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In case it isn't clear, Carol is making a purely facetious reference to the practice of committing suicide by sticking one's head in the oven - a practice common in the '30s and '40s, claiming many lives, including that of poet Sylvia Plath.

The reason this reference might not be clear is that using one's oven to commit suicide became impractical (if not impossible) with the advent of electric and natural gas ovens. Before World War II, ovens were primarily run on coal gas, which contained a significant amount of carbon monoxide - a few minutes of huffing was all it took to do the job. Natural gas is primarily methane, which would eventually suffocate you as any other gas would, but doesn't replace oxygen in the bloodstream the way CO does. In addition, natural gas made available for commercial use contains an odorant which would make even a few seconds of direct inhalation profoundly unpleasant.

It may also be unclear because, with the lasagna in the oven and the oven in use, it doesn't matter whether it's coal gas or natural gas or electricity or wood, sticking Carol's head in the back of the oven will only cook it - which, granted, would also be fatal, but highly uncomfortable.


(Friday, INT: CA and TH's place, all are drinking red wine)

ChA: So they never actually got a statement from you?
JH: I know how lame the "I'm not intolerant, some of my best friends are et cetera et cetera" argument is, but seriously, I'm working on producing a board game with Carol's boyfriend right now.
ChA (visibly confused): But Trent isn't a visible minority of any sort. At least, I don't think he is.
JH (Carol squeezing his shoulder): Oh, not Trent. I was talking about - HngOw!
CA: Oh, sorry, my hand slipped. Didn't want to slip my hand, there.
JH: Oh. That's okay.
JH: Um... I forgive you.
JH: But anyway, I meant Wallace, Carol's other boyfriend.
ChA: Other boyfriend?
CA: If anyone needs me, I'll be checking the temperature at the back of the oven...