Gilmore Girls

Season 3 Episode 22

Those Are Strings, Pinocchio

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM May 20, 2003 on The WB



  • Trivia

    • Lorelai states in this episode "You're not changing your major from journalism because of my lack of money." But Rory can't be a declared journalism major because Yale University doesn't actually offer a bachelors degree in journalism.

      In season 7, Rory confirms her major is English.

    • We learn that Dean has an older sibling, when he says his nephew is three.

    • Unfortunately, Rory getting turned down for financial aid wouldn't have happened this year, FAFSA uses the previous year's tax records and income. Rory wouldn't have had a problem until her sophomore year at Yale.

    • The season started with Lorelai dreaming about Luke and ends on a dream of Luke about Lorelai. In both cases, they reveal their feelings for each other.

    • During the graduation ceremony Lorelai asks Luke if he has a pen, when he says no, she asks him: 'Where is the pen you take orders with?'
      The pair have exactly the same exchange during an earlier episode - "A Tale of Poes and Fire".

    • When Rory finds out Luke cried during her speech, she says, "Oh Luke, you old softy!" which is exactly what she says in episode 1.6 "Rory's Birthday Parties" when Luke bakes her a coffee cake and blows up balloons.

    • While explaining to her parents why Christopher isn't coming to Rory's graduation (he is out of town), Lorelai says that she and Rory may plan on re-enacting the whole thing when he gets back. Coincidentally, in the series finale episode four years later, the two girls plan to re-enact Rory's college graduation ceremony for the Stars Hollow townspeople, who cannot make it to the real thing.

    • Previous episodes have suggested that Luke has strong romantic feelings for Lorelai, but this is the first episode where it is really spelled out for the audience, with the dream he has at the end.

    • Liza Weil's (Paris) sister Samantha Weil had a cameo in this episode. She played a Chilton student named Bernadette.

    • Announcer: ...Paris Eustace Geller...

      This is perhaps the first place we learn Paris' middle name.

    • (Rory's Valedictorian Speech)
      Rory: many people who have shaped my life and my fellow student's lives impermeably and forever...

      im·per·me·a·ble (ĭm-pûr'mē-ə-bəl) adj. Impossible to permeate -·per'me·a·bly per·me·ate (pûr'mē-āt') spread or diffuse through;

      "Shaped them to be impossible to spread or diffuse through"?? --- A clearly out of place, utterly misused word (there's no question it's the word used, either). Considering Rory is supposed to be Valedictorian as well as a highly effective writer, it seems odd that she would have screwed up so badly on such an important speech. The "im-" prefix alone should have tipped off someone. Possibly the word meant here was pervasively:
      per·vade [per-veyd] to become spread throughout all parts of - adv. per·va'sive·ly EDIT: What she means is that what the teacher's have taught them will be in their lives forever. Nothing can permeate or change the great knowledge they have gained at Chilton.

    • The song Brad badly sings at the end of his speech is Cherish a classic 60s love ballad by The Association. Wonderful to sing to someone you love when alone, but singularly inappropriate to sing to one's graduating class.

    • The reaction of Lorelai's parents to the idea of buying Rory a car for her graduation being of some benefit to Lorelai, their subsequent reaction to Rory's proposition, and Lorelai's claim that she wants herself and Lorelai to both get what they want but her parents to explicitly not get what they want, shows how all three are somewhat involved in a dysfunctional relationship, as each "side" derives pleasure from the dissatisfactions of the other.

    • The set used for the entrance hall and staircase at Chilton was also used in the movie "Rock Star" in 2001 with Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston.

    • When Rory was talking to Jess, she said that he ended up not taking her to her prom. They were not planning on going to her prom. They were planning on going to his prom with Lane and Dave.

    • When headmaster Charleston is talking at the beginning of the graduation ceremony, the camera pans over the audience. You can see clearly that there is no empty seat between Lorelai and Jackson. There should have been, because that is Sookie's seat. She has just been taking pictures of Rory.

