Tony Manero

LANE: Go away, Jess. No one asked for a Tony Manero wannabe to drop by.

Tony Manero, the lead character in the film Saturday Night Fever, previously discussed.

Lane really doesn’t like Jess at all, which may be another reason why it’s been hard for Rory to admit her feelings for him. It’s a shame, because Lane and Jess both love music and punk rock in particular, so you’d think they’d have at least one thing in common as a basis for friendship.

Apart from not being impressed by Jess’ behaviour in school, I think Lane has always romanticised Rory’s relationship with Dean, and she can’t imagine Rory with anyone else.

“We have time-warped with the best of them”

LORELAI: I have to say, for a couple of modern girls, we have time-warped with the best of them.

“Time Warp”, a song from the musical The Rocky Horror Show and its film version, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, previously discussed. It’s also the name for the dance which accompanies the song, and the song lyrics provide dance instructions. It was most popular in Australia, reaching #3 in 1980, but has remained a popular song ever since. It’s already been demonstrated that Lorelai and Rory are fans of the film.

Trojan Man Commercial

PARIS: Don’t say anything to Madeline or Louise about this ….

RORY: But they’re your best friends.

PARIS: Theoretically, yes, but the second I mention a guy they’re gonna both start singing the theme from the Trojan Man commercial, and I just can’t take that, okay?

Trojan, a brand of condoms first manufactured in 1916. About 70% of condoms sold in the US are Trojan brand. Their commercials in the 1990s and 2000s had a rousing song with a chorus of, “Trojan Man, Trojan Man, Trojan Man”.

Theme from Rocky”

RORY: And ooh, I told him about how when Kirk wins, he likes to take his victory lap around the floor to the theme from Rocky.

The theme from the film Rocky, previously discussed, is called “Gonna Fly Now”. It was composed by Bill Conti, with lyrics by Carol Connors and Ayn Robbins, and performed by DeEtta West and Nelson Pigford.

Released in 1976 with the movie, it became part of 1970s popular culture, after the film showed the main character Rocky Balboa running up the 72 steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art then raising his arms in a victory pose as this song plays. The song is often played at sporting events, especially in Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Eagles NFL team play the song before the opening kick-off of every home game. The song is often used in film and TV when a character has to train hard for something.

The song went to #1 on the US charts, while a jazz version and two disco versions also charted. It was the #21 song of 1977.

Quadrophenia

RORY: Well, what’d you hear?

LANE: Quadrophenia.

RORY: Classy, but not date-like.

Quadrophenia, the sixth studio album by English rock band The Who, released as double album in 1973. It is the group’s third rock opera, the two previous being A Quick One, While He’s Away and Tommy. Set in London and Brighton in 1965, the story follows a young mod named Jimmy and his search for self-worth and importance.

The album went to #2 in both the UK and US, and has received critical acclaim. It had a strong influence on the mod revival of the 1970s.

Spicoli

MADELINE: But you guys already have some decent stuff planned out, right?

PARIS: Madeline – or may I call you Spicoli?

Paris references the 1982 coming-of-age comedy-drama Fast Times at Ridgemont High, directed by Amy Heckerling (in her directorial debut). The screenplay is by Cameron Crowe, based on his 1981 book Fast Times at Ridgemont High: A True Story – Crowe went undercover at a high school in San Diego and wrote abut his experiences.

The ensemble cast includes Jennifer Jason Leigh, Brian Backer, Robert Romanus, Phoebe Cates, and Sean Penn as Jeff Spicoli [pictured], a permanently stoned surfer – Paris is suggesting Madeline is out of touch with reality as if she is on drugs. The film also marks early appearances by several actors who later became stars, including Nicolas Cage, Eric Stoltz, and Forest Whitaker (the first two in their feature film debuts).

The film initially had modest commercial and critical success, but was a sleeper hit due to word of mouth, and over time became more popular through television broadcasts and home video releases. It is now regarded as a classic and iconic film, and one of the best comedies, as well as one of the greatest high school movies.

