Michael accidentally kills Kady’s hamster and doesn’t have the courage to tell her right away, which results in Kady playing around with a dead hamster. Meanwhile, Claire pretends to be sick to skip school and have a boy over, but Michael suspects she’s up to something and doesn’t leave the house until he catches them. He promises not to tell Jay – who ends up forgiving Claire and letting her date the boy – if Claire takes responsibility for the dead hamster. And Michael also suspects their neighbor is spying on him while he’s on the bathroom.
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While Jay is away taking care of her mother who broke a leg, Michael is left in charge of the house and the kids. They all miss their mother, and nothing Michael does seems to be as good how Jay did. Jr. wants to join the basketball team. Michael doubts he'll make it, but when he does Michael has other problems to worry about: Jr.'s friends, who seem to be using him. Meanwhile, Kady is cranky and not even Michael's efforts to make cookies just like her mother's are working. Trying to get a smile from her, he starts to tell her how she was born. Claire's friend Charmaine is spending the night over. But the two have bigger worries when a pregnancy test comes out positive.
The pregnancy test was Charmaine's, who is thinking about running away from home. Thanks to Michael's advice on teen parenting (something he had to go through himself); Charmaine decides to talk to her parents about it. Meanwhile, Michael tries to prove to Jr. that his friends are not as friendly as he thinks, something Jr. only realizes after one of the guys tries to hit on his sister Claire. And Michael goes on with the story on Kady's birth, how he took over the pregnancy for Jay and how she ended up with Shaquille O'Neal thanks to a hospital mixup.
Michael's trying to run the house, but the kids don't want to obey his rules. They rebel against him and Michael decides to let them live rule-free. But no rules also means Michael won't help them at all. They'll have to cook their own meals and set their own alarm clocks. Kady is the first one to give up, followed by Claire after Michael installs a pay phone in the house. Now only Jr. is left. He is attacked by ants from eating food in his room, and has his bike destroyed after he leaves it on the driveway. Nonetheless, he's too tough to admit he needs rules. That is, until Michael locks him out of the house and he has to sleep on the grass.
The kids complain that Michael is being too strict since Jay left the house to take care of their grandma, so they call for a family meeting where they all discuss the way they think the family should be, with no repercussions. Jr. thinks having a rapper for a dad would be cool; Claire thinks the perfect dad should be the manager of the country's #1 boy band and Kady thinks Michael should be a big blue dragon (much like TV's Barney). Michael shows them how these versions could go wrong, and shares his thoughts of perfect children (which also wouldn't work). At the end they all agree they should work for a better family relationship, even if it's not how they dreamed it to be.
Janet returns home from taking care of her mom's injury, and she's put on a few pounds after eating mom's home cooking. Michael doesn't know how to "diplomatically" tell his wife that she's packing a little bit extra. The episode builds to a dream sequence, in which Janet imagines that the entire family is tremendously overweight.
Claire asks her parents to go to a party, but Michael won't let her. Jay thinks he should trust his daughter more, so he lets her spend the night over at Erica's (even though that wasn't his original decision). When he picks up the phone, he ‘accidentally' listens to Claire's conversation, where she says she'll fool Michael and go to the party. Michael sets up a scheme to catch her, but Kady overhears it. Claire bribes her sister with liquorish so she'll page her when Michael leaves the house. The plan works, and Michael can't rest until he discovers how Claire tricked him. Finally, he bribes Kady and catches Claire and her friends with a fake party he made up.
Michael takes Jr. to the doctor and the doctor asks Michael to take a prostate exam. Michael is reluctant, but he understands it's all for the best. But the doctor finds something suspicious and just for precaution asks Michael to take a colonoscopy. Michael has nightmares about it, but luckily it wasn't anything serious. Meanwhile, Claire thinks she can trick Jay into doing homework for her and Kady calls the police after hearing her mother screaming in the bedroom. Michael says they were "playing the roller coaster game".
When the kids are grounded and aren't allowed to watch TV, they decide to play "make me laugh or die". Claire loses, and she is challenged to eat Michael's ‘half time lemon pie'. When he wakes up looking for the pie and finds it to be missing, he asks his kids who ate it, but they all deny having anything to do with the missing pie. Michael decides then to give them a special punishment until one of them comes clean: all they're allowed to eat is lemon pie. This comes in a very hard time for Jay, who's hosting her ‘chubby buddy' reunions at the house. Tired of seeing pies, Jay puts a stop on Michael's punishment and points out that the kids have learned a lesson: stick together. Michael, frustrated for not discovering the truth, starts a pie fight in which everybody starts throwing pies at each other.
Jay gets fired in front of the girls on "take your daughter to work day". She comes home devastated, but for Michael having Jay home is a dream come true. Jay runs out of things to do around the house, and seeing his wife miserable, Michael decides to make a few calls and get her a job. Jay is happy about it, but not as much as she is after helping Jr. work on his Shakespeare and taking Claire to the mall, something she wouldn't have time for if she still had her job.
