Moe feels depressed about his job as a bartender and seeks advice from his old bartending instructor, leaving Homer to run Moe's Tavern for a time. But when Moe returns and turns the bar into a po-mo (post-modern, or "weird for the sake of being weird") nightclub for snooty hipsters, Homer and his bar buddies boycott the new Moe's and Homer opens up a bar in his own garage (which is illegal, unless he can prove that he's hosting a hunting club).
This episode contains examples of:
- As Himself: R.E.M.. Unlike The Who's appearance in "A Tale of Two Springfields", which had included Keith Moon as The Voiceless (despite having died in 1978), R.E.M. specifically requested that the animators not include their original drummer Bill Berry, who'd left the group in 1997. So, they included one of their session drummers at the time* .
- Borrowed Catchphrase: Michael Stipe borrows Homer's "Mmm, [food item]..." while eating the tofu turkey, saying "Mmm, curds...".
- Bowdlerization: Along with the scene of Homer bleeding after hitting his hand on the jukebox glass, Channel 4 in the UK also cut the scene where Homer puts a cigarette in Lisa's mouth and lights it (only for Lisa to cough and stub it out in her plate) and the part where Moe talks to one of the Russian prostitutes who laments that ever since the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, her penis has been falling off (with Moe Comically Missing the Point that "penis" is a Russian word).
- Recent reruns of the episode have also cut out the scene where Moe's mentor drowns himself.
- Comically Missing the Point: Bart's attempt to prank call Homer while he's running Moe's bar backfires when Homer doesn't know what to do when given the name "Ollie Tabooger".Bart: Yell out, "I'll eat a booger!"
Homer: What's the gag?
Bart: Oh, forget it.
- Coolest Club Ever: Moe remakes his tavern into M's, which is played up as the bar equivalent of this
- Digging to China: In Homer's "Shaggy Dog" Story, Lisa commented Bart would end up in China.
- Driven to Suicide: Depressed over suffering from cancer, Moe's mentor drowns himself by walking into a lake (which is how writer Virginia Woolf died).
- Evil Laugh: The ghost of Moe's mentor does one when he reveals that Moe still hasn't gotten any tips since he made over the bar.Moe: Why are you mocking me? We're friends.
Mentor: Oh, right. Sorry.
- Exact Words / Loophole Abuse: Homer can't open a bar inside his garage. He opened a hunting club.
- Fake-Out Opening: The episode begins with Bart digging a hole for no reason and becoming the target of Chinese officials who expect he's up to no good. Then it's revealed to be Homer's "Shaggy Dog" Story he tells at Moe's before the real plot starts.
- Grievous Bottley Harm: When Homer reveals to Moe that the bar is actually a hunting club, Michael Stipe is outraged.Michael: Hunting club!? You lied to us! (smashes bottle, before held back by Mike Mills and Peter Buck)Mike: Michael, no!Peter: That's not the R.E.M. way.Michael: (sighs) You're right. Let's recycle these shards and get out of here.
- Handwave: Bart's explanation for why he's digging.Lisa: What are you doing?
Bart: To make a hole.
Lisa: A hole for what?
Bart: More diggin'.
Lisa: Okay, then. [backs away]
- Hypocritical Humor:
- Moe switches one of M's TVs to a football game, the normal footage showing blinking eyes, only to have patrons berate him for changing it when they were watching it. Predictably, they go back to not watching it when he switches back.
- When Homer remakes his garage into a bar when kicked out of M's, he tells Marge that he never quits when he's passionate about something. He then uncovers a bucket robot that asks Homer to give him legs while referring to him as "Father". Homer tosses the robot into the street.
- Insane Troll Logic: Peter Buck wonders if Homer, Lenny, and Carl are actually millionaires, and Michael Stipe thinks so because "Would a poor person have a bar in his garage?"
- Not in the Face!/Groin Attack: While Moe and Lisa set out to stop Homer from killing a turkey to prove his makeshift bar is a hunting club, Moe gives Lisa a bird call to contact him if something goes wrong. This draws the ire of an eagle that pecks Moe in the forehead, when Moe tries to shoo it out, it pecks him in the crotch. Moe prefers it pecks the forehead.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The time Moe nailed that rat with an ice pick is played up as one.Homer: That was an amazing throw.
- Percussive Maintenance: Deconstructed. Homer attempts this on Moe's disc player like Fonzie, only to cut himself and bleed out profusely.
- Bowdlerization: This scene is often cut when aired on BBC Two in the UK.
- Postmodernism: This is the episode where this quote concerning postmodernism is derived.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: The beginning of the episode, lampshaded by Moe who by extension berates Barney's sheepdog.
- Shout-Out: Moe reveals he got into bartending when he saw the movie Ironweed.
- Snap Back: Lampshaded after Moe's bar goes back to the way it was.Lisa: How'd they get your bar back to normal so quickly, Moe?Moe: It's a snap when you use certified contractors.Bart: Like the ones found in your local Yellow Pages?Moe: Exactly.
- Something Something Leonard Bernstein: Homer's attempt at singing "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)".
- Special Guest: R.E.M.: Apparently, Homer got them to play in his garage bar under the pretense of it being a benefit to save the rainforest.
- Start My Own: Homer starts a bar in his garage for his gang after seemingly being abandoned by Moe.
- Take That!:Homer: [reading newspaper comics] Aw, look at that dad in Drabble. He's like an unfunny version of me.
- Thanksgiving Episode: The holiday doesn't come into play until towards the end of the episode.
- Too Dumb to Fool: Bart tries to play a prank call on Homer, but he doesn't get it.
- Unreliable Narrator: Homer's "Shaggy Dog" Story included parts he couldn't have known (such as the Chinese spying on Bart), which is lampshaded by the other patrons. When questioned about it, Homer merely shrugs and says he naturally assumed the Chinese would be spying on them.