Steven's brother Rob visits the Keaton family. He announces he has left his wife and they are filing for a divorce. He is dating a woman he just met on the plane that day. Mallory and Jennifer find ways to see a cute paramedic at the mall.
Steven's work has approved Elyse for remodeling the lobby of the WKS building. Also, they want a contest for sculptures submitted by local artists and will pick a winner. Against Steven's wishes, Nick is included. He has great ideas.
Alex attends a banking conference with his boss, but when his hotel reservation is lost, he shares a hotel room with his boss. The room is quit small. Elyse and the girls want to remodel the kitchen. Steven is reluctant.
While Alex and Rebecca attend a banking convention, Rebecca is nervous about meeting her boss. She has some drinks to relax, but ends up getting drunk and ruins the meeting. Steven wallpapers the kitchen but makes a mess of the job.
At a restaurant, Alex orders food for Elyse, Mallory, and Jennifer. They are upset that he was being chauvinistic. Alex and Steven disagree, so the women recall all the times they tried to be overly manly and all the disastrous results.
Jennifer is in a musical band and auditions to play at Leland College Dance. Their band is chosen, and Alex sees it as a money making proposition. He attempt to be the band manager causes problems for the band.
Steven's station offers a scholarship open to employees' college-aged children. Alex and Mallory apply. Alex is certain he will beat Mallory as well as all other applicants. Alex is privately told he won, but he withdraws so Mallory wins.
Jennifer helps tutor a star athlete who is having problem with science class. She pretends to be dumb in other subjects so he does not think she is just a brain. He invites her out, and she continues her dumb act.
Steven wants to throw a surprise birthday party for Elyse, but everyone knows he never throws a good surprise party. Also, Skippy meets one of Mallory's friends and is attracted to her. He asks her out and she agrees. Then he is nervous.
Elyse's sister Michele and family are visiting. Everyone looks forward to Michele, but not the husband and children. Michele is friendly and helpful whereas the others are loud, rude, and obnoxious. This visit, they also bring a large dog.
Seeing Mallory is a wreck after her break-up with Rick and six failed dates, Alex decides to match her with a fellow Leland student. His theoretically ideal choice is Roger Sloate, an engineering major. Alas Alex's chaperoning isn't rewarded, his dumb sister dumps Roger like the rest- but accepts a last double-date, where Roger spontaneously falls for Alex's date Tracy; something smart Alex can't understand is that love is irrational chemistry... Dad Steven is deadly against 'dehumanising' computer games, but while one is rented 'for the kids' he gets hooked worse ...
On Jen's birthday, she is unusually un-eager for the usual party ingredients, clearly only pretends to appreciate the hand-puppet show dad revels in, and actually gets completely obsessed with imitating the fashion-obsessed herd of 'cool kids' at school, even if that means abandoning all her rather tomcat habits. Stacie's gang and chasing boys seem to overtake her whole personality, she even takes lessons in 'cool' signals and talk from airhead Mallory...
Since her birthday party, Jennifer is spending all her spare time with her new 'cool' airhead friends, doing atypical things such as mall-shopping -spending all her babysitting savings- and scorning her own habits and family traditions, and no longer dares to sit with true fiend Beth. She even lets Chrissy convince her to ditch a maths class for a sale. Ellen and Mallory assure Alex that's how 13-year old girls become aware of their sexuality. A call from vice-principal Ross about Jen's truancy makes the parents ground her indefinitely. She refuses to join the family ...
Back to school; Jennifer in high school and Andy in kindergarten. Alex and Mallory return to college. Alex is asked to participate in a psychology study by a co-student, Lauren. They get off to a bad start, but slowly find the attraction.
Alex and Lauren continue with the psychology test, and their attraction to each other continues. Alex impulsively kisses her during a session. Worried about crossing the line, they are hesitant but work things out.
Mallory gets a job as an advice columnist. With the first issue, she includes her home address & phone number. Mallory gets constant calls and visits from everyone who wants help. Later, she finds out her advice has not been helpful.
Andy is disappointed when Alex keeps missing their together time because he is with Lauren. Alex apologizes by taking Andy to a carnival, but also takes Lauren. The day does not go as planned. Alex and Andy talk, and things are worked out.
Jennifer has an admirer at school, Simon, who carries her books and buys her gifts. He likes Jennifer but she does not like him. She likes someone else who does not notice her. She decides to go with Simon to use him to get to the other.
Elyse gets caught up in work projects to the point of working a lot of overtime. This leaves little time for her family where everyone is confused as to who does what duties and keeping the house moving. Elyse realizes something has to give.
An intern job opens at the station where Steven works. He thinks Mallory should get the job. Mallory does not want to the job. She avoids her father so he does not keep asking. The Keatons try to solve a cereal contest to win a $5,000 prize.
The Keatons are delighted by a surprise visit from Elyse's Aunt Rosemary. The Keatons start to notice a difference in her actions, and Rosemary finally admits she is becoming forgetful. A doctor diagnoses onset Alzheimer's disease
Steven's brother Rob and children, Marilyn & Jonathan, visit after his divorce is finalized. He now works as in outdoor telephone repair. His daughter Marilyn is having a hard time with her parent's divorce and takes it out on the Keatons.
While visiting the Keaton's, Rob's daughter Marilyn stays out all night with a guy she just met. Rob realizes he lost parental control. Rob and Steven talk about marriage, happiness, and children. Rob takes another chance to talk to Marilyn.
With their 20th wedding anniversary, Steven wants a small gathering, Elyse wants a large party. Everything goes wrong, from the party planning, roof leaks, plumbing issues, to everyone arguing about everything.
Money-hungry Alex gets a job as a mall Santa. While Alex sees the holiday as a financial event, he gets caught up in the reason for the season when a little girl only wants her father home for a Christmas gift.