Concerned with the lack of interest the family shows at the church, Marge volunteers there and becomes "The Listen Lady," dispensing with excellent advice- as opposed to Lovejoy, who begins to feel like a dejected failure. Meanwhile Homer, Lisa, and Bart discover a Japanese box with Homer's face on it, and try to find out why.

!!Tropes Are:

* ADayInTheLimelight: For Reverend Lovejoy, exploring his lack of enthusiasm with the church.
* {{Animesque}}: The Mr. Sparkle logo, which looks like Homer with huge PieEyes.
* ArmorPiercingQuestion: As Lovejoy bemoans Marge usurping his place as Springfield's moral advisor, he asks "What have I done to lose them?", sparking a vision in which St. Eleutherius from the Church's stain-glassed window asks "What have you done to ''keep'' them?".
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: The calls by Ned Flanders which ultimately drove Lovejoy into apathy.
-->'''Ned:''' Well, I, I think I may be coveting my own wife.

-->'''Ned:''' I'm meek but, I could probably stand to be meeker.

-->'''Ned:''' I, I ... I think I may have swallowed a toothpick!
* BadassPreacher: Lovejoy, saving Ned from a bunch of angry baboons.
* BookEnds:
** The episode opens and closes with Reverend Lovejoy delivering a sermon. Bored during the first sermon, and passionate during the last sermon.
** Reverend Lovejoy lost his passion from helping Flanders, and he rediscovers it while helping Flanders.
* ContrivedCoincidence: The image of Homer was actually the result of a merger between two companies, even merging their previous logos; a big-eyed fish, and a light bulb.
-->'''Lisa:''' Hey! It was all a coincidence!
-->'''Bart:''' Yeah, there's your answer, fishbulb.
* FreudianExcuse: Lovejoy's disinterest was the result of Ned constantly badgering him about every last misdemeanor in his life, eroding his passion for preaching.
* HeroesGoneFishing: Lovejoy likes playing with his train set in his spare time, as we see during Ned's montage of calls and later during his HeroicBSOD.
* HeroicBSOD: Lovejoy, when his flock begins going to Marge for help, and realizes he hasn't done anything to inspire people.
* HouseAmnesia: After Homer watches the Mr. Sparkle promo video:
-->'''Homer:''' Well, it was a good ride while it lasted. Come on, kids, let's go home.\\
'''Bart:''' We ''are'' home.\\
'''Homer:''' That was fast.
* {{Irony}}: While he's in the baboon exhibit, Ned shouts that he wants Maude to arrange a fancy funeral for him. Maude, not Ned, would die first, as seen in "Alone Again Natura-Diddily", three seasons later.
* KarmaHoudini: Jimbo, Kearney and Dolph, as usual, face no repercussions for harassing Ned and simply leave when they lose sight of him.
* MotifMerger: In-universe example: Merging the smiling fish logo of Matsamura Fishworks with the lightbulb logo of Tamaribuchi Heavy Manufacturing Concern, the two companies involved in the production of Mr. Sparkle dishwashing detergent, results in a grinning yellow head that just happens to resemble Homer's.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Marge tells Ned to stand up for his business to a bunch of hoodlums, causing him to be chased into a baboon exhibit at the zoo.
* OhCrap: Marge, when Maude tells her that Ned didn't come home the night before.
** Ned, when he realises he's in the baboon exhibit and one appears right in front of him.
* OverlyLongGag: Homer dialing to Japan.
* StupidestThingIveEverHeard: During his vision, Reverend Lovejoy gets asked what he's done to help Springfield's parishioners.
-->'''St. Lucian:''' Tell us, good Reverend, what great deeds have you done to inspire the hearts of men?
-->'''Lovejoy:''' Well, I had the vestibule recarpeted.
-->'''St. Donickus:''' I've appeared in over eight thousand visions, and that's the lamest reply I've ever heard.
-->'''Lovejoy:''' Oh, now please, I-I thought saints were supposed to be friendly.
-->'''St. Donickus:''' You ... you're just lucky God isn't here.
* TookALevelInCynic: Lovejoy after being worn down by Ned.
-->'''Lovejoy:''' Finally, I just {{stopped caring}}. Luckly, by then it was TheEighties, so no one noticed.
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: Ned has absolutely no clue that his neurotic badgering over the years completely destroyed Lovejoy's enthusiasm for being a reverend.
* WhatWereTheySellingAgain: The Mr. Sparkle ads. Even with subtitles, they make no sense whatsoever. Justified in that it's a Japanese commercial and Japanese commercials [[TruthInTelevision really are that weird]].
* WideEyedIdealist: Reverend Lovejoy in the 70s, until he met Ned Flanders.