Homer hires a private investigator to learn more about Lisa, until the P.I. frames dad and daughter for a crime they didn't commit.
- Actor Allusion: When Elliott Gould assaults Krusty, he names his fists and feet Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice.
- Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: At their motel hideaway, Homer tells Lisa that the reason why he hired Colt to spy on her to trick her into thinking he's a good father is because "the childless drunks at Moe's thought it was a good idea."
- Bart is trolling Principal Skinner from far away with the laser pointer he bought Lisa for her birthday and has it aimed at his crotch while the latter is outside retrieving his mail. Upon seeing it, he first takes down his pants and still seeing it on his underwear, he pulls them down, too. This immediately gains the attention of Chief Wiggum...who then informs him that he should get that red dot checked out by a doctor, claiming that a relative of his died of "crotch dot".
- The sign Bridge Out...standing.
- In Colt's newspaper with the headline "Drunk Cop Fired from Force", he is at the bottom of a page on the "Private Eye Wins Bake-off".
- Big "NO!": Principal Skinner when Dexter Colt shuffles his papers out of order and staples them together.
- Body Wipe: With Homer, as he charges across the mall to eat all the free samples.
- Chekhov's Gun: To compensate for the inability to get a security diary for her, Bart gets Lisa a laser pointer for her birthday. At the climax of the episode, Lisa uses it indirectly against Dexter Colt.
- Clear My Name: Homer and Lisa have to clear their names when a detective steals animals from a lab and frames them.
- Credits Gag: Bart steals Lisa's new diary, which shocks unauthorized users who try to open it, and tricks Homer into an attempt to read it as a bedtime story.
- Department of Redundancy Department: At least three times, Ralph tells Colt that he and Lisa go to the same school.
- Doesn't Know Their Own Child: Homer knows absolutely nothing about Lisa. His personalized video for her must be seen to be believed.
- Epic Fail: Homer knows nothing about Lisa, according to the Western-themed personalized video he made for her. He believes that her favorite food is Chicken McNuggets knowing full well that she's a vegetarian and has been for some time, her favorite "book" is magazines and her best friend is Maggie, a voiceless baby. Moreso, his other gift for her is a turkey, he falls asleep while recording the dialogue and had to be woken up by Bart and even the picture he chose for Lisa isn't a good one (she looks like she's going to throw up.)
- Extreme Omnivore: After Homer finishes eating all the free samples as mentioned above, he's still groaning about wanting more...while eating a pair of men's slacks, as Bart points out to him. He then pulls a zipper out of his mouth and says they still tasted better than the Indian cuisine he sampled.
- Hypocritical Humor:
- Bart complains that Lisa makes him come off as a Jerk... while reading her diary.
- Homer is shocked that Dexter Cole, a man who will spy on his daughter for money, could be so greedy.
- Irony: Invoked. Homer tries to make an ironic comment about Dexter Colt, a private eye getting blinded by Lisa's laser pointer. However instead of saying "How ironic. The private eye's blind" what he says is..."How ironic. He's now blind, after a lifetime of being able to see."
- It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: At the motel, Homer's guilt leads to confessing to Lisa that the police are after her because he refused to pay Colt, the private eye he hired to spy on Lisa so she would think he's a good father, who then framed Lisa for the liberation/theft of the lab animals as payback. When Lisa asks him why he would do something so horrible, Homer responds that "all the childless drunks at Moe's thought it was a great idea."
- Laser-Guided Karma: A very literal case when Lisa blinds Colt with the laser pointer Bart gave her on her birthday while he hunts her and Homer down. He's arrested soon after for his crimes.
- Major Injury Underreaction: Not a physical injury but Carl casually mentions he has severe schizophrenia.
- Mathematician's Answer: Ralph gives Colt one when they talk about Lisa.Colt: What else do you know?
Ralph: I once picked my nose till it bleeded.
- Mega Meal Challenge: The P.I.'s bill includes 40 dollars for a steak. The detective explains that it'd be free if he managed to eat it all.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Hank Azaria based Dexter Colt's voice on Robert Stack, who has played several detectives and agents. Visually, he's based on Robert Mitchum.
- Nobody's That Dumb: When Lisa is framed for a crime she didn't commit and the cops sees her and Homer flees when they arrive to arrest her, Chief Wiggum said something that even his own son, Ralph, knew the answer to:Chief Wiggum: (to Marge) Would an innocent person flee?
Chief Wiggum: No, really. Tell me. I honestly don't know.
Lou: Chief, no.
Ralph: Even I knew that.
Chief Wiggum: Yeah, yeah, I'm not... I'm not good.
- Noodle Incident: Homer chopping up Bart's skateboard with an axe for the insurance money.
- Reality Ensues: While disguising himself, Homer uses shoe polish to give himself a full head of hair in a bouffant, Elvis-esque style...which, of course, is supported by nothing and slides right off of his head.
- Running Gag: Homer covering himself with shoe polish.
- Shame If Something Happened: While trying to get Principal Skinner to show him Lisa's permanent record, Dexter Colt observes, "These are some nice-looking papers on your desk. It would be a shame if somebody shuffled them." Skinner, immediately knowing what Colt intends to do, calls his bluff, but Colt goes ahead and shuffles them anyway. Skinner points out he could easily put the papers back in their original order, and Colt promptly grabs a stapler and staples the disorganized papers together.
- Shockingly Expensive Bill: What the bill for Colt's services turn out to be. An angry Homer is right to call out Colt for indulging in outrageous expenses like buying silver bullets (Colt weakly defends that purchase by saying he believed Lisa was a werewolf) and becomes more "shocking" when Colt responds to Homer deciding not to pay by trying to kill him and frame him for a crime.
- Shout-Out: When Lisa dyes her hair with shoe polish, she comments that she looks just like a Powerpuff Girl. She even has Buttercup's hairline.◊
- Silver Bullet: The P.I claims he bought some because he assumed Lisa was a werewolf, it's not clear if it's just to pad the bill or he really did it.
- Stylistic Suck: The personalized videos from Kiosk Productions, including "The Adventures of Spaceman Rod" and "Lisa Simpson, Girl Cowboy."
- Taking the Bullet: Or more accurately taking the human cannonball.