People and Works Referenced More Than Once in Gilmore Girls (up to Season One)

Women

Emily Dickinson

Madonna

Nico

Yoko Ono

Sam Phillips

Sylvia Plath

Britney Spears

Barbra Streisand

The Virgin Mary

Men

Beck

Charles Dickens

King Henry VIII

James Joyce

Ted Kaczynski

Stephen King

Charles Manson

Arthur Miller

Sean Penn

Regis Philbin

Grant Lee Phillips

Prince

William Shakespeare

Mark Twain

Books

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tenneessee Williams

The Bible

Comics

Peanuts

Periodicals

Cosmopolitan

The New Yorker

The Wall Street Journal

Films

Cinderella

The Deer Hunter

Heathers

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Little Rascals

Rosemary’s Baby

The Shining

Sixteen Candles

Sleeping Beauty

A Streetcar Named Desire

Tears and Laughter: The Joan and Melissa Rivers Story

The Wizard of Oz

Bands

98°

The Bangles

The Beatles

Black Sabbath

The Cure

Duran Duran

Foo Fighters

Grandaddy

Grant Lee Buffalo

NSYNC

The Velvet Underground

XTC

Albums

Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) – XTC

Songs

Where You Lead – Carole King

My Little Corner of the World – Yo La Tengo

Television

Charlie’s Angels

I Love Lucy

Jeopardy

Looney Tunes

Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom

The Odd Couple

The Oprah Winfrey Show

Star Trek

Wonder Woman

Books, Periodicals, and Comics Referenced in Season One

Novels

* Emma by Jane Austen

* Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

* Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Timeline by Michael Chrichton

* David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

* Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

* Little Dorrit Charles Dickens

* A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

* Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

* Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt

The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce

*  Ulysses by James Joyce

* The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

The Witch Tree Symbol by Carolyn Keene

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

* The Group by Mary McCarthy

* Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

* The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

* Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

* Chikara!: A Sweeping Novel of Japan and America by Robert Skimin

* The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

* Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

* War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

* Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Short Stories

* Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Anderson

* Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm

Poetry

Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes

Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect by Robert Burns

* Complete Poems by Emily Dickinson

An Essay on Criticism by Alexander Pope

* Shakespeare’s Sonnets by William Shakespeare

* New Poems of Emily Dickinson edited by William Shurr et al

Drama

Love for Love by William Congreve

The Mourning Bride by William Congreve

The Crucible by Arthur Miller

* The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

* Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare

* Richard III by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

* The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

Non-Fiction

Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

* The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

Mommie Dearest by Christina Crawford

* Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen

Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés

* Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man by Susan Faludi

* The Art of Eating by M.F. K. Fisher

* James Joyce’s Ulysses by Stuart Gilbert

The Walter Hagen Story by Walter Hagen

* Partial Portraits by Henry James

* The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath edited by Karen V. Kukil

* To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation by Martin Luther

* The Days of H.L. Mencken by H.L. Mencken

* A Mencken Chrestomathy by H.L. Mencken

The Total Woman by Marabel Morgan

* Who’s Who and What’s What in Shakespeare by Evangeline M. O’Connor

* The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker

The Republic by Plato

Etiquette by Emily Post

* Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs by Hunter S. Thompson

Walden by Henry David Thoreau

* Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette by Judith Thurman

* A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

Reference

The Bible

The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary

* The Oxford Shakespeare

Webster’s Dictionary

Newspapers

Barron’s

The Financial Times

The Wall Street Journal

Magazines

* CosmoGirl

* Cosmopolitan

Glamour

GQ

* Highlights for Children

InStyle

Ms.

* The New Yorker

Playboy

Comics

Archie

Mister Miracle

Superman

Authors

* Francis Bacon

* Honore de Balzac

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Judy Blume

* Charlotte Bronte

* Colette

Dante

* Fyodor Dostoevksy

Sigmund Freud

Václav Havel

Homer

* Ben Jonson

Stephen King

* Christopher Marlowe

John Muir

Friedrich Nietzsche

Edna O’Brien

* George Sand

Jean-Paul Sartre

* John Webster

Edith Wharton

* Walt Whitman

NOTE: For anyone attempting a Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge, those works marked with an asterisk are ones which Rory is either shown reading, or strongly implied to have read.

Stretch Cunningham and Dick Tracy

LORELAI: Hey, who was the guy who used to run the auto body shop?
(We pan up to see Luke lying on the roof with a hammer.)
LUKE: The Stretch Cunningham guy?
LORELAI: No, the Dick Tracy guy.

Jerome “Stretch” Cunningham was a recurring character on the 1970s sitcom All in the Family, played by James Cromwell. Stretch was a friend and co-worker of main character Archie Bunker. (Both Sally Struthers, who played Babette, and Liz Torres, who played Miss Patty, were also in All in the Family; possibly why it was referenced several times on Gilmore Girls).

