- 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 infamous. Given the show's usual formula, something had to happen that would make Homer quit horse racing. There were many ways this could have happened, but the other jockeys revealing themselves to be elves, singing a musical number, and threatening Homer into losing the next race was probably not something anybody would have guessed. The show usually never uses overt fantastical elements outside of brief gags, but here it plays a major role in the plot's resolution.
- Broken Base: Many fans hate this episode and call it one of the worst ever (at best. At worst, they cite it as the point where they invoke Fanon Discontinuity and pretend that every episode after this point doesn't exist), but a fair number enjoy it because it spoofs the Flanderization and absurd plots that started to crop up in Season 9.
- "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The episode's attempt to ward off complaints at the pass through Comic Book Guy's Straw Fan-ness became this after the episode ended up being disliked for reasons that had nothing at all to do with recycling plot points.
- 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, Stonecutters (again), or just regular jockeys, since they already had motive to sabotage Bart and Duncan anyway. Others have claimed that the idea of jockeys being elves is actually a pretty good gag, but making it a major cog in the third act was a bad idea.
YMMV / The Simpsons S 11 E 13 Saddlesore Galactica