Gilmore Girls is popular since it's about a mother and daughter, but it could definitely be argued that one of the biggest characters is pop culture itself. Rory and Lorelai Gilmore (and the townsfolk of Stars Hollow, too) are constantly quoting movies or referencing celebrities and TV shows. Since they talk so fast, it's kind of a "blink and you'll miss it" thing (or "you're focusing on how much you love Stars Hollow and didn't catch that pop culture reference").
Let's look at some of the best ones. Here are 8 pop culture references on Gilmore Girls you might have missed.
8 Rosemary's Baby
When Rory and Dean meet each other in the hallways of Stars Hollow High, it's clear that there's a spark. It's also clear that she's pretty freaked out about the idea of having a boyfriend since she's never had one before.
You might have missed the awesome pop culture reference in this scene: Rory and Dean bump into each other and Rory quotes Rosemary's Baby saying, “You’re like Ruth Gordon standing there with the tannis root. Make a noise!” This is a perfectly applied pop culture reference, and it's worth re-watching this scene just to see it again. Many fans and critics have commented that this scene showed that Rory is so intelligent since she was mentioning such a classic, older movie, and that Dean had seen it so he was into it.
In the third season episode "Application Anxiety", when Rory and Lorelai are wondering if it's going to be so simple for Rory to end up at her dream Ivy League school, Lorelai makes a reference to the band Bananarama. She says, "Hey, maybe instead of going to college, you should drop out and I could quit my job and we can form an all-girl band with Lane, you know, like Bananarama. We could call it Tangerinarama or Banana-fana-fo-fana-rama…or something. Honey, I’m just kidding, you gotta go to college."
Like everything that Lorelai Gilmore says, this is totally hilarious, and you might have been focusing too much on the humor of the situation (and the fact that mom and daughter were so upset in this episode) to catch the pop culture reference.
6 The Brady Bunch
In one scene, Max Madina tells Lorelai a childhood story about his brother, and when Lorelai inquires about his behavior, Max says, "Middle child." Lorelai responds, "Poor Jan" which is a reference to Jan Brady and the classic TV show The Brady Bunch.
You might have missed this pop culture reference since it's such a brief sentence. There's also the fact that it would be pretty impossible to fully catch every single thing that Lorelai says throughout the course of the show. Even the biggest fans just couldn't do that since, of course, she speaks so quickly and seems to be thinking and talking a mile a minute at any given point.
5 Battlestar Galactica
Did you catch the moment when Luke's sister's husband, TJ, references Battlestar Galactica? Probably not... mostly because many people consider Liz and TJ to be fairly annoying characters.
When Liz, TJ, and Luke are chatting, they mention string theory and then TJ mentions that he watches this show. This would be an easy reference to miss since the scenes with Liz and TJ aren't really the best on the show, and let's be honest, it's always more interesting to watch Luke interact with Taylor, Kirk, Lorelai, or Rory rather than his family.
4 West Side Story
In the third season episode "A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving" Jess and Dean aren't getting along (and any true fan knows that these boys will never get along). Jess says it's "too West Side Story."
You might have missed this pop culture reference since Jess can talk just as quickly as Rory and Lorelai do sometimes. Also, you were probably hyperfocused on the drama between Rory's two love interests since that was often the biggest conflict on the show, at least in seasons two and three. No one could blame you for not catching that reference. (That just means that you have to watch the show all over again.)
3 The Banger Sisters
Also in the season three episode "A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving," Paris Gellar makes a reference to The Banger Sisters: she says "My Life with the Banger Sisters" meaning the fact that she hangs out with Louise and Madeline.
Fans know that Paris changes from a mean smart girl to one of Rory's pals, but it doesn't happen overnight, and in the early years of Gilmore Girls, she leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to her personality. You might have missed her pop culture reference since she was often mumbling or looking sad... when she wasn't tearing into Rory and being a total menace to society, of course. Paris can be funny at times and this was one of those times for sure. Her statement is really clever, too.
This pop culture reference was in the Gilmore Girls pilot, so you might have missed this one since, of course, you were busy learning about the amazing world of Lorelai, Rory, and the town that they live in. The pilot definitely holds up.
When Lorelai holds out a bunch of lip glosses, Rory says, "God, RuPaul doesn't wear this much makeup." You might have missed this pop culture reference because, number one, Rory and Lorelai talk so quickly, and number two, this was back in 2000. RuPaul's Drag Race started in 2009 and has become really popular in the past few years.
In the season two episode "The Road Trip to Harvard" Lorelai references Chinatown, which is known as one of the most confusing movies ever.
Lorelai is having a conversation with the owner of the bed and breakfast where she and Rory are staying. Lorelai says that the cat has stayed on the stairs and the owner says no. Lorelai says, "There has not been one moment over our entire stay when she has not been right there." Rory eventually says, "Forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown." This was an easy pop culture reference to miss since Lorelai and the inn owner were both talking so fast, and it was just a generally funny moment so you might have been laughing too hard to catch the reference (a common Gilmore Girls problem).