Homer is extremely late for work after sleeping for more than a whole day. As punishment for his lateness, Mr. Burns makes Homer eat toxic waste in a dark room. Lenny and Carl come in and invite Homer to go bowling. Homer lies to Marge on the phone, telling her that he was not able to attend a tea party date with Maggie because there was a breakdown at the plant and Lenny was hospitalized. Homer then goes bowling with Lenny and Carl, this scene is noted for the classic line "Spare me your guttermouth." Homer bowls a 300 game, and makes the evening news, earning the attention of the entire town. With this accomplishment, Homer becomes a celebrity, appearing on "The Springfield Squares". The appearance ends disastrously, with Homer getting into a fight with fellow guest Ron Howard, leading Kent Brockman to lament inviting a 'flavor of the week' like Homer onto the show. Determined to prolong his moment in the limelight, Homer attempts a walk-on during a Penn & Teller special. This also backfires on him as Penn chases him off the stage with a crossbow (and leaves Teller slowly descending into a tub of shark-filled water).
Homer's 15 minutes of fame wanes, and he becomes "yesterday's news" according to an entertainment news show. Worrying that his life has peaked, he attempts to commit suicide by jumping from a tall building, but Otto, who is bungee jumping, saves him. Thankful for being alive, Homer searches for a more noble lease on life, and dedicates his life to his children after seeing Ron Howard take his children to a zoo. He tries but fails to connect with Bart (who already has a father figure in construction workers, the Internet, and Nelson Muntz) and Lisa (who is too intellectual for him) so he decides to spend more time with Maggie. He tries to teach her how to swim, but she does not trust him and will not go in the water. When Homer takes Maggie to the beach, he gets caught in a rip current and nearly drowns. Maggie swims out and pulls him to shore. For saving him, Homer treats Maggie to a game of bowling—and she bowls a perfect game, but Homer penalizes her for going over the line.