We learn from his phone message that as well as teaching at Chilton, Max teaches a night class twice a week in Stamford, a city in Connecticut about an hour and a half drive south from Hartford, on the coast.

The fact that Max sees the sign to Stars Hollow on the way suggests again that it around the Wallingford area, as you would drive past Wallingford going from Hartford to Stamford using Interstate 91. It isn’t actually a turnpike though as it is toll-free at that point: the Connecticut Turnpike (I-95) goes further on from Stamford toward New Haven.

Max possibly teaches in the English department at the Stamford campus of the University of Connecticut, a public university. We learn a bit later that one of the nights he teaches class is on Fridays, so with Lorelai attending classes twice a week and Max teaching classes twice a week, it’s going to be hard for them to find a free day in the week to date.

9/12 Weeks

RORY: We weren’t making out. It was just one kiss.
LORELAI: Yeah, well by the time that gets to Miss Patty’s it’s a scene from 9 1/2 Weeks.

9 1/2 Weeks is a 1986 erotic drama film directed by Adrian Lyne, based on the 1978 memoir of the same name by Austrian-American author Ingeborg Day. It stars Kim Basinger and Mickey O’Rourke as an art gallery assistant and a Wall Street broker who have a brief, intense sadomasochistic affair.

The movie was a box office bomb in the US, but hugely successful overseas in its unedited version, especially in France, Italy, and Latin America. Video and DVD brought it a large fanbase and a cult following.

The two main characters in the film first meet in a grocery store, reminiscent of Rory and Dean’s first kiss in the Stars Hollow market.

Spoiled twins

Mrs. Shales tells Lorelai that her daughters, twins Jackie and Jessica, were spoiled by their father. As a result, she can barely stand the sight of them, and is sick and tired of their quarrelling.

This provides an example to Lorelai of what could go wrong with her relationship with Rory: she could become spoiled by her wealthy grandparents to the point that it affects her relationship with Lorelai. It helps feed Lorelai’s fears during the episode.

Cute Luke

Lorelai asks Rory if she thinks Luke is cute, indicating him as a possible love interest. Rory puts a stop to this idea, as she fears that if Lorelai and Luke dated, then broke up, they would never be able to get food and coffee from him again. Without Rory’s blessing, any attraction Lorelai feels toward Luke has to be put on the back-burner. Future episodes prove Rory’s concerns to be not unfounded.

Miss Patty’s Place

DEAN: Well, maybe you could show me where this Miss Patty’s place is.
RORY: Yeah, I guess so. I really don’t have anything important to . . . let’s go.

Miss Patty’s School of Ballet, seemingly always known as Miss Patty’s Place, is a very significant location for Dean and Rory’s future relationship. And it was the first place in Stars Hollow they ever went to together.