In S1E14, Emily and Richard are on the phone with a realtor discussing buying a new property at Martha’s Vineyard, and Emily wants to take the deal even though the grounds fees are higher. Richard holds out, however, and their realtor agrees to negotiate the grounds fees. Richard hangs up looking very pleased with himself, and Emily says, “Careful Richard, that canary you ate is going to spoil your dinner.”
“You look like the cat that ate the canary” is a saying used to describe someone who looks very smug and self-satisfied.
This isn’t really a cultural reference, but I personally wasn’t familiar with that idiom!
In S1E14, Sookie explains to Lorelai that Luke might have gotten the wrong impression when Lorelai invited him over late at night. Sookie mentions that Lorelai had been picking out paint samples with Luke to help him paint the diner, and Lorelai freaks out. She says, “All of a sudden, I’m trying to get any poor, unsuspecting person in bed with me! I’m like Michael Douglas!”
Michael Douglas, born in 1944, is an actor and producer. He is known for his roles in “Romancing the Stone” and “Wall Street” as well as for producing “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” He was married to Diandra Luker from 1977 to 1995, and he married Catherine Zeta-Jones in 2000.
It’s unclear why Lorelai references Michael Douglas to describe her situation.
In S1E14, Lorelai tells Sookie that she named Rory’s chick “Stella” after “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Sookie asks, “Vivian Leigh or Jessica Tandy?” Lorelai answers, “Hello! Tandy!”
Vivian Leigh was the actress who played Blanche in the 1951 film adaptation of “A Streetcar Named Desire” (also discussed here).
Jessica Tandy played Blache in the original Broadway production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” in 1948 alongside Marlon Brando. Her performance earned her a Tony Award.
In S1E14, Lorelai tells Sookie about losing Rory’s chick and Apricot, then finally finding Apricot in Babette and Morey’s piano. Sookie responds, “Wow, that’s very ‘Wild Kingdom’ of you.” Lorelai responds, “Yeah, I’m like the Marlin Perkins of Stars Hollow.”
“Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” (1963-1988) is a television show starring Marlin Perkins, a zoologist. The show described the lives and habitats of various animals, and was often filmed on location in their natural habitats.