Concerned with the lack of interest the family shows at the church, Marge volunteers there and becomes "The Listen Lady," dispensing with excellent advice- as opposed to Lovejoy, who begins to feel like a dejected failure. Meanwhile Homer, Lisa, and Bart discover a Japanese box with Homer's face on it, and try to find out why.
- A Day in the Limelight: For Reverend Lovejoy, exploring his lack of enthusiasm with the church.
- Animesque: The Mr. Sparkle logo, which looks like Homer with huge Pie Eyes.
- Armor-Piercing Question: As Lovejoy bemoans Marge usurping his place as Springfield's moral advisor, he asks "What have I done to lose them?", sparking a vision in which St. Eleutherius from the Church's stain-glassed window asks "What have you done to keep them?".
- Badass Preacher: Lovejoy, saving Ned from a bunch of angry baboons.
- Contrived Coincidence: The image of Homer was actually the result of a merger between two companies, even merging their previous logos; a big-eyed fish, and a light bulb.Lisa: Hey! It was all a coincidence!Bart: Yeah, there's your answer, fishbulb.
- Freudian Excuse: Lovejoy's disinterest was the result of Ned constantly badgering him about every last misdemeanor in his life, eroding his passion for preaching.
- Heroic BSOD: Lovejoy, when his flock begins going to Marge for help, and realizes he hasn't done anything to inspire people.
- House Amnesia: After Homer watches the Mr. Sparkle promo video:Homer: Well, it was a good ride while it lasted. Come on, kids, let's go home.
Bart: We are home.
Homer: That was fast.
- Motif Merger: In-universe example: Merging the smiling fish logo of Matsamura Fishworks with the lightbulb logo of Tamaribuchi Heavy Manufacturing Concern, the two companies involved in the production of Mr. Sparkle dishwashing detergent, results in a grinning yellow head that just happens to resemble Homer's. "There's your answer, fishbulb."
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Marge tells Ned to stand up for his business to a bunch of hoodlums, causing him to be chased into a baboon exhibit at the zoo.
- Overly Long Gag: Homer dialing to Japan.
- Took a Level in Cynic: Lovejoy after being worn down by Ned.
- What Were They Selling Again?: The Mr. Sparkle ads. Even with subtitles they make no sense whatsoever. Justified in that it's a Japanese commercial and Japanese commercials really are that weird.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Reverend Lovejoy in the 70s, until he met Ned Flanders.