    • The Season 3 DVD set for this series has some special deleted scenes for this episode, and one of them features (approximately) 9-year-old Rory and her much younger mother in a flashback as the girls walk through the emptied Independence Inn.

    • At one point in the ceremony, Emily wants to take a picture of Rory, but complains that it is impossible to distinguish her because everyone is wearing a blue robe. Actually, since Rory was valedictorian, she wore a bright yellow sash which made her easily distinguishable amongst the other students.

  • Quotes

    • Lorelai: (about her parents) Just once in my life, I'd like for you to get exactly what you want, and me to get exactly what I want, and them to get nothing!
      Rory: Well, we'll see if we can't arrange that sometime.

    • Lorelai: (about the money Richard and Emily are giving Rory for Yale) Rory, my parents do nothing altruistically. There are always strings attached.
      Rory: There's no strings. I just have to pay them back five years after I graduate and have dinner with them every Friday night.
      Lorelai: Um, hey, Pinocchio, those are strings.

    • Lorelai: (still upset because Rory went to her grandparents for Yale tuition money so Lorelai could open her inn) So explain this win-win-win thing to me again.
      Rory: Everybody wins. That's what it is.

    • Brad: Through good times and bad, Chilton formed us, brought us hope, honed our insight, gave us encouragement. Though my time here was briefly interrupted by my period spent on Broadway hanging out with Stephen Sondheim, I still consider Chilton the most rewarding experience of my young life. Now it had always been my plan in closing to recite a short poem I'd written.
      Louise: (aside to Madeline)But you reconsidered.
      Madeline: (aside to Louise)Come on, Brad. Go out a winner.
      Brad: But as I read it aloud, I realized the sentiments I wanted to share with my fellow students were better expressed in a favorite song of mine. (sings)
      Brad: Cherish is the word I use to describe... bong, bong. Bong, bong.
      Rory: Oh, Brad.

    • Rory: And if the ring bearer is younger than five years-old.
      Dean: My nephew, he's three.
      Rory: Don't give him the ring until the last second because I have seen many a ring swallowed, and well, it takes a couple days to get it back.

    • Lorelai: What are you going to do now?
      Rory: Rail at God for a while.
      Lorelai: Tell her I said hi.

    • (Lorelai and Sookie are working on Rory's graduation dress)
      Sookie: Maybe we should bring it in a bit more.
      Rory: Oh, sure, but first why don't you use a medieval torture instrument to crush my ribs and flatten my spinal cord in order to accommodate your sadistic wish there?
      Lorelai: Don't use subtlety on us, we're slow.

    • Rory: How was my speech?
      Lorelai: It made everyone cry, including stone cold Luke.
      Rory: Luke, you old softy.
      Luke: I will never live this down.
      Lorelai: Not with me in your life.

    • Rory: (to Jess, on the phone) Jess, is that you? Jess, I'm pretty sure it's you and I'm pretty sure you've been calling and not saying anything but wanna say something. Hello? You're not going to talk? Fine, I'll talk. You didn't handle things right at all. You could've talked to me. You could've told me that you were having trouble in school and weren't going to graduate, and that your dad had been there, but you didn't. And you ended up not taking me to my prom and not coming to my graduation and leaving again without saying goodbye again, and that's fine, I get it, but that's it for me. I'm going to Europe tomorrow and I'm going to Yale and I'm moving on. And I'm not going to pine. I hope you didn't think I was going to pine, okay? I think. . .I think I may have loved you, but I just need to let it go. So, that's it, I guess. Um, I hope you're good. I want you to be good, and, um, okay, so, goodbye. That word sounds really lame and stupid right now, but there it is. Goodbye.

    • Rory: What are we doing?
      Lorelai: Leaving our mark. Got a knife?
      Rory: A knife? For what?
      Lorelai: For carving our initials. Come on. Knife, knife.
      Rory: What, like the switchblade I keep in my sock? No, I left it at home.

