Taylor Hanson

LORELAI: I’m not even talking specifically about Dean. I mean just generally in life. For example, say you’re dating Taylor Hanson.
RORY: Why am I dating Taylor Hanson?
LORELAI: It’s a hypothetical scenario, go with it. So, uh, you and Taylor have been seeing each other pretty regularly …

(Jordan) Taylor Hanson (born 1983) is a member of the pop group Hanson. He sings lead and back-up vocals, and plays multiple instruments. In 2009 he became a member of the supergroup Tinted Windows.

Rory probably could not have dated Taylor Hanson in 2001, as he had already been dating his future wife for two years at this point. They were married the following year, in 2002, and currently have five children together.

“Mr. Cosell”

EMILY: She [Rory] got home from school, but she just went right upstairs. Now she didn’t want a snack, but I had Rosa make her one anyway. I haven’t checked to see if she’s eaten it. She had a decent breakfast this morning, but she did seem a little tired, and when I went into her bathroom the aspirin bottle was out, so I assume she had a headache. Now, I don’t know if it was last night or …
LORELAI: Excuse me, Mr. Cosell. I appreciate the play-by-play but I just want to talk to my daughter now.

Howard Cosell, born Howard Cohen (1918-1995) was an American sports journalist who entered sports broadcasting in the 1950s, and in the 1970s became the commentator for Monday Night Football on ABC. He completely changed the style of sportscasting towards one of context and analysis, similar to hard news journalism, and is regarded as the greatest American sports commentator of all time. Lorelai compares Emily’s blow-by-blow account of Rory’s activities to Cosell’s in depth analysis of a football game.

Emily’s speech shows her hyper-controlling style of micromanagement. Rory has only been home from school for around an hour, but has had her every move and mood scrutinised, been given a snack after saying she didn’t want one, and had her bathroom searched after leaving it. It’s a telling insight into what Lorelai’s childhood must have been like, and into what Rory’s would have been like if Lorelai had remained living with her parents after becoming a mother.

Emily allows no autonomy, choice, or privacy, and keeps people under surveillance as if they are in prison (remember Lorelai, an adult, could not even say she was going to the toilet without being followed?). It’s really hard to blame Lorelai for fleeing her childhood home because of these circumstances, fearing that Rory would have to endure the same childhood she did.

Fabio

(Lorelai gets Luke to try on the clothes she bought for him with his credit card)
LORELAI: I just wanna make sure it all fits. Turn around. (Luke turns around.) Uh huh, uh huh.
MAN AT COUNTER: Hey Fabio, I need the ketchup.

Fabio (born Fabio Lanzoni in 1952) is an Italian-born American model and actor. He has appeared in several commercials, television shows, and movies, and became recognised as a model of the cover of multiple romance novels in the 1980s and ’90s. He was also famous for appearing in “I can’t believe it’s not butter” commercials. He was once known as “the most beautiful man in the cosmos”, and often considered very vain about his appearance (his catchphrase was, “Don’t hate me for being Fabio!”)

No prizes for guessing why Lorelai is so pleased to see Luke turn around …

The man at the counter is Joe (Brian Berke), who is also the pizza delivery guy in Stars Hollow.

Emma Goldman

LUKE: I hate malls … They underpay employees and overprice merchandise, they contribute to urban sprawl, they encourage materialism, and the parking’s a horror. You drive in, you pay a buck, and even if you’re only there for five …
LORELAI: Okay, Emma Goldman, I’ll tell you what. I’ll go for you.

Emma Goldman (1869-1940) was a Russian-born American anarchist, political activist, and writer. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in the early twentieth century, and was strongly influenced by Freidrich Nietzsche, among others. She believed that capitalism was incompatible with human liberty, and in her youth, sanctioned violence and even murder as a legitimate part of the revolutionary struggle.

Anna Nicole Smith and Mary Kay Letourneau

(Older man walks by.)
LORELAI: Pass.
RORY: Why?
LORELAI: Because I’m not Anna Nicole Smith. Next.
RORY: Two.
(Teenage boy on a skateboard goes by.)
LORELAI: Hmm, pass.
RORY: Why?
LORELAI: Because I’m not Mary Kay Letourneau.

Anna Nicole Smith, born Vickie Lynne Hogan (1967-2007) [pictured] was an American model and actress who first gained fame as a Playboy model, winning Playmate of the Year in 1992. She was perhaps best known for her 1994 marriage to J. Howard Marshall, an 89-year-old petroleum tycoon she had met while working at a strip club. It was speculated that she had married him for his money because of the age difference. Marshall died the following year, and there was a protracted legal case over his will; during it, Smith herself died, gaining no money from his estate.

Mary Kay Letourneau (born Mary Katherine Schmitz in 1962) is an American former schoolteacher who in 1997 pleaded guilty to raping a child, her twelve-year-old student Vili Fualaau, to whose baby she gave birth while awaiting sentencing. Due to a plea agreement, she was sentenced to three months in prison, and was not allowed contact with Fualaau for life. She broke the no-contact order soon after being released from prison, and was imprisoned again, this time for seven years, giving birth to another child in prison. After Letourneau was released in 2004, Vili Fualaau, now an adult, asked that the no-contact order be revoked, and they married in 2005. They legally separated in 2017, although they apparently still live together and are still in a relationship.

Steven Tyler

RORY: Can I ask you a question?
LORELAI: Yes, I would date Steven Tyler.
RORY: Can I ask you a question whose answer wouldn’t horrify me?

Steven Tyler (born Steven Tallarico in 1948) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician, best known as the lead singer of the rock band Aerosmith. He is known for his high pitched screaming and wide vocal range, on stage acrobatics, and colourful stage outfits, including his trademark scarves (this may have appealed to Lorelai, as scarves are among her favourite accessories).

Tyler gained fame during the 1970s, which waned in the early 1980s due to his drug use. After receiving treatment, he staged a remarkable comeback in the mid-1980s, and Aerosmith reached the peak of their success during the 1990s. He is now regarded as an enduring rock icon.