People and Works Referenced More Than Once in Gilmore Girls (Up to Season Two)


Christiane Amanpour

Pamela Anderson

Jane Austen

Simone de Beauvoir


Anita Bryant

Mariah Carey



Joan Crawford

Emily Dickinson

Celine Dion


Ella Fitzgerald

Zsa Zsa Gabor

Judy Garland

P.J. Harvey

Lillian Hellman

Barbara Hutton

Carole King

Ricki Lake

Jennifer Lopez

Courtney Love


Carmen Miranda

Marilyn Monroe


Yoko Ono

Dorothy Parker

Sam Phillips

Sylvia Plath

Emily Post

Dawn Powell

Britney Spears

Meryl Streep

Martha Stewart

Barbra Streisand

Elizabeth Taylor

The Virgin Mary

Barbara Walters

Eudora Welty

Virginia Woolf


Abbot and Costello

Woody Allen

Kevin Bacon


Matthew Broderick

Mel Brooks

Charles Bukowski

Chang and Eng Bunker

George Clooney

Elvis Costello

Kevin Costner

James Dean

Charles Dickens

Fyodor Dostoevsky

William Faulkner

Sigmund Freud

William Randolph Hearst

King Henry VIII

William Holden

Hubert Humphrey

Michael Jackson

Henry James

Jesus Christ

Pope John-Paul II

James Joyce

Ted Kaczynski

John F. Kennedy

Stephen King

John Lennon

Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb

Baz Luhrman

David Lynch

Barry Manilow

Charles Manson

Arthur Miller

Benito Mussolini

Paul Newman

Richard Nixon

Charlie Parker

Sean Penn

Regis Philbin

Grant Lee Phillips

Brad Pitt

Iggy Pop

Elvis Presley


Paul Revere

J.D. Salinger

William Shakespeare

Frank Sinatra

Steven Spielberg

Sylvester Stallone

Hunter S. Thompson

John Travolta

Mark Twain

Tom Waits


Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Alborn

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

The Mourning Bride by William Congreve

Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg

Hansel and Gretel by The Brothers Grimm

Rapunzel by The Brothers Grimm

The Iliad by Homer

The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent by Washington Irving

Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Paul Revere’s Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

