The scene opens and Brad, Jane, Max, Alex and Dave are gathered while Alex complains that Penny is late for her own birthday party. Jane then reveals she invited everyone early to make sure they were on time. “You can’t go around daylight savingsing people” Alex insists. Jane doesn’t want anyone to ruin Penny’s birthday the way Dave did last year. “So long as Dave doesn’t bring anyone from DeGrassi Jr. High we’ll be fine,” Alex jokes. “Hey, if DeGrassi’s on the field, play ball,” Dave replies before apologizing for the message. This is when they begin looking back on how awful all of Penny’s birthday’s have been, from Brad accidentally knocking her out once to her 7th birthday where the clown had a stroke and almost died, which Jane thinks was hysterical.
They conclude it’s cursed and resolve to break it. Their plan to take Penny to a restaurant she likes is derailed by Penny saying she gave it up to an ex-boyfriend when they broke up. Max says this is the first sign of the birthday curse. When the lights go out he says the power outage is also a sign, but it turns out he’s just leaning on the light switch. Everyone is sitting around trying to think of a place to eat when Dave tells a pointless story about his ability to pick a place. They also lose a number of restaurants because Jane and Brad have been banned for having sex in their bathrooms. When asked why they always get caught Jane replies, “If we didn’t want to get caught we’d have sex at home.” They finally pick a place only to have Max point out that the teenager Dave brought last year is in fact a waitress there (“The curse of Penny’s birthday strikes again”).
Penny insists there’s no curse and that she won’t remember them. She of course does and is not pleased, informing them she’s “graduated and am now waiting tables to save money for stripping lessons to save money for junior college.” They offer to get another waiter, but Jackie insists it will be no problem which everyone believes is a promise that she’s going to do something bad to the food, making the complimentary calamari she brings instantly suspect. Again they try to pick a place, but once again it has a history because Max uses to sell half eaten steak when he worked there (“Certified pre-owned steak” he corrects). The next choice seems great, but Brad used it as his “break-up spot” because the mariachi band would drown out yelling, “…the silverware was plastic and the tables were bolted to the floor.”
Things get awkward when Jane points out Brad also took her there when they were dating. Jane demands to know why she was taken to the break-up spot while Max oddly goes through her purse for food only to find newspaper clippings from when she used to figure skate. Jane leaves to go to the bar while they find a place. “The curse has got Jane,” Alex insists. Penny refuses to accept the curse despite the fight and tainted squid. The next suggestion is out of the question since Jane was arrested there for challenging their no substitution policy…with her own cheese. Alex sends Brad to apologize to his wife while she tries to smooth things over with Jackie and asks the others to keep an eye on Max, who has broken out a “food harpoon” to steal food from other tables. Brad is reluctant to leave because he wants to see it work.
Brad admits he did take Jane to that restaurant to dump her because they were young and getting serious fast, but when she made an OCD food order he realized he loved her and would never be going back. “Because I made the waiter cry and your picture is by the bounced checks,” Jane adds. They then start making out and I think we know where this is going. Alex talks to Jackie who reveals she did nothing to the food but did slash the tires on Dave’s car—except it’s not the type of car Dave drives. She also reveals that Dave took her to the prom. Dave says he only went to the prom because he was working on a story and his boss Garry Marshall was breathing down his neck before admitting he’s just pathetic. “We realized that when you cast yourself as the Drew Barrymore character role in Never Been Kissed,” Penny replies.
Alex begins mocking him when Dave reveals that she didn’t go to her own prom because she was dating a poet who told her that proms were an invention of the tuxedo industry. “Nathan wasn’t a poet he was a bard,” she angrily insists. Just when Penny calms them down and points out they can safely eat there now Brad and Jane are busted having sex in the bathroom and everyone has to leave. Outside Penny is ready to give up and just when they talk her out of it, her car is brought up with its tires slashed. As they try to rally Penny, Alex breaks out into Kurt Russell’s speech from Miracle….which oddly segues into Goonies before ending with her chanting “U-S-A!” as they head off to take back the restaurant Penny gave to her ex. They do a slow motion walk to the strains of Run DMC’s “Rock Box”. They get a table easily because they never cancelled the first reservation, but as it turns out Penny’s ex is in fact there. He comes over to insist upon their arrangement prompting Penny to give a defiant speech from under the table where she hid upon first seeing him.
Now she’s stuck because her blouse has snagged on the table. When she stands her blouse gets accidentally ripped off, which means they’re asked to leave. They do so while chanting “U-S-A” on the way out. They end up at the bar they go to every night confident that the birthday curse has been broken, though everything that’s happened is pretty much proof that it’s in full effect. Penny’s only regret is that she didn’t make it to the bathroom before Brad and Jane. This is when an old woman comes by and apparently curses the entire table. “Oh, my god. Did we just switch bodies?” Max asks and everyone then acts like someone else. The episode ends.