It is the year 2016, and the story reaches its conclusion as Shinji must decide whether to accept or reject Instrumentality.
Tropes in this episode include:
- Curtain Call: After Shinji achieves his epiphany at the end, all of the named characters of the show appear and congratulates him, and then congratulate you, dear viewer.
- Gainax Ending: This episode or, more specifically, its ending is pretty much the Trope Maker for this. (Supported by this reaction.)
- Henpecked Husband: Half of Gendo's lines in the Alternate Universe is "Yes, dear."
- Amusingly, Shinji predicts that Toji is going to become one in the future as he always obediently follows Hikari's lead. Asuka quietly snarks that Shinji isn't so different himself.
- Not So Different: In the Alternate Universe, Yui remarks that Gendo is "just like Shinji."
- Out of Character: The Rei of the high school universe is absolutely nothing like Rei. It is, of course, Played for Laughs.
- Parody: The Alternate Universe segment is basically an extended parody of typical high school comedy tropes in anime.
- Shout-Out: The episode's second title is a pun upon and a reference to Harlan Ellison's book and short story The Beast that Shouted Love at the Heart of the World. The word used for "I" (a borrowing of the English word) is a homophone of the Japanese for "love."
- Toast of Tardiness: The Alternate Universe Rei is Late for School, so she's running to school with toast in her mouth before she bumps into Shinji. Naturally, this trope is all part of the segment's poking fun at many typical high school anime rom-com tropes.