In the graveyard, Giles helps Buffy prepare for her most challenging ordeal yet-the SATs. Buffy isn't happy about it and, after slaying a vampire that creeps up behind Giles, complains that only they and the undead are working that late. That might very well be true, for as she speaks the mayor is meeting with Mr. Trick, who says he has subcontracted with someone who's worked in Sunnydale before and so can give the mayor what he needs. The mayor is happy, saying he's made certain deals to reach his high position, and one demon requires a tribute. "I keep my campaign promises," he tells Mr. Trick, opening a cabinet full of gruesome objects.
As Buffy continues to stress about the upcoming SATs to her friends, they come upon Principal Snyder and a whole lot of candy. Snyder gives them each a box of chocolate bars, saying it's band candy, and summarily orders them all to sell it to raise money for new band uniforms. At home, Buffy manages to talk her mother into buying half the box. Mother and daughter argue about her driving privileges, or lack thereof, and then Buffy leaves, citing a Slaying & studying session with Giles as the reason. But after engaging in a single brief training exercise with Giles (and pawning the other half of the candy off on him), she takes off, saying her mother wants her home. Free, she goes to the mansion to bring Angel some fresh blood. He says he's getting stronger. But when she gets home, her mother is waiting for her with Giles. Busted, Buffy tells them to back off. After Giles steps in to mediate (telling them not to "freak out"), Buffy reluctantly goes to bed, and the two adults eat chocolate bars. At a factory somewhere in Sunnydale, a workman is about to do the same thing, but Ethan Rayne stops him. "Trust me," Ethan says. "You don't want to eat that."
Giles doesn't show up to study hall the next day, and while Xander and Willow secretly play footsie under their desk, Buffy gets worried. After school she goes to Giles, to find her mother there as well. Giles and Joyce tell her she was right about their over scheduling her, and that they're having a summit meeting to determine a fairer way to divide her time between home and Slaying. Joyce says they need more time and tells Buffy to take the car and go home. Buffy, although shocked, grabs the keys and dashes out. "D'you think she noticed anything?" asks Joyce. "No way!" says Giles, lighting up a cigarette as Joyce takes her bottle of Kahlua from hiding. Later, they listen to records, then Giles says "Let's go out. Stir things up a bit." Meanwhile, Buffy and Willow arrive at the Bronze to find it largely populated by adults acting just as... well, as adolescent as Giles and Joyce were. Even Principal Snyder has succumbed, and has become a serious dork in the process. They determine to find out what's going on, and (with Snyder tagging along) head off to find Giles. Giles and Joyce are downtown, behaving like a couple of lovestruck teenagers. "Ripper" breaks a store window, stealing a coat for Joyce and a hat for himself, but then a policeman points his gun at them, yelling "Freeze!"
"Ripper" mocks the policeman, then knocks him out, taking his gun and impressing Joyce mightily. The two proceed to make out (and perhaps more) on the hood of the policeman's car. Meanwhile, Joyce's car gets broadsided by a candy-distracted adult. When Buffy and her crew get out to inspect the damage, Buffy suddenly wonders where all the vampires are with the town this helpless. Then someone steals Snyder's candy bar, and his agitation reveals the truth to Buffy: it's the candy bars! Oz and Willow head off to the library to research the problem while Buffy and Snyder head to the source, which is a factory at which a crowd of people are clamoring for more candy. Disgusted when she finds her mother making out with Giles, Buffy grabs them and she, Giles, Joyce and Snyder head into the factory, which is empty except for Ethan. Buffy and Giles chase him down and make the weaselly warlock reveal the plan. He says the candy was just to render the town helpless while Trick and his vampires collect a big tribute for a demon named Larconis, but he doesn't know what the tribute is. Someone else does, though: it's newborn babies, collected from the unsupervised maternity ward of the hospital by a troop of vampires.
Buffy calls the library, and Willow and Oz discover that Larconis is a demon that requires a tribute in the form of a ritual feeding every thirty years. The problem is, it eats babies. Buffy's group rushes to the libraries to find the newborns missing, but then Giles has a flash of memory: Larconis lives in the sewers. The ritual is underway in the sewers, but then Buffy drops in and engages Trick's vampire minions in combat while the mayor runs away, and Giles and Joyce wheel the babies to safety. When Buffy throws one of the vampires into the pool, a rumbling starts, and when the vampire climbs out an enormous, snake-like head emerges from a nearby tunnel and eats him whole. Trick then challenges an astonished Buffy, who accepts, but Giles steps in. Trick easily tosses Giles into the pool, and escapes while Buffy rescues her Watcher by grabbing a gas main and directing it through the flame of a torch, setting Larconis on fire. Later that night, Trick protests that by disposing of a demon the mayor had to pay tribute to, he did the mayor a favor, but the mayor menacingly warns the vampire about doing him too many more "favors." At school, a once-again in-charge Principal Snyder commandeers Willow, Oz, Cordelia and Xander to help clean up some vandalized school property, and Buffy puts the damage done to Joyce's car in perspective by reminding an extremely uncomfortable Joyce and Giles of what almost happened between them.