Episode - 8F17\\
First Aired - 3/12/1992

The Simpsons must make budget cuts in order to pay for Santa's Little Helper's stomach surgery, but Santa's Little Helper runs away after the family expresses resentment for having to give up their favorite things in order to pay for the vet bill. Meanwhile, lottery fever hits Springfield, and local news anchor Kent Brockman hits the jackpot.

!!This episode contains examples of:
* AndroclesLion: In a sense, as Santa's Little Helper snaps out of his attack state once he realizes who he's supposed to (help) attack. In fact, SLH turns on Burns' hounds and changes them instantly from bloodthirsty killers to whimpering, sniveling cowards, literally saving Bart's life.
* BrandX: Encyclopedia Generica
* ComeBackMyPet: The family realizes they were wrong in how they treated Santa's Little Helper and send Bart out to get him.
* ContinuityNod: The map of Springfield used to follow Santa's Little Helper's adventures when he runs away includes the "Music/MichaelJackson Expressway"; Mayor Quimby renamed the road that when everyone thought Jackson was coming to town in the Season Three opener "Stark Raving Dad".
* DisneyDeath: Right before the first {{Act Break|s}}, Abe declares Santa's Little Helper dead. When the show returns from commercials, it turns out not to be the case, and Abe refuses to admit his mistake.
* {{Flashback}}: Homer suggests that ''he'' could perform surgery on the dog, since as he sees it it wouldn't be any different from carving a turkey. We then go to a flashback to a previous meal as Homer proves no expert with an electric carving knife...
* HeavenAndHell: "There can't be a 'Doggie Heaven' without a 'Doggie Hell'."
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Mr. Burns wanted Santa's Little Helper to be a vicious attack dog and ended up being one person the dog attacked. Considering he was wearing protective gear at the time, however, it was likely he anticipated this.
* {{Homage}}: Santa's Little Helper gets programmed into a killer in the same way that Alex was programmed ''not'' to kill in ''Film/AClockworkOrange''. The montage (which features violence against dogs and things dogs hate, like cats and Lyndon Johnson holding his dog by the ears) even features Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" as the soundtrack.
* ItsAllMyFault: Bart really blames himself for making Santa's Little Helper run away.
* KickTheDog: In this episode, Burns not only tortures an actual dog to make him a killer, he sends him and the whole rest of the pack after a 10-year-old boy. However, Burns fails to count on SLH's instinct buried deep within him, denying him the satanic satisfaction of watching a young boy being mauled to death.
** Homer and Marge initially decide that it would too costly ($750) to have Santa's Little Helper receive surgery, meaning that they would rather their dog face a slow and painful death than find a way to afford his treatment.
* TheLudovicoTechnique: Burns {{brainwash}}es Santa's Little Helper into being a vicious, soulless killer.
* MeaningfulBackgroundEvent: Santa's Little Helper can be seen sickly limping and falling down in the background multiple times while the story is still focused on the lottery.
* NearDeathExperience: Santa's Little Helper has one during his operation, proving that there ''is'' a Doggie Heaven (despite Homer's claim otherwise later in the episode).
* PetTheDog: Mr. Burns, of all people, gets one reminiscing about his favourite attack dog, the elderly Crippler.
-->'''Burns''': I remember the day he bagged his first hippy.
* RunningGag: Homer tossing a book in the fireplace when he realizes that it's useless.
* ShoutOut:
** People buy/check out from the library copies of Creator/ShirleyJackson's "Literature/TheLottery", thinking it's a how-to guide to winning the lottery, when really it's a short story about conformity gone mad.
** Creator/RayBradbury's ''{{Literature/Fahrenheit451}}'' also lies in the [[{{Irony}} fireplace]].
** While Santa's Little Helper strolls in the forest, music from ''Music/PeterAndTheWolf'' can be heard.
** Among the violent films Santa's Little Helper sees are the Hindenburg disaster and President UsefulNotes/LyndonJohnson yanking a dog's ears (as he used to do in real life).
* SpecialGuest: Frank Welker as Santa's Little Helper
* WouldHurtAChild: Mr. Burns. Unsurprisingly really.
-->'''Smither''': I hate to interrupt your longevity treatment, sir, but there's a sweet little boy at the door.
-->'''Burns''': ''[without opening his eyes]'' Release the hounds!