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

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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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11 Delicious Facts About Good Burger
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Paramount Pictures

It takes just 14 words—“Welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger, can I take your order?”—to make a ‘90s kid swoon with nostalgia. Good Burger, the beloved Nickelodeon comedy about a couple of daft teens who try to save their fast food joint from corporate greed, was born out of a Kenan Thompson/Kel Mitchell sketch on All That in the mid-'90s. A year later, due to its popularity, it found itself being turned into its own live-action movie, with Brian Robbins at the helm. Today—20 years after its original release—it’s a silly cult hit that’s indelibly a part of Generation Y. Revisit the classic with these facts about Good Burger.

1. KEL MITCHELL AUDITIONED FOR ALL THAT WITH HIS CHARACTER FROM GOOD BURGER.

In an interview with The A.V. Club, Kel Mitchell explained how he came up with Ed. “I did a ‘dude’ voice, and that’s where Ed [from Good Burger] was kind of born,” he said. “I did that there at the audition. They were just cracking up.”

2. ED’S FIRST APPEARANCE WAS IN THE JOSH SERVER SKETCH, “DREAM REMOTE.”

Essentially, Good Burger was born out of a random character decision made during one little sketch. “It was where [Josh] could have a remote control that could control his entire life,” Mitchell told The A.V. Club. “So, he could fast-forward through his sister nagging, he could make pizza come really quickly. I was the pizza guy. I came to the door, and the pizza guy didn’t really have a voice, so I was like, ‘Mleh, here’s your pizza! That was the first time we saw Ed, and so they created Good Burger.”

3. ED’S LOOK WAS INSPIRED BY MILLI VANILLI.

When prepping for Ed’s debut on All That, Kel Mitchell spotted what would become the character’s signature look. “I remember I went to the hair room, and I saw these braids. It was like these early Brandy ’90s Milli Vanilli braids. I put those on, and it came to life,” he told The A.V. Club.

4. THOUSANDS OF POUNDS OF MEAT STUNK UP THE SET.

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For a movie all about burgers, you better believe the production had a ton of them sitting around on set. "At one point, there was over 1750 pounds of meat on the set," Kenan Thompson told The Morning Call. "Some of it was old meat. It was so nasty. Some of the burgers would stay out there for a long time. I felt sorry for the extras who had to eat them with cold, clammy fries. But on screen, those burgers look good."

5. ELMER’S GLUE WAS USED TO KEEP THE FOOD LOOKING FRESH.

In order to keep the food looking good on screen, the production resorted to old, albeit inedible, tricks. "It was so gross, because when I scoop out ice cream in the movie, it was really vegetable shortening with food coloring,” Mitchell told The Morning Call. “When I poured milk on cereal, we used Elmer's Glue so the flakes wouldn't get soggy."

6. KENAN AND KEL CONTRIBUTED TO THE GOOD BURGER SOUNDTRACK.

Good Burger was their baby, so of course Kenan and Kel took the reins on more than just the creation of the characters, according to a 1997 interview with The Morning Call. Specifically, Kel partnered up with Less Than Jake on the hit song, “We’re All Dudes.” Because of this, the soundtrack actually charted at 101 on the Billboard 200.

7. GOOD BURGER WAS LINDA CARDELLINI’S FEATURE FILM DEBUT.

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In an interview with The A.V. Club, the Freaks and Geeks star reminisced about her breakout role in the Nickelodeon movie. “That’s my sister’s favorite role that I’ve ever played! It was so much fun. It was my first film, and it was a fantastic part,” Cardellini said. “I got to play crazy! Nobody knew who I was, and I got the part from the table read.”

8. WRITER DAN SCHNEIDER INTENDED TO GIVE UP ACTING WHEN HE WROTE GOOD BURGER, BUT HE PLAYED MR. BAILY IN THE FILM.

On creating Good Burger, writer/producer/actor Dan Schneider explained to The A.V. Club: “I’ve always wanted to write, and after I was doing All That and Kenan & Kel, I got the opportunity to do another TV show—I was still going on auditions. I realized that if I took that show, I was going to have to give up All That and Kenan & Kel. I really didn’t want to do [that] ... I passed on the acting role, and that was really the turning point, I guess, in 1996, when I was like, ‘You know what? I’m going to put my acting career on the back burner, and I’m going to be a writer-producer.’ Then I wrote the movie Good Burger.” However, if you watch the movie, you’ll notice Schneider starring as Mr. Baily.

9. THE ORIGINAL TRAILER FEATURED A SCENE THAT DIDN’T MAKE THE MOVIE.

For reasons that remain a mystery, a scene where a Good Burger customer orders “a good shake” from Ed (Mitchell), only to receive an actual bodily shaking from the Good Burger employee, didn’t make the final cut. It did, however, feature for a few seconds in the theatrical trailer.

10. KENAN AND KEL REUNITED FOR A GOOD BURGER SKETCH ON THE TONIGHT SHOW.

In 2015, Kenan and Kel reunited for a Good Burger sketch with Jimmy Fallon. This time, however, Fallon played Ed’s co-worker, while Kenan came in as a construction worker as a surprise. "We've been wanting to get back together," Mitchell told E! News. "It was just about the right project ... it felt like home."

11. THE FIRST LINE IN THE FILM IS THE SAME AS THE LAST LINE.

Appropriately, the line is, “Welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger, can I take your order?”—just watch the movie.

