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Gilmore Girls’ Pop-Culture References, by the Numbers

Gilmore Girls
370100 08: Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham star in Warner Bros. TV series “The Gilmore Girls.” (Photo by Warner Bros./Delivered by Online USA) Photo: Scott Humbert/Getty Images

Much like Lorelai and Rory once opined about The Donna Reed Show, Gilmore Girls isn’t just a show. It’s a lifestyle, a religion for fans who worship Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel’s mother-daughter duo as both zeitgeisty deities in their own right and fast-talking filters sifting through the whole of popular culture. Through seven seasons (pause for momentary, internal sigh over that last one, though apparently some people like it), Gilmore Girls’ whiz-bang, screwball dialogue reveled in intertextual references both old (Brooks and Reiner’s “2000-Year-Old Man” sketch) and new (a pre–Neon Bible Arcade Fire mention!), highbrow (La Boheme) and lowbrow (Deuce Bigalow).

Consuming entertainment may have been its own raison d’être for Lorelai II and Lorelai III, but their expansive Weltanschauung also made plenty of space for parsing boyfriends, pounding coffee, and participating in all the kooky goings-on around Stars Hollow. So with the dramedy set to return in an upcoming Netflix reboot, what better time to take stock of just how much muchness the show offered? Here’s a pilot-to-finale tally of every movie, book, TV show, celeb, cup of coffee, character, and life milestone. Try to keep up; we don’t want to lose you at carrots.

Movies watched, referenced, or mentioned: 284

TV shows watched, referenced, or mentioned: 168

TV show referenced most often: Happy Days (5)

Books Rory is seen reading or mentions reading: 339

Plays or musicals watched, referenced, or mentioned (that aren’t also movies, TV shows, or books): 6

Songs heard on Gilmore Girls: 396

Musicians, bands, or songs otherwise referenced or mentioned: 359

Celebrities and/or bands who made cameos as themselves: 7

Cups of coffee drank by Lorelai and Rory: 503

Season with the most cups of coffee drank by Lorelai and Rory: Season 1 (80)

Friday-night dinners: 71

Number of Emily’s maids seen on the show (who have names): 50

Total number of maids, past and present, whom Emily mentions by name: 58

Number of meter maids (ha!) seen on the show: 1

Stars Hollow businesses seen, patronized, and/or mentioned: 42

Stars Hollow festivals: 14

Number of jobs Kirk has had (including before he was known as Kirk): 49

Number of human deaths on the show: 5

Number of feline deaths: 1

Recurring characters who are talked about, but never seen: 5 (Mr. Kim, Al from Al’s Pancake House, Bitty Charleston, Mrs. Gleason, and East Side Tilly)

Graduations, seen and unseen: 4

Weddings and vow renewals, seen and unseen: 11

Gilmore Girls’ References, by the Numbers