Jay buys Jr. computer appliances (including a 24-hour broadcast webcam), and Michael protests saying he'll only use it for porno instead of studying. They start to fight over who's in charge, and make up on Jr.'s room, unaware that they're being seen through Jr.'s website by the entire world. The next day, Jr. discovers what his parents did, and seeing the unlimited reach of the internet, Michael decides to use it for promoting his business.
Michael accidentally kills Kady's hamster and doesn't have the courage to tell her right away, which results in Kady playing around with a dead hamster. Meanwhile, Claire pretends to be sick to skip school and have a boy over, but Michael suspects she's up to something and doesn't leave the house until he catches them. He promises not to tell Jay – who ends up forgiving Claire and letting her date the boy – if Claire takes responsibility for the dead hamster. And Michael also suspects their neighbor is spying on him while he's on the bathroom.
Michael decides to teach the kids how to handle money due to their inability of spending the allowance money wisely. He proposes that each kid comes up with their own business, and at the end of the week he'll double whatever profit they made. After a slow start selling "lemon aids", Kady discovers that garage sales are a very profitable business – especially when you're selling perfectly good appliances for very cheap prices. Claire starts her very own beauty salon, using Jay's expensive hair care products and the good towels. And Jr. chooses gambling to make money, something Michael devotes his full attention to prove being wrong – especially after losing his 3,000 dollars golf clubs to Jr. on blackjack – by buying a slot machine and making Jr. lose all the money he made.
Michael wants to play the videogame and Jay thinks he doesn't love her anymore. He takes her out to dinner, and after 3 hours he returns home to his games. Jay is upset and decides that they should see Dr. Bouche. Michael is reluctant to go back to that "fat quack" and picks a different shrink, who's also very fond of the game and doesn't even bother to keep Jay's name. She's not satisfied, so they go to another psychologist, this time chosen by Jay. He gives great advice, and they realize they both have to give personal time for each other. Meanwhile, Claire wants to tag along with Jr. to a basketball game, and won't let her. Michael teaches him the duties of an older brother and how to look out for his sister, while he tries to believe someone might actually be attracted to his sister.
Michael is on a mission — to get his notoriously late family dressed and ready to go to a wedding in 15 minutes, but everybody has some sort of problem that keeps them from getting fully ready. First it's Jay, who insists on having Michael's opinion on her outfit (so she can pick the exact opposite) and has a problem with his clapping. Then there's Claire, who picked a not-so-formal dress. On top of that there's Kady, who decided to eat chocolate pudding and ruined her clothes. When they are finally ready to go, Kady has a bathroom urge, and the entire family goes back to the house. Finally, Jr. has a heart-to-heart talk with his dad about his mean jokes to him and they leave, missing a phone call from Michael's aunt saying the wedding is cancelled.
Jay organizes a historic trip to Paul Revere's house for the entire family to learn more about American history. She even packs colonial food (which Michael hates) to give it an extra touch. Michael, unlike Jay, isn't so excited about spending a long time with Jay and Claire in a car. The reason? They're both on that time of the month, which spells trouble! The trip is full of problems, including being pulled over twice, Michael being lost and refusing to use the navigational system, Jay's neurosis about her weight, Jr. terrorizing Kady, Claire's whining and Kady playing with the voice alternator she got in her chicken from the chicken place clerk. The family survives, but when they finally get to Paul Revere's house, it's closed.
Michael gets to the gas station and has to wait forever for the guy in front of him to move on. Irritated, he gets home to watch the Michael Jordan game on TV, but Jay says they're going out for family dinner at Tokahana's, an overpriced Japanese place. When they get there, the problems start before they even get inside. The valet charges 7 dollars to park their car – a rip-off according to Michael. Jay has to give the man 10 dollars so they can finally enter the restaurant. Once there, they have to wait forever at the bar, where they are forced to buy drinks. Tired of waiting, Michael goes to check what's taking so long for their table, and the hostess makes them wait a little longer. Michael even pushes Kady into the fish pond, hoping that will make Jay want to go home, but no. Instead, she buys a 60 dollar sweatshirt for the girl. They finally get in, and who's at their table? The same guy from the gas station and his family!
The entire dinner is doomed from the beginning. First, the chef isn't Japanese like all other chefs in the place, then the hostess sips on Michael's drink, then when he goes to the bathroom his rival violates the men's bathroom etiquette rules – and doesn't even wash his hands before leaving. When he comes back at the table, the guy hands Michael his lobster, with the same hands he didn't wash. Finally, when they make peace, Michael refuses to sing along on the guy's wife happy birthday song. On top of that, the manager says the Tyler's charge is on the house. Michael decides it's time to leave, so he can finally watch the game he taped, but when they get to the car they find the valet smoking cigars inside of it, celebrating the game results, ruining the only remaining thing that could be good on Michael's night.
