Trojan Man Commercial

PARIS: Don’t say anything to Madeline or Louise about this ….

RORY: But they’re your best friends.

PARIS: Theoretically, yes, but the second I mention a guy they’re gonna both start singing the theme from the Trojan Man commercial, and I just can’t take that, okay?

Trojan, a brand of condoms first manufactured in 1916. About 70% of condoms sold in the US are Trojan brand. Their commercials in the 1990s and 2000s had a rousing song with a chorus of, “Trojan Man, Trojan Man, Trojan Man”.

McDonald’s Apple Pies and Ho-Hos

LORELAI: And out of nowhere, Kirk comes dancing by, waving a McDonald’s hot apple pie in the air and of course Ho-Ho lunges for the pie and drops my hand and that was it. Kirk wins, I’m out. I’m gonna get that Ho-Ho someday.

McDonald’s fast food restaurants, previously discussed. They have had hot apple pie on their dessert menu since 1968. Until 1992, the apple pies were deep fried, but are now baked.

Ho-Ho, previously discussed.

Lorelai’s story reveals that Kirk is not above fighting dirty in order to win the dance marathon. He had great foresight to bring a McDonald’s apple pie with him to the marathon, and kept it hot (?) by some arcane means.

Rand McNally

RORY: She’s [Sherry’s] very up on traffic flow and rush hour and all that.

LORELAI: She’s Rand McNally.

Rand McNally, publishing and technology company that provides mapping for both electronic gadgets, and for educational purposes, well known for producing school atlases and road maps. William Rand opened a printing shop in Chicago in 1956, and two years later hired Irish immigrant Andrew McNally; the two men founded Rand McNally & Co in 1868. The first Rand McNally map appeared in a 1872 railway guide, and their first road map was published in 1904.

Lorelai and Rory left Boston at 6 pm, on Sherry’s advice. That means it would be around 8 pm when they get back to Stars Hollow and egg Jess’ car.

Walmart

JESS: Walmart.

LUKE: Excuse me?

JESS: I’ve been working there twelve hours a week for the past few months to get extra money for the car.

Walmart, previously discussed. There is a large Walmart Supercenter in Hartford, which might be where Jess has been working [pictured]. How he’s been getting there without a car for months is a mystery – if he was taking the bus back and forth, you’d think his path would have crossed with Rory’s at some point, or someone would have noticed him at the bus stop. Perhaps he’s been getting a lift with someone.

Luke really isn’t taking enough notice of Jess as a guardian. Jess has been working out of town for months, either getting lifts or catching the bus, and done a course in order to get certification to drive a forklift. Jess’ dedication and work ethic is commendable – Luke’s lack of interest in his life isn’t. What if Jess had been doing something dangerous or illegal all these months?

When Luke asks Jess what his Walmart discount is, he responds with 15%. In real life it is 10%.

It’s been shown several times over that Jess is Lorelai in teenage boy form, and here is another parallel between them – like Lorelai, Jess is beginning his working life while still in his teens, and isn’t afraid to work hard in a blue collar job to pay the bills, just as she did.

Red Lobster

RABBI BARANS: Is the whole shellfish thing really serious? Because, I gotta tell you, some of these Red Lobster commercials . . .

Red Lobster is a chain of casual dining restaurants headquartered in Orlando, Florida. They have more than 700 locations worldwide. It first opened in Lakelands, Florida in 1968, and specialises in seafood, including lobster, crab, fish, molluscs, and shrimp.

The rabbi jokingly refers to the fact that shellfish are not kosher, and therefore forbidden in Judaism.

HBO

LORELAI: Uh, well, I guess, I could water your lawn, Dwight – sure.

DWIGHT: Boy, that is something. If I would have asked somebody back where I used to live to water my lawn, I would’ve gotten a much more HBO kind of answer.

Home Box Office (HBO), a pay television channel, owned by Warner Bros. Discovery (Gilmore Girls was on the Warner Bros. TV channel, the WB). First launched in 1972, it was the first pay TV network in the US, and the first in the world to begin transmitting via satellite.

HBO, as a channel available to subscribers, was able to broadcast programs without having to edit them to remove adult or objectionable material, and its sister channel Cinemax even broadcast softcore pornography until 2018. Dwight is saying that he would have received a much more adult-oriented answer in his previous neighbourhood (presumably in a city) if he asked someone to water his lawn for a few days.

Lorelai has always been shown to be pretty good at shutting down anyone who asks her to do anything for them she doesn’t want to, yet somehow, she is unable to resist Dwight’s plea. I guess she doesn’t want to get on the bad side of a new neighbour, or she doesn’t want him to think Stars Hollow isn’t a nice place, when he seems so excited to have moved there. Possibly her fight with Pete, which she later learned she’d been unreasonable about, has taken up all her energy. Or Dwight just has some mystical power over her. Maybe the same mind control that he used to get Beenie Morrison’s house!

Davenport

EMILY: We have a couple of wonderful writing desks, and some French end tables, rocking chairs, picture frames, lamps, davenports.

Originally, davenport was the name given to sofas made by the furniture makers A.H. Davenport and Company, from Cambridge, Massachusetts. It sold luxury furniture through its showrooms in Boston and New York City in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and made furniture for the White House. They ceased business in 1974.

The word is now used for a rather confusing number of sofa types in the US. It may mean a boxy formal upholstered sofa, like the ones originally made by Davenport, or a sofa which converts into a bed, or a futon-style sofa with storage underneath it, or just a generic word for a large high-end sofa. I’m not actually sure in which sense Emily is using it, but I think either the first or the last is the most likely.

As an extra layer of confusion, a davenport is also a 19th century English word for a small writing desk, but as Emily already mentions writing desks as separate possibilities, I think this one can safely be ruled out.

J. Crew Catalog

RORY: Yeah, the place is packed.

LUKE: Sure, it’s been taken over by the J. Crew catalog.

[Several families with little kids are seated at the tables]

J. Crew Group Inc is a clothing retailer founded in 1947 by Mitchell Cinader and Saul Charles as Popular Merchandise Inc. They did business as Popular Club Plan, selling low-cost women’s clothing through in-home demonstrations. In 1983, the name was changed to J. Crew, and during the 1980s and 1990s, sales soared through their mail order catalogues, focusing on preppy leisurewear for the Ralph Lauren market, but at a much cheaper price. The catalogues didn’t just sell clothes, but an entire East Coast lifestyle that was affluent, yet fun and unpretentious.

Norton Critical Edition

RORY: A really bad punchline.

LORELAI: No one asked for the Norton Critical Edition.

W.W. Norton & Company is a publishing company based in New York City. Established in 1923, it has been owned wholly by its employees since the early 1960s. The company is known for its Norton Anthologies (particularly The Norton Anthology of English Literature) and its texts in the Norton Critical Editions series, both of which are frequently assigned in university literature courses.

Norton Critical Editions provide reprints of classic literature and in some cases, classic non-fiction works. However, unlike most critical editions, all Norton Critical Editions are source books that provide a selection of contextual documents and critical essays along with an edited text. Annotations to the text are provided as footnotes, rather than as end notes.