Marge is depressed that Homer takes her for granted. She calls Dr. Marvin Monroe's radio call-in therapy show and the doctor urges her to confront Homer. Homer, who has heard the call on a radio at work, feels bad and wonders how to change the way Marge feels about him. He goes to Moe's Tavern after work and, on Moe's advice, brings home a single rose and a box of chocolates. Marge's mood immediately softens, and Homer tells Marge he will take her to a dinner at a fancy restaurant, dancing, and spend a night at a motel.
Marge and Homer now need a babysitter and hire Ms. Botz through the local "Rubber Baby Buggy Bumper babysitting service" (however, they have to call themselves the "Samsons", since their kids have a rather bad reputation with the babysitting service, especially Bart, and are effectively blacklisted). On Marge's advice, Ms. Botz puts Maggie to bed and has Bart and Lisa watch The Happy Little Elves. When Bart tries to suggest alternate viewing, Ms. Botz quickly puts him in his place because she dealt with troubled children like him before. After Ms. Botz leaves the room Bart tunes into a station airing America's Most Armed and Dangerous (a parody of America's Most Wanted), which profiles a wanted burglar nicknamed "The Babysitter Bandit." A mug shot of the suspect shows Bart and Lisa that Ms. Botz is "The Babysitter Bandit." Ms. Botz enters the living room and realizes that her cover has been blown. Bart and Lisa try to hide, but she easily finds them, ties them up and forces them to watch The Happy Little Elves as she continues packing the family's possessions into her suitcases. Maggie eventually wakes up and goes downstairs to discover that her siblings are tied up and watching TV. Maggie frees Bart and Lisa, and Bart is able to knock out Ms. Botz with a baseball bat.
After tying up Ms. Botz, the kids find all their telephones disabled (which Ms. Botz had done earlier) and go to a nearby payphone to alert the authorities. Meanwhile, Marge tries to call home to check up on the kids but because there is no answer, she and Homer decide to cancel their motel reservation and go home. They find Ms. Botz bound and gagged in front of the TV. Homer, thinking his children have gotten the best of another babysitter and unaware of her true identity, frees her and pays her handsomely. After advising Homer to keep both eyes on Bart, Ms. Botz makes a clean getaway, just seconds before the kids arrive with the police and news media to arrest her. As Bart tries to lead the police to the house, Homer attempts to berate him for his behavior towards Ms. Botz, only to be informed by a news reporter about Ms. Botz's true identity and that he just freed her. Realizing his mistake, a humiliated Homer attempts to save face by claiming he fought Botz and she escaped, then warning her on camera never to show her face to him again. Later that night, Homer moans about his blunder on TV, but Marge cheers him up by saying that if he raised three children who can hogtie a perfect stranger, he must be doing something right.