Opening Credits: Blackboard joke: I will not do that thing with my tongue. Couch gag: Grandpa Simpson is sleeping on the couch and is startled awake when the family runs in to sit down.
Act One: The episode begins on Thanksgiving Day morning, with Marge in the kitchen preparing a turkey, while Homer diffuses an argument between Bart and Lisa. The two are fighting over a bottle of glue. Lisa claims that Bart only wants the glue because she does, and when she gives Bart the glue he doesn't want it anymore. While Homer and Bart watch a parade on TV, Maggie follows Lisa upstairs where she has taken the glue to work on a centerpiece for Thanksgiving dinner. Back downstairs Bart pesters a busy Marge in the kitchen and tries to make cranberry sauce. Meanwhile, in the living room Homer watches a football game with Maggie, Marge comes in from the kitchen and tells Homer to go pick up Grandpa. Homer says he will go get him at halftime of the game, the doorbell rings and it is Marge's sisters Patty and Selma. Marge is upset when she sees that her sisters have also brought food to eat, they cite that her turkey is usually a little dry as their reasons for bringing extra food. Homer greets the sisters and makes his exit to leave and pick up Grandpa. At the nursing home Homer quickly ushers Grandpa out to the car, meanwhile a taxi pulls up in front of the Simpson home and a much older looking version of Marge gets out. The old woman walks by the kitchen window just as Marge and her sisters are basting the turkey. They all see her, and Marge rushes to the door to greet her mother. Upstairs Lisa is still diligently working on her centerpiece. Back downstairs Homer tries and fails to light a fire in the fireplace when Marge calls everyone for dinner. Homer leaves the fireplace unattended with a giant log in the middle that is barely smoking.
Everyone except Bart and Lisa are sitting at the table when Lisa comes down the stairs to present her centerpiece. Everyone is in awe and Lisa is beaming at the praise of her hard work, when Bart comes in with the turkey and steals the spotlight. Seeing that the centerpiece is in the way of the turkey, Bart picks it up to move it. Lisa grabs the other end of the centerpiece and tells him to let go, they play tug-of-war with the centerpiece. When Lisa lets go it accidentally gets flung into the fireplace, where there is enough of a small ember to set the centerpiece quickly ablaze. Lisa is outraged and attacks Bart, they bump in to the table spilling food and drink everywhere. Homer and Marge break them up and Lisa, who is very upset, runs up to her room, crying. Homer sends Bart to his room without Thanksgiving dinner, and when Bart appeals to Marge she agrees with Homer, telling Bart that he has ruined Thanksgiving.
Act Two: Bart is upstairs stewing in his room, he can't understand what he did wrong, while downstairs Homer says a prayer before dinner. Just as everyone gets ready to eat, a saxophone solo can be heard emanating from upstairs. Marge goes upstairs to console Lisa, who explains that she worked very hard on the centerpiece and that things like this always seem to happen in the Simpson family. Lisa declines to come back down for dinner, and Marge goes over to Bart's room and tells him that he can come down for dinner when he agrees to give a real apology to Lisa in front of the family. Bart, who is still angry, balks at the idea, and decides to get Thanksgiving dinner for himself on his own. He sneaks out his window just as Homer is kicking Santa's Little Helper outside for stealing food off the table. Bart and Santa's Little Helper walk away together in search of food.
After a while, Bart walks into the richer part of town and soon is just outside of Mr. Burns' property. Cut to inside, where Mr. Burns is eating a Thanksgiving dinner prepared by Smithers. Back to Bart, who spots a pumpkin pie cooling on a window sill, and he sneaks through Mr. Burns' yard to get to it. As he reaches for the pie, he sets off an alarm, alerting the security guards. They release the hounds on Bart, and he barely escapes with his life. Cut quickly to Lisa, who is writing a poem about the darker side of Bart, in an effort to release some of her anger. Back to Bart and Santa's Little Helper, who wander away from Mr. Burns' house. Bart tells Santa's Little Helper that they will find some food, even if they have to pay for it. They walk out of the more upscale part of down, cross the tracks, and are quickly in the poorer more crime infested part of town. Bart passes by a plasma donation center, and sees a sign in the window offering 12 dollars for a donation, and realizes he can make a quick buck. Using Homer's stolen I.D. to verify that he is older than 18, he donates some plasma. Bart stumbles back out of the plasma center and feeling woozy, collapses in the street and passes out.
Act Three: Bart wakes up to see two homeless men staring down at him. They feel sorry for Bart and take him to a rescue mission where Thanksgiving dinner is being served. At the shelter Kent Brockman is doing a human interest story for the news. Back at the Simpson home the family watches the news, when Lisa finally comes back downstairs to recite her poem about Bart to the family. But, once again she is interrupted by Bart, who suddenly appears on the TV. He is being interviewed by Kent Brockman, who thinks that Bart is homeless. Marge and Homer, not realizing that Bart was even gone, start to panic, and Homer calls 911. After dinner at the rescue mission, the two homeless men ask Bart if he has a place to stay. Bart tells them he has a family that he kind of hangs out with and as they begin to part ways, Bart realizes that the two men don't have a place to go and offers them the 12 dollars he received for donating his plasma. Back at the Simpson home the police have stopped by to gather some information, they tell Marge and Homer that they've already checked the rescue mission and Bart was long gone. Marge's mother and sisters leave along with Grandpa, telling Marge not to worry, and that Bart will be back safely soon enough.
Later as Marge and Homer worry about their son, Bart and Santa's Little Helper are actually standing right outside the front door. Bart is contemplating going inside and he imagines what might happen to him if he does. In his little daydream, he envisions everyone surrounding him with cruel laughter and pointing accusatory fingers at him, blaming Bart for not only ruining Thanksgiving, but for everything that is wrong in the world. Bart decides not to go inside and climbs up the tree on the side of the house and jumps onto the roof to hang out. Meanwhile, Lisa is down in her room writing in her journal about how Bart's disappearance might have been her fault, and she begins to cry. Up on the roof, Bart can hear Lisa crying through the vent system and calls to her through the vent. She sneaks out her window and climbs up on the roof. Lisa asks Bart why he wrecked her centerpiece and he says he doesn't know. She tells him that she just wants him to apologize. Bart is reluctant to, and when he looks deep down inside himself he realizes he what he has done to Lisa was wrong and apologizes. Lisa cheerfully accepts. Meanwhile, unknown to Bart and Lisa, Homer has been spying on them. When he sees what Bart has done he comments to Marge that they are great parents. Cut to the family, in their pajamas eating late night Thanksgiving leftovers and enjoying each others company.
End Credits: The normal Simpsons theme plays as the credits roll over a black background.
Run Time: 23:10