Following a string of advertising-based hallucinations, Homer impulsively decides to go to clown college and become a Krusty impersonator. Meanwhile, the real Krusty is trying to dodge the Mafia after making some bad bets.

* AffablyEvil: Don Vittorio [=DiMaggio=] [[ApologeticAttacker apologizes]] as he is about to shoot Homer (believing him to be Krusty) and decides he won't do it on the condition of having the "Spin-Cycle Fantastic" trick performed for him (which Homer fails), then apologizes again when the real Krusty shows up at the last second; and ultimately lets them both live when they successfully pull off the trick together.
* AntiClimax: It turns out that Krusty only owed the mob $48, which he casually pays back at the end of the episode, even getting change back.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: Homer's reasons why it sucks being a clown: "You get kicked by kids, bit by dogs, and admired by the elderly."[[note]]though subverted somewhat, considering how the elderly are portrayed on the show -- usually in the form of characters like Grampa Simpson, The Crazy Old Jewish Man, and Hans Moleman[[/note]]
* BlatantLies: A man at clown college dressed like a Texan claims to be from Brooklyn because he's not the only Texan there and there can be only one Krusty impersonator per state.
* ChekhovsSkill: Inverted; it's Homer's ''inability'' to ride a mini bicycle through a loop that resurfaces -and almost gets him killed- by the end of the episode.
** And subverted when Homer suggests that instead of performing that particular trick he could squirt Don Vittorio with his button (it was his major); it's the loop or death.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint:
** While all the other clown college students inform Krusty where they're from, Homer just says his name.
** After Krusty reads the joke names of certain towns, Homer inexplicably finds the most normal one, UsefulNotes/{{Seattle}}, to be hilarious.
** Homer beats up an actor, portraying a burglar to amuse the children in the audience, not understanding that it's obviously an act.
** After Krusty obviously runs out on them, Legs says he needs to use the bathroom next. This causes Fat Tony to roll his eyes.
** When Homer tries saying he's not Krusty, one of his given aliases is Benedict Arnold. Louie seems to honestly think Homer means he's ''the'' Benedict Arnold.
* ComicallySmallDemand: Turns out the money Krusty owes the Mafia is only $48. He gives the Don a fifty and gets $2 in change.
* ConspicuousConsumption: Krusty spends money on some truly ridiculous things, including buying a new house because his current one is dirty, hiring Kenny G to play muzak for him in an elevator, sending a thousand roses to Bea Arthur's grave (she's still alive, or was at the time the episode aired), and condor egg omelettes.
* DepartmentOfRedundancy: Homer: "Who am I clowning? I have no business being a clown! I'm leaving the clowning business to all the other clowns in the clowning business."
* DiggingYourselfDeeper: As Homer tries to tell Fat Tony he isn't Krusty, everybody he tries to say he is, including himself, has upset Tony one way or another.
-->'''Homer''': But you can't kill me for being Krusty! I'm not him! I'm Homer Simpson!\\
'''Fat Tony:''' [[NoodleIncident The same Homer Simpson who crashed his car through the wall of our club]]?!\\
'''Homer:''' Actually, my real name is Barney, Barney Gumble!\\
'''Legs:''' [[BigBrotherInstinct The same Barney Gumble who keeps taking pictures of my sister]]?!\\
'''Homer:''' Actually, my ''real'' name is... ''[sotto voce]'' Think, Krusty think! Joe Valachi!\\
'''Louie:''' [[TheStoolPigeon The same Joe Valachi who squealed to the Senate Committee about organised crime?!]]\\
''(SmashCut to the Mafia hauling Homer to the entrance of the LegitimateBusinessmensSocialClub, with Homer still rattling off names)''\\
'''Homer:''' Benedict Arnold!\\
'''Legs:''' The same Bendict Arnold who plotted to surrender West Point to the hated British?!\\
'''Homer:''' ''(as he is brought inside the club)'' D'OH!!
* DisproportionateRetribution: The mobsters are willing to kill Krusty (and hunt him down wherever he is hiding on the planet) over a measly $48.
* DissonantSerenity: Homer sees his co-workers as cavorting clowns. [[CrossesTheLineTwice While they're on fire]].
-->'''Homer:''' ''(chuckles)'' [[CreepyMonotone Clowns are funny...]]
