Borat Sagdiyev is a TV reporter of a popular show in Kazakhstan. The movie opens when Borat is in his hometown of Kusak in Kazakhstan. He is introducing the entire town to the documentary movie he is going to be filming. There's people like the town mechanic / abortionist, the town rapist, his annoying neighbor, his wife Oxana, and so on and so forth. Borat also talks about his home and his hobbies. Hobbies include ping pong, which he plays rather poorly, and traveling to capital city where he watches women as they do their business. Borat takes you through his home where you meet his wife Oxana and his sons Huey and Lewis, and introduces us to his annoying neighbor Yusuf. Borat and Yusuf have been engaged in a game of coveted goods, where everything Borat gets, Yusuf attempts to get as well, but since Yusuf doesn't have the money that Borat has, everything Yusuf buys is of significantly less quality.
Borat is hailed as a hero in his town as he is contracted by the government of Kazakhstan to travel to America to make a documentary which will bring together, hopefully, the cultures of America and Kazakhstan. Borat is to travel to America with his most venerable producer Azamat Bagatov, who will handle all the behind the scenes work of this documentary. After a rather lengthy flight with multiple stops and connections, Borat finally arrives in New York City. On the subway to his hotel, his pet chicken escapes his bag and wrecks havoc on the subway. Borat's attempts to introduce himself to the native New Yorkers is also a complete failure.
At the hotel, Borat attempts to bargain with the hotel owners about his negotiated room rate, only to be met with another failure as the hotel has a set rate in which it can rent rooms out. He has apparently never been in an elevator which he thinks is his actual hotel room. The next series of footage shows Borat attempting to integrate his life into New York City. Unfortunately he finds the natives aren't as friendly as they are in his native Kazakhstan.
The next day Borat meets with a humor coach. The coach attempts to tell Borat about everything that he needs to know to be funny. Borat's version of humor and the humor coaches' version of humor don't exactly mix. The next interview finds Borat as the only male in a group of feminists. There, the humor he learned from the humor coach, and the feminists' version of humor again don't exactly mix. While at the hotel, Borat is learning about American television. There while flipping through the channels he stumbles upon an American television show called "Baywatch". He is immediately smitten with the show's star, one Pamela Anderson, who is unlike any Kazakh woman he has ever seen. While at the hotel Borat receives news that his wife has died in a horrible accident. He's grateful because he remembered shortly before he left that she threatened him with castration if he cheated on her. He then is seen leaving packing his things and wants to leave New York. He then convinces his producer Azamat that in order to see the real America they need to leave New York for greener pastures. Azamat isn't entirely convinced and has received threats from the Kazakh government that they need to do all their filming in New York or else. Borat convinces Azamat otherwise.
Since Borat doesn't know how to drive he enrolls in a driving course and becomes very friendly with driving instructor, but his behavior behind the wheel takes things a bit too far. Borat is then seen at a GM dealer. He is asking the dealer what to do to buy the vehicle he needs to complete the cross country road trip. The dealer explains that the car he needs, as well as one he needs to attract women, is a Corvette or a Hummer H2. But the high price tag alienates Borat and Azamat. Borat decides they need something much less expensive. The dealer obliges and sells Borat a former ice cream truck that's worth $750. They then set about heading across the country.
Their first stop is a news cast in North Carolina. There Borat manages to be the center of attention, while humiliating the weatherman, who can't stop laughing as Borat walks on stage in the middle of the broadcast. Their next stop is Washington, DC where Borat engages in a group of individuals who are much friendlier than they were in New York City. Upon meeting with Republican leader Alan Keys, Borat is shocked to learn that he unwittingly participated in a gay pride parade. Borat and Azamat quickly high tail it to their next destination - South Carolina. While in South Carolina, Borat and Azamat attend a rodeo. There, Borat is asked to sing the US national anthem which ends rather poorly when Borat attempts to integrate the Kazakh national anthem with the US national anthem. The next stop takes Borat and Azamat to a yard sale. There Borat thinks that the host of the yard sale is a gypsy but in fact all the stuff that they're selling came from inside their home. Borat finds another sign that they are destined to go to California to meet Pamela Anderson when he discovers a book about Baywatch. He then takes the book and he and Azamat high tail it to their next destination.
