In order to reduce the school budget, Principal Skinner decides to put forth “Operation S.L.A.A.M.: So Long Athletics Art and Music”.
Upon hearing this, the children of Springfield Elementary go on strike. Joining them in the ranks of protest are other art loving unions throughout Springfield including the police force, Goat Milkers, Hand Models Local 702, & the United Federation of Theme Park Zombies.
In the end, Principal Skinner reinstates the banished programs by doing away with a less popular school necessity, flu shots.
Mr. Burns loses a thousand-dollar bill that is quickly turned into the main display at the Museum of Modern Bart. After Burns shows up to reclaim his money, Bart realizes he still earned enough from charging admission to take the Simpsons to England. When they arrive, Marge begs Homer to make this an incident-free trip, which he actually succeeds at until he accidentally runs into the Queen. Now the only thing that will earn Homer a stay of execution is whether he can uncover the plot to poison her majesty. Meanwhile, Bart befriends Prince William. Guest stars Ian McKellan, J.K. Rowling, Jane Leeves, and Prime Minister Tony Blair.
When Krusty admits that he never had a Bar Mitzvah, he turns to his father for help. Later, when Krusty realizes his shooting schedule has him working on the Sabbath he proposes to hire a guest host. Not wanting to hire anyone that will upstage him or threaten his career, Krusty hires Homer. At his first show Homer and his guests Lenny, Moe and Carl win over the audience by talking about everyday subjects like donuts. Meanwhile, Krusty holds his Bar Mitzvah at the Isotope Stadium and invites Mr. T to read from the Torah. Jackie Mason reprises his role as Rabbi Krustofski, and Mr. T guest stars as himself.
When Homer is given a Joe DiMaggio rookie card by an oblivious-to-its-value Burns, he sells it for a pile of cash. He spends most of the money on himself, only coming to realize his greedy ways when he sees “A Christmas Carol” on TV.
Homer reverses course and starts to do favors for everyone he can, in-so-doing making Flanders jealous for becoming Springfield’s new king of being nice. He and Flanders engage in a “nice-off,” each trying to outdo the other to earn the town’s praise. Their feud escalates to ridiculous proportions.
A baby riot breaks out at a children’s “concert” in Springfield, causing the town’s childless contingent to become fed up with their behavior. An anti-youth lobby is formed, gains steam, and threatens to eliminate all child-friendly aspects of the city.
Marge takes it upon herself to challenge the growing tide of anti-child sentiment and she fights back with an initiative of her own.
Ultimately, the children win out when they show up at polling places on election day and charm entering voters with their youthful innocence.
Homer and Bart are watching a BattleBots-type program on cable and are inspired to build a robot of their own. Marge disapproves, believing that their lack of engineering knowledge will doom their project. They build a robot anyway, but it gets slaughtered in its first competition. Unable to repair completely, they adjust the robot so that Homer can operate it from the inside. Homer and the robot begin to win competition after competition, and they eventually make it to the finals of the show that inspired them, where they not only find themselves outmatched, but with their lives at risk.
Marge is inspired to write her first book, but Homer shows little interest or support because he’s fixated instead on the old ambulance he’s now driving around town, making house calls, etc. Annoyed by Homer’s tendencies, Marge channels her anger into her writing and produces a period piece that depicts a despicable Homer-like character and his wife who longs for a Flanders-like neighbor.
The book is published, and Homer is upset when the whole town recognizes who the characters are in real-life. Homer goes to confront Flanders, but instead asks him for help on how to be a more caring husband.
With the Springfield library dangerously low on books, the kids don’t have enough resources to do their research papers for school.
Instead, Marge gives verbal anecdotes about historical figures, and she regales the gathering with tales of King Henry VIII and his search for a woman who can produce a son, Sacagawea’s providing assistance to the Lewis & Clark expedition, and a very Bart-like Mozart’s feuds with his sister Salieri.
Milhouse and his mother move to Capital City, leaving Bart without a best friend and Kirk without a son. Bart finds himself bonding with Lisa, and their relationship grows, that is, until Kirk is awarded "pity custody " of his son. Meanwhile, Homer, after getting drunk, is mistaken for a beggar, and discovers it's not a bad source of second income. Guest stars Nick Bakay as Salem the cat (from Sabrina the Teenage Witch), William Daniels (the voice of KITT on Knight Rider), Dick Tufeld (the Lost In Space robot), and Isabel Sanford (as herself).
