OzzFest

RORY: It was a bat, wasn’t it?
LORELAI: Wearing an OzzFest T-shirt, I believe.

Ozzfest, music festival tour of the US (sometimes Europe and later Japan), featuring performances by heavy metal and hard rock musical groups. It was founded by Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, and was held almost annually between 1996 and 2018 before being revived in 2022. Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath played the tour several times over the years.

At the most recent OzzFest relative to this episode, the tour was in Hartford on July 13. As Lorelai is a heavy metal fan, and at a very loose end over the summer, is it possible she went to it, and really does have a tee-shirt? Or, if she meant the bat was wearing a tee shirt already in the garage, she (and maybe Rory) could have gone to OzzFest 1999 [1999 tee shirt pictured], which was in Hartford on June 19. If so, it means Lorelai bought her Jeep later that year.

Lorelai connects a bat to the OzzFest musical festival because in 1982, Ozzy Osbourne bit the head off a bat at a concert in Des Moines. Stories vary as to whether the bat was alive, dead, or made of rubber, but Osbourne said the bat was alive, and gave him rabies. In 2019 Osbourne commemorated the anniversary of the bat incident by offering a toy bat with detachable head for sale on his personal web-store. The site claimed the first batch of toys sold out within hours.

“Four years”

LORELAI: What? It has not been four years since we’ve stepped foot inside our own garage.
RORY: It was when we got the Jeep.
LORELAI: That wasn’t . . . yes, it was.

This is the first scene we’ve ever had of Lorelai’s garage, which has never been mentioned before. The show explains that’s because Lorelai and Rory haven’t been near it since 1999 – and even then they only got in the door, then ran away when a bat flew out. These two really don’t handle nature very well.

Later in this very scene this version of events is contradicted when Rory says that two years ago, in 2001, she boxed up items from the attic and put them in the garage. They were meant to be collected by a charity, but Lorelai couldn’t be bothered waiting for them, so the boxes remain there.

According to their recollection, Lorelai bought the Jeep in 1999. It’s actually a 2000 model.

“Paris doesn’t have a brother”

FRANCIE: I saw her walking off with . . . who was that, her brother?

LOUISE: Paris doesn’t have a brother.

FRANCIE: Really? Well, she certainly seemed to know him.

Jamie is hanging around Chilton, being a distraction to Paris again and giving Francie an opportunity to take her down a peg. Princeton doesn’t go back after the Christmas break until mid-January, suggesting this episode takes place in the first half of the month.

However, it’s something of a mystery what he is doing in Hartford, which is a fair distance from Philadelphia. Is he staying with Paris, since she spent Christmas with his family? And why is Chilton letting him turn up during the school day? Don’t they have any security? Why are they letting Paris leave with him? What ever happened to Chilton being a really strict school?

Taffy

RORY: No, or the taffy binge of ’97.

Taffy is a type of candy from the US, made by stretching or/and pulling a sticky mass of soft candy base, made of boiled sugar, butter, vegetable oil, flavorings, and colorings, until tiny bubbles form, resulting in a light, fluffy and chewy candy. The word dates to 1817, and the origin is not known. In the UK, this kind of candy is known as “chewy sweets”.

Lorelai and Rory may have binged on taffy they bought at a candy store, possibly on one of their road trips, as it is a specialty of New England. It isn’t difficult to make at home, and if they ate home made taffy, I’d think Sookie would have made it for them. This sickly binge occurred in 1997, when Rory was 12-13.

Six Flags

LUKE: So, how did the four dinners work out? You guys must feel more stuffed than you’ve ever been.

LORELAI: I don’t know. Is this more stuffed than the great Six Flags hot dog consumption of ’99?

Six Flags is an amusement park corporation founded in the 1960s in Arlington, Texas, and headquartered in Manhattan. It has 27 theme parks in the US, Canada, and Mexico, more than any other amusement park company, and has more than 30 million guests each year. The name Six Flags refers to the flags of the six nations which have governed Texas over the years – Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the USA, and the Confederate States of America.

