Margaret gets tired of all the housework and demands of the children, expecting her to do their every whim. She decides to take a day off and go into town. She browses the stores and has her picture drawn by a street artist.
Bud wants to have a lawn party at the Anderson's home the next day. Bud expects Jim & Margaret to do the work, without the teens even helping, they tell Bud he cannot have the party. Jim & Margaret leave for the day, and Bud has it anyway.
Bud buys a shortwave radio and, while showing it off to the family, hears a distress call. A family had become caught in a tropical storm while offshore in their cabin cruiser, and the father was unable to transmit his desperate call for help to the Coast Guard ... leaving the Andersons as possibly the family's only hope.
A jet pilot encounters problems when flying over Springfield and loses his helmet. Bud finds the helmet and the family decides to find the pilot and return it. Betty and the pilot start dating; Betty learns he is being transferred to Alaska
Bud & Kippy want to travel for new experiences and write exciting stories. They want to go to Hillsborough by themselves and stay overnight in town. Jim & Margaret agree since both boys will be there. Skippy backs out at the last minute.
Cornel Wilde has a car accident while traveling through Springfield. The person who hit his car just happens to be a client of Jim Anderson. Due to a mix up with Jim's secretary, Cornel Wilde shows up at the Anderson home. While waiting for Jim to arrive home, the rest of the family falls all over Cornel. Margaret invites him to stay to dinner and he agrees much to the excitement of all the Andersons! When Jim returns home he discovers that the gentleman that hit Cornel Wilde's car has decided to make a 'killing' by embellishing the events and getting a big pay day ...
Bud donates money towards a fund for a sick classmate in Sunday School. Kippy takes credit for that donation and Bud is upset. Knowing he should not brag of his good deed, Bud tries to find another way to get credit and have Kippy confess.
Betty accepts a date for the same night she has a baby-sitting job. Margaret and Jim say they will babysit so she can go on the date. When the baby arrives, Margaret and Jim enjoy having an infant in the house again. Kathy gets jealous.
A former college classmate of Jim and Margaret's shows up at the Anderson house - as a salesman. Henry had been voted Man Most Likely to Succeed in college, and had plans to be a doctor. He is not a doctor, and he is not a good salesman.
Margaret decides to sell the old baby crib. A couple who is expecting their first child shows up to buy it. They are young as well as being nervous about being parents. It does not help that the Andersons are having a bad parenting day.
The Andersons visit Margaret's family. Her father feels his health is failing and he needs to sell his business to retire. Jim helps him close up the father's print shop. The father is stubborn about every aspect, and Jim finds out why.
Margaret hires a man named Sageman to chop wood for their fireplace. He only wants to be paid in meals. An honest day's work for an honest meal. Sageman quietly shares his views of life with the Anderson's and inspires them all.
Bud is extremely excited for the new school year to start. He is however shocked to find a very popular teacher has not returned and has been replaced by a Mr. Beckman. The rest of the class wants to make trouble for Beckman, but Bud's stands up and shows he is willing to accept the new man and help him win the confidence of the rest of the class.
Betty is excited to be chosen as tutor for the football team. Her enthusiasm wanes when she is teamed up with Muley Orkin, a social awkward young man. The tutoring goes badly as Muley has concentration issues and is clearly infatuated with Betty. Although she is dismissive of his advances she is pleased to hear succeed in a game. After the game Muley stops by and ask Betty to a dance, because she already has a date and turns him down. After a group of girls visit the house looking for Muley, Betty decides she needs to protect Muley and agrees to change her plans and ...
Margret receives the title deeds to a second property; Jim suggests she take responsibility for cleaning and renting out the property. They meet the neighbor, Mr. Boomhauer, who is a very unpleasant man who does his best to talk down the property. Margret is served with court papers after she begins work on the property that endangers his rose garden. Margret goes to talk to Mr. Boomhauer to discover the real source of his concern is the fact Margret as a woman is trying to run a business. The court arrives at a judgment, but Margret and Mr. Boomhauer need to learn ...
The Anderson's former gardener returns for a visit to get help with his new job. Fronk is going to be a gardener for a government building but first has to pass a civil service exam. The Anderson's pitch in to help him study.
Bud finds out he is considered one of the football team's best player. He thinks he can do just about anything. But when he does breaks one of the team rules, he is suspended from playing one game - against a strong team.
Kathy's class has to write a civil war essay. The essays will be entered in a contest and the winner will meet Greer Garson who is in town for the premier of her period-piece civil war movie. Kathy is convinced she will win.
Bud is annoyed at Kathy being irresponsible, and tells Jim and Margaret they need to be firm with her. Jim and Margaret decided to let him have a chance at child-rearing. Bud finds it more difficult than he realized.