When a dashing lancer named Homer Simpson becomes a Bumbling Sidekick on a new cop show, Homer petitions the court to have his name legally changed and takes advantage of the good life that comes with having a new name — until he gets roped into an environmental protest.
- 555: The garden party invite◊ lists Trent Steel's phone number as KL5-2654.
- Awesome Ego: Ed Begley Jr rides a go-kart powered by his own sense of self-satisfaction.
- Awesome McCool Name: Homer has his name changed to "Max Power" because it was the only one he spelled correctly. His other options were "Hercules Rockefeller", "Rembrandt Q. Einstein", and "Handsome B. Wonderful".
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: In-Universe: In All in the Family 1999 after Archie Bunker proclaims his love for the Token Minorities around him, he mutters to himself, "I wish I'd saved my money from the first show."
- Department of Redundancy Department: Police Cops.
- Disaster Dominoes: Homer cutting down his tree manege's to knock down all the other trees in the Forrest and destroy a police car. To top it of his chain hits an eagle.
- Early Installment Weirdness: In-universe: Police Cop Homer Simpson starting as a competent cop and being later changed into a Bumbling Sidekick.
- Executive Meddling: Discussed:Lisa: Producers fiddle with shows all the time. They change characters, drop others, and push some into the background.
(Mr. Largo and the Capital City Goofball walk by in the background outside the house as she says this.)
- Juggling Loaded Guns: Chief Wiggum scratches himself with his gun... right after calling Homer "that stupid cop from TV".
- Line-of-Sight Name: Homer got the name "Max Power" off a hair dryer.
- Named Like My Name: Trope Namer.
- Non-Idle Rich: The Police Cops version of Homer Simpson before being turned into a Bumbling Sidekick.
- Noodle Incident: Marge mentions an unspecified time when a man named Anthony Michael Hall (who may or may not have been the former teen actor from the Brat Pack movies of the 1980s and a brief, yet notable stint as a Saturday Night Live cast membernote ) stole Homer's car stereo.
- The Other Darrin: In-Universe: Played for Laughs — During the joke about how networks love animation because they don't pay the actors squat, Ned Flanders comes in and adds, "Plus, they can replace the voices and no one can tell the diddly-ifference." For the sake of that joke, Karl Wiedergott (a featured voice actor who joined the show during its tenth season) voiced Ned Flanders (who is regularly voiced by Harry Shearer). Played a bit more straight with changing the actor playing the Police Cops Homer Simpson between the pilot and the second episode from a handsome guy to a Chris Farley Expy — this alongside turning the character into a complete idiot.
- Retirony:Chief Wiggum: That car only had one day until retirement.
- Sanity Slippage: Homer briefly experiences this after the fallout of the new Homer Simpson, during which he orders Bart to kill a random cat and a big, yellow flower which were apparently laughing at him.
- Self-Deprecation: Lisa suggests that mid-season is just a dumping ground for shows that weren't good enough for the fall line-up. Guess what show premiered in December of 1989, well after the fall premieres.
- Shout-Out: Homer's "Max Power" song is sung to the tune of the title theme of Goldfinger.
- The initial detectives' appearances and behavior in Police Cops and the show itself were modeled after Miami Vice.
- A subtle one to Max Headroom: When Homer's asked where he got the name "Max Power", he said he got it off a hair dryer. In the Max Headroom series, Max got his name from the last thing Edison saw before getting in a car crash: A sign that said "MAX HEADROOM 2.3 M".
- The retooled "Police Cops" show has Da Chief yelling "SIMP-SOOOOOOOON!" at the new, dumbed-down Homer Simpson, similar to how on The Jetsons, Mr. Spacely would yell "JET-SOOOOOOOON!" at George Jetson.
- Show Within a Show: Police Cops and the other mid-season shows, like The Laughter Family, Admiral Baby, and America's Funniest Tornados.
- Status Quo Is God: In the end Homer/Max changes his name back to Homer Simpson.
- Take That and Biting-the-Hand Humor: Homer's line about networks loving animated shows because they don't have to pay the actors' anything (and a newly-voiced Ned Flanders adding that networks can also change the characters' voice actors and no one can tell the difference). At the time of the episode's premiere, The Simpsons voice actors were in a pay dispute and were threatened with being replaced by soundalikes if they didn't agree to FOX's offer.
Bart: Right, coincidence.
- At the environmental party, Homer refuses to talk to SNL producer and co-creator Lorne Michaels, who was actually voiced by former SNL cast member Harry Shearer.note
- To make Homer feel better, Marge tells him that his new characterization may serve as the comic relief, like Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now.
- The aforementioned comment about Anthony Michael Hall and how it was a coincidence that some other man with the same name stole Homer's car radio.
- Too Dumb to Live and Hypocritical Humor: Chief Wiggum pointed a gun at himself while insulting Homer's competence.
- Unfortunate Names: Homer has Marge's name changed to "Chestie Laroo" he says if shes not completely satisfied she can be "Busty Saint Clare" or "Hootie McBoob"
- What Could Have Been: In-universe: Police Cops wasn't originally supposed to be a series. It was supposed to be a comedy about a psychologist on-board the R.M.S. Titanic starring Annie Potts and Jeremy Piven, but was scrapped because the idea scared the hell out of them, so they came up with a cop drama. Also, Police Cops was supposed to be called Badge Patrol, but they didn't like the title or the idea of hi-tech badges that shoot laser beams.
- Who's on First?:Trent Steele: You like Thai?Homer/Max: Thai good, you like shirt?