Just hours before the family is to throw them a 25th anniversary party, there is a possible kink in the festivities when Wendal confides to Cameron that he’s thinking of leaving Colleen. Bad goes to worse when Cameron confides in his sister Sharon and the new family information spreads like wildfire after that, stopping, at least for now, before getting to Colleen. Meanwhile, Sharon and her husband, Don, struggle with intimacy issues in their marriage, which doesn't escape the understanding of their children.
Cameron desperately tries to get everyone together for a good old fashion family bowling night, but is hit with resistance from almost everyone in the family. The news finally gets to Colleen that Wendal had plans to leaver her, and she is embarrassed and devastated when she learns that her whole family knew about it before her. Jenna is still angry with the family that even though she knew before Colleen she was the last of the siblings to know about the possible split between their mom and dad. Meanwhile Sharon is embarrassed that her daughter mentioned to the whole family that she and Don have a sex-less marriage.
When Henry finds out that the film he had turned in won a place at his high school's film festival, he tries to keep anyone in the family from finding out. Cameron struggles with how to relate to Henry, and how to start a relationship with him. Jenna tries to prove to the family, and especially Cameron that she has a shot at being a singer and tries to get them to come and here her sing Karaoke at the local bar.
Cameron is excited about the upcoming barbecue that has turned into his annual tradition. However as the family shows up the perfect day he had planned turns into a comedy of errors as one thing after another seems to go wrong and person after person has a personal meltdown. Everything from Don taking issue with his sons choice in relationships to an unexpected guest shows up for an awkward introduction to the family to a surprise announcement keeps Cameron's party anything from perfect.
Cameron creates a family upheaval when he makes inquiries to borrowing money. Henry finds himself with some embarrassing health issues and decides to confide in Liz instead of Cameron, which drives Cameron crazy with curiosity as to what is wrong and why he chose to ask Liz for her help instead of him. Don gives Whitey a chance at a job when he hires him to work at his auto parts store.
Cameron finds himself in the doghouse when he is less then excited at Liz's big announcement at getting accepted to school to get her Masters Degree. In fact he tries to get the family on his side to persuade her that they need her to be at home for them. Angry at his response Liz decides to go out with Sharon and Colleen to watch Jenna perform karaoke at a bar. Cameron spends the evening with the guys and they share what they think about the situation he is in, leading him to make decisions about what to do to remedy the rift between him and Liz.
While Cameron and Colleen are arguing about Sharon, Colleen is rushed to the hospital with chest pains. Fearing she’s had a heart attack, the family rushes to be by her side… with Cameron feeling especially guilty that the stress of their fight brought it on. During the time in the waiting room the kids talk about how they remember thier mom while they were growing up.
On the eve of his 40th birthday, Cameron gets laid off from work and keeps it a secret from his family… who are planning to throw him a surprise party. Liz finds out she might have a surprise of her own which causes a huge fight between her and Cameron, which in turn the party into anything but the happy affair his family hoped for.
When Don and Sharon go away for the night to rekindle their romance, Jeff throws a house party. Concerned about what is going on, Carrie calls her Uncle Cameron to put an end to it. However Cameron sees this as a chance to escape the house for the night, so he decides to join in the fun and brings his reluctant son Henry with him.
After being out of their lives for 35 years, Cameron and Sharon’s father, Merv, returns out of the blue. Everyone decides to have a family dinner to discuss where he’s been all these years and why he is suddenly back, but a sudden turn of events leaves their questions still unanswered. Meanwhile, when Jenna finds out that Whitey is dating a stripper, she forbids him from seeing their son.