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.
- Bait-and-Switch: The sign Bridge Out...standing. Also Colt's newspaper with the headline "Police involved in a shoot-out" he is at the bottom of a page on the "local P.I wins pie making contest."
- Big "NO!": Principal Skinner when Dexter Colt shuffles his papers out of order and staples them together.
- 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.
- Epic Fail: Homer knows nothing about Lisa, according to the western video storybook 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 video 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.)
- 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 her daughter for money, could be so greedy.
- Irony: Invoked. Homer tries to make an ironic comment about Dexter Colt getting blinded by Lisa's laser pointer."How ironic. He's now blind, after a lifetime of being able to see."
- Major Injury Underreaction: Not a physical injury but Carl casually mentions he has severe schizophrenia.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- Taking the Bullet: Or more accurately taking the human cannonball.