After the first episodes, the series developed an absurdist world. Though many episodes were still standard 1960s sitcom fare, the show became notable for its surrealism and satire. Characters frequently broke the fourth wall to address the audience, and on several occasions Lisa was seen apparently reading the superimposed episode credits (which she called 'the written-bys') although they were invisible to Oliver. The writers soon developed a trademark suite of running jokes and visual gags that recurred throughout the series – Lisa's inedible "hotscakes" and treacle-like coffee, Oliver's constantly exploding Hoyt-Clagwell tractor, the regular annoying visits by local con-man Mr Haney, Eb's irritating habit of addressing Oliver as "Dad", Oliver doing all the farming in a three-piece suit, the perennial inability of local handymen the Monroe Brothers (one of whom was a woman) to complete any work on the house, Oliver and Lisa's ongoing battle with the phone company and their struggles with the precarious electricity and water supplies, and the town's apparent ability to overhear everything that happens in the Douglas house. The show appealed to children through its slapstick, silliness and shtick, but adults were able to appreciate it on a different level.