    • Lorelai: Hey Luke.
      Luke: Lorelai - Hi, where's Rory?
      Lorelai: Oh - she's out in the car.
      Luke: It was a really nice ceremony wasn't it?
      Lorelai: Yeah, it was beautiful.
      Luke: What's up?
      Lorelai: I just wanted to say something to you in case we don't see each other before you go on your trip.
      Luke: Sure, what?
      Lorelai: Don't get engaged.
      Luke: What? Why? - Lorelai? (Cuts to Luke's apartment where he wakes up with a was just a dream)

    • Rory: Mom! This outfit carries a lot of wind resistance!

    • Headmaster Charleston: It's a distinct pleasure for me to introduce to you our Valedictorian. This young lady was a second-year transfer from a modest school where she distinguished herself immeasurably. She is humble, hard-working, competitive when need be, and unparalleled in her academic achievements. Ladies and gentlemen, Rory Gilmore.
      Sookie: Not crying right?
      Lorelai: Not crying. Keeping our cool so we don't miss anything.
      Sookie: Tears get in your eyes.
      Lorelai: Then you miss things.
      Sookie: So we're not crying.
      Lorelai: Not crying.
      Sookie: (to Jackson) Not crying.
      Jackson: (to Sookie) Not crying. (to Luke) Not crying.
      Luke: What?
      Lorelai: No crying.
      Luke: I'm not crying.
      Rory: Headmaster Charleston, faculty members, fellow students, family and friends, welcome. We never thought this day would come. We prayed for its quick delivery, crossed days off our calendars, counted hours, minutes and seconds and now that it's here, I'm sorry it is, because it means leaving friends who inspire me and teachers who've been my mentors, so many people who've shaped my life, and my fellow students lives impermeably and forever. I live in two worlds. One is a world of books. I've been a resident of Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County, hunted the white whale aboard the Pequod, fought alongside Napoleon, sailed a raft with Huck and Jim, committed absurdities with Ignatius J. Reilly, rode a sad train with Anna Karenina and strolled down Swann's Way. It's a rewarding world, but my second one is by far superior. My second one is populated with characters slightly less eccentric, but supremely real, made of flesh and bone, full of love, who are my ultimate inspiration for everything. Richard and Emily Gilmore are kind, decent, unfailingly generous people. They are my twin pillars, without whom I could not stand. I am proud to be their grandchild. But my ultimate inspiration comes from my best friend, the dazzling woman from whom I received my name and my life's blood, Lorelai Gilmore...
      Sookie: (With tears in her eyes) Uh, oh -
      Lorelai: (Also on the verge of crying) Hang in there.
      Rory: My mother never gave me any idea that I couldn't do whatever I wanted to do or be whomever I wanted to be. She filled our house with love and fun and books and music unflagging in her efforts to give me role models from Jane Austen to Eudora Welty to Patti Smith. As she guided me through these incredible eighteen years, I don't know if she ever realized that the person I most wanted to be was her...
      Sookie: (Choked up) Not crying.
      Lorelai: (Slightly crying) Crying a little.
      Sookie: Crying a little, but not blubbering. That's what we meant when we said no crying. No blubbering.
      Rory: (Tearfully) Thank you Mom, you are my guidepost for everything.
      Sookie: On the verge of blubbering here.
      Jackson: (Choked up) Not doing too well myself.
      Lorelai: (Looks over to see Luke) Not you, too.
      Luke: (tearfully) I'm blubbering, you're freaks!

    • (Lorelai and Rory start walking up the stairs at Chilton.)
      Lorelai: Wait, wait. Look around for a second. Notice?
      Rory: Notice what?
      Lorelai: It's not so scary anymore.
      Rory: No, it's not.

