Themes and Cultural References
In Voyages of Discovery: A Manly Adventure in the Lands Down Under, a book about adventuring and masculinity, Ken Ewell described "Maximum Homerdrive" as a "fine example" of "the poor man's lack of travel acumen." He wrote "Homer's usual ineptitude at first spells disaster for the duo, at least until they find out about the truck's auto-drive system. And though he promises to keep the device a secret, Homer can't keep his mouth shut, and so shamefully exposes to the world his un-manful behavior concerning the mates. So given that Homer once again learns absolutely nothing from his traveling experience, he can only take to heart the thoughts of the British writer Stephen Fry. 'At my age travel broadens the behind.'"
The decal on Homer's truck reads "Rex Rascal," a reference to American animator Tex Avery. In the steak restaurant, a photo of actor and comedian Tony Randall can be seen next to Barclay's photo. Homer's postcard, which reads "Wish you were her," shows a picture of American model Bettie Page. In the scene where Homer drives Barclay's truck into the convoy, Navi-Tron Auto-Drive System says "I'm afraid I can't let you do this, Red. The risk is unacceptable." The line, as well as the Navi-Tron Auto-Drive System's, is a reference to HAL 9000, the antagonist in the 1968 science fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey. The episode also references media mogul Ted Turner, with a sign that reads "Atlanta: the home of Ted Turner's mood swings."
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