Kris wants to take flying lessons, but her mother disapproves; Gus decides to go back to work and needs a bank loan to buy a truck; Jessie enjoys taking care of a baby whose mother abandoned him; David is about to turn thirteen; Molly is worried after a series of tremors hits the area.
Gus is trapped in an elevator with the baby after an earthquake; Kris is a passenger in a small plane without Jessie's permission; David becomes friends with a handyman while his class is stuck at a church in the country, then tragedy strikes; Jessie is reluctant to give up the baby.
During a teachers' strike, Gus substitutes at Kris's school, and Kris supports the picketers; Molly and Bertha have a falling out over potential sweepstakes winnings; Jessie's new boss gives her a beeper.
David and his friends go on an overnight camping trip without permission to search for buried treasure after finding an old map; Gus goes to work at a stable and discovers a mutual attraction with his pretty employer.
A tough ROTC instructor causes Kris to doubt her dream of going to the Air Force Academy; Gus's service club plans a memorial for Vietnam war dead and Gus can't understand Lt. Col. Trask's ambivalence towards it; Molly grows squash and befriends caterpillars; David regrets his gift to a pretty classmate.
Encouraged by memories of his father's past glory, David joins the school basketball team, but doesn't enjoy it; Molly and Bertha mistakenly believe Mr. Kaplan is dying; Kris and Nikki have a falling out after Kris accuses Nikki of keeping secrets; Jessie dates an old friend.
When Gus takes the family and Joe Kaplan to a friend's cabin for the weekend, they unexpectedly meet the friend's son, a troubled professional football player; David makes an expensive bet with J.R.; Molly works on a poem for school.
After Gus identifies the young man who mugged him, the mugger's brother begins a campaign of intimidation against the Witherspoon family to keep Gus from testifying in court; Molly and Bertha build an ant colony for a school project; Kris is overwhelmed when she studies for an important test.
Gus convinces Joe Kaplan to join his service club, but when Joe is blackballed for unknown reasons, it causes a rift between the friends; David's band gets a female drummer and David and J.R. both fall for her; Molly awaits a reply from Jason Bateman after writing him several fan letters.
Jessie becomes an advisor to the high school newspaper and allows a satirical article to run poking fun at student council candidates--including Kris; Kris is upset at being labeled a goody two-shoes; David and his friends decide to get their ears pierced; Molly and Bertha take up tap dancing.
David's band is offered a chance to record an album by a young music producer, but Gus believes it's a scam; Jessie feels guilty that she doesn't have the financial means to help David with his dream; Molly takes a cue from Ghandi when a cranky neighbor complains about Arthur.
Molly shoplifts to join a secret club; Kris takes a job; David gets a crash course in horseback riding to impress a girl; Gus is confused by his new romance; Mr. Kaplan damages one of Gus's toy trains.