The soundtrack to the film peaked at #54 on the album charts and features the work of many quintessential 1980s rock artists, including Jackson Browne, The Go-Go’s, and Jimmy Buffett.

Elizabeth Taylor, Debbie Reynolds, and Eddie Fisher

LORELAI: Apparently, Miss Patty showed his wife a picture of me, and she thinks I look like Elizabeth Taylor, which makes her Debbie Reynolds, and Stanley Eddie Fisher.

Actress Elizabeth Taylor, previously discussed and frequently mentioned. This is the second time Lorelai has been linked with Elizabeth Taylor (although, so has Miss Patty).

Singer and actor Edwin “Eddie” Fisher (1928-2010) was Elizabeth Taylor’s fourth husband. His first wife was actress and singer Debbie Reynolds (born Mary Reynolds, 1932-2016), a close friend of Elizabeth Taylor. Married in 1955, Fisher and Reynolds divorced in 1959 when it was revealed that he had been having an affair with Taylor. It caused a huge scandal at the time. Eddie Fisher and Elizabeth Taylor were divorced in 1964, and she and Debbie Reynolds reconciled and resumed their friendship some time in the late 1960s or early 1970s.

We learned earlier that Miss Patty carries a photo of Lorelai in her wallet in order to show it to men who might be interested in dating Lorelai. Now she’s apparently showing it to other women to make them jealous. What is it with this creepy obsession Miss Patty has with Lorelai?

Riverdance

RORY: Who’s Stanley Appleman?

LORELAI: Oh, he’s brand new in town. He works over at the hardware store, and the best part is, he used to be part of the touring company . . . of Riverdance.

Riverdance, theatrical show that consists mainly of traditional Irish music and dance. With a score composed by Bill Whelan, it originated as an interval act during the Eurovision Song Contest 1994. Shortly afterwards, it was expanded into a stage show, which opened in Dublin in 1995. Since then, the show has visited over 450 venues worldwide and been seen by over 25 million people, making it one of the most successful dance productions in the world.

Riverdance comes to Hartford every year. Did Stanley join the company while it was in Connecticut, or did he like the area so much he decided to stay there? How do you go from touring with Riverdance to working in hardware in a small town?

Other Vocabulary Terms in This Episode

Soft Shoe

Lorelai says she could disrupt the town meeting further by doing a soft shoe.

Soft shoe dancing is a type of tap dancing performed in soft-soled shoes in a relaxed, graceful manner. It is particularly associated with vaudeville.

Bongos [pictured]

Rory says she could accompany Lorelai’s soft-shoe dance on the bongos.

Bongos are an Afro-Cuban percussion instrument consisting of a pair of small open bottomed hand drums of different sizes. They are struck with both hands.

Bunions

Lane tells Jess that Rory has bunions from all the walking she has to do since he crashed her car.

A bunion, also known as a hallux valgus, is a deformity of the joint connecting the big toe to the foot. The big toe often bends towards the other toes and the joint becomes red and painful. The onset of bunions is typically gradual, and the causes are not clear, but tight shoes, high heel shoes, family history, and rheumatoid arthritis have been proposed as possible risk factors. Walking a lot doesn’t seem to be a problem (and indeed, Rory is quick to say she doesn’t actually have bunions).

God Bless America

LUKE: Hey, wave a flag and sing “God Bless America”, please?”

“God Bless America”, patriotic song written by Irving Berlin during World War I in 1918 and revised by him in the run up to World War II in 1938. The later version was notably recorded by Kate Smith, becoming her signature song. It takes the form of a prayer for God’s blessing and peace for the nation.

It is often sung in patriotic contexts, and following the terrorist attacks in September 2001, Celine Dion performed it on a television special, and her version was released on a benefit album called God Bless America, which debuted at #1.