LORELAI: But if you can’t get a hold of him, it might be safer to plan on staying at Mom’s. I mean, if you run out of gas, you’re stuck. And at the mercy of the Orcs.

A race of humanoid monsters which feature in the Lord of the Rings films, previously discussed as favourite movies of Lorelai and Rory. Brutish, ugly, and malevolent, Lorelai seems to be using them as a symbol of all the bad things that could happen to Rory.

Paulie, Bada Bing

RORY: What’s he wearing, a jogging suit?
LORELAI: Yeah, and then after, he and Paulie are hitting The Bada Bing.

A reference to the TV show The Sopranos, previously discussed as one of Lorelai’s favourites. Peter Paul “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri is one of Tony Soprano’s henchman, and The Bada Bing is a strip club and key location in the show. Paulie was very fond of wearing jogging suits, in particular, a black velvet one.

Spice Girls, Jonas Salk

LORELAI: No, see, Alex and I talked about everything we plan to do and how he expected to dress and how I expected to dress, and we coordinated to the point where I knew each piece of clothing I had to bring, down to the Spice Girls necklace I plan to wear Saturday morning for breakfast because we agreed to keep it a little whimsical.
RORY: So, not your Jonas Salk necklace?

Spice Girls, previously discussed. [Necklace pictured].

Jonas Salk (1914-1995), virologist and medical researcher who developed one of the first polio vaccines.

Toute de suite, Candy

LORELAI: [from upstairs] Rory? … Toute de suite, and I don’t mean the candy.

Toute de suite, French for “immediately, right away”.

Lorelai makes a pun on Tootsie Roll (Tootsie sweet), a chocolate-flavoured taffy made in the US since 1907. It was the first penny candy to be sold in the US with each piece individually wrapped.

“Ten minutes”

LUKE: I go up there every ten minutes pretending to get something to keep them from doing something we don’t want … I got a good system, it works.
LORELAI: Every ten minutes?
LUKE: Like clockwork …
LORELAI: Ten minutes. Yeah, that’s pretty much the time it took to create Rory. And that included getting dressed and freshening my lipstick.

Luke was originally so concerned about Jess and Rory kissing in the apartment that he laid down the law and said they weren’t even allowed to sit on the sofa at the same time. Now he’s become so relaxed that he’s cool with them lying on the sofa in an embrace, making out for hours. He just checks on them every ten minutes.

Luke’s sudden change of attitude seems to have begun when he started dating Nicole, suggesting that his concern about Jess and Rory being together was at least partly fuelled by an unhappy awareness that he was without a partner, while his teenage nephew had a girlfriend.

Lorelai points out that ten minutes provides ample time to have sex, and says that conceiving Rory took her well under that time. (Yes, this is a slam to Christopher, but to be fair, he was a teenage boy). She doesn’t labour the point, but Luke immediately looks panicked.

Ben and J. Lo

LORELAI: I found everything – including a couple coupling.
LUKE: Oh, Rory and Jess?
LORELAI: No, Ben and J. Lo. Yes, Rory and Jess.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, who were in a romantic relationship from 2002 to 2004. This attracted intense scrutiny by the press, and although they became engaged in November 2002, they called it off in January 2004, citing “excessive media attention”. Despite this, and both subsequently marrying other people, they continued to speak of each other fondly, and expressed regret over their split.

In a twist only Lorelai could have seen coming, Affleck and Lopez resumed their relationship in 2021, and were married in 2022. They still get a fair bit of media attention, but have probably learned how to deal with it better by now.

Déjà vu

LORELAI: Déjà vu, huh?
RORY: Déjà vu.

Déjà vu, French loanword (literally “already seen”) for the phenomenon of feeling as though one has lived through the present situation before. It is an illusion of memory whereby – despite a strong sense of recollection – the time, place, and context of the “previous” experience are uncertain or impossible. Approximately two-thirds of people report experiencing déjà vu at least once in their lives.

Lorelai and Rory use the word jokingly to refer to the fact that they have each recently caught the other one kissing their boyfriend, causing some awkwardness.

Encyclopedia Brown

JESS: Got a lot of books here. Anything in particular?
LORELAI: It’s one of Luke’s.
JESS: Well, if it doesn’t have Encyclopedia Brown in the title, that narrows it down a lot.

Encyclopedia Brown, a series of 29 children’s books written by Donald J. Sobol; the first one was in 1963, and the last in 2012 (posthumous). The books follow the adventures of a boy detective, Leroy Brown, nicknamed “Encyclopedia” for his intelligence and range of knowledge.

Jess’ comments suggests that most of the books Luke has are his Encyclopedia Brown books from his childhood. Note the similarity with Lorelai reading all the Nancy Drew books when she was young.