Bud is anxious to attend his first school dance, but first needs to learn how to. His first attempt is to try learning from a book.
Jim would like to educate his children to be helpful people. Therefore, he admonishes them to help people any time. The three children really take his words to heart - unfortunately, in a different way than Jim had fancied.
Jim decides to buy Bud a motor scooter, but Margaret thinks it isn't safe to do so.
Jim decides to take a friend and businessman to the football game, unaware that Betty had agreed to go in place of Margaret. But it looks like no one will be going since Jim has left the tickets inside his shirt pocket, which is headed to the cleaners.
Bud decides to move out, but finds that life on his own isn't as good as he thought it would be. Now in order to return, Bud must figure out a plan where he can still save face.
Jim begins to think the best years of his life are over. Can the family help him feel better?
Kathy uses the new washing machine as part of her game she is playing. Having stuffed the machine full of everything she could find, she soon discovers that the items include things Betty needs for the "Girls in Government Days," and an illegible letter addressed to Bud from the police.
Kathy's Thanksgiving poem wins her first prize in her class's contest and Jim thinks his daughter is on the way to being the next Shakespeare. But after hearing the poem recited his excitement soon turns disappointment as he believes the poem isn't her own work.
Jim and Margaret go away for the weekend, but are unsure of how the kids will react to being alone. But his emotions turn around when the kids are excited to hear they are leaving, making Jim suspicious of what they have planned. His fears are heightened when a phone call home goes unanswered.
Betty begins to act strangely, and Jim assumes it means she's planning to elope with Armand.
Myrtle, a friend of the family, prompts Margaret to get Jim to take dancing lessons with her. Margaret knows that the only way he would agree is if he was tricked into doing so. The plan may have worked until Jim uncovers the scheme from Myrtle's husband.
Feeling the children are missing the true Christmas spirit, Jim decides they need to take a trip into the mountains to cut down their Christmas tree. While on their way, they car becomes trapped by a snow storm, causing the family to take refuge in a cabin. The cabin is that of an old man who Kathy believes is the real Santa Claus.
A family argument has them all at odds. But Kathy brings them together when she finds an injured bird on a window sill and insists they all help nurse it back to health.
The students are given an assignment of working in a real job for a day. Bud is made a traffic court judge and must face Jim, who has received a ticket.
Kathy's excitement over her birthday party wanes when George shows up with an uninvited guest, who seems to be ruining the day.
The kids at school mistaken Bud's shyness of talking with girls as being an uppity snob. Jim tries helping him by suggesting he holds a costume party since he has no trouble speaking to the opposite sex when wearing a mask.
Kathy talks an unwilling Jim into spending a night in her playhouse.
Jim has had enough of the stressful life of working at the office and decides he will quit to become a farmer. But when he receives no calls from the office begging him back, he really becomes concerned.
The kids decide to nominate Jim for the 'Father of the Year' contest that the local newspaper is running.
After having a family meeting to explain to the kids about the family not being able to afford luxuries, Jim sees a sale on mink coats that he could not pass up. But how will he explain this to the children?
Margaret encourages her cousin and her boyfriend that married life is the way to go, but where will her butting in lead to?
Bud may be forced to stand in as a bridesmaid when the girl scheduled to for the role is a no show on the wedding day of Margaret's cousin.
Jim tries to instill confidence in his kids so that they can manage their problems on their own.
Jim gets a call from Bud's boss at the newspaper when they receive complaints about his work habits. Jim assures that Bud will be a more responsible worker from now on, but then comes home injured. Will Jim do Bud's work for him to keep his promise?
Jim must intervene when Betty and Kathy both are attracted to the same fellow.
Jim is torn between keeping up with Bud's punishment or letting him play in the baseball game. Having missed doing his chores and failed to learn a poem for church, Margaret believes the punishment is fitting.