In “The Gilmore Girls”, Lorelai uses popular culture references in her fast-talk while Rory, her daughter, uses more academic culture references. The significance of this is to show the distinction between social classes. Lorelai uses popular culture references as a sign of her escape from the stifling atmosphere of the upper class society. She shuns her mother’s social standing by finding work at an inn. She further does this by rejecting a rich education through her use of popular culture. On the other hand, Rory uses academic references because of her good education, which her mother made sure she got. Rory remains Lorelai’s only link between the latter’s working class status and the upper class society that she chose to leave.
Another significance of combining both influences is to achieve the effect of the film as a form of utopia. By use of references, Lorelai and Rory portray themselves as being real. They constantly affirm their status as consumers of popular culture and academic culture. They try to show the audience that they are a real representation of everyday life. By doing this, the audience feels that they can escape their own reality and get to a world like Lorelai’s and Rory’s (who seem to be real) where things do not seem too bad.
Finally, combination of popular culture references and high culture references is significant as it gives an identity to both characters and at the same time provides irony in the film. Lorelai is portrayed as laid back and easygoing while Rory is depicted as an independent high-achiever. This is ironic, as mother and daughter seem to have exchanged roles. The mother is seen to be growing together with her daughter instead of raising her. It provides for an interesting plot as the film explores the unusual relationship between mother and daughter.