The Simpson family attend Springfield's pathetic attempt at a Renaissance Fair, and Lisa ends up wandering away from the main event and into a Fortune Teller's tent. She then proceeds to show Lisa her future, or more precisely, the story of her first true love, who happens to be a proper, British gentleman called Hugh. Hugh attends the same university as Lisa, and seems like the perfect match for her despite some initial clashing. Unfortunately one clash that they can't overcome is Lisa's family, leaving her with the difficult decision of choosing between her family and Hugh.
This episode contains examples of:
- Bait-and-Switch Comment: When Lisa and Marge are talking on the picturephone, we are -for a brief moment- led to believe that Homer had left this world.Marge: If only your father was still with us. But he left for work a few minutes ago.
- Biting-the-Hand Humor: Marge's comment about how FOX has become a hardcore sex channel in 2010.
- Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": The Esquilax, a literal example. Also the famous two-headed hound, born with only one head.
- Coca-Pepsi, Inc.: Kent Brockman working for "CNNBCBS: A Division of ABC".
- Comically Missing the Point: On hearing Lisa, whom he still harbours a crush for, is getting married to someone else, an angry Milhouse tells Homer he's going to go write Homer's evaluation right that minute. Homer, naturally, starts smiling optimistically.
- Continuity Nod: Bart plans to study law. It nods to the episode "Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie" which ended with a Flash Forward that revealed that Bart will eventually become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and will finally get permission from Homer to see Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie (Never mind that between 1992 and now, seeing a movie like that would be stupid easy thanks to the Internet).
- Daddy's Girl: Homer and Lisa's bond is fully displayed in this episode.Homer: Little Lisa, Lisa Simpson. You know, I always felt you were the best thing my name ever got attached to. Since the time you learned to pin your own diapers, you've been smarter than me.
Lisa: Oh, Dad —
Homer: No, no, let me finish. I just want you to know I've always been proud of you. You're my greatest accomplishment and you did it all yourself. You helped me understand my own wife better and taught me to be a better person, but you're also my daughter, and I don't think anybody could have had a better daughter than you—
Lisa: Dad, you're babbling.
Homer: See? You're still helping me.
- Eyepatch After Time Skip: Future Moe Szyslak has an eyepatch.
- Follow the White Rabbit: Lisa is chasing an "esquilax" when she finds the fortune teller's tent.
- Fortune Teller: The one who tells Lisa about her first love Hugh. She has a tent set a little bit far from the Renaissance Fair. She is quite young and good-looking and uses tarots and a crystal bowl. She however says she likes predicting embarrassing future.Lisa: You said you'd tell me about my true love.
Fortune Teller: Oh, you'll have a true love. But I specialize in foretelling the relationships where you get jerked around.
- Foot Popping: Lisa pops her leg when Hugh and she kiss passionately after they get engaged.
- Future Loser: Bart, fairly popular in elementary school and proud of his position in the school food chain, is a wrecking ball operator and a double divorcee in his mid-twenties who hits strip clubs to meet girls. He plans to get to law school, though it sounds hilariously delusional.Bart: Anyway, Hugh, there's more to my life than just the wrecking ball. I also crush cars into cubes. On the side, I promote local tough-man contests. I'm getting out all my aggression till I go to law school.
- Gaia's Lament:
- Played for laughs where trees in the future are apparently extinct, as shown by a holographic image of a tree, with the description: "In memory of a real tree."
- There is a hideously polluted skyline.
- Geeky Turn-On: Lisa and Hugh are reading a book together to decide who could read it faster:Hugh: I'll get the dictionary.
Hugh: You'll see when you get there: the word "stochastic".
Lisa: "Pertaining to a process involving a randomly-determined sequence of observations." Ha-ha-ha. (they make out)
- Gentleman and a Scholar: Hugh at first seems to be this, but is immediately subverted at the end of the episode, becoming a Jerk Ass.
- He Who Must Not Be Heard: A teenage Maggie is never able to say a word without being interrupted. Ironically, she is described by Homer as being a chatterbox - but then she merely rolls her eyes at her father in silence. She's also supposed to have an angelic singing voice, but she gets cut off just as she's preparing to do so. All the audience gets is the sound of her inhaling.
- I Never Told You My Name: Occurs where Lisa is talking to the fortune teller:
- Inflationary Dialogue: A non-numerical example:Bart: Wow, Lisa, looking at you makes me want to get married for a third time. I met a really nice exotic dancer the other night at Hugh's bachelor party.
Lisa: Hugh didn't have a bachelor party.
Bart: We had one in his honor. (Lisa stares at him) I had one in his honor. (Lisa continues to stare at him) I went to a strip club.
- Insistent Terminology: When introducing Hugh and Lisa to the extension, Homer tells them that if a building inspector comes by, it's a window-box.
- In the Style of...: The end credits are done in medieval music style.
