When Homer's court case determines that a dog's life is more vauluable than a human's, the canines recognize their position of power and begin to assert their dominance.
- Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: When Homer, in a drunken stupor, gets surrounded by growling dogs:Homer: Let me guess. Collie, dachshund, Tibetan Mastiff, otterhound, Swedish Vallhund, Finnish Spitz, Norwegian Lundehund, Catahoula Leopard Dog, Lagotto Romagnolo, and three wolves! (screams in terror)
- Hidden Depths: As seen in the above quote under Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!, Homer is able to quickly and correctly identify dogs by breeds, including some rather obscure ones.
- Hypocritical Humor: When Chief Wiggum locks up Dr. Budgie.Chief Wiggum: Dogs locked up in cages? That's no way to treat a dog! Now, lock him up in a cage... like a dog.
- Ignored Expert: As Dr. Budgie is taken to jail, he warns that without humans asserting their dominance, the dogs will turn on them and take over the town. Which is exactly what happens.
- Kick the Dog: Marge literally kicks the alpha dog, the Van Houtens' chihuahua, out of the park to assert dominance. She then apologizes for it.
- Mister Big: The alpha dog ruling Springfield turns out to be Taquito, Milhouse's pet chihuahua.
- No Sympathy: Everybody stops caring about Gil when Homer says he had to run over him to avoid doing the same to a dog.
- Sadistic Choice: While speeding in an alley where both Gil and Santa's Little Helper are eating from trashcans, Homer has to choose between hitting one to avoid the other. He chooses to hit Gil, and the ensuing trial sets the plot in motion.
- Savage Wolves: Wolves start moving into Springfield when the dogs start taking over.
- Seldom-Seen Species: Some of the dog breeds Homer identifies are fairly obscure.
- Status Quo Is God: Lampshaded during the town meeting where they decide they're giving dogs too much power.Mayor Quimby: I say "status", you say...Everybody else: Quo!
- Tempting Fate: Gil missed the chance to become the town's hero to buy a sandwich and Homer tries to comfort him by stating he at least still has the sandwich.
- Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Mayor Quimby says Springfield isn't on the map because the map company doesn't know which state the town is in.