After Lisa's saxophone gets crushed in the street, Homer tells the story of how Lisa first discovered her musical talent -- which coincides with the tragic tale of how Bart's first day of kindergarten turned him into the troublemaker he is today.

Among fans, this episode is considered the last good episode of ''The Simpsons'', meaning everything after is hit-or-miss (with more misses than hits).
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* AllAsiansLookAlike: In the Krusty TV movie, "Krusty" is shown telling his Chinese stepson Chan-Ho he's breaking up with his mother Mia Farrow, but the boy actually tells him Chan-Ho is elsewhere, and he himself is Chin-Ho.
* AsHimself: Fyvush Finkel as himself playing Krusty the Clown in [[ShowWithinAShow the TV movie]] ''[[LongTitle The Krusty the Clown Story: Booze, Drugs, Guns, Lies, Blackmail,]] [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and Laughter!]]''
* FreudianSlip: Principal Skinner accidentally introduces himself as Principal Sinner. As the kindergartners laugh, Skinner mutters "That's it, I've lost them forever..."
* HilariouslyAbusiveChildhood: Lampshaded.
-->'''Homer:''' (''to young Bart'') Now, son, on your first day of school, I'd like to pass along the words of advice my father gave me.
-->(''thought bubble with Abe and young Homer'')
-->'''Younger Abe:''' Homer, you're dumb as a mule and twice as ugly! And if a strange man offers you a ride, I say take it!
-->'''Homer:''' (''muttering'') Lousy traumatic childhood!
* HypocriticalHumor: This scene between Homer and young Bart.
-->'''Homer:''' Bart, son? You want to play catch?
-->'''Young Bart:''' No.
-->'''Homer:''' When a boy doesn't want to play catch with his old man, something is seriously wrong!
-->'''Abe:''' (''wearing old-time baseball uniform'') I'll play catch with you, son!
-->'''Homer:''' Get the hell out!
-->'''Abe:''' I'm gone.
* ITakeOffenseToThatLastOne: When young Bart first made fun of Principal Skinner:
-->'''Young Bart:''' (''singing'') Skinner is a nut, he has a rubber butt!
-->'''Skinner:''' Young man, I can assure you my posterior is nothing more than [[BreadEggsMilkSquick flesh, bone, and that metal plate I got in 'Nam]].
* SadistTeacher: Bart's kindergarten teacher (who, thankfully, wasn't seen again after that, as the season six episode "Sideshow Bob Roberts" had a kindergarten teacher who didn't look like the one from this episode and was actually nice to Bart [during the sequence where Bart is put in kindergarten per Mayor Sideshow Bob's orders]. Viewers can only assume the kindergarten teacher in this episode either got fired [unlikely], quit [more believable, but still not likely], or was laid off due to Springfield Elementary's many budget cuts [definitely likely, considering the sorry state of the school and how a lot of teachers in past episodes haven't been seen much]).
* StepfordSmiler: Marge reveals that sometimes she feels so smothered by being a mother that she wants to scream until her head explodes. Sadly, no one shows any concern for her about it and she continues repressing her feelings.
* ShoutOut: Homer and Marge sing their own version of "Those Were the Days", spoofing the opening sequence of ''Series/AllInTheFamily'', complete with narrator saying "''The Simpsons'' is filmed in front of a live studio audience" and Homer calling Bart "Meathead" afterwards.
* StartOfDarkness: The flashback of how Lisa got her saxophone also contains the tragi-comic story of how Bart became a bad kid at school (his kindergarten teacher openly told him he had no real future and he was bullied by Nelson and Jimbo Jones).
* TakeThat: To Creator/TheWB network.
-->'''Michigan J. Frog:''' (''singing'') We're proud to present on the WB, another bad show that no one will see! (''disgustedly walking off'') Ah, I need a drink...
** The blackboard gag for this episode is "I no longer want my {{MTV}}," which is what a lot of people have said about MTV thanks to its infamous NetworkDecay (airing shows that have nothing to do with music or music videos).
* YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle: Homer's tale about how Lisa got her saxophone initially ends with Bart's miserable first day of school.
-->'''Homer:''' (''singing'') Bart was feeling mighty blue...
-->'''Marge:''' (''singing'') It's a shame what school can do...
-->'''Apu:''' (''singing'') For no reason, here's Apu...
-->'''Homer, Marge and Apu:''' (''singing'') Those were the days.
-->(''the Simpsons children clap'')
-->'''Homer:''' And that my children, is the story of Bart's first day of school.
-->'''Bart:''' Very nice.
-->'''Homer:''' Yeah.
-->'''Lisa:''' Yeah. Except you were supposed to be telling the story of how I got my saxophone!
-->'''Homer:''' (''{{beat}}'') D'oh!