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: While Season 6 is far from "early" in the show's development, this episode portrays Milhouse's dad Kirk as a very competent, respected man who has connections to get Krusty to come to his son's birthday (even if it was just Homer). In later episodes, especially after the divorce in season 8, he becomes a pitifully pathetic, needy deadbeat.
** Case in point: when "Krusty" takes a break at the party from exhaustion, Kirk assertively stands above him and says, "Um...it's not 5:30 yet!", basically telling him to get back to work. The later Kirk would have NOWHERE near the self-confidence or demeanor to do something like that.
** You can claim the divorce turned him into the pathetic deadbeat he is, but during the divorce, Luann claimed he was always a failure and the family was on a huge downslope.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: After nearly being killed for not paying his debts Krusty pays the money anyway, which turns out to be the ridiculously low sum of $48. The boss is happy and even [[HonorAmongThieves gives him back his change]].
* EyeScream: Krusty cautions his students to be careful with their balloons, because if one goes off it'll take out the eyes of every kid in the room... then he asks his accountant how much that cost them.
* FamilyUnfriendlyViolence: The scene where the Krusty Burglar is beaten up, in front of an audience of children.
* INeedAFreakingDrink: Marge, after seeing Homer build a circus tent with mash potatoes.
-->'''Lisa:''' ''(disturbed)'' Mom?\\
'''Marge:''' I'll have the wine.
* ImagineSpot: Homer's obsession over joining Clown College.
* IsItSomethingYouEat: When Homer goes by the new billboards, the first few ones are of food, so when he comes to the one for Clown College, he complains "Clown college? You can't eat that!"
* KillTheCutie: An Estonian little person (not the one who played Lisa in the fake video of The Simpsons talking about how they don't miss Bart, though he does have the same voice as him), dressed up as a thief character to amuse the young audience is [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown brutally beaten to pulp]] by Homer, who doesn't get that it's supposed to be an act.
-->'''Kid:''' (crying) Stop! Stop! He's already dead!
* LetMeGetThisStraight: One from Krusty's accountant.
-->'''Accountant:''' Let me get this straight; you took all the money you made franchising your name and bet it ''against'' the Harlem Globetrotters?!\\
'''Krusty''': Oh, I thought the Generals were due!
* MadeOfIron: Homer comes out of the botched parachute landing and falling very fast through the giant prop hamburgers with nothing worse than a slightly drunk-sounding Krusty laugh.
* TheMagazineRule: Krusty apparently enjoys reading "Gigantic Asses" magazine and his love of porno magazines helped Apu keep the Kwik-E-Mart in business during its first year.
* MoneyDearBoy:[[invoked]] Krusty spends money like it is going out of style and has endorsed pretty much everything under the sun.
* NationalStereotypes: Don Vittorio acknowledges himself to be one.
-->'''Don Vittorio [=DiMaggio=]:''' Grazie. Grazie. You have brought great joy to this old Italian stereotype.\\
'''Legs:''' No, no, Don Vittorio. You're not -\\
'''Don Vittorio [=DiMaggio=]:''' Yes, I am. I know it. I am.
* NewsTravelsFast: While being accused of plagiarizing a bit, Krusty responds by plagiarizing another performer's bit, and immediately gets called for that one, too.
* NoodleIncident: When did Homer crash his car into the wall of the Springfield Mafia's club? And, for that matter, when did Barney Gumble take pictures of one of the mobster's sister?
* PlagiarismInFiction: Krusty is phoned by Creator/GeorgeCarlin for stealing his "Seven Words You Can't Say On Television". Krusty gives him ten grand, but sarcastically says "Well, excuuuuse me!", causing him have to pay another ten grand to Creator/SteveMartin.
* PlotHole: Milhouse really had no reason to gloat about having Krusty over at his party -- Bart already had Krusty over for dinner at his place in "Like Father, Like Clown" (and Milhouse was at the Simpson house with Krusty, so that's really bad that the writers would make Milhouse out as a braggart).
* PocketProtector: Two of them save Flanders from being killed by Mafia hitmen trying to hit the man standing next to him.
--> *Gunshot* ''(Flanders is knocked down)''\\
'''Ned Flanders:''' Whew, good thing I always keep a Bible next to my...\\
[=*=]Second gunshot* ''(Flanders is knocked down again)''\\
'''Ned Flanders:''' Whew, luckily I was wearing an extra large piece of the True Cross today.\\
''(Flanders notices that he doesn't have any other religious symbols with him)''\\
'''Ned Flanders:''' [[KnowWhenToFoldEm I think I'll go inside]].
