A storm passes over Springfield, and the Simpson family tries to pass it by playing a board game. Suddenly, Lisa spots a tornado that has touched down and sucks up Santa's Little Helper. Homer and Marge leave the children behind to find Santa's Little Helper and are aided by Lenny and Carl. They come across the tornado which nearly sucks everyone up and then traps Homer and Marge inside the intact building of a bank. The police eventually get them out, but Marge is traumatized by the situation. Realizing that the kids do not have proper guardians, she and Homer decide to find someone to pick as the kids' guardian. They try Grandpa, Patty and Selma, Homer's half-brother Herb Powell (who, for reasons unknown, is now poor again), Kirk and Luann Van Houten, and Cletus and Brandine Spuckler, but Homer and Marge reconsider all of them, and eventually rumors spread through Springfield that they are looking for guardians for their children, to which no one else in Springfield wants to take the job.
Homer and Marge decide to search the shoreline for any childless couples and eventually find Mav, a smooth-talking professional surfer. He and his wife Portia, an environmental lawyer, both win the hearts of Bart and Lisa, and the couple agrees to become their guardians under the agreement that they borrow the Simpson children for the weekend. Homer and Marge approve, but after a few weeks spent with each other, they find a family photo of Mav and Portia with their kids and realize that the two are planning to induct them into their family. Marge initially wonders if Mav and Portia are more suitable parents than Homer and she ever were, but Homer reassures her that Bart, Lisa, and Maggie are their children and they are their responsibilities. The two rush over to Mav and Portia's place. Mav and Portia refuse to give up the children, but end up deciding to let them go when the children say that they prefer their parents over them.