Homer becomes a local celebrity for bowling a 300 game, but is Driven to Suicide (again) when his star fades, but when he gets rescued, he decides to give his neglected daughter, Maggie, some attention.
- Artistic License Biology: At the bowling alley, Milhouse is being tortured by Jimbo, Dolph and Kearney by having his head stuck repeatedly in the bowl shine. He cries out to them that they're polishing bone, only for them to ignore him and keep doing it. In reality, if they had reached his bone, Milhouse would already be dead.
- Dr Hibbert's explanation as to how Maggie was able to drag Homer back to the beach by herself is that, in danger, a child can summon superhuman strength to save their parent.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Homer almost says this word-for-word when Maggie saves his life from drowning.
- Bowling for Ratings: This episode begins with Lenny and Carl inviting Homer to go bowling with them. Homer bowls a 300 game, and briefly becomes a celebrity, letting the fame go to his head. At the end of this episode, Homer treats Maggie to a game of bowling, where Maggie would have won a 300 game if she hadn't stepped over the line.
- Comically Missing the Point: When Homer plays Where's Waldo?:Homer: This would be a lot easier without all these people.
- Continuity Nod:
- A Day in the Limelight: Not only is it one of many, many episodes focusing on Homer, but it also focuses on Homer trying to bond with Maggie "The Forgotten" Simpson.
- Despair Event Horizon: Homer borders it once he feels he has no reason to live, but comes back strong once he meets Ron Howard and gets parenting advice.
- Epic Fail:
- When speaking to Bart's class about his celebrity and deciding to spell the word "Perfect" on the chalkboard, he gives up after writing out a few letters.
- Homer as a Teletubby; he not only decides to put an antenna on his head and accidentally electrocutes himself repeatedly (in a fairly graphic way), but he also scares poor Maggie in the process, further driving a wedge between them.
- 15 Minutes of Fame: Homer wins a 300 game and gets a short window of fame and keeps going until the news has to call him out on it.
- Foreshadowing: Maggie is shown a lot in the early part of the episode getting either ignored by Homer or Homer backing out on activates the two were suppose to do together long before the main thread of the episode becomes about the two trying to bond together.
- Hypocritical Humor: After finding out that Homer has a family Ron Howard decides to give Homer some money. Homer tells him he doesn't want Ron's charity before pocketing the cash anyway (which Ron lampshades before taking the money back).
- Insane Troll Logic: Upon realizing Mr. Burns is behind him and saw him arriving late for work, Homer declares he doesn't get in trouble if he doesn't see Mr. Burns. Smithers believes the reasoning but Mr. Burns renders it moot by spinning Homer's chair.
- Jerkass Realization: Homer realises that his relationship with Maggie has become strained over the course of them spending time together and comments that he didn't realise things had become so bad between them. After Maggie saves his life he promises that the two will spend a lot more time together from then on with the final shot of the episode being of the two bowling together.
- Kent Brockman News: Homer bowling his perfect game gets live news coverage and Kent Brockman says that this achievement will go down as one of the greatest feats that a Springfield resident has even accomplished. Kent then notes how pitiful Springfield really is if that is considered to be outstanding news.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Homer spends most of the first half of the episode ignoring Maggie's existence and focusing on his own short lived fame. Meaning that when Homer finally does decide to bond with Maggie their relationship is shown to be a lot more strained because of it.
- Made of Explodium: After Homer bowls his final strike and gets his perfect game he causes an explosion that not only destroys his own bowling pins but also the other pins around the bowlarama and one of the bowling monitors.
- Noodle Incident:
- How did Hans Moleman get in the sewer and become King of the Moles (unless that's an identical twin)? And did it have anything to do with getting pushed around by the guy on the street?
- On Homer's list of things he wants to do before he dies is "See Stevie Nicks Naked", and there's three check-marks next to it.
- When Penn threatens to murder Homer for ruining his skit, Teller nervously confirms Penn will do it and that he isn't the first Teller.
- Out-of-Character Moment: Mr. Burns does not have to be reminded who Homer is.
- Pet the Dog: For once, not only is Itchy not trying to kill Scratchy, he is telling everyone not to make him cry.
- Police Code for Everything:Wiggum: You just bought yourself a 3-17: pointing out police stupidity. Or is that a 3-14? Nah, nah. 3-14 is a dog, uh- No. Or is that a 3-15?. You're in trouble, pal!
- Rhetorical Question Blunder: When Homer is pulled over for speeding:Wiggum: All right, smart guy. Where's the fire?
Homer: Over there. (points to a fire)
- Right Behind Me: When Homer arrives at his station, he's glad Mr. Burns didn't catch him. Burns and Smithers are revealed to be behind him.
- Silent Snarker: Maggie is in fine form in this episode, giving herself a facepalm when Homer misconstrues her pointing at a butterfly on the windscreen of the car as wanting to go to the beach, and rolling her eyes when Homer sinks right after she rescued him forcing Maggie to save him again.
- Shout-Out: To entertain his daughter, Homer dresses as a a Teletubby named "Homie-Womey", which then morphs into a Take That! towards the Rev. Jerry Falwell with him then declaring that he's "all man" to clear up some things.note
- Take That!: At The Hollywood Squares for its reliance on has-been celebrities and having them make obligatory jokes:Brockman: According to Redbook Magazine, what is the speed of light?
Homer: Well, that is... Wait... (holds up two sheets of paper) Do I read from the sheet labeled "Jokes" or "Answers"?
Brockman: Oh, for the love of... Stop tape.
- Suicide Dare: When Homer deliberates a little too long in a line to jump off a skyscraper, the guy behind him says "Less chat, more splat, pal" and pushes him off. Subverted both in that Homer wasn't hurt by the fall, and because the guy was planning to do the same thing himself immediately afterwards, so he wasn't being a hypocrite.
- Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Springfield's state was about to be revealed via the Krusty the Klown Show's mailing address. Too bad breaking news had to interrupt.