After Lisa has a recurring dream involving the lockers at Springfield Elementary, Homer and Marge decide to seek a therapist. Due to Homer having used all their insurance covered counseling sessions for a stupid reason, they take her to see a shrink-in-training at Springfield Community College.
There, a therapist student suggests that Lisa draw her typical day. Back home, Lisa is frustrated at her bad drawings, so Marge helps her drawing while she explains her feelings. Lisa takes the drawings to the college, but loses them on the steps. Comic Book Guy's unhappy wife Kumiko collects them and sells them at The Android's Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop as a graphic novel called "Sad Girl." Lisa and Marge complain to Comic Book Guy and Kumiko. But when they see that people are buying the books, Lisa is happy and stops Kumiko from burning them. Marge and Lisa get commissioned by Kumiko to do a sequel and they bond.
At the Bi-Mon-Sci-Fi-Con, a panel is held by Roz Chast, with Alison Bechdel and Marjane Satrapi, but the public lauds Lisa and hurts Marge's feelings by not wanting to listen to her talk about her drawing work. When Marge tells Lisa she wants more credit, Lisa becomes defensive and they have an argument which ends with them dissolving their partnership.
Soon thereafter, they meet a theatrical director named Guthrie Frenel who has come by the house and wants to make an avant garde Broadway show of the books. When the play opens, the play developed by Guthrie focuses Marge's work and makes a point of giving Lisa/Sad Girl little mention. Lisa is upset and talks to the therapist about it, getting an analogy on parenting that's inspired by the therapist having just had a baby after an affair with her faculty advisor.
At the premiere of Frenel's play, Marge finally notices that the play is terrible and also insulting to Lisa, and feels bad about it. She draws Lisa's face on a spotlight and shines it on the stage, enraging Guthrie, which causes a chain reaction that ruins the show.
At the Springfield Sardi's, Guthrie checks on the reviews of the disaster while Bart is drawing mustaches on caricature pictures.
During the end credits, Marge presents Maggie her comic "The Adventures of Sad Girl's Mom." Marge still thinks it's good, but Maggie is disappointed with it.