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The Malones are having financial trouble and will not accept money from anyone, including their son-in-law.Overwhelmed by the holiday spirit, Ben brings home a homeless teen (Hallie Todd).He knows nothing about acting and can't recall his lines, but he loves rehearsing the kissing scenes.Ben is fearful of undergoing a tonsillectomy, so he escapes the surgery with the aid of a jovial taxi driver (Alan Hale Jr.).Mike and Carol don't want their parents chaperoning a dance, so they're glad when they are actually told not to – until Carol finds out the PTA's objection to them. When Mike wonders how he pulled off such a great grade..teacher accused him of cheating.Home alone while the rest of the family goes to visit Maggie's parents, Mike throws an unsupervised party.The teen, who snidely identifies herself as "Nancy Reagan", cops an attitude with the Seavers and sees a chance to rob their house.
However, he does not seem as enthusiastic when a news report shows Mike with his father enjoying the concert.
Carol organizes a raffle of Ben's old bike, but the plan is derailed when some bullies threaten anyone from buying tickets to assure themselves of the prize, and Ben and Carol get chastized by their parents, who must decide how to proceed.
When the girl he likes is chosen as leading lady in the high school play, Mike auditions for leading man and wins the part.
After Maggie insists that Mike be grounded for lying, she is caught in a lie herself and Jason suggests that she should ground herself to teach Mike a lesson.
But this is one of those times when a punishment hurts the parent more than the child – Maggie will be missing a concert in Atlantic City by one of her favorites!