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The 16 Most Obscure References on Gilmore Girls, Explained

Updated May 7, 2020 23.0k views16 items

Everyone fan knows the best part about binge-watching every episode of Gilmore Girls on Netflix is just letting all that rapid-fire dialogue wash over you - especially Lorelai Gilmore's manic, mile-a-minute pop-culture references. She has a reference for every occasion, pulled from cinema, literature, Broadway, MTV, crappy '70s TV, the tabloids, and much, much more. The rest of the cast - especially fellow Gilmore Girl Rory - do their best to keep up, but no one holds a candle to Lorelai.

This is especially true with obscure references. Lorelai sometimes digs pretty deep, which is why we've compiled this handy guide to some of the most obscure zingers ever uttered by Stars Hollow's favorite hipster momma (plus a surprise pick from Paris!).

Once you've finished your deep dive into the mind of Lorelai Gilmore, make sure to check out these other shows like Gilmore Girls!

  • Boss!

    Video: YouTube
    • Reference: Lorelai: "My own smokes. Ginchy."
    • Season: 5
    • Episode: 2

    After Luke and Lorelai both pretend to run errands so they can meet in secret, Lorelai has this reaction upon finding a pack of cigarettes pointlessly purchased by Luke, a non-smoker. "Ginchy/ginchier/ginchiest" is one of many, many slang terms used by the hipster character "Kookie" (played by Edd Byrnes) on the late-'50s/early-'60s private detective series 77 Sunset Strip. It means cool/sexy. The term also appears in Byrnes's novelty hit "Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb." 

  • Coffee Stains and Memories

    Coffee Stains and Memories
    Video: YouTube
    • Reference: Lorelai: "I had made little doodles with my name hidden in them on each one of the old menus, just like Hirschfeld."
    • Season: 3
    • Episode: 16

    Lorelai is saddened to hear Luke replaced his menus, which she spent years doodling on. Like famous caricaturist Al Hirschfeld did with his daughter's name, Nina, Lorelai apparently hid her name in the doodles for future diners to find.

  • Admitting Defeat

    Admitting Defeat
    Video: YouTube
    • Reference: Lorelai: "My arms are too short to box with Mrs. Kim."
    • Season: 3
    • Episode: 9

    A reference to the 1976 Broadway musical Your Arms Too Short to Box with God: A Soaring Celebration in Song and Dance and to Mrs. Kim's reputation as a vengeful, god-like being (and uber-conservative Christian). Lorelai says this to Rory after Mrs. Kim objects to the children at her Thanksgiving gathering eating a chocolate turkey.

  • Can't Get No Respect

    Can't Get No Respect
    Video: YouTube
    • Reference: Lorelai: "Yeah, right after Holmes & Yo-Yo and Hee Haw Honeys."
    • Season: 3
    • Episode: 3

    Lorelai jokes that Rory secretly likes these two obscure 1970s sitcom flops more than The Brady Bunch Variety Hour, which she says is on her "top fifty best" list. Hee Haw Honeys, as the name implies, was a short-lived musical spin-off to Hee Haw that only lasted one season in 1979. Holmes & Yo-Yo dates back to a single season in 1976 and was a buddy cop sitcom featuring an android detective named - you guessed it - Yo-Yo.