This is the last episode to have the old opening (which was around since the show's second season) and to be broadcast in standard definition. It's also the first episode of 2009, and the only one to be in SD.
Elements of the plot loosely resemble the Peter Jackson film Heavenly Creatures, or a more recent film "Bridge to Terabithia", in some of the scenes where the girls imagine themselves in their fantasy world and how Marge bans Lisa from seeing her friend Juliet, who is loosely based on Juliet Hulme. Also, the girls obsession with Josh Groban mirrors the obsession of the girls in Heavenly Creatures with opera singer Mario Lanza. The song "Wipeout" was played while their visit to the Folk Art Museum (although the wipeout at the beginning was replaced by folk art).
Juliet, in appearance, resembles Thora Birch's character in the film Ghost World.
Colin from The Simpsons Movie can be seen in the art class.