22 Witty Pop Culture References In The 'Gilmore Girls' Revival That Prove Rory & Lorelai Are Keeping Up-To-Date

Gilmore Girls just wouldn’t have been Gilmore Girls without coffee, Pop Tarts, its fast-talking heroines, and, of course, its many pop culture references. Lorelai Gilmore was like a sponge as a child, sucking in everything media and culture had to offer and then squeezing it back out of herself for her daughter, Rory, to absorb. The Netflix continuation of the show is no different — the Gilmore Girls revival has so many pop culture references that one can barely keep track. It almost brings a tear to my eye, but not so much so that it stopped me from typing up a list of the best ones. Netflix series SPOILERS ahead. 

Lorelai and Rory’s encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture is particularly impressive because Lorelai, who was the teacher in this student/teacher relationship, grew up in a world without the Internet. Today, I can research literally anything with a quick Google search and find fan sites, fan faction, dictionary entries, etc., but Lorelai? She had to consume an excessive amount of movies, television, books, music, and current events in order to become the pop culture savant that she is. Rory could have given topics the old Google search, but why bother, really? She had her mother to help. Here are, in no particular order, the wittiest pop culture references called out in Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life. Better get your Google ready — this could be a bumpy ride.

1. Whitewalkers & Khaleesi

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Is Rory a Game Of Thrones fan or what? Not only does she refer to the Stars Hollow: The Musical composer as a “whitewalker,” but she also makes her personal umbrella holder kid call her “Khaleesi,” aka the Mother of Dragons.

2. Spotlight

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A major motion picture depicting The Boston Globe’s takedown of the Catholic Church’s cover-up of abusive priests. Rory references it when she finds out the Stars Hollow Gazette is being closed.

3. Pat LaFrieda

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LaFrieda is one of the best meat purveyors in New York and the surrounding areas, so it’s not a surprise that Dragonfly Inn diners from the Big Apple want to know if their burger meat is LaFrieda or not. 

4. Hamilton

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From the rapping in the Stars Hollow musical to Rory saying, “let’s have another round tonight,” there are plenty of references to the blockbuster Broadway musical, written and composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

5. Tori Spelling & Benihana

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The Beverly Hills, 90210 actress slipped and fell at a Benihana in 2015, burning her arm in the process. She later sued the restaurant. Lorelai thinks this would make for a good movie.

6. Nora Ephron & Her Neck

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Famed writer and journalist Nora Ephron once wrote a book of essays called I Feel Bad About My Neck, so for Rory to insinuate that the Stars Hollow Gazette staff started on their tasks while Ephron still felt good about my neck is fitting. 

7. “Gold Digger” by Kanye West

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Lorelai isn’t saying that Jack, the man Emily is sort of seeing, is a gold digger, but like Kanye West says, he isn’t messing with anyone who's poor, either.

8. Narcos

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Lorelai references the Pablo Escobar Netflix drama when ranting and raving about how there’s no coffee at Luke’s and is Colombia (where Escobar is from, and coffee, too) mad at them for creating a show about their most famous drug lord?

9. Inside Llewyn Davis

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I didn’t think this would be an Emily movie, but she asks if Rory’s rootless existence is something akin to the wandering folk singer in the movie that shares his name. Sure seems so, Emily.

10. GOOP

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Lorelai tells Rory that she’s been GOOPed because she’s tried a new shampoo or something, and it shows that Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle blog has finally reached the Internet of Stars Hollow.

11. Lena Dunham

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The Girls creator and writer was called out twice in the Gilmore revival — once because Paris couldn’t face her at the 92nd Street Y for a book talk, and the other when Rory talked about Dunham having to get along without her in Brooklyn.

12. Ben Affleck’s Batman

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This is the Batman I’m sure many would like to forget (or already have) but he’s here, and he’s the reason that Lorelai and Rory think that Stars Hollow should keep its one remaining phone booth. 

13. Eat, Pray, Love & Wild

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Both books and movies are looked upon as sort of Eureka-moment-giving testaments for women. Lorelai wants to go Wild and hike, and one of her hiking mates tells her that she wanted to do “the Eat, Pray, Love, but [her] miles were blacked out.”

14. The Wizard Of Oz

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When Rory is saying goodbye to the Life & Death Brigade, they all quote a little bit of Dorothy’s scene when she’s saying goodbye to her crew, too. Rory even tells Finn she’ll “miss him the most,” which the other guys don’t exactly like.

15. Katy Perry & The Nuns

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When Lorelai sees that a group of nuns are selling their Stars Hollow dwelling, they tell her that Katy Perry had just been there — Perry has been in a battle for years with a group of nuns about buying a convent to convert into a home in Los Feliz, California. This one is a two-fer, because Lorelai also asks about Whoopi Goldberg, a reference to Sister Act.

16. Citizen Kane

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Lorelai tells Emily, “Hooray for the bulldog” when Emily tells her she’s selling the house and moving to the coast — this is a line from Citizen Kane, with Orson Welles’ character telling his wife, “The bulldog [newspaper] has just gone to press.” That’s her sarcastic response. 

17. Rande Gerber

Rory and Lorelai and Jess are talking about how Luke looks “Rande Gerber” hot in his wedding suit. Gerbe is a very handsome former model and businessman who also has the title of Mr. Cindy Crawford. Oh, and he's BFF with George Clooney, too.

18. Macbeth

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Right before Rory sees the members of the Life & Death Brigade, she’s warned by a talking bird (I know) that “something wicked this way comes.” That’s a line from Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Fortunately for Rory, the “wicked” is just Colin and Finn. 

19. Lifetime Movies

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Known for their over-the-top storylines and campy details, the movies on the Lifetime network — including Co-Ed Call Girl — are just what Rory and Lorelai like to watch to wind down. 

20. The Sound Of Music

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Michel sings “So Long Farewell,” which is the best song in The Sound Of Music because all of the children sing it, to the people that are interviewing for his job at the Dragonfly. They’re just not good enough. 

21. The Kardashians

Lorelai tells Luke that she was “organizing her magazines by Kardashian” on the cover, and I don’t think I really need to explain to anyone in this world who the Kardashian family is.

22. The Machinist

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Lorelai says that one of the woman who is going on a Wild hike looks like Christian Bale’s character in The Machinist. In the film, Bale plays a factory worker who hasn’t slept in a year and is slowly going insane. Also, he’s very skinny.

How many pop culture references do you think Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life would have fit in if the revival were more than six hours? There’s really no way of telling. But, it's highly possible the limit does not exist.

Images: Saeed Adyani/Netflix; Giphy (19)

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