An unsolicited script from a writer not working on the show - also about Homer and Marge going on a marriage retreat - caused legal problems at the time. To avoid any further problems from this coincidence, the writer was paid $3,000.
Material cut from the episode's script included many couples who were supposed to be at the retreat instead of the Flanders family, such as Mr. Burns and his mail-order bride, and Mrs. Krabappel trying to reunite with her estranged husband Ken Krabappel. Reiss said the scene played out "horribly badly", and it appeared as if Mr. Burns's mail-order bride was a prostitute. The Ken Krabappel character was supposed to be based on Dean Martin, but somehow he ended up with a southern accent that made him sound like a hick. The whole scene was rewritten with help from James L. Brooks and it was completed after several hours. A scene in which Moe asked Dr. Hibbert to cure his discolored feces was also removed during the first reading of the script after a complaint by Brooks
Homer's false memory of the party the following day (in which he imagines himself as being erudite and witty instead of drunk) is a reference to the Algonquin Round Table, a group of New York City writers, critics, actors, and wits.
Gloria and John are voiced by Julie Kavner and Dan Castellaneta, making it a rare time where they voiced a couple other than Homer and Marge. Also, Julie's role of Gloria is one of the few times she has voiced a character other than Marge or one of the women of the Bouvier family.
Marge urges Homer to go easy on the "al-key-hol". The last time she used that term she was halfway in the bag herself, and performed similar embarrassing drunken revelry at Mr. Burns' picnic in The Simpsons: There's No Disgrace Like Home (1990).
Mark Kirkland and his animation team were relatively new to animation when they began working on the show, and to make the animation in this episode the best they had ever done, they incorporated all the techniques they had learned during their first year into it.
Mark Kirkland said that animating Homer drunk was a challenge for him as he had to analyze how people behave when they are intoxicated by alcohol. He said of the animation: "I shifted [Homer's] eyes open and close, they're not working in sync. And of course Homer can't keep his balance so that's why he's shifting back and forth."
Mark Kirkland was raised in New York City in an environment similar to the one where the marriage retreat was held. He therefore enjoyed drawing and overseeing the scenery for the episode, and the bait shop was based on the bait shops he visited when he grew up.
Homer's marathon attempt at catching General Sherman, his bludgeoning of the fish and the line "I love you but I have to kill you" are all based on Santiago's fight with the marlin in Ernest Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea".
Homer sings "We Are the Champions" by Queen after he finally catches General Sherman, although he butchers the lyrics by singing "I Am the Champions", in which he fails to singularize the lyrics in order to describe only himself.
Grampa sings "Over There", a popular song during the First World War, when getting out of the shower, possible evidence that he served in World War One. A more likely explanation is that being a veteran of World War Two, he was a kid during the years of the First World War, and had heard it then.