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The Origins of 9 Gab-Worthy 'Gilmore Girls' Terms

Put on another pot of coffee because the Gilmore Girls are back. It was announced recently that Netflix will be airing four 90-minute movies, satisfying Stars Hollow lovers everywhere. For those of you who haven’t visited the fictional Connecticut town lately — or gasp! ever — here’s a guide to a few Gilmoreisms.

1. LORELAI

There are three, count ‘em, three Lorelais in the Gilmore-verse. There’s the main Lorelai (Lauren Graham), a.k.a. Lorelai Victoria Gilmore, a.k.a. the reigning Lorelai after the death of her steely paternal grandmother, also named Lorelai.

Then there’s Rory, a childhood nickname for Lorelai. In the pilot, Rory explains that she was named after her mother. “She was lying in the hospital thinking about how men name boys after themselves all the time,” Rory says. “So why couldn't women?” Rory’s full name is Lorelai Leigh, which might come from Marilyn Monroe’s gold digging character Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. However, the connection is unclear.

According to Baby Name WizardLorelai derives from the Middle High German Lurlei, which means “ambush cliff." In Germanic legend, Lorelai was a siren who lured sailors to shipwreck. At one point, one-time fiance Max tells Lorelai that she’s “like a mythological creature that casts some kind of spell on [him] and makes [him] act stupid.”

2. CHILTON

Rory's Hartford-based prep school might be based on Choate Rosemary Hall, an exclusive boarding school in nearby Wallingford. Choate? Chilton? We'll buy it.

In an early episode, it’s mentioned that Sandra Day O’Connor attended Chilton (she was also a Puff, a member of the school’s secret sorority). So did the retired Supreme Court justice really attend a prep school in Connecticut? Alas, no. O’Connor is Texas born and bred, having attended the probably just as exclusive Radford School. But whether she was part of a secret society or not, she won't be saying.

3. HEP-ALIEN

While Rory’s best friend Lane Kim may look like a good girl, she has the soul of a rock goddess. She hides her extensive CD collection from her mother, secretly teaches herself drums, and starts her own band. However, by season three and their first gig, they still didn't have a name (although The Chops and Follow Them to the Edge of the Desert were front-runners). It’s not until season five that the band finally is introduced as Hep-Alien. Believe it or not. Hep-Alien is an anagram of Helen Pai, sometime show producer and always best friend of show creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino.

4. BOP-IT

Not just an annoying toy, the Bop-It is the Gilmore girls’ remedy for awkward social interactions. It’s also a signal that a situation needs livening up, which Rory misinterprets later. “You're pulling out the Bop-it?” she asks Lorelai. “You're already that bored of me?” Of course not: the Bop-It was merely accidentally bopped.

5. TOTSIED

“You’ve been Totsied,” Lorelai tells Luke. What’s a totsy? Lorelai’s odoriferous aunt. “Lovely woman,” says Lorelai. “She hugs you, you smell like her for a month.”

In addition to being Totsied, one might also be Gilmored, the act of having one’s life taken over by the rich, powerful, and pushy, such as Lorelai’s parents. Symptoms include a “tightness in the chest,” and “anger mixed with paralyzing weakness.” Again, Lorelai breaks the bad news to Luke: “You’ve been Gilmored.”

6. HUNTZBERGER

Speaking of the rich and powerful, the Gilmores have nothing on the Huntzbergers, the super-wealthy family of Rory’s Yale boyfriend, Logan. The Huntzbergers are unabashedly based on the New York Times-owning Sulzbergers, says Sherman-Palladino. “The word ‘berger’ is in there.”

So are the Sulzbergers as heartless and snobbish as the Huntzbergers, who have Rory over for dinner only to humiliate her and later tell her she doesn’t have “it” to be a journalist, her lifelong dream? Sherman-Palladino says she can't comment on the personal qualities of the Sulzbergers, only that she wanted the Huntzbergers to be “family of newspaper royalty.”

7. KROPOG

“I’d say it’s about ninety kropogs or so,” Logan says when asked how far his dorm is from Rory’s. “Fill me in here,” Lorelai says when her parents laugh a little too uproariously. “What’s a kropog?”

A kropog is a Yale-specific unit of measurement, Logan explains, “based on the height of a kid named Kropog.” Maxwell T. Kropog, specifically, class of 1944. While the kropog isn’t real, the smoot is. Created by a fraternity at MIT, one smoot equals five feet seven inches, the height of one Oliver R. Smoot, class of 1962. Smoot was chosen because he was the shortest pledge and because of his awesome name.

