“Slow and steady wins the race” is a proverb from “The Tortoise and the Hare”, a story from Aesop’s Fables – a collection of tales from ancient Greece, attributed to a legendary slave named Aesop.
In the fable, the tortoise challenges the hare to a race, but the arrogant hare takes a nap midway through the race, sure that he has plenty of time to do so and still win the race. He wakes to find the tortoise has already crossed the finish line.
The moral of the story is that flashy overconfidence may be overtaken by conscientious plodding. In the same way, Dean hopes to win Rory back with his steady, reliable ways, while the “flashy” Jess misses out.
CAROL: Stupid manager made me cover for Fiona today. That girl’s a major pie crust.
Pie crust, US slang for someone who is flaky (like pastry), unreliable. An old American proverb is, “Promises are like pie crust, easily broken”, so linking unreliability and pie crust goes back at least to the 19th century.
LORELAI: Yeah, well, I just wanted to beat traffic and have time to get ready and relax, and also, I’ve heard the early bird gets the unwrinkled gowns without the mysterious stains in them.
Lorelai plays with the common English proverb, “The early bird catches the worm”, meaning that the first people to arrive are most likely to nab the best stuff, or that the earlier you begin a task, the more likely you are to succeed at it before others. It’s first found in a 17th century collection of proverbs, suggesting that it was already an old and well-known saying.
LORELAI: Whoa, whoa, whoa! There is a baby here desperately in need of some bath water.
A play on the common idiom, “To throw the baby out with the bathwater”, meaning that in the rush to rid oneself of unwanted things, valuable things are being lost as well. It was originally a German proverb, dating to at least the 16th century.
Lorelai means that just because Margie can’t be Richard’s secretary any more, it doesn’t mean he needs to give up on the idea of having his own business as well.