A Mencken Chrestomathy by H.L. Mencken

The Crucible by Arthur MIller

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

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

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

The Last Empire by Gore Vidal

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tenneessee Williams

The Bible

The Compact Oxford English Dictionary









The New York Times

The New Yorker

The Wall Street Journal

The Washington Post




The Boy in the Plastic Bubble


David and Lisa

The Deer Hunter

Dr Dolittle

Fatal Attraction



Fried Green Tomatoes

Funny Girl



The Godfather series



The Horse Whisperer

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

The Little Rascals

Mary Poppins

The Matrix

Midnight Express

The Miracle Worker

Monty Python and The Holy Grail


The Outsiders

Rebel Without a Cause

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Rosemary’s Baby

Say It Isn’t So

The Shining

Sixteen Candles

Sleeping Beauty

Stalag 17

Star Wars

A Streetcar Named Desire

Tears and Laughter: The Joan and Melissa Rivers Story

West Side Story

The Wizard of Oz

The Yearling





The Bangles

The Beatles

The Bee Gees

Belle and Sebastian

Black Sabbath


The Cure

Duran Duran

Foo Fighters

The Go-Go’s


Grant Lee Buffalo


Motley Crue



Rolling Stones

The Sex Pistols

The Spice Girls

Steely Dan


Van Halen

The Velvet Underground




Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) – XTC


What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong; Joey Ramone

I Can’t Get Started – Ella Fitzgerald

Someone to Watch Over Me – Rickie Lee Jones; Marty and Elayne

Where You Lead – Carole King

It’s a Small World After All – Richard and Robert Sherman

We Are Family – Sister Sledge

Teach Me Tonight – Dinah Washington

My Little Corner of the World – Yo La Tengo


All in the Family

The Andy Griffith Show


The Brady Bunch

Charlie’s Angels

The Facts of Life

Get Smart

Happy Days

I Love Lucy


Joanie Loves Chachi


Looney Tunes

The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom

The Odd Couple

The Oprah Winfrey Show

The Powerpuff Girls

Saved By the Bell

Star Trek

This Old House

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson

The Twilight Zone

Twin Peaks

Wheel of Fortune

Wonder Woman

Films Referenced in Season Two


AI Artificial Intelligence

Alamo Bay

All About Eve

Andy Hardy series

The Animal


Annie Hall

Arctic Flight


Autumn Leaves

Autumn in New York


Babe: Pig in the City



Basic Instinct

The Barefoot Contessa

A Beautiful Mind




Body Double

The Born Losers

Break Up

The Breakfast Club

Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo


Bringing Up Baby

Bull Durham

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Bye Bye Birdie

Cabin Boy

Cahill US Marshal

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin


Cats & Dogs






Coming Home


Cool as Ice

Cool Hand Luke

The Cowboys

Coyote Ugly

Crimes and Misdemeanours


Dances With Wolves


David and Lisa

Desperately Seeking Susan

Dirty Dancing

Dr Dolittle

Dr Dolittle 2

Dr Zhivago

Driving Miss Daisy


Endless Love


Ernest series

Escape to Alcatraz

Fair Game


Fatal Attraction

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Field of Dreams



Forbidden Planet

Frankenstein (1931)

Fried Green Tomatoes

From Here to Eternity

Funny Girl


Girl, Interrupted


The Godfather

The Godfather Part II

The Godfather Part III

Good Will Hunting


The Graduate


The Great White Hope



Harold and Maude


Hedwig and the Angry Inch

High Fidelity


The Horse Whisperer

Hudson Hawk

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)

In a Lonely Place

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

It’s a Wonderful Life

Jack Frost

The Jerk

Joe Dirt

The Joy Luck Club


King Kong

Killer Shark

Legally Blonde

Little Shop of Horrors

The Long Hot Summer

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

The Mambo Kings

The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

Mary Poppins

The Matrix

Midnight Express

The Mighty Ducks

The Miracle Worker

Moment by Moment

The Money Pit

Monster High

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Monty Python’s Life of Brian

Mrs Parker and The Vicious CIrcle

My Fair Lady

Mystic Pizza

Nanook of the North

The Negotiator

Not Without My Daughter


On a Clear Day You Can See Forever

On the Town

The Outsiders

The Postman

Pretty Woman

The Princess Bride

Purple Rain

Rain Man

Rambo series

Rear Window

Rebel Without a Cause

Risky Business

The River Wild


The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Romeo Must Die

Romeo + Juliet

Rosemary’s Baby

Rush Hour


Saturday Night Fever

Say It Isn’t So

Secrets and Lies

Seven Beauties

Seven Samurai

The Shawshank Redemption

The Shining



Sid and Nancy

Silent Movie


Sleepless in Seattle


Someone Like You

Sophie’s Choice

Snow Dogs

Stalag 17

A Star is Born

Star Wars

The Sting

Sudden Danger

Sunset Boulevard


Sweet November


Terms of Endearment

Thelma and Louise


The Thin Man

This is Spinal Tap

The Thomas Crown Affair

Three Days of the Condor

Tin Cup

To Sleep With Anger

The Toy

The Untouchables

Urban Cowboy



Wag the Dog

West Side Story

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

Where Are Your Children?

The Wizard of Oz

The Yearling

Young Frankenstein

Television Movies

The Boy in the Plastic Bubble

The Loneliest Runner

Tears and Laughter: The Joan and Melissa Rivers Story


Jennifer Aniston

John Barrymore

Richard Burton

Lon Chaney Jr

Angie Dickinson

Corey Haim

Mickey Hargitay

Jennifer Lopez

Ginger Rogers

Elizabeth Taylor

Spencer Tracy

Mae West


The Coen Brothers

Federico Fellini

You’re Just in Love

The song Miss Patty and Babette together at the wedding, while Morey plays piano. It’s a popular 1950 song by Irving Berlin, first performed by Ethel Merman and Russell Nype in the Broadway musical Call Me Madam; Merman later reprised her role for the 1953 film version, featuring the song as a duet with Donald O’Connor [pictured]. The song has been recorded several times, most successfully by Perry Como and the Fontana Sisters, who reached #5 in the charts for 1950.

The lyrics of the song give the message, You’re not sick, you’re just in love – a callback to Rory crying that she must be “sick” to have cut school to see Jess in New York. Now Lorelai has done something even more questionable, and the song is telling the Gilmore girls (and Jess?) that they’re not sick in the head, they are simply in love.