8. THE LIFE AND DEATH BRIGADE

Like the kropog, the Life and Death Brigade is fictionalized but probably based on Yale’s real-life secret society, Skull and Bones. The Bones — including Prescott S. Bush, grandfather to 43rd President of the United States George W. — have been accused of robbing the grave of Apache warrior Geronimo. The stunts of the Life and Death Brigade, while still dangerous, are far less controversial, and include old-timey picnics, speaking without using the letter e, and jumping out of airplanes.

9. FINAL FOUR WORDS

Sherman-Palladino chose the final four words of the series long ago, but was never able to reveal them. As most Gilmorians know, she and writer-director husband Daniel left before the last season due to contract disputes with network executives. However, now with the Sherman-Palladino-helmed revival, we’ll finally get to hear those final four words. We wouldn't be surprised if one of them is coffeecoffeecoffee.

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20 John Carpenter Quotes About Horror Movies
Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival
Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

Though he’s made a variety of movies—from fantasy to science fiction films—John Carpenter will forever be known as a master of horror, thanks in large part to the role he played in reinventing the genre with 1978’s Halloween. To celebrate the award-winning filmmaker’s 70th birthday, we’ve gathered up 20 of his most memorable quotes about Hollywood.

1. ON THE DEFINITION OF HORROR

“Horror is a reaction; it's not a genre.”

—From a 2015 interview with Interview Magazine

2. ON THE RULES OF MOVIEMAKING

“I think the rules of filmmaking are essentially the same as they were since, I guess, The Birth Of A Nation. The way you make movies: long shot, close-up, camera movement, structure—it’s all the same. Not much has changed. But the technology of movies has vastly changed. From 35mm black-and-white to color, from nitrate film to safety film and now into digital—and yet we’re still breaking scenes into master shots and close-ups. The cinema narrative has not changed that much since the silent film.”

—From a 2015 interview with The A.V. Club

3. ON THE TWO TYPES OF HORROR STORIES

“There are two different stories in horror: internal and external. In external horror films, the evil comes from the outside, the other tribe, this thing in the darkness that we don’t understand. Internal is the human heart.”

—From a 2011 interview with Vulture

4. ON THE IMPORTANCE OF NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD

“One movie that showed me it was possible to make a low-budget horror movie was Night of the Living Dead (1968). When I saw that, I was like, 'Wow, that's really effective, but it's obviously low budget.' They didn't have any money but they actually made something cool. That was inspirational to me when I was in film school.”

—From a 2015 interview with Interview Magazine

5. ON THE TRUTH ABOUT HOLLYWOOD

“Film buffs who don't live in Hollywood have a fantasy about what it's like to be a director. Movies and the people who make movies have such glamor associated with them. But the truth is, it's not like that. It's very different. It's hard work. If you were suddenly catapulted into that situation—without any training—you would say after it was over: 'Oh, God! You're kidding! You mean, this is what it's like? This is what they put you through?' Yes, as a matter of fact, it is like this—and it's often worse. People have tried to describe the film business, but it's impossible to describe because it's so crazy. You must know your craft inside out and then pick up the rules as you go along.”

—From an essay for Santa Fe Studios

6. ON THE HORROR OF WATCHING HIS OWN MOVIES

“I don't watch my films. I've seen 'em enough after cutting them and putting the music on. I don't ever want to see them again.”

—From a 2012 interview with Entertainment Weekly

7. ON THE EMOTIONAL TOLL MAKING MOVIES CAN TAKE ON A DIRECTOR

“I’ve been feeling old for years and years, and I think the movie business did it to me. At one point I just did movie after movie, and it starts tearing you down physically—emotionally too, if you do one after another. The stress, the emotional exertion of dealing with others. I’ve worked with really great actors and really difficult actors. The difficult ones are no fun. And the style of the movies today have changed a great deal. To me, I’m not a big fan of handheld. That’s just my tastes. That’s a quick fix for low budget. Let the operator direct it! Walk around. That’s how you burn through the pages. And found footage—how many times do we need to do that?”

—From a 2014 interview with Deadline

8. ON WHAT MAKES A GOOD HORROR FILM

“There’s a very specific secret: It should be scary.”

—From a 2015 interview with The A.V. Club

9. ON THE PERCEPTION OF A MOVIEMAKER

“In England, I'm a horror movie director. In Germany, I'm a filmmaker. In the U.S., I'm a bum.”