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10 Surprising Facts About The Babadook
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IFC Films

In 2014, The Babadook came out of nowhere and scared audiences across the globe. Written and directed by Aussie Jennifer Kent, and based on her short film Monster, The Babadook is about a widow named Amelia (played by Kent’s drama schoolmate Essie Davis) who has trouble controlling her young son Samuel (Noah Wiseman), who thinks there’s a monster living in their house. Amelia reads Samuel a pop-up book, Mister Babadook, and Samuel manifests the creature into a real-life monster. The Babadook may be the villain, but the film explores the pitfalls of parenting and grief in an emotional way. 

“I never approached this as a straight horror film,” Kent told Complex. “I always was drawn to the idea of grief, and the suppression of that grief, and the question of, how would that affect a person? ... But at the core of it, it’s about the mother and child, and their relationship.”

Shot on a $2 million budget, the film grossed more than $10.3 million worldwide and gained an even wider audience via streaming networks. Instead of creating Babadook out of CGI, a team generated the images in-camera, inspired by the silent films of Georges Méliès and Lon Chaney. Here are 10 things you might not have known about The Babadook (dook, dook).

1. THE NAME “BABADOOK” WAS EASY FOR A CHILD TO INVENT.

Jennifer Kent told Complex that some people thought the creature’s name sounded “silly,” which she agreed with. “I wanted it to be like something a child could make up, like ‘jabberwocky’ or some other nonsensical name,” she explained. “I wanted to create a new myth that was just solely of this film and didn’t exist anywhere else.”

2. JENNIFER KENT WAS WORRIED PEOPLE WOULD JUDGE THE MOTHER.

Amelia isn’t the best mother in the world—but that’s the point. “I’m not a parent,” Kent told Rolling Stone, “but I’m surrounded by friends and family who are, and I see it from the outside … how parenting seems hard and never-ending.” She thought Amelia would receive “a lot of flak” for her flawed parenting, but the opposite happened. “I think it’s given a lot of women a sense of reassurance to see a real human being up there,” Kent said. “We don’t get to see characters like her that often.”

3. KENT AND ESSIE DAVIS TONED DOWN THE CONTENT FOR THE KID.

Noah Wiseman was six years old when he played Samuel. Kent and Davis made sure he wasn’t present for the more horrific scenes, like when Amelia tells Samuel she wishes he was the one who died, not her husband. “During the reverse shots, where Amelia was abusing Sam verbally, we had Essie yell at an adult stand-in on his knees,” Kent told Film Journal. “I didn’t want to destroy a childhood to make this film—that wouldn’t be fair.”

Kent explained a “kiddie version” of the plot to Wiseman. “I said, ‘Basically, Sam is trying to save his mother and it’s a film about the power of love.’”

4. THE FILM IS ALSO ABOUT “FACING OUR SHADOW SIDE.”

IFC Films

Kent told Film Journal that “The Babadook is a film about a woman waking up from a long, metaphorical sleep and finding that she has the power to protect herself and her son.” She noted that everybody has darkness to face. “Beyond genre and beyond being scary, that’s the most important thing in the film—facing our shadow side.”

5. THE FILM SCARED THE HELL OUT OF THE DIRECTOR OF THE EXORCIST.

In an interview with Uproxx, William Friedkin—director of The Exorcist—said The Babadook was one of the best and scariest horror films he’d ever seen. He especially liked the emotional aspect of the film. “It’s not only the simplicity of the filmmaking and the excellence of the acting not only by the two leads, but it’s the way the film works slowly but inevitably on your emotions,” he said.

6. AN ART DEPARTMENT ASSISTANT SCORED THE ROLE AS THE BABADOOK.

Tim Purcell worked in the film’s art department but then got talked into playing the titular character after he acted as the creature for some camera tests. “They realized they could save some money, and have me just be the Babadook, and hence I became the Babadook,” Purcell told New York Magazine. “In terms of direction, it was ‘be still a lot,’” he said.

7. THE MOVIE BOMBED IN ITS NATIVE AUSTRALIA.

Even though Kent shot the film in Adelaide, Australians didn’t flock to the theaters; it grossed just $258,000 in its native country. “Australians have this [built-in] aversion to seeing Australian films,” Kent told The Cut. “They hardly ever get excited about their own stuff. We only tend to love things once everyone else confirms they’re good … Australian creatives have always had to go overseas to get recognition. I hope one day we can make a film or work of art and Australians can think it’s good regardless of what the rest of the world thinks.”

8. YOU CAN OWN A MISTER BABADOOK BOOK (BUT IT WILL COST YOU). 

IFC Films

In 2015, Insight Editions published 6200 pop-up books of Mister Babadook. Kent worked with the film’s illustrator, Alexander Juhasz, who created the book for the movie. He and paper engineer Simon Arizpe brought the pages to life for the published version. All copies sold out but you can find some Kent-signed ones on eBay, going for as much as $500.

9. THE BABADOOK IS A GAY ICON.

It started at the end of 2016, when a Tumblr user started a jokey thread about how he thought the Babadook was gay. “It started picking up steam within a few weeks,” Ian, the Tumblr user, told New York Magazine, “because individuals who I presume are heterosexual kind of freaked out over the assertion that a horror movie villain would identify as queer—which I think was the actual humor of the post, as opposed to just the outright statement that the Babadook is gay.” In June, the Babadook became a symbol for Gay Pride month. Images of the character appeared everywhere at this year's Gay Pride Parade in Los Angeles.

10. DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH FOR A SEQUEL.

Kent, who owns the rights to The Babadook, told IGN that, despite the original film's popularity, she's not planning on making any sequels. “The reason for that is I will never allow any sequel to be made, because it’s not that kind of film,” she said. “I don’t care how much I’m offered, it’s just not going to happen.”

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