Dick Tracy is a fictional police detective who first appeared in the Dick Tracy comic strips created by Chester Gould in 1931. The Dick Tracy stories have been adapted into radio serials, comic books, novels, and films – most recently in 1990, with Warren Beatty in the title role.

There is a real mystery as to what the barely-remembered auto mechanic actually looked like. Lorelai first says he is tall and skinny, then corrects herself to say he was short and fat, and that the tall, skinny guy was actually his employee. Then she decides that he looked like Dick Tracy, who isn’t short and fat. Did the auto mechanic (who we learn was named Jim Dunning) look like a short, stocky version of Dick Tracy?

“Dear God Almighty”

The episode begins with Lorelai asleep in bed, only to be suddenly awoken by a loud banging noise. She cries out something that sounds like, “Dear God Almighty, Mister Mirkel!”. Closed captioning suggests that Lorelai says, “Dear God Almighty Mr. Mirkle”, which is of little help.

It is possible that Lorelai actually says, “Dear God Almighty, Mr. Miracle“, and the last word comes out in a hurried screech because she has been startled awake.

If so, this could be a reference to the comic book superhero Mr. Miracle, who appears in DC Comics. First appearing in 1971, he was created by Jack Kirby. It doesn’t seem unbelievable, as Lorelai has made several references to comic book characters – particularly DC ones, such as Superman and Wonder Woman. DC is owned by Warner Bros., who made Gilmore Girls.

Interestingly, Mr. Miracle is a member of a fictional race called The New Gods, and is the son of the Highfather, the chief of the gods. It’s possible that Lorelai is using his name as a euphemism for Jesus Christ, and giving it her own geeky spin.

Lorelai and Christopher’s Childhood Duet

CHRISTOPHER: Lucy, Schroeder, you laying on the coffee table.
LORELAI: You pretending it was a piano. God, why is that remembered?
EMILY: Because it was such a wonderful production.
LORELAI: I don’t know if it was a production, Mom. It was just one song.
CHRISTOPHER: Suppertime.
RICHARD: Did you write that? That was really very good.
LORELAI: Dad, that’s from You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. It’s a famous musical.

At the age of ten (around 1978), Lorelai and Christopher sang a song for at least Richard and Emily, and possibly Christopher’s parents as well.

The song was Suppertime, from the 1967 musical comedy You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown by Clark Gesner, based on the characters from the Peanuts comic strip drawn by Charles M. Schulz. The show premiered off-Broadway in 1967, went to London’s West End in 1968, and opened on Broadway in 1971. It had a Broadway revival in 1999.

The show was adapted for television in 1973, when Lorelai and Christopher were about five. This might be where they knew of the musical from, although it’s a favourite for amateurs to perform, and they might have seen a local production, or even been in a school production. The musical was adapted for TV again in 1985.

Suppertime is a song sung by the dog Snoopy, about his excitement in being fed after waiting hopelessly for the food to arrive. It’s a strange song to choose as a duet, because Snoopy sings almost the entire song, with only a few interjections from Charlie Brown. I presume Lorelai sung Snoopy’s part, and Christopher sung Charlie Brown’s – it seems like her to hog the limelight, and like him to do only minimal work. Possibly they chose that song because they were performing it just before dinner was served.

Lorelai and Christopher recall playing the roles of Lucy and Schroeder, in the iconic pose of Lucy lying on the piano while Schroeder plays it. It isn’t clear how this fitted in with the song by Snoopy. In the musical, Lucy and Schroeder have a scene together where he plays Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata on the piano while Lucy expresses her love for him and asks about marriage, while Schroeder remains detached. This is ironic considering what comes later.

“Fly the invisible plane over”

LORELAI: Well, uh, gee, Mom, I don’t know, let me see. Black ice, treacherous roads . . . I guess I’ll just put on my red, white, and blue leotard, grab my golden lasso and fly the invisible plane on over.

Lorelai is referring to the character of Wonder Woman, a DC Comics superhero who is a goddess and princess of the all-female Amazon warrior people. Named Princess Diana, her civilian name when blending in with everyday humans is Diana Prince.

Wonder Woman wears a red, white, and blue costume, and has a magic golden Lasso of Truth, which forces people into submission, and makes them tell the truth. Her mode of transport is the Invisible Plane that can travel at 2000 miles per hour.

Wonder Woman first appeared in All Star Comics #8 in 1941. However, Lorelai probably remembers the character best from the Wonder Woman television show, which ran from 1975 to 1979 (when Lorelai was aged seven to eleven); for the second season the title became The New Adventures of Wonder Woman. The title role was played by Lynda Carter.

I can imagine the young Lorelai enjoying a story based on a strong, beautiful woman with superhuman powers. The show was still on TV in re-runs during the 1990s and early 2000s, so she might have watched it even as an adult.