- Accidental Aesop: The Ogdenville band cheated (by using glow sticks, expressly against the rules) and won. Lisa spends the rest of the episode appealing to progressively higher authorities until finally then-President Bill Clinton himself overturns the results. The Aesop is pretty explicitly spelled out: if things don't go your way, you can always whine to someone until they do. It was clearly meant to be a Spoof Aesop; Marge points out that it's not a good moral to take away from this, and Clinton simply replies that he's not a very good president. Be that as it may, "Calmly and logically appeal to authority figures when faced with an injustice" isn't really that bad a moral.
- Bizarro Episode: One of the show's most famous. The jockeys turn out to be elves. Who have a musical number. And they actually have a significant impact on the plot, when the show usually never uses overt fantastical elements outside of gags.
- Broken Base: Many fans hate this episode and call it one of the worst ever, but a fair number enjoy it because it spoofs the Flanderization and absurd plots that started to crop up in Season 9.
- Harsher in Hindsight: The episode trying to answer complaints of fans early became pretty unfortunate when the episode was indeed labeled as one of the worst ever - and not at all for the reason the writers seemed to expect.
- Strawman Has a Point:
- The Ogdenville band uses glowsticks and wins, even though visual aids were expressly forbidden. Lisa's outrage is justified as the Ogdenville band won despite breaking the rules, as well as her appealing to higher figures, since the competition judge doesn't care about the rules violation and brushes her off when she complains. Even if it wasn't meant maliciously, Ogdenville broke the rules and should have been disqualified. Similarly, the show treats "if the other side cheats, complain until it's fixed" as a spoof aesop, but it's an entirely reasonable response under the circumstances.
- While probably unintentional, Comic Book Guy's complaints come across like like this to many viewers, given that this episode does tend to top real-world worst-episode-ever lists, though for a completely different reason.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: It could be argued that the jockeys could have been anything else besides something as fantastical as elves, such as the Mafia, Illuminati, or Stone-Cutters (again).
YMMV / The Simpsons S 11 E 13 Saddlesore Galactica