Homer is hypnotized into remembering a traumatic experience that may have something to do with the death of Smithers' father.

!! Tropes:

* TheCameo: [[ItMakesSenseInContext Homer tries to fantasize about Paul Newman]], but even his own imagination turns him down.
--> '''Paul Newman''': Homer, I'll tell you what I told Redford: "It ain't gonna happen."
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Burns thought going into the core was dangerous, even by his standards although heís told why.
* FreudianExcuse: Burns' cover story for the death of Smithers' father (killed by Amazons) is implied to be the reason behind Smithers' homosexuality. At the very least it explains his freak out in the precedent episode when he was at a strip club.
* HeroicSacrifice: Waylon Smithers Sr.
* InopportuneVoiceCracking: Happens when 12-year-old Homer reacts to seeing Smithers Sr.'s decaying course; he starts constantly screaming in his high-pitched voice, but his voice suddenly deepens during one of the screams from puberty.
* OedipusComplex: This episode implies Mr Burns became a ParentalSubstitute to Smithers after his dad died, making his crush on him all the more creepy.
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: Burns tries to plea with Smithers Sr. not to go into the core because thatís highly dangerous, considering he doesnít often think about the wellbeing of his employees. Then, grieving Smithers Sr. after what happened. Burns also feels guilty about never telling Smithers about his dad's death because he wasn't sure how to break the news. He didn't lie when he said his Smithers Sr. was his friend.
* SeriesContinuityError: Smithers is shown as a baby around the time Homer was a teenager, but other episodes including "Bart Star" and "Bye Bye Nerdie" showed Homer and Smithers in school together.
* ShoutOut:
** The move that Smithersí did was a reference to Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan, where Spock does the same thing.
** In the chalkboard gag, Bart writes "I am not [[ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}} Charlie Brown]] [[ThisIsYourPremiseOnDrugs on acid]].", which is how some critics described ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark''.