Thanksgiving morning gives rise to Keaton chit-chat. Alex and Jennifer debate the eventual outcome of a football game scheduled later in the day between Notre Dame, and USC (the University of Southern California). Mallory and Alex team up to debate Elyse's decision to add bean sprouts to the stuffing. Jennifer and Elyse team up to debate Alex's understanding of the first Thanksgiving.
Steven arrives with old pickets in preparation to attend an anti-nuclear weapon rally downtown later in the day. Alex debates the position his parents hold; Mallory debates that they should carry on like teenagers; and Jennifer debates that Elyse's absence from the house means that Grandmother Donnelly will do the cooking. Elyse debates everyone regarding the quality of her mother's cooking.
Kate Donnelly, Elyse's mother, does have a problem making biscuits. Jennifer is still using one of last year's biscuits as a door stop. This year, Steven had to carry in the biscuits with both hands, supposing that the basket contained both the biscuits and the dishes. And on the way out to the rally, Steven and Jennifer surmise that the biscuits might better be used as frisbees than as snacks.
Charlie and Kate Donnelly arrive somewhat late, as traffic was backed up because of the upcoming rally. Charlie muses that Thanksgiving Day is a poor time to rally, and does not believe at first that Elyse and Steven are serious about their intent to go to the rally. But they are. Charlie sides with Alex regarding nuclear weapons, but with Jennifer regarding the outcome of the football game.
The football game begins, and Charlie is sound asleep on the couch. Mallory uses the occasion to switch channels to a soap opera, the main character being a transvestite plumber. Alex, Jennifer and Kate take turns chastising the value of the soap opera, but they all seem to know who the plumber is. When Charlie wakes up, they all switch the channel back to the game. The game is pre-empted by a news alert that demonstrators were arrested and taken to jail. The Keatons recognize Steven and Elyse as among those arrested.
As the prisoners are organizing and deciding how to get out of jail, Alex and Charlie arrive to bail them out. Bail this time does not involve cash, but rather a signed apology, including a pledge not to march again. As Steven rallies support to protest that pledge, everybody else in the holding cell accepts the offer. The jail cell now houses Steven, Elyse, and Walter, arrested at the rally, but for pick pocketing. Alex and Charlie return home empty-handed.
When Mallory fusses about how selfish her parents are to abandon them. Kate speaks her mind for the first time. Without directly stating that she opposes nuclear weapons, Kate observes that Steven and Elyse are not acting out of selfishness. Rather, they are acting out of concern for the very children who are now criticizing them. Jennifer professes to understand. And Jennifer joins Kate as she goes off to have a Thanksgiving dinner with her daughter and son-in-law.
Thanksgiving dinner at the jail is an unidentified yellow liquid with chives. Normal dinner is the liquid; the chives are the Thanksgiving special. As Steven, Elyse and Walter toast their Thanksgiving dinner, Jennifer and Kate come in with a real Thanksgiving meal.
Charlie, Alex and Mallory come in later, for families should be together on Thanksgiving. And on opposite sides of the cell bars, the eight of them get set to eat.