The episode begins with the Marsh family performing various online activities: Stan browsing, Shelley iChat-ing with her online boyfriend Amir from Montana, and Randy watching Internet pornography. Sharon sends them all to bed for the night, but the next morning they discover the internet server is down. They then hastily walk to the Broflovski's house to use their internet connection, but soon find that the internet does not work there, either. Both families head to Starbucks Coffee for free wireless internet, but when they arrive it soon becomes apparent that the entire town's internet connection is down. The TV news, which has nothing to report without the Internet, gives vague rumors of Internet access in Silicon Valley. After eight days without internet (indicated by a time card similar to that of the film The Shining), the Marsh family decides to "head out Californee way". As they spend the night in a transient camp, a man delivers a Grapes of Wrath-inspired monologue that California is so crowded from other travelers that there is "not enough internet to go around". The song Mr. Marsh sings, "goin' down the road feeling bad" is a play on the traditional blues song made popular by Elizabeth Cotten.
When the Marshes reach California, they are placed in an "Internet refugee camp" which is so overcrowded that each family is only permitted 40 seconds of Internet access a day. Shelley is angry that she is unable to communicate with Amir, and subsequently beats up Stan repeatedly out of frustration. Randy quickly becomes agitated and complains to a guard that he has not "jacked off" in over two weeks. Over the years, Randy became so used to being able to find any fetish he wanted with a click of a mouse that he "can't just go back to Playboy." Following the guard's refusal to help, Randy encounters a fellow traveller who informs him that many men have come to California because of the same problem. In the background, an alien reminiscent of the visitors featured in the pilot episode looks on and observes this conversation. Randy's attempt to use an "Internet pornography simulator" (crude hand-drawn stick figures) fails, but when the camp's computer is locked inside for the night, he sneaks in to use it in secret. As he masturbates while watching pornography, his loud moans attract attention and he is discovered in front of the computer covered head-to-toe in his own semen. He tries to explain that a spooky ghost "slimed" him with ectoplasm.
Meanwhile, the government has attempted to find a way to fix "The Internet", a gigantic Linksys-like wireless router that has stopped functioning for an unknown reason. Several fruitless attempts are made to repair it: negotiating with it, communicating with it musically (with the melody from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but using the wrong last note), and even shooting at it. Acting on a hunch, Kyle power cycles the router by disconnecting and reconnecting its power cord. The network indicator now glows green to indicate that nationwide Internet access has been re-established, much to everyone's surprise.
Back at the camp, everybody discovers that their laptops are working and rejoice at the return of the Internet. Shelley, ecstatic that she will now be able to communicate with Amir, suddenly hears a boy call out her name. It is the actual Amir, whose family had also traveled across the country to get Internet. The two are initially awkward around each other, and make plans to e-mail each other instead of communicating in-person. At the end of the episode, Randy delivers a speech similar to Steven Seagal's speech, wearing a Native American-esque outfit, warning about overuse of "natural resources" in On Deadly Ground. Randy says that people should learn from the experience and stop "over-logging on," because they may be unprepared as a result if the Internet is lost permanently. He advises people to stop browsing pointlessly, to only use it when truly necessary and to only view Internet pornography "twice a day... max."