Melinda "Sweetie" Nelson was an old friend of Emily Gilmore. While at a weekly family dinner at The Gilmore House, Emily mentioned that her friend Sweetie loved escargot, which they were eating. After Lorelai prompted her on the name Sweetie, Emily stated that Sweetie was one of her oldest friends, but had passed away the day before. Emily went on to give an anecdote about the origin of the name. Upon discussing Sweetie, Richard realized that he would not be able to attend the funeral, as he had a golf outing with clients.
Emily: "Sweetie's father was a very poor man, so poor that Sweetie and her four siblings all had to sleep in a hollowed-out tree trunk because the house was only big enough for their parents. One winter, there was no food, so Sweetie crawled out of her trunk, wrapped her feet in newspaper, and walked forty miles in the snow to the nearest town, where she stumbled into a candy store. The owner took pity on her and gave her bags of candy, a dill pickle, and drove her back to her family. He promptly offered a job to her father, who gladly accepted and eventually owned that store and turned it into one of the most important candy emporiums in the world. And that is how she got the name Sweetie."
- 4.16 (mentioned)