The Planet Express crew is entrusted with the delivery of a pair of oversized ceremonial scissors that are to be used to open the new Democratic Order of Planets headquarters. Arriving on the new space station with the scissors, Zapp arrests the crew under suspicion that they are going to use them to assassinate one of the delegates. They are placed in handcuffs and taken back to Zapp's ship.
While Zapp is interrogating his captives, Kif informs him that he should be at the opening ceremony cutting the ribbon. Instead of returning to the ceremony Zapp uses the ships laser setting it to 'hyper death'; he successfully cuts the ribbon to the applause of the onlookers but also destroys the four-hundred-billion-dollar space station in the process. At his trial, Zapp pleads not guilty. But due to Leela's damning testimony he is found guilty, stripped of his rank and dismissed from the DOOP. Making a final statement, Zapp implicates Kif in the matter as well and he too is dismissed with a dishonorable discharge.
Zapp and Kif begin their life outside the military, needing to beg and pimp in order to survive. Poor and disheveled they appear on Planet Express's doorstep begging for work. The Professor decides to hire the pair on to distract people from the company's horrendous safety record. As new members of the crew, they are to make a delivery to a world with extremely high gravity. While Kif proves to be a handy but needy second to Leela, Zapp, meanwhile, instills dissent in Fry and Bender, urging them to mutiny and install him as their new captain. After being reprimanded for disobeying orders and destroying the hover dolly by overloading it, Fry, Bender and Zapp are punished by being forced to perform manual labor. Angry at Leela, Fry and Bender decide to mutiny when Zapp promises that under him all they would have to do all day is sit around drinking beer in their underpants, as long as he had their loyalty.
After a successful mutiny, Zapp claims command of the vessel and begins to formulate a plan to get him hailed as a hero and accepted back into the military. Fry and Bender soon realize they are in trouble when Zapp reveals his plan to them. His plan is to attack the neutral planet, piloting the ship to crash in a hellish explosion allowing Zapp to escape in the ships only space suit would lead to their certain death. Fry and Bender flee to Leela, begging her to help. After confronting Zapp, Leela regains control of the ship by ordering Fry and Bender to perform duties to alter the collision course that was set by Zapp.
Zapp claims responsibility for averting the disaster that he had in fact caused. When asked to corroborate his story Leela begins to object, but is informed by the Professor that Planet Express will get to keep him if he is not taken back by the DOOP. Knowing this, Leela has no trouble lying to the committee and giving Zapp all the credit to be rid of him at Planet Express. With the information provided by Leela, Zapp is restored to his former rank.