"Running Mates" contains examples of:
- Bait-and-SwitchPeter: I'm gonna stop you the only way I can...by killing you!'(raises an ax menacingly, then hammers down a campaign sign with it)Peter: ...in the race for school board president.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Peter's campaign signs are red and Lois' are blue. That's the only difference between them because all read "Griffin for School Board President".
- Comically Missing the PointLois: Oh my God, he's wiping that species off the face of the Earth.Peter: No, Lois, the janitor will do that.
- Disproportionate Retribution: A robot shoots at a girl for not having a pass (she actually had one but the robot fails to notice it) and later kills Mr. Fargas for the same reason.
- Double-Meaning Title: Peter and Lois are a husband and wife running against each other in a political race.
- Eats Babies: Peter's political slander of Lois includes saying she eats babies.
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: Non-death variation. After Peter vows to run against Lois for School Board President for the sole purpose of giving Mr. Fargas his job back, he wins, but forgets about him entirely when Lois asks him if his underhanded winning tactics were for the sake of the unbalanced teacher.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Stewie fires his raygun at the Studio Audience.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: "Now get back in that classroom and teach your Fargin' ass off!"
- Hypocrite: After the first debate, Lois insists she had no choice but to humiliate Peter for her cause. After Peter's smear campaign against her, she is outraged he could be so cruel as to humiliate his own spouse for the sake of winning. Granted, one feels more guilty about it than the other, but the point still stands.
- Mistaken for Masturbating: Peter knocks on Chris's door when he hears thumping noises and moaning and walks in on Chris trying to break his paddle ball record. Subverted after Peter gives Chris some girlie magazines and leaves the room. He hears the thumping and moaning again — and it's not from Chris's paddle ball, as Peter has it in his hands.
- Mythology Gag: Stewie sings "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" a reference to Rex P Harrison's performance in My Fair Lady, which was the inspiration Stewie's voice.
- Shout-Out: The Killer Robot that attempts to kill a student and later kills Mr. Fargas for (supposedly) not having passes is ED-209.
- The Stoic: Mr. Fargas, after getting on medication:Peter: Fargas, what happened to you? Somebody give you a fun-ectomy?
Fargas: No, they gave me these by order of the School Board. They said it evens me out. Sorry to fly off the handle.
- Take That!: Peter is repeatedly horrified by James Carville's face."Oh, geez, did somebody open the Ark of the Covenant?"
- Waxing Lyrical: Peter recites sitcom lyrics in his speech:
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Lampshaded.Lois: You humiliated your own wife! And for what? To get that crazy Mr. Fargas back in the classroom?Peter: Who?
- The question is answered during the end credits. Mr. Fargas is walking a corridor until ED-209 asks for his pass and eventually kills him.