—From The Films of John Carpenter

10. ON STANDING OUT

“I don't want to be in the mainstream. I don't want to be a part of the demographics. I want to be an individual. I wear each of my films as a badge of pride. That's why I cherish all my bad reviews. If the critics start liking my movies, then I'm in deep trouble.”

—From an essay for Santa Fe Studios

11. ON MAINTAINING CONTROL

“My years in the business have taught me not to worry about what you can’t control.”

—From a 2007 interview with MovieMaker Magazine

12. ON HIS FAVORITE MOVIES

“I have two different categories of favorite films. One is the emotional favorites, which means these are generally films that I saw when I was a kid; anything you see in your formative years is more powerful, because it really stays with you forever. The second category is films that I saw while I was learning the craft of motion pictures.”

—From a 2011 interview with Rotten Tomatoes

13. ON BEING STUCK IN THE 1980S

“Well, They Live was a primal scream against Reaganism of the '80s. And the '80s never went away. They're still with us. That's what makes They Live look so fresh—it's a document of greed and insanity. It's about life in the United States then and now. If anything, things have gotten worse.”

—From a 2012 interview with Entertainment Weekly

14. ON THE IMPORTANCE OF INSTINCT

“I think every director depends primarily on his instincts. That’s what’s got him where he is, what’s going to carry him through the good times and the bad. I generally go with what I instinctually think I can do well.”

—From a 2011 interview with Vulture

15. ON BEING TYPECAST AS A DIRECTOR

“I haven't just made horror. I've made all sorts of movies. There have been fantasy movies, thrillers, horrors, science fiction. In terms of the ultimate reward, listen, man, when I was a kid, when I was 8 years old, I wanted to be a movie director, and I got to be a movie director. I lived my f*cking dream, you can't get better than that. That's the ultimate.”

—From a 2015 interview with Interview Magazine

16. ON THE REALITY OF MONSTERS

“Monsters in movies are us, always us, one way or the other. They’re us with hats on. The zombies in George Romero’s movies are us. They’re hungry. Monsters are us, the dangerous parts of us. The part that wants to destroy; the part of us with the reptile brain. The part of us that’s vicious and cruel. We express these in our stories as these monsters out there.”

—From a 2011 interview with the Buenos Aires Herald

17. ON MOVIES AS A SENSORY EXPERIENCE

“A movie’s not just the pictures. It’s the story and it’s the perspective and it’s the tempo and it’s the silence and it’s the music—it’s all the stuff that’s going on. All the sensory stuff. Sometimes you can get a lot of suspense going in a non-horror film. It all depends. But, look, if there was one secret way of doing a horror movie then everybody would be doing it.”

—From a 2015 interview with The A.V. Club

18. ON THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE OF HORROR

"Horror is a universal language; we're all afraid. We're born afraid, we're all afraid of things: death, disfigurement, loss of a loved one. Everything that I'm afraid of, you're afraid of and vice versa. So everybody feels fear and suspense. We were little kids once and so it's taking that basic human condition and emotion and just f*cking with it and playing with it. You can invent new horrors."

—From a 2015 interview with Interview Magazine

19. ON THE REMAKE TREND

“It’s a brand new world out there in terms of trying to get advertising. There’s so much going on that if you come up with a movie that people have never heard of they don’t pay attention to it—no matter how good it is. So it becomes, 'Let’s remake something that maybe rings a bell and that you’ve heard of before.' That way, you’re already ahead. I’m flattered, but I understand what’s going on. They’re picking everything to remake. I think they’ve just run down the list of other titles and have finally got to mine.”

—From a 2007 interview with MovieMaker Magazine

20. ON THE LASTING INFLUENCE OF HALLOWEEN

“I didn’t think there was any more story [to Halloween], and I didn’t want to do it again. All of my ideas were for the first Halloween—there shouldn’t have been any more! I’m flattered by the fact that people want to remake them, but they remake everything these days, so it doesn’t make me that special. But Michael Myers was an absence of character. And yet all the sequels are trying to explain that. That’s silliness—it just misses the whole point of the first movie, to me. He’s part person, part supernatural force. The sequels rooted around in motivation. I thought that was a mistake. However, I couldn’t stop them from making sequels. So my agents said, ‘Why don’t you become an executive producer and you can share the revenue?’ But I had to write the second movie, and every night I sat there and wrote with a six-pack of beer trying to get through this thing. And I didn’t do a very good job, but that was it. I couldn’t do any more."

