EMILY: Of course I said it. Well, I can’t imagine who would take jackbooted as a compliment.

Jackboot, military and combat boot associated popularly with totalitarianism, as they were worn by German military and paramilitary forces during World War II. However, they have been used officially by other nations as well, including the UK, and had some civilian uses as well.

The Art of War

RORY: You wanna play rough, fine. I’ve read The Art of War.

The Art of War, ancient Chinese military treatise dating from roughly 5th century BC. The work, attributed to the military strategist Sun Tzu (“Master Sun”), is composed of 13 chapters. Each one is devoted to a different set of skills or art related to warfare and how it applies to military strategy and tactics.

The Art of War remains the most influential strategy text in East Asian warfare and has influenced both Far Eastern and Western military thinking, business tactics, legal strategy, politics, sports, lifestyles and beyond.

The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War

RICHARD: Oh, I must say, I am a very spoiled man. Chuck Berry, and the complete History of the Peloponnesian War.

LORELAI: Well, sure, ’cause a partial history would skip all the dirty stuff.

RICHARD: I especially like the way you wrapped the books in a bow tie. It’s very, very clever.

The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, a historical account of the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC), which was fought between the Peloponnesian League (led by Sparta) and the Delian League (led by Athens). Written by historian and classical scholar Donald Kagan, a professor at Yale University, the book comes in four volumes. Lorelai has bought Richard all four volumes, hence it is the “complete” version. Lorelai has wrapped the books in the bow tie which was her original present for her father – Rory almost certainly suggested the books.

Scud Missile

LORELAI: If I had a thumbtack, I could make a Scud missile.

Scud missile, one of a series of tactical ballistic missiles developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. It was exported widely to both Second and Third World countries. The term comes from the NATO reporting name attached to the missile by Western intelligence agencies. In use since the 1970s, they became familiar to the public in the West during the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

“Like I was Poland”

DEBBIE: Fend them off, change the subject!

LORELAI: I tried, Debbie, but they kept coming at me like I was Poland and they were Nazis.

Lorelai refers to the 1939 invasion of Poland by Germany, previously discussed.

Lorelai always calls anyone who stands in her way a Nazi or a Fascist – first Taylor and Headmaster Charleston, now it’s actual children. Lorelai has a disturbing tendency to verbally attack or insult teenagers, as if she was one of them.

Forty Days

This book is on Luke’s book shelf. Forty Days is a 1992 non-fiction book by Bob Simon, an award-winning veteran journalist for CBS News. The book describes the forty days he spent being imprisoned and tortured by the Iraqis after being captured, along with four of his crew, during the Persian Gulf War in 1991.

It’s not clear whether Luke or Jess is reading the book – but like Lorelai and Rory, there is a good chance that they share books anyway. If it’s Luke’s book, it shows that, like Jess, he has an interest in journalism. (It feels as if everyone is interested in journalism on Gilmore Girls!).


CAROL: If you were to tell either of my siblings that there was another life choice outside of the Ivy League, I think their khakis would wrinkle.

Khakis, another name for chinos, trousers made from a cotton twill (see Cotton Dockers). Developed in the mid-19th century for British and French military uniforms, it has since migrated into civilian wear. Trousers of such a fabric gained popularity in the US when Spanish–American War veterans returned from the Philippines with their twill military trousers. The fabric was originally made in khaki, and this is still the most popular colour.

Germany’s Victory in the Franco-Prussian War

DARREN: What about the year of Germany’s victory in the Franco-Prussian War?

The Franco-Prussian War, often referred to in France as the War of 1870, lasted from 19 July 1870 to 28 January 1871. Germany won after besieging Paris for more than four months, and one of the main consequences of the war was the unification of Germany, leading to the formation of the modern German state, which became the dominant world power in Europe.

[Painting is Battle of Mars-le-Tour, August 16 1870 by Emil Hünten, 1870]

National Guard

JESS: Two weeks ago there was a run on snow cones. Machine broke, people went crazy, Taylor tried to call in the National Guard, but –

The National Guard is a state-based military force that is part of the reserve component of the US Army and Air Force when activated for federal missions – what would be called the Army Reserve in other countries. The idea of a local militia in the US goes back to the earliest English colonisation of the Americas, the first one formed in 1636. The title National Guard has been used nationally since 1903, and there are currently more than 400 000 people serving in the National Guard.

The National Guard may be activated in times of emergency, such as hurricanes, wildfires, riots, or terrorist attacks. Jess jokingly likens the snow cone machine breaking down to such disasters. This comment from Jess sounds as if he is beginning to fit in with the town better – the crack about Taylor and the snow cones sounds like something Luke would say, or even Lorelai. His summer in Stars Hollow, and perhaps dating a girl from the town, is helping him to feel more at home there.