    • Taylor: People!
      Miss Patty: ...Oh! Sorry Taylor.
      Luke: I think this must be the first time 60 people lost their train of thought all at the same time.
      Babette: Yeah, Taylor, your voice always makes me think of my grocery list. (turns to Morey) We need croutons.
      Morey: Got it.

  • Notes

    • German episode title: "Ein starker Abgang", meaning "A Strong Exit".

      French episode title: "Qui Tire Les Ficelles ?", meaning "Who Is Pulling The Strings?"

    • Music:
      "Peace Train" by Cat Stevens
      "Mexican Shuffle" by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
      "Pomp and Circumstance" by Edward Elgar
      "Cherish by The Association" (sung by Brad)

    • Milo Ventimiglia (Jess) appears in this episode, but doesn't have a line.

  • Allusions

    • Rory: I don't want you to defer your dream.

      This is an allusion to the Langston Hughes poem "A Dream Deferred" in which he asks what happens to dreams that fail to come true.

    • Lorelai: We're the Chilton equivalent of 50 Cent's posse.

      50 Cent is a well-known gangsta rapper who is known for traveling with a large entourage.

    • Kirk: I did tell you about the dangers of mold, right? And Ed McMahon's dog?

      Ed McMahon, of "Johnny Carson's Tonight Show" and Star Search fame, was involved in one of the most publicly noted cases of toxic mold after water pipes in his house burst and the clean up crews were less than efficient. The severe mold problem which ensued was claimed in a subsequent lawsuit to have killed the family dog, Muffin, as well as sickened numerous family members and staff.

    • Lorelai: We aren't buying a money pit are we?

      The Money Pit was a movie starring Tom Hanks and Shelley Long as a young couple attempting to fix up an old dilapidated house. The term has long been a phrase referring to a house which is in constant need of fixing (particularly expensive fixing), hence its use in this context and for that movie title.

    • Lorelai: (Sing-song voice)The Love Boat.
      Luke: I have no plans to propose.
      Lorelai: You don't now but after you've had dinner at Captain Stubing's table, and Isaac's served you up a couple of mojitos...

      The Love Boat was a TV show on from 1977 to 1986. People went on cruises where the crew, including Captain Stubing (played by Gavin MacLeod) and Isaac the bartender (Ted Lange), often helped the passengers fall in love.

    • Lorelai: (about Rory's dress) If you wear it with a moody look on your face like you're thinking of Bolsheviks, they'll mistake you for Simone de Beauvoir.

      Simone de Beauvoir (1908 – 1986) was a French philosopher and author of the pioneering feminist treatise The Second Sex.

      "Bolsheviks" was the name given to the Marxist faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party that seized power in the Russian Revolution in 1917 and later became the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

    • Sookie: Tell it to Deney Terrio here. I should've been a dancer.

      From 1979 to 1985, Deney Terrio hosted Dance Fever, a show which gave the best amateur disco dancers from around America national exposure.

    • Rory: This marble is two hundred years old. Harriet Beecher Stowe walked on this marble.
      Lorelai: Oh, the banister.
      Rory: Was donated by Robert Frost.
      Lorelai: The sconce.
      Rory: Was ceremoniously lit for the first time by Thomas Edison.

      Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) was an abolitionist and writer of over ten books, including Uncle Tom's Cabin, the first major American novel with an African-American hero, and was the source for much of the growing antipathy towards slavery during the 1800s.
      Robert Frost (1874 –1963) is, in the estimation of many, the greatest American poet of the 20th century and one of the greatest poets writing in English in the 20th century. Frost received four Pulitzer Prizes.
      Thomas Alva Edison (1847 – 1931) was the father of the modern industrial lab, and invented, among many other things, the first practical light bulb, the phonograph, and movie projector.

    • Title: Those are strings, Pinocchio

      Pinocchio is a classic tale about a little puppet named Pinocchio, who yearns to be a real boy. As a puppet, Pinocchio is tied down by strings and forced into many things because he is just a possession, but not a person.