What do a Roomba, a Sidekick and a Prius have in common?


A few products made noticeable repeat appearances in the Gilmore Girls’ lives.  In the later series when Gilmore Girls really hit its stride and popularity, product promotion became noticeable to the point of distraction.  On the whole, these were forgiveable but a couple stick in my craw…

suck you right up

Chris’ drawn out conversation with Lorelai about whether to buy Rory a Sidekick mobile phone portended its eventual appearance much like the party guests at the beginning of the the Godfather asking where Michael Corleone was. By the time the Sidekick finally arrived, Rory was uncharacteristically glued to its screen, hanging on the minutiae of her father’s behaviour.

Rory: I’ve got him right here he’s turning left on main, and he found a buffalo-head nickel in his glove compartment.

This unreeled like a thinly veiled argument against any parent buying their child a mobile phone, for fear of them becoming addicted (he writes, very aware that he’s writing about about being borderline addicted to a TV show).

On Rory’s graduation from Chilton, Richard and Emily present her with a Prius electric hybrid car, bestowed along with cringeworthy bullet points for any grandparents thinking of doing the same.

Richard: We got her one car. It’s a little Prius. It’s safe, it gets great gas mileage.
Emily: And it’s the one that Leonardo DiCaprio drives.

And it looks like a slug.  But it’s the promotional consideration that counts and we can’t begrudge it completely: that boring grey heap helped fund the last couple of seasons.  The thing is, if the girls had genuinely had any affection towards it, they would have named it.  Sluggy, maybe.  And despite many appearances, it didn’t get any cooler as a result.  Paul Anka never locked himself in the Prius.

Then there was the Girls’ shared out-of-body Roomba experience. I’m not sure if this one counts because the robotic vacuum cleaner only appeared once.  On balance, I think it was product placement because they were pink and made me want to buy one purely because they were pink.

It’s safe to assume South America provided considerable financial assistance for the constant promotional consideration of coffee.

And the Pro-Buttercream lobbyists clearly won out over the Anti-Marzipan coalition. Indeed, marzipan gets a roasting (which probably wouldn’t have made it taste any better):

Emily: Oh Jason, would you like some marzipan?
Jason: Would I? I love marzipan. [Chris Eigeman deserved an Emmy purely for his delivery of this line].
Emily: Take as much as you like, and put some extra into a napkin. Just not the one Lorelai spat her piece into.

I would love to hear if you tried marzipan as a result of its being on Gilmore Girls.  Or bought a Prius :O)  Can you think of anything else promoted on the show? 

More broadly, did the show inspire you to do anything?  Backpack across Europe?  Attend a Renaissance fair?  Steal a boat?  Watch the Changeling?  Jump off anything with an umbrella?  Go to Yale instead of Harvard?  Sing that song at karaoke?  Write a smash hit television series?  I have a doc where I keep ideas for gilmorenews blogs, called Ideas Book, after Logan’s little notebook.

Ladies and gentlemen, by my count this is my 100th blog.  For which I pat myself on the back, raise a glass and wish you all a glorious summer.  Love you guys.

Pic c/o TheWB



Rich originally began contributing to GIlmore News as 'Dairyman' in 2013, a reference to the character Dairyman Dick in Tess of the D'Urbervilles, (call me Rich). Here in the UK we were late to the Gilmore party and I don't remember what made me watch my first episode - the one where Lorelai picks Rory up from the police station after she and Logan steal a yacht - but I remember watching it again immediately. And then again. Thankfully, the next show was on the next day and I watched that one three times too. And then the boat one again. I couldn't believe the dialogue was so quick and so funny and I pretended to myself that I was only watching it so I could figure out who I was more keen on - the mom or the daughter. I swore that Aaron Sorkin must have been involved but I couldn't find his name attached anywhere, even on the internet. So I watched and loved and laughed and cried and the day after the series finale, they ran the entire show from the beginning again and Rory turned into a baby so then I was all about Lorelai. Lauren Graham is astonishing ("Mother: Breathtaking") and the show was - and is - lightning in a bottle. It's a treasure for those who watch and get swept up in it, like I did and like the readers of Gilmore News. It's heartbreak and chicken soup, family dysfunction and blind optimism, lighthearted romanticism and balls-out brilliant. Thanks to Arieanna and gilmorenews.com for letting me squat and allowing my inner Gilmore Geek out for air. I worry how it would otherwise manifest.

18 thoughts on “What do a Roomba, a Sidekick and a Prius have in common?

  • June 24, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Well, I do eat pop tarts, but organic and whole wheat ones. I wear more scarves around my neck, but no appliances or vehicles from GG.
    Congrats on 100th blog!
    Keep ’em coming, please!!

  • June 25, 2014 at 1:31 am

    Actually, I bought CDs by Wolfmother and My Morning Jacket after hearing Zack mentioning them as new bands playing classic rock (loved the Wolfmother one, My Morning Jacket turned out to be good but a little boring in the long run, in my opinion). Okay, I bought a Bangles greatest hits too (pleasant, but I can’t say I play it very often). And I tried marzipan (and loved it), but it was before I knew about Gilmore Girls.

    Congratulations on your 100th blog and a good summer to you too.

  • June 25, 2014 at 8:40 am

    I tried marzipan several years ago because of Gilmore Girls. Like them, I wasn’t fond of it!