Writing Letters to Jodie Foster

LUKE: You know what people told me when I said you were coming here to live with me? They told me I was crazy, they told me I was insane, they told me to start writing letters to Jodie Foster.

Luke references John Hinckley Jr. (born 1955), a college drop-out from a wealthy family who attempted to assassinate president Ronald Reagan. Hinckley was reportedly seeking fame in a misguided effort to impress actress Jodie Foster (born Alicia Foster in 1962), with whom he had been obsessed since the 1976 film Taxi Driver, where Foster plays a sexually-trafficked twelve-year-old child – in the film, the disturbed protagonist plots to assassinate a presidential candidate (it’s based on a true story).

When Jodie Foster began attending Yale University, Hinckley moved to New Haven in order to stalk her, sending her dozens of letters and poems, and leaving messages on her answering machine. Believing that assassinating the president would somehow make him Foster’s equal, Hinckley fired a revolver six times at Ronald Reagan on March 30 1981, as he left the Hilton Hotel in Washington DC. Although Hinckley did not hit Reagan, he was wounded when a bullet ricocheted and hit him in the chest. He also wounded a police officer and a Secret Service agent, and critically injured a press secretary, who died from his wounds in 2014.

John Hinckley Jr. was found not guilty by reason of insanity in 1982, and transferred to psychiatric care. He was released from hospital in 2016 into his mother’s care under numerous restrictions. As of June 2022, Hinckley will be living freely in the community. He has a YouTube channel, where he self-publishes his own songs; they are also available on Spotify and other streaming sites.

Sleepless in Seattle

LUKE: Then what the hell you doing here, Jess? You know, I, uh, I called you six times. Now I didn’t expect you to call me back so we could sit on the phone in bed and watch Sleepless in Seattle together.

Sleepless in Seattle, 1993 romantic comedy-drama film co-written and directed by Nora Ephron, and inspired by the 1957 romance film An Affair to Remember. It stars Meg Ryan as a newly engaged journalist whose heart is touched by a recently widowed architect, played by Tom Hanks, after his young son calls a radio talk show on his father’s behalf.

Sleepless in Seattle received positive reviews, and was a sleeper success at the box office, becoming the #8 film of the year. It is widely considered a classic romantic comedy, and one of the best films of the 1990s. It is credited with popularising the Italian dessert tiramisu in the US.

Brad and Jen

LORELAI: So, guess who’s in the process of breaking up?

RORY: Brad and Jen?

Actor Brad Pitt, previously discussed, and his first wife, actress Jennifer Aniston (born 1969), who rose to fame starring as Rachel Green on the sitcom Friends (1994-2004), and is often considered one of the world’s most beautiful women.

The couple began dating in 1998, and were married in 2000. Their relationship was highly publicised, and their marriage often considered a rare success in Hollywood, but they did actually divorce in 2005, a few years after this episode aired.

“Tunneling out of here with a spoon”

LORELAI: Aw, look at you, trying to make Mommy feel like you don’t spend every night tunneling out of here with a spoon.

Lorelai references Escape from Alcatraz, 1979 prison thriller film directed by Don Spiegel. It’s an adaptation of the 1963 non-fiction book of the same name by J. Campbell Bruce, and dramatises the 1962 prisoner escape from the maximum security prison on Alcatraz Island, off the shore of San Francisco.

The film stars Clint Eastwood as Frank Morris, an extremely intelligent criminal who forms an escape plan with a few other prisoners. Over the next few months, they dig through their cell walls with spoons, make papier-mache dummies to act as decoys, and construct a raft out of raincoats. The film implies the escape was successful, although that is not certain (recent evidence seems to suggest the men did survive).

Escape from Alcatraz was a commercial success and well received by critics. It is often considered one of the best films of 1979.


CHRISTOPHER: Please, I saw what your face was doing … It was counting up how many Brigadoon references you could come up with to torture him with at a later date.

Brigadoon, a 1954 musical film directed by Vicente Minelli, based on the 1949 Broadway musical of the same name by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. The film stars Gene Kelly, Van Johnson, and Cyd Charisse and is about two American tourists on a hunting trip in Scotland who get lost in the woods and discover a miraculous village named Brigadoon, which rises out of the mists for one day every hundred years.

The film received lacklustre reviews and failed at the box office – unlike the stage musical, which was a big success.