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.
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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!