“The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain”

RORY: But we want to be spontaneous. Jump a train to Paris, head off to Spain.
LORELAI: Oh no, it’s raining in Spain. But since the rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain . . .

Lorelai quotes from the song, “The Rain in Spain”, from the musical film, My Fair Lady, previously discussed.

The line is used in the film purely to teach elocution, and is not geographically accurate. The plains in Spain are parched and arid, and most of the country’s rainfall is in the north.

Jayne Mansfield

LORELAI: The cork fell off my hook and Jayne Mansfield over here bit … Not the brightest fish in the pond, but she’s awfully pretty.

Jayne Mansfield, born Vera Palmer (1933-1967), actress, singer, nightclub entertainer, and Playboy Playmate. A sex symbol of the 1950s and early 1960s, Mansfield was known for her personal life and publicity stunts. Her film career was short-lived, but she had several box-office successes and won a 1956 Theatre World Award for Will Sucess Spoil Rock Hunter?, and a 1957 Golden Globe Award for The Girl Can’t Help It [pictured].

Mansfield was married three times, including to Mickey Hargitay, previously discussed. She is the mother of actress Mariska Hargitay. When Jayne was killed in a car accident at the age of 34, Mariska was one of three children asleep in the back seat, who survived with minor injuries.

Although Lorelai has called the fish Jayne because she’s not very bright, Jayne Mansfield had a reported IQ of 149, received solid if unspectacular grades at school, attended acting classes at several universities, and spoke five languages.


LANE: Everybody’s still married. It’s like a factory system here. They all come to the weddings, find a spouse, get married and stay that way ’til they die.
RORY: They mate for life, like the loons.

A loon is the American name for the water bird which is otherwise known as a “diver”. Contrary to popular belief, they rarely mate for life.

“Standing with an ax next to a cherry tree”

RORY: And you believe me?

JESS: Like you’re standing with an ax next to a cherry tree.

Jess refers to a popular legend about George Washington – that when he was six years old, he received a hatchet as a gift (mm, great present for a small kid!). He used it to chop down one of his father’s cherry trees, and when his father confronted him angrily, George said something to the effect of, “Father, I cannot tell a lie. I did it with my little hatchet”. Instead of being angry about it, his father warmly praised him for his honesty. He should have been happy the tot didn’t cut his own leg off or something.

The story was published in the 1806 fifth edition of The Life of George Washington by Mason Locke Weems, popularly known as Parson Weems. He claimed to have been told the story by an anonymous elderly woman who was a friend of the family, but there isn’t a shred of evidence that it’s true, and official sources all say it isn’t.

Another reference to presidential cherries in Gilmore Girls!!!!!


RORY: Can we not say the word college for at least forty-eight hours? …

LORELAI: How ’bout collage, can we say collage? ‘Cause it sounds the same but it’s actually very different.

Collage (from the French meaning “stick together”) is an art technique which involves assembling paper, photographs, ribbons, paint, and/or found objcts and gluing them to paper or canvas. The technique goes back to ancient China, around 200 BC, but made a dramatic reappearance in the early 20th century as a form of modern art.

The words college and collage don’t actually sound the same, although there is some similarity.

[Collage shown is an untitled work by German Dadaist artist Kurt Schwitter]

Alpha Male

LORELAI: Because I’m the leader of the clan, the provider of the household, the alpha male, and the one whose feet just fell asleep so there’s absolutely no chance of movement.

In biology, a dominant high-ranking member of an animal social group is known as an alpha. Alpha male is used as a pseudoscientific slang term for a dominant male. It is has been sharply criticised by scientists as incorrect, and by others for perpetuating damaging stereotypes about masculinity. It has been in use since the early 1990s.

“You’re not supposed to sit and watch”

RORY: You know, this is a dance marathon. You’re not supposed to come and sit and watch, you’re supposed to dance. He’s just trying to bug me, sitting there right in front of me, staring. Jerk.

People are supposed to watch the dance marathon – Rory was even saying that she couldn’t dance with Lorelai because she had to watch with Dean. Until recently, Dean was also watching. Rory is sick with jealousy and hasn’t slept for more than a day, so she’s not exactly being rational here.

“You like piña coladas”

RORY: You like piña coladas.

LORELAI: And getting lost in the rain.

A piña colada is a cocktail made with rum, pineapple juice, and coconut milk or cream, served either blended or shaken with ice. It may be garnished with a pineapple wedge, a maraschino cherry, or both. The cocktail originated in Puerto Rico, is its national drink, and its name means “strained pineapple” in Spanish. One story is that the cocktail was invented by Puerto Rican pirate, Roberto Confresi in the 19th century; the less exciting but more probable version is that it was invented in 1954 at the Caribe Hilton Hotel in Puerto Rico by bartender Ramón “Monchito” Marrero.

Lorelai refers to “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)”, written and recorded by British-American singer Rupert Holmes, released as a single from his 1979 album Partners in Crime. The song is about a man who is bored with his current relationship, and answers a lonely hearts advertisement in the newspaper which begins, “If you like piña coladas …”. When he meets up with the lady, it turns out to be his partner, who was equally bored in their relationship. They realise they had more in common than they realised, and their relationship is now reinvigorated. It was an international hit, and went to #1 in the US and Canada. Ironically, Rupert Holmes has never drunk a piña colada, and the original lyrics were, “If you like Humphrey Bogart”.

Lorelai gets the words slightly wrong. The lyrics are actually:

If you like piña coladas

And getting caught in the rain

not getting lost in the rain.

Emily the Cobra

NATALIE: There she is, the Cobra … This woman gets her way or she squeezes ’til you comply.

Emily’s friend is Natalie Swope, played by Judy Geeson. You may remember her as one of the ladies from Emily’s tea party on the patio in “Presenting Lorelai Gilmore”. Emily introduces Natalie and Lorelai as if they are strangers, even though Natalie asked after Lorelai and seemed to remember her quite well in the previous season, despite not seeing Lorelai since she was a teenager (although, as Lorelai and Rory attended Emily’s Christmas party each year, this doesn’t seem plausible).

Natalie refers to Emily as “the Cobra”, because she squeezes people (puts pressure on them) until she gets what she wants from them. There are various snakes called cobra, but only those in the genus Naja from Asia are true cobras. They are notable for being able to rear up off the ground and flatten their necks to appear larger. They don’t attack prey by squeezing them, however – that’s pythons and boa constrictors. Cobras have highly venomous fangs instead, and all species are capable of delivering a fatal bite to a human.

Lorelai sometimes seems selfish and unreasonable in the way that she instinctively refuses her mother’s requests, but Emily’s reputation as domineering and manipulative, determined to get her own way at no matter what cost to the other party (the auctioneer is actually ill in this episode, but Emily has forced him to turn up and work) provides a good reason for that. She has no wish to be one of the Cobra’s many victims, and what seems like a reasonable request may well turn out to be something more sinister.