All The Ways 'Gilmore Girls' Pop Culture References Have Changed Between The Series Finale & Now
Gilmore Girls wasn't just a show, it was a way of life — one that spawned everything from massive debates to catchphrases only Gilmore Girls fans could understand. And unsurprisingly so: Watching Lorelai and Rory talk with each other was a lesson in pop culture. In fact, the show was so full of entertainment references — old, new, highbrow, lowbrow — you probably didn't even catch them all. In December 2015, Vulture actually calculated how many pop culture references were in Gilmore Girls from the series premiere to finale — and turns out, according to them, the show referenced 284 movies, 168 TV shows, and 339 books.
Considering those numbers, as well as the fact that this was a mother-daughter duo who lived to consume entertainment (OK, coffee likely helped) it's imperative that the pop culture references in the upcoming Netflix revival series be as timely as possible. But, being that the original Gilmore Girls finale aired way back in May of 2007, some of these reference points are going to need an update. Just as our Gilmore girls have changed, the world around them has too. Back then, Netflix was just hinting at streaming, Adele was still chasing pavements, and Donald Trump was looking to fire you — not get your vote. And that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how pop culture has changed since Rory and Lorelai last said goodbye.
To see just how different the world was in 2007, we're going back in time to reminisce about some of the biggest pop culture events of the year. Though, as you may quickly see, while some things change the more they stay the same.
1. The iPhone Made Its Debut
Steve Job announced the debut of the iPhone in January 2007, but it didn't actually hit shelves until after the finale aired, so the show was completely devoid of truly smart phones. Just imagine what kind of GIFs Lorelai is sending Rory of Paul Anka on her rose gold iPhone 6s in 2016, though! Also, how much do we want to bet someone is going to be Facetiming someone else during this revival? Maybe Chris will Facetime with Rory, since Nextel walkie talkies are so 2005.
2. Judd Apatow Became The King Of Comedy
With Knocked Up and Superbad both released in 2007, Judd Apatow introduced us to the new age of comedy, where men of any age could be stunted, but still get the girl — all while having the greatest bromances and earning the biggest laughs. A decade later, this is still Apatow's world, we're all just living in it. His touch seems to be on every bold-faced comedy that's come out in the last 10 year. But, in the last decade Apatow has started producing more of other people's works than his own: He works with Lena Dunham on Girls, and also with Amy Schumer on Trainwreckand Kristen Wiig on Bridesmaids. It's likely the Gilmore Girls will shout something Apatowian in the revival, for no other reason than it would be pretty hard not to.
3. Gerard Butler Was 100 In 300
In 2007, we all met Gerard Butler and his ridiculously toned body playing King Leonidas in 300 leading his men against the Persian army. In it, he screamed a lot about Sparta. In 2016, Gerard Butler is back and wearing a new set of armor for the new movie Gods Of Egypt. I could imagine a history buff like Rory may have some thoughts on a Scottish actor playing someone who's Egyptian.
4. Harry Potter Said Goodbye
The world had to say farewell to J.K. Rowling's boy wizard in 2007 with the final installment of the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. But, like the Gilmore Girls, Potter would be back — at least in some capacity. In the next year, we'll see the release of Fantastic Beast And Where To Find Them in theaters — a Potter prequel based on the fictional textbook of the same name written by Newt Scamander that Harry reads at Hogwarts — as well as the release of the script for the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child as a book in July. Not quite Harry Potter number eight, but pretty close.
5. Whoopi Goldberg Joined The View
Right before Gilmore Girls ended Whoopi Goldberg joined the table at The View — and hey, she's still there! So, this is actually one of the few references that would the same way then as it would be now. And maybe that's the reference right there.
6. Miley Cyrus Was Giving Us The Best Of Both Worlds
In 2007, Miley Cyrus was still little Hannah Montana, touring around with her Best Of Both Worlds tour. Cyrus has certainly grown up since then, though: Over the course of the last decade, she's killed off her Hannah persona entirely, came in like a wrecking ball, wrote songs about her deceased pets, and got engaged to/broke up with/maybe got back together with Liam Hemsworth.
7. Hillary Clinton Was Running For The Presidential Nomination
Remember 2007, when Hillary Clinton was trying to earn the presidential nomination for the Democrats? Hard to forget right, since it's exactly what she's doing right now. Except, back then. Donald Trump was saying she was a "very. very capable" candidate and donating to her campaign. (Can't help but feel like it's been more than 10 years when you remember things like that.) I imagine politics may be discussed in the revival, considering that the last time we saw Rory, she was going out on the campaign trail with then-Senator Barack Obama. Is Rory still a political reporter? Did she go off to try and become Christiane Amanpour like she always dreamed? Are Lorelai and Rory Hillary supporters or Bernie Sanders fans? I imagine all will be revealed in the revival.
8. Zac Efron & Vanessa Hudgens Returned To High School
Back in 2007, these High School Musical co-stars were still an item and had just returned to high school for the sequel of the film — High School Musical 2. A decade later, Vanessa Hudgens would return to high school to sing again — this time the songs of Grease for FOX's live presentation, Grease Live. Zac Efron has left high school, but he's still working his way through college, hitting the theaters this year with Dirty Grandpa, which has him heading to spring break, and Neighbors 2, which has him playing den mother to a new sorority. I have to imagine though Lorelai has some opinions about Efron's abs.
9. Leonardo DiCaprio Was Up For An Oscar
Yes, back in 2007, Leonardo DiCaprio earned his third Best Actor Oscar nomination for Blood Diamond. He didn't win, but he may finally earn his little gold man this year for his part in The Revenant. Some things never change.
Clearly, they are a lot of things Lorelai and Rory will have to catch us up on — but the most important thing we need to know is what they're watching, reading, and listening to. Prepare yourself for an overload of pop culture references both witty, obscure, smart, and totally of the moment.
Image: Warner Bros. Television; Giphy (6)