The nearest Six Flags to Lorelai and Rory is Six Flags New England, in Agawam, Massachusetts. It is just north of the Connecticut border, about an hour’s drive away. They went to the theme park in 1999, possibly during the summer vacation, when Rory was nearly 15.

Natalie Swope

RICHARD: These are our guests, Natalie and Douglas Swope.

EMILY: You two have met.

LORELAI: Yes, at the auction.

NATALIE: Good to see you again.

The show seems to have committed to the new timeline where Lorelai and Natalie Swope first met at the auction in “Eight O’clock at the Oasis”, supposedly about six weeks previously. However, when Natalie was visiting Emily in “Presenting Lorelai Gilmore”, she asked after Lorelai, who she remembered very well even though she hadn’t seen her since before she had Rory (as Lorelai is said to have attended the Christmas party at Richard and Emily’s every year, this in itself doesn’t seem very likely – did Natalie never attend one of the parties?).

We meet Natalie’s husband, Douglas, in this episode. Again, surely he and Lorelai would have met in the original timeline, but obviously not in this one, as he wasn’t at the auction. Douglas is played by John Aniston, the father of Jennifer Aniston. He had roles on the soap opera Search for Tomorrow, and The West Wing, as well as a long-term connection with Days of Our Lives.

Cold War

RORY: You ready for this? … Even with the Cold War?

LORELAI: That’s been going on for thirty-four years? I can manage.

The Cold War is a term commonly used to refer to a period of geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc. The term cold war is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two superpowers, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars.

The conflict was based around the ideological and geopolitical struggle for global influence by these two superpowers, following their temporary alliance and victory against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in 1945. Aside from nuclear development and military deployment, the struggle for dominance was expressed via indirect means such as psychological warfare, propaganda campaigns, espionage, embargoes, rivalry at sports events, and technological competitions such as the Space Race.

The end of the Cold War is dated to the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. President George H.W. Bush claimed that America therefore “won the Cold War”.

According to Lorelai, the “cold war” between she and her parents began almost at birth!

Wednesday Usual

LUKE: Don’t bother, saw you coming, already ordered your Wednesday usual – the French dip, extra fries, the every-Wednesday cherry pie.

We know the Gilmore girls like their food routines, with every Wednesday being the day they have a Danish pastry and coffee for breakfast. Wednesday for dinner, which is always at the diner, they order extra fries with their dinner and French [onion] dip to have with them, and cherry pie for dessert.

Hm, cherry Danish for breakfast and cherry pie for dinner? What is it about Wednesdays and cherries with these girls??? And having a set menu on Wednesdays in general? Perhaps it’s meant to be a sort of midweek lift.

Coldcock

[Lorelai and Rory are walking down the sidewalk]

RORY: So she coldcocked you, huh?

To be coldcocked is American slang meaning to be struck so forcefully that you are knocked unconscious. It appears to date to the early 20th century, but the origin is not known. The “cold” part is obviously from being knocked out cold, but no one can agree on the “cock” part.

The sign says it is the Autumn Festival again, which is supposedly the first weekend in November, but possibly continues right through until Thanksgiving.

“We’ll be gone all of December, including Christmas”

EMILY: Your father and I are going out of town the next day and we’ll be gone all of December, including Christmas, so it’s the last chance for the family to be together for the rest of the year.

Emily and Richard supposedly throw a dinner party two weeks before Christmas every year, before they leave for their winter vacation. They seem to have cancelled it this year, leaving for their vacation straight after Thanksgiving, so perhaps they are in bad moods over the Yale incident as well.

It seemed as this annual never-to-be-changed tradition was cancelled the year before as well, because Richard was in a mood over his forced retirement, so perhaps this tradition isn’t a tradition any more? Richard had to be rushed to hospital during the Christmas party of 2000, and it’s possible that put them off holding another one.