After having a nervous breakdown that almost gets her time in jail, Marge goes to Rancho Relaxo while Homer watches Maggie and her sisters watch Bart and Lisa.
Tropes of this episode:
- Adult Fear: Homer's reaction when he discovers Maggie is missing from her crib and can't find her anywhere.
- Big "NO!": Marge belts one out when she finally snaps.
- Cliché Storm: Invoked:Quimby: ...If I go down, you're gonna break my fall!
Wiggum: Word to the wise, Quimby: don't write checks your butt can't cash.
Quimby: Hear me loud and clear, Wiggum! You bite me, I'll bite back.
Wiggum: You talk the talk, Quimby, but do you walk the walk?
- Deranged Animation: Marge snapping while driving.◊
- Everyone Has Standards: Bart, who is usually fascinated by gross stuff, evidently draws the line at blackhead guns.
- Fan Disservice: Lampshaded, discussed in-universe when Bart laments sleeping over at Selma and Patty's and Lisa replies "You think you know fear? Well I've seen them naked!"
- Gag Boobs: All Bart has to say when he spots Selma's large bra (the cup can cover his head):Ay Carumba!
- Get Out!: Marge gets quite annoyed by Bart and Lisa's antics while driving to school, to the point of telling them to get out in a deep, echoing voice.
- Ironic Juxtaposition: When Marge returns from her trip, she holds up a picture of Homer, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie where the four are smiling; when she lowers the photo, she sees the four in a morose, exhausted state due to her absence.
- Isn't It Ironic?: The ironic hold music that Homer listens to (and still cries over) when calling the police to report Maggie being missing is "Baby Come Back" by Player, which is a breakup song about a man begging his lover for another chance.
- Jerkass Realization: Homer acts like a Jerkass, as usual, through Marges plight until she rolls down her window.
- Karma Houdini: Marge gets off completely scot-free for blocking the bridge thanks to Mayor Quimby pulling some strings.
- Kids Are Cruel: In the first act. And you wonder why Marge snapped?
- Mighty Roar: The bus driver from Shelbyville is scared off by this.
- Nervous Wreck: Marge, when the stress of errands gets to her — while driving.
- Noble Demon: Mayor Quimby pulls some strings to get Marge off the hook for blocking the bridge. Granted, he didn't do it out of sympathy for Marge's stress, but because he knew he risked losing the women's vote if she went to jail.
- Not Helping Your Case: When Patty and Selma express doubts that Homer can take care of Maggie on his own ("He'll probably trade her for a beer and a nudie magazine"):Homer: For your information, I can take care of my- (Maggie slides to the ground) AAAH!! (picks her up) See? Got her on the first bounce.
- Odd Name Out: The three movies available on Rancho Relaxo's pay-per-view service include Thelma & Louise, The Happy Little Elves Meet Fuzzy Snuggleduck... and The Erotic Awakening of S.
- Parental Neglect: Homer when he's looking after Maggie, but in his defense, he did try to care for her and no one saw her running off to find Marge and as soon as he knew, he looked all over for her and called the police.
- Police are Useless:
- Though he has grounds to have her in jail, Wiggum had to let Marge go due to pressure from Mayor Quimby and he doesnt notice the mobster with a body in the car whos held up.
- Wiggum goes to arrest Homer for criminal neglect after finding Maggie and returning her home, but bashfully lets Homer off with a warning after Homer kisses him and thanks him for finding his baby daughter.
- Prank Call: Bill and Marty call a man and tell him his wife is dead.
- Rage Breaking Point: Maggie spilling her milk on Homer's newly-ironed shirt and on Marge while she's driving.
- Recycled Animation: The clip where Homer calls the Department of Missing Babies is the same clip from "Saturdays of Thunder" when he calls the National Fatherhood Institute.
- Reveal Shot: At the end of the episode, Homer and Marge are talking in bed. You think it's just those two, but then Bart starts talking, and it's revealed that the whole family is sharing the same bed.
- Sanity Slippage: Various irritations chip away at Marge's stability until she locks herself in the car on a bridge.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Quimby orders Marge to be freed without charges because it could cost him the womens vote if he allows the law to go the way its set.Quimby: They're just like seals. Throw them a fish and they start clapping their fins together.
- The beginning parodies the Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner cartoons.
- Marge watches Thelma & Louise on TV.
- The Erotic Awakening of S is a parody of The Story of O.
- The episode's title (and Homer's both-hands-on-cheeks-and-screaming while looking at the camera pose upon discovering Maggie's disappearance) are shout outs to Home Alone.
- Skewed Priorities: While Homer's fretting about losing Maggie, Barney is more concerned about making omelettes.
- Slasher Smile: Patty and Selma gave Maggie a terrifying one, had the younger Simpson not grabbed onto the entrance door to stay with her dad.
- Visual Pun: As Marge relaxes in a hot bath with a sundae while watching TV, she blissfully lowers herself into the water and emerges with her hair straight and wet, meaning she's finally relaxed enough to "let her hair down".