Many people objected to the lyrics in the New Orleans song from the episode "A Streetcar Named Marge". In response to this, Bart's lines on the chalkboard the next week read "I will not defame New Orelans."
Mrs. Sinclair is reading "The Fountainhead Diet," a reference to Ayn Rand's novel The Fountainhead. A poster in the daycare center reads "A is A," which is the title of the last section of Atlas Shrugged. Another poster, "Helping is Futile," crudely reflects her rejection of altruism.
This was not the last time the series would reference Ayn Rand, especially in the context of Maggie's daycare. In The Simpsons: Four Great Women and a Manicure (2009), Maggie was portrayed as "Maggie Roark," based on Howard Roark, the hero of The Fountainhead. The theatrical short The Longest Daycare (2012) has Maggie returning to the Ayn Rand Day Care Center, as does the couch gag from "Moonshine River".
Alf Clausen secured the rights to the score to The Great Escape (1963), along with the original orchestra charts. It had been Jeff Martin's favorite film as a child, and he said "it was so exciting and so stirring" to hear the music being performed by the Simpsons' studio orchestra.
The episode posed a challenge to the show's animation directors. It contains many long set pieces, especially during the third and final act, which includes the end of the Maggie subplot and the performance of the musical. Several scenes required the animators to draw dozens of background characters. Rich Moore, the head director, initially feared the episode would not be completed in time. David Silverman, the supervising director, also had doubts; according to Jeff Martin, Moore sent back a cartoon of himself reading the script with his eyes popping out and his jaw dropped. Al Jean said that Moore "worked himself to death" to produce the episode's most elaborate sequences.
Jeff Martin first pitched the idea of Homer being in a theatrical production of 1776. James L. Brooks then suggested that Marge could play Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire. Brooks saw that Marge's relationship with Homer was similar to Blanche's relationship with Stanley, and he wanted to use that fact to build the emotional arc for an episode.
The estate of Tennessee Williams would not let the show use large excerpts from A Streetcar Named Desire, since the work was copyrighted. However, Fox lawyer Anatole Klebanow said that original songs based on the play were acceptable. According to producer Mike Reiss, Klebanow even promised to "take [their] case to the Supreme Court to get [the] episode aired." Jeff Martin later explained that while the songs made the episode funnier, they also made it harder to write.
A number of scenes that appeared in the storyboard and animatic were reordered or dropped altogether in the final version of the episode. Much of the Maggie subplot, for example, was modified before the episode aired. A scene in which the babies lock Ms. Sinclair in her office is missing from the final version of the episode.