Marge is out jogging one morning and discovers a booth offering free samples of "Science Water". After consuming too many free samples, she desperately searches for a public toilet, finding one in Springfield Elementary School. Afterwards, she walks through the halls and is appalled to discover that Springfield Elementary is the worst school in the state, replete with apathetic teachers and overcrowded classrooms. Marge and Homer, concerned for their children's future, decide to rent an apartment in the upscale Waverly Hills school district so Bart and Lisa can attend a better school. Bart and Lisa are thrilled at the prospect of a fresh start. Bart, eager to establish his reputation as a "bad boy", is shackled and led away by Chief Wiggum, leaving the other students in awe. Once away from Waverly Hills Elementary, though, it is revealed that Chief Wiggum "arrested" Bart as a favor, if Bart promises to attend Ralph Wiggum's birthday party, although he forgets to go to the party, and gets in trouble with Chief Wiggum. Meanwhile, Lisa is having difficulty making friends, and actually gets a B+ on a test. Bart, noticing his sister's gloomy mood, lies to several popular school girls that Lisa is a friend of an immensely popular teen singer named Alaska Nebraska (voiced by Ellen Page). Marge and Homer learn that they will be visited by a school inspector to confirm that the Waverly Hills apartment is indeed the residence of Bart and Lisa, so Homer moves in and befriends two college boys.
Homer adopts a bachelor lifestyle, playing videogames and attending parties with his newfound college friends, and he and Marge begin to act as though they were newly dating. Lisa has become popular with several of her classmates, but only because they want backstage passes to an upcoming Alaska Nebraska concert. Lisa sneaks into Alaska's dressing room and pleads her case, but Alaska is unsympathetic and Lisa is removed from the venue by security. She admits to her fair-weather friends that she was not Alaska Nebraska's friend, and the girls chase her, but she loses them.
Meanwhile, the ominous school inspector visits Homer's Waverly Hills apartment. Homer and Marge frantically lay out toys and Krusty the Clown dolls in an effort to convince the inspector that the children live there. While he is getting inside, he uses the captive bolt pistol to shoot out the lock. He concludes that the apartment is the residence of the Simpson children, but admits that he was "hoping to kill [Homer and Marge] and make it look like a suicide." Bart and Lisa, however, plead to return to Springfield Elementary. Lisa in particular wishes to return, because she would rather "be ostracized for being me, not who I pretend to be." Marge and Homer concur, but wistfully state that they will miss their "love nest" apartment. The episode concludes with Homer and Marge using the backyard treehouse as their new love nest, much to Bart's chagrin, but he soon changes his mind when Homer threatens to ground him.