While on a double date with Spence, Paige and a dim-witted lesbian friend of Paige's, Ellen runs into her former boyfriend Dan, who's now the owner of the restaurant they are eating at. Dan is taken aback by Ellen's personal revelation to him, but accepts it. But Ellen doesn't know what to think when she still feels herself attracted to him.
Ellen fakes athletic prowess to impress Lisa, her very attractive "spinning" aerobics instructor during aerobics classes she is taking with Spence and Paige. But on a mountain-climbing trip, with Spence in tow, Ellen learns that honesty may have been more effective... and less life threatening.
While shopping with Paige at a local supermarket, Ellen meets two neighborhood women who want to introduce her to their friend who is looking for a roommate. With Spence finally moving out of her house into a place of his own, Ellen agrees to meet with the woman. But due to Audrey and Barrett's interpretation of what "roommate" means, Ellen mistakenly thinks this is a person she is being set up with. Later that evening, Paige, still haven't fully accepted Ellen's new lifestyle, becomes uncomfortable and jealous when the woman, Sherry, arrives and hits it off with ...
Ellen hires a gay plumber from a gay yellow pages phone book she was given to by Peter to fix the plumbing of her house in preparation for a party for the gay social crowd. But the man leaves Ellen with an even bigger leaky sink to remember him by, prompting Ellen to ask her long-term family plumber, Tony, to come to her rescue while dealing with the party guests in the next room.
Ellen meets Laurie Manning, her openly lesbian mortgage broker whom she asks out for coffee. But Ellen later gets confused on where she stands when Laurie brings along a woman friend of hers during an outing at the movies. Meanwhile, Joe opens his new coffee shop, called Cup Of Joe, which he tells Ellen that he had told his uncle that he would name it after him.
Ellen attends her father's annual Civil War re-enactment outing with her father playing General Grant. Ellen wants to play a solder, which brings out hostility from the other men and the sadistic drill instructor, Sgt. Timko, who plans to give her a hard time. Things take a turn when Ellen suspects her father, Harold, is having an affair with Betsy, a field re-enactment nurse, who fixes more than just fake chest wounds.
Ellen faces her toughest challenge when she finally gets to meet Laurie's 12-year-old daughter, Holly, on a movie date who suddenly becomes angry after seeing that Ellen and her mother will only hold hands in private than in public. Also, Laurie finally gets to meet Ellen's eccentric parents, Lois and Harold, at Ellen's house for dinner.
While attending a Hollywood social party with Paige, Ellen spots British actress Emma Thompson making out with another woman and afterward convinces Paige to hire her as Emma's personal assistant while she's in town to film a movie and to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. Ellen then convinces Emma to "come out," to the public, against Paige's protest. But Emma soon reveals to Ellen that it's not the only sordid secret that she hides of her past. At the banquet, Sean Penn appears with a surprise revelation of his own.
Laurie invites Ellen over at her apartment to spend a romantic night together. So, Laurie sends her daughter, Holly, away and fixes of her apartment nicely which prompts the very nervous Ellen to make a run for it in fear of this new sexual experience and leaving a bewildered Laurie in the cold. Meanwhile, Peter looks after Ellen's parents house while they are away and has trouble with the sensitive alarm system and their barking dog, while Paige, Spence, and Audrey help paint Ellen's new house.
Ellen gets another job as an assistant to a radio talk show host, named Chuck, who repeatedly makes passes at her. When Ellen rebukes the obnoxious Chuck's advances, he leaves in a huff and Ellen is stuck alone and on-the-air at the station for the entire rainy day with nothing but her irrevocable wit, and a Janis Joplin record.
Ellen and Laurie go out to spend their one-month anniversary together where complications arise when Laurie misinterprets Ellen's gift as a sign of moving in together, where as Ellen is not prepared to move that fast. Meanwhile, Ellen's father, Harold, tries to get more closer to Laurie's daughter, Holly, by taking her out to his miniature train shop.
Ellen, Paige, and Audrey go to Berkeley for the weekend annual Women Festival and watch Sarah McLaughlin and the Indigo Girls perform. While there, Ellen finds conflicting emotions after visiting a fortune teller who tells her about her future if it will be without Laurie, and a possible relationship with a waitress, named Jean, that they met on the way to the festival. Meanwhile, Paige ponders a commitment to Spence who stays home, and decides to end her romance with him.
Ellen tries to figure out what Laurie is up to on a Saturday after she keeps ignoring questions Ellen asks her during a school show fair for Holly's science project. When Laurie finally tells Ellen about her father passing away, Ellen convinces Laurie to attend the funeral in order to come to terms with her family who shunned her for coming out years ago.
Laurie takes Ellen on a weekend getaway to San Diego where problems arise between them when Laurie's instinct to be organized clashes with Ellen's natural neurotic instinct for spontaneity leading to both of them wanting some space from each other.
Paige and Ellen scheme to have Ellen infiltrate a focus group slated to evaluate a new TV show that Paige developed involving a tall and short cop, and Joe gets in on the act as well. In the meeting room, Ellen successfully convinces the rest of the people present to support the new show for it's first run. But everything changes when Paige meets with Ellen and asks her to support a new show that her boss wants too.
Ellen gets off on the wrong foot with her new neighbors, a immigrant couple from India, named the Patels, when a variety of circumstances conspire to make Ellen look like a fool in front of them which includes Ellen and Paige trying to fix Ellen's leaky roof with a Twister mat, and Ellen struggling with Joe's inflatable doll. But the final humiliation comes when Ellen gets stuck outside her house dressed in a chicken costume before she goes out for the evening with Paige for Joe's birthday party.
While shopping with Ellen at a local hardware store, Spence gets a whiff of an experimental bug spray which sends him into a dream world where homosexuality is the dominant sexuality and heterosexuality is the minority and the oppressed. Ellen and Peter then discover Spence to be a closeted "strait" man in a mostly gay world where Joe is attempting to win his affections, and Paige is a "butch" type involved with Audrey.
Ellen races to the hospital after learning that Laurie was in a serious car accident. While in the waiting room waiting for news on Laurie and waiting for her mother, Lois, to show up with Laurie's daughter, Holly, Ellen chats up a conversation with a strange woman which becomes increasingly heated and tense after Ellen learns that the woman is Karen, Laurie's former girlfriend.
A "mokumentary" hosted by Linda Ellerbee hosts a tribute to a 75-year career of Ellen, which traces her career as a vaudevillian, ventriloquist and hostess of the 1950's game show called "Who's the Commie?" to her show with spoofs from the TV shows 'I Love Lucy', the Dick Van Dyke' and Mary Tyler Moore shows too, as well as interviews with celebrities Jennifer Anniston, Glenn Close, Woody Harrelson, Helen Hunt Ted Danson, Phil Donahue, Tim Conway, and many others.
Disheartened by too much negative response and mistrust in L.A., Ellen's espousal of neighborly behavior inspires listeners of her radio program to be good to one another, including one do-gooder, named Trevor, who catches Paige's eye, as well as increasing business for Joe's coffee shop. But Ellen sees this good deed self-destructing when Trevor begins to annoy Paige with his obsessive kindness, and the people beginning to question the need to do good.
When Ellen's parents, Lois and Harold, decide to renew their wedding vows, Ellen, Paige, and Laurie get thrown into an almost frantic way of planning the wedding to make everything perfect from trying on wedding dresses to Ellen journeying to the po' side of town to find a stripper for Harold's bachelor party. In the midst of all the chaos, Ellen feels she must take the next step in her relationship with Laurie: marriage. But Ellen does not expect the reaction Laurie gives when asked about true commitment.