In this, the 200th episode, Homer's {{jerkass}} antics gets the family's garbage collection cut off, and Marge writes an apology to the garbagemen on Homer's behalf. Incensed that Marge would do something like this, Homer takes on sanitation commissioner Ray Patterson (voiced by comedian, actor, and one of ''SaturdayNightLive'''s most frequent and memorable hosts, SteveMartin) in an upcoming election and wins his seat with a campaign that promises more than it can deliver.

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* AFoolAndHisNewMoneyAreSoonParted: Homer spends his entire year's budget in less than a month.
* AllElectionsAreSeriousBusiness
* AnalogyBackfire: When the garbagemen resumed collecting the Simpsons' garbage and Homer didn't know it was because Marge apologized on his behalf, he compared it to David vs. Goliath and said that ''this'' time, David won. Rather than correct Homer, Lisa's mind gives her some Beethoven music to bliss out to.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: "Pantyhose, melon rinds, a term paper from Texas Tech?"
* {{Bowdlerization}}: In the UK, the following scenes are cut during pre-watershed airings:
** The many times the word "wanker" has been said.
** Homer being told by a city hall clerk that he's standing in a line for people who have to register as sex offenders (with Moe coming in and complaining that the sex offender registry line is always long).
** Marge, Bart, and Lisa guessing that Homer raised money for the garbage collection budget by dealing drugs (though Lisa's line, "I wish it ''were'' drugs!" wasn't cut).
** Ray Patterson's line "You're screwed!" in his resignation speech was cut (though Mayor Quimby was allowed to say, "We are far from screwed!")
* ButtMonkey: Adam Clayton is portrayed as such within Music/{{U2}}.
-->'''The Edge''': ''(to Larry Mullen)'' What do you say we slip out to Moe's for a little bit?
-->'''Adam''': Can I come?
-->''({{beat}})''
-->'''The Edge''': No.
** Homer, as usual, gets beaten up by garbagemen, ''again'' by U2's security (and recorded on the concert's big screen), and is implied to get horse whipped after destroying the town after losing the Sanitation Department's entire yearly budget in less than a month.
* CryingIndian: Parodied. The Crying Indian is seen and does cry when he sees a can carelessly thrown at his feet, but another Indian appears next to him and tells him not to turn around and see the true horror that pollution has wrought on [[spoiler:the former location of]] Springfield. Unfortunately, the Crying Indian does turn around and screams, and the second one lectures, "I ''told'' you not to turn around."
* DeadpanSnarker: Ray Patterson, being played by SteveMartin and all.
* DeliveryGuyInfiltration: Homer gets backstage at a Music/{{U2}} gig by posing as the "poh-tah-to man". He gets in when the guard asks him, "Where the hell have you been?"
* DidNotDoTheBloodyResearch: When this episode first aired in the UK, it caused controversy because of how it had multiple characters say "wankers" (which is a ''really'' offensive thing to call someone in the UK) in a show airing before the 9 pm watershed. Most initial airings (including its premiere there) had it cut.
* DidntThinkThisThrough: Homer didn't realize how expensive his proposals would actually be.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:Springfield is so badly trashed that the only solution is to move the whole town five miles down the road.]]
* EasilyForgiven: PlayedWith. All of Springfield unanimously agrees to horse-whip Homer for messing up Springfield, but strangely, [[spoiler:as Springfield is being moved five miles down the road,]] Homer gets amicably welcomed by Moe when he heads into his tavern.
* EtTuBrute: If somewhat justifiably, not a single person opposes to brutally punishing Homer for ruining the town. To punctuate this most of Homer's close friends and family members can be seen in the front rows glaring stoic as the vote is given.
* GreenAesop: WordOfGod said this was [[AccidentalAesop unintentional]].
* HypocriticalHumor: Homer is outraged that Marge would forge his name for an apology to the garbagemen, despite her quickly pointing out he has signed her name for numerous papers.
-->'''Homer:''' But this isn't a loan application, or a will. You signed away my dignity!
