Toaster Pizza and Beefaroni

LORELAI: I can’t wait to try the toaster pizza. It looks so gross which is usually the mark for a great junk food.
RORY: Beefaroni.

Toaster pizza is a frozen mini pizza that can be cooked in a toaster. It has a thick pastry crust, and only a little bit of sauce and cheese so it doesn’t melt inside the toaster, or is fully enclosed in pastry, like a savoury Pop-Tart. They were first made by Nabisco in 1969, but several brands make them now. (Incidentally, this shows that the Gilmore girls got their toaster fixed – it was broken when Christopher came to stay with them).

Beefaroni is a popular tinned food made by Chef Boyardee which is macaroni mixed with beef mince, tomato sauce, and (some) cheese. We later learn it is Rory’s favourite meal.

“I left your meatball in the car”

RORY: We – we went to dinner and then we walked by the bonfire but it wasn’t lit so we went to this junkyard and we sat in this car and then – oh God!
RORY: I forgot your meatball in the car.

This is the meatball that Lorelai said to save as a memento. It is typical of Rory to get hung up on this very minor detail of things going wrong. Notice that Rory says they just sat in “this car”, rather than letting Lorelai know it was a car that Dean was building for her.

Rory didn’t actually have the meatball in the car Dean is building for her, but possibly she means the car Dean drove her home in.

“Hello, pyjamas”

When Christopher says that Lorelai’s reference to Fred Mertz from I Love Lucy was a weird one in that context, she replies, “Hello, pyjamas”, and gestures down at the pyjamas she is wearing.

It may not be immediately obvious to the viewer that Lorelai is wearing pyjamas with an I Love Lucy pattern on them, explaining not only that the show was on her mind, but that she truly loves the show and knows a lot about it.

The pyjamas are inspired by the famous Job Switching episode of I Love Lucy, which aired September 1952. In the episode, Lucy and Ethel get jobs at a candy factory while their husbands have to do the housework for a week. There is a classic scene where Lucy and Ethel try to wrap chocolates as they come off the conveyer belt, with disastrous results. It is this which Lorelai’s pyjamas commemorate.

You can buy a pair of these pyjamas from The Lucy Store, and elsewhere, for about $50.

“Tomorrow’s Saturday”

RORY: I’m gonna go study before the food gets here.
CHRISTOPHER: What? Tomorrow’s Saturday.

At this point we discover, surely to our astonishment, that it is now Friday evening. To recap the events of the day:

  • Lorelai and Luke unloaded their paint, and made plans to paint the diner on Friday. We now know that it was already Friday then, but for some reason they don’t say “next Friday”, or “in a week’s time”. Despite having a whole week to do the painting, Lorelai decides on Friday, which is not only the day she goes to business class, but Friday Night Dinner with her parents! She says this doesn’t matter, as she can “get out early” for a special occasion. That Emily would consider painting Luke’s diner a “special occasion” is highly dubious.
  • Lorelai and Rory went to the market to buy fruit as Lorelai felt under the weather and was worried about her nutrient intake (maybe this is how she stays healthy – she eats just enough fruits and vegetables not to get sick). Lorelai and Rory met Christopher in the street.
  • Christopher came to stay with them, and they ordered Chinese food for dinner while Rory did her homework.

So what the heck happened to Friday Night Dinner? Did they skip it that week? And is Lorelai even attending business class any more? And if this is Friday, March 9 then we will definitely run out of Friday nights before the end of the month.

(Also take note that Christopher is completely unaware of his daughter’s study habits or zest for academic life. He really knows nothing about Rory, and they can’t have ever had a proper conversation before).

Flower Girl of Bordeaux

This instrumental piece by Mexican band leader and composer Juan García Esquivel, often known by his surname only, is the “interesting music” which is playing when Dean first arrives at Babette’s and finds Rory in costume. It is from the CD that Rory got from Lane’s “miscellaneous” section, and which she described as “the weird one”.

Esquivel is considered to be the king of late 1950s-early 1960s quirky instrumental pop, or lounge music – Rory’s choice of his music shows that while she has tried to be faithful to period, she is doing so with her own idiosyncratic style, and subverting conventional expectations.

Esquivel’s music was released on a series of CDs in the 1990s; Flower Girl of Bordeaux is from the 1995 compilation album Music From a Sparkling Planet.

Notice how this is a slight callback to the “kick ass” Bordeaux wine drunk earlier in the episode; perhaps an allusion to how intoxicating Rory appears to Dean.

Martha’s Vineyard

RORY: So when do you guys leave for Martha’s Vineyard?
RICHARD: Ah, we’re not going to Martha’s Vineyard this year.

Martha’s Vineyard, often known as The Vineyard, is an island off Cape Code in Massachusetts, known for being an affluent summer colony. More than half the island’s homes are occupied only seasonally, and the population of around 16 000 can rise to over 100 000 in the summer.

Notice how cleverly the dialogue goes from wine, to wine making, to The Vineyard.