When a steak-eating contest between Homer and a beloved trucker proves fatal for the latter, Homer (accompanied by Bart) decides to complete his final run for him. Meanwhile, Lisa and Marge buy a new doorbell, but can't get anyone to ring it.
- Accidental Misnaming: The Navitron Autodrive system calls Homer Red when Homer is driving towards the convoy, saying it can't let him do it because the risk is unacceptable. Justified because it's Red's truck.
- The Atoner: Ashamed he indirectly caused Red's death, Homer decides to complete Red's shipment for him.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Homer, as usual.Trucker: (to Homer, threateningly) All right, pal, here's the deal. You stumbled on a secret that only truck drivers are supposed to know.
(Homer bursts into laughter. The trucker quickly glances behind him.)
Trucker: Hey! Pay attention and stop looking at that squirrel!
(Cut to the squirrel in question, which is just chattering, picking up an acorn, and looking around.)
- Big Eater: Red Barclay and Tony Randall. Homer, who has apparently never eaten till he was full up until this point is no match for Red and probably no match for Tony either.
- Blatant Lies: Dr. Hibbert does it twice first when he claims a balanced diet can include the occasional eating contest (something he claims to have learned when he became 12% owner of the restaurant) and again when he claims Red's beef poisoning was caused at another restaurant.
- Boring Return Journey: Homer and Bart are last seen boarding a train destined to deliver napalm to Springfield.
- Continuity Nod: The doorbell Marge and Lisa buy plays the melody from "(They Long To Be) Close To You)" by The Carpenters, which is confirmed to be Homer and Marge's wedding song.
- Comically Missing the Point: When Homer saw Red Barclay at the restaurant and then looked at the pictures of Red Barclay and Tony Randall and somehow mistook Red for Tony despite the two men looking completely different.
- Also, when the contest begins, Red immediately digs into his Sir Loin-A-Lot. Meanwhile, Homer is busy buttering a slice of bread. Marge yells at him for trying to fill up on bread.
- Eating Contest: Homer challenges Red into a contest to see who could finish the Slaughter House's special Sir Loin-A-Lot steak first.
- Everybody's Dead, Dave: Parodied as Homer and Bart watch a drive-in movie called "The Monster That Ate Everybody".Woman: You mean, it ate Patrick too?
Man: It ate everybody.
Woman: What about Erika?
Man, Homer and Bart: It ate everybody!
- Go Out with a Smile: Red died on the spot with a victorious smile frozen on his face.
- Ignored Epiphany: Towards the end, when the truckers watch Homer pull off a barrel roll without the Autodrive's assistance.Trucker 1: You know boys, I've been thinking. Maybe it's time we ditched the high tech gizmos and went back to driving like our daddies did.
Trucker 2: Drunk?
Trucker 1: No, no, no. Using our hands and our wits. Yeah, sure, it's hard work, and it's lonely as hell, but it has meaning and dignity. Huh? What do you say?
Trucker 3: Nah. Let's just find some other scam.
- Incredibly Lame Fun: Lamenting that Homer and Bart always get to go on adventures, Marge decides to take a walk on the wildside by...getting a new doorbell — a musical one, at that. Lisa is quick to lampshade what her mom considers 'adventurous'.
- Kick the Dog: Homer and Bart find themselves confronted by a band of angry truck drivers. Their situation is made worse when the Navitron Overdrive chickens out and ejects itself out of the truck.
- Late to the Realization: When Homer is told by Red Barclay that only two people have ever finished the Sir Loin-A-Lot challenge, Red points to his and Tony Randall's pictures on the wall. Homer looks at both pictures for quite a few seconds (with Red coaching him by striking the same pose as in his picture), before deducing...Homer: It's you! You're him! You're Tony Randall!
- Lethal Eatery: The Slaughterhouse is a literal example; not only does Red die of food poisoning, but the place has the foresight to keep bodybags on the premise for when such a thing happens.
- Mega Meal Challenge: The Sir Loin-A-Lot steak. Only Red Barclay and Tony Randall have ever finished it.
- Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!: Homer has this reaction when Red calls him a greenhorn.Red: Take my advice, this one's not for greenhorns.
Homer: Greenhorns?! Who's a greenhorn?! What's a greenhorn?!
Bart:' It's an insult. Sock him, Dad — sock everybody!
- Noodle Incident:
- Lenny biting Homer, which led Homer to contract tetanus.
- Apparently, it wasn't the first time Homer traded the family tools for M&M's.
- Oh, Crap!:
- The cow Mr. Burns wants a glass of milk from gets one when it's about to be hit with a stun gun.
- Bart when the convoy closes in on him and Homer and one of the trucks rams them from behind.
- Homer and Bart when they see the line of trucks in front of them, blocking their path.
- Homer when the Autodrive system ejects itself from the truck as Homer is driving towards the aforementioned line of trucks.
- Pyrrhic Victory: Red wins the contest, but sadly, he dies of beef poisoning as a result.
- Reality Ensues: One of the truckers tries to stab out the truck's wheels with a knife while the truck is driving. The wheel remains intact and the trucker loses his knife.Trucker: Oh, my good knife! My wife's going to kill me.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: When Red Barclay died at the Slaughter House Restaurant, Dr. Julius Hibbert, who owns 12 percent of the place, declared Red's causa mortis as food poisoning... from another restaurant.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The Navitron Autodrive system decides Homer's risk of driving straight at the line of trucks is unacceptable and ejects itself from the truck. Cue an Oh, Crap! from Homer, who then somehow manages to flip the truck over the other trucks, land on the other side, and carry right on going.
- Serious Business: A doorbell is not a toy. It only gets rang when someone comes to ring it. Lisa learns this the hard way.
- Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now?: Lampshaded when Bart joins Homer for the truck drive.Bart: I want to go with you, Dad.
Homer: Don't you have school?
Bart: Don't you have work?
Homer: Ah, touché.
- Shout-Out: The title references the movie Maximum Overdrive, which starred Yeardley Smith, Lisa's voice actor.
- They Just Dont Get It: Homer is utterly unable to understand why he doesn't want to keep eating despite there still being steak left on his plate. He then devolves into Inelegant Blubbering when he realises for the first time in his life that he's full.
- Unusual Euphemism: The trucker who tells Homer about the auto-driver say it lets you "sit back and feel your ass grow."
- Up to Eleven: Not only does the Slaughter House's menu consist entirely of meat products, but the menu itself is made of meat — a flattened chicken, specifically.Marge: How clever, the kids' menu is on the beak.
- Zipping Up the Bodybag: The coroners zip up the body bag on Red. They give an extra one to Marge just in case, because Homer doesn't look so good either.