Claire wants to go on her first date with Tony, but Michael is reluctant to let her. So Michael decides he and Jay should also go with them to the movies so they can check on Tony. He proves to be a perfect gentleman despite Michael's innumerous attempts to unmask him as a horny teenager. Such a gentleman that he even refuses to kiss Claire. Michael, who was so worried about his little girl, is shocked to see Claire kissing Tony. But now they know they can trust the boy. Meanwhile, Jr.'s at home babysitting for Kady and decides to take advantage of her. He has her play waitress for him and trades her dimes for his pennies, only to find out later she spit on his soda and he traded her a penny worth 200 dollars.
Michael's parents come to visit him, but Michael is worried about the way they treat each other and how that is reflecting on his own children. After a disastrous attempt to fix things, Michael and Jay finally decide to leave things the way they were. Meanwhile, Jay and Michael worry about Jr.'s rush to have sex and his new girlfriend.
Michael freaks out when he spots a gray hair, but not on his head. He feels he's getting too old, and decides to practice boxing again to get in shape. He even teaches Jr. some tricks and some punches, until Jr. knocks Michael out, giving him a black eye. Meanwhile, Claire is ready to go on her first date with Tony, and Jr. mishears their conversation and thinks they're having sex. He decides to defend his sister and confronts Tony, who gives him a black eye. But it all turns out fine after the situation is cleared.
Jay is coaching Kady's soccer team. The girls complain it's not any fun and Michael tries talking to Jay about it. He ends up taking over coaching the team and promising to make it fun for the girls. Jay doubts all that fun will lead to any win and just waits for vengeance. When Michael's team loses, the girls are offbeat about it and Jay breaks the news that she's been asked to coach another team, and they'll be playing Michael's on Saturday. Jay's team wins, but at least Kady gets to score her first goal. Jay decides to retire from coaching after her win – but not without enjoying her win over Michael.
Jay's feeling bored ever since she was fired. She can't think of anything else to do around the house, and won't let Michael watch the Jordan game until he hires her as the new accountant at his firm. What comes as a great idea for Jay turns out to be a nightmare for Michael, because Jay wants to turn his morning ritual into running errands; takes over his office and gives the employees way more breaks than they should get. Cornered, Michael goes to Jr. for advice, who tells his father he should just fire Jay. When he does, Jay is extremely hurt. After a deep talk, they decide Jay can continue to work side-by-side with Michael, but not as intrusive as before. Meanwhile, Claire tries to show Kady that E.T. is not so scary.
After receiving Jr.'s SATs score results (a perfect 1600), the Kyles believe they have a genius in the house and start treating him more respectfully. Unfortunately, the results weren't Jr.'s, and his true score turns out to be only 200. Still, he proves he's not so dumb and puts together the jungle gym Michael couldn't put together for Kady. Meanwhile, Jay asks the girls what they want to be when they get older. Claire wants to shop (to for companies, for her), and Kady wants to be an officer, so she starts practicing it around the house.
When the kids tease him about getting old, Michael pretends to have hurt his back in a game of Twister so they will have to cater to his every whim.
Jay and Michael are grocery shopping when they run into Susan Green, former cheerleader from their high school. Susan is in great shape, which makes Jay feel ugly and inadequate like she did back in high school. Jay feels depressed and Claire talks her into getting a makeover to boost her self-esteem. Meanwhile, Junior gets himself locked in a girl's locker after a misfortunate attempt to steal her bra.
The Tylers and The Kyles go at it in a game of bowling. All this is going on during Star Trek night. Junior meanwhile develops a crush on The Tyler's daughter. Broadcast Date: 08-May-2002; Writer(s): Valencia Parker; Director: Sheldon Epps
When Jr. finally gets his driver's license, he buys his first car — a dilapidated, gear-grinding, backfiring clunker — instead of the sensible car that Michael picked out for him. And, right before school picture day, Claire's vanity takes a hit when her face becomes swollen from a tooth abscess.
Michael and Janet's 15th anniversary is approaching. Jay's girlfriend Wanda brings her Brian McKnight's tickets (a concert Jay was really looking forward to see), but unfortunately she has to turn it down because it's on the same night as their anniversary. Wanda says Michael will forget about it, but Jay refuses to believe in that and even has the kids spy on him to find out if he's secretly planning something
The anniversary day finally comes and Michael goes out to play golf, leaving Jay devastated at home. Later, she goes out for drinks with her girlfriend Wanda, who insists Jay should confront Michael. When she gets home, she starts to punch him with the Ali signed boxing gloves she bought for Michael, and he reveals he was just faking it all along with Wanda's help. He gets down on his knee and proposes to Jay. They have a vow renewal ceremony with the presence of Brian McKnight and renew their vows and reaffirm their love for each other.