Their next stop takes them to Atlanta. There they get lost off the freeway looking for a place to stay for the night. Borat meets a group of "gangstas" who teach him their ways and means. Borat and Azamat head to a rather upscale Marriott Hotel. Borat tries the gangsta's methods and immediately gets kicked out of the hotel. So the next place they go to stay is a bed and breakfast outside of the city. Unfortunately for Borat, the place is run by an elderly Jewish couple. He and Azamat are scared and immediately begin thinking of excuses to leave the establishment. Borat is still freaked from their visit to the Jewish run bed and breakfast that they stayed in. So much that he feels that they need protection. Borat and Azamat then decide to deal with a shady vendor who specializes in zoo animals and sells Borat and Azamat their own bear which protects but also annoys them and winds up scaring a group of school kids who think they're driving a real ice cream truck.
Borat decides while in Atlanta that he needs to learn about American culture. To do so Azamat has him attend a formal dinner party. Things go incredibly south when Borat manages to offend everyone in attendance. First by showing some unflattering pictures of his sons Huey and Lewis, and attempting to dispose of his business the Kazakhstan way. They finally have had it with him when Borat contacts his "date" who turns out to be a prostitute. He's then asked to leave the party. Borat and his new date Luenell, decide that they should go hit the town and go to a bar with a mechanical bull.
The next stop takes them to Houston Texas. There, Borat is shopping at an antique store to buy a gift to present to his new bride Pamela. Borat asks the owner about their obsession with the Confederate flag and secession which they claim is a part of southern heritage. He winds up clumsily crashing into most of the objects in the store and gets kicked out. While at the hotel, Borat catches Azamat with his Baywatch magazine doing unspeakable acts with it, and he and Borat get into a massive fight that ends with them crashing an executive convention completely naked.
Azamat leaves - leaving Borat with only his return ticket and the chicken. Borat is depressed that he will be unable to complete the journey and may even wind up getting stranded in Houston. He drives as far as he can on what's left of the ice cream truck's gas. Thankfully he manages to hitchhike across the country with a group of college fraternity brothers. They then proceed to get really drunk. Borat tells them about his quest to marry Pamela Anderson. The guys show Borat her sex tape and he's now completely freaked out. He then leaves the Winnebago and winds up sleeping outside in a parking lot. There, while starting a bonfire with the Baywatch magazine, he accidentally incinerates his return ticket and lets his pet chicken go.
He's now in Phoenix, Arizona. What he steps into next turns out to be a Pentecostal gathering at a huge mega church. There's even political figures involved in the large mass. After listening to the key note speakers which include a US Congressman, anti-evolution activists, and multiple judges and state senators, Borat is then baptized and joins the church. He then catches a ride out to Hollywood. The long journey is almost over. While in Hollywood, Borat manages to reunite with Azamat who's making some additional money doing character work in the tourist areas. Azamat is still angry about what happened in Houston but tells Borat he wants to complete the documentary and return to Kazakhstan and forget this entire trip ever happened. We also learn the fate of the bear that they acquired for security purposes.
Azamat manages to track down Pamela Anderson. She's doing a DVD signing at the Virgin Records store in Orange, California. They go to the mall and Borat is first in line. He attempts to propose to Pamela Anderson - the traditional Kazakhstani way which involves a large, decorated sack he tries to throw over in an attempt to kidnap her, but she is completely freaked out by the proposal and runs off. Borat chases her out the back of the store and is finally tackled by security guards and arrested. Borat comes to the realization that true love is found where you least expect it. He and Azamat head back to Atlanta, and get a bus ride thanks to Borat's new connections with the Arizona mega church, where Borat reunites with Luennell, and wants her to come to Kazakhstan with him. She happily accepts the offer.
Several months later the documentary is complete and Borat is back in his village of Kusak. He's a national hero now because the documentary was successful and has made Kazakhstan more appealing on an international stage. Borat introduces his new wife Luennell, who he married some time after the documentary was completed. And things have improved since then. He has spread the religion of Christianity to most of Kazakhstan, and he managed to up the game against his neighbor Yusuf, who it seems can only afford the iPod Mini, where Borat has purchased a full iPod. He then gets the village together and says thank you for watching the movie and goodbye. The movie ends with the Kazakhstan national anthem.