An all-too-familiar episode in sit-com plots, as the kids are returning to school. But when Dave and Vicky plan on re-claiming the house as their own during a quick lunch, they catch Hillary skipping and hiding out at home. Larry tries out a new personality, and Mike plans on dumping his girlfriend, which screws up Dave's plans on a friendship with the girlfriend's father.
When Dave agrees to take Larry and Kenny to a comic-book convention, he finds that it goes beyond just dropping them off at the event. Meanwhile, Vicky attempts to change Hillary's mind regarding spending the night at a boy's house.
Kenny confronts Dave after hearing that he thinks he's gay, and ends up coming out of the closet to him. Dave suggests to him that he tell his parents, but when Kenny tells them, they kick him out of the house. Meanwhile, Hillary goes on a date with a blind guy she met at the coffeehouse, but she quickly gets tired of having to describe everything to him.
Dave starts to put pressure on Hillary for her to do well on her college admissions interview by setting up mock interviews, which only makes her even more nervous. Meanwhile, Vicky organizes a movie night for the family, and they end up watching Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. Finding the film very profound, Dave forces the entire family to live in an eco-friendly existence, but takes things too far.
Money crunch time hits Dave's household and he places the kids under strict allowance, which prompts them to come up with ways of making more money. When Vicki wants new boots, she gives Dave a taste of his own medicine with cheaper beer.
When Vicki's mom gets a marriage proposal, Dave finds out that her intended was not faithful to his mother-in-law during the bachelor party and keeps his mouth shut just to get the family an all expense paid vacation to the wedding in the Carribbean.
When the school bans Kenny and his date from attending the Sadie Hawkins Dance, Dave complicates matters further when he inadvertently informs the principal that Kenny is living with him and not his own parents, resulting in interference from Social Services and their attempts to place Kenny in foster care. Dave also gives Hillary advice on getting back together with her old boyfriend, which only alienates Hillary and exhilarates Dave.
Dave decides he wants to start his own company after his job lowers their commission rate. Hilary decides she wants to go into the army after not being accepted to any colleges. Larry puts off his permit test.
Because of failing gym class, Hillary risks not graduating high school. Feeling that their nest is emptying a little bit, Dave and Vicky feel the need to keep it that way, resulting in both of them agreeing to have no more children and taking steps to prevent that from happening. But in the end, Hillary graduates and a shock for Dave and Vicky unfolds.