    I still want to go to a Renaissance Faire because of Liz…

  • June 25, 2014 at 9:10 am

    First things first….congrats on 100!!!

    Product placements: Roomba was funny as an opposites sketch since it gave us the closest approach to a silent movie segment [as opposed to rat-a-tat-tat dialogue] in the entire series. Prius was kind of dumb and certainly nondescript looking but at least the dialogue sounded like things Richard and Emily would say. Sidekick was boring beyond belief or maybe that was just because it signified another Christopher brain freeze moment.

    Inspirations: Nothing food related, but lots of writing I never would have predicted a decade ago!!

  • June 25, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    100?!?! Yay! I love reading them (and usually commenting on them if I feel I have anything worthy to add). My family and friends say I model my life after them…I wouldn’t say “model” but I do like some things because of them.
    I like marzipan…I love almonds! And I did only try it because of GG.
    I bought an older home near my town square that has a gazebo so I can walk to the local diner like the girls do.
    I scour ebay to find clothes that they’ve worn on the show (not the actual ones) I have a few pieces that I’ve never been able to find…
    When I find Mallomars in my local grocery store I buy them by the cartload (they almost never have them in stock).
    Whenever I see a book mentioned or seen in GG I buy it.
    I am currently in the midst of the “Rory Gilmore Book Challenge.” (Reading all the books mentioned on GG)
    I watch classic movies that Lorelai and Rory loved (“Casablanca” “The Way We Were” “Rosemary’s Baby” “The Godfather”)
    My music I didn’t really “get” from GG but I noticed that they played/mentioned a number of bands I liked *before* they were on GG (The Shins, The Decemberist, Franz Ferdinand, The New Pronographers)
    I drink Hansen’s pop (or soda as they say in Connecticut).
    I am sure there is more but I’m tired and I’ll write more tomorrow.

    And does “Bop It” count as product placement?

  • June 27, 2014 at 2:25 am

    Too kind, too kind (keep it coming) too kind.

    BOP IT!! Of course! Alysia, you’re an actual Gilmore Girl. Would love to see your wardrobe collection :O)

    Danielle, I actually don’t mind marzipan but I always spit my first bite, as a mark of respect.

    Dany, you rock! But we knew that already. There is no shame in the Bangles or The Go-Go’s.

    Calil, as much as I love the idea of Pop Tarts, the only one I can manage a box of is Chocomallow, which is a personal failure.

    And Mcityrk, keep up the writing! If you just change the names you could pull a ’50 Shades’ coup. The only way to fail at being a writer is not to write.

  • June 27, 2014 at 6:04 am

    Rich, I will have to send you some pictures!

    • June 28, 2014 at 11:26 pm

      Ideally while in your Prius, talking on your Sidekick ;0)

  • June 29, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Oh I can’t talk on my cell and drive! It’s illegal and I might end up in the bookie next to Emily Gilmore.

  • August 30, 2014 at 11:39 am

    I’m reliably informed *cough* fromtheinternet *cough* that the mall scenes from both season 4 – where Emily goes shopping for Rory’s present – and season 7 – where Rory and Lorelai bump into Luke and April returning the rock polisher – were filmed at Burbank Town Center Mall in Burbank. That includes the food mall where Emily discovers Orange Julius. Note to self: add to Gilmore Roadtrip itinerary.

  • September 18, 2014 at 8:58 am

    I am such a fan! I watch the reruns everyday!!!! I am so happy I found this site where others enjoy!!

  • September 19, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    I love this blog post! I just noticed an obscure product placement from Season 5, Pulp Friction. Richard and Emily give Rory some leftover food to take home to Yale, and Emily says she also included some pears from Harry and David. Richard rejoices, “you can eat them with a spoon!” Pretty funny. And I must be dense, because I didn’t realize Roomba was product placement, I just thought it was more of a funny pop culture reference. It’s difficult to really decipher between product placement or just a pop culture reference. For instance, are Pop Tarts and Mallomars considered product placement?

    Watching GIlmore Girls has inspired me to visit New England and find a town like Stars Hallow. I’m obsessed with the idea!

  • June 11, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    I grew up with Gilmore Girls and Rory was just a year or two older than I was so she was always my role model. The show inspired me to work hard and study like crazy. Really! After watching just an episode I would happily sit for hours doing work as I imagine Rory would. My sister and I became obsessed with pop tarts. We are from Scotland so they weren’t common at all back in 2000. Now however, they are in most supermarkets and I still absolutely love them. My sister and I always make sure that wherever we are on our birthdays or christmas’ that we have pop tarts for breakfast. It has started a little tradition.
    However, now that I am all grown up and even more addicted to Gilmore Girls, I am obsessed with junk food. haha. I love to order too much. Unfortunately I have to exercise unlike the girls. haha.
    This show was amazing and still is. I am about to graduate with first-class honours and I credit a lot of this to Rory and the Gilmore Girls for always pushing me a bit harder and for making me want to read everything and study hard.

  • June 12, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Congrats on the top notch degree Denise! Now you just have to deal with real life :O)

    I just made a couple of corrections to this post – I originally wrote ‘Paul Anka locked himself in the Prius’ instead of ‘Paul Anka NEVER locked himself in the Prius’. I assume nobody brought it up because you’re all so nice – or we’re so in tune that you knew what I meant!! That’ll teach me to post drunk.

    Mmm Chocomallow Pop Tarts…


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