** He then vows to stand up for "the little guy" against Patterson's supposed tyranny... while bullying his pet bird.
-->'''Patterson:''' Hey, leave the bird alone!
-->'''Homer:''' Never! ''*continues shaking bird cage*''
* IgnoredExpert[=/=]OnlySaneMan: Ray Patterson was smart enough to see that Homer basically has no clue what being sanitation commissioner is all about. First, during the debate:
-->'''Ray:''' All right, fine. If you want an experienced politician, vote for me. But if you want to believe a bunch of crazy promises about garbagemen washing your cars and emptying your kitty litter, then by all means, vote for this sleazy lunatic.
** Second, when he leaves office:
-->'''Ray:''' Simpson, the American people have never tolerated incompetence from its elected officials. You are going to ''crash and burn'', my fat-headed friend.
-->'''Homer:''' [[ComicallyMissingThePoint See, we're still friends.]] Come on, how about a hug?
* InMemoriam: This episode was dedicated to Linda [=McCartney=], who appeared alongside her husband [[Music/PaulMcCartney Paul]] in [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS7E5LisaTheVegetarian "Lisa the Vegetarian"]].
* InkSuitActor: Ray Patterson looks just like SteveMartin.
* {{Jerkass}}: You can see why some consider season nine a turning point in Homer's characterization (and a reason behind the show's decline, besides the fact that the stories were getting more and more unrealistic and derivative). He [[DisproportionateRetribution cuts off his family's garbage service over a petty argument]] and runs for sanitation commissioner rather than apologize. Once he gets elected, he renders the entire town uninhabitable in a matter of months.
* LifeImitatesArt: Narrowly averted. In Toronto, Canada, the Toronto City Council had seriously considered turning the abandoned Adams Mine into a dumping site for Toronto's garbage until then-councilors Jack Layton and Olivia Chow showed them this episode, and they immediately changed their minds.
* MaliciousSlander:
-->'''Ray:''' You told people I lured children into ''[[Literature/HanselAndGretel my gingerbread house]]''.
-->'''Homer:''' Heheheheh. Yeah, that was just a lie.
* OhCrap: Homer realizes he's in big trouble when the garbage men heard him call them "trash-eating stinkbags".
* ShoutOut: The song "The Garbage Man" spoofs "The Candy Man" from ''Film/WillyWonkaAndTheChocolateFactory'', and its end parade spoofs that of ''Theatre/TheMusicMan''. Also, [[Series/SesameStreet Oscar the Grouch]] appears in one of the trash cans in said parade.
** Homer's appearance on the big screen at the U2 concert is a spoof of Bill Gates' appearance at the 1997 Macworld Expo, in which Gates announced that Microsoft would be investing in the (then-)struggling Apple Inc.
** Ray Patterson's end speech was inspired by an incident in which Redd Foxx was to perform in Las Vegas, but noticed that there were very few people present, prompting him to immediately leave; the band which played him on with the theme from ''Series/SanfordAndSon'', after a moment's confusion, played him off with the theme again. This incident was also spoofed in "The Two Nahasapeemapetilons" when Moe walks onstage at a bachelor auction, and without stopping, walks straight to the "rejects" section.
* SkewedPriorities: The garbagemen ignore Homer's pleas to stop for his trash, though quickly reverse when he begins to insult them in response.
* TrashOfTheTitans: TropeNamer, though many examples of this trope have been seen prior to this episode.
* UnaccustomedAsIAmToPublicSpeaking
-->'''Ray Patterson:''' Oh gosh. You know, I'm not much on speeches, but it's so gratifying to- (sighs) leave you wallowing in the mess you've made. You're screwed, thank you, bye.
-->'''Moe:''' He's right. He ain't much on speeches.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: Originally, Homer was going to run for mayor and run Springfield into the ground.
* XMustNotWin: Shown to quite a detrimental level, since Homer's campaign is based largely on a spite war towards Patterson, he proves completely incompetent when he finally gets the job.