonful” in the song refers to the amount of ejaculate in a typical male orgasm.

This connection between coffee, sex, and love seems very apt for Lorelai! It’s as if the coffee Luke makes for her is a metaphor for something else that’s hot and wet.

Attica

LUKE: And even if he does stay, it’ll be only for another year, and then he’ll go off to college or Attica or whatever, and it’ll just be me again.

Attica Correctional Facility, a maximum security state prison located in the town of Attica, New York. Constructed in the 1930s, it has held some of the most dangerous convicts of the times. Prisoners are often here because of disciplinary problems in other institutions.

Some of its past infamous inmates include serial killer David Berkowitz “Son of Sam”, and Mark Chapman, the assassin of John Lennon (both now held elsewhere). Ironically, John Lennon and Yoko Ono released a 1972 song called “Attica State”, lamenting the loss of life in the 1971 Attica State prison riots, as well as the poor living conditions and humans rights abuses in the US prison system. It appears on the album Some Time in New York City.

This is a very harsh comment from Luke about Jess, even as a joke. Before Jess arrived, Luke seemed to think he was nothing more than a slightly wayward teen only in need of a stable home. After six months, he seems to think it’s a toss-up whether Jess will go to college or prison (perhaps under Lorelai’s influence, who was saying that before she even met Jess). In fact, Jess will do neither.

Interestingly, the historic region of Attica in ancient Greece was the location of the city of Athens, a centre for learning and culture during its Golden Age. Jess will end up working in a job where his mind is put to good use. He’ll also live in an American city with a Greek name!

Yankees, Mets

LORELAI: I mean, I could answer the door wrapped in cellophane but unless I was wearing a Yankees cap . . . ugh, he wouldn’t even notice.
LUKE: Geez.
LORELAI: Oh, don’t be embarrassed Snuffy, I’m just teasing. It’d be a Mets cap.

The New York Yankees and the New York Mets are the only two major league baseball teams in New York City – The Yankees are based in The Bronx, and the Mets in Queens.

Lorelai really is teasing – Luke always wears a Yankees cap, because Scott Patterson played for The New York Yankees. They are by far the more successful team as well, being quite possibly the most successful US professional sports team of all time.

[Picture shows a vintage navy blue Yankees cap, similar to Luke’s].

Mistaken for Married

Mary, the agent showing Luke the apartment he’s considering, assumes Lorelai is Luke’s wife. This is a common trope from sit-coms and rom-coms, showing that the couple must be meant for each other, because everyone else can see it.

Lorelai looks very happy and comfortable pretending to be Luke’s wife. Luke’s expression is somewhere between “deer trapped in headlights” and “please don’t get an erection”.

Miami Sound Machine

MICHEL: And while I’m shaking it to the Miami Sound Machine, the phones here – they would ring and ring and ring, and no one to answer, no one to assist.

Miami Sound Machine was a band of Latin-influenced music, featuring the vocals of Cuban-born singer Gloria Estefan. Established in 1975 by her husband, Emilio Estefan Jr, the name was changed to Miami Sound Machine in 1977. They were popular during the 1980s, before Gloria Estefan continued as a solo performer.

In 1985 they brought out “Conga”, which became their first hit single. It was from their album Primitive Love, and was a world-wide success, becoming the band’s signature song. It went to #10 in the US and #1 on the Hot Dance Singles chart. It was most popular in Canada and Spain, where it went to #1. It was re-recorded as a remix in 2001, and released on Gloria Estefan’s fourth compilation album.

Fruit on Head, Conga Line

MICHEL: I mean, it’s just as possible I say I’ll cover the desk, and the moment you’ve stepped away I’ll put some fruit on my head and join a conga line somewhere.

A reference to the showgirls at the Copacabana nightclub in New York, in the style of Carmen Miranda, previously mentioned.

A conga line [pictured] is a novelty carnival dance from Cuba which became popular in the US in the 1930s. The dancers form a long procession in a line, with three shuffle steps, then a kick. It was mistakenly thought to be an African dance from the Congo, hence the name.

There was a conga line at the wedding reception for the twins Jessica and Jackie, which was held at the Independence Inn in “Kill Me Now”.

Donna Karan

MICHEL: No, I believe you thought I was lying. That I did not actually get down on my hands and knees in a brand new Donna Karan suit and crawl around on a floor where people who have stepped in mud and garbage and animal waste have been traipsing all day long.

Donna Karan (born Donna Faske in 1948) is an award-winning fashion designer, creator of the Donna New York and DKNY clothing brands. She is nicknamed “The Queen of Seventh Avenue”. She brought out her first collection in 1985, and launched her line of men’s clothing in 1991. She left her CEO position at Donna Karan in 1997, and in 2015 announced that she would step down as head of the Donna Karan company to focus on her lifestyle brand Urban Zen, established in 2007.

Jess Realises What He’s Taken

While Lorelai checks the car to see if the bracelet is there, we see Jess outside, staring at the bracelet with a look of unhappy disillusionment. All this time he has been cherishing it as a memento of Rory, something which has actually touched her skin. He must feel such a fool when he discovers he’s been unwittingly sighing over something Dean made for her, and probably concerned when he realises that losing it has upset Rory and caused her to worry about Dean’s reaction.

Jess is actually wearing the bracelet on his wrist, so he has made no effort to conceal that he has it, and both Rory and Lorelai have seen it without realising its significance. Jess wears several leather bracelets, so it doesn’t stand out, although he has been careful to wear Rory’s bracelet on a different wrist from the others. Talk about hiding in plain sight!