LUKE: No, I believe you. If you say there’s no reason for the mood, then there’s no reason for the mood. You’re simply nuts.
LORELAI: Or bipolar. That’s very big nowadays.

Bipolar disorder, once known as manic depression, is a mood disorder where the sufferer goes through periods of severe depression followed by manic periods that might mean feeling abnormally energetic, happy, or irritable. During the manic periods, erratic and impulsive behaviour is often present, as well as an inflated sense of welf worth, and speaking excessively and rapidly.

Although Lorelai probably isn’t bipolar (she’s never diagnosed, doesn’t take medication, and never becomes suicidal or self-harming on screen), it’s interesting that she does seem to have quite a few of the symptoms to some extent. Her mood swings may be due to all the sugar she consumes.

When Lorelai says being bipolar is “very big nowadays” she’s probably referring to those celebrities, such as actress Patty Duke, who were open about their diagnosis, raising awareness and encouraging others to seek help or treatment.

Charlie Manson

CHRISTOPHER: I want to marry you …
LORELAI: You are out of your mind. You are completely insane. You have flipped your lid. Charlie Manson is freaked out by you right now!

Charles Manson (1934-2017) was an American criminal and cult leader, earlier alluded to as the head of the notorious Manson Family. His followers committed a series of murders in 1969 under his instructions.

Obsessed with The Beatles, Manson believed their song Helter Skelter was a warning of an apocalyptic war between whites and blacks, and that the Manson Family were being instructed to preserve the worthy from the impending disaster. By committing the murders, his followers would help precipitate the race war, and also control it, allowing them to escape from harm.

In 1971 he was convicted of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Originally sentenced to death, his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, which he served in California State Prison.

Lorelai believes Manson was mentally ill, and the prison system agreed. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia and paranoid delusions, had no remorse for any of his crimes, or apparent understanding of their magnitude, with highly controlling behaviour, and an exceptionally callous disregard for human suffering.

Michael Douglas

LORELAI: Okay, so now the fact that I suggested painting Luke’s diner also means that I wanted to get him in bed. All of a sudden I’m trying to get any poor, unsuspecting person in bed with me. I’m like – I’m Michael Douglas!

Michael Douglas (born 1944) is a multi award-winning American actor and producer, with a long career in theatre, film, and television. He is married to Catherine Zeta-Jones, earlier discussed as one of the “pretty women” that Lorelai wonders if Luke’s ex-girlfriend Rachel resembles.

In 1993 it was widely reported that Michael Douglas was a sex addict and had entered rehab to be treated for his addiction (leading to much mockery). He refuted these claims, saying that he had gone into rehab to be treated for alcohol addiction, but the rumours persist – they were even published again in his 2012 biography by Marc Eliot, Michael Douglas: A Biography.

Diagnosed with cancer in 2010, Douglas told the public he had throat cancer caused by giving cunnilingus to many women, which did nothing to calm down the sex addiction rumours. In 2013 Douglas revealed he had actually had tongue cancer, and denied that there was any link with performing oral sex.

In January 2018, journalist Susan Braudy went public with claims that she had been sexually harassed by Michael Douglas in 1989 while working for him, including that he used inappropriate sexual language, and masturbated to orgasm in front of her. Douglas denies the allegations, although Braudy has shared corroborating evidence with the press. This has reignited the “sex addiction” rumours all over again.

Lorelai seems to have the common belief that people with “sex addiction” must be constantly trying to get random people to have intercourse with them, although such behaviour is probably rarer in real life than people think.

(Note: “Sex addiction” has not been accepted as a diagnosis by any mainstream psychological or psychiatric body, but there are support groups and treatment programs for it).


RORY: Can brains hurt?
LORELAI: Yes, it’s hypochondria hour.

Hypochondria is a condition where a person is overly worried about having a serious illness, and become extremely concerned about even mild symptoms in the fear that they are a sign of a life-threatening condition. In many cases, their anxiety about their health actually produces the symptoms they are worried about, such as headaches, stomach pains, dizziness, weight loss, or fatigue. It is now called “illness anxiety disorder”.


MADELINE: There’s this great store under my therapist’s office who has the best vintage clothes. I found an original Pucci top for practically nothing.
LOUISE: Oh Pucci is very big right now.

Pucci is an Italian fashion brand originally founded by Emilio Pucci (1914-1992). Pucci clothing is synonymous with stretch-knit clothing in bright, geometric designs, and when Madeline says she found an original Pucci top in a vintage store, she means one that would have been designed by Emilio Pucci himself.

There are quite a number of vintage clothing stores in Hartford where Madeline might have found the top, but it seems unlikely they would sell an original Pucci top for “practically nothing” (the one in the picture costs nearly $200 today). She got very lucky that day.

We also discover from Madeline’s casual statement that she regularly sees a therapist. This might come as a surprise, as Madeline seems to be very cheerful and unconflicted by nature, but perhaps that’s because of all the therapy?


LORELAI: You’re going to quote Freud to me? ‘Cause I’ll push you in front of a moving car.

After Luke says it’s not surprising that Rory is attracted to a boy who reminds Lorelai of Rory’s dad Christopher, she believes he might be thinking of Freud.

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was an Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis. The Oedipus complex – named after the play Oedipus Rex by Sophocles – was a theory he coined in 1910, to describe a child’s unconscious sexual desire for their opposite-sex parent. Some modern psychologists broadly agree with his theory, while others find no evidence it exists. Studies apparently suggest that we are more likely to seek partners with vague physical similarity to our parents.

Luke says that he just meant that Lorelai and Rory are quite alike in their tastes, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise they would be attracted to similar men.