Nicholas Nickleby

RORY: But I’m not done collecting my data yet.
LORELAI: You have a document the length of Nicholas Nickleby here. Looks like you’re done.

Nicholas Nickleby, 1839 novel by Charles Dickens. It is about an honest, naïve young man who must support his mother and sister after the death of his father. It is 344,652 words long, or about 800 pages.

Lorelai is the first person to notice that there are many more pros for Yale than Harvard or Princeton on Rory’s pro/con list.

Alternatives to Harvard

PARIS: There is no alternative to Harvard.
RORY: Except Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Stanford, Sarah Lawrence, et cetera, et cetera.

Princeton, Yale, Stanford, and Sarah Lawrence, previously discussed.

Columbia University, private Ivy League university in New York City. Founded in 1754 as King’s College, it was established by royal charter under King George II. It is the oldest university in New York, the 5th oldest in the US, and one of only nine founded before the Declaration of Independence. It was renamed Columbia after the American Revolution.

One of the wealthiest universities in the world, its alumni, staff, and students have included seven Founding Fathers of the United States, four US presidents, 33 foreign heads of state, two secretaries-general of the United Nations, ten justices of the US Supreme Court, 101 Nobel laureates, 125 National Academy of Sciences members, 53 living billionaires, 22 Olympic medalists, 33 Academy Award winners, and 125 Pulitzer Prize recipients.

92nd Street Y or Brick Church

PARIS: It’s partly my parents’ fault, they didn’t brand me properly. I should’ve been at the 92nd Street Y or Brick Church.

RORY: Prep schools?
PARIS: Preschools. It decides everything.

The 92nd Street Y and the Brick Church School are both upmarket faith-based preschools on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City – this may suggest that Paris lived there when she was a small child, her parents moving to Hartford later.

Does this provide a hint of why Paris never quite fit in at Chilton? The other alternative is that she believes her parents should have moved to New York for her preschool education, which is just selfish and impractical enough to be believable for Paris’ character.

The 92nd Street Y [pictured] is a secular Jewish cultural centre which offers a diversity of programs, including a nursery school. The Brick Church is a Presbyterian church which has offered early childhood programs since 1940, and members of the congregation receive preference in the highly competitive application process.

The fact that Paris considers both these preschools as options she could have had suggests that Paris’ mother may be or originally was Presbyterian. Either that, or she has no idea how preschools actually work.

Mira Sorvino

RORY: Well, you not moving out might be a tip-off [that you didn’t get into Harvard].
PARIS: I’ll get an apartment in Cambridge, buy a Harvard sweatshirt, talk about Mira Sorvino a lot.

Mira Sorvino (born 1967), actress who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for the 1995 film Mighty Aphrodite, and is also known for the 1997 cult classic comedy, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. She graduated from Harvard in 1989 with a degree in East Asian Studies. Apparently this alumna from more than 14 years ago is considered to still be a hot topic among Harvard students.

West Point

POE 1: I myself attended West Point … I’m embarrassed to say that I was court-martialed in 1832 and forced to leave.

POE 2: Excuse me, but I was expelled from West Point in 1831, not 1832.

The United States Military Academy, also known as West Point, in West Point, New York. The site was originally Fort Clinton; it sits on strategic high ground overlooking the Hudson River. Founded in 1802, it is the oldest of the five American service academies and educates cadets for commissioning as officers into the US Army. The entire central campus is a National Historic Landmark and popular tourist destination.

Edgar Allan Poe entered West Point in 1830, and after deciding to pursue a career as a poet, purposefully got himself court-martialled in 1831 by refusing to attend classes, formations, and classes. The second Poe is correct.

Meryl Streep

LORELAI: You’ll get to see the next Meryl Streep all goofy and eighteen and doing crap like, “Hey, name an occupation!” “Plumber!” “Name a farm tool now!” “Tractor!” “Hey, I’m a tractor doing . . . plumbing.”

Mary “Meryl” Streep (born 1949), often described as “the best actress of her generation”, particularly known for her versatility and accent adaptability. She has received numerous accolades throughout her career spanning over four decades, including a record 21 Academy Award nominations, winning three, and a record 32 Golden Globe Award nominations, winning eight.

She was awarded the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2004, Gala Tribute from the Film Society of Lincoln Center in 2008, and Kennedy Center Honor in 2011 for her contribution to American culture. President Barack Obama awarded her the National Medal of Arts in 2010, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014. In 2003, the French government made her a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters. She was awarded the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2017.

After receiving her BA from Vassar, Meryl Streep attended the Yale School of Drama, graduating in 1975. She has been mentioned several times as one of Lorelai’s favourite actresses. Lorelai references improv theatre, where actors must improvise a scene on the spot, often considered part of a young actor’s training.

Yale Drama School

LORELAI: That reminds me – Yale, best drama school bar none. Put that in the pro column.

The David Geffen School of Drama at Yale, founded in 1924, and providing training in theatre arts. It is a partner of the Yale Repertory Theatre, and is ranked as one of the very best theatre conservatories in the US. The Juilliard School in New York is usually said to be the best of all, however.


RORY: They’re not going to see our pro/con lists.
LORELAI: What if they subpoena them?

Subpoena, a writ issued by a government agency, most often a court, to compel testimony by a witness or production of evidence under a penalty for failure.

Naturally Rory is busy making up pro-con lists to decide whether to accept Harvard or not.