To impress Marge, Homer becomes the CEO of the nuclear plant by releasing a canary (the real head of the nuclear plant) and demanding that Mr. Burns give him a promotion.
- Amplified Animal Aptitude: As the canary is released and flies away, Bart tells it to fly to the Canary Islands. The canary showcases that it's smarter than it looks by flying back into the office, looking up where the Canary Islands are in a globe, and then flying off again.
- Animate Inanimate Object: Burns' disposal of nuclear waste under Legoland causes the models there to come to life and become homicidal.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The first time Homer tries to be successful using Stark Richdale's lessons and book, he walks around the power plant and does his job as safety inspector. Among the safety violations he comes across is the inconvenience of having three different rooms for coffee, cream, and stirrers.
- Bait the Dog: Burns asks Homer to come with him on a walk through the cemetery where he provides a very sincere speech about how living as a CEO and The Chains of Commanding and greed has killed off all of Burns' chances to get a family and that Homer shouldn't toss his away, and this is something Homer actually takes to heart... only to discover that Burns laced his beer with knock-out potion and the walk was to take him to a mausoleum he was planning to bury him alive in a la The Cask of Amontillado.
- Buried Alive: Burns tries to do this to Homer at the episode's climax... very heavy emphasis on "tries".
- Call-Back: As Mr. Burns shows Smithers the plant's hierarchy, Homer is outranked by the inanimate carbon rod from "Deep Space Homer."
- Also, a crossed photograph of Frank Grimes.
- Caligula's Horse: The whole plot happens because Homer discovers that the "real" CEO of the nuclear plant is a canary, as a legal fall guy Burns put in place.
- Comically Missing the Point: Burns keeps working on closing the mausoleum's entrance with bricks even if Homer has already woken up and is leaving, making the whole murder attempt moot (Burns even dismisses Homer telling him that he's leaving as desperate screams for mercy, and gloats that it will just makes him suffocate faster).
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Mr. Burns has a canary to serve as fall guy to be arrested for any of his own white-collar crimes, and when Mr. Smithers questions him on the legality of it, Mr. Burns claims that tycoons like him have been doing it for years—for example, Standard Oil was once owned by a half eaten breakfast.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Snake attempts to kill his cellmate for failing to wake him up when the bookmobile came round.
- Epic Fail: Burns tries to kill Homer by burying him alive a la The Cask of Amontillado... but he's so feeble that by the time Homer wakes up from the mickey Burns gave him, Burns has only placed bricks up to Homer's ankle level, allowing Homer to just leave the mausoleum that was going to be his "grave".
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: A tourist at Legoland gets impaled by the Eiffel Tower, thanks to Monty Burns dumping nuclear waste under the place causing it to become both animated and homicidal.
- Music/Age Dissonance: Homer accidentally switches the music tape he wanted to play for Marge on Valentine's Day with one of Maggie's tapes—as a result, Homer accidentally pits Marge to sleep with a lullaby while Maggie ends up dancing to the Tom Jones song "Sex Bomb".
- Smart Ball: For Homer, who manages to trick Mr Burns into briefly making him the CEO of the power plant, then fires Burns.
- Status Quo Is God: Lampshaded with Homer's "Homer's 305th Everything is Back to Normal BBQ". This was episode 306.
- Tempting Fate: Mr. Burns assures Smithers the environmental effects of him dumping nuclear waste under Legoland won't be felt for years. In the next scene, the Capitol Building and the Eiffel Tower promptly come to life and go on a rampage.