After Apu and Majula send two of their octuplets to the prestigious Miss Wickerbottom's Pre-Nursery School, Homer is inspired to do the same for Maggie. Maggie is intially rejected because she doesn't talk, but Lisa eventually finds hidden talents in Maggie that lead to the discovery that Maggie's IQ is actually higher than Lisa. Dejected that she is no longer the "smart one", Lisa tries other ways of getting attention, including trying to sabotage Maggie's future. Guest stars American Idol judge Simon Cowell as the Admissions Officer.
The Simpsons discover the squatter living in their attic is Marge’s old prom date and former billionaire Artie Ziff. When Homer wins Artie’s stock holdings in a poker game, he is sent to white-collar prison for 'criminal accounting irregularities’.
After a night of passion with Selma, Artie sees the error of his selfish ways and turns himself in to the Securities Exchange Commission, setting Homer free.
After a trip to a vineyard, Marge and Homer go on a drinking binge together. When Homer drives drunk and crashes, he places a passed out Marge in the drivers’ seat to avoid being arrested. Thinking she is an alcoholic, Marge enters rehab and soon realizes that she is not in fact addicted to alcohol, but instead to spending time with Homer.
Meanwhile, Bart and Lisa confront a famous Star Wars-esque filmmaker about his latest film. They tell him that technology doesn’t make the stories better. He goes off to once again find his storytelling roots.
After setting up a fake wedding registry with a department store and receiving lots of undeserved gifts, Bart is sent to Juvenile Hall, where he befriends a bad girl named Gina, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, who helps him escape. The two of them then go on the Lam, a la The Defiant Ones. Also stars Jane Kaczmarek reprising as Judge Harm and Charles Napier as the warden.
Principal Skinner and Edna Krabappel plan their wedding, but Seymour finds himself getting cold feet during a bachelor party thrown for him at Moe's. Edna herself decides she can't go through with it, and runs away from the altar. Homer and Marge go after Seymour and Edna and try to bring the pair back together. When Edna then falls for the Comic Book Guy, Homer devises an ill-advised plan to sabotage their affair and bring her back to Seymour, but when Edna decides neither man is right for her, Homer then finds himself answering to Marge. Matt Groening guest stars in this episode, playing the creator of Futurama.
When Marge and Homer are caught by Bart and Lisa having a romantic weekend in Miami instead of having a boring family visit to Dayton, the kids embark on a cross country journey ŕ la Catch Me If You Can in order to hunt them down and ruin their vacation.
Meanwhile, when Grandpa is abandoned in Miami during the chase, he enjoys the company of Raoul, a gay Miami swinger who enjoys Grandpa’s stories.
Homer becomes a masked vigilante known as “The Pie Man” when he pies Springfield’s miscreants. Lisa asks him to retire when she discovers what he is up to, although she respects what he is doing. After Homer is pushed too far by Mr. Burns, he comes out of retirement for one last time, but unfortunately, Mr. Burns discovers what he is doing and blackmails him into pieing people that he does not like. Homer agrees, but when his next target is to be the Dalai Lama, Homer faces the music and unmasks himself.
When Homer admits that Marge was not his first kiss, we flash back to Homer in summer camp where his first kiss was with an anonymous girl who turns out to be Marge.
Following their kiss, they planned to meet again, but Homer accidentally lands in fat camp and is unable to meet his mystery girl. Marge, unaware that he is locked up in Camp Flab-Away, thinks she is stood up and loses faith in men forever. In the end, they both discover that either one pined away for the other until they met their adult selves.
When Bart accidentally moons the American flag and Marge accidentally says on national television that all of Springfield hates America, the Simpson family is arrested for high treason and sent to Alcatraz.
They escape from prison and as they swim to shore, a French ship who takes them to France where they are free to hate Americans picks them up. Although France is lovely, they miss home and decide to return to America as immigrants.
Homer ruins a town celebration by defacing a public landmark, and in the process deprives Lisa of a chance to read her poetry in front of a crowd. Discouraged, Lisa decides to publish her writing in her own newsletter, which becomes under threat of corporate takeover after Mr. Burns buys all the media outlets in town. Instead of selling out to Mr. Burns, Lisa goes underground, but when Mr. Burns pays Homer to spill dirt on Lisa and undermine her enterprise, Lisa becomes disillusioned and gives up on her writing. But Homer sees the error of his ways and publishes his own work, encouraging the people to read what they want to read.