The Monkees drive The Monkeemobile from Clarksville to a job out of town. Thanks to a navigational blunder made by Micky, the boys make an unnecessary 150-mile trek through a desert, thus causing The Monkeemobile to run out of gas in a ghost town. The Monkees split up in pairs to search for a gas station.
Mike and Davy play a Western fantasy scene (Mike plays double roles: Black Bart and Slade, Davy is Kincaid); meanwhile, Micky and Peter encounter a rusty old triangle used to call cowboys to supper. Since Peter played a triangle in high school, he happily rings it with a hammer; the noise attracts two hoods, George and Lenny, awaiting the arrival of their chief, The Big Man (in the town jail, yet!), so they can take their cut and scram. The two find Mike and Davy, whom Lenny marches towards the town jail, while George searches in vain for the others, who are hiding in a stall just next door.
Micky and Peter, disguised as gangsters The Big Man and Spider, respectively, try to overcome the hoods and rescue Mike and Davy, but they see through their disguise and put them in the cell with their mates. George warns them not to get out, as "there's nothin' around here but miles o'desert!" The Monkees imagine having fun by the beach and in the desert (dressed as Foreign Legionnaires!) over "Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day".
Micky hatches another plot to escape via tunneling out, and asks Lenny for his shovel and ball to play baseball. While covering up the sound of their digging by singing "Papa Gene's Blues", the quartet begin digging all sorts of escape tunnels to a jungle, a railroad track, an Egyptian Pyramid, and a baseball diamond (!), but Peter has only surfaced in the cell next door. When the real Big Man arrives, the crooks are surprised to find their leader is The Big Man's wife: Bessie Kowalski, The Big Woman! Although she fondly recalls her singing career 30 years on, she still orders for The Monkees' deaths!
As their last request, Davy and Micky ask Bessie to sing one last number with them. She acquiesces, and during her renditions of "Ev'rybody Wants My Baby (But My Baby Don't Want Nobody But Me)" and "Hi Neighbor," Davy's attempts to phone for help fail. Then the quintet break into a rendition of the "(theme from) THE MONKEES," and George and Lenny are asked to join in. Before they perform, Davy gets hold of Lenny's gun, and a shootout ensues while Bessie still sings The Monkees' theme. A ricocheting gun knocks George's gun out of his hand, forcing him and Lenny to surrender.
After the hoods are captured - Bessie announces that while she and the boys are in stir, they'll work up a new act as "Bessie & The Bullets" - a policeman hands Davy a ticket for the reward, then starts writing tickets for traffic violations! Mike gives the cop back the reward ticket to cover the fines, and they start on their way ("Well, that's show business!").