* PunbasedTitle: "Homey the Clown" was a character from the sketch show ''LiveAction/InLivingColor''.
* RichInDollarsPoorInSense: The reason Krusty founds a clown college is because he risks bankrupting himself with his extravagant spending. Not that opening the college causes him to be more responsible in any way...
* ShoutOut:
** One of the items Krusty sets on fire to light a cigar (including [[MoneyToBurn a $100 bill]] and a [[RuleOfFunny pearl necklace]]) is a copy of ''ComicBook/ActionComics #1''.
** Krusty bets against the Harlem Globetrotters, and of course loses!
** The scene where Krusty has plastic surgery is a shout-out to the ''Series/TwilightZone'' episode "Eye Of The Beholder".
*** The part where [[RageAgainstTheReflection Krusty looks at himself in a mirror and smashes it]] parodies the Joker seeing his facelift after surgery in ''Film/{{Batman}}''.
** Homer and Krusty drive a mini bicycle together, causing Homer's head to bump against some glasses and quote the theme from ''Film/TheGodfather''.
** Homer building a circus tent with his mashed potatoes while his family looks at him with a concerned look is a parody of a similar scene in ''Film/CloseEncountersOfTheThirdKind'', where the protagonist's obsession about a certain mountain hill also makes him create one with a spoon and some porridge.
** Homer says to his kids that they didn't complain when he dressed up as Tom Bosley and got them [[Series/HappyDays "this close to Chachi"]].
--->'''Bart:''' ''(under his breath)'' What's a Chachi?
** Dick Cavett mentions he knew Creator/WoodyAllen, though nobody in the audience cares. When he tries to make conversation with Homer and says that his "churlish attitude reminds me of the time I met [[Creator/TheMarxBrothers Groucho]]", Homer threatens him with "You'll be dining with Groucho tonight if you don't shut up!"
** The son of the guy who played Huggy Bear in ''Series/StarskyAndHutch'' accepts Krusty's award.
** After failing to kill Homer at the car lot, Fat Tony suggests the Mafia restock on ammunition at Big 5 Sporting Goods, referencing the Menendez brothers' trial -- specifically, their claim that they got their ammunition there, even though Big 5 doesn't sell them anymore.
* SingleMaltVision: When Krusty arrives at the Legitimate Businessmen's Social Club right as the mobsters are about to kill Homer, Legs declares that he sees double: four Krusties!
* SnakeOilSalesman: Homer runs into one at a car-dealership, who manages to convince Homer the gunshot holes in the car caused by the mobsters trying to kill him are "speed holes". [[TooDumbToLive Homer not only believes him, but puts several "speed holes" in his own car with a pick-axe]].
* SpecialGuest: Johnny Unitas and Dick Cavett.
* StrippingSnag: Homer rides a tiny bicycle to attempt a stunt done by Krusty. His baggy pants snag on the bike's back wheel which starts to rip away and reveal his bare butt.
--> '''Krusty:''' Ah, burn that seat.
* SureLetsGoWithThat: When Krusty arrives at the Legitimate Businessmen's Social Club to accept his fate, he finds that Fat Tony had already captured Homer and is about to have him executed. Homer and Krusty have this exchange:
--> '''Homer:''' Krusty! Oh, thanks. Thanks a lot. You came here to save me.\\
'''Krusty:''' ''(shifty-eyed)'' Yeah... that's what I did.
* TemptingFate: After buying all of the consumer products advertised on the latest billboards, Homer claims he's not enrolling in the Clown College since the billboard he saw had no affect on him. Soon after he says this, he starts hallucinating clowns, and it continues until he finally decides to enroll.
* TrappedByGamblingDebts: Krusty's story arc in this episode.
* WhatExactlyIsHisJob: In this episode, we learn that Milhouse's father works at the cracker factory (later, in "Bart On the Road," we find out that Kirk oversees production on crackers, and "A Milhouse Divided" states that Kirk is a manager[[note]]he probably was promoted[[/note]] whose incompetence sent the factory into a tie in sixth with Table-Time and Allied Biscuits).
* WritingAroundTrademarks:
--> '''Bill:''' At this rate, you'll be broke in a month. The only thing left to do is... Open a Clown College and train some regional Krustys.\\
'''Krusty:''' You mean like that bozo, Bonko the Clown?