Pinging in the brain

Rory complains that her brain “pinged” or “dinked” while she was studying. It sounds like tinnitus, a fairly common condition where you hear phantom noises such as clicking, hissing, or roaring – these often seem to emanate from inside your head.

It can be brought on by stress, which fits with Rory studying hard to the point her head hurts. She never complains of it again, suggesting that the condition spontaneously resolved, which isn’t uncommon with tinnitus.


Louise says they can’t meet at her house to study as her mother is having an affair.

Nobody comments on this or asks why it affects them meeting – does Louise’s mother need the house to herself all weekend for her affair? Couldn’t she meet her lover elsewhere, or simply skip seeing him for a single afternoon? What does Louise’s father do on the weekends while the house is off limits to other family members’ activities in order to accommodate his wife’s affair? Has the house somehow been tainted by “affair-ness” so that nobody is ever allowed to visit?

These questions shall never answered. As Louise’s story doesn’t make sense, she may be making up an excuse that nobody will question out of embarrassment.


Lorelai calls Rory “Grinch” after she nags her mother into donating some of her own old clothes to the charity rummage sale that Lorelai is organising.

This is a reference to the 2000 Christmas film How the Grinch Stole Christmas (often just known as The Grinch), directed by Ron Howard and with Jim Carrey in the title role. The film was based on the children’s book of the same name by Dr. Seuss.

In the movie, the grumpy Grinch steals all the gifts from the inhabitants of Whoville in an attempt to ruin their Christmas (it doesn’t work). Lorelai is saying that Rory is “stealing” her outdated clothes for the rummage sale in order to ruin her life.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas came out in November 2000, so Lorelai and Rory could have seen it earlier in the winter. We already know that Jim Carrey is one of Sookie’s favourite actors, so perhaps she recommended it.

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman

This is the movie that Rory, Dean, Lane, and Todd go to see on their double date at the Black-White-Read Bookstore.

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman is a 1958 science fiction film directed by Nathan H. Juran (credited as Nathan Hertz), and with Allison Hayes in the title role. It is about a beautiful but rather unstable socialite who increases to a gigantic size after contact with a mysterious alien figure. She uses her new stature to take revenge on her cheating husband.

Made on a very low budget, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman is a technically “bad” sci-fi movie that is fun to watch, and has become a camp classic.

The joke is that they are watching a film about a giant woman while Lorelai is on a double date with Jackson’s cousin Rune, who thinks she is too tall, and acts as if she is freakishly huge.

(A movie date is not really suitable for Lane’s purposes, since she wants to talk to Todd and get to know him better. I’m guessing Lane and Rory chose the cinema as a way to hide from Mrs. Kim – if they went for coffee at the diner or just strolled around town together, there was a higher chance of being spotted. Luckily, Lane only needed a couple of very brief chats with Todd to learn all that she needed to know about him).

The Name Rune

LORELAI: What is that – Rune?
RUNE: What do you mean?
LORELAI: I mean, where did Rune come from?
RUNE: I’m from out of town, I thought Jackson told you?
LORELAI: He did tell me, I meant the name “Rune”. You just don’t meet a lot of Runes, right?

Rune is a Scandinavian name, coming from the Old Norse for “secret lore”; it is the same as Old Norse rune letters and rune stones used for divination and meditation. It’s a rare name in the US so Lorelai is interested in its origins. (The Scandinavians would pronounce the name ROO-ne, whereas in English it’s said ROON). Rune’s father is also named Rune, so perhaps the family has some Scandinavian ancestry).

Diva Glam

LORELAI: Diva Glam.
RORY: I’ve got it.
LORELAI: Bring it up.

Apparently the brand of make-up palette case that Lorelai and Rory use. I think it might be the LA Colors Diva Glam make up case made by Beauty 21, a Canadian company founded in 1985 (when Lorelai was a young mother), which makes affordable cosmetics.


LANE: Hey, Grandaddy, new album used – I love a bargain.

Grandaddy is an American indie rock band formed in 1992, consisting of Jason Lytle, Aaron Burtch, Jim Fairchild, Kevin Garcia, and Tim Dryden. Their debut album came out in 1997, and they released four albums before disbanding in 2006. They reformed in 2012, and have made several live appearances. They released their fifth album in March 2017; two months later Kevin Garcia died from a stroke. Since then, the band have cancelled all planned engagements.

Their “new” album in 2001 was their second, The Sophtware Slump, which came out in May 2000. It gained widespread critical acclaim, and is regarded as one of the best albums of the 2000s.

That Lane buys even recently released albums second-hand demonstrates one way that she is able to afford so many CDs. My guess is that Apple Venus No. 2 was also a second-hand purchase, which is why she calls it “new” even four months after its release date.