LORELAI (to Rory): Oh you’re going to have a great time. The Bangles are the best! They were my favorite band in high school. I almost named you Susanna.
We find out here that not only was The Bangles Lorelai’s favourite band as a teenager, but she almost named Rory after Susanna Hoffs (born 1959), their lead singer. Susanna’s middle name is Lee, very similar to Rory’s middle name of Leigh.
LORELAI: I’m not eating alone. You’re here.
LUKE: I’m working.
LORELAI: Yeah but after three cheeseburgers you’re done, unless you’re expecting Elijah to stop by.
A reference to the biblical prophet Elijah, who God ordered to flee into a safe hiding place near a brook where he was miraculously fed bread and meat by ravens. After the brook dried up, God sent a widow to feed him: even though she had only a little flour and oil, by a miracle this small supply of ingredients never ran out.
Lorelai’s reference suggests she must have received some religious education as a child – unlike her earlier reference to Noah’s Ark, this isn’t a story familiar to nearly everyone.
SOOKIE: What was Rory, eight?
LORELAI: I believe she was.
SOOKIE: Oh God, that mud pie fiasco haunted me for a year! I mean, hers looked just like mine. Of course I used, you know, homemade chocolate cookies, bittersweet ganache, and she used well, mud. You know, but they did look damn similar.
Ganache is a glaze, icing, or pastry filling made from chocolate and cream with butter added to it; it has a smooth and shiny appearance. It originated in Paris in the mid-19th century.
This amusing anecdote from Rory’s childhood took place before Lorelai and Rory moved into their current house. Rory presumably made the realistic-looking mud cookies while visiting Sookie’s home, or at the inn.
LORELAI: What is that – Rune?
RUNE: What do you mean?
LORELAI: I mean, where did Rune come from?
RUNE: I’m from out of town, I thought Jackson told you?
LORELAI: He did tell me, I meant the name “Rune”. You just don’t meet a lot of Runes, right?
Rune is a Scandinavian name, coming from the Old Norse for “secret lore”; it is the same as Old Norse rune letters and rune stones used for divination and meditation. It’s a rare name in the US so Lorelai is interested in its origins. (The Scandinavians would pronounce the name ROO-ne, whereas in English it’s said ROON). Rune’s father is also named Rune, so perhaps the family has some Scandinavian ancestry).
This 1986 song by English rock band XTC is playing in the background during the opening segment while Rory and Lorelai get ready for school/work.
The song is from the band’s album Skylarking; it is their best known album and generally regarded as their greatest work. It was initially ignored in the UK, but managed to get to #90. In the US, it became a hit on college radio and reached #70. Today it is regarded as one of the best albums of the 1980s.
Earn Enough For Us was never released as a single, but is the first track on the second side. The song is about a man struggling in a demeaning job to support himself and his wife in a ramshackle house. Learning that he is about to become a father, he is proud, but also worried about how they will manage financially.
It’s a reminder of the years of struggle to support herself and Rory that Lorelai has been through. The album came out when Rory was two years old, just as Lorelai began living in Stars Hollow as a single mother and working as a maid. Maybe it was a song that helped her get through those difficult early years.
From the conversation between Lorelai and Sookie, we learn that Sookie has been single for years (Lorelai is quite hurtful to her about it, but apologises for it). We also discover that this hasn’t been entirely by choice, but because Sookie is very busy working at the inn, and has so many accidents that she has frequent hospital visits as well. This is another example of shortness of time being a factor in the show.
When Lorelai suddenly seems far less interested in Max, Sookie points out that Lorelai and Max have been dating for two months now – which is the usual time that Lorelai begins backing out of a relationship. Lorelai and Max began dating in mid-November 2000, so it must now be the middle of January 2001.
Sookie’s comment incidentally confirms that none of Lorelai’s relationships have lasted very long, which we inferred from her statement to Max that none of her dates ever went to her house or met Rory before. Near the end of the episode we learn that Rory never even knew their names, but that Lorelai referred to them by a brief description.