“I’ll let you sniff Rory’s sweater”

LORELAI: You’re seriously gonna run all over town looking for Jess and Rory?

LUKE: If I have to, yes. And if you were really a concerned mother, you’d go out there with me.

LORELAI: No, I can’t do that. But if you like, I’ll let you sniff Rory’s sweater. Maybe her scent will help you track them down.

Lorelai compares Luke to a bloodhound, which can be trained to track people after getting their scent from clothing. Comically, Luke does take Rory’s sweater with him, but it’s not to sniff, it’s because he’s worried she might be cold.


TAYLOR: Have you ever levitated a rottweiler? … Not easy. But in a cape with a wand and a shiny black top hat . . .

Rottweiler, a large powerful breed of dog which is one of the oldest surviving dog breeds in the world, going back to ancient Roman times. The name comes from the German city of Rottweil, where the original breed interbred with native dogs to produce the modern breed we know today.

Rottweilers are highly territorial and protective, meaning that they can sometimes be aggressive towards strangers if they are not properly trained and socialised.

As Rory predicted, Taylor begins talking about his dream of becoming a stage magician in the final hour of the marathon.


LORELAI: We had a really, really, really, really, really bad time. I swear, it was one of the worst times I’ve ever had, it was awful. Do you remember skiing with the Danners and their Dobermans? … This was worse.

The Doberman, often called a Doberman Pinscher in North America, is a large breed of dog originally bred in Germany in the late 19th century. They have long muzzles, often have a muscular and intimidating appearance, but are quite graceful as well. They make excellent guard dogs, and are often thought of as aggressive and fierce, even though there are less attacks by Dobermans than other breeds.

You may remember that Chase Bradford, the Gilmores’ former neighbour in Hartford that Emily fixed Lorelai up with on a surprise date, had parents who owned Dobermans. They must have been a popular dog to own in the Gilmores’ social set at the time. Maybe because they were wealthy people who had property that needed guarding.


RORY: Dogs started barking.

LORELAI: Because they heard about the garlic incident, and no one likes getting screwed, Rory, not even a Schnauzer.

A Schnauzer is a breed of dog which originated in medieval Germany – its name means “snouter” in German, as the dog has a distinctive bearded snout. Originally bred as a ratter and guard dog, schnauzers are intelligent, independent, protective, and energetic. They need a lot of training and exercise. Schnauzers come in different sizes, and have a shaggy coat, usually black, grey, or salt and pepper. As happens in this episode, schnauzers tend to bark a lot, especially if they feel threatened – Lorelai must have sounded very loud and angry.

Golden Retriever

JESS: I’m not playing Golden Retriever, hoping one day she’ll turn around and fall in my arms. If she doesn’t wanna be with me, then fine.

The Golden Retriever is a dog breed which originated in Scotland in the late 19th century. They are known for their thick, golden coat, and their gentle, affectionate nature. They are extremely popular pets, because of their calm, biddable temperament, which makes them easy to train and eager to please. Jess must see Luke as being like a sweet, snuggly Golden Retriever, adoringly waiting for Lorelai to give him tasks to perform.


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.

The Pomeranian: An Owner’s Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet

This 1996 book by Happeth A. Jones is on the coffee table when Lorelai and Rory are talking. It is part of a series, and as its title suggests, is all about raising a happy, healthy Pomeranian dog.

The question is, why is Lorelai apparently reading it? Is she preparing to do some dog sitting for someone with a Pomeranian, or is she thinking of buying one, as she has been shown to be keen on getting a dog?

“Oy with the poodles already”

LORELAI: Huh. You know what I just realized? Oy is the funniest word in the entire world … I mean, think about it. You never hear the word oy and not smile. Impossible. Funny, funny word.

Oy, a Yiddish interjection expressing surprise and dismay. Often combined with vey, an interjection expressing distress or grief, to make oy vey (“oh no, woe is me”, more or less).

With the, a characteristic in Ashkenazi Jewish mode of speech in the US, meaning “in regard to, about, in the manner of”, generally in a disapproving tone to suggest that it’s too much or too often eg “You’re always with the jokes”, “Enough with the new house talk”.

Poodle, a curly-coated game dog which probably originated in Germany, first bred to retrieve wildfowl from water after hunting. It’s German name Pudel means “splash”, and it’s related to the English word puddle.

Already, a characteristic in Ashkenazi Jewish mode of speech in the US. At the end of a sentence, it expresses a frustrated impatience with a situation which should have been dealt with long ago eg “Will you two stop fighting and get a divorce already?”.

So Lorelai’s catchphrase means (roughly translated), “Oh no, there is a surfeit of poodles – this situation needs to be dealt with immediately, as it should have been rectified a long time ago!”.

Fans are divided as to whether Lorelai’s off-the-cuff catchphrase is actually funny. It’s certainly very Jewish.

Shih Tzu

LORELAI: Rory, I was supposed to graduate from high school. Go to Vassar. Marry a Yale man and get myself a proper nickname like Babe or Bunny or Shih Tzu.

A shih tzu is a breed of toy dog originating from Tibet. They have a short snout, large round eyes, long coat, floppy ears, and a playful, friendly disposition. Their name translates to “lion” in Mandarin, and the breed is considered sacred in Buddhist mythology.


KIRK: He kicked my dog when I was a kid … Toto was always different after that.

Yet another reference to The Wizard of Oz. Toto is the name of Dorothy’s little dog in both the book and the film. In the film, Toto was a female dog played by a brown Cairn Terrier named Terry. In the original book, Toto is only described as a small, black, scruffy male dog, but the illustrations depict what looks like a Yorkshire Terrier. It’s possible Kirk’s pet dog Toto, a female, was likewise some sort of small fluffy terrier.

Uncle Louie is made even more unpleasant by not only kicking a dog, but probably a very small dog.