Tasmanian Devil

SOOKIE: And did you see [Jackson’s] eyes?
LORELAI: Tasmanian Devil.

Lorelai refers to the character, the Tasmanian Devil, or Taz, featured in Warner Bros cartoons, Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies. Taz is generally portrayed as a ferocious, albeit dim-witted, carnivore with a notoriously short temper and little patience. Although based on the Australian mammal, the Tasmanian devil, it doesn’t resemble the real animal very strongly (Americans often have an exaggerated idea of the Tasmanian devil’s size and ferocity, possibly because of the cartoon). He made only a few appearances in the short films of the 1950s and 1960s, but enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in the 1990s.

Betty Boop

EMILY: I brought flowers over and can’t find a decent vase. All I could find was a ceramic Betty Boop head.

Betty Boop, an animated cartoon character created by Max Fleischer, featuring in theatrical cartoons during the 1930s. A caricature of a Jazz Age flapper, she is is a teenager who is drawn as both child-like and sophisticated. Fleischer said that he wanted her to be based on singer Helen Kane, although she is often said to resemble Clara Bow. She is regarded as the first animated sex symbol, and some see her as a feminist icon.


RORY: [starts applying the purple dye] So have you mentioned dyeing your hair to the band yet? LANE: No, but they’ll be cool with it. They’ve all got tattoos. Dave and Zach have musical themes and Brian’s got Snoopy.

RORY: Poor guy.

LANE: Yeah, but he’s a slamming bass player.

Snoopy, Charlie Brown’s dog in the Peanuts comic strip, previously discussed and frequently mentioned. He is a black and white beagle. Comic strip creator Charles M. Schulz based him on his childhood dog Spike, who was a pointer crossed with an unknown hound – presumed to be a beagle, as Spike looked very beagle-like. The name came from Schulz’s mother, who had said if they ever got another dog, she would have named him Snoopy. In the comic strip, Snoopy has an older brother named Spike who lives in the Californian desert. Snoopy has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and is a mascot of the NASA space program.

Note how quick Lane is to defend Brian when Rory says something pitying about him. Lane may have only been in the band for a week or so, but she already feels protective of her band mates.

Daffy Duck

LORELAI: Now, this last one’s a little more gory. I’m out hunting … And my gun backfires and my whole face spins around a bunch of times and winds up in the back of my head like Daffy Duck.

Daffy Duck, animated cartoon character created for Leon Schlesinger Productions by animators Tex Avery and Bob Clampett. He first appeared in the short film Porky’s Duck Hunt in 1937, and is a staple character in the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoon series. He is an assertive, combative figure whose lisp never stops him from putting forward his strong opinions.

A common gag is for Daffy to get shot in the face (quite often accidentally by himself), and his face spins around so that his bill ends up behind his head.

“Istanbul is Constantinople”

LORELAI: I do know Instanbul is Constantinople, so if you’ve got a date in Constantinople, she’ll be waiting in Instanbul.

Lorelai refers to the 1953 novelty song “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)”, with lyrics by Jimmy Kennedy and music by Nat Simon. Written on the 500th anniversary of the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans, the lyrics humorously refer to the official renaming of the Turkish city Constantinople to Istanbul. It’s said to be a response to the 1928 song “C-O-N-S-T-A-N-T-I-N-O-P-L-E”, recorded by Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra.

It was originally recorded by Canadian vocal group The Four Lads and peaked at #10 on the charts, becoming their first gold record. It’s been covered several times, and Lorelai might be thinking of the 1990 version by alternative rock band They Might Be Giants, from their album Flood. Released as a single, it went to #61 in the UK, and has been used on the soundtracks of several animated series, including Liquid Television and Tiny Toon Adventures in the 1990s.

The song is a part of the repertoire of the Yale a capella group, The Duke’s Men of Yale. As we later discover that Richard was in a different a capella group at Yale, is it possible Lorelai first learned the song from her father?


LORELAI: Did you call an exterminator?

MICHEL: Why, no, what a wonderful idea. I was actually going to fasten a large wedge of cheese to my head and lay on the ground until Mickey gets hungry and decides to crawl out and snack on my face.

Mickey Mouse, animated cartoon character co-created in 1928 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, and first voiced by Disney himself. The name “Mickey” was suggested by Walt Disney’s wife Lillian, to replace the character’s original name of Mortimer Mouse.

Mickey first appeared in the 1928 short film Plane Crazy, and made his feature film debut in Steamboat Willie, one of the first cartoons with sound. He has appeared in over 130 films, including The Band Concert (1935), The Brave Little Tailor (1938), and Fantasia (1940). In 1978, he became the first cartoon character to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Mickey has featured extensively in comic strips and comic books, in television series, and in other media, such as video games and merchandising, and appears as a character you can meet at Disney parks. He is one of the most recognisable fictional characters of all time.

“The doctor is in”

RORY: You had another dream.


RORY: The doctor is in.

In the Peanuts comic strip, previously mentioned, there is a running gag where Lucy van Pelt sets up her own psychiatry booth, in which she dispenses terrible advice for five cents. The booth has a sign on it, saying The doctor is in, when Lucy is available for consultation. Rory is having a sly joke at her own expense, as if any advice she has to offer will be similarly useless.


LUKE: Read your note … It was very well-written … I also enjoyed the Garfield stationery. That’s one funny cat.

Garfield, a comic strip created by Jim Davis featuring a lazy, fat, cynical orange tabby cat named Garfield, noted for his love of lasagne, coffee, and sleeping. Originally published as Jon (the name of Garfield’s owner) in 1976, it was syndicated nationally from 1978. It holds the Guinness World Record for being the world’s most syndicated comic strip, being published in more than 2000 newspapers and journals.

Garfield has been turned into comic books, TV shows, films, and video games, and been used for merchandise (such as the stationery) which earns up to $1 billion per year.

“Angry girl for an angry arm”

LANE: Okay. Here – angry girl for an angry arm.

RORY: Oh, cool! Thank you.

LANE: You’re welcome. [Lane puts a sticker on Rory’s cast]

The sticker Lane puts on Rory’s cast is one of Emily the Strange, a fictional character from graphic novels, comic books, and merchandise. She is a Gothic little girl with long black hair, a short black dress, and white Mary Jane shoes.

Often accompanied by four black cats, Emily is frequently depicted with crossed arms or her hands on her hips, and has cynical sayings such as “Get lost”, or “Glad you’re not here”. The sticker Lane gives Rory says, “I want you to leave me alone” – possibly the message Lane wants Rory to send to Jess.

Emily the Strange was created in 1991 by Rob Reger for his company Cosmic Debris Etc Inc, in San Francisco, and designed by Nathan Carrico for Santa Cruz Skateboards. The first Emily the Strange graphic novella was released in 2001, the year previous to this episode.

Emily the Strange bears a marked resemblance to a character named Rosamund from the 1978 children’s book Nate the Great Goes Undercover by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat, but after several years of protracted legal wrangling, both sides resolved their differences.