- Lying Finger Cross: Marge crosses both fingers when she promises Lisa to keep Homer in check for the wedding. She forgets they are on a picture phone.Lisa: Mom, remember when I was little, we'd always planned my dream wedding and you always promised to... you know, well, keep Dad from ruining it?Marge: [crossing her fingers] Oh, don't worry, honey, I guarantee your father will behave.Lisa: Mom, it's a picture phone.Marge: [looking at her fingers] What? This? Oh, no, I've just got a touch of the rheumatiz.Lisa: Oh, OK.Marge: [Whew gesture]Lisa: Mom, picture phone.
- Meet Cute: Lisa and Hugh bump their heads together at a drinking fountain, he then grabs the last soy pop at the vending machine which Lisa also craved, he steals her an elevator and doesn't share it with her so she has to climb the stairs, and then even snatches the last copy of a book Lisa needs to read. Last part includes them reading the book together with a sort of reading race. Then Hugh is impressed and turned on by Lisa's knowing the definition of "stochastic", and they start making out in the library.
- Mix-and-Match Critter: "And here, out of the mists of history... the legendary Esquilax! A horse with the head of a rabbit, and the body... of a rabbit!"
- My Country Tis of Thee That I Sting: When Homer and Bart hang out the Union Jack to welcome Lisa's British boyfriend, Hugh, they bring his attention to it by saying: "Here's some American hospitality", whereupon it turns out the flag accidentally caught fire! Homer and Bart try to extinguish the fire by throwing some compost upon it, then give the ravaged remains to Hugh.
- Noisy Robots: Subverted as we Flash Forward to the far future (2010) and see what we think are robots overtaking the world. Turns out they're university kids auditioning for the role of The Tin Man for The Wizard of Oz.
- No Longer with Us: Subverted; see Bait-and-Switch Comment.
- Older and Wiser: ... sort of. Homer's mellowed in his old age, but in terms of actual intelligence, he's still an oaf.
- Old, New, Borrowed and Blue: Lisa's pearls are old, her dress is new, she borrows a locket from Hugh's mother, and a lock of Marge's hair is blue.
- Ridiculously Human Robots: They look completely human, until they cry. Then their heads burst into flames and melt.
- Separated by a Common Language: When Marge talks to Lisa, who is spending her summer with her boyfriend in England, she tells her she should remember that an elevator is a "lift", a mile is called a "kilometer" and botulism is "steak-and-kidney pie".
- Something Completely Different: The first full Flash Forward episode.
- Special Guest: Mandy Patinkin as Hugh.
- Super-Speed Reading: Lisa and Hugh bond over speed-reading the one textbook they both wanted. They appear to finish it in an afternoon.
- Tarot Troubles: Parodied. When the Death card comes up, Lisa is terrified, but the gypsy calmly explains that Death just means change and isn't automatically a bad thing. Then she freaks out after drawing The Happy Squirrel.
- Technical Virgin: Lisa wonders if she should wear white for her wedding as she had sex with Milhouse when she was a teenager (then broke up with him by telling him she might not get married). Marge assures Lisa that Milhouse doesn't count.
- Tears from a Stone: Robots aren't supposed to have emotions, but cry at sentimental events and short themselves out.
- Time for Plan B: When Hugh's first attempt at a Wacky Marriage Proposal backfires, he resorts to very cheap, yet straight to the point, backup stunt to get his message across.
- Tin Man: A librarian catches Lisa with her fiance-to-be, and questions aloud how two so opposite personalities could ever fall in love. A bystander comments "How would you know, you're a robot?", prompting the robot librarian to shed a single tear... which then causes her to catch fire. Then it happens again when said fiance proposes; the two robots hiding in the bushes to implement plan B also start crying, causing their faces to melt.
- 20 Minutes into the Future
- Ur-Example: Of Simpsons episodes mainly taking place in the future.
- Videophone: Showcased a conversation between Lisa and Marge using a "picture phone". Marge kept forgetting that Lisa could see her over the phone, and her body language made it more obvious to tell when she was lying.
- Virgin in a White Dress: Lisa and Marge briefly discuss this as they are a church-going family.Lisa: Mom, I feel kind of funny wearing white. I mean... Milhouse.
Marge: (dismissive) Oh, Milhouse doesn't count.
- Wacky Marriage Proposal: Hugh tries to put his proposal on a big electrical letterboard saying "Lisa, will you do me the honor of giving me your hand in the holy tradition of matrimo—", before it shorts out. He falls to "Plan B": sending out a cow wearing a sign that says just: "Marry Me."
- We Have Those, Too: Hugh tells Homer that they have the "pull my finger" joke in Britain. But Homer just wants him to pull his finger.
- World War III: Moe scolds Hugh because he's British and claims: "We saved your ass in World War II". Hugh responds: "And we saved your arse in World War III." Moe admits: "True."
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe:Lunchlady Doris: Yon meat, 'tis sweet as summer's wafting breeze.
Homer: Can I have some?
Lunchlady Doris: Mine ears are only open to the pleas of those who speak ye olde English.
Homer: Sweet maiden of the spit, grant now my boon, that I might sup on some suckling pig this noon.
Lunchlady Doris: Whatever.