—From a 2014 interview with Deadline

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15 Surprising Facts About Half Baked
Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

You may have known these facts about Half Baked—Tamra Davis's stoner comedy starring Dave Chappelle, Guillermo Díaz, and Jim Breuer—at one point. But it’s easy to see how the film, which was released 20 years ago, could make viewers a little forgetful.

1. THE SCRIPT WAS A TEAM EFFORT.

Half Baked was written by star Dave Chappelle and his writing partner Neal Brennan. Five years later, the duo would go on to co-create Chappelle’s Show for Comedy Central. (Brennan even has a cameo in Half Baked as the cashier at the burger joint where Scarface works.)

2. NEW YORK CITY WAS A KEY INSPIRATION.

Chappelle was inspired to write Half Baked after a friend told him about New York City drug dealers who conveniently deliver illicit substances to customers’ apartments.

3. THE OPENING SCENE WAS A RISK FOR THE STUDIO.

The studio originally wanted to cut the opening scene showing kids smoking marijuana and getting the munchies, but decided to keep it after audiences at test screenings found it hilarious.

4. DIRECTING IT WAS A NO-BRAINER FOR TAMRA DAVIS.

Tamra Davis
Francois Durand/Getty Images

It's a good thing that opening scene stayed in, as it's what sold Tamra Davis on the project. In fact, she only read 10 pages of Chappelle and Brennan’s script before accepting the directing job.

"The reason why I wanted to do this movie was because the opening scene is so funny," she told Mass Appeal in 2017. "And they were like, 'No, it sends a bad message, kids smoking pot.' I was like, 'Can I screen the movie? Nobody’s ever seen this movie, can we look at it first and see how the movie plays before you guys start giving me cuts?'"

5. THE FILM HAS A MUSIC VIDEO PEDIGREE.

Davis is also humorously listed as the director of Sir Smoka Lot’s “Samson Gets Me Lifted” music video in the film. Prior to directing feature films like Half Baked and Billy Madison, Davis directed more than 30 actual music videos, including Tone Lōc’s “Wild Thing” and Hanson’s “MMMBop.”

6. MOST OF "NEW YORK" IS REALLY TORONTO.

The film was shot over 40 days, primarily in Toronto. Three days of exterior shooting were done in New York to feature landmarks like Washington Square Park.

7. PRODUCERS PULLED OUT ALL THE STOPS ON CAMEOS.

Tracy Morgan makes a cameo as the VJ who introduces Sir Smoka Lot’s music video. Other cameos in the film include Jon Stewart, Tommy Chong, Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg, Janeane Garofalo, and Bob Saget.

8. THERE WAS A REAL GUY ON THE COUCH.

The Guy on the Couch was inspired by a friend of Chappelle’s who constantly crashed on Chappelle’s couch while he and Brennan toiled away at writing the screenplay. In the film, the role of the Guy went to comedian Steven Wright.

9. THE BEASTIE BOYS INSPIRED THE FILM'S DESIGN.

Davis drew inspiration of the prop and color design of the guys’ apartment from the Beastie Boys’ Grand Royal Recording Studios. The connection makes sense, as Davis was married to Mike D of the Beastie Boys.

10. THE PRISON HAD VERY CLEAN WATER.

The exterior of the prison where Kenny is locked up is actually the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant in Toronto. (The same facility played the role of Elsinore Brewery in 1983's Strange Brew.)  Some prison interiors, including the cafeteria scenes, where shot in an actual prison.

11. THE DIRECTOR HAS A TINY CAMEO.

All the acting with Killer’s fake dog paws was done on-set by Davis.

12. THE CAST GOT GREAT SOUVENIRS.

Many members of the cast and crew kept blocks of the fake medicinal marijuana as a joke after production wrapped.

13. NO, THAT'S NOT JERRY GARCIA.

Despite rumors to the contrary, Jerry Garcia did not appear in Half Baked. Garcia is played by impersonator David Bluestein.

14. ALL THAT "POT" WAS TOBACCO.

The actors smoked a tobacco-based substitute to stand in for marijuana in the film (though there are some rumors that the scene featuring Snoop Dogg featured real marijuana).

15. IT ALMOST HAD A DARKER ENDING.

The original ending of the movie was supposed to be much darker. In it, Thurgood abandoned his girlfriend Mary Jane and jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge after the joint he threw away.

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