Sugarbaker's is short on money, but they are able to find a great deal on curtains to decorate a motel-until the shop that makes them goes on strike. The women decide to go there sew them themselves, where they see the conditions which prompted the strike in the first place.
Bernice signs up the women on an all-female wilderness retreat that some of Lee Iacocca's top executives had attended in the past; she thought the then-CEO of Chrysler would be there. Mary Jo and Julia are stuck under the leadership of a pushy New Yorker named Big Edie, while Suzanne and Charlene's group is led by Bernice.
Anthony becomes a Big Brother to Tyrone, a smooth talking 14-year-old boy from a bad neighborhood. While Julia is determined to give him the benefit of the doubt and allows Anthony to hire him as his part-time assistant, the young man soon betrays their trust when he steals some gifts for Anthony's birthday.
The ladies' wealthy client dies before their work begins, so her heir-a cat named Mr. Bailey-takes over. The cat is set to inherit the woman's considerable fortune, but the state of Georgia plans to contest the will. The women must prove that she was in her right mind when she made Mr. Bailey heir to her estate.
Julia's old college schoolmate whom she once dated calls to request her services. Charlene and Mary Jo unexpectedly discover that the home is part of a nudist colony. Suzanne and Julia's nieces, Camilla and Jennifer visit while on semester break and show a striking personal resemblance to their aunts.
In order to pay off her Christmas bills, Charlene becomes a seller of Lady June cleaning products. However, the other women become concerned about the influence they develop over her, likening it to a cult.
Charlene's 19-year-old brother Odell comes to town with his fiancée, Sissy Sloan. They have to come to Atlanta because no Justice of the Peace or minister in Poplar Bluff will marry them due to a long-standing feud between the Fraziers and the Sloans.
Julia is humiliated at a charity fashion show when the dress she is modeling gets stuck in her pantyhose, revealing her backside to 1200 spectators and the Mayor of Atlanta. Suzanne buys an automatic rifle to protect her pig Noelle from a neighbor's threats. Mary Jo is worried that her daughter Claudia is going to have sex with her boyfriend Ben.
J.D.'s temporary stay at Mary Jo's house lasts longer than expected when he loses his job. When he starts to take advantage of staying at home, she feels uncomfortable about it. Meanwhile, Julia tries to shake Charlene's belief in psychics, even after a coincidental accident that almost matches something Charlene's psychic said to her.
When Charlene accepts Bill's proposal of marriage, he invites her to Virginia to meet his wealthy mother and Aunt Phoebe, but she is nervous about how they will perceive her. Meanwhile, when J.D. gets a job in Cincinnati, he and Mary Jo agree to see other people, so she dates a college student.
The women celebrate Charlene's wedding with an all-female "This Is Your Life" party with friends and family. The night before the wedding, Bill's Air Force buddies throw him a bachelor party with a Spanish-speaking stripper who locks the two of them into a pair of "Ménage-à-trois" handcuffs. When Charlene finds them still chained together in his apartment hours before the wedding she gets caught in the third cuff. The stripper's boyfriend - who is in Shreveport - has the keys, and he is stopped by police on the way to Atlanta. It's up to Monette, Charlene's old friend...
Mary Jo and Charlene discover Reggie MacDawson, the accountant who absconded with Suzanne's life savings, working as a bellhop and lounge singer at a dilapidated hotel. He explains the convoluted story of how and why he left the country, and what happened to Suzanne's money: he used it to buy a circus.
When a newsstand opens near the office featuring a large display advertising a pornographic magazine, Julia runs through it with her car. Insisting that pornography is not free speech, she continues to do it until the publisher of the magazine - a woman who considers herself a feminist - sues her for violating her First Amendment rights.
Suzanne's pig Noelle has run away, so to console herself, she buys maternity gifts for an expectant Charlene. When Anthony injures his back carrying a 200 pound antique table down the stairs, and he learns his insurance has been canceled, Suzanne lets him stay at her house to recuperate. However, her idea of generosity proves to be more than Anthony can bear. Meanwhile, Mary Jo tries to impress a snobby rich acquaintance from high school by saying she lives in one of her wealthy client's houses.
Julia receives a request to spend the night with Donald Stillman, a former classmate dying of a rare form of lymphoma. She barely remembers him, and there are no photos of him in the school yearbooks, so when she and Donald go out to dinner, the other ladies and Anthony go to the same restaurant in case he turns out to be a maniac.
Charlene's cousin Mavis coaches the ladies for an upcoming talent show, where they will be playing the Supremes. When Charlene goes back to pick up something she lost, she notices Mavis's husband brutally abusing her. Meanwhile, Julia is appalled by Suzanne's suggestion on how to make them look more like the Supremes.
Sugarbaker's is hired to decorate the Governor's mansion for its annual ball. Anthony receives an invitation to the ball, but Suzanne is dismayed when she doesn't. After decorating the "Abbott banister" at the mansion, Julia is persuaded by the others to do something silly and winds up with her head stuck in the banister, which cannot be cut due to its historical significance.
Julia and Suzanne experience a series of mishaps on a trip to Japan to visit their mother and to pick up Suzanne's new car. Meanwhile, Anthony and Mary Jo cast votes in a call-in poll unaware that each call costs money.
Mary Jo is forced to clip coupons and work at Burger Guy because her ex-husband Ted is late on his child support payments. After Julia persuades her to accept a personal loan, Mary Jo asks an emergency favor from her, Anthony